Summer is coming, the sun is shining and all the womens' magazines have published their how-to-get-a-perfect-body-in-one-week diets for the 2008/2009 festive season.
Now, I've never actually been on a diet (eating sensibly, yes - restricting myself to carrots and lettuce for weeks on end, no), but this summer, for the first time, the D-word has raised its ugly head.
I've gone on a stash diet.
Yep, a stash diet.
Why? Well, it's all my father's fault. As I may have mentioned, I'm knitting him a jumper (in a really lovely Jo Sharp Aran Tweed, but that's another story). Yesterday, I was knitting away at the front neck and I realised that the ball I was working from was nearly finished. No worries, I thought, there are six more balls in my stash, I will go and grab them now while I'm thinking of it. So I hopped up on a chair and began to search through my stash shelf.
The next day, I got a ladder so that I could reach the back of the stash shelf. That was where I eventually found the six balls of Aran Tweed, concealed behind the skeins of interesting handspun that I've picked up but never decided on a project for, the yarns I picked up in the UK so I'd have something to occupy myself on the flight home, the wool that I bought at the Spotlight sale five years ago and the other wool I bought at Clegs the year before last - not to mention the half-finished shawl in Rowan Big Wool Twist (discontinued yarn - can't get enough to finish the shawl, and can't decide on another project to use it up), the almost finished crochet project (another discontinued Rowan yarn, same story!) and a vest that I made up almost six years ago to use up some yarn that looks like a brick and has all the softness of a slab of concrete.
And it was there, balanced precariously on a ladder with six full bags of wool in each hand, trying to grab the little bag of Aran Tweed, that I realised - I need a stash diet. I need to knit up the Jo Sharp summer tops while I can still remember which pattern goes with which yarn. I need to get stuck into the Shadow Tweed jumper so that it's ready for next autumn, and I need to find someone who can wear pale grey and knit up the pale grey Inca yarn into a garment for them. I need to make a concerted raid on the internet and find patterns for 100g skeins of wool and do something with the interesting handspuns. If I hate it, I'll pull it out and redo it, or give it away. If I love it, great! I'll knit another one... but NOT until I have reduced my stash down to four projects...