Stash - the very word conjures up images of a secret trove of treasures to be hidden from view lest they they be pirated away by some greedy other. That's how I look at my stash. It's security and power - a source of inspiration and opportunity. But then there's the reverse - a stash's dark side that harbors guilt and oppression serving not as inspiration and opportunity but as obligation and stress. Like the optical illusion that is at once a young woman or an old crone, what you see in your stash depends on how you look at it.
When I was first starting out knitting, my mother delighted in accompanying me to yarn shops. She, herself, did not knit, but she loved the colors and fibers and patterns - a world of infinite possibilities. Infinite possibilities for me to knit, that is. She was an incredibly generous woman and was happy to enhance the revenue of local yarn shops as she gleefully piled up my projects for me. What should have been a relaxed pleasure started to feel like a job. As the projects stacked up, I began to get anxious. She meant well, but it was suffocating -- my knitting life all lined up ahead of me. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. By the time I got to some of the projects in my queue, I didn't even like them anymore.
I don't know why we do this to ourselves, or in my case, allow others to do it to us. Perhaps it's because we're such a goal-oriented society. We need to have everything scheduled and planned ever earlier. I see it with my kids, having to know what they want to do with their life while they're still in high school -- got to take the right AP classes, don't you know, so that you can get into the right college, of course. The very best college for the thing you want to do for the rest of your life, obviously. My poor Colton has no idea what he wants to do with the rest of his life. He can't even make up his mind on what he wants to have for dinner tonight. Geez. But I digress.
Anyway, whether it's you life, or your stash, too much rigid advanced planning can suck the creativity and joy right out of it. But it doesn't have to. You can buy what you love and view your yarn as a resource - an opportunity. You stash, like a broad education, can be anything you want it to be. It might be this, or might be that - you are free to enjoy your yarn as a potential anything you want. You can change your mind a dozen times - change it right up to the very moment that you cast on - and even after. Like life. Ask me how I know this...
It's such a familiar mindset, though, that it can be tough to break out of it. In the shop, I hear complaints to this effect all the time, so this summer we're going to have some classes on stash. We're going to look at our stash from three different perspectives. We're going to start with sweater-quantity stash. In this first class, we'll help you take a look at the yarn and garments you have queued up to make. Are they things you still like? If you saw that garment in the store, would you buy it? If yes, great, let's move on. If not, then what should you do with that yarn? Got yarn without any project planned? Bring that too. We'll help with a fresh eye and more.
Sound like fun? I promise it will be. We'll have a great time dreaming and scheming, planning and playing - all with yarn you already have. Sign up here and get ready to love your stash in a whole new way.
I look forward to helping you with your stash, your current project, or your future one! You are always welcome here.
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