Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My Stash

I have a confession to make.

No, I haven't had secret plastic surgery or run off with a delicious man. Its more secretive than that.

I have a stash.

Of knitting yarn.

Now don't look so shocked. It is a common affliction. Let's be a little generous here.

I knit. I have knit since I was taught to by my father and in a painful experience in 4th grade by a teacher. Even though those experiences, I still stuck with it, knitting big baggy cardigans in the 70s, on to baby clothes as my children arrived, endless sweaters for people, myself, for no one in particular. Hats, mittens and scarves are countless in production. I evolved from basic forms to complex patterns with historical significance such as 16th centure guernseys or arans and usually have at least two projects that I can work on at the same time. One for simple, mindless knitting that takes no thought and another that demands full concentration with complex patterns or colour changes to test my mental ability.

Part of the process of knitting is in the planning, and poring over patterns and yarn choices. That is where the stash comes in. Yarn stores or yarn sections of larger stores, even online yarn stores have a magnetic pull to me. And I cannot leave without at least a couple of those on sale alpaca yarns in my hand, or that pure wool handpainted in Uraguay. Then there are the simply too good to pass up sales of brand names at bargain prices. Sigh.

I have a full set of cupboards in my utility room, like a set of kitchen cabinets, top and bottom. The bottom is filled with yarn and some half finished projects. The top cabinets are filled with patterns. Yes, I admit it. I can't help it. But it IS good insulation and Ill never run out of things to knit with and people who come to visit browse through it for hours as if it were a store, selecting yarn, patterns, needles and settling in for a good afternoon knitting and chatting.

The stash of yarn is like art in the wings, waiting to spring to life. The colours are my palette, the patterns my lines and the final product is a piece of art. You can't buy one of those sweaters or hats or mittens in a store, each is unique with history, time and love gone into it.

So now I have a few more balls tucked away in the sideboard that I must transfer downstairs....did I mention that part of the stash habit is being secretive? Others just don't understand the need to keep searching for that ultimate Trophy Yarn. Then again, I'm fickle, my Trophy Yarn changes every few weeks.

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