Thoughts on Yarn Stash(ing)

Dear readers, please understand that there will be no pictures accompanying this post due to the sensitive nature of the material (and because I really don't want to embarrass myself on the Internet by showing how much yarn I have. Because I don't. Have a lot of yarn, I mean. <_<;).

Ugh. It has been 38 days since I packed away the majority of my stash and put it into storage across the state and… I really miss it. :( I don't expect non-knitters to understand this, but my fellow knitters, surely you understand the pain and longing? I do have my emergency stash at home, but.. well.. it's mostly the yarn I don't like very much or the lace stuff I don't use a lot. Plus, nearly all my needles are also in storage, some 400 miles away, so even if I wanted to knit with the yarn at home, I can't! Unless I go to the yarn store… Hmm…

Anyway. “What do you mean by stash?” some of you might be wondering. It is inspiration. It is color and texture, a magnificent selection of yarn that has been impulsively purchased and squirreled away into unobtrusive locations around the house for emergency situations where, hopefully, no one will notice. Or if someone notices, maybe they won't be smart enough to count all the skeins. Yes, I speak from experience. I try not to think about it.

I haven't always had a stash. In fact, when I first started knitting, I was pretty good about only buying yarn when I started a new project. Of course, this method gradually contributed to the existence of my stash because I have a bad habit of starting a gazillion projects at a time… But anyway, I digress. The fact is, I used to not have a stash (mostly because I didn't know what it was, but that's besides the point, right?)

I wonder if stashing is kind of instinctive in a knitter, though. Even without actively trying to start one, I started just buying extra yarn. 'Cause, hey, you never know when you might see that lovely lace yarn again.. Or hey, I know I'm working on this hat, but I want a new winter scarf too! Might as well get the yarn now. (These may be early warning signs of developing a stashing habit!)

Then I discovered Ravelry, an online knitting/crocheting community, and I discovered that others collected yarn too – and it was called a stash. I came to believe (for a time) that one could not be a Real Knitter without a stash of yarn. When I bought yarn with my mom, she would exclaim, “Just buy enough for your project! You don't need that much yarn!” and in response, I would inwardly scoff, Real Knitters always need that much yarn.

This is when I went a little overboard. Suffice to say, I now have a lot of yarn, I do consider myself a Real Knitter, and I'm trying to knit my stash down before buying anymore yarn (but I am not always successful at this). But you know what? I may be slightly embarrassed by the size of my stash, but I'm not apologizing for it. In fact, I'm kinda glad I have it. Because it really is inspiration sometimes. And it's fun coming across some yarn I bought years ago that I probably had a specific project in mind for, but have since forgotten. Because then I get to browse Ravelry for awesome new patterns for a specific yarn, which for me, is always more satisfying than browsing Ravelry for awesome new patterns without any yarn in mind. That probably didn't make any sense.

Writing all this just made me miss my yarn stash even more. Sigh.

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