Every craftsperson has a stash of materials and bits of equipment acquired bit by bit, not necessarily in a rational or organised way.
I might see a few balls of yarn in a sale basket and think; they’d look good as a stripe in a scarf. Or I’ll be somewhere like Woolfest and someone is selling off hanks of linen yarn they’ve found in their warehouse. Or sometimes – arguably less sensibly – I need a cone of a particular yarn for a project and I end up buying a lot more than that one cone ‘to make the order worthwhile’. This latter habit refers particularly to when I buy yarn from Venne in Holland where it really does make sense to buy several kilos at a time because the carriage will be the same as for a much smaller amount.
I’m about to have a wall taken down in my bungalow to give me a better room arrangement. It’s only a stud wall, so not a major job. It does however mean moving my entire stash of yarns and their shelving units from one room to another. And my goodness, when you do something likje that it really brings it home to you just how much stuff you have! What was my spare bedroom, admittedly not a huge room, is now filled to capacity with yarn. Yarn on shelves filling two walls, in boxes and bags on the floor – so far seven of those giant blue zip-up bags from IKEA – and there are still some boxes that will have to be piled in the living room one the day the work is done.
I took a pile of yarn to my two spinning and weaving guilds to sell. (Confession time – most of that yarn was stuff I kept back last time I had a clear out because I liked it and it would come in useful one day. Still unused, so clearly not!) I did get rid of a lot, but some of it has gone back on the shelves for now.
The upshot of all this is I resolved to use up some of the yarn I already have instead of being seduced into buying more. I’ve made mixed colour warps for scarves, which has emptied some of the cones that only had a very little on them. Not that that’s made appreciably more space! And I’m about to weave two more sets of silk scarves using yarn from the shelves.
Good for me – I was really feeling happy with my resolution. Then an email dropped into my inbox – goody bags of cotton yarns exactly right for weaving rep table runners and place mats at a very reasonable price – an offer I couldn’t refuse. Could I?