I never thought that it was a coincidence that my husband, Mitch, and I found each other. If we didn’t, we’d both be in big trouble.
You see, Mitch is a collector, and I’m a purger. He likes to keep things, I like to throw things out. He likes a little bit of clutter and I like things neat and clean, nice and tidy. As a result, our lives are a little bit of both. Our house has just a little bit of clutter but is mostly neat and tidy. The basement is where all of Mitch’s collections are kept (where I can’t see it).
The only exception, apparently, is my collection of yarn.
Sometimes I start a project, and then I put it down, with the needles still attached, and eventually the project (with needles) will be stored somewhere in the stash. Not very organized on my part. I’ve misplaced a lot of needles this way.
So while I’m feverishly knitting hats for my upcoming shows, I almost bought a new pair of US size 6, 16″ circular needles…but in the back of my mind, I knew there was an extra set lurking somewhere in the house.
So…last week I searched for said needles. I started in the yarn storage…but instead, I fell into the vortex of my stash – amassed beyond life expectancy (SABLE).
There are a few reasons why this happened to me, as these reasons happen to almost every knitter alive. It’s not our fault! It’s just human nature. The big one is a syndrome I like to call “eyes bigger than hands.”
Whenever I go to a yarn store, or a convention, or see an enticing online ad, I may go ahead and purchase a skein (or two), thinking I’m going to use it for that perfect project.
Or I see a pattern that I absolutely love and buy the yarn for it, only to put it away, and never actually start the project.
The other reason is that over the years I’ve inherited a lot of yarn; from friends who also bought too much and realized they didn’t want to use it, or from friends who saw yarn at a second-hand store and thought of me, or friends who inherited yarn from someone else.
Most of the time though, it’s because I see the yarn, I touch it and hold it and smell it (yes, that’s actually a thing and I do it), and I fall in love with it and buy it.
I have been feeling a little guilty about this reckless yarn expenditure too. Over the years, it just gets worse. A few years ago I established a self-imposed moratorium on buying any new yarn. That definitely helped me cut back on my spending (it didn’t completely eradicate it but it did help!).
Still, I had more yarn than one could possibly imagine. For years I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with it. This time was different. Today I would purge. And so I did. It wasn’t easy. Some of the yarn was high quality, but I had to ask myself some honest questions…like, whether or not I was really going to make hundreds of washcloths or that shiny novelty scarf, or was I really going to take the time to knit yards of this scratchy wool, felt it, and turn it into potholders?
I ended up taking a jumbo-sized garbage bag, bulging to the top with yarn, to the thrift store. I still have a ton left, but at least I have a clear idea of what to do with it. Really I do!
And I don’t feel guilty about it anymore.
And it all fits nicely in my four plastic drawers.
I told you, I like things nice and tidy.