Yarn hoarder

Stash view 3
Just a small part of the stash

I’ll admit it. I’m a yarn hoarder. I see pretty yarn, make a plan (sometimes) for its use, get it home, then stash it away. Once in a while, it will be used for the project I had in my head, but often it doesn’t. And since I’m also a reader and book hoarder (so easy now with Kindle), time is at a premium. Do I read? Do I knit? Do I weave?

For some time, reading has won over both knitting and weaving, with weaving coming in a distant third. I haven’t touched either loom since I moved into this condo 12 years ago. (It’s been 13 since Dan died, but who’s counting?)

I used to knit at all the ball games. Alas, COVID-19. My friend A’ndrea is a knitter, too, and we like sitting on the third base side, right above the opposing dugout. Last year, the coach of an opposing team turned around and saw us. He yelled “There’s no knitting in baseball! Watch the game!” We laughed and told him we were. Every time he turned around after that, he saw us knitting — and our eyes were on the play of the moment. He shook his head in disbelief and asked how we did that. We told him “practice!”

Back to the stash and hoarding. I very rarely throw out any yarn scrap. I have 32 16-qt. bins of yarn, and that’s not the whole of it. I have three spare bins, too. The rest of the stash is in a place I can’t get to easily right now, but that bit is actually minimal and will probably fit in the spare bins.

The reason I rarely throw out bits is because of winding out a warp. Those bits can be used as ties for the warping frame. This is why I was surprised I didn’t keep the last smidgen from a skein I used to make a pair of socks for A’ndrea and another pair for my mom, which she never wore in the two years she had them. But I digress … again.

Mom's socks
Mom’s socks

I knit these socks for mom when she was in respite care several years ago. Last year I took them to the nursing home for mom when she was moved there for the three weeks after her last hospital stay. It was December and she was always cold. There’s nothing like a pair of cozy, hand-knit socks to keep your feet warm.

The home put name tags in every item of clothing so nothing would get misplaced in the wash cycle. After mom came home in hospice, I clipped the tags out,

and yes, (dramatic music)

I snipped a stitch.


Ok. No biggie. I could repair that if I still had the remnant of yarn.

The socks have been sitting there for over a year because I can’t decide what to do since I don’t have the remnant. I could do it with thread, but thread could cut through the yarn and ultimately make the problem worse. I could look through the stash to see if there was anything close to that. Since I know my stash, I knew that was a lost cause.

So the socks just sat there in the drawer until I could make a decision.

As I was consolidating my stash into the 32 16-qt. bins, Look What I Found! 20200729_123405

Ta da! I can now repair the damage I did. Could I have fixed the socks with different yarn entirely? Of course. Would anyone know the difference? Not unless they got super close; in which case, I could kick them. But I would know and that would bug me so much I’d never be able to wear the socks. Yes, I might be a tad — a skootch if you will — OCD.

Story of my yarn (life)

Yep! This is so me. Originally posted by KnitPicks on Facebook 6/5/12, but this is me. I have so much yarn I can’t seem to knit fast enough. Luckily, with my Kindle, I can knit and read at the same time as long as it’s not a pattern where I have to pay  attention. If it’s socks, after cast on, I’m good to go until the heel. When I used to ride the bus and people would look at me as though I was doing some amazing feat of magic because I would kit and look out the window, knit and talk, or knit and read. It’s not rocket science, people. Truly.

I have to find a way to store the yarn so I can at least move my loom over to the sliding door. I’ve had the loom there in other apartments in the complex and I really like it there. I just have to move some of the yarn out of the way. Weaving will also help whittle down some of the stash so I have room for MORE!

I’d also like to get some shelving so I can organize some of my supplies and tools. I’d also like to get some of my photos around. Maybe some of my special glass pieces.

Make it look like I live there instead of just a place to stash my stuff — what a concept!

Your photos

Dear Dan,

I’ve been looking at your photos. Of course I have since they are all over my office.

The car photos get a lot of positive comments. But of course! You took them. A’ndi keeps threatening to steal the triple frame. I keep threatening to steal her Kindle.

I love your photos. I know I’ve said it before but it bears saying again. I am so greedy for them. I was hoping Brian would have found more on your computer. I’m still thinking about how to do the weaving/photography combo I was telling you about. The first step is to practice the technique on something else and then on handwoven fabric.

I look at the photo of the lion doorknocker and I think of the day we exchanged lion pictures. Mine was from the Cloisters and your was from the Dom. I thnk of the conversation and the emails. That was a good day.

I love you, bro.

The Shroud of Turin

A friend of mine is getting her doctoral. I’ve thought a long time about going back for mine but as I did some research I found a problem: I can’t find anywhere near me that teaches what I want to learn! So I think I might have to get an honorary Internet doctoral — meaning I spend a lot of time looking around on the Internet and reading everything I can find on a topic and let it go at that. ::sigh:: Not what I had in mind.

If I could do whatever I wanted and study wherever I wanted I would have to do a combined course of study anyway. Here’s how it all came about:

Several years ago I was looking at Time Magazine’s cover on a piece they did about most recent Shroud of Turin study. I wonder why, as a total non-science person, I knew they were not doing the tests correctly but the science people didn’t know.

I knew that the Shroud had been in a fire and the part of the Shroud they said they were testing was from a later date than the body of the Shroud itself. I know that there’s an organism that eats smoke and that, even if a thread of the main body was chosen, it would have to be cleaned before testing or all that would be tested was the leftover Medieval organism. I know carbon dating for a piece of fabric from that age is less reliable than if that test were done on a 3 billion old piece of pottery.

What I did not know was the Shroud was made of a bast fiber woven in a herringbone twill and that there is what looks to be a weaving error across the forehead.

So there I was; looking at the photo of the face on the Shroud. That got me thinking: before this piece of cloth was imprinted with the image and however it was imprinted, it was simply a piece of cloth. Is the weaving error what caused it to become a shroud? Was it intended as a table covering or dress fabric but because of the error it was thrown into the shroud pile? Or was it intended as a shroud when it was woven? Was the error (if it indeed exists) put there on purpose as some cultures do?

These questions are ones that can no longer be answered with absolute certainty. The one who knows has been dead for a couple thousand years. We might be able to give a good guess but that’s all it would be — a good guess.

So the inter-discipline would be anthy and curation. I’d like to study fabrics of the middle ages, know how to preserve it, know the history of different fibers in different areas and know when something’s a fake because that fiber wasn’t around in the time period. I’d also like to know how people used the fibers and how they felt about not just the fabrics but the people who created them.

Why the stash?

Non-knitters sometimes ask the silliest questions! “Why do you have all this yarn?”

Lots of reasons!

1) I see the yarn in the store for a project that will be next in line. I can’t be sure I’ll finish (or even start) before the dye lot is sold out so maybe I should buy a few extra skeins just in case. Once the project is done and I have the leftovers (whole or partial skein doesn’t matter at that point) there’s nothing for it but putting it in the stash. Take the whole skeins back to the store? That’s just crazy talk!

2) I see the yarn in the store and I think of a project I’d love to do so I buy the yarn for that project. But something comes up (like another project) and I don’t get a chance to cast on or warp the loom. What else can I do but put it in the stash?

3) I see yarn in the store and I buy it because of the color (texture, etc.) but I don’t know what I’m going to use it for quite yet. I’ll know the perfect project when I see it. However if I don’t buy it now the perfect project will come along and I won’t be able to get that yarn. Stash now; knit later.

4) I see yarn in the store and it’s on sale! I don’t know what I’ll use it for yet but I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out something. I mean, look at it! How can it not be great for something? And the price! That’s such a good price! Buy it; stash it.

5) I see the yarn in the store and I just have to have it — hmmm, a pattern emerging? — because I’m a hoarder of yarn and it’s mine, mine, all mine!

“Once there is a stash, why buy more? Why not work from the stash?”

That’s just more crazy talk! The stash is where all the ideas come from. It’s the “cabbage patch” of projects, if you will. There sit all the skeins of yarn. Look at the way they can be combined and ideas will just pop into your head. A Plethora of projects. All the possibilities are right there before your eyes. Once you make a choice, all the possibilities disappear as if they were never there at all.

That idea depresses me. Excuse me. I’m going to the yarn store now. I need to buy some yarn in order to get out of this funk.

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