Friday, September 15, 2006

Stash Reduction Challenge

It's cold in Calgary today. It was snowing during the football game this evening. It was about 2C (about 35F) this morning when I got up. It's been raining. Add that early cold snap to the fact that Calgary has experienced something of a boom in population this year, and also a shortage of affordable housing as a result and you get the kind of news stories that have stuck in my head for the last couple of days. Drop-in shelters have had to turn people away by 9:30pm. All summer long we've been hearing about families living in campers and tents while working and trying to find housing. Those families are still there.

When I woke up this morning I seemed to have come to a decision I didn't even really know I was making. My decision has to do with this:

sorry for the rather fuzzy out of focus picture

I'm rather embarrassed by that pile. That, my dear friends, is a big pile o'acrylic. Mostly worsted weight. Leftovers from various afghans and other projects for kids and for other projects that need to be tough and long lasting. That's a big pile of stashed acrylic leftovers.

Here's the thing: I have all this yarn. It's taking up space in a small apartment. I have the ability to turn that yarn into something warm. I live in a city that experiences cold winters. I live in a city where there is a housing shortage and hundreds of people might not have enough warm things. Pretty simple math, really.

I decided the following:
I, Lori (last name withheld), a Knitter (with a capital K :) ) do hereby promise that I will not purchase any yarn for a project for myself* until I have completed at least** one of the following for donation to a shelter in Calgary:
-a knit or crocheted afghan
-3 toque/mitten/scarf sets
-a sweater

I will allow myself to continue to work on other projects, cause let's face it, there is no way I can only work on one thing at a time.

I'm putting this here, not to pat myself on the back, but to be held accountable. If you all know that I'm planning this then you can call me on it if I slip and walk out of my LYS with yarn for me.

*There are a couple of projects that I have in the planning stages for other people and I will allow myself to get the yarn for those, especially since one of those recipients knows that it's coming. Also, I'll allow one purchase (possibly) to do with what I'm doing tomorrow***
**My goal is to do more than just one of the items on the list, but I know myself better than to promise more than I can deliver
***I'll tell you about what I'm doing tomorrow tomorrow evening or Sunday****
****OOOO.... secret*****
*****(I'm losing track of how many of those asterisks I need) Not sure why I'm keeping it a secret. I just haven't mentioned it. I'll tell you tomorrow and you'll wonder why I didn't mention it. You want to know what it is, right? This is annoying, right?

I was telling my friend Julie about this today and (and this is one of the many reasons why she is such a good friend) she was very enthusiastic and (and this is another big reason) she suggested that we should work on this idea Saturday. We had planned to go to the zoo for her birthday, but, what with it being stupid cold chilly with a chance of snow, Julie suggested getting together (after the secret thing) and she would help me get a start. So, tomorrow looks to be a good day (in spite of the stupid cold chilly rainy weather).


  1. I think it's a great plan! You're inspiring me to include more of these kinds of projects in my own knitting. I have plenty of stashed acrylic myself. Our really cold weather is a ways off, but that gives me more time to think about what to do.

  2. It is a brilliant plan. I find altruism is a great motivator, and you're going to absolutely make someone's day by maing them something woolly and beautiful.

    I wish I could knit. I've been saying it repeatedly all day while looking at overpriced baby knitwear in designer London shops. I can do sewing and drawing and painting and making and etc etc, but have never gone beyond straightforward knitted squares or scarves: this might be the winter I finally buckle down and learn. I love the detail you go into on your posts: it's inspiring stuff!

  3. What a geat idea. I have lot of acrylic yarn left from times when even Lion Brand was sometimes too expensive for me. I live in Maine and the winter will be here soon enough. I am sure many people could use clothes made from yarn that only takes space in my closet. Thank you a lot for the inspiration.


Hi! I'm so glad you stopped by. I'd love to hear from you.