One morning, I had some glorious travel time to myself, so I took the opportunity to listen to an episode of the knit.fm podcast, hosted by Hannah Fettig. This podcast is currently on hiatus, but the material in the old episodes, because it's geared toward educating knitters, is still (always?) relevant.
The episode I listened to was about stashing, and Hannah's guest was her husband. As they chatted about their respective stashes, they said a few things that got me thinking about my stash and my stashing habits.
First, Hannah talked about how much of her emotional life she found was tied up in her stash. Since, for most knitters, every purchase is made with the idea of knitting something for a loved one, everything that we stash means something to us, and so it can be hard to let go of the yarn, even when we know it will never get knit and never get worn. I had never really thought about this before, but I do believe it's true. Knitted items aren't just pretty things for me now; I knit socks and sweaters for my husband and daughter so that they will be warm and feel loved, and so that they have high-quality items that will last them years (or at least until they outgrow them!). That's part of why it's hard to get rid of things from my stash; even when I know I will never have the time to use the yarn, or when I know the yarn just won't suit the intended wearer, it's difficult to say no and let it go to a better home.
Next, both Hannah and her husband talked about shopping for materials and stashing as a proxy for doing, and when I look at my behaviour, it's completely true: spending time buying yarn and knitting tools feels like I'm doing something productive, but even after spending a whole bunch of time shopping I haven't accomplished anything at all. Realizing this, I resolve to think more about whether I will really use yarns before I buy them, and to spend more time actually doing the craft that I love, rather than shopping for materials.
I think the most important thing now, for me, is to not be so impulsive in my shopping habits. It's not that I can't buy yarn, but I should think about what I want to make, and whether I will enjoy making it and enjoy the finished product, and I should also consider whether I really have the time to do a project. I'm feel more and more acutely, especially after having a child, that choosing to do one thing (I've been knitting a lot more since I started this blog) means choosing not to do something else (I spend a lot less time sewing and reading now), and because time is limited, I have to be aware of this and be picky about how I choose to spend my leisure time.
I've looked at some stash storage ideas before, but here's another inspiring one. The one on the left is so inviting! And it would be a great place to listen to more episodes of the knit.fm podcast.
Photos from Knits for Life