No, not that kind of ‘stash you silly hipster.
I’m referring to yarn. Lots and lots of yarn.*
I’ve come across many instances lately of people talking about having stashes so large they exceed life expectancy (aka SELE). I’m not quite there yet, but I think I’m awfully damn close (or you could live by the thought that you could always get hit by a bus at any given moment and then nearly ever knitter would leave a wooly estate). I don’t know what my comfortable stash level is or should be. It might be exactly where it is right now? If so inclined, I could start a few sweaters, tights, a drawerful of socks, and a whole sh*tload of accessories at any given notice. Yet it’s starting to make me a little uncomfortable… I feel almost as if I’m eating a giant delicious sandwich in front of a waif-child. I try to live as simply as a typical American (who still needs an auto, has outdoors hobbies, has tools for a major house renovation and small farm, has a teensy nostalgia problem, etc.) can, yet my stash requires a whole closet or very small room nearly all to itself.**
Some of my recent test-knitting has been a half-assed attempt to slim the stash, yet most patterns call for yarn currently on the market and easily available, so that also leads me to the occasional
justification for a purchase when I don’t already have something quite right. My yarny souvenirs from travels are justified to some degree since they are only material thing I buy, but sometimes (but not so much these days) I’m a sucker for the $3 or less skein of 100% wool or bag sales of the stuff for a song (which is also how one can end up with loads of discontinued stuff). Wool can always be used in/for something – it felts/fulls, can be mixed and matched, dyed, used for embroidery, and in my mind never needs to be destashed.
I’m horribly tempted to catalog it all and post it on my ravelry stash page, but I’m embarrassed to show I have this much and I don’t want to turn off any current or potential ravelry friends. I have to admit when I see ginormous stashes full of primo yarn (though mine isn’t the fancy stuff for the most part) I think the person must be very rich, and if you are very rich you are probably evil (or you might be a designer with a sponsor or a LYS owner, so that’s ok). And then the work of photographing and logging the data would take a few days to do and it’s something that my tedious-loving other evil Gemini twin*** would love to do, but really is a waste of time. But on the other hand, I can choose to list things as available for sale or trade, so it could be a win-win – I may have something discontinued that someone needs to finish a project, or make a buck or two on the side. That, and I could check my inventory without having to unstack, unbag, or generally make a mess of things. But don’t I have other things that I should be working on…?
*There’s a good amount of spinning fiber and a couple of sewing machines in there too, so it’s a little deceiving, but then again none of my WIPs (or possible froggers) or sweaters waiting to be unraveled and harvested are in there…
**Really the bigger problem here is my fabric stash. So much bigger. So much more unwieldy. So much heavier. So much less organized and contained. So much it’s actually a problem worthy of an episode of reality TV hoarding show. So much that it really does need a room of its own. So much that I will never share the extent of it with anyone other than N. And my “fabric” is mostly carefully curated but old and wrecked clothing so it’s not like I can re-sell it or even give it away. Maybe to a rag picker… Ah, the olden days…
***Both twins are evil – an uptight bossy bitch and an unmoored drifter.