GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. Thank you for all your entries. Results are on their way…
So… what shall we do today? How about a book review with a giveaway? Does that sound OK?
Introducing A Stash Of One’s Own, an anthology of musings about yarn collections, edited by Clara Parkes.
At first I thought I was the wrong person to write this review, because for all that I love yarn, and knitting, and crochet, I have near-zero desire for stash. (Sorry. I do realize that this makes me a weirdo, and is the main reason that you cross the street when you see me coming. I understand.) In this house, excess yarn gets rounded up and taken to the charity shop fairly regularly, and the stuff that I do need to keep for projects occupies an annoying amount of real estate in the corner of my study. But this book is edited by Clara Parkes, whom I’ve admired ever since I first read The Knitter’s Book Of Yarn, so I couldn’t resist.
A Stash Of One’s Own is a collection of 23 essays about stash, written by all sorts of folk who’ve had cause to seriously consider the matter, including designers, spinners, sheep-farmers, and bloggers. Amongst the authors, there’ll likely be some names you’ve heard of (Stephanie Pearl McPhee, Franklin Habit, Amy Herzog, perhaps?) as well as some you maybe haven’t.
And I have to say that even as a stash-phobe, I loved this book. I loved reading about people’s very different experiences of their relationships with their yarn. The most interesting thing wasn’t the stash, it was the personal stories: Franklin Habit’s childhood yearning for yarn that was “not for boys” which led to him buying all the pretties without much discernment the moment he hit adulthood, Clara Parkes’ reflections on the memories twisted up in her yarn, Meg Swansen on the feelings evoked by the stash of her famous mother (Elizabeth Zimmerman)… though I guess that when you have professionals curating your stuff, it becomes an archive rather than a stash.
Amongst the diverse voices, there were themes. It was interesting how many of the writers mentioned Marie Kondo,* even if it was to metaphorically chuck her methodology out of the craft room window. And many of the authors at least implicitly addressed the guilt around having this huge amount of stuff. Meanwhile Susan B. Anderson talked about getting rid of yarn. But there were three writers whom I enjoyed the most: Stephanie Pearl McPhee, because frankly she could write about tying her shoelaces and still make it funny and wry, Amy Herzog, because I could relate to her thoughts on having yarn in the house without it constituting stash, and Debbie Stoller, because she’s a feminist and she challenges the idea of stash being a cheeky, naughty, secret that should be hidden away by women, from their (male) partners.
If you like people’s stories, you’ll love this book. If you want a reference guide to managing all 20 000 skeins of your yarn collection, maybe look elsewhere.
And the book did change my mind about something: I do have a stash, it turns out, but it’s a stash of needles and hooks and notions and books, not of yarn. And that’s OK.
A Stash Of One’s Own was published on the 12th September 2017 by Abrams Press, and is available worldwide.
So I think I mentioned a giveaway? Abrams Press is very generously offering one lucky reader of this blog the chance to win a copy of A Stash Of One’s Own. Usual Twisted giveaway procedures apply. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post. To gain a sneaky additional entry, ‘like’ The Twisted Yarn Facebook page here and then leave a comment on the Facebook post about this giveaway. The contest will be open for a week, beginning RIGHT NOW, and closing on Sunday 5th November at 12.00 midday, UK time. After the gong sounds to mark the end of the competition, the inscrutable folks at random.org will be used to select a winner. I’ll then contact the person for their address, which I’ll pass on to Abrams Press so that they can send out the prize. If I can’t get hold of the winner within a week, another winner will be selected at random. GOOD LUCK!
∗ Queen of getting rid of stuff. You’ll love her or you’ll hate her.
Dramatic Lyric says
Ah, the stash. I love yarn and of course I always want more, but do I NEED more? Uggh. It’s such a hard question.
I would love to read this !
Julie Ross says
This sounds like an awesome book! I’d love to read it!
Always happy to add to my book stash which never seems to diminish.
Stash.. Who???????? sorry, the sound is rather muted due to all the wool surrounding me…
Thanks for the giveaway. I hear from many people that this is a great book.
Great review! I really want to read the book.
I’d love to win a copy of this book!
The book does sound wonderful! I quite want to read it. My kids complain about my collection of yarn lol. I refuse to call it a stash as if I do so then I have lost before I even begin.
I’m keen! I’m a stasher of projects more than a stasher of yarn. My projects list can almost be seen from space. Having yarn leftover from a project is like an enigma that must be solved: what can I make with it that uses as much of it as I can but doesn’t result in said yarn running out before the project is finished? And thus, the cycle of never-ending projects marches on like a headless chicken.
Stash? Who me? I’m just a keeper of my mothers wool inheritance (in plastic boxes in the garage), my own purchases (in boxes under the stairs) and a teacher for my children – works in progress in the living room….. But I don’t have a stash…really!
Great book! No Kondo in my stash room, please. I love to pet my skeins and we have the perfect relationship.
Hannah Close says
This sounds like a great book! I have a reasonable stash of yarn, but my book stash is definitely bigger… and I always need to add to it!
A.L. Bradshaw says
Great review, it really piqued my interest. The book sounds great, I’d love a copy too!
I still haven’t decided whether I’m a hoarder or a de-clutterer. My growing
pile of wool seems to say otherwise though.
That sounds like a brilliant book! I definitely have a stash, and if anyone thinks I should be ashamed or must hide it, they can fight me 😉
Sounds a good read.
Keep Calm and Crochet On UK says
Someone combined my love of reading and yarn into one – awesome! Would love a copy, thanks for the opportunity.
Sounds like a great book! I admit to having a stash but “people give me their old yarn”–that’s my story and I am sticking to it (then I donate it to a charity that seems right, if I can). Thanks for the chance to win.
Sounds like a good book. I’d love to read it. Thanks for the review and the chance to win.
G. K. Green says
I would be happy to own a copy of this book! Please consider this comment my entry for the giveaway. Thanks very much … G. K. Gredn
G. K. Green says
Autocorrect knows that my last name is spelled just like the color … Green. (Not Gredn.)
It’s my birthday this weekend, this would be a wonderful present.
Carole Nott says
looks like a great book – would love to win
Kathryn Richards says
Adding this to my library run. When I go through my stash I remember my grandma S visiting and having my mother hold her yarn while she wound and brought out the family gossip and history. Since my mom was a lip reading deaf woman it could be pretty entertaining. I was in charge of chasing dropped balls when grandmas arthritic hands got tired. I take my grandchildren to shop for yarn now. Color and texture are compared till we have a favorite. At garage sales we always look for yarn and other craft items.
Megan Hall says
If your giveaway extends to South Africa, then count me in !
Count me in! ????
Yvonne Wilkinson says
My stash is not just yarn. It is also fabric and haberdashery. I’m a serial stashed!
The Little Room of Rachell says
I love Clara’s writing, would love to win the book!
Dale Dow says
Would love to win this book, it sounds right up my street
Jane Ezell says
I loved her first book and would like to have this to read and share!
Lorraine Stone says
Sounds a wonderful book and love the subject( alot!)
Jo Smith says
yep as above x
Becky Cornes says
I would love the opportunity to read this please. Thank you for the chance. Have a lovely weekend.
K Taylor says
I can’t remember if I commented already – I’ve been lost in my stash trying to figure out Christmas knitting/crafting. The book sounds quite interesting.
So much yarn, so little time!
Natalie Crossan says
What a great little read ????
Helen Mc says
This sounds like a great read! I won’t comment on my own stash ???? ????
Paula Cheadle says
I would love to win this book, as it looks like a good read
I would love to win a copy of this book. I myself o not have a “stash”. I do however have a large collection of yarns, fine threads,patterns, books, hooks for both yarn and fine threads . I am also a keeper of traditions, tales, and skills.
Yeah, I have a huge stash; everything knitting. I’m always agreeable to increase it.
I would love this, my stash is too large(well according to my husband!)
Tammy Neal says
I love to have a stash of books
Merete Vang says
Love love yarn, and do not consider my yarn as a stash but a treasure. ☺️
I like to think I have acontrolled stash. Plenty of yarn with patterns ready to go, and useful leftover yarn for eyes and buttons and ears and belts and noses and stockings for the fun knitting. Sounds a good book to me.
Victoria Deacon says
I’d love to learn how to do this!
This book sounds amazing!
katrina adams says
This looks like a fab read. I haven’t come across many craft books like this so will add to the reading list!