Archive for Knitting

S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy)

My fellow knitter (and Lutheran) Kris coined the phrase “SABLE Syndrome” to describe some in our circle who have (or must have, since we have not seen the inside of their homes) enough yarn to stock several LYSs.  Kris is an extraordinarily productive knitter. She had all her 2010 Christmas gifts knit up and – am not making this up – was working on her 2011 gifts – this year.  She buys yarn and turns it into beautiful things, frequently to give to someone else, and very quickly.  Kris and I are of like mind on many things,  planners by nature, not given to impulsive recklessness like these out-of-control gals who shall remain nameless.  Kris has helpfully suggested to some that are burdened with Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy that there should be an executor of their fiber estate named, or at the very least a special visitation where the knitters can come and select something from the stash of the departed.

As a knitter, I aspire to be as organized and productive as Kris. I planned to spend  2009 working my way through Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac (not in the order of the book exactly, but to complete 12 projects in a year). Then my Dad needed to undergo a stem cell transplant (which has successfully put his lymphoma in remission, thanks be to God) and suddenly my priorities shifted dramatically.  Somewhere around that time I exhausted my regulatory resources, the part of my brain that used to say  “I do not need any more yarn” when confronted with an impossibly soft lace weight cashmere (spun by women in a cooperative in Tajikestan, the purchase of which will help support their tiny struggling remote village – okay, not a good example, that skein had me at “Tajikestan”).  Everywhere I travel, I bought yarn. I bought “TeDdy’s Wool” yarn in Arab East Jerusalem that truthfully is basically Plymouth Encore – 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool – something I never would have touched in the US – but I was moved by the Arab shopkeeper who just inherited the store from his deceased father and clearly didn’t know knitting needles from crochet hooks but had a family to support (interestingly, in London I saw the same stuff you can get in the States and evidently was not sufficiently moved to make a purchase at Loop in Islington).

Perhaps this the manifestation of the hormone imbalance I must surely be experiencing, although I have experienced none of the signal events of impending menopause.  Instead of hot flashes or mood swings I fret when I go past our LYS and it looks too empty, so I go in and comb the store for something I don’t already own, rationalizing irrationally that if I don’t get such and such book or needles now I will surely come back later and find the opportunity is lost forever.

I was on Ravelry after a lengthy hiatus and started to organize the “stash” section of my page. Then I was so overwhelmed and embarrassed by the size of my stash I had to stop.  There are most certainly bigger fiber collections, but it is just too much for me. I have gotten to the point of trying to figure out how many years of projects I have, versus how many years I have left. And how many of those years, realistically, will be spent knitting up my stash, or will they be filled and shaped by the unexpected and sometimes unwelcome intrusions of life?

Or maybe it’s that now that life seems shorter, and more precious, I am trying to extend it with these yarns purchases. After all, I can’t die yet – I have too many projects to start…and finish.

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