Like many other knitters this week, I spent a good percent of my free time this week reading Clara Parkes’ new book, A Stash of One’s Own.
Clara Parkes is a good writer – she has published several very excellent books on the technical aspects of yarn, which I cannot recommend strongly enough. However, I have been resistant to her later books, which mostly seem to be about the experience or the feelings around knitting. I’m barely interested in my own feelings, so don’t have a lot of bandwidth for other peoples.
However, as anyone who has followed along on this blog at all may have noticed, I have a bit of a stash myself as well as a complex relationship with it. If the same is true for you, I definitely recommend this book.
It is actually an anthology, with essays on yarn stashing by a variety of knitters and knitting-adjacent folks. Some of the many contributors include Clara, Franklin Habit, Debbie Stoller, Meg Swansen, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and many,many more. As usual with anthologies, there is a variety of writing styles and opinions included, so there is likely to be something there for most people. There are a few themes you will notice crossing essays. First, Marie Kondo and her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, are cited pretty often, as you might expect. Several writers do not have stashes and are not apologetic about it. Several others have huge stashes and are equally unapologetic about it. And even more are somewhere in the middle. There’s a lot of kind-of defensive sounding explanation about how we shouldn’t be defensive or sheepish about our stashes, should we happen to have one. One writer presents an analysis of stashing data obtained from Ravelry that was very interesting, if you like data analysis.
For myself, I found a lot to think about in this book. There were a lot of interesting perspectives included, some of which spoke to me and some of which didn’t, though I enjoyed all of the essays whether I agreed with them or not. All in all, it is a very well put together array of thoughts about a topic that most yarn-crafters have almost certainly at least thought about.