Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

06 January 2007

Reflections and Digressions on a Year of Stash Dieting

I often seem to get into things just ahead of a trend, or at least at the point of the arrowhead. When I started using rubber stamps, the only place I could get them was mail order catalogs. When I started to tat, there was one store where I could find real "tatting" thread. When I started frame knitting, the Knifty Knitters had not yet turned up in the local stores.

Maybe I need one of those think tanks to monitor me and see what is going to turn popular next.

I already know I'm a dog magnet. If the bathroom door is closed and both dogs are lying outside of it, my husband knows exactly where I am.

And both my husband and I are "traffic magnets", meaning if there is an empty store parking lot when we pull in, by the time we pull out, six cars have entered the lot. I used to think it was good timing. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should market it as a service.

Last year I started my stash diet meaning to turn some of the rosy pictures that danced in my head as I fondled yarn or thread into actual, real, physical objects. Most of those objects turned out to be socks, although I did get a couple of good knitted doilies in there, and a felted bag that I like a lot better than the ugly weaving the yarn started out to be.

I've really enjoyed the sensitivity I've gained towards my "gatherer" instinct. There is a deep satisfaction that comes with acquiring useful things, whether I am out picking blackberries, mosquito bites and bramble scratches and all, or stumbling across a cache of old knitting needles at a thrift store.

The problem, or maybe I should say the discomfort, comes when all I do is gather, and don't use. I don't believe in acquiring stuff as "dragon treasure". (Dragon treasure is the gigantic heap of stuff that dragons pile up, and then sleep on. They don't get any use out of the gilded armor or crowns or cups except as a glittery, lumpy bed.)

When I have stuff, and don't use it, even though I'm not sleeping on it, it turns into dragon-treasure lumps. Whether I keep an exact inventory or not, I know it's there. I know I'm not using it. Goodwill, my local Freecyle (tm) group, and the Salvation Army store often benefit when those things get too "lumpy".

I'm not sure I want to end my stash diet for fear I'll lose this sensitivity to when my stash is getting full of dragon-treasure lumps, gathered but not used. In fact, I'm even thinking of extending it to other things.



Anonymous Holly Burnham said...

My grandmother put a shuttle in my hand and wanted to teach me to tat...I made a face and said, "no thanks." I have regreted that for over 50 years. I still have not learned.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

Well the universe is really telling me something. nearly every blog I have read today is going on about stash dieting. It's the new thing, but you obviously are ahead of the game, Alwen. Good for you.

11:32 PM  

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