Here is a repost of a blog that I wrote over 6 years ago. It still is an important part of your creativity and your enjoyment of your craft.
What kind of collector are you? Whether you use yarn, fabric, beads or paper, your art requires supplies. How do you handle your collection?
Type 1—You only buy materials for your current project so you don’t have a stash or any UFO’s (unfinished objects)?
Type 2—You try to only buy for a current project but look forward to your next project while you’re working on your current one? So you have a limited collection and only 1 or 2 UFO’s.
Type 3—You only buy materials for current and future projects? You like to get the supplies and pattern together then you know you have everything for the pattern. You have a small to medium collection, some UFO’s. All your materials are matched with a pattern for easy access to the next project.
Type 4—You buy the materials you like and don’t worry about which pattern it will go with? You know that eventually a project will emerge for the supplies. You have a medium to large collection and some UFO’s that you work on industriously to complete.
Type 5— You buy anything and everything that calls to you? The yarn or cloth speaks to you and you listen. You have a large collection that you sometimes feel guilty about. But you also get a lot of creative satisfaction when you visit and pet your yarns, beads, and textiles.
I am a Type 4. I do have a medium stash of beads, quilting fabric AND yarn. I try to just buy for projects but I also buy materials that call my name. Since I’ve founded Flying Goat Farm, I have only been to 1 quilting store. I have just recently gotten back into my sewing room. I have finished 4 quilting projects. I also designed and completed another quilt project. I have lots of ideas rolling around my head for more paper, fabric and weaving project to complete in the coming year.
Leave a comment here or on Facebook to tell me what stash you collect and what type of collector you are!!
I have been on a quest, a quest for us to really, really love and honor the yarn we have for several years now. If you have been following my podcast or blogs or newsletter, you know this already.
But, it bears repeating, because I am still feeling the shame. And we are starting to have the opportunity for in-person shows. I want you to delight in the festivals. I want you to feel the pull of creating something new. That’s the best feeling right? It is for me.
So in order to do that you must banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!
I propose that we all use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I know that when we change our language, we change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection. And you are the curator. That’s the job of a curator, right?
So, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment your collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can listen to Season 2 of my podcast. Click here to find the Season 2 Episodes or subscribe on Apple iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I walk you through all the steps that I believe will help you organize your collection. I take you through these steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
And now is the right time to start this. Our first in-person show in the Mid-Atlantic is Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and that is a mere 2 weeks away. So change your vocabulary and change your mindset. Really REVEL in your collection. And see what you need to make your collection more complete.
I’m so excited about Season 2 of my podcast. This season I’ll be leading us through a change of vocabulary which will change our mindset.
I’ve been on a crusade to banish the word STASH from our vocabularies. It has such a negative connotation. And there is a sense of shame that follows that word around. In this podcast, I’ll give you a new word about your wonderful yarn, or cloth or beads and all of those raw materials that you collect. It is your collection.
So I hope you enjoy this first installment of season 2. I hope you will join me in this adventure to change you vocabulary. To go from stash shame to collection love.
Untangled by Shelley Brander of LoopsLove.com is a wonderful book that I want to share with you. The subtitle is a step by step guide to joy and success for the modern yarn lover. I have to say that it is a really quick read. BUT if you are going to actually follow the steps it will take you a while to complete it. If you are a reader of this blog or on my email list, some of these steps will sound familiar. I think all of us yarnies try to figure out ways to help our community of knitters to find a way to be happy and stash shame free. But Shelley has gone a little deeper in each step. She has also combined an accountability piece through her online community.
The steps that Shelley takes us through are all challenges. And they are:
The 21 day stitch every day challenge, the 90 day LoopsLove stash challenge, the WIP challenge, the Love to Give Challenge, the Love Sweater, and the Love Yourself Challenge. Each of these challenges is broken down into smaller achievable steps and accountability if you so choose to pick up the challenge. In some of the chapters, Shelley suggests patterns for you to use that are easy and quick and can help you to work through your stash and to knit for quick gifts.
The first challenge is the 21 day stitch challenge. Shelly has you remember your why. What do you love about stitching. And she challenges you to create a knitting place where you have peace. You can add smell, taste, touch, sound and sights (including the color choices) that will make you happy, content and peaceful. She has you pick 3 projects to work on in this challenge period. She wants you to find an accountability partner and to share with the Loops Love Community. I am working on this challenge myself. I also added the layer of allowing for knitting just 10 minutes per day. In all honesty, I have knit longer than the 10 minutes. And I have finished on WIP and am within a day or two of finishing a tank top. I know this works. Will you join me in this? Many of you have said that you are doing this…I’d love to see and hear about your progress in our Ravelry group here.
So if you are ready to regain your joy and love of yarn and knitting, I urge you to get this book and work through the challenges within it.
It’s summertime. It’s hot. It’s sticky. The last thing you want to do is knit. And when it is so hot outside, you may not be thinking about doing anything with your yarn.
I know that I don’t want to spend anytime outside in the humid hot air. My hair doesn’t act right, I am sweating. My clothes are sticking to me. Instead I want to be inside. I want to be in the air conditioned house.
So what could be better than using my knitting time to fall in love with my yarn collection all over again. How about you? If you’ve been following this blog or subscribing to this newsletter over a few months, you probably know that I’m banishing the word STASH from my vocabulary and I’m trying to persuade you to do the same. I want to think of my yarn as a collection that I’ve curated over some time.
I’ve developed a series of 7 lessons to help you banish the shame of stash and relish all the gems that you have collected over the years. This free e-course will lead you from exploring what you have, to clearing out what you have outgrown, and rehoming those items that no longer bring you joy.
Summer is a perfect time of year for you to go through this work. You will be ready for the fall fiber festivals. You will receive a lesson each week with instructions and ideas for organizing your collection of yarn, patterns, needles and notions.
I’ve included downloadable documents as well. You can join our Ravelry group, where we will be talking about our collections and sharing ideas and photos with the hashtag #collectioncurator. I hope you will join me on this journey by clicking here to start falling in love with your yarn all over again.
At this time of year, I like many people are thinking about their word of the year. It is a North Star or value or resolution. It marks how you want to spend your year. That is all good and I do come up with my word of the year each January.
But I want to talk to you about banishing a word this year. Let’s banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!
I propose that we use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I think that if we change our language, we can change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection.
This year, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment the collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can subscribe to our Color Explorer eCourse. It is a 4 lesson course that helps you look at your collection from the viewpoint of color and allows you to make choices about what stays and what need to be removed from your collection.
What do you think?
Where to find us
We are located in Frederick MD. You can shop in person with a mask and lots of social distance! Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.
If you are coming here, please enter Flying Goat Farm into WAZE. That app will reliably get you to our farm.