Just as cheerleading on the sidelines of football has become its own sport, so too can collecting yarn become a bona fide hobby, distinct from that of knitting. There is so much to the world of yarn. The different weights, colourways, fibres and blends. Once you venture out of the chain stores and into the LYS's, there are so many unique and rare yarns that you have to pounce when you see them.
Then there's the dye-lot issue. You can't risk buying a mere 200 yards of a yarn you like the look of. What if you later decide to make a sweater? A few months from now, you may reach the end of the skein only to find out that your dye-lot is nowhere to be found. Better play it safe and buy ten.
And the chain stores pose their own pitfalls for your wallet. As your husband is rounding in on a straight hour of looking at Guitar Hero games*, you're four aisles over, boredom-talking yourself into buying yet another cone of Lily cotton.
The subject of yarn stashes has been featured in two of my friends' blogs over the last week. EMoaOG decided to put a halt on her yarn purchases until she knits her way through some of her stash. I remember thinking that I too buy faster than I knit, so it may not be the worst idea in the world for me to consider making a similar promise to myself. But that thought proved fleeting as I was passing the time in Joann's while my husband was doing whatever it is that men do at Best Buy. Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off on Patons Merino? Sold!
Then I read Unravel Me's post about her yarn stash. A friend challenged her to calculate her stash yardage. It turned out to be a whopping 19K yards! Hmmm, seems someone's addicted to adopting yarn. I wonder how many yards I have...
I have documented my stash at Ravelry so tried using that information to determine the yardage on a calculator. That proved unsuccessful, so I turned to an Excel spreadsheet and worked it out one row at a time. Some yarns didn't have yardage available and were excluded from the calculation. Similarly, yarns that haven't yet been entered into my Ravelry stash were also omitted. I have one more than one occasion bought 10 skeins at a time (see above for pertinent rationalizations), and each time I came across one on my alphabetically arranged Ravelry stash (the C's were particularly nerve-wracking), I could see the total climbing. I was, however, still taken aback when I typed Sum() and then dragged the cursor over the cells only to find that my stash was 37,868 yards!
Wow! When did that happen? I can, and did in the initial draft of this post, make justifications such as the fact that friends have given me yarn, I picked up a number of skeins in bargain bins and yard sales, a yarn crawl or two have been bankrolled for me as gifts... But none of that explains the ludicrous amount of yarn I have accrued. It wouldn't get to the moon and back, but I could climb it halfway into the stratosphere!
So, I too will enter a vow of woolly poverty until I work through, or donate away most of my stash. Oh, and that Patons deal in Joann's? That brings the total to 38760 yds. Yeah, I got two.
*Yes, Nick. I am directing this at you! It's absolutely ridiculous that you own no less than nine of these fricking cacophony-generating collections, yet you are somehow completely incapable of walking past an electronics department going through their entire collection on the off-chance they have something you don't!!!!!