The Yarn Harlot is Mistaken.

The "unfiled" thread stash drawer #1

Now that I have your attention. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me start by saying that I LOVE Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I wish very much that I could write humor like her. Cute I can be. Whimsical, yes. Drop dead laugh out loud funny I’ve never managed. Durn it. I think the embroidery world needs someone like her. It probably ain’t gonna be me, though, sadly. Though who knows? Writing styles evolve.

I’ve been rereading the book Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off.ย  And rolling off the couch laughing, especially if I’m reading it out loud to my heart-sister, who is… knitting.ย  I’m not a Knitter (with a capital K), but I am a knitter. I say this because I am not obsessed forever with knitting. In 30 years of knitting my stash has not really grown bigger than two bins, and I’m getting rid of one of them this month! In fact, I started knitting up a sock this week andย  I hadn’t held knitting needles (except to stick them in my hair to hold it up) for a year (I often find my laying tools there, too… but that’s another story).

Anyway. There’s a chapter on geography of the land of knitting, and she includes these words:

“You may find knitting’s geography all over the planet, but some geography you can find only [emphasis mine] in Knitting. Of all these features, the most significant is the phenomenon of stash.”

As all embroiderers know, this is completely untrue. I first ran into ALL the terminology knitters use in the embroidery world: frogging, stash, SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy). The only things missing were “knit” and “purl” (embroiderers have needles, too, they’re just slightly different!)

stash boxes
Some of the thread/accessory boxes for the Stash. Yes. The one on the bottome DOES say "bunny fur." I swear I'll find a use for it someday!

So I would like to propose a slightly expanded geography of this world of ours. We all live on the continent of Fiber Arts.ย  Lacers, Embroiderers, Knitters, all.ย  Me, I live in the county that’s the equivalent of Alsace-Lorraine. Always being fought over. Never sure if I’m part of France or Germany (or Lace, or Knit, or Embroidery). Most of my life I’ve been more a part of Embroidery (and I migrate among ALL the counties – Cross Stitch, Stumpwork, Goldwork, Crewel, etc.) than the other two, but I do make quite regular forays into the others. Beading is an island off our continent — like the UK with Europe, it shares some of the same geography, such as stash, but has a very different view of culture and life.

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3 Responses to The Yarn Harlot is Mistaken.

  1. I think anyone who tries to claim such a basic concept as stash is, perhaps, a little mistake. Or a lot.

    While I do have yarn and thread stashes, my largest stash–by far!–is for my paper art. Namely, 2 shelving units of papers.

    Stash is universal, it’s more a mindset than a geographic reality.

  2. Yup – she is definitely wrong. Not only does the concept of stash extend to all crafts, I think it’s all hobbies and even all humans in general. Fabric stash, yarn stash, floss stash, paper stash, wood stash, nuts & bolts stash, wire and connector stash, pantry stash, clothing closet stash, and so on. I think it’s human nature to acquire stash. Reasons may vary from “I’ll need it before I get to the store again” to “not sure, but by golly I’ll have it” to “I have more than you do”.

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