stash sickness

I have been struck down for the last week with the most painful cold, my sinuses keep making me wish my nose would fall off so it didn’t hurt. I also have another, more expensive, illness. Stash sickness. It’s a chronic, incurable disease characterised at it’s worst by sneaking in some or all of your purchase to hide it from your spouse, constantly telling yourself that you need that fabric/thread/yarn/etc for a bag/skirt/jersey/blanket/etc that you will definitely make really soon. In milder cases you can still find yourself destashing by giveaways, gifts, donations or sales to make way for more. Once you get to the worse stages you are more likely to find you cannot bare to part with anything just in case.

It’s not so bad at the start, you may not even notice it developing. When my illness started I only had one small tub of fabric, a few threads and scissors that fitted in one (ONE!!) drawer and a sewing machine – from my gran, not bought. Well since then it’s….oh it’s much. much worse now. My fabric stash grew to one large tub. Then two. Fabric became obedient to me and would follow me home with the mere flick of my bank card. My fabric roams free on the shelf now, free range style.

Fabric stash

Then I became struck down with the worst possible symptom: working in a craft store. The job itself sucked and made me sick. But the frequent sales, staff discount and regular income….bad combo for a stash sickness sufferer. Fabric followed me home, stuffing, floss, beads, buttons, ribbons and anything else that looked pretty. That job only lasted a little while, thank goodness. It did however pad out my stash to epic proportions. Then there’s the other very very bad thing for a stash sickness – the enabler. When my mother found out I was starting embroidery she gave me her cross stitch stash. Bags and bags of floss. I spent hours winding it all on to bobbins. And selling the extras – which helped my stash grow.

Floss stash

At that point it’s just easier to accept the fact that you will never get over this sickness and find ways to live with it as it worsens. Things to avoid:

Learning new hobbies:


Crochet scarf

Which leads to a new stash – because floss and fabric just aren’t enough. Obviously.

A new stash

Empty space is to be avoided at all time. It will be filled. Craft store sales…oh nonono. Relatives are to be avoided, particularly elderly ones who are looking to pass on their stash. Before you know it you’ll be storing it all in shelving units as tall as you are (I’ll spare you the horror of that sight) and of course that doesn’t include the stuffing. Wool and polyfill. And the sewing threads. Scrap bag. Dowels of various lengths and sizes. Assorted WIPs that are scattered around the house which has the bonus of making my WIP pile look smaller. Don’t catch crafty, people. DON’T DO IT! Your resistance to stash sickness will be nil, zero, silch. And there is no cure. Consider yourself warned.



Filed under making stuff

8 responses to “stash sickness

  1. glendasikes

    Sorry about your cold 😦 — no fun, at all.

    Hehe, I can relate to the stash sickness. Fortunately, when we started doing over our kitchen earlier this summer, reducing storage space (much of my crafting stash was stored in the huge pantry we used to have in there) forced me to get brutal about what we had room for me to keep. I still have a little too much fabric, but I haven’t bought any in a long time and I’m slowly using / getting rid of what I do have. I did pick up a new craft recently (scrabble tile jewelry), but the supplies for it are small and easy to store. I would love to try crocheting or knitting, but it’s sooooo hot here right now that the idea of touching yarn makes my hands sweat — if I ever do take up either of those hobbies, I will have to get rid of my fabric stash to make room for yarn. Hah, if I left any of my crafting stuff within our dogs’ mouth reach, it will be eaten — your cat doesn’t mess with your yarn???

    Beautiful scarf you have going there, by the way :).


  2. Hope you are feeling better soon…….at least your stash sickness makes a beautiful display of colour. xx

  3. bookwormbethie

    you are so funny, what a great blog entry.

    don’t think of it as a sickness, think of it as being very prepared and having everything on hand for when the next inspiration/project calls!

    the idea of learning to crochet tempts me, but i have been very good at not even trying to learn how and completely ignoring the yarn section at the store. heck i started buying fabric before i had a sewing machine so i have to try really hard to snub the yarn section at the store lest i start brining home yarn for a hobby i don’t even know how to do yet!

  4. eva

    thanks for warning!
    I’m not “sick” yet, but there are some very clear symptoms, I should take seriously. Or maybe I’m in denial here? who knows….
    I’m still turning green every time I see your embroidery box. Please, don’t ever ask me to come over and have a look!

  5. your floss collection makes the OCD storage-geek inside of me wriggle with joy. i *want* one. organised by shade and tone and colourwheel and oh my… i knew i should never have started cross-stitch, the yarn (and fabric…) already takes over half my room! the crafts i’ll own up to, though. just don’t ask where i’m stashing my shoe collection. *shifty eyes*

  6. L Hume

    Stash sickness! It creeps on little cats paws. Unfortunately by the time the symptoms appear….it is to late! I have way to much material/fabric (my own quilting habit is to blame) and three full collections of embroidery thread plus tons of extra skeins. I inherited my Mother’s, my Mother-n-law’s and my Sister-n-law’s. With that much….it had to be organized or I would never find anything.

  7. hmm, I think I have that sickness too. I just found a photo of my sewing area from this time last year, I’m thinking of posting a before and after – it’s quite shocking. We have a very small house and I’m seriously running out of spaces to squeeze fabric into.

  8. Oh, girl. I feel you. Most of my fabric stash still from fabric store stint in 1997-98. Ugh!

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