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Tag Archives: stash

Okay, so here’s the thing: I have some serious financial goals for this year.

Why do I mention this on my knitting blog? Because I’m thinking it’s time for me to make a resolution: to only stash-knit until the stash is gone.

… yes. That’s right. I said gone.

Really, this isn’t the most ridiculous thing in the world. Here’s a link to my stash as listed on Rav (which is 100% accurate). The issue isn’t a lack of good yarn. According to my stash page, I have 14 different yarns that will make 14 (or more) complete projects. Frankly, that should keep me busy for at least a year.

I think I will have two specific problems. First: a lack of variety. I have a lot of fingering weight, and I don’t knit socks. Second: a lack of flexibility. I’m an impulsive project-starter. It’ll be hard not to go out to purchase the yarn for some project I get excited about when I’m working my way through my third lace shawl (which is my plan for the fingering weight).

The thing is, financially speaking, my biggest obstacles aren’t big at all. It’s the leaky faucet problem. Ten dollars here, twenty dollars there… and next thing you know, I’m wondering why it’s so hard for me to contribute to my emergency fund or finally start that RRSP. I’m not complaining – I’m doing quite well. But with the shaky economy and all my pricey goals for the future, it’s time to buckle down. I don’t really buy a lot of yarn (14 stashed? 14?) but it’s one small area I can control. So I’m going to.

Stash: prepare thyself.

ps: the delicious Neapolitan baby sweater is almost finished. Stay tuned!

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The scene outside of Three Bags Fulls Belated Boxing Day sale.

The scene outside of Three Bags Full's Belated Boxing Day sale.

In recent weeks my knitting friends have been telling me about the wonder that is the annual Belated Boxing Day sale at Three Bags Full. Upon seeing the sale flyer posted on their website on Friday, I decided to throw my budget to the wind and indulge myself in some serious yarn shopping.

Now, I still stand by the statements I made in the past. I do want to avoid stashing without purpose. I only want to purchase yarn with specific projects in mind. But I may have dropped the “can make in the foreseeable future” aspect of those statements in the name of bulk savings. Oh, who am I kidding? I definitely purchased a few things that I still, upon a day’s reflection, have no idea what I’m going to use for.

I have a big bonus coming through this week, which means that I don’t really have to feel guilty about breaking (er, shattering) my budget. The whole experience was fun, and it gave me some food for thought.

I’m really grateful to be able to afford natural fibres. Acrylic has its place, but I would always prefer to purchase something naturally produced. I’m also very grateful that I’m finally at the point in life where I can choose to be extravagent now and then. I can choose to splurge on Rowan Felted Tweed, instead of using Paton’s Classic Merino (which still remains my favourite.) I can choose to treat myself to some Kidsilk Haze, which really will accept no substitutes. I can choose to support independant yarn stores, rather than trekking to Michaels, where I know I’d get more for less.

Basically, I can choose to spend my money how I see fit. Not that I don’t have a budget, and “afford” is a bit arbitrary when you’re paying down a student loan. But I can still buy groceries and pay my rent and my bills AND buy fancy-pants yarn, which is really a blessing.

The security, I mean. Not the yarn.

Usually, I’d like to be a little more thrifty. I’m totally excited to make a bunch of sweaters out of Paton’s Classic and Cascade this year. But I firmly believe in the old saying, “everything in moderation, including moderation…” and this was definitely an “including moderation” sort of weekend.

So, without further yammering… my acquisitions:

Malabrigo Sock - Stonechat

Malabrigo Sock - Stonechat

Malabrigo Sock - Persia

Malabrigo Sock - Persia

Malabrigo Sock - Archangel (I ended up with two of these...)

Malabrigo Sock - Archangel

Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri - Candied Apple

Blue Sky Alpacas Brushed Suri - Candied Apple

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr Wool-Silk Laceweight - Mahogony

Fiddlesticks Knitting Zephyr Wool-Silk Laceweight - Mahogony

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 003 & 023

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 003 & 023

Rowan Felted Tweed - SH151

Rowan Felted Tweed - SH151

Lovely, non?

I have some lace projects in mind, and a sweater, and a specific mitten pattern. The sock yarn… I’ll have to get back to you on that one. But it was so pretty…

Selecting yarn really only took 15 minutes. Waiting in line to pay for the yarn, however, took over two hours. Which sounds like hell to the average person, but I actually found it strangely comforting. I had two whole hours with which to obsess, overthink, change my mind and change it back again. What I ended up paying for was very different than what I first entered the line with. It was very convenient that the lineup ran around the perimeter of the store, so you could drop things off and pick new things up as you made your way through it.

Despite all this time, though, I managed to make one poor decision. The Brushed Suri was for a particular project that I thought simply needed a sort of haloed look, but upon coming home I realized I really should have bought laceweight. So I ventured back out there again today (this is my punishment for being neurotic) to treat myself to some Kidsilk Haze.

Of course, I didn’t escape that easily.

I walked out with three more skeins of Mission Falls 136, for a baby sweater I need to make before February 1st, as well as a skein of Smooshy sock yarn wich I have NO IDEA what I will use for. But isn’t the colourway pretty?

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 001 & 003

Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash - 001 & 003

Dream in Colour Smooshy Sock Yarn - Petal Shower (personally, I would have called this one Neopolitan...)

Dream in Colour Smooshy Sock Yarn - Petal Shower (personally, I would have called this one Neopolitan...)

Rowan Kidsilk Haze - 582

Rowan Kidsilk Haze - 582

Also, I picked up a second skein of Malabrigo Sock in Archangel, after someone pointed out that it would make a really pretty shawl. Damn enablers.

I’m fighting the buyer’s remorse. I’m thrilled with my purchases, but I feel like a consumer whore. That said, I saved close to seventy dollars, which is really nothing to sneeze at. I won’t need to buy yarn anytime soon, unless I come up with a necessary gift project that requires more than one skein of sock yarn (single skiens of sock yarn are apparently my weakness, which is troublesome, considering I don’t really knit socks.)

But the final test – does my yarn still fit in its basket?

The limits of my yarn universe.

The limits of my yarn universe.

All tucked in...

All tucked in.

… Yes! Which pleases me, because I’m not willing to let it expand any further.

Really.

I have officially entered the realm of happy and unapologetic stashing.

At knit night this past Thursday, I purchased a skein of hand dyed yarn from the lovely Yarn Sprout. It is 437 yards of beautiful merino sock, in a colourway named “Jam” (which is most appropriate), and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to make with it.

But I love it!

100% superwash merino

100% superwash merino

What to make, what to make?

What to make, what to make?

I usually pride myself on not having a stash. Even the word bothers me – I think because it’s trendy knitting lingo, and the minute something I love becomes trendy it also becomes, on some level, irritating.

I know knitting has been trendy for some time now, but it wasn’t until I joined (and got hooked on) Ravelry that I had reason to notice. I’m not trying to say its popularity makes me unhappy (on the contrary), nor am I one of those holier-than-thou knitters who “liked it before it was trendy” (I’m certainly not). It really is, quite simply, that the trendy vocabulary annoys me.

It reminds me of the short time I lived in Whistler for a ski season. I distinctly remember not being able to stand all the kids who lived there saying things like, “whoa dude, I totally shredded the gnar today, it was sooooo sick.”

But I digress.

Beyond petty annoyances, I don’t really like the concept of a stash because I don’t really like hoarding anything. I grew up in a house loaded with stuff, and what lesson did it teach me? The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to clean up. And the fewer places you have to put it. And the less money you have to buy the things you really need. Etc.

So, imagine my horror when I updated my “stash” page on Ravelry today (something I haven’t bothered doing before) and discovered that I now have 16 different yarns worth photographing and listing. And more than one ball of most of these. No longer do I simply have half-skeins of leftovers from past projects, and perhaps a ball or two of poorly chosen wool that was never used. No, now I have a full-on stash.

I’m not sure if it counts as “stash” if you have a project in mind for it, and a due date, but… a cupboard full of yarn is a cupboard full of yarn. I wish I could stick to my high ideals and say this made me unhappy… but really, there’s nothing unhappy about two big shoeboxes full of colourful squishy yarn.

Here are my most recent purchases:

Malabrigo Worsted - For a slouchy beret (and so I can finally see what all the fuss is about!)

Malabrigo Worsted - For a slouchy beret (and so I can finally see what all the fuss is about!)

Cascade 220 Heathers - For my asymmetrical cabled cardi

Cascade 220 Heathers - For my asymmetrical cabled cardi

Sandnes Garn Sisu - For my iPhone cozy project

Cascade 220 for my brothers christmas present...

Cascade 220 - For a Christmas present...