The Boulder Flood

My latest attempt at humor inspired by the apocalyptic conditions that surround me...

My home town is currently besieged by biblical floods. For some reason, public officials, FEMA, emergency responders and the military have all been oddly quiet in one respect- just how a knitter should deal with this crisis. In the absence of more expert advice, I will take it upon myself to offer up some guidance to knitters who may find themselves in the midst of catastrophe.

As in most things, the best offense is a good defense. Before calamity strikes, prepare a disaster plan. Begin by evaluating your stash. How many bags would it fill? Purchase enough trash bags or vacuum pack bags to meet the need. It is not a bad idea to double that number to allow for future stash growth. Place them near the stash so you can pack your fibery friends quickly if the need arises.

Next, take inventory of your various tools. If you are simply a knitter, you may be fortunate enough to be able to put all of your needles and notions in a shoe box. If you've been sucked down the rabbit hole a bit further, you may have everything from pots for dying to a spinning wheel or three to consider. Imagine all of your tools and your yarn in one place. Will it fit in your car? If not, purchase a truck, again allowing for future growth of the stash. Although some neighbors might find a 26 foot box truck in the driveway unpleasant, assure them that it is a necessity. Your yarn must take priority. Plus, it acts as a great place to hide yarn from your partner if they're finding the stash a little outlandish.

On a day off, practice packing your stash. Do it quickly, as if under pressure of impending doom. Get it on the truck. If the process takes more than 30-45 minutes, figure out how to make it faster. Are there neighbors that can be brought to the task? If not, you may want to hire someone to live in the house just in case they are needed.

Be sure you have various escape routes mapped out in case a road is impassible. Natural disasters have a way of blocking off roads. For worst case scenarios, know where the high ground is. You may have to ride out the disaster as an island, praying to all that is wool for its protection.

I've been asked why I haven't accounted for other personal belongings in the above considerations. For some reason, FEMA doesn't seem to think yarn is particularly important. I am sure there are some conscientious legislators working on this problem as we speak, but until then, yarn must take priority. FEMA will happily purchase a bed or two, but they will never replace your stash.

Pets and family have their own survival instinct. Your yarn does not. Plus, if you've chosen well, your family will understand your (slightly neurotic) need to protect your fiber. They will take care of the rest.

If, for some reason, you find yourself unprepared for a disaster, do not be afraid to ask for help. As you frantically knock on neighbors' doors begging assistance, avoid mentioning that it is to rescue your yarn. Some people just don't understand. Instead, say something like "Please! My precious is trapped in the living room and can't move!" Although you are obviously referring to your stash, they will probably assume that your precious is a beloved cat. By the time they realize it's just a bunch of yarn, they'll be caught up in the momentum of it and will probably help out anyway.

Disasters will happen. Be prepared. If you are not prepared now, today is the time. You and your yarn will be grateful someday when it pays off.


Bill's picture

I have just this weekend been dealing with a similar emergency. My son flew into town to help me move some things like an old TV and cabinet, and stuff.
I had to clear mountains of yarn. I was filling clear plastic comforter storage bags...I wanted something I could see into...(trash bags are opaque, and I wouldn't be able to find things later.)
I now realize I have several lifetimes worth of yarn, much of it I've outgrown in terms of taste and interest.
Individual project amounts are in clear zippered sweater storage bags.
A lot is in huge, clear, plastic tubs...sorted by colour.
I now have to sort again, and give or throw away a huge amount of yarn.

Tallguy's picture

I too have a mountain range of yarn that I will never get to use in this or the next lifetime (I plan to come back, you see). I think there may be a few other knitters out there that come close to the size of my "collection".

Perhaps it may be time for us to consider a yarn swap! You know, my junk is your treasure? We could all pack up a set amount of yarn and send it off to someone else, who also packs up an amount and sends it on. This won't eliminate the amount we have, but maybe we will get something we will use!

Well, they say yarn (wool) is good for insulation, so we could pack it up against all our outside walls. Gotta do something with it all.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very cute. And a great way to let us know that you are okay. Take care.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Tallguy's picture

I was just thinking today about the horrendous floods you people are having in Boulder. What weird weather we are having!! It's been a very tumultous year so far. And just this week, Mexico is being hit from both sides.

You may have heard of the floods we had here at the end of June. About 100,00 people had to be evacuated. Many homes were completely destroyed, some can be salvaged. Some people are still not back home.

I didn't have any problems, although the flood did reach a few blocks away. Many buildings near me were without power for several days, but I was okay. The streets were strangely quiet -- like a long weekend in summer. I went to work every day, and tried to carry on as usual. Many offices were closed for over a week in the downtown core. Very odd situation.

But in some way, we find ways to cope. For some of us, that would include knitting. At least, it helps to keep the nerves under control for me.

My sympathies for all of you that are suffering through this terrible period of time. Hang in there... it will resolve itself in some way. Keep knitting.