Simply put, a catastrophe is anything that causes a lot of distress of any type. Now why am I talking about this? No, nothing bad has happened to me or my family. Nothing terrible has occurred in the knitting or crocheting that can't be easily fixed.
I listen to Tv a lot as I go about my day. My favorites are knitting shows but they are in short supply right now. I love old movies and pick them by the actors. I also like a lot of DIY shows. In this category comes, not only remodeling and cooking but prepper shows and certain reality shows, such as car building and the Alaska centered.
Something that is stressed in most of these shows is having a stockpile. I couldn't help but see the connection between that and a yarn stash. From what I see in friends homes and online in various groups, very few, if any, knitters and crocheters purchase only the exact amount of yarn called for in the pattern only. We are told to get an extra ball for swatching, an extra ball if we have to lengthen the garment. We may not need that extra ball depending on the gauge we get. And so a stash begins. Then there are the skeins we might get as gifts from those who know yarn is good for presents but not in a fiber, color, or quantity we can use for anything just now.
But what is a stockpile, or stash, for really? Well, I know that my stash is there for a few reasons. 1. The yarn came in faster than I could use it. 2. The yarn on hand wasn't right for the project I was making, for a variety of reasons. Usually the color is the culprit. 3. I purchased yarn on field trips with the guilds or on vacations with my family. That yarn has special memories. 4. I was gifted yarn which I can't use but didn't want to hurt the feelings of the giver by making a fuss in a negative way. My mother did manage to teach me a few manners. 5. I foresaw a time when either money or yarn might not be there in quantities that allow me to make what I want so a skein or three needed to come home with me. I'm thinking about retirement or if one of us becomes incapacitated for a while and can't go back to the jobs we currently have. 6. The yarn called to me. Either I felt the color was extraordinary, the price was too good to pass up, or I wanted to try the yarn because it was new, I had to have it. Or the fiber is something I absolutely had to have RIGHT NOW.
I don't have the idea of some of the more pessimistic minded people that we are going to have to restart civilization. But the retirement and health issues make a stash a useful thing to have. Yes, I will admit that there is a small chance that a catastrophe will happen and I will need it. As an example, we moved 15 years ago from one side of town to the other. Our previous home saw two blizzards with huge snowfall and record cold temperature. But by happy circumstances we were never without power or stranded. The head of the road work department lived on that street. Fast forward to today and two moves made in quick succession. We have had two major accidents that cut electricity from the neighborhood at large, had flooding that prevented us from getting into town or to work three times (it never got into the house unlike those down the hill from us), been cut off from water once and another three record snowfalls.
We take the weather more seriously and plan ahead now. We don't wipe out the egg, milk, bread aisles but we do fill gas cans, keep the freezer full and check batteries for flashlights and the candles. My yarn stash was there for me during these times. It gave me ways to fill hours when there was no way out until the weather cooperated and we could get dug out.