Thursday, June 24, 2010

Catching clouds in a bucket


I have a lot of yarn. A reasonable person might say -- too much yarn. Above you see a large Rubbermaid tub completely filled with sock yarn. Just on the top layer there you can see some Knit Picks Imagination, Dream in Color Smooshy, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, Wool in the Woods Cherub, and Claudia Handpaint.


And that's not all my sock yarn. This 15x15 inch fabric cube is about 2/3 full of sock yarn. I call it the laceweight drawer to hide the fact that my sock yarn has spilled over its allotted space.


Since last summer, my yarn has been hidden away in plastic and paper bags. I implemented a project-stashing system, where I packaged yarn with patterns, numbered them, and vowed to knit them in random order.


Here's what's become of that system. It's not so much that it failed me, although the packaging was taking up far too much room and making it seem like I had more yarn than I did. (Bags were stuffed onto shelves and new unbagged yarn was taking over the guest room.) It's that I couldn't see my yarn. It was invisible under layers of opaque plastic and meaningless numbers. When I wanted to be inspired by the beautiful yarns that I've acquired, I had to call on my stash photographs and my memory. The glorious colors and textures, though, were sealed away. If I wanted to see and touch, I had to consult my code system, locate the item in one of the various storage areas where bags were stuffed, and rip open a grocery sack.


So over the course of two or three Sundays, while Noel took the kids to the playground and gave me a few hours alone, I dismantled that system. The yarn is free from its bags. Some of it is still linked to planned projects, but online (thanks to Ravelry's genius attach-stash-to-queued pattern feature) instead of in physical packaging.


Now the yarn is visible, touchable, stackable, craveable. It's the yarn store in my house.


Fiber fiends talk sheepishly about SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. I don't think I'm there yet. But I have a lot of yarn. A lot of beautiful yarn that I can't wait to knit. And reorganize whenever I need a megadose of pure merino right into the vein.

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