On greed

I have too much yarn.
No, of course I don’t, are you kidding? No. I don’t mean that. I was just testing it out. What it feels like to say those words… I’m still here. The sky hasn’t fallen. I feel a little queasy, but okay, really.
Too much yarn.
I mean it’s a ridiculous notion, isn’t it? Yarn. Too much. They just don’t go together. It’s nonsensical. Still, though… I do have quite a lot of yarn.
Some of it was acquired pretty recently – even postdating my most recent yarn-diet thoughts. It’s just that, well, there was that swap; I had to buy some Posh Yarn for my swappee (imagine! She’d never heard of it! These poor Yanks), and honestly I couldn’t not get some for myself too, it would have been far too hard.
And then I got some Wollmeise for Armin, who was requesting some fat cosy socks like mine, and of course it would have been very wasteful not to get some sock yarn at the same time. Got to maximise shipping costs from Germany, right?
And I responded to a pathetic plea for help on Ravelry from someone destashing so that she could raise some much needed funds for, um, more stash…
And I got this great sock yarn from Krafty Koala because…
Well, actually, I can’t right now remember how I rationalised it. But I’m really glad I did, because look how purty!
So all of that was clearly very necessary and reasonable. But. Um. I appear to have 53 yarns in my stash. That’s pretty much FIFTY THREE projects. Including tradeables – yarn that I don’t even really want any more. As devoted to yarn as I am, as deeply as I believe in the creativity liberating powers of a healthy stash, I do have to wonder whether that’s gone a bit beyond necessary and reasonable.
Similarly, I have a shelf full of books that I haven’t yet read. I love books. I love having them around. I love reading them. But why is it that this shelf only ever seems to get fuller – not emptier?
I love my books, I love my yarn. I don’t want less of it, exactly. But I want to feel a little bit less… greedy. To be frank: less of a consumer. I guess I’m even more aware of it all at this time of year… there is so much STUFF being advertised. So much pressure to buy, to eat, to consume, to waste. Doesn’t it make you feel a little bit sick?
I bet you know what I mean. And coming from a shop owner, this may sound a little hypocritical… but I’d like you not to go buying too much, okay? I reckon there isn’t too much wastage with the stuff I sell at the moment – we tend to buy the needles we need, after all, and to use them. Nobody’s ever heard of a needle stash. Next year, though, there will be yarn. There will be fabulous, amazing, scrumptious yarn. Yarn that will make me sigh with delight as I wrap each order. Yarn that will make you squeal when you see it online, and squeal louder when you unpack it. It will be tempting. Really tempting. And heavens, I’m not going to tell you to deny yourself. But maybe… just think carefully before you load up that basket. It’s too beautiful to go to waste lying in a drawer somewhere. Plan your projects, and buy accordingly. And then show me what you’re making. Deal?

9 thoughts on “On greed

  1. I don’t have too much yarn, but that is mostly owing to my small dorm room! All of my yarn, at least, has a project idea tied to it.

  2. There seems to be a lot of this feeling going around. I love my stash, I love my luxuries, knitting and crocheting are pure joy to me. I think I need to clear out some of this stuff I bought up when I first got back into it, because my tastes have definitely changed. Lots of bulky stuff needs to either be knit up quickly, or sent on to new homes.
    Which isn’t going to stop me from buying the odd skein of Posh, or the lovely new stuff you promise us in the new year, but I need to dial back my tendency to buy up several jumpersworth of yarn at every John Lewis sale.

  3. Repeat after me you can never ever ever have too much yarn – after all without you buying yarn all those sheep and fibre donating animals would get too hot! You are helping the environment and caring for animals.

  4. I agree with Mel, you are generously helping a sheep not to get fly strike, and in the process using it’s fleece in a creative manner…At least that is what I am saying to myself with umpteen kilos of fibre heading my way.
    Please say that you have sock yarn? Mine is all laceweight.

  5. Yes Judy, I have sock yarn, although I’m not sure whether you’re asking about my personal stash or my stock. Either way, there’s sock yarn. In fact some new samples just arrived for me and I’m looking at them right now. Purring quietly.
    Ana, I don’t mean to sound like I don’t *love* my stash too. As you say, pure joy. But there’s still something about excess that makes me feel a little queasy – when I have more of a problem storing things than acquiring them, something’s a bit off, no? I need to remember that I don’t need to own every beautiful thing in the world. There’s always going to be more available when I need it.
    I’m a minimalist who loves stuff. It makes for some interesting internal conflicts.

  6. I feel bad when I buy lovely frivolous things. I think “for the price of these 2 balls of yarn, a poor family could be eating supper”. I try to keep in mind that there’s only so much money in the world and most of it is in the hands of a very small number of people. Perhaps you could donate some of the money, rather than spend it on yarn? Just a thought :). Or, knit for charity? I don’t know about you First Worlders out there, but there are loads of charities here that ask you to knit for AIDS babies, the elderly, homeless etc.

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