We all do it. We all hoard wool. Like dragons guarding treasure, we are protective of our spun balls of colour. I have a friend that calls her hoard, “My Precious”. Another friend calls it her “Tangled Web”. I call mine, My Yarniverse .
Whatever you call it, it is our Stash. To some of us, the size of it is of great pride and joy. To others, it is a secret that must be kept from the man of the house.
I met up with another knitter for coffee the other day. Let’s call her “Jane”. She is a novice (she’s only been knitting since June) and already she has amassed a great hoard of yarn. Some of it was inherited from her husband’s late auntie. It was this pile of historic yarn, abandoned W.I.P.s and vintage needles that got Jane knitting.
“I can cast on, do stockinette and so far I have made a few scarves,” she said. Her eyes were ablaze as she opened up a canvas bag. Within the bag were six skeins of naturally dyed, hand spun, pure wool yarn from crossbred sheep and alpaca that she bought from a seller at a craft fair. ALPACA!
Bashfully she looked up from the bag and whispered, “I am not sure how I am going to smuggle it into the wool I already got at home without him asking how much it cost.” I nodded quietly calculating there must have been about £70 pounds worth of yarn there.
“Chances are your hubby may never know,” I said. And then we Googled closed storage containers together from one of the value shops and planned her the Smuggling In Ops.
There is no way of understanding exactly how this yarn addiction begins. It almost always starts off innocently by finding a pattern that calls for a certain amount of balls for the size you want to make, and then you quite possibly buy one extra (just in case) or find that your tension was really rather tight so you are left with a bit. But ultimately, you wander around a shop looking for laundry detergent, toothpaste and bin liners and find three skeins of wool for the price of two. You see a cobalt blue looking one then remember that lovely cowl pattern you saw on Ravelry. You remember that you decided to make one at some point in the near future. But what if in the future these skeins aren’t on sale? You think to yourself you had better get them now, just in case. You think to yourself “that would look so pretty on (insert person’s name of your choice with the glorious blue eyes HERE)”. You are pleased. You put it in your cart and spot another skein in a different color. Only this one is not in the sale. But this one is even softer and the color is like autumn walked into the shop and kissed you on the forehead. So you buy four. It begins. You store it in the boot of your car until your husband leaves the house. You run out as soon as he has turned the corner and bring the wool in and…. Stash it…. True story…
Well, here comes 2017 and with it comes new lines of wool. That stash is starting to bulge a bit and it may be the time to get some of that old stuff out of the dark and onto your needles and hooks. The New Year is all about new beginnings so Yankee Yarns would like to throw out the dragon-scaled gauntlet!
We challenge you to make stuff out of your stash. Only your stash!
And we would like you to send us your photos so we can put them up in our gallery. Of course we will give you props. When you send us your photo, we would like to know:
- Your name (alias or just first name is ok)
- How long you have had that wool in your stash
- And if there is a story attached to the yarn, then even better!
- Send to Yankeeyarns@gmail.com and we will showcase your work in the Stash Buster Challenge tab.
Do you just want to make squares? Check this out. A knit for Charity is a great way to stash bust.
Now a word from Sara, our fearless leader at Yankee Yarns :
“The pink vest Loxley wearing is 10 year old wool with the green stripe new wool. It was the exact colour she wanted. Mix the old and the new because I didn’t know it then but it’s exactly what I needed now. You know your own taste, so when you see something you can’t pass up trust your own taste because chances are you’ll end up (eventually) making something you love.”