After meeting Clara Parkes for an ice cream cone and to talk about her new book, A Stash of One's Own, I've been thinking more about my relationship to my stash. We talk about her book in episode 67 of the VeryPink Knits Podcast.
It never struck me to consider what Clara described as women being afraid to take up space. But, it is definitely something you hear at yarn shows and in yarn shops. I don't have the kind of husband that I have to hide my stash from or answer to. We're too modern for that and, frankly, his camping-scuba-stereo-exercise equipment stash is waaaaay bigger than my yarn stash could ever be. Any argument there would end quickly. One time when we were traveling and I pointed out a yarn shop he told me he liked that I have my "yarn thing" so he didn't mind if we stopped (it was closed... sad face). He also knows he benefits from "the yarn thing" in the form of hand-knit socks.
But, since we started the podcast the idea of my stash being too big for me to knit through does come to mind. I recently started reducing the amount of clothes I keep and am working on an overall reduction of "stuff" after attending a talk about Project333. I enjoy finishing bottles of shampoo and salad dressing because I feel anxious about having too many products on hand. Going to Costco and having pantries full of food actually fill me with dread and over-consumption guilt.
You'd think it would be the same with yarn. I do have days when I add in some new yarn and feel like I'm getting ahead of myself, but recently I realized it's like looking through old photos. I have yarn I picked up in Maine, in Ireland, and in Oregon. I have yarn I found at a resale shop and yarn someone gifted to me. It's becoming a memory box as well as a wishes box. I do a stash re-org and then go to my Ravelry queue to re-org. It's like reading recipe books of recipes I may never cook, but I know how to do it if I want to. And, I'm okay with that.
I appreciate Clara's reframing of the "issue" to see that it's not an issue if I don't believe it to be. It's a collection of something I love and of places I've been. It's creative ideas and beautiful designs waiting to happen.
After we talked stash, we talked about other big issues in the knitting world. We talked about Maine vs. Texas, big worldly issues, and ice cream. Here's the cone she had. I wanted blackberry, but they were out. I found some a few days later though. Now, a stash of blackberry ice cream is something that could be an issue for me.