Hoarding or Collecting

Our obsessions generate a lot of stuff. For me it is skeins of yarn, stacks of fabric, spools of thread, rolls of trim, jars of buttons, patterns, books, etc… Fellow crafters might call this a stash.  When I’m honest with myself, I’m not so certain. Is it a stash, is it hoarding or maybe, could it possibly be elevated to a collection?

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And exactly how do you draw the lines between any of these terms?

A stash seems simple. Having a supply on hand in case you run out. Enough yarn to make a quick gift or pair of socks on a sick day without going on a search for a “good” yarn. A stash is easy to justify and if small enough may not require a justification. I realize it is a current knitting trend to push the limits of what can be considered a stash.

Both hoarding and collecting mean acquiring more than you will likely use. Maybe hoarders imagine they will use what they obtain and collectors actually try not to. In that case, I’m somewhere in the middle.

Maybe hoarders cannot organize their loot and collectors relish the organizing and displaying. In that case, I am the latter. I love arranging my buttons, trims and fabrics almost as much as I do eventually using them.

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For the most part, I am inspired by my stuff. I love piecing together the components of a project—the trim, the buttons, the lining, the threads. Each selection propels me into a deeper trance with the project. 

But I only feel inspired when I have the time to sew or knit. When I don’t and I see all of my fabric and yarn, I just feel deprived of time--the one thing that cannot be hoarded, collected or stashed.

My Button Obsession

I have a small obsession...buttons. Small buttons. The more the better. I started collecting small buttons before eBay and Etsy were around to offer "lots" of small buttons. And as eBay and Etsy came into existence, my obsession was just further enabled. 

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What exactly is it about buttons? I like just the right amount of realistic detail on my dolls' clothes. Too much is "twee", too little is "blah". The right buttons on a doll cardigan or shoes makes it feel finished. Or if it doesn't, there is still the possibility of playing with the  color of thread used to sew the button on. Perle cotton of course.  

But buttons can turn a plain grey cardigan into classic vintage, or classic modern, or girly, or rustic. If you don't like the look, you only need to change that last step, the buttons.




Part of my button collection.

Part of my button collection.