Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Knitting and a Confession

I am a knitter!  I dabble in a number of other fiber related crafts - but if I could choose exactly one activity to be stranded with me on an isolated tropical island ... it would be knitting.  I wouldn't be able to wear any of my creations because tropical islands are hot and knitting produces warm garments but no matter!

That is not my confession.

This year I have several project goals - all of them are pretty big.

I finished my mom's shawl. The story of why this shawl was pushed to the top of my project list can be found at this post.  It just needs a few ends woven in and blocking.  I wish this was a shawl that I could leave with mom all the time - but Assisted Living laundry is unforgiving.  Everything gets cleaned using much heat and agitation - which is 'death' to wool.  So the shawl will make periodic visits only.  I am still thinking about buying some beautiful acrylic for a shawl that she can keep with her - but extending my project list is a low priority ... and buying more yarn is not ... *sigh* ... well, more about that later.

This is also not my confession.

My daughter's lace shawl (with fingering weight yarn and #1 needles - (yes, #1 needles - who the heck makes a shawl out of toothpicks - and before you say - use bigger needles - the pattern suggested #0 needles - insane I say!!!) .... anyway, I get distracted.  My daughter's lace shawl was about 8 inches in depth when I decided that:  1)  I couldn't live with the small errors I had made,   2) that I would always see those irregularities and be bothered by them,   3)  that I would forever cringe when Kris would proudly tell people that her mother made the shawl,  4) that is OK to be anal and want perfection.  So I ripped it all out and started again.  Here is my second try.

And just for the record:  I am an Aries.  That means I am stubborn, bull headed, persistent and ornery.  I have no intention of letting this thread-like yarn and tiny tiny needles best me!

I have also started a Faery Ring jacket for my cousin, Leslie.  It is in the beginning stages but the process has begun.

All together now ... no, this is not her confession.

There are two other projects - my own sweater and a pair of socks - that are on the needles, but are not picture worthy yet.  There are a few other projects on my list, but they are not even close to getting cast on the needles.

Now for the confession.

My yarn stash!  

For my non-knitting readers: a yarn stash is a bunch yarns (or fibers, or cloth ...) that is owned by you but not presently being used.  It might have projects assigned to them, or it might be yarn that you just had to own because you physically could not walk away from it.  Most knitters have a stash of yarn.  Most knitters have enough years left in their lives to use up their stash of yarn.

Then there is me!

About 2 years ago I did an inventory.  I listed the yarn by maker, weight, and color - I also noted how many yards I had of each entry.

Two years ago that yardage number was 143,000 yards - (pause for gasps).  For non-knitters that is about 79 miles of yarn (the gasps grow in volume).  And based on using about 5,000 yards of yarn a year (equal to about 2 sweaters and several smaller projects), I would have enough yarn to last me 28 years even if I never bought another skein of yarn (pause for a belly laugh - mine, of course.)  I was however, appalled at the quantity of yarn I had amassed.  It was a bit embarrassing.  The total would slowed my acquisition of yarn!  I was glad I did the inventory.

One year ago I updated my inventory - deleting yarns I had used and adding new ones.  Remarkably my yardage total was now 156,000+ yards or 88 miles of yarn.  That is an increase of 13,000 yards.  13,000 YARDS more yarn!!  GASP!  Just not possible!  Now I could live another 31 years without running out of yarn - (time for math:  I was 65 then so I wouldn't run out until I was 96 years old.)  I did some soul searching.  If that yarn was not developing gonads (I haven't entirely ruled that out yet) and increasing yarn babies on its own - then I had bought all those 13,000 yards.

So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of.  I decided that I was no longer a stasher of yarn - I was a "collector" of yarn.  That sounded so much better.  Yes, a Collector - with a capital C!  I would still be cautious in my purchases, but as a serious "Collector", I was "normal" (an important word) - adding only unique selections to my "collection."


(Is anyone else "buying" my assessment of this yarn stashing problem?)

This week I updated my inventory again.  (I really need to stop doing that!)

Let see hands of how many think the inventory has gone down (great wasteland of silence!)

You are right, it went up.

Let see hands of how many think the inventory increased less than before (great wasteland of silence!!)

You are right, it went up alot!  (and I hate that you knew this!)

Drum roll please.

My current inventory of yarns is 188,475 yards, 107 miles of yarn ... I could live to be 104 years old before I run out of yarn.  HOLY COW!  I increased my yarn from last year by 34,475 yards!  (and secretly I think I missed a few yards in this count - but whose counting, right?)

I am now past "soul searching."  That was a worthless endeavor. I am now in survival mode.  I am still just a Collector (yes, I am), but if I reach 200,000 yards by this time next year - I will need to change my title from Yarn Collector to Yarn Store Owner or Hoarder!

I vote for Yarn Store Owner - a unique yarn store where I don't sell any of my inventory.  Yes, that is it!  A unique store owner that does not sell stuff!!

Unique is still normal, right?


Well, that is all for now.  Need to get knitting.

Also need to shop for some nice acrylic yarn for my mom's shawl!

(Oh my, did I say that out loud?)


  1. Phew! That is certainly a confession. It makes my 3 or 4 bags of wool look very puny.

  2. LOL! I have never done an inventory of my yarn. Too scarey for me!!!

  3. Maybe it's time to start shopping at your own store for a while lol.

  4. That's called SABLE, my dear – Stash Above and Beyond Life Expectance. ;-)

  5. Fun post . . . "OWNER" . . . I dabble in knitting and have some yarn stash . . . and I ponder over where it came from. I look at the varied skeins and have a slight moment of recall of the plan I might have had for the yarn projects. But no 188,000 plus yards of it . . . Whatever are you going to do . . .

  6. I guess that's kind of like accumulating enough antiques to open your own store, but knowing you would never part with any of it. :)

  7. LOL, yes, you are a knitter!

  8. Thanks for your confessions... never ever heard of a person having so much stashed yarn! that is fine.. but where do you keep it all??
    I wish you to finish all the started projects soon. may be you should buy a couple of spare hands for this purpose ?;)
    Have a wonderful day!

  9. You're stash would would fill our trailer!! : )
    Only 7 more days to go till we move into the house.
    A happy day to you my friend.

  10. I prefer to call you a Yarn Enthusiast!


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