Monday, March 28, 2011

The knitabulous economic stash theory 2kcbwday1

I'm not, in the main, a fan of stashing yarn. I think this is because my knitting is so pattern driven. I like to choose a pattern, then select yarn that goes with it. I think in order for a yarn stash to be successful, you have to like knitting the other way around - yarn first, pattern second.

But I have yet to learn that when a good yarn deal comes along, it's not always best to take advantage of it, even if it is a bargain price.

Take, for example, the great sunk costs of 2010 - the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and the La Drouguerie Recup.

Never in my knitting days have so few yarns caused me such cognitive dissonance and buyer's remorse. No matter how much ravelry trawling and twitter begging I do, I just can not come to a good decision as to what to do with these yarns.

I would dearly love to cast both of them on today! yesterday! even, but for the life of me I cannot decide what to make.

Exhibit 1: Shelter

I can imagine if you're American, it must have a lot of feelgood factor, buying an all American Yarn. To me, it feels a little traitorous, and more than a little depressing that the prospect of having the same kind of thing happen in Australia (the birthplace of the Merino) is an unviable economic option, for many reasons. So when this arrived, although I loved the colour, it didn't make my heart sing as much as I imagine it does to other hearts.

I think this yarn would be great for a tunic style short winter dress - like a longer version of the grapevine or this impossible to get pattern or this, with nowhere near as much volume , or the lovely irish coffee - but it's a bit Goldilocks and the three bears ... neckline possibly too big, not enough shaping, only suitable for the very slim person. I have twelve skeins in thistle, one hayloft and one natural coloured skein. And seriously, they're giving me a headache just thinking about them.

Exhibit 2: Recup from La Drouguerie

And the recup - I was in Paris when I bought it, and it evokes lots of wonderfully romantic and happy memories when I see it. I had to wait a whole hour in the tiny la drouguerie shop while the sales assistant went out the back to wind the yarn, and it was plenty of time to savour the Parisian Yarn Store Purchase Moment.

I have enough of it for a jacket or a cabled pullover - but it wouldn't even be an exaggeration to say that in the hundreds of cabled pullovers and jackets I've looked at, none of them seem exactly right for this green (and green) yarn.

I love both of these yarns but I wish they were on the needles, and not in the stash!!

Exhibit 3: The Paradox of Stash

But there is also the theory of The Stash Paradox - not all stash is equal, some stash is more equal than others. For example, there is this other yarn, I have 32 unwound skeins, and about 4 caked skeins, and it's not bothering me at all. I can not explain this, but it is a fact notwithstanding - I could happily have another 32 skeins of this yarn in that stash cupboard and I wouldn't be in the slightest bit perturbed. It's like a palette of artist oil pastels that one day, when I learn to draw, I'll be more than happy to use.

But in the meantime - what will I do with that Shelter and that Recup? And is there anything in your stash you want to knit so bad but can't decode what to make?

I'm participating in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - this is day 1 and here are all the participants posts.



drkknits said...

oh and what a painters palette it is. seriously, that other stuff is like a work of art in its own right. im with you on the shelter, not my cuppa at all. glad i got rid of it. but the recup is very you. i think something like adrift. or your amended summer solstice. arty like.

Bells said...

oh god, first up I totally forgot about what week it was and have been scratching my head for something to satisfy my urge to blog today.

also, OMFG! Will you look at those 32 skeins?

If I were starting over, I wouldn't stash as much, which is partly why I've totally slowed down and have only bought one skein (and it was yours!) this year so far. I'm savouring.

Janette said...

Just a thought ... I was given some Shelter for my birthday which I hope to knit Ingenue by Wendy Bernard from fairly shortly.

Sheralynn said...

My heart fluttered when I looked at that Wollmeise for the sake of colour.

As for the Shelter, I have some coming in and I'll be turning it into a Kerrera by Gudrun Johnston so that could possibly be an option?


Ginny said...

I dont like to have a stash, mainly its a financial/space thing.

Though I will buy a bargin if I really must and can totally justify it.

del said...

Yes, lots and lots in the stash with no idea what to make! That last photo is a veritable rainbow -- how lovely.

As an American, though, I can't say I'm more inclined or excited to buy American yarn. I don't know why, but I actually like getting fiber from pretty much anywhere in the world.

Kasia said...

I started drooling when I saw the last photo. Honestly, I could bury myself under those skeins and live there!

A Playful Day said...

Stash anxiety.... it's not uncommon. Today's topic is definitely inflicting some!

Misty said...

Hmm, maybe the lovely yarns in the final photo don't bother you as much because you can think of lots of things to do with them?

I have the same problem when I buy special yarns that I've been drooling over. I'm afraid to use them. My block is around using some Malabrigo worsted and some pretty sock yarns I picked up while on a trip to Maine.

Jussi said...

I like the idea that at different moments in time, you and I stood in the same place on the pther side of the world and probably thought about some of the same things ( oh my God, I actually managed to do it, I'm in La Drog and it's all going well...squeee!)

Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

I covet the Shelter very much, but if I had some I probably wouldn't know what to do with it either!

AC said...

Oh, I'm a total stasher. Nothing wrong with it (or US yarns--you're not a traitor, you're multi-cultural)! ;)

Maria said...

I like to only buy Australian yarn, so I'm with you on that idea. But oh I wish we had the colours and mixes and the variety that other countries have.
I am totally in love with your last photo, especially the deep blues/electric/lapis luzi colour.
Do you dye this colour, semi-solid?

Kepanie said...

What great, interesting yarn you have! Love the whole idea of just buying yarn in Paris. Man, I should have made my cousin look for a yarn store while he was studying there.

Amy Caroline said...

That last picture made me drool all over my keyboard! Pretty, pretty yarn!

Jocelyn said...

Such big words, I had to follow the links to understand what they mean! Thanks for the education, Ailsa.

I disagree on sunk costs though. That's what destashes are for. If you ever want to recover some of your sunk cost on any of that Wollmeise goodness, put me down for two or three skeins please. :)

Jaimie said...

Exhibit 3 made me drool all over my keyboard.

I actually have tons of yarn that has yet to tell me what it wants to be. I am very much a thrift store yarn purchaser, so I can't be choosy when purchasing that way. So I have lots of yarn, and no idea what to make it into.

But of course it has to tell you what it wants to be. You can't force it to be something it doesn't want to be. Anyone that is not involved with yarn would think that a crazy statement.

Deneen said...

I have never seen, felt or tried Wollemeise, but the colors shown are fabulous!