Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Mathematics of Stash Reduction

How can buying more yarn reduce your stash? As I've mentioned before, my stash is now absolutely enormous. So much so that I made a pact not to buy any more yarn this month. Guess what?

Yesterday I went to Get Knitted in Bristol for a fabulous second day with Debbie Abrahams learning all about design. This was the non-knitting day, when Debbie taught us all the calculations we need to adapt patterns or write our own. As we struggled to get our heads round her various formulae (which it has to be said are very simple, really, and are clearly set out in her book Design Your Own Knits) I wished my school maths teacher had told me how useful I would find his lessons in my late forties!

You will understand, then, that I needed some respite at lunchtime and it being a very wet day outside what was there left for me to do but browse in the shop? "I'm not buying any yarn", I said to my companion, Zoe. "Of course not", she said, herself sticking womanfully to a very strict budget. So, I picked up a Rowan magazine I haven't got and which happens to fill a gap in my run, looked at and rejected some Big Wool for my friend Lyn, which was at full price, and then wandered by the Sales Bin. I had a little rummage, just out of interest, but with absolutely no intention to buy. Then, right at the back of the bottom shelf, behind something I thought might have been reduced Big Wool but wasn't, I found three balls of Natural Silk Aran, just enough to complete a project that I've been wanting to knit for some time. And it was the same dye lot. "Guess what?", I said to Zoe. "I'm buying some yarn." It was at this point that she, brilliant woman, explained how buying this yarn was in fact reducing my stash because it would enable me to complete a project. I have now named this Zoe's Formula of Stash Reduction: S + Y / WIP = CP, where S is your existing stash, Y is an additional purchase of yarn, WIP is work in progress and CP is your completed project. Go figure!