Friday, February 26, 2010

Dear Miss Knits:

The following was inspired by Sarah in Indiana, who confesses that her stash is under control. “Stash,” for you non-knitters, is an embarrassing word referring to all the yarn you haven’t yet used. Some of it is left over from completed projects like the king-sized blanket that eventually became an afghan. More of it is gorgeous stuff you simply couldn’t resist when you were in the yarn shop. You had to have it. You will knit it someday, but you are waiting either to finish the other 6 projects you already have on needles, or for the yarn to call to you, to reveal itself to you, to tell you what it wants to become.

Now a True Knitter, simply put, is an addict. She has more stash than she can easily admit, more than she has good places to put it, more than she can afford, enough for years of projects even if she should keep all the promises she makes to herself and never buy another skein until the yarn she already has is (mostly) used up.

It is unsound doctrine, unscriptural, to call anyone a True Knitter whose stash is “under control”. (Sorry, Sarah.) While True Knitterness is beyond our poor, feeble, human attempts to define, the following, clipped from
True Knitters Daily Digest, illustrates it.

Dear Miss Knits,

Help! My husband has discovered my stash and he says we need to “take care of it,” which means throw it away. He says we need our attic for other things. Of course, he has no idea how much it all cost. Please tell me what I should do.

If you decide to publish this, please just sign me,


Dear Desperate,

Clearly you have made several mistakes, the first of which was marrying a Non-Knitter. The second mistake was failing at least to convert him into a True Knitter after the fact. (Miss Knits has no doubt you tried, dear.) Well, there’s nothing to be done about these missteps now, except to let them serve as warnings to other Knitters.

Fortunately, there is indeed something we can do about your third mistake, which was to store all your stash in one place. Never, never, never, keep your whole stash in one place! Smaller storage places are important because: they are less likely to be discovered, they limit our exposure if they are found, they are less likely to elicit a complaint from our spouses, and they do not display the full evidence of how much money we have spent on yarns.

Here is what you must do. Call upon your other Knitting Friends, explain the emergency, and beg them to keep portions of your stash for a while. (Do not ask them to keep very much of it or for very long, as their own stash is probably as much as they can normally handle except in emergencies such as this one.) Do not forget, as a courtesy, to provide your own mothballs or whatever you use to keep the bugs away.

After a week, retrieve your stash from your Knitting Sisters (and/or Brothers, if you are lucky). Divide it into several small stashes and store them in the small places you will have spent the week preparing, and keep a list of these places in the bottom of your knitting bag.

If worse should come to worst, part of your stash is discovered and your husband insists he needs that space, simply begin immediately to use the yarn from the revealed stash. It isn’t necessary to finish the project right away, just get it on needles.

Of course, the long-term solution is to buy a bigger house. Miss Knits understands this may not be realistic in the near future, but you should keep it in mind.

Wishing you Happy Knitting,

Miss Knits


Anam Cara said...

This is so funny - and so true! Quilters also have stashes - of fabric. We can use the tiniest scraps in a quilt, so if it is at least 1 1/2" square, we think we'll use it later and save it.

A couple years ago, I had our daughter take some of my fabric and hang on to it for a while. It is back now, in a different place. : )

Quilters sometimes say, "The one who dies with the most fabric wins."

I hadn't thought about stashes of yarn before, but, of course, it makes sense.

By the way, a family from out church moved to Richmond last year, but I don't know what church they attend. Do you have a new choir director named Lisa?

kwolfe said...

Anastasia: You may know my husband, Ezekiel. We were talking about stashes yesterday, although in my case, it's not only yarn, but counted cross stitch and paperback books as well. There is no hope. I am becoming "gasp" a hoarder!!

Karon, a.k.a. Katherine

margaret said...

I have been known to keep the minutest scraps of fabric because, you know, one day I am going to make a crazy quilt... and now I have to move house and it's taking up more space than all my bedlinen put together.

Mimi said...

It's funny, scrapbookers have them too.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I have a knitting stash too :-)

Anam Cara said...

Oh, I hadn't considered all my scrapbook paper to be a "stash" - it's just "supplies."

Sarah in Indiana said...

I suppose I have something to aspire to--I have to admit, I do keep trying to convince James to learn to knit, but so far to no avail. I'll have another 50 years or so to convince him, though, God willing. :)