In her wonderful book Knitting Rules!, the hilarious Stephanie Pearl McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) defines a stash as "The yarn you've squirreled away for a rainy day." She adds, "Possessing a stash is not only noble and decent, but a source of inspiration as well." She wisely advises, "Don't allow others to make you feel guilty about your stash, even if it has reached WHACO [sic] proportions." WHACO, for those of you who haven't read Knitting Rules! (and I strongly recommend that you read this and all of Stephanie Pearl McPhee's books) is, "an acronym for Wool Housing and Containment Overload." Basically, WHACO happens when the knitter's stash overflows from its containers.
My stash definitely inspires me and brings me joy, but I can't close the lids of most of the containers in which I keep my yarn. Mind you, I've done an outstanding job of hiding the stash and just because it's overflowing, doesn't mean it isn't neatly kept. My beloved really has no clue how much yarn I have and that, really, must be the definition of successful stashing. (Actually, it is the definition because I read it on the internet here. Thank you, George Lindsay-Watson!)
However, when I took all the yarn out to get a sense of how much yarn I actually had, I felt a tinge of . . . guilt. I don't feel guilty that I've spent the money on yarn because it is money well spent. Plus, much of my stash has been gifted or is leftover from projects. But it really is a lot of yarn that is not being used. I feel that it might seem just a tiny bit like I'm hoarding yarn.
Given that I live in NYC, there's just no room to increase the stash. And, it sucks not to buy yarn. So, I'm beginning a new quest to de-stash. I will use this amazing yarn and I won't buy any new yarn at until my yarn fits in the bins again with the lids closed (or at least mostly closed).