Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Knute’s International Knitting Dictionary defines the word “stash” as follows:  Unused yarn which is discreetly stored in a house, apartment, garage or any other space with storage capabilities.  It goes further and states that there are three types of stashes. The first is described as yarn that is specifically earmarked for a future project.  The second is defined as yarn that is left over from a finished project.  The third type is bluntly described in the following manner:  Yarn that was bought while suffering from temporary insanity, without a specific project in mind, and that will most likely never be used.  These definitions demand further analysis.

The word “discreetly” intrigues me.  I myself have only been knitting for a little over a year so I have not had the opportunity to amass what could be considered a MONSTER STASH.  Indeed, I am a little ashamed to say that my stash consists of two bags of yarn.  Is my stash stored in a discreet manner?  You bet.  With such a miniscule amount, how could it not be?  But what of people who have copious amounts of unused yarn?  “Discreetly” suggests that this extra yarn is stored in such a way as to be visually unobtrusive.  I’m curious as to whether or not this is true for all knitters.  The only stash I’ve seen is Cathy’s and that doesn’t really count because yarn store owners don’t really have stashes.  Every ball of yarn they have, even if it’s stored at home, could technically be called inventory.  But I really would love to see how people store their excess yarn.  No doubt, there are those that are super-organized in their yarn storing process.  And no doubt, there are those that do their storing in a more relaxed and possibly haphazard manner.  In ten years, when my stash has multiplied in a manner similar to rabbits, I suspect I will be in the latter camp.  But no matter how sloppy it may look to an outsider, if you were to ask me in ten years, “Fred where is that half a ball of pink angora you had leftover from Cathy’s Christmas present from 2015?, I will know exactly where that half a ball is.

Though the size of my stash is small, I can state that I do have the three types of stashes defined in the aforementioned reference book.  One of my two bags has yarn that will be soon be transformed into a blanket.  Not this year, but definitely in 2013.  The other bag has odds and ends left over from already finished projects.  And it also holds one ball of that third type that was so curiously defined.  I should say now that whoever the lexicographer is for the esteemed tome, Knute’s International Knitting Dictionary, he has a twisted sense of humor.  Temporary insanity?   I’m sure there are some of us who at least one time in our lives bought a ball of yarn or maybe two where we later might say, “Yikes!  Why in heaven’s name did I ever buy this monstrosity?”  I caught myself saying this just the other day while I was re-organizing my small stash.

The few times I’ve visited other yarn stores I always make it a point to buy at least one thing.  I might purchase an appealing yarn that Cathy doesn’t carry or perhaps something interesting in the sale bin.  But there was one yarn store in another state where the yarn that appealed to me was stuff that Cathy already carried.  And there was nothing in the sale bin that pleased my eye.  But I had already told myself that I would buy one thing.  Well, I finally made a rather rash decision.  I bought a ball of really ugly novelty yarn.  Why?  I don’t know.  I have no desire to knit with it.  It is truly hideous.  It sits in the bottom of my tiny stash waiting for its moment to shine.  It’s going to have a long wait.  But I insist I wasn’t temporarily crazy when I bought it.  Honest.  I’m proud of my stash.  Even that one mistake of a ball that is better left undescribed.  I suppose I will use it one day.  It would make a lovely wash cloth with which to clean a dirty lawnmower or something. 


  1. You should go to ravelry and look at some of the pictures in the flash your stash thread. Some of these ladies could open their own yarn shops.

  2. I did indeed pay a visit. I never imagined that this would be something that people publicly display, and in some cases in quite the artistic manner. I've a long way to go before I reach the level of these "Masters of Stash".