By Kelly Grotzinger
My fiber holdings, that is, my stash, was acquired...
I was pointedly reminded of the following this past month:
The consequences of such stash-related learnings included the following. A table runner designed to reveal the idiosynchrasies of my wee Macomber loom instead 'revealed' dry rot (that odd bobbin), color oddities (all blacks are NOT the same), that a sheen might not be equivalent to luminescence, and mill source differences are real (unique twist, feel). Salvaging the woven piece required cutting out a bad section, hemming / re-hemming, and finally, accepting that I wove a placemat instead of a table runner! My second set of consequences involved making a warp from stashed 8/4 cotton for a bed runner. I modified my warp three times while on the warping board in achieving an effective blend of neutrals and the 42 inches width I wanted. I have no warp thread in reserve 'cause I used every inch of most of the colors.
Responsible use of any fiber requires choice and trade-offs. While you might not be able to substitute or combine certain yarns from your stash in achieving your desired warp or weft, you might have enough for the warp or a stripe or weft alone. You might have to use that glitzy thread in an unplanned way because you have limited yardage.
No one wants to waste their expensive supplies. No one wants to waste stash. Stash doesn't have to be used alone. You don't have to 'settle' by weaving what you have rather than what you want. Use your stock to support the projects as you can. Can you
use part of your stash of 16/2 cotton and buy a couple of cones to finish the piece? Could your stash yarn serve as the trial run, the preamble as it were, to the 'real' thing? Would stashed yarns lend themselves to practical and plain tea towels or a lap blanket?
Your stashed yarn and thread requires some care. All fiber requires periodic assessment. Stash can provide options and opportunities. Stash might require creative thought, but I think it is worth having and using wisely.