Monday, June 11, 2007

Stash Or Nest Egg?


Many compulsive knitters get to the point where their yarn stash, or their knitting book library, or their tools and equipment are worth a significant amount of money.

Where Will It Go When I Die?
I have a huge library of knitting books, including valuable ones, such as many vintage pattern books from the early 1900's, early Rowan books, a number of Alice Starmore books, and, of course, Principles of Knitting.

I also own closets full of yarn. Again, lots of Rowan yarns, multiple sweater's worth of fine wool and cones and cones of various yarns.

Included among my stash of knitting tools, I have more Addi Turbos than I can count, lots of fine wooden needles, crystal stitch markers, an original pink Chibi (just a joke), a couple of umbrella swifts, yarn winders and tons of other standard tools, like needle gauges, measuring tapes, darning needles, scissors, etc., etc., etc.

If I add in three flat bed knitting machines, an antique circular sock knitting machine with ribber attachment and stand, as well as my two spinning wheels and all my spinning stash, I honestly wouldn't be able to even estimate what all this stuff is worth...neither to me as its current owner, nor to potential new owners if it were to be sold.

I'm thinking that Fredda at the Knitting Vault, or some other knitting business should try to come up with some clearing house to help surviving knitter-widow(er)s to properly sell their knit-belongings when they're gone (or before they'r gone if they decide they'd like to get rid of it).

Current Knitting
I've been knitting two things this past weekend, using the same stitch pattern, neither of which I can really discuss on the blog because of what they're being used to make, and for whom they are being made.

Here's a closeup of the stitch pattern for each project.





It never ceases to amaze me how different the same stitch pattern can look using different needles and different types of yarns.

Adding To My Nest Egg
A recent visit to the local flea market allowed me to increase my vintage knitting pattern library (actually, knitting crocheting and tatting library) with almost 40 new booklets.



For a mere $10, I was able to pick up booklets from 1914 through 1930.

With my recent interaction with the German woman who tatted, and some of these booklets, I'm considering teaching myself to tat.

13 comments:

Ria said...

You must live near the best flea market in the world. Seriously. At the weekly flea market in my city, the closest things I can possibly find to fibre arts are bags of fat quarters for quilting, and maybe a few crocheted afghans that someone is trying to sell. I'd be on top of the world if I could find yarn, needles, or booklets of patterns! Sometimes I get lucky visiting thrift stores, but not very often.

Kathy Merrick said...

Yikes, Joe, tatting?
Well, at least you'll be in with the Lace Curtains and not the Bog.
The mother of one of my least-favorite sisters-in-law always used to say, "Crocheting? That's for the servants."

Mel said...

Or you could just leave it all to me. :-D

deidra said...

Have you heard of kbbspin.org? It would be perfect for those knitter/spinner/weaver widow or widowers to clear the home. Then again, it's pretty dangerous to look thru the ads on the website. You might find yourself simply adding to the collection.

Marilyn said...

For books, I highly recommend LibraryThing.com. I have almost all of my books up there--it's easy and accessible. My kids know exactly what my stuff is worth, all of it. If you're good with Access, you could set up a simple database and enter all your other equipment in there. Or you could be really nice to me and I'd do it for you.

As far as tatting goes, that's one thing I never learned, the only needlework/fiber skill I've never tried. The latest issue of Piecework has an excellent article on how to tat, with very good illustrations. I'm going to use that.

Marilyn said...

Oh wait. I lie. I've never used a Weavette. Nor am I likely to so do.

Fredda said...

Well, I am going to make changes to the site over the next few months...another thing to consider!

tallguy403 said...

This is a subject that has bothered me for many years, when I was seeing long-time weavers die and the family didn't know what to do with all of their equipment and stash. Sometimes, the equipment was just trashed since they had no idea what value it had to anyone else. That is what happened to my grandmothers loom. That's another story.

So I urged all fibre artists to prepare an inventory of all their craft belongings: books, equipment, fibre, etc. I know that I have no idea what I really have, or what it's all worth. Do we really want to know? And if only for insurance purposes, this is something we need to do. This would also really help the survivors deal with all, when they also have other issues to deal with -- now that you aren't around any longer.

In your inventory, list the item, where it came from, a complete description, the value, and what you want done with it -- whether donated, sold, or given to anyone in particular. This goes with all of your inventory, everything. I know I have amassed a very valuable library, as well some rare tools, and many 'no longer produced' fibres. I could be worth a fortune!

I've been assisting a woman dispose of her husband's weaving inventory, and even with him keeping excellent records, it is not an easy job. Don't let someone you love struggle through it. Do you part now.

Anonymous said...

I missed the chance of a lifetime 5 years ago when my aunt died. She had knitted for many years. At that time I didn't knit and never thought I'd want to learn. My uncle offered me several large boxes full of knitting supplies not once but several times. "Are you sure you don't want it?" he asked, "She spent a lot of money on some of the yarn." No, I said politely, I don't have time to learn to knit. That was when I still had a child at home. When I became an empty-nester, I suddenly had all kinds of time on my hands. I learned to knit at a local yarn shop, and became as hooked as my aunt had been. I tried not to think too much about the boxes of yarn and needles my uncle had finally given to Goodwill.

Karen said...

There is a group of ladies(3) that act as a eBay consignment shop for those that want to reduce their stash or LYS that want to reduce inventory. I have also seen 'estate sales' on their site. They can be found at www.stitchinpeace.com.

Anonymous said...

I too wish I could find a flea market like the one Joe went to. I go to a lot of garage sales but have never found any knitting books. Once I found some yarn at a thrift store, but it had been sitting around so long that it was frayed and smelled musty, so I didn't buy it.

Anonymous said...

When my Mom passed away last year, she left a lot of yarn (mostly acrylic type) that I did not want to keep, as well as quite a few unfinished projects. I found an advert. in our local paper (in Canada) that said they would take yarn for charity knitting. When I called, they said they would also take unfinished projects. One phone call and a week later, all of the yarn and unfinished projects were gone and on their way to a good cause.

Jeanne said...

Let me know if you need tatting assistance - I know of lots of good online tatting resources, and several yahoo groups - all friendly, interested and interesting caring people. We don't want tatting to die out, and the internet has helped it to spread.

And I recently picked up a large amount of tatting thread, books, and shuttles from a woman who is a member of the tatting guild. She moved into a nursing home, and couldn't take it all with her.