Friday, April 04, 2008

Spring Fever!

It's been nearly two weeks since my return to the United States, but it feels like an eternity already! There have been a million things going on, a lot of lifestyle changes, and an insane amount of reading. And it's only the first week back at school.

Besides moving into my new apartment and getting back to K College, the biggest change has been the decision to not have internet in our home. Eric and I both have a propensity to spend too much time online, and when faced with the decision to order and pay for internet, we decided to see what would happen if we lived without it.

I love it. I've had so much more time for me, for knitting, spinning, cooking, and playing with the cats. Instead of surfing online at night, we walk to a friend's house and have a beer, or bake bread, or play a game. Or gasp read.

Of course, this has affected my blogging. It's been two weeks since I hurriedly said goodbye in London, and it's not that I haven't wanted to blog, I just have to put more effort into finding the time to sit down and write. I am going to keep blogging, but I think I shall continue to only blog once a week (maybe throw a few tidbits in during the week as they come up.) This way, I'll have more time to knit and spin, and actually have a nice post to show it off at the end of the week.

And now, a note on stash. It's a word knitters throw around. We either love the idea of stash, or hate it. People "stash bust" or go on "stash enhancing expeditions". We are obsessed with collecting the latest fiber, the luxurious colorways, and the expensive, indie sock yarn. On any knitting forum or board you will inevitably find some griping about a lack of room, a disgruntled roommate or partner, and some sense of guilt that we have too much yarn. And yet, we keep buying it.

I've always found the "stashing" mentality a bit silly. I had yarn I liked, most of it was intended for projects, and I never really felt guilty about how much I had. Until I moved. For the first time in about 3 years I had all my possessions under one roof. Books, yarn, clothes, scrapbooking supplies, cookbooks. All arrived in Kalamazoo and were unloaded onto my living room floor. It was at that moment that I realized a devastating truth. I have way too much yarn. It's not that I feel guilty about it, not at all, but I don't really feel that I need six boxes of yarn.
  • I don't even like some of it. Why would I have yarn I don't like, or am indifferent towards?
  • I do not want to live in a cluttered environment, and no matter how you look at it, six boxes of yarn is just clutter.
  • I want to be organized. Bar covering our entire spare room in shelves, and stacking them with yarn, I will have to keep my yarn in boxes for now.
  • I cannot feasibly knit through six boxes of yarn in the next 4 months (which is when our lease is up), so come August I'll be lugging the same six boxes to another living room floor, and again wondering as to why I have them.
Again, I shy away from words like "stashbust", or "yarn diet", but I think that for the rest of the academic year at least, I will try not to buy yarn. It was with this resolve that I ordered Eric to just drive by Threadbear, even though I wanted to stop. (I did press my nose against the glass the entire way, but the memory of the six boxes taking up the space where I wanted to do yoga kept me strong.) So:
  • I will go to my stash and see what I have.
  • I will organize it, and discover what yarns I have forgotten about.
  • I will knit presents for people, and look in my stash before buying more yarn.
  • If I can knit something, rather than buy it, I will.
  • I will look on Ravelry to see what other people have done with the yarn.
This is the mindset that caused me to grab a ball of purple tweed someone had given me, stare at it, and go "A blanket! A Hemlock Ring Blanket!" For who? "For Carol!" (who had given me the yarn a year earlier.) I am knitting the blanket because I enjoy knitting lace, particularly heavyweight lace, and I am giving it to carol to thank her for all her help over the years. It's really a win-win situation. For me, for Carol, for the purple tweed, and for my stash.
It looks like a purple lump to me too. We'll have to wait and see.


donnac368 said...

Welcome to the USA. Glad you still have time to post!

Laiane said...

I admire your self-discipline. Driving past ThreadBear! Without stopping! You're a stronger woman than I...

Catherine said...

Thanks Donna! It's good to back. I'm definitely looking forward to having more knitting to talk about now that I have all my yarn!

Catherine said...

Laiane, it was not easy. But I have a feeling Eric wouldn't have stopped even if I had tried to make him. Oh, well. Next time perhaps...