Sunday, July 20, 2008

Flashing It

Do you ever feel a tiny twinge of stash regret? You know, when something new and fab arrives at your LYS? Everyone passes it around, oohing at the softness or aahing at the new colorway, and in your head you try to match that gorgeous new yarn up with a pattern you'd like to make? Because dang that stuff is soft and the color is perfect. But. But you don't buy it for one reason or another. Maybe money's tight, or you've vowed not to buy anything for an ungodly length of time, or you 'have an agreement', or as I realized recently, it's the same perfect color that makes up most of my stash already and I really don't need a 6th sweater in that exact shade of coppery brown or olive green, even if the fiber's different. Sigh. Wouldn't it be fun to just buy it if you feel like it, without having to justify it?

Then I come home and check out that which I already have and realize that if I bought something every time I fell in love with it, not only would we need to build an addition to accommodate it, but really the sheer quantity would be overwhelming. I've already got a very nice (and sizable) collection.

I buy the majority of my fiber with birthday or Christmas money, and a lot of it at Stitches. Two of the three are done for this year, so I'll be knitting and spinning from stash for a while. To reacquaint myself with what I already have and to choose my next project from it, I'm embarking on a Tour de Stash. I thought you might want to come along.

I keep all of my yarn in an armoire; it stays pretty organized, it's easier to keep clean and it's quickly evident if I'm accumulating too much. Top shelf - 100% wool for felting and charity knitting, project leftovers, and in the middle, my hand-spun.

Second shelf - sock yarn on the left, laceweight and single-skeins on the right. To the far left, and outside the picture is my lone skein of Socks that Rock in Little Bunny Foo-Foo. I can't believe it's been in my stash since Stitches West '07 and I haven't used it yet.

Third shelf down is yarn for sweaters, though mostly lighter-weight and tank tops. There's some wool in there but it's primarily blends and a little cotton.

The bottom shelf is pretty much for warm sweaters only. You can't see everything there - to the left of the rust-colored skein on the lower left, there are about 10 skeins of Malabrigo; 7 in Olive, and the other 3 are Sol y Mar. I've decided my next project is the February Lady Sweater and I'm leaning toward making it with Noro Cash Iroha, which is the blue yarn in the back. I bought it ridiculously on sale about 18 months ago and it has been waiting for the right project. I think this is it!

Then there's the spinning stash - all in one bin (and clearly trying to get out).

All together it looks like this. The basket on top of the armoire holds spinning projects in process, and the white bag up there on the left holds about 4 pounds of undyed merino waiting for another good day to dye.

Then there's the bookshelf (thank you, giant sale at Ikea):

You can't see the top 2 shelves in this picture but that's ok because they both hold my cookbooks which don't have anything to do with my fiber obsession. Ok, my fiber crafting obsession - eating fiber is important and I think about that a lot too. The top shelf you can see has my knitting magazines on the left, the small collection of straight needles in the middle (I made the clay jar that hold them in college), and my box of WIP's is on the right.

Next shelf down has my patterns (categorized in binders), some notions, and my lazy kates for spinning - do you like the high-tech one made from a shoe box?. Second shelf from the bottom has my knitting books on the left, spinning/dyeing books on the right, and the basket between them has yarn for a sweater in process. And the bottom shelf has spinning stuff in the bin on the left, dyeing stuff on the right, and a box full of zip locks in the middle. All of this stuff lives in our guest room. So far the only people who've used the guest room are muggles, which is good because frankly I don't know if I could trust a fiber person in there alone.

Though the room does come with a vicious guard dog.



Kathy in San Jose said...

Hmmm, strange - this post just now popped up in my Bloglines feed...

Good for you to keep on top of what you have in stash. I've recently reorganized and found stuff I've forgotten about, and also stuff that I no longer like (acrylic). To paraphrase, "Use the stash, Luke, use the stash."

~Donna~ said...'s so well organized...i'm trying to get there. I've managed to get it down quit a bit, have refrained from new purchases (i'm saving myself for England), and am trying to gather it all in one place. Just when i think i've got it all, i find some more hiding in a box under the bed or in the closet...or....well, you know. I swear, those balls have a life of their own.

AlisonH said...

Wait. All your yarn fits into *one* armoire? Wow. But then, um, yeah, we DID put an addition on the house, and, um...okay, I'll shut up now.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, it's all so neat and contained, and not making a move towards the rest of your house. Teach me! ;)

As an aside, how awesome are Ziplocs? My entire life is made up of ziplocs and post it notes! Oh! And Rubbermaid totes. Snork.

Nell said...

Excellent storage solution! I'm with you... Not too good at resisting when gorgeous yarn jumps out at me. But also true that I probably have something like it or 10000000000 other projects in the queue in front of that particular thing.

Sharon said...

Vicious guard dog? Really? So...can I stay in your guest room? :)

Big Alice said...

Awww, I just want to give a belly rub to that vicious guard dog.
Hehehe, fiber crafting.

Thanks for the view of your stash, it's very pretty. You're probably right not to leave anyone alone with it.

Toni said...

Wow. I can't even get my stash all within a closet, much less an armoire....actually, it was a major accomplishment to get it all moved into one ROOM.....perhaps it's that total lack of ability to talk myself OUT of yarn that has led to the spending ban........:)

Big Alice said...

Thanks for the stash flash, I like seeing all that yarn. YUM. And waht Donna said - so well organized!
I think you're probably smart in allowing guided visits only to the fiber room, because I would be sorely tempted by that reddish variegated stuff on the non-wool sweater shelf. It looks gorgeous. And oh the sock yarn. (off to wipe off the drool)

Tina - omme i London aka teeweewonders said...

Oh, I love it when I see I'm not the only one with more yarn than I could ever knit. My beloved reckons I'm obsessed! What a great obsession though. :)