Stash Examen

There is a lot we can learn about ourselves when we examen our stash.  Believe it or not, there are some people who don’t have a stash.  A friend of mine just buys enough yarn to complete a project.  She knits up the project, sews it together, blocks it and then may wait weeks before purchasing more yarn for her next project.  I think she is in the minority!

     I have found that my stash has changed through time.  Ten years ago, it was all WIPs (works in progress).  I loved to buy yarn for the latest coolest sweater in the Vogue knitting magazine.  In the full bloom of my excitement, I would cast-on and knit like crazy until I saw the next greatest sweater that I couldn’t live without.  My friends would ask me what my latest sweater passion du jour was.  When I began running out of storage room and project bags, I counted up my WIPs and I had 25 projects on the needles.  My husband started to catch on and asked me “Don’t you ever finish anything?” Fortunately, five of the projects were fairly close to being done, so I finished them in quick succession. 

     Then I started collecting yarn without a project in mind.  I made some poor purchases because I ended up with useless quantities of yarn – not enough for a project or way too much. 

     Yarn is my happy place.  I love looking at it, feeling it, and creating with it.  However, when my stash got too big it made me anxious.  I knew in the back of my mind that I was not going to use the boucle yarn in the back of the closet.  I had made one sweater out of it and I probably had yarn for two more.  I did not enjoy knitting with boucle because my needles kept getting caught in the little loops of the yarn.  There were other piles of yarn that I knew I was not going to use.  Why was I hanging on to it? 

      This was a good question to ask myself. Here’s what I found out. I didn’t want to admit I had made some mistakes in my purchases. I wanted to think I would have enough time to knit all those projects. I love being surrounded by yarn. I want to knit beautiful sweaters out of fingering weight yarn, but I just don’t have the patience.  I can’t knit the second mitten because the tension hurts my hands and I don’t want to admit it and so on.  It’s important to take time to reflect.  Our collections tell us something about ourselves.  It’s good to approach what we have with an attitude of curiosity.  What does this tell me about myself? What kind of action do I need to take if any?  How are my collections a reflection of what’s happening to me spiritually?

     I had reached the point where I needed to do something.  I put Marie Kondo’s strategy to use and went through my stash.  Any yarn I was not in love with went into one pile and the projects and yarn I was willing to commit to went in another pile.

     I took some beautiful and expensive yarn to Sew Green.

SewGreen@Rochester, Inc., is a 501c3 dedicated to rescuing for reuse of everything to do with sewing, knitting, crochet, and needlework. The second half of our mission is to educate folks of all ages and walks of life in all varieties of creative and practical machine and hand needle arts. SewGreen teaches low cost classes and camps in our shop and has many free club opportunities for the community. We take programs out to schools, libraries, and festivals, and we are determined to revive these skills which as much as they are practical, are also good for our emotional lives

Project Update: Pattern rows 23-28, 1-2 of Pattern 56 of the Japanese Stitch Bible.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

4 thoughts on “Stash Examen

    1. No! It means you don’t want to play yarn chicken. Who needs the anxiety of thinking you don’t have enough yarn to finish a project. Maybe there are wrist warmers in your future with the leftover yarn.

      Liked by 1 person

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