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Franklin Habit's Destash Diary

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.


February 4. Abner was looking for the can opener today and found the sock yarn I’ve been storing in the flour canister. He asked where we keep the flour. We? When was the last time you whipped up a batch of cookies, Abner? I handed him the can opener–from the drawer it’s been kept in since the Carter administration–and told him to get out of the kitchen.

February 5. Abner was snooping again. Found the lace weight in the big roasting pan on the top shelf. So what? We only use it every fourth year when it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving. To keep the peace, relocated the lace weight to the canisters marked TEA and RICE. Wasn’t much tea or rice left anyhow.

February 6. Out all evening, volunteering at the guild’s learn-to-knit night. Terrific thank-you gift, two skeins of kid mohair/wool blend. Not sure what to do with it just yet, so it’s tucked in with the Christmas decorations in the hall closet. Abner has been nice and quiet, holed up in the den clacking away on his computer. Crisis averted? Fingers crossed.

February 7. At breakfast, Abner handed me a typed list of one hundred and thirty eight places around the house that he has found stashed yarn. He wants me to think about what I should do. I’m happy he didn’t look under the porch.

February 8. I have agreed to a strategic cull of the stash; but tonight is the cast-on party for the new knit-along at Diamondz and Purlz so I don’t have to start until tomorrow.

February 9. I won the door prize basket at the cast-on party. I told Abner since these twelve skeins came in their own container, they are self-stashing. I don’t think he’s buying it.

February 10. Off we go, as soon as I finish this sleeve.

February 11. The sleeve used up the rest of the ball of Vanna’s Choice®. So that’s -1 ball. Good start.

February 12. Two sleeves finished, two balls de-stashed. Time for a break.

February 13. Abner just found the collection of mini-skeins in the bottom of his golf bag. Gotta go.

February 14. I would like to know exactly why a person needs a golf bag in Minnesota in February? Anyhow, he’s staying with his mother in Bemidji for a week so I can go through the stash without interruptions. Sue is coming over tomorrow to help keep me on track.

February 15. Sue agreed that the best plan is to gather the yarn together in the living room so I can see what I’ve got. We did that and now we can’t find the couch or the piano or the dog.

February 16. All the yarn is in four piles: Keep, Sell, Donate, and Not Sure.

I put the leftovers from Chrissie’s layette and Brandon’s Halloween costume into the Donate pile. Eighteen balls!

Sue wants to buy everything yellow since she looks better in it than I do, so we put all the yellow in the Sell pile. (Between you and me, I think yellow makes her look like a old Marshmallow Peep; but I hate yellow anyhow.)

Everything else is in Not Sure.

February 17. Still Not Sure.

February 18. I moved five skeins of that expensive discontinued blue merino into the Sell pile, and then Sue remembered she has five skeins of it in gray at her house. That’s enough to make a sweater for me, if I stripe it.

February 19. We’re almost finished. I am going to have the nicest, neatest, most compact and sensible stash you ever saw. Sue reminded me to check the attic tomorrow just to make sure I haven’t missed anything up there.

February 20. Called Abner to tell him we found out what he’s been hiding in the attic. Sue is putting all the yarn back where it goes.

February 21. Abner is home. He has agreed that we will never speak of this again.

Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.

These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.

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  • Jeanne Berry

    February 15th. Hysterical!

  • Pam

    Ack! What's in the attic?!? I do hope it's yarn...

  • Katrina Wray

    LOVE this! I laughed till I wheezed

  • Deebee

    DH and I have a deal. I don't kvetch about the comic book collection and he ignores the yarn stash that keeps on growing

  • Ramapre

    It now dawns on me as to why I don't have much yellow in my own stash. Big Bird, maybe, but a marshmallow Peeps??? Never! Funny, funny writing. I enjoyed the story.

  • Frances

    Wonder if Abner has boxes and boxes of Magic the Gathering cards like MY husband..... :-)

  • Dee Trope

    My favorite entry is: February 15. Sue agreed that the best plan is to gather the yarn together in the living room so I can see what I’ve got. We did that and now we can’t find the couch or the piano or the dog.

  • Swapna

    What *does* he have in the attic???

  • Cheryl W

    How appropriate! Today is clean the stash day. Not as extensive, but I have my stash, my contract stach and Prayer Shawl Ministry's stash. Curious about the attic, but more so about Diamondz and Purlz. Where is it and is there a link?

  • cathy

    Interesting.......... I've been thinking, every day. about organizing my stash!

  • Janet from a crochet planet.

    This is why I do not live with my girlfriend as she would get lost in the yarn stashes. :)

  • Juli

    I like your inventive places for stash, My chocolate stash has gotten old, yuck. I think I'll replace it with yarn, as it doesn't go bad.

  • harperberesford

    "Self-stashing." I loved it!

  • Bora

    I can so Relate!!! Hahahah

  • Linda Peterson

    Now if I can just keep the cat out of the stash........

  • Janice Franklin

    I keep most of my yarn in the living room anyway as it's where I knit. I don't have a piano or a dog but maybe that's why I can't find the couch, the coffee table or the fireplace.

  • Brenda Finnegan

    When my husband complains about my yarn stash and/or my shopping at the LYS, I point to the tools in the garage and/or show him the receipts from Harbor Freight. End of discussion.

  • Ilil Arbel

    I can't stop laughing, but it is still so true... I imagine Abner stashed in the attic all his old computers since Commodore 64, boxes and boxes of VCR tapes, and a few smart phones which were not so smart after all?

  • Katherine Taylor


  • Jean

    I will not buy another skein of yarn until I use what I have. Ha! ...but... "_____" is having a sale!!! This discontinued yarn will never be found again and I must buy it now!

  • Hatlover

    My husband and I have a "don't ask --don't tell" policy. I don't ask about the political memorabilia he collects, and he doesn't ask about the yarn I stash...it works well for us.

  • Sue Atkins

    Laughed and laughed. But I want to know just what you found in the attic? I know the suspense makes Abner horribly guilty of SOMEthing!!!!

  • Analie

    Oh man, it man me laugh. And mostly at myself because it is so familiar. And I love my stash so all would end up in the not sure pile for the next few years.

  • Margaret

    I buy a lot of yarn at estate sales for pennies on the dollar. My husband usually goes with me. At one estate sale he picked up a tool to buy and I commented that he didn't need the tool as he already had a dozen of them at home. He looked me straight in the eye and verrrrrry slowly said "It's like yarn". I said no more.

  • Elaine

    I'm laughing, but it's so true. Just did a cull, still can't find my cats...

  • Maggi

    In an effort to clear some of my fabric pile, I made bags ideal for holding knitting in progress. Now it's just mountains of bags and I've no idea what's in them. When I inherited an elderly aunt's knitting yarn, I finally found the answer to the statement 'I've no idea why I can't shift my extra weight'. Carefully inserted through the middle of each ball was a bar of chocolate, hidden from my uncle. No wonder she was always knitting! Luckily for me, they were all very old but it might be good encouragement to use up the ball!