I have a love/hate relationship with the word “stash.” It has a dirty, illicit connotation - in fact, the Oxford English Dictionary tells us that it is derived from thieves’ cant. Most of the definitions I’ve found include the word “secret” - as if we should be ashamed of its existence, or else afraid that an irate spouse should discover that we have been frittering - I say frittering - our hard earned cash on craft supplies.
For some a stash is not a secret, but bragging rights: “You only have ten tubs of yarn in your garage? I have twenty!” “My husband will kill me if he finds out I brought home another fleece!”
William Morris said "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This leads to the concept of de-stashing. Tastes change, standards change. When this happens it’s time to reevaluate the content of the stash. Do I still think this yarn is beautiful? Will I ever spin this wool? If no, then away it goes, possibly to the guild raffle table, where someone else may find it useful and beautiful, and take it into a stash of their own.
I am trying to break myself from the word “stash.” I am training myself to say “art supplies” instead. It is, I think, nothing less than they deserve.
For one thing, there’s nothing secret about it. It is well documented and catalogued. I know where everything is, when I bought it, how much there is, and how much I paid. (Please note that I have NOT added up how much I’ve spent - that would just be too depressing.)
For another thing, there are many good reasons to have a store of art supplies at your disposal. Here are my top ten:
10. You should never pass up a good deal.
9. The yarn store isn’t open at 2:00 a.m. when you want to start a project.
8. If you don’t buy it now, later when you want it, you won’t be able to find it.
7. It’s something to pass along to your children.
6. All the other cool kids are doing it.
5. You feel guilty if you walk out of the store without buying anything.
4. It’s important to support shepherds, independent fiber artists, and your local yarn shop.
3. All of those plastic tubs you buy keep Rubbermaid in business.
2. Who parks a car in their garage, anyway?
1. Because it makes you happy.