If you’re reading this now, it’s quite possible that the first time you came across my blog was due to a 2007 post titled The World’s Biggest Stash?, in which I featured my mother-in-law Bonney’s sizable collection of yarn. That post, with its five photos of Bonney’s yarn, has become the go-to link on blogs and discussion boards when the topic of stash size comes up, and it still seems to be the undisputed biggest yarn stash in the world.

Since it was three and a half years ago that I blogged Bonney’s stash, I thought it was high time to check in with her and see how her stash is doing. Has it shrunk a bit, or gotten even bigger? See for yourself!

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In addition to being very game for this photo (my idea, I admit), Bonney agreed to answer a few questions about her stash.

Anna: What has changed about your stash since 2007? How much has it grown or shrunk?

Bonney: Unfortunately, it has grown a bit. Not too much, but now that there are so many online shops that carry so many different lines, it’s hard not to be tempted by all the colors and color combinations.

A: If you had to guesstimate, about how many balls of yarn would you say you have?

B: Hmmm, this is a difficult one. Let’s say a few thousand. That’s probably near the ballpark.

A: What is your most prized part of your yarn collection? Is there any yarn that you would rather keep in “mint” condition than use for a project?

B: I have some buffalo yarn that has been in my collection that will be one of the first projects I do in 2011. There’s no yarn I’ll keep mint. I love so many of my sock yarns done by Yarntini and Three Irish Girls. I can’t bear to knit them into socks because I hate the idea of them wearing out. I’d have to say no yarn is off limits.

A: Be honest: Is there any yarn in your stash that you know you’ll never use?

B: There might be, but I was surprised that I used some yarn last year for a yarn bombing that was perfect for that use. [You can see photos of Bonney’s small-town yarn graffiti here.] That yarn might never have been used, but then an opportunity for it came up. I think it’s best to never say never.

A: You said to me that your New Year’s resolution is to knit only from your stash this year. What do you plan to knit?

B: I’m planning on making lots of small shawls to use the beautiful sock yarns and lots of mittens to use all the Cascade solids. I also have some Cascade Superwash to make baby blankets. They are so much fun to try new patterns with. I like having a portable project and tend to get bored with knitting that goes on for too long.

A: Are you hoping to reduce your stash in the long term, or are you just looking to save money on buying yarn this year?

B: My main focus is to reduce the stash. I also have a lot of fabric that needs some attention. It was all purchased because I loved it and I want to take the time now to enjoy it.

A: What started the whole thing? Do you remember your first major yarn purchase?

B: Most of my yarn purchases used to be from big box stores, until one day I stepped into a boutique yarn store for the first time. It was heavenly, and I acquired the first of my stash. I went home and donated four huge bags of yarn that I had from the other stores to the retirement home in the next town. I was hooked on shopping at the specialty stores!

A: Is there any type of yarn that you feel is missing from your stash and you wish you had?

B: I don’t think there’s anything I’m missing.

A: What is your favorite kind of yarn? Is there some material, color, or brand that is simply irresistible to you?

B: My favorite yarn is sock yarn, mostly because the colors are so beautiful. Combinations I would never think of combining are hard to resist.

A: You know that some people who see pictures of your stash think you must have a problem. What do you say to those people?

B: I think people are entitled to their opinion. I’m not too interested in what people say. I’m not hurting anyone and I love to knit for charity. I’ll be knitting some helmet liners for the military this year and some of the blogs I read have causes they knit for. I like to participate in those. Lastly, it’s my hobby!

Thank you so much for sharing your stash with me, Bonney, in more ways than one!

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