When Yarn Stages Its Own Intervention

I wrote the following on a Ravelry board, and it was suggested I put it on my oft-neglected crafts blog. It’s a topic relevant to many knitters and crocheters, I’m sure, and indeed, you can probably replace the word “yarn” with words like “cross stitch patterns” or “scrapbook materials” or “stamps” or “collectible teaspoons” and have the thing be relevant to other hobbies as well, right? Let’s just say I have a lot of knitting to do, and I am now on a yarn diet. Read on…

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So, there was an intervention the other night.

It was sort of accidental, this intervention, and it was staged by my yarn.

All the yarn I’ve bought over the years and then stashed in rubbermaid bins in the farthest reaches of the basement, thereby consigning it to “not existing”? Yeah, well, it rose up against me the other night, brandishing pitchforks and torches and the whole shebang.

You see, I’ve always considered myself a practical knitter. Never buy more than you need, always have a purpose for your purchase. No buying yarn “on spec”, as it were, no matter how pretty or how squooshy and soft. I had adopted this philosophy because I’d seen friends of mine struggle with ever-burgeoning stashes o’ doom, 30 gallon trash bags full of the stuff tumbling out of closets and onto their heads any time they needed to find a winter coat or a spare pillow or something. I didn’t want to be like that, and for many years, kept myself true to my yarn core.

Apparently I strayed somewhere along the line, however, and then, like all people with a problem, went into deep, deep denial about it. I very neatly organized yarn by type into VERY SMALL (note the size!) rubbermaid bins, and put them into the old coal cellar of my basement, never to be seen again. The fact that the bins were VERY SMALL meant that I really didn’t have a stash, in my mind. Didn’t matter that there were multiple VERY SMALL bins, they were VERY SMALL and thus I did not have a problem.

Right? RIGHT?!?!?

Some other justifications:

“What yarn, honey?” – My response when asked by my boyfriend if I would like an extra rubbermaid bin to store “your extra yarn”. If he tried to point out the yarn, I’d say “Oh, but that’s not yarn for my stash, I’m about to use that for [insert name of project here], but thank you anyway!” Note that the project would never materialize, but the yarn would stay in a closet until I could sneak it down to the basement 6 months later.

“Well, there might be a dishcloth emergency!” – what I say when I come home with yet more cotton balls, which leapt into my basket when they were on sale at my local Joann or Michaels. Don’t know how they got there… *looks innocent*

Or, when buying sock yarn, my favorite justification: “But…in the zombie apocalpyse we WILL need to have new, warm socks from time to time! Our zombie apocalypse survival kit needs to contain shotguns, shells, axes, machetes, water rations, MREs, first aid kit, and sock yarn with dpns, right?” I think at that point my boyfriend just shook his head and walked away chuckling to himself.

So, my friends, I have a problem, and the first step to fixing that problem is to admit it. I brought up every VERY SMALL rubbermaid bin from the basement. I scattered them around the dining room and began unloading them. My dining table seats 8, but you wouldn’t know it, because it is currently covered with approximately 5,280 balls of freaking yarn.

I am now in the process of putting it into labeled ziploc bags, printing patterns and putting them into those bags, and starting to stash-bust in a serious fashion.

Wish me luck, eh? I’m going to Rhinebeck in October and sheer panic has set in. I have to be able to justify all those lovely Rhinebeck yarns…… 🙂

Published by Beth

I currently reside in Pittsburgh, having moved here in May 2008. I live with my husband Fred and life is really awesome. In the past few years I have completely changed my life (and I couldn't do it without support from family and friends). I now work as a writer and editor, and my favorite topics to write about are how to live a more positive life, book reviews, and sharing my crafts. Welcome!

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