When it comes to crafty behaviours, it seems as though it’s compulsory to have a stash if you’re going to take the endeavour seriously.  No matter what your crafting poison, it can feel as though you’re not doing it right if you aren’t acquiring a stockpile of your required crafting materials that will see you through any standard zombie apocalypse.  Blogs abound on the topics of adding to your stash, busting your stash and stashing your stash out of sight so people will stop asking you pesky questions about it.  At its worst, you may find yourself reading blogs with titles along the lines of I Haven’t Seen my Cat in a Week!: How to Tell When Your Stash is out of Control.

The thing is, I thought I was completely immune to this stashing behaviour.  When I first got back in to knitting, I tried my best to acquire the requisite wardrobe full of wool, but met with abject failure.  I even went to Spotlight when they held a ‘50% off wool’ sale and barely managed to come home with ten balls of blue wool.  Two different colours of blue wool, I might add, which is pretty much useless unless I’m planning to make a whole bunch of beanies.

When I got back in to sewing, the same thing happened.

The problem is that logic likes to get in the way.  I might find some lovely wool or some fabric with a ridiculous pattern and a little voice in my head will tempt me to buy it… at which point, a much more sensible voice steps forward, adjusts its glasses and then suggests there’s no point buying anything if I don’t have a project in mind because I don’t know how much of either material I’ll need.

Thus, no stash emerges.  The closest I get to a stash is buying a whole bunch of wool for future projects.

“But wait!” you may be saying.  “Back there, you implied that you weren’t immune to this stashing business after all!”  And you are quite correct to have picked up on this.  The thing is, I don’t stash material; I stash patterns.  It started with knitting patterns, of which I now have so many that I’ve lost count.  No op shop is safe from my questing ways, especially now I’ve added sewing patterns to my pattern hunting adventures.  I make notes on my phone of patterns I’d like to buy. I can spot an uncut pattern from… well, not that far, actually.  Arm’s reach, perhaps?  The thing is, I can spot it and then I can buy it.

I love social history, thus I love old patterns.  I love the idea of wearing something from past and knowing that it’s absolutely authentic because I followed the pattern to the letter.  It’s even handier when companies re-release retro designs with modern sizing, because that gives me a whole new range of patterns to covet.

Such as this one.

Retro Bow Blouse

ARGH.  I love it.  The poor thing arrived today, literally folded in half and shoved in my letterbox (witness the crumpling on the packaging).  Physically, it came from Queensland but in a more fanciful way, it came straight from the 1960s and I am so excited to be adding it to my own stash.  That bow blouse!  I can’t wait to make it.

First, however, I need to find a place to store the pattern and the dozens of others I’ve already collected.  Perhaps I actually need two libraries in my dream house: one for our books and one for my collection of vintage knitting and sewing patterns.  That’s not unreasonable, is it?

Tell me about your stashes, secret or otherwise.  What’s the one thing you’d buy instead of food, if you had to make the choice?

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