Random stash thoughts

I described my yarn stash to someone this week as ‘obscene’, and it really got me thinking. 
An ‘obscene yarn stash’. So a yarn stash that is basically abhorrent to morality. There’s some pretty strong emotion around a word like ‘obscene’. 
There’s disgust and shame and guilt. I don’t recall feeling any of those emotions when I spoke the word though, so why on earth did I say it? 
It was more that I should feel them, as if having a huge stash of yarn, or indeed lack of restraint regarding anything, is something to be embarrassed about. Amoral. 
And I was thinking that’s really weird. It’s not like seven rhino horns on the coffee table or anything.

But how much is too much? And is too much yarn bad for you as a person? (To quote the well known line, “Of course too much of anything is bad for you. That’s what too much means!”)
So then I started thinking about the terms ‘collecting’ versus ‘hoarding’.

I have, now and again, been accused of hoarding by unkind people, and it never fails to irritate me. Which means, probably, that I am a hoarder. 
I do officially collect some things. Coffee makers for one. I got them all out for a photo but it involved too much dusting. So instead, here’s some of my favourites.

Oil lamps, doilies, amethyst glass, vintage advertising…Yeah, basically old stuff.
Then it starts getting a little tenuous…knitting needles.
To put it clearly, they are just about almost on the brink of the threshold of out of control.
I like vintage needles. They’re pretty, they take up hardly any room, and they remind me of learning to knit as a child with my mum. Who could forget the tortoiseshell needles from the eighties? Or the anodised aluminium from the seventies?
I had good intentions. When I first moved my studio into the train, I got organised. 

I was pretty impressed with myself for this effort. Except for the small detail that I don’t use these needles at all. Like, AT ALL. I don’t use straights. And also…that’s not all of them. There’s these as well.

 Oh, and these. :/

 Um, let’s forget double points and circulars and the rest and just say that’s all of them.
When I started calling them a ‘collection’, it was interesting to me that somehow that completely justified it to other people. 
‘Aaaah, she COLLECTS them….now I get it…’
‘Gee, what an impressive COLLECTION!’…..
Hehehe. Suckers. 🙂
Also, when you start saying you collect something, people start giving you stuff. Lots of stuff.

The yarn stash though is a completely different matter. It can’t really be called a yarn ‘collection’, any more than our pile of firewood can be called a ‘firewood collection’. There’s nothing special or vintage or unique about it, and I fully intend to use it all at some point. If I live long enough. Here is some that’s organised.


I’m not under pressure here, either. Discussing the ‘how much is too much’ predicament with M, he shrugged and said ‘There’s no such thing as too much yarn. You should get a shipping container and I’ll line the walls with pigeon holes for you.’ Me, in guilty voice: ‘But I already have a forty foot train.’ Him: ‘Nah, the train is for working, not for storing.’ ❤ that man. 

Why oh why so much yarn, I ask myself? Am I preparing for armageddon? Self sufficiency and post-apocalyptic survival skills are all well and good, but realistically, if the shit hits the fan, I ain’t gonna be knitting. Seriously.
So then there’s the scarcity argument. You HAVE to get it now or it will be gone forever!! There will be a worldwide yarn and fleece shortage and you won’t be able to knit or spin unless you have a massive stash in backup! Generally, I dislike scarcity thinking. I am, for the most part, a ‘prosperity and abundance, positive thinking’ kind of girl. So it’s probably not that.
Much of the stash consists of bargains that just could not be gone past. A once in a lifetime sale!! A stocktake sale!! Any kind of sale!! Yep, there’s definitely some truth to this one. I love yarn sales. To quote my favourite line ever from Kath & Kim, 
“I think I saved so much with what I spent, I actually made money.”
My train of thought tailed off somewhere around this point and I put on a Kath & Kim DVD and went happily back to my knitting. The angst, if there actually is any, can wait for another day. If I knit solely from my stash from this point on (haha), I only have to live to about 140. Which is apparently feasible. Doctors have already doubled the lifespan of the worm. So I’m just well prepared, really. 

B 🙂

28 thoughts on “Random stash thoughts

  1. It’s been so cold recently, yes even in Sydney, that I knitted up a lot of neck warmers and sent them to the homeless (Wayside Chapel). It made me feel much better about having too much yarn and they are very quick and easy to make.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love your thinking Mary! 🙂 Yes even in QLD it’s cold at night outside, the youth crisis centre I used to work at had a ‘sleep out’ every year just to show how rough it can be at night without a tent and sleeping bag, even this far north. ‘Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy’ also does an awesome job. I’m very slowly building a pile for them, mainly baby stuff, but you have inspired me to get off my self indulgent butt and knit faster before winter is over! At least put a dent in the stash 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your train! The needle collection not so much [it’s a personal thing isn’t it] but the yarn stash/preparation for post-apocalyptic necessities such as hats mittens jumpers etc ……… absolutely plain good old common-sense. Again just a personal opinion. I am impressed with that! My much less impressive stash merely overflows a becoming chevron striped laundry basket. The stuff stuffed into plastic bags and shoved under things and into dark cupboard corners doesn’t count because I am unlikely to live long enough to want to knit it up and it is therefore part of my kids inheritance………….. and as they probably don’t want it, does this then indicate a hoarding problem?
    The other thing that impresses me is your stash is sorted, bagged and probably stored with some sort of organisation. There’s nothing obscene about that – or any of it. Again just my opinion. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha thanks Pauline, love all your comments 🙂 that is pretty much the only organised bit of the stash in that photo really, I too have plenty of the hidden-in-dark-places yarn 🙂 also fleece lol. For when the yarn runs out. Apocalypse here we come, hey! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My yarn is books. In my late sixties I made a rough calculation about how long it would take me to read the rest. A great deal older than 140. So I stopped buying. But, like you, people still give me them.

    I’m sure Bruce could spin a yarn about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I think I could have guessed that about you Derrick! 🙂 they are a bit of a weakness of mine too. At least I know what NOT to bring as a gift if I ever make it over there and drop by! No Dickens box sets for you! 🙂 and Bruce certainly does come up with some purlers…but I needle the help I can get.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. What an excellent start of the day here…I laughed out loud. Well, my dear, wether it is obscene, or if you are hoarder…what do you care ? As long as you are happy. My yarn stash weighed me down, but I am accused of being OCD because of my tidiness and strict rule ‘when something comes into the house, something goes out” But also that ..it is my thing. So now I am thinking, after knitting my yarn stash away, when the armageddon comes…I will be on your doorstep, asking for yarn…xo Johanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha thank you Johanna 🙂 I’m glad I made you laugh 🙂 I do the same ‘something comes in, something goes out’ when it comes to clothes, but somehow I don’t seem able to apply it to yarn… 🙂 and absolutely, there is more than enough to share, you are welcome to help yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. You really made me smile. Very impressive needle collection – must remember to tell people I ‘collect’ knitting needles and see what it brings :- ) And my goodness, you may not be knitting, but those needles are going to be great for fighting off zombies’ when the apocalypse comes 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL I never thought of that Bekki!!! M reckons it will be a zombie apocalypse too, I can absolutely see him now building a stone wall around the house and embedding needles all along the top! 🙂 yep saying you are collecting something is a surefire way to get lots, so make sure it’s something you reeeeaaally want…the universe can get a little ‘generous’ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Seems there’s a minimalist sort of trend happening these days. I read an article recently that stated very matter of factly that collectors are just hoarders with good organization skills. It was in Twist Collective, I think. So yarn related even.

    I’m okay with that. I love my ‘collection’ too much to let someone bother me about it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, a yarn related article like that! Minimalism is interesting isn’t it, part of the mindfulness/non-attachment sort of mindset that I’m all for, but in practise I see some minimalists actually getting MORE attached to their stuff and their dogma, kind of defeating the purpose…perhaps having less things makes them each more important? I think it’s perfectly doable to hoard AND have a clear, non-attached mind, we knitters are a spiritually advanced bunch after all..:) I figure if we can imagine losing the lot, and still being fine afterwards, then we’re not too attached 🙂 (in fact, it might be fun to rebuild the stash!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/107-articles/2016-let-it-go-zen-and-the-art-of-crafty-minimalism

        Here’s the article I read. Actually, I probably only read half of it. When the author starts talking about having a big stash I was with her. When she talks about feeling unsatisfied because of it, that’s where she lost me. I love the inspiration of my stash. I definitely don’t let it get me down.

        I definitely think having a big stash helps prioritize the individual skeins, there’s a lot I can part with easily. Clearly, I won’t have any trouble with the rebuilding part 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the link! Very interesting….I got through to the end but same as you, she lost me halfway through. I found it immensely patronising. Crafters telling other crafters what’s ‘okay’ and what isn’t…yikes. And that theme of decluttering the external environment, dumping the stash in order to ‘unburden’ and quiet the mind…I seriously question that. If my stash was genuinely bothering me and weighing me down mentally, to me it would make more sense to start looking at what was going on in my MIND, rather than in my cupboards. So yay for our giant stashes!! 🙂 it’s like having our own little yarn store! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I share your inability to resist a good yarn bargain. Very little of my “collection” was bought full price–most was acquired, stumbled across, adopted or scored. I have a hard time getting rid of any, even random odds and ends I’ll never use and don’t even really like. Maybe I am a borderline hoarder…but at least it brings me joy! I figure as long as I’m actively working through it, I can justify it at least a little!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh you never know when those random odds and ends will come in handy though, do you! In my experience, the minute after you throw it out, you need it, even the weirdest pieces! 🙂 yes I think if you’re working through it it is PERFECTLY justifiable, and how satisfying is it when you come to knit something with one of your total bargains and can say ‘yeah this cashmere/alpaca/polar bear blend cable sweater that fits me perfectly only cost me 15 bucks…’ Hehehe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh I love your post today! You’re like me, ecletic, and that’s a great thing if you ask me! I truly love your needle display, it’s awesome. I’ve always equated stash to nesting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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