Like many other knitters here, I’m sure I will be immersed in the Ravelry web site for a while … transferring information to my notebook, surfing lovely examples of other people’s work, exploring patterns and yarns, and meeting people! Maybe posting here will suffer a bit while I get myself settled?
Maybe not! While trying out the stash feature in my Ravelry notebook, I had some thoughts on the topic. The word “stash” has some connotations, doesn’t it? It brings to mind something treasured that’s hidden away. One stashes a valued object for protection: from theft, from damage, from prying eyes. I remember waaay back in the late 70s, “stash” didn’t refer to yarn, at least in college! So, to me there is a tang of the illicit in the flavor of the word.
So what about the yarn stash? A year ago, when I first started buying yarn, I didn’t have a sense that it was something to be treasured. I mean, you go to the Big Box Craft Store and buy enough to make something, then you make it. How simple is that? I could see the final product as a valued object … after all, hours of hand-labor have been devoted to it … but the yarn? Easy come, easy go!
The first yarn I bought was Lion’s Wool-Ease, an inexpensive blend. That yarn served well for beginner experimenting. I happily tried stitch patterns, frogged, got knotted up and so forth and didn’t worry about ruining an expensive investment. I also struggled with splitting and the yarn felt “squeaky”. Sure, a good part of that was due to inexperience but, looking back, I think the yarn played a role as well. Even so, I found this odd sense of protectiveness forming around my two balls of Wool-Ease. A year later, I have the last few feet of that yarn carefully tucked into my leftovers bag at the bottom of my stash …
For my next yarn purchase, I went to a local yarn shop. The shopkeeper recommended 100% wool in a basic worsted weight and suggested I choose a color that made me feel good … it would add to my enjoyment. I tend to go for woodsy colors (my Wool-Ease colorway choices were Natural Heather and Forest Green Heather) but my hand darted out and pulled back a cheery pink. When I got home, I was stunned at how much more pleasant this yarn was to work with! It felt kind of springy and soft and my needle slipped happily under the loops with a lot less splitting. And the pink made me feel as if I were playing with taffy. Was I falling in love with a yarn??
OK, next experiment was purchasing a yarn on the Internet. I was looking for bamboo needles in a particular size that wasn’t available locally and, to make the shipping cost worthwhile, I decided to buy some yarn too. A temporary insanity must have come over me, because I ordered 4 hanks of Artyarns Regal Silk:
I’m just now realizing: if I was infatuated with the local guy (the pink wool), then why not go for the movie star! The hot pink silk?!?! But secretly, I’m thinking that such a yarn is too good for the likes of me. At least, this yarn sits in my stash waiting for my skills to improve and just exactly the right pattern. Now and then, I take it out just to admire it and hold it … like a miser fondling the gold piece he normally keeps in the toe of a knotted sock under the floorboards. Will I ever “spend” it? If I do, then it will be gone … better get some more yarn that I can spend!
That’s the urge, anyway. I have another competing urge not to consume for the sake of consumption … so far, that has kept my stash at a reasonable size. At least, I hope that’s the case! We’ll see after it’s all tallied in my Ravelry notebook. Frankly, I think Ravelry will help me “spend” my yarn rather than keep it stashed away. I’m guessing I’ll be inspired by seeing examples of completed projects in yarns like mine … not to mention pointers to the patterns themselves …