Friday, February 01, 2008

The question of Stash?

I've been pondering the question of what actually is stash*, because of my stashbusting drive this year. And I mean this in a serious "I'm only cheating myself if I fib" way, not in a "what can I get away with without having to tell my husband" way. But not in a guilty way, because I am so on board with the no-guilt stash manifesto!

I think we can all agree that yarn bought without a specific project in mind is definitely stash.

Like this yarn - I went to the Cassidy's sale! Both stores! (I think I'm now an honourary Canberran). How could I not buy this lovely Zara at $2/ball - that's $100 worth of yarn for only $20 (and that's for reals, not crazy talk!). So it's stash, even though it was bought on sale.

What about yarn bought for a specific project. I think if you start straight away, the yarn is not stash. But if you leave it to marinate in the ziplock for a while, does it eventually become stash? Does it only become stash if you decide you don't want to make that pattern and use it for something else? Will think on this as we continue...

(By the way, that is not going to happen with this pattern - I adore this pattern!) (also, I have at least another 3 cardigan patterns and the actual yarn each pattern calls for...)

And sock yarn? Sock yarn is bought obviously for a specific purpose, that of making socks (although we know it can be used for other stuff of course). Even though I signed up for Knit from your Stash 2007, and I was all "oh yeah, sock yarn is so not stash" exception, I think that was actually my downfall last year, because my sock yarn stash grew exponentially. So sock yarn is definitely stash.

What about gorgeous yarn that has been discontinued...
Ok, I guess it's still stash. But gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous stash.

Sale yarn is stash, unless it meets one of the not stash rules. (See, I am being harsh here. And honest...)


Finally, yarn purchased to make gifts for others is not stash -unless you have bought it and then not used it for said gifts. Anything leftover definitely is stash. And yarn gifted to me is stash. But stash of the best kind!

I'm sure there are other complications, but these are the main ones for me. The real issue for me, in working out whether I'm in fact stashbusting this year, is the yarn bought for a specific project issue. I think I'm going to say that if I bought it more than 6 months ago (as far as I can remember, in an honest remembering way, not in a vague "oh this, I've had this for ages way", which I may have done previously for shoes...) then it has become stash.

And I'm going to keep myself honest by noting at the end of each month how much yarn I've knit in the previous month (both stash and new) and how much I've bought. I'm just going to do it by number of 50g (2oz) balls. I could do yardage etc but that's too much maths for me. By recording this, I'll have a simple way of measuring my success - if I'm in the negative, I know I'm ahead in terms of stashbusting...

So here's my January 2008:

Yarn purchased = stash: 30 balls (mostly from Cassidy's...)
Yarn purchased to make gifts: 7 balls (for Ravelry Bag Swap)

Yarn used this month from stash: Approx 10 balls - all stash

Stashbusting: +20 (sigh...) (and I go back to work next week, so that'll mean less knitting time...I can't believe I only got 10 balls worth done this month! I think I should have an internet diet!)

*Feel free to read "george" for stash throughout this post. I just didn't want to completely rub it in due to the copious mentions of stash/george throughout this post...

19 comments:

amy said...

Oh my goodness, I'd be afraid to keep track of what's coming in and what's getting knitted. I mainly go by that internal yarn meter that says either, "This is completely not necessary" or "you can't pass this up" or "you don't have anything suitable for this project." And honestly, I suspect my stash is not all that big, relatively. I tend to start to get anxious when the amount of yarn gets too large, and I *want* to knit it down a bit. It must be 'cause I'm a Virgo, I think. We're SO practical!!

BrownPants said...

How about a KAL for that jacket darling? I love it!

Em said...

An excellent way to define and classify the sub-types of stash. I am permitting myself to not feel bad about my stash, it's largely sock yarn and it's really only a few hundred grams or so. Because, of course, we're not counting the steamer trunk full of acrylic that turned up when I was unpacking.

Bells said...

Dear RoseRed, you know I love you dearly and admire your George tremendously - so I can say I am delighted to see you embracing this step forward. I think it can only be good for you.

And really, how can working with all that gorgeous stuff you have not be wonderful? I see many wonderful projects flying off your needles this year!

Bells said...

ps I wanna make the swing jacket too. I need an adult sized garment that doesn't swallow up more than a year of my life.

Donna Lee said...

I am not a large stash person. I was just having this conversation last night. I think I am more of a "buy what you need and use it" person. Except for sock yarn. That I'll buy just because I like it and I'll let it tell me what pattern it wants to be.

MadMad said...

Wait a minute! You're already back at work next week? How did that happen - I feel like I pulled a Rip Van Winkle or something... Oh, I hope it was a fun and relaxing!

Sarah said...

January is always bad (good good good!) for the sale yarns :o)

I'm trying to do something similar with my yarn buying this year - no diets but I would like to knit up more than I buy - I'm roughly there for January - especially if we don't actually calculate the yardage of the two skeins of sock yarn I bought - definitely ahead on the weight measure, good choice :o)

Michelle said...

I have just put myself on a yarn diet. George diet. Whatever. After loading some stash/George into Ravelry tonight, I realised that I had become a yarn capitalist and it wasn't making me happy.

I don't have a big George by any means - but I've only been collecting seriously since May last year and I have waaaaaay more than I'd ever hoped. And it's getting hard to store.

So I'm thinking of finding one of those "crochet from your stash" groups for psychiatric assistance!

Diana said...

You so make sense!! I need to do some stash busting but I do know that much of it has a specific purpose. Hey, I've got the yarn for the swing jacket too! Even the yarn called for. 3 sweaters on needles at the moment though but it's next in line.

Jejune said...

That jacket was the reason I bought that issue of IK (this was before my serious-magazine-purchasing days) - I'm keen to see how it goes if you get to it before I do :)

Sigh. I have purposely stayed away from the Cassidy sales - still recovering from the financial catastrophe that was moving house... starting to feel envy pangs when I see the wonderful things people have bought at such amazing prices. And that silk - oh my! Swoon! :)

Queen of the froggers said...

Love the silk ... you do have some seriously nice stash!

Roxie said...

Folks, Feeling bad about stash is like a painter feeling bad because she has too many colors of paint. You NEED that yarn to inspire, design, create. In fact, you need to achieve a certain critical mass, and then gestation commences, and you begin finding yarn that you don't remember bringing in to the house. This is the yarn that you use for charity knitting. Unless it tells you that it has a different plan in mind . . . But refugee camps always need wool caps, and hospitals always need washable baby blankets. There is no such thing as too much stash. Just insufficient storage space.

Alwen said...

I usually let my stash-guilt-o-meter tell me when it's too much stash. If I have the hardly-any-yarn feeling, I'll buy it. But when I start to feel like I'm wading in it, and not using it, then it's time to start shopping from the stash and enjoying it, letting it see daylight and visit people, instead of keeping it locked up like a crazy auntie.

Michele said...

interesting post but can i add a justification. what about if it was called supplies instead of stash. about 20 years ago i took up painting and bought tubes and tubes of top quality oil paints and good brushes. i painted for a few years but the tubes eventually ended up in a box. i felt bad about it whenever i moved (often) but a few years ago i returned to painting and oils last forever and so i had a fantastic supply of paint. yarn doesn't go bad. it's just supplies.

if you don't like it anymore you can sell it.

btw: amazing cream silk. only a crazy person would not buy this.

Rachael said...

I nominated you fora you make my day award, see my blog for details!

mmmm silk!!!!

del said...

How interesting! Sometimes I can't look at my stash because it gets, ahem, overwhelming.

Nora said...

Well, I've decided to buy even MORE this year! Yep.

[You have some seriously gorgeous stuff there, my love.]

Caffeine Faerie said...

I love your George! And that jacket is just stunning!