• Liberation, sort of

    I know this post is just a justification for my enormous stash of yarn
     amassed over the 21 years as a knitter!  

    Truely, over those 21 years, I have chastised myself, inventoried, organized, chastised myself again, knitted with some, gave away some, bought some more, and collected some just because I couldn't walk away and not have a little of that beauty be mine ...  AND again chastised myself for this extravagance.

    I am done with all that now! 

    I own yarn.

    I own a lot of yarn.

    I will buy yarn again.

    I own yarn that will outlive me
     because I can't possibly get it all knitted up before I die.

     to paraphrase our First Lady ...
    I don't really care.

    I have been liberated from all that self reflection and self criticism by a simple little book called A Stash of One's Own: Knitters on Loving, Living with, and Letting Go of Yarn, An anthology edited by Clara Parkes.

    The synopsis:
    • Anyone with a passion has a stash, whether it is a collection of books or enough yarn to exceed several life expectancies.  With her trademark wry, witty approach, Parkes brings together fascinating stories from all facets of stash-keeping and knitting life.  Whether the yarn stash is muse, memento, creative companion, career guide, or lifeline in tough times, the deeply engaging stories take a surprising and fascinating look at why we collect, what we cherish, and how we let go.

    Yes, this is the book for me.  I think I can safely say that we are all collectors of some sort.   Some collect books, figurines, china, silverware, tools, jewelry, stamps, experiences, wine, steps (walkers with pedometers), kitchen equipment, music, games, baseball cards, travel mementoes, home canned veggies (admit it, you love seeing all those jars of canned tomatoes lined up), even beer cans!  Yes, beer cans.  During the 1970s we had a friend who had a wall display with all kinds of beer cans.  I don't think they even liked beer!

    I think it is human nature to collect.

    I have the actual book (not digital) in my small personal library of books.  I am the kind of person who writes in her books, uses stickers to find stuff again, dog ears pages and so on.  Some book collectors think that is a sacrilege to mar the book in anyway.  I hold a different opinion.  It shows this book was read, used, loved and important data highlighted for future reference.  It shows the book has function and value.  Isn't that what books are supposed to be?  A tool for knowledge.

    Here are some quotes from this book that struck me (and my comments, of course.)

    Essay: Stashers: Who the heck are we? by LelaNargi
    • "What's the largest number of skeins anyone has tucked into their Ravelry stash? You will be either glad or very sorry you asked -- regardless, the owner is doubtless someone you'd like to cozy up to.  She or he is the proud stasher of 11,839 skeins of yarn; the next stasher in line has a still impressive 11,522 skeins in his or her collection."  
    • I feel better all ready!  😁 I am no where near that level of collecting.

    Isn't that beautiful yarn!
    Well, let me tell you, it is a bear to knit with.
    I have tried.  Now it is display/inspiration yarn!
    Maybe someday I will find out exactly what it wants to be.

    Essay:  Triptych by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
    • "Most of my yarn is for knitting, but some of it has a more complicated destiny as support staff: It is there to make me want to knit.  You bet I've had it for ten years, and I completely admit that it's a yarn pet.  I have no intention of every knitting it, but it's earning the real estate it takes up with how it makes me feel about knitting.  It is the textile artist's equivalent of a painting hung on the wall.  It's there to be beautiful and to help me dream of possibility."
    • This is so true.  The artistry of some fiber dyers and the technique of blending fibers to create a yarn can be truly genius by some mom-and-pop fiber vendors.  It is like going to a farmer's market and seeing the perfect tomatoes - all plump and red and without blemish - and you can almost taste them - and they wind up in your basket costing you more than the ones in the grocery store - but ... oh, so much better.  Same with yarn.  The yarn I sometimes buy costs more than what you get at Michael's or Joanne's, but it is oh so much better.  
    One of three book cases!

    Essay:  Fear Not by Sue Shankle
    • "I am a mental health clinician.  Let's get this out in the open right away:  I do not think having a big ol' curated stash is a problem.  Does anybody believe that Michelangelo just decided to carve the David one day and went out and bought a big slab of marble?  Heck no.  He had that thing sitting around for a long time before he even started.  Because he had to look at it, play with it, and possibly sniff it before he started work.  He planned that stuff.  That's what we artists do."
    • I so love and agree this comment.  In fact, I am contemplating a rather large crochet project right now (probably 6,000 yards of yarn) using materials from my stash - that I previously purchased for sweaters.  Loved that yarn on sight, never found the right sweaters, never had the time, but now this new project calls to me and this yarn has the potential of being perfect for the task.  (More on that project another time.)
    See?  Art!
    I haven't tried sniffing it yet. 😏

    I haven't finished reading this book - only halfway through.  It is an easy book to pick up and put down because it is devided into essays of a few pages each.  But so far it has been worth the time, marked all up with quotes I thought meaningful to me and will remain in my library as a reminder.

    What reminder?  
    I am normal!!

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