No, I'm not out of control yet. My love of all things wool-related doesn't mean that we can't afford food (but don't count on it if I go near the Quiviut…..). And we can still pay the bills. It's just that I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I have stash issues. Over the last few months, I've been photographing and logging my stash in Ravelry. It's brought home just how much yarn I really have. The problem is not so much that I'm a hoarder, I think it's that my knitting ambitions far outstrip my abilities!
I thought I had it all pretty much under control: a handful of skeins of sock yarn; some alpaca I'd purchased at a show; the Heathland Hebridean kit DH gave me for Christmas; the white Corrodale I bought to make him a sweater; some leftovers from other projects; a couple of projects-worth for summer tops I'd planned to make this year.
Then, a couple of months ago, I decided to get serious and use Ravelry for the purpose for which it was designed: as a tool to log my stash, my patterns and my projects. The results are a revelation. And a shock!
I have 55 different yarns in my stash. FIFTY FIVE YARNS! And there are one or two yarns that haven't made it onto Ravelry yet. OK, 25 are sock yarns and, usually, 1 skein each, but still.... That is one hell of a lot of yarn.
It started with shows. I've spent most of my knitting time in isolation, without a yarn shop for miles, so for a while I'd keep a list of the projects I wanted to knit and their yarn requirements and buy when I got to a shop or went to a show. (All reasonable behaviour.) Then a couple of years ago, the list ran out, so I started buying projects-worth of yarn when I saw something I fancied that I could afford at a show (the 700g of DK alpaca that in total cost less than £35 falls into this category). At each show, I'd buy something: a bargain; a rare wool; something I wouldn't see in a regular yarn shop. Even so, I thought I could handle it.
I was given gift vouchers to an on-line yarn shop. Problem: you could only use one voucher per purchase and I had been given 5 x £10. Generally, I prefer to buy yarn that I've fondled in real life. The exception is sock yarn, because it isn't a total disaster if one skein turns out to be not what I was expecting. Result: I spent them all on skeins of sock yarn.
Things snowballed a bit, so last year at the I-Knit-London Day, I came home with a haul of yarn: the 20 balls of Corrodale, the sweater kit that DH bought (and immediately hid from me until Christmas), 100g/1000 yards of heavy lace-weight cashmere (a lace cardigan's worth, hopefully), two skeins of Wagtail Mohair. That's 4 sweater's worth of yarn in my book.
Then in March, I got a bit carried away when Black Sheep Wools had a sale of Sublime's Angora DK. I ended up buying 3 sweater's worth in 3 different colourways (blue, pink and white). A bit extreme, but it was less than £2 a ball and sooo soft! I tell myself that if the first colour (giggle pink) I'd bought had been exactly what I wanted, I may have stopped with one, but I couldn't decide....
That was followed in June, when I got an email from Australia: Morris & Sons were having a sale. The lovely Cleckheaton Country 12-ply I'd bought to finish off the Must Have Cardigan was going for £14 a bag! Two bags of black were in my shopping cart and purchased before you could sing "Advance Australia Fair". It's currently on a ship, somewhere between here and Sydney, hopefully with the packet of Arnott's Mint Slices I requested.
No wonder I can't shut the stash!
I've already decided that this has to stop. I can't continue buying yarn and not using it up. So I hereby vow the following:-
With the exception of the Rowan Cocoon for which I have a project planned, I, Pipney-Jane, will not buy any more yarn until August 2010. I will only buy the Cocoon if I can find it for less than £6 a ball AND I have finished DH's sweater (not yet cast on).
This will be hard. I have two yarn shows on the horizon this autumn: the I-Knit London Day and the Knit & Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace. Wish me luck.
PS: Yes, sock yarn counts.
PPS: It's not all in Ravelry - I'm about 98% done, but so far, the grand totals are:-
24 Different Sock Yarns, inc:
5 leftovers from socks2 "fillers" for socks (used for feet)
21 sweaters' worth, inc
6 destined for tanks/t-shirts/tops1 sweater for DH
And quite a few odd balls, potential scarves, leftovers, etc.