The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

S.A.B.L.E. February 19, 2011

Filed under: General Crafty Chat — thebotheredowl @ 10:20 pm
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I was supposed to be writing a post about the beautiful bag I’m making for myself but due to the whims of fate and the fact that I live with two crazy making whirlwinds of destruction, I haven’t finished it.

Instead I have gratuitous pictures of yarn and a promise to make.

A friend of ours is organising a yarn/craft supplies swishing afternoon and in preparation for it, this afternoon I took a deep breath and plunged myself into my Stash.

I’ve been acquiring yarn like it was going out of style for the last six years. The pictures above don’t look too bad, until you realise that every single one of those bags and post packs is crammed full.

The jumper side of things is not so bad. I have one tub that is full of DK-ish weight yarn. Some of it is absolutely gorgeous:

Fyberspates, Scrumptious DK

Beautiful natural colours.

Artesano alpaca

Some of it was bought because I was high on yarn fumes. I have about a million balls of this stuff:

I have an entire bag of the stuff. Plus a half knitted jumper in a bizarre yellowish colour.

I really have no idea what I was thinking when I bought it. I don’t know what I was planning to knit with it or why it is still in my stash, five years later. It’s definitely going. I will never ever use it, someone else might.

But on the whole, the jumper weight box is not too bad. A few screaming mistakes and impulse buys here and there but really, not too bad at all.

But, oh you guys, the shame of the other box. The sock yarn box.

I made a couple of important discoveries this afternoon.

1. I own a hell of a lot of sock yarn.

2. The rule about sock yarn not counting as stash? That only works if you actually KNIT the sock yarn you own, before you buy more of it.

3. I need to knit a lot of socks to justify ever buying any more yarn. EVER.

The problem with sock yarn is that it is easy to justify.

One skein will usually be enough to knit a decent sized pair of socks, with some left over for darning purposes. Even for my ginormous boat feet.


Just one skein can be used for other projects like baby jackets or shawls or scarves or hats.


It’s a great way of spoiling yourself a little bit or buying a colourway you wouldn’t normally try.because it’s only one skein.

Loads of wonderful indie hand dyers make beautiful beautiful things and by buying one little skein or two you can feel like you’re supporting independent craftspeople.

It’s only one skein. Four simple little words that have led to me having well and truly achieved SABLE. Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.


This is just what I’ve acquired in the last 12 months. Most of it just in the last 6 months. I haven’t photographed the other stuff. The stuff that I’ve been hoarding for the last few years. I have another 2 or 3 bags of yarn cakes and skeins tucked away out of sight.

I didn’t count it all but I am fairly sure I probably have enough skeins to knit between 50 and 100 pairs of socks. I am really very ashamed of myself.

So the way I see it there are only two solutions to this problem:

1. I cut my own feet off so I am never ever tempted to buy another skein of sock yarn again. This has various impracticalities to it and would be fairly painful and inconvenient.

2. I learn to exercise some restraint. Yes, it’s only one skein but if I add to all the other ‘only one skeins’ I will soon no longer be able to fit inside my house. And yes, I could make some large bean bags to contain it all but that really doesn’t solve the root problem which is that I am buying too much stuff and not using it.

I am opting for number 2. Feel free to remind me of this next time you see me pawing through baskets in a frenzy at one of the big shows.

To aid me in my restraint I’m thinking of joining the other ladies from the Foxpin Knitters’ Group and taking part in this, if they’ll have me. I love to knit socks anyway and I really need some new ones.

The other great suggestion I picked up from my friends Suzanne and Aliyah is a paper bag yarn club. (I believe they may have picked it up, in turn, from a knitting guru beginning with Y and H but don’t quote me.)

Rather than signing up to a new sock club to get the thrill of new and unexpected yarn surprises, I grab a bunch of paper bags. I pick out a bunch of skeins of yarn, match them to patterns I’ve been meaning to try for a while, then tape them up in a paper bag and put them in a box. Each time I finish a project, I get to pick out a new paper bag. Fun and surprises!

Feel free to point me in the direction of favourite sock patterns or shawls. I can use all the inspiration I can get.

Meanwhile, I have weeded out a bunch of stuff to send to new homes at this swishing party. I even managed to persuade myself to part with some of my sock yarn. It’s a small step in the right direction…


Edited to Add:

After some teasing from Alex as to my gigantic swollen sock yarn stash, I bit the bullet and did the counting thing and am pleased to say it’s not _quite_ as out of control as I’d suspected. In case you’re curious, the sum total of my sock stash is 69 skeins, 70 including the skein I’m currently knitting from. That doesn’t include partial skein left over from other projects, but they don’t count as stash… (Oh dear.)


4 Responses to “S.A.B.L.E.”

  1. Sadie Says:

    Oh dear. Ravelry tells me I have 158 stashed sock yarns, so it’s rather depressing that you consider about half that to be too much!

    (I also have a large quantity of that very Rowan Luxury Cotton DK – I think Kemps were selling it for silly prices and I just couldn’t resist!)

    • 158 is an impressive tally. If I had more space I might consider it a challenge….
      *grin* I have very deliberately not counted. I _think_ I have somewhere around 100 skeins. Could be less, could be more 🙂
      The Rowan I fell in love with at the time, I fully intended to knit it into this pattern that was on the front of Simply Knitting, just before I fell pregnant for the first time. I got 3/4 of the jumper finished and then put on about… ooh, 4 stone? It’s been languishing in my stash ever since! I think it is time for it to go to someone who will cherish it and actually make it into something lovely!

  2. cazhugs Says:

    wow I am impressed with your stash!! Mine looks a little sad and lonely in comparison 😛

  3. […] may remember from this post a while ago that I have a bit of a sock yarn problem.  Although it’s only a problem if you […]

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