Monday, May 18, 2009

stash maintenance

I’m putting this out there ‘cause it’s been on my mind, and to help keep me honest. I really need to sort my fiber stash and rediscover what all’s in that closet. I am not one of those oddballs that only buys the yarn they need for that one lone project they’re going to work to completion before buying the next bag o’ yarn. But I wouldn’t go so far as to label myself a yarn collector either. I’m like normal knitters everywhere, and buy what I think I’ll use someday, and sock yarn doesn’t count as stash in my house, just like in yours. And I juggle multiple knitting projects.

I even went on a yarn diet once. The Yarn Harlot describes it eloquently in one of her books, and many of us the world over recognized ourselves in it.

I ain’t plannin’ another such diet anytime soon, but I do need to sort through what’s in there. That closet behind me, as I sit here. It’s one of those 8-ft shallow ones with the double folding doors, typical of the American subdivision houses built in the 1970s. The floor is covered with clear bags of yarns, from the last time I sorted and grouped them. More bags hang from clothes hangers along the bar. That’s also where my roving hangs out. And yet more yarn and some fabric are on the shelf, stacked to the ceiling.

And I’ve got three things in mind, tools to help, as I contemplate this big chore. I’ve been meaning to photo my stash for the Ravelry database, anyway, and this would be a great time to do just that. A white piece of poster board, and let the shoot begin.

Another is a sort of self-examination. I’ve read somewhere that the colors you’ve collected over the years will tell you what your favorite color is, even if it’s not what traditionally looks the best on you. Your stash, grouped together, is your chosen color palette, the one that makes you feel good. I’ll expand that thought with examining the types of yarn. There’s history in the memories of how I came by each skein. Some were gifts, some were bought not for me but with other people in mind. How much sock yarn is really in there? I like making socks, but I’m not rabid about it. Will the amount prove that I bought something one day just to be buying something? I know there’s this one bag in there of a scary amount of acrylic sport weight in poke-your-eyes-out colors. I sort of remember buying it, but can’t recall why. I had something in mind that day, and damned if I could tell you today what it was. It’ll be a therapeutic thing, to sort through all that, ‘cause knitters are so very tied to our fiber stash and on so many levels.

The third thing I’ll make use of, and not for the first time, is The Yarn Stash Workbook by Laura Militzer Bryant. It’s not just a collection of stash-busting projects, even though that section is fun too. The first section of the book gives the reader a guideline for how to sort that stash, to see just what you’ve got. I plan to revisit this book really soon.

Tomorrow’s Maintenance Day in WoW, which means the servers will be down all day, so no gaming to do. Hence, I tackle other things on Tuesdays. Tomorrow, specifically, I’ve got the hedges to trim, but that won’t take all day. And I’ve got some writing to do, and that will take a chunk of the day. Wonder if tomorrow will be the day I finally sort through my stash again? If not tomorrow, then next Tuesday, lol. It’ll be soon, ‘cause it’s burning a hole in my brain to do it.

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