Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Facing Reality

I've been thinking about how to manage my stash. It's seriously out of control. I've got yarn for 14 sweaters alone. Don't ask me to count sock yarns, odd balls, hat yarn or laceweight. I know there are bigger stashes, I know there are smaller ones. What I want is the just right stash.

Mary Jane made an excellent point when she told me "You can't think about what NOT to do. Your brain just won't grasp it." I understand this from what I learned about dealing with my children. Barbara Coloroso gives the example of telling children "Don't touch" in a china shop. When you say that, you put the idea of touching into their minds. Instead, she says to tell them "Put your hands in your pockets or behind your backs." In this case the little hands have a choice to make that has nothing to do with the breakables and therefore keeps them safe.

So I need to find something else to say to myself besides "Don't buy more yarn." I've decided that it should be "Knit more sweaters." But I don't think that's going to be enough because my brain automatically finishes the statement to be "You can't buy more yarn until you knit up all the sweaters." It could take me years to knit through what I currently have and we're back to the can't.

I used to have a yarn budget, in which I gave myself a certain amount of money each paycheck. But when Jim lost his work, I felt I had to stop that. Since he's picked up some work this summer, I guess I felt the pressure was off and hence we had yarn purchases. So, to keep the output of FOs greater than the input of new yarn, I've decided to reward myself with a certain amount of yarn money for each finished sweater. I figure I'll have to knit two or three sweaters to "earn" enough to buy new yarn.

I don't know if it's going to work, but I'm going to try. One thing I've learned, everybody does things differently. You've got to keep trying till you find out what works for you.

Somehow this is all tied in with losing my car. Take a look at this picture. This is never going to drive again.

The insurance company's payout will not be sufficient for me to afford a new car, so I'm making the hard decision to take the bus to work for a while. It seems a simple no brainer, pay off debt or take on more debt; especially with Jim's income so uncertain, and the economy still recovering.

But man, reality bites.


  1. Oh, that looks much more scary than you described in your email. YIKES. I'm so glad Jim survived!

    I have a big email to you in my drafts folder. Crazy week. Definitely friends -- will send it soon. --Syl

  2. Since hitting the motherlode at a weavers' guild's yarn tag sale 1.5 yrs ago, I've made very few yarn purchases. Somehow, it's turned into a game of matching a pattern with stash yarn, like a treasure hunt. I feel like I WIN when I make something from stash yarn and can pat myself on the back for having made a good purchase (especially if it was a low cost purchase to begin with)! I do get frustrated that the yarn-buying events don't hold the same allure, but I just don't go to those very often and that allows more time for knitting. Again, a win-win situation!

    You bought all that yarn as insurance (against never being bored during retirement or financial challenges) anyway, right? Now's the time to let that insurance work for you. :-)

    I bet there are awesome treasures just waiting to be rediscovered in the depths of the stash.

  3. I don't have a very big stash, but I want it even smaller.

    For a while there, I was the person people unloaded their mother's leftover on, or gave their 15 year old bad purchases to. Bah!

    I have a bit of nice yarn, but I want to use it, not store it... And I still find myself planning to make way more stuff than I have time for. I think I need to work on enjoying the moment and not coveting every darn pretty thing I see!

  4. Mary Jane9:21 am

    Taking the bus = more knitting time = using stash faster = being able to buy more yarn sooner.

  5. Ditto with what Mary Jane said! (And good for you for biting the bullet and just doing what needs to be done!)

  6. Mary Jane is right. I know form living there that London's bus service is not the best, but if it works it will be much more knitting time. Your car looks terrible. I can't imagine no one was hurt badly with that much damage.

  7. I'm on the bus everyday because paying for parking & gas eats up too much $. Hope you're on a route with reliable service & leave yourself extra time, the drivers are refusing overtime right now so service can be intermitent.

  8. The perfect size stash is whatever you have. Plus one.

  9. I'm glad the car took the worst of the damage, not you!!

    I agree, more knitting time on the bus.

  10. OMG! I am glad no one was seriously hurt!
    I have been on a yarn diet/budget too. Debbie is right, it does feel like you win a game when you find a pattern you need to knit that works with what you have. It is cool to see what you originally intended it for, and then how it actually ends up.
    I am jealous of all you bus-ers! I walk to work, which I love, but to commute would be so much more knitting time.