On the recommendations of a few good reviews, I added the Stash and Burn podcast to my iPod repertoire. I gave it a good try, listening to several episodes but the more I listened, the more it got on my nerves.
In an amongst some great interviews, helpful reviews, and interesting conversation, Nicole and Jenny complain about how much yarn they have and sigh over the difficulties of knitting it all up. They giggle and sigh a lot, but then they seem to have a lot of yarn. The sad thing is that I think they could do much better. They really are very smart women and have a lot to offer in their podcast.
The last episode I listened to, "Knitting the Natural Way", was the final straw for me. First, they started with a confessional of their knitting and stashing sins. Then they moved on to review two books. Finally, they finished with some stash busting tips. It was this last segment that bothered me the most.
The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon has turned into a destashing effort that has taken over knitters this year. The reasoning seems to be:
- I bought too much yarn
- I must knit up all the yarn I bought before I can buy new yarn
- I like new yarn better than the yarn I have now
- Therefore, I must knit up the yarn I have as fast as possible so that I can buy more yarn.
It seems to me to be pure consumerism, and a misplaced sense of frugality, to try and knit through a stash as fast as possible in order to free one self to buy more yarn. It detracts from the enjoyment of knitting as a hobby, turning it into a chore instead of a pleasure. Focusing on using up yarn when knitting, instead of the aesthetics of the end product, could result in more ghastliness for the pages of You Knit What? And how is it frugal to quickly knit something that uses up a lot of yarn, but that nobody will wear or want?
Instead, I would like to offer these tips for dealing with a large stash.
- Purge yarns you don't like by selling, donating, or giving them away. Keep only the yarns you love and really want to knit. Keep knitting as a pleasure.
- Get yourself a budget. Know how much you can afford to spend and then buy within your means. There is no need to feel guilty about buying expensive yarn, or a lot of yarn, if you can afford it.
- Learn to think in the long term. There is no self life for yarn. Store it well and it will last you for ages. One day, parts of your stash may appreciate.