The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash

This past Friday, as I posted earlier, I had a horrendous long day at work. But I was able to break away for a quick dinner (husband cooked for me -- he got burgers at Wendy's) and when I got home, there was this lovely big enticing box from Ann, enticing because I knew it contained all kinds of goodies and I just didn't have the time to open it then. I had to go back to work and later, when I was finally done for the day, I got to come home, get out of uniform, and dump it all on the living room floor.

Now let me tell you, this is beautiful stuff. Ann hasn't held back on anything. There is lots of Cascade 220, two big cakes of laceweight, some Noro, a good selection of sock yarn, including LL, Trekking, and Regia; there is some bulky yarn as well as some interesting novelty types; there is wool and cotton both. There are nice patterns and some flex needles, among other things. It's just a TREAT to be able to pull one goodie after another out of this box.

I dreamed about yarn that night. I thought about it all day at work. (It's okay, it was a slow day.) I thought about what I would like to have. Not the bulky yarns, I can't work in big gauge. Not the big needles, for the same reason. Some of the Cascade? Definitely some sock yarn. How much could I trade with what I have in my stash?

It was after about the fifth or sixth time I went through the box, pulling out yarn and putting it back, that I stopped seeing individual bits of yarn and seeing the whole box. I started thinking about how good it is of Ann to want to share this lovely stuff. Ann first stopped into my blog the night before Thanksgiving last year. She took the time then, time I'm sure she didn't really have, to look up a pattern for me on the net. I was very touched by that. And I want you all to know that. We started visiting and commenting on each other's blogs, a little at first and then a lot. (She has been known to comment on my latest post before I'm even done editing the thing.) To make a long story short, we emailed several times about the Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash before she made the decision to run with it. And now here I was last night, looking at this box filled with her yarn, and thinking that it's the next best think to sitting with her in her closet, going through her stash together and having her say, "Here, I don't really need this, let's trade."

See, I live in a small Arizona town out in the high desert, and I don't know any knitters except through the internet. But for me, it's similar to when I used to belong to a quilt guild in town. Except that we only met once a month. Here I can jump on line every day and talk to my friends and read the blogs I find inspiration in. Because of the internet and knitbloggers, I know about such things as socks and Sockapaloooza, Noro and cobweb and the Amazing Lace. There is only one store in town with a tiny yarn section, and I wouldn't know how to appreciate the yarns they carry unless I had read about them on the web. Otherwise I might have remained a Walmart knitter, and frustrated by not getting the results I wanted.

So here I am looking at all this lovely yarn that I never get to see in the flesh. The Trekking is staying here, because the only other Trekking I've ever seen was a six hour drive away. The red Cascade is staying, so that I can make a Wool Peddlers Shawl out of it. There are two shawl patterns that I'm sure I'm going to keep, and probably more sock yarn as well. The bulky yarns and the more unusual yarns are safe, because I don't work with heavy stuff. My thing is socks, and shawls and scarves, lace and cables. What am I going to donate in their place? Certainly whatever maintains the integrity of the box. Sock yarn for sock yarn, worsted for worsted, etc. I would love to snatch up the two cakes of laceweight, but I have nothing to replace it with. There ain't no laceweight out in this desert, folks, and certainly not in that quantity. And the box needs to keep it's variety.

What will I donate into the box? Well, for one thing, I haven't decided yet. So you will have to wait until I post it in a day or two. What I can tell you is that I will probably be throwing in a little more than I take out. See, there's stuff that I know I won't use, and I'd like to share it with my sisters, the way Ann is sharing with me and everyone else. See, it's my sisters we're talking about here, my sisters who talk my language and share with me.

Even out in the middle of the high desert. Having my sisters means I get to be as much in the middle of things as anybody else. To have as much fun as anybody else. Having my sisters means I get to at least touch and play with yarn I wouldn't get to see otherwise, and learn things and do things that you don't find at Walmart. So remember, when you're putting stuff into the box before you send it on it's next stop, remember that what you can't use, and what may be commonplace to you, may be pretty special to the next person in line.

Thank you, sister Ann. And thank you, all my other sisters.


Blogger Ann said...

Now see?! This is why I've teamed up with Pat. She can really blog up a storm...She's put into words much of what I intended when I dreamt this up -- we're exactly in sync. Thank you sister Pat, for the kind words and for the details. You enjoy that yarn, girl! Thanks again!

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Wow there's a lot of great yarns in there. What a great swap!

4:10 AM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

Now, what a fantastic idea you and Ann came up with, that's truly amazing! What a whole bunch of amazing yarn, I can well imagine you kept dreaming about it at night - and during the day! I so love this idea of the sisterhood!

4:25 AM  
Blogger Lucia said...

Wow... I am now feeling slightly guilty for having decided to do the Sisterhood, because I do have not one, not two, but three good LYSs nearby. But it ain't the same. Sisterhood is powerful.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Peg said...

Oh! Now I wish I had a stash so I could have joined the Stashalong! I can just see you two gals sitting in the closet - feet outside - and laughing so hard you - well we won't go there. I will watch the Stashalong with envy and maybe next time I will be able to join! I also want to knit the Wool Peddlers' Shawl! That looks like a beautiful red!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

If you can't get laceweight where you live, you should take it! Isn't that the point?

10:30 AM  
Blogger Shez75 said...

What a great post! I enjoyed reading about your stash box. I too am out in the middle of nowhere, with no knitters around and the computer is the only link to the knitting world. Enjoy that yarn! You all sound like you're having a blast.
Sheri in GA (a new reader)

1:13 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Lovely sentiments!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Wow what a conundrum you have there - trying to decide what to part with in exchange for what you take. This will be a really fun box to follow - I'm looking forward to seeing what Ann has when it's all over. :)

2:23 PM  

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