Thursday, February 22, 2007

Views on Stash

As of late, many knit bloggers have jumped on the band wagon of this woman and have agreed to only knit from their stash from January 1 to September 30, 2007 (if you would like to join this KAL, or just would like to know more about it, click here). I think what these knitters are doing is a noble thing. Acquiring some of the stashes that I have seen reported all over the blogasphere requires lots of money and time (two things that I don't have much of right now). The only problem that I have is this: Why does it take a more prominent knit blogger to move the masses in the right direction? Why does it take a KAL like this one to get everyone to do something different? I guess like any society, there are leaders and there are followers, and then you have the people like me I call observers. What type of knit blogger are you? Why do you think of yourself in that way? Please let me know.

I have brought this topic up because lately I've been trying to be fiscally responsible. A week ago I opened up a savings account that will be my emergency cash fund. Once the amount in that account reaches over 6 months worth of living expenses, I'm going to start aggresively paying off my credit card debt (it's not much, but I don't like having that over my head). After that, I'm canceling all but 3 of my credit cards. Two are Gap and Banana Republic cards that my mom loves to use (she has cards of her own, the accounts are just in my name and of course she pays for what she buys) and the other is a major credit card for emergencies ONLY!!! Then I'm going to put them away in my house so that the only cash I have available to me is my debit card. Once my debt is paid, then I can start saving for retirement.

Why did I just tell you guys all that? Because many of us are spending astronomical sums of money on yarn that we may never knit with. Why not use that money you would use to make a purchase for yarn you don't need and put that into a savings account or a retirement fund? You know that if you save only $14,000 from the age of 18 to 26, with an interest of 8% you'd have a million dollars in the bank by the time you retire? And by then, you can have all the yarn you want and then some!

I'm not saying that I don't love yarn. It's exciting to go to my LYS to shop for new yarn and projects, but I'm not going to let something that I do for fun make me end up in the poor house (which seems to be the case with many knit bloggers). Don't be like this podcaster who has to work at her LYS on weekends just to support her yarn habit. I love her show, but her bugeting skills aren't so hot. And did I mention that she's a lawyer? Not to say that all lawyers make madd money, but typically they do bring home some chedda (sorry, "madd" means "a lot" and "chedda" means "money")! I believe that we knitters are guilty of being too indulgent, too easily influenced, and too reckless with what we spend our money on.

Therefore this year, I encourage you guys to knit from you stash, and if you need the support of a community, join this KAL. As for me, I don't need to join this KAL because my motivation is knowing the amount of money I could save for retirement or for more important things like food and shelter.

PS: Though I'm going thru this "yarn diet", I'm still allowing myself to buy books and magazines (I'm no superwoman). And oh yes, sock yarn does count people!


meg said...

hmm, i can't agree with this. i feel like it's everyones right to decide how they want to spend their time and money so if they chose to work in a yarn store to support their habit then more power to them. of course, saving money is important, too but who says how much is too much or what's indulgent?

life's too short. i don't save a lot of money and have my fair share of debt but i won't let that get in the way of letting me buy whatever yarn or book or shoes or purses or shows that i want. just keep it all in check but then again others may think that i spend too much and don't save enough. what matters is that i'm content with it.

Valerie said...

I do notice that sometimes, I feel I'm buying some craft supply almost compulsively. I don't know what makes me do that. I never buy beyond my means, but it's a strange urge anyway.

Sock yarn does count. In fact, I decided I needed to quit buying sock yarn (only) for a while and instead buy sweater yarn. My reasoning is that I have enough sock yarn for a couple dozen pairs of socks (at least) and I've only knit about four finished (adult size) pairs. I think that means it's the wrong thing for me to buy. On the other hand, I need a lot of sweaters (I wear them daily) and I am knitting a lot of sweaters.

On the other hand, I certainly agree with meg that folks have the right to manage their own spending. But I don't really think you were saying they don't.. you were just encouraging people to be a bit more pragmatic, yes?

Anonymous said...

I agree that you should only spend what you can afford, but there's tons of people who don't. And if it's not yarn for them, it's shoes, clothes, whatever. *shrugs* I can only control myself, you know? I just had this conversation with DH about how consumerist our society has become & how I'm finally trying to not buy into it so much. I'm on an unofficial yarn diet, too, but my non-spending goes across the board--less of everything that's not essential right now. I'm trying to save for retirement, too.

gray la gran said...

hmmm ... money & yarn. well, yarn and food (including vino) are about the only two things (besides the necessities like apt, power, gas, water) that i spend my money on. i don't shop unless i need something. i don't even go out to casually browse, because i know i will see something i want. of course i have enough yarn in stash to knit from until my dying days, but fresh yarn is so refreshing ! i did the summer of stash "diet" last summer, and it was hard. and though i cheated, it changed how i view my purchases now.
now the fun part ... what kind of knit blogger am i? hmmm ... not a leader, not a lemming, somewhat of an observer ... i see lots of things i'd like to knit on the net. and i try not to join kal's because i'm a lousy joiner. i'm a fair weather friend when it comes to my knitting ... not very monogamous to any one project. i try to be though :)
there are some blogs out there that have a lot of readers, and those blogs are very well established ... that's why when they come up with an idea they CAN spread the word in such masses. and i think the idea either interests the reader and they want to join or follow suit, and i think sometimes people are just groupies ... i mean, there are people that just wait for someone to post so they can say, "oh! i'm first!!!". i mean, how ridiculous is that?!
kelly, what you do here is always very insightful. i enjoy reading and seeing what's being knitted. you're a knitter with more to say than just, "hey! look at my new yarn!" ... though, perhaps you suck me in with the taunting of a sock in a beautiful yarn, but then you pull me in further with with all your observations and analysis of the non-knitty.
and i continue to read ... though, i don't check in all that often, because when i see your name highlighted on my bloglines, i have to pause and think if i have enough brain cells in that moment to give your blog the full attention i want to give it, or if i just need to save it for later and click on blogs where i can just scroll through pictures :)
happy knitting!