Simplify Your Stash?

Despite my efforts to recycle and reuse throughout our home, an area that does not diminish in size is my stash. Without spending a penny, it has increased in value, multiplied in quantity, and been found like geocache in the most unlikely places.  The same phenomenon seems to be occurring with you as mentioned in your newsletters. It appears that bartering is back-there are swelling numbers of swaps. Groups are holding stash relocation days, "stash-up-for-winter" meetings, stash giveaways, and stash door surprises.

The Fiber Fun Addicts of Central New York had so much fun last year with its Grab Bag Exchange it was repeated again this year and made into an annual event. The rules were to "weed out your stash and put a skein of yarn into a brown paper lunch bag." The challenge was to take the yarn and stuff to make a finished item to bring to the Show and Tell, but instead of exchanging the items, members kept them for themselves. Should you "truly feel a need to actually get rid of some of your fiber tools, yarns or what-have-you" the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners offers a de-stashing area on its website. To "de-accession stuff," the Conference of Northern California Handweavers, Spinners, Dyers & Basketmakers (CiNCH) held a Silent Auction for one of its members, Bren Ahearn. Bren's past interests included making chenille scarves, strip weaving, and cast-off dye experiments-all of which he was willing to donate, with the proceeds benefiting the guild of the member with the highest bid.

Is stuff the same as stash or something altogether different? When I talk of my "stuff" I am not referring to my stash, but rather to those items I need to use the stash, such as my spinning wheel, dyepot, and loom. Although many of you have more than one of those, there is no debate-when push comes to shove in the square footage they occupy-that stuff and stash are entirely different. Though related in subject matter, each requires (and has earned a right to) space that might be used differently if the items did not exist. It seems important to have both stash and stuff. Since my husband also spins and weaves, we are thankful for the garage and barn! To have and to hold his stash is another topic.

The question concerning what amount of fiber is needed to qualify a bona fide "stash" is left unasked because, like opening Pandora's box (did you know she was a spinner in some myths?), it implies that stashes are composed only of unspun fiber, an unestablished fact. I welcome your ideas and suggestions in the comments below. You are the link in connecting with other spinners through this column.

Remember, this is your column and the news posted depends on you! Pictures of your group's activities and the projects you've completed are always welcome.

Send your group's news, notes, and digital photos with captions to me at

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