I am, not through choice, an almost stash-less knitter. The stash that I have consists of a few yarns that I bought in a charity shop a couple of years ago, some alpaca 4 ply (fingering) and light DK / sport-weight yarn that I bought at the iKnit Weekender a few years ago, a few single balls of various weights and scraps / left-overs.
There are a few reasons that I am all but stash-less:
- We do not have room for any more yarn or fabric. We do not have room for much in this flat. To be perfectly honest, we do not have room for the things that we own and I have had to get rid of a lot of things that I would rather keep due to them being memory-anchoring pieces (my memory is very broken due to the cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis and having memory anchors removed in this way is triggering to my PTSD).
- We cannot, financially, afford for me to buy yarn that I am not going to use straight away and that I did not buy with an imminently knitted project in mind. I also cannot justify paying for patterns unless they are to be used for a gift ir some other similar end-product.
- When I am between yarn purchases I tend to use up any scraps, left-overs and oddments by knitting some generic improvised pattern (my recent finished-all-bar-kitchenering-the-end-cl
- I am a designer and so tend to use any yarn that I happen to have bought in a sale of cheaply at my LYS but not used up as yet to prototype another new design. Note to self, though: prototyping with dirt-cheap 100% acrylic sock-weight yarn is counterproductive and frustrating because, after the first iteration of knit, frog and re-knit, the yarn will be very splitty, pilly fraying and thinner than it used to be. It would be more useful and less frustrating in the long run to buy one ball of more expensive wool yarn to prototype a new design while I develop it.
Being almost stash-less means that:
- I cannot easily start a new project or try out a new technique without buying yarn and I feel the need to have a project in mind with a visible end-product otherwise I feel guilty for “wasting” money on the yarn. Yes, I have issues and baggage. Sue me.
- I am always a little jealous of people with stash. I already (see: issues and baggage) struggle with feelings of “why not me?” and other bitterness and I really dislike this about myself but I seem to be unable to stop the first thought in my mind when seeing someone else’s good fortune being, “I wish I could have that!” and not, “That is lovely! I feel so glad for them!”
- I design much more slowly than I might with more stash. Then again, I am also very slow and self-defeating about writing up patters, getting them test-knit and releasing them for sale. The idea when I started designing in earnest was that I could use the revenue from sales to buy yarn, needles and notions. Having only one pattern for sale for £ in my Ravelry Store does not do much to achieve this goal, hence calling it “self-defeating”. I am my own worst critic and sabateur.
So, while I would love to have the endless cash and space that I would need to have an endless stash, I live my knitting life in a manner that resembles a hand-to-mouth low-income buying-food-to-eat-it existence. At least there is food on the table and a roof over my head, right?