06 January 2007

The Stash-Busting Challenge

Wendy’s doing it. AfricanKelli’s doing it. LoneKnitter’s doing it.

And now the family is doing it.

My sincerest apologies go out to all yarn and fabric shops from New York to Kansas, but we really must end our love affair, or at least take a temporary break in our fling. And yes, our family crack dealers really do extend the length of at least half the nation without even counting internet pushers. Shoot, I may be guilty of finding yarn shops while on vacation in Vermont, at a conference in North Carolina and in the middle of Thanksgiving vacation in Illinois. (At least I managed to wait until after the leftovers were put away before getting my fix.) We’ll just try to ignore that I drove to another freakin’ country with the sole purpose of buying yarn last fall. You should’ve seen the look on the face of the customs dude, but anyway, moving on…

The Girls (otherwise known as my mother, aunt and cousin) have asked for my stash-busting rules of 2007 so we can all be martyrs, er, I mean “resisters” together. Here’s my plan:

1. Purchase no new yarn, fabric, patterns or tools. Scrapbooking items may only be purchased if I intend to use them within 24 hours for a specific page that I’m working on. (Scrapbooking is a new hobby for the year. We’ll see how it goes and how much it affects my attempts to keep the hobby budget in line.)

2. I may purchase yarn, fabric or tools to complete a project that is already started. “Already started” status is only granted to projects which are well underway or at least 75% purchased. In other words, I can’t say I’ve “already started” something just because I have the pattern in a magazine or one piece of fabric that needs 12 other yards to match.

3. I’m allowed a certain number of “pass days,” specified at the outset. I’m going for five for the year.
a. Paducah, KY Quilt Show and Sale
b. East Aurora Fiber Festival
c. Kitchener-Waterloo Fiber Festival
d. Rhinebeck Fiber Festival
e. Freebie

4. I am allowed to receive gifts of fabric and yarn but only on actual holidays when I would be receiving surprises anyway. No, I cannot put in a request for a yard of Alexander Henry fabric for National Burrito Day. Fabric in the Easter basket, on the other hand…

5. I may purchase supplies to make a specific gift if and only if I’ve checked the stash and there is absolutely nothing that would work for the intended project and I absolutely must make this one specific gift right now. Seriously consider giving the person car wash gift certificates instead so I can spend my valuable time sewing or knitting something from the stash. Wouldn’t I rather work on that quilt than knit the mailman a hat anyway?

6. Avoid the clearance aisles at JoAnn’s and the sale baskets at the yarn shop. No sale is good enough unless it’s offering up supplies for free. After all, doesn’t every clearance item need to be paired with a gajillion other items in order to make a project? And aren’t those gajillion other items never on sale? Better than all of that, just avoid JoAnn’s and the yarn shop altogether!

I’m not sure if this is too strict or too relaxed. There are certainly lots of loopholes, but I want to make this a project that I can keep up for the entire year. I want to take on this challenge not as a punishment, but as a means of getting out from stash overload. Seriously, the stash is out of control. If I’m feeling really brave, maybe I’ll share pictures of all my various hiding places but I’m not sure my wonky camera battery will hold out long enough to capture the ridiculousness of it all. You’re laughing, girls, but I know how many fat quarters you own. (Over Christmas we did a little organizing and counting on the fat quarter stashes of my mom and aunt and yet again I got proof that while these women are pretty cool, I’m not so sure they should be role models. We had to get out a calculator and notebook to take inventory. Not pretty.)

Whew, now that my shopping is all ruled and regulated, I’ll get back to business tomorrow… showing off purchases that I shouldn’t have made and a giant shopping bag that’s perfect for filling with future purchases I shouldn’t make.

1 comment:

Lone Knitter said...

I like your rules. I think you've hit a nice middle. Giving yourself allowances for festivals is a great idea, after all, it's what we live for, kinda, right?