Just a little more about guilt....

By now some of you may be tiring of all this talk of guilt so this will be the conclusion of the guilt discussion, at least for now. I want to thank each of you who responded to my Stash Guilt post of last week. I find it very interesting that nearly everyone who commented, considers themselves to be artists and enjoys seeing their medium so they have no guilt for their stashes. I guess that is exactly how I feel too! This is my means (or one of my means) of creative expression and I'm inspired by seeing all the colors and textures. I get ideas and feel happy seeing all the pretty yarns.

Also very interesting to me, is that there were few if any comments from people who do feel guilty about their stashes. I can see why people would not want to talk about things they feel guilty about. I'm wondering why do we feel guilty or allow ourselves be made to feel guilty? Is our stash causing harm? Or do we merely fear disapproval from the significant people in their lives who don't understand the urge to have pretties? I know some of you just find it easier to hide your stash so that your significant other doesn't know and doesn't ask questions. And that's okay, if it works.

In reading a little about stash and knitting guilt while prepping for today's post, I found a couple of great blog posts by other knitters that say things far better than I could ever say about stash guilt. All of these apply to all creative stashes, not just yarn.

First there is Knitted Nests and Knitting Guilt http://knitsofacto.blogspot.com/2013/03/knitted-nests-and-knitters-guilt.html by Knitsofacto where I learned a new word, polywipamous, coined by another blogger. Read both of these blog posts for explanations.

Then there is About.com's post written by Sarah White: Stash Guilt – Ideas for Getting Rid of Yarn StashGuilt . Notice that this post is about getting rid of the guilt, not necessarily the stash. Number 6 is my favorite... Get over it! :)

And finally, from The Guilty Parent, A Beginner's Guide to Stashing Yarn by Nicole Smith who adds some fun humor to the whole process of stashing storing yarn.

I'll leave you with a couple of thoughts from a Psychology Today article: Why It's Good to FeelGuilty (Although guilt makes us feel rotten,it's actually good for us.) (my italics and parenthesis) Published on May 14, 2010 by Maryanne Fisher, Ph.D. in Love's Evolver

In this article she says:
“Reviewing the clinical psychology literature indicates that guilt likely exists as a mechanism to help us recognize when we've done something that hurts our social standing within a group or when we threaten our social bonds. It makes us want to maintain our standing and acceptance within the group, and helps us realize that we need to engage in reparative acts (see the work of Drickamer & Vessey, 1982; Gilbert, 1997). That is, guilt is what makes us realize that we did something wrong, and that we probably have to fix it, somehow. And often, we can't be fully rid of the guilt until we undertake some action to fix our mess.”

“The reason we feel guilty is most likely because we did something we are not proud of, and know that we shouldn't have done it in the first place. Admitting that we make mistakes is not easy, but we can grow from these experiences.”
In sum total, is having a stash wrong? And by wrong I mean, harmful to others or oneself. I say no! But only each of you can answer this question for yourself. I'm advocating that you stop feeling guilty for something you enjoy. Perhaps it needs parameters to fit into your home and lifestyle but if you enjoy it, it helps you feel happy and doesn't harm anyone, then don't feel guilty about it!

Tell us how you like to store and organize your stash!  We can always use new ideas!

p.s. Does this topic inspire you?  Write a poem and email it to heather at jimmybeanswool dot com to participate in our Poetry Slam in honor of National Poetry Month!

Happy Stashing, Guilt-free!


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  1. I have yarn trees for my coned yarn and baskets galore for my skeined/balled yarn. I have them stacked and stuffed and squirreled away all over my studio. I pull together yarns that I think I want to weave or knit and put them in zip-loc bags and store them in my bookshelves until I'm ready to work the project. AND I have various piles of yarns that I'm toying with ideas for on the work tables in my room. They speak to me about what they want to be and once they've made up their mind, I'll stitch or weave them as appropriate. I'm currently in a much smaller studio because my house is undergoing renovation after being hit by a tornado in February. It wasn't until several hours after the tornado hit that I began to wonder if anything in my studio had gotten damaged...I DID feel guilty then for neglecting my stash. Luckily that room was fine as was all of my yarn and equipment.

  2. I store my yarn in plastic bins, sorted (more or less) by color. I have even repurposed some large plastic jars and placed similar colored balls of yarn in them. They are pretty to look at so I display them on my bookcase. About the stash guilt; I only feel guilty when people, who neither knit nor crochet, see my stash as a waste of money. Their judgement causes me guilt. But since they aren't paying for my purchases, they need to place their judgement somewhere else. My money, my stash, my craft, my expression, not anyone else's business.

  3. I live in an older house. I have one closet that opens up to a set of stairs which once went to the attic but which were blocked off a long time ago during a remodel. They truly are stairs that go nowhere. This closet has become my yarn closet and the stairs are great for storing my stash bins. Sock yarn is all stored together but all other yarn is fairly randomly stored.

  4. Thank you for linking to me! I missed the original guilt over stash question but I can honestly say I have no guilt over my stash. A friend recently suggested I de-stash and sell off some of my yarn (that's crazy talk that could ruin a friendship!) Needless to say we never discussed it again. I think it's the "what could be" that makes me feel no guilt over the stash. Every piece of yarn has the possibility to be something wonderful for someone - or myself and there's no guilt in that.

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