Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stash Happiness

I just read Kate's purple post (I know it's been there for days but I've just been easily side-tracked lately), and I have to say that I've been feeling a bit wintery blah-diddy-blah myself. I haven't been to the yarn store recently, but I did take a trip down memory lane with my yarn stash. Just because you buy yarn doesn't necessarily mean you will use it. By that I mean, you might not use it to knit something. Every skein of yarn I have is used well and serves many purposes. Yarn speaks to me and tells me stories.

Some yarn comes in to my house and is used to show my honey just how wonderful the yarn swift and ball winder I had to have for Christmas ($135.00 for the set) really is. "See, look how fast this is! This would have taken me at least two hours! I just saved so much time! This thing has already paid for itself!" Of course, he sees right through me, but he smiles and says he's glad I'm so happy with it.

Some yarn comes in to the house and sits in a beautiful little ball and tells the story of our first anniversary trip last year. It remembers the amazing restaurant we managed to talk our way in to without a reservation, and the campy, silly lounge act playing in our hotel. It even knows about how I slipped down a little hill and twisted my knee and cried, partly because I was so mad because I knew I had the wrong shoes on. I bought that yarn on our trip, and even if I never knit a thing out of it, it was worth it.

Some yarn comes in and gets knit. Like the yarn I bought that made me a gorgeous pair of socks. When faced with the fact that these socks cost $12 a foot (plus all those hours of labor but minus the time saved by the yarn swift) I know it was worth it because when I turned to walk away, I just couldn't leave it there. Whenever I put on those socks (or just sit with them next to me, really, they're that good) I think of the yarn store where I bought the yarn. It's a couple of blocks from my house and it's owned by a wonderful young couple. They have a baby, and the wife sits and knits and the baby plays and the husband goes across the street to Baldface Books and chats with Clyde. They have the perfect life. I tell myself that they deserve to have that kind of life, and I'm helping make that possible by spending $24 on sock yarn.

I have yarn that is left over from the afghan I was knitting when my cat Madison died. I'll keep that yarn forever, because she slept on it and there is fur in every bit and I can't bear to let that go.

I have leftover bits of yarn in the stash that could not ever become something useful. There are little balls of yarn left over from everything I have knit and given away. Non-knitters don't understand about that. The giving away part. Some just look at your gift and say "cool scarf, thanks!" But giving it away to someone who understands what you have done is part of what makes knitting so good. At the end, if you're lucky, you will have a useful thing to give away. Maybe it's now an afghan that started life as a scarf. Maybe it's a hat that went astray but since you accidentally "felted it" it's now a great tote bag. But if you give it to the right person, a person who understands, they will know that there is a little piece of the knitter in this thing. Yarn speaks to me and I use it to speak to other people. So if I walk up to you and give you some misshapen thing, I promise to tell you what it is and what it's story is.


Kate said...

that post makes me happy for your stash! pleased to meet it really. and it reminds me that i need to finish that felted bag with the wool i got in vermont (in that store w/the sleepy kitty)in colors that remind me of the ocean in maine.

my cousin started something when she said with a big, satisfied, sing-song sigh: "goulash makes me happy". now we fill that in with whatever random thing it is that makes your soul heave a big sigh of content. i read this and heard the phrase "yarn stash makes me happy" in my head.

lest you think that's weird, i also sing and dance to the "ice cream cake" song (title and lyrics limited to those three words)when presented with a carvel's ice cream cake (my favorite).

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

The previous comment has been removed to protect the wicked.

Kate said...

i'm imaging who the wicked might be, but i don't really want to know. it's best that way.

Alex said...

I wanted to say that I really, really liked this post, Heather.

It was a very unusual way to take a trip down the past, but it was very evokative, and I have to say kind of put a bitter-sweet lump in my throat as I thought about some of the same types of moments in my own life.