Abrams provided a copy of A Stash of One’s Own for my review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This page may contain affiliate links, which help support me, but don’t cost you anything extra.
To knitters**, a stash is more than a collection of yarn and tools to manipulate yarn. It represents our travels, our relationships, our successes and failures, fashion trends, comfort in times of stress and, perhaps most of all, our aspirations.
Explaining the meaning of stash to a non-yarn person may be impossible, but the twenty-three essayists in Clara Parkes’ A Stash of One’s Own understand stash in its many forms.
Some well-known knitters weigh in on the subject. Meg Swansen, who has a Sweater Room (!) and Franklin Habit, who pilfered the beginnings of his first stash, write about inheriting more than stash from their mothers. Stephanie Purl-McPhee‘s “Triptcyh” made me feel better about having a large, infrequently-culled stash that includes some horrible-yet-emotionally-important yarn. Ann Shayne of Mason-Dixon Knitting turns Marie Kondo on her head, while Ann’s partner-in-crime Kay Gardiner claims to be a minimalist in “The Minimalist Speaks”. Hint: The title is misleading.
Sue Shankle, a clinical social worker and mental health clinician, says it’s OK to have a yarn stash. But read her essay, because there are limits, and you should double-check that you have a stash for the right reasons. Spinner Jillian Moreno has stashes of fiber, handspun and commercially spun yarn. This is why I haven’t started spinning. Yet.
Debbie Stoller, editor of BUST magazine and the ever-popular Stitch ‘n Bitch books, writes compellingly of stash as a feminist issue. Read it and, in this aspect at least, you’ll consider yourself a feminist.
There are also the parts that mention the shocking possibility of not having a stash. Amy Herzog claims to be stashless, a thing I can barely comprehend. She touchingly shares explains why she considers herself “Without a Stash” although she has plenty of yarn.
Knitter’s Review‘s own Clara Parkes, who collected these stories, knows a thing or two about yarn herself. She takes a quasi-Buddhist approach to stash, an attitude which might benefit us all.
And that’s not all! Quite a few writers share how having yarn on hand has figured into times of personal crisis, while others talk about the connections we make with others by sharing our stash.
At times poignant, other times rib-splittingly funny, and sometimes too-close-to-the-truth, A Stash of One’s Own is a great read for anyone who wants to explore our sometimes complicated relationship with yarn-in-waiting.
**or crocheters or weavers or sewers