joy of knitting

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I’ve had a mixed relationship with crafting this year. In the past I was more than happy to have many many items mid progress. It was exciting to start something fresh and new whenever the whim struck me. Now? Now I feel like I have too much in certain areas of my life. And this too much is bogging me down both mentally and spatially, which is probably why the KonMari method has sparked my interest.

As you’ve probably guessed, one of these areas is my crafting paraphernalia . Skeins of yarn, cross-stitch patterns, bundles of WIP’s that may never be completed and it’s creating a sense of duty that I don’t care for.

To alleviate this unnecessary tension I have sorted and prioritized a lot of items. Many have been given away or just plain trashed over the past few years. Even with all this I still feel like I have too much. That the crafting to do list is overwhelming and it’s taking the joy out of something that I do, well, for joy.

So what’s the solution? I put all the undone items away and selected one. One that will be a joy to work. One that the final result will bring me happiness. One that will remind me why I do these things to begin with.

For now that project is Stonecrop by Jared Flood. It’s not a particularly difficult pattern, but it has just enough to keep me interested. It’s the perfect project.

I’m about midway through the 4th pattern repeat with 8 more to go and since I’ve been averaging a little over a pattern repeat a week I should have a lovely new stole within the next few months. This is exactly what I need right now…

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Here is my Ravelry project page if you want to keep up.

the time is now

I’ve been a procrastinator for as long as I can remember and I’m doing it again today. I decided a few days ago to finally start reading, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, which I bought ages ago after seeing a lot of online discussions and interesting pics on Instagram. I’m not sure why I finally decided to read it, but when I did it resonated with me on a very deep level. I was 3/4 through the book before I knew it and I’ve spend a lot of time thinking about the deeper meaning behind it ever since. I mean, I’m assuming most of us have decluttered or organized with varying degrees of success. I know I have. Over and over and over. And I still feel like I have too much or I don’t know what to do with what I have. There are days where I’d love to chuck everything into a bonfire and start fresh, as if the finality of a cleansing fire will act as a reset button for my life.

What clicked with me was the idea of respecting and acknowledging how all of these inanimate objects we surround ourselves with make us feel. I don’t agree with her entire thought process, but at the core I do. If we only surround ourselves with things that are useful and make us feel good, why wouldn’t that expand into other areas of our lives. Certainly if we feel bad about something we acknowledge that those feelings effect how we perform at work or with our interactions with others. So why not the reverse?

So what is my purpose in doing all of this? The surface answers are the typical:

  • I want my home to feel less cluttered
  • I want to feel more organized
  • I want to feel more at ease in my home, especially when I walk in the door

When I thought deeper about what these ideas mean to me I realized that what I’m really looking for is a well kept home and by extension, life. A place where I feel relaxed and have everything under control. And that’s when the epiphany hit me. I don’t feel in control and I haven’t for quite a long time. I’ve been behaving in a reactionary way to a lot of the stimulus around me instead of stepping forward and just getting things done. I need to move forward with the things that will improve my life. Those everyday* things that will just plain make me a happier person.

Now, will sorting through every item of my clothing along with everything else I own make me a better and happier person? I don’t know, but if I don’t try I’ll never know.

 

*and some not so every day things

hidden potential, maybe

In between waiting for a load of laundry to stop spinning and before I run off to scrub the shower (cause those things don’t magically take care of themselves, apparently) I thought I would discuss a small personality flaw of mine.

magsI know, it looks like a pile of magazines, but what you’re actually looking at is a compulsive behavior. Growing up it was unicorns, stickers, and such. As an adult it’s been Barbies, Beanie Babies (embarrassing, but true), and crafting supplies which has ranged from patterns to yarn and everything in between. I’ve mostly broken out of this need to have more and more and more of something, but for some reason my current obsession seems to be these lovely glossy periodicals.

This is not all of them, but only the unread ones and this doesn’t even include my digital subscriptions… in my defense, sort of, I no longer have any physical subscriptions, but when I pass by a wall of magazines like this my heart races a little and I might break into a bit of a sweat. It’s almost like I’m gazing on a wall of potential, but we all know that’s not really how it works.

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So now I’ve placed myself on a strict moratorium of absolutely no magazines until we get packed up and move to our new place. That’s a month and half. Totally doable, but that means I have to figure out a way to buy groceries without passing this wall of temptation…

craft as clutter?

One of the things that I would like to accomplish this year is to have less. Mostly that means less clutter in my life and one of my biggest offenders is my craft stash. To that end I’ve decided to either get things done or let them go. I know this will be a slow process as I filter through everything and make decisions on whether they stay or go, but it’s a process I feel good about. It’s also a process I’ve already started by putting a few skeins of yarn up on eBay. Hopefully they’ll end up in a home where someone will enjoy them more than I am.

One of the first items I’m tackling in the “to be done pile” is this lovely piece that I’ve been working on for at least three years. I wasn’t going to mention this at all since my mom asked for this years ago and I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely if I could surprise her with it when it is finally done? But no, I need some accountability and the blog is it. Every Friday I’ll be taking a picture of it with, hopefully, much progress.

Behold the current status of Santa in the Forest. 

Santa - week 1
Santa – week 1

Next week I’d like for that brown blob in the middle to look a whole lot more bear like…

too much

I love making things. Using my hands, creating something from scratch. Over the years I’ve dabbled in cross-stitch, jewelry making, baking, and most currently knitting.

Knitting, like all the others has a tendency to ebb and flow. I may put it down for a time only to attack them later with a vengeance. Not only do I love the hands on work, but the tools and gadgets. Those are almost as much fun as the craft itself. To that end I’ve accumulated a lot of, let’s call it stash, over the years. So many things to collect and prize and swoon over. So many things that in the end become dust collectors. I know, I know. I shouldn’t say that, but for me it’s beginning to become a truth. I have too much. When I stop to really think about it, how many cross-stitch magazines does one need or how many skeins of yarn is enough or too much? For me I’m beginning to see the line, my line, and I’ve not just stepped over, but pole vaulted to the furthest reaches of my tolerance.

To that end, I’ve started to systematically work through the many drawers and shelves of stash that I’ve collected over the years. This, as in everything I do, ebbs and flows. Mostly, I’ve focused on the cross-stitch since that seems to be out of favor for me now. Easier to part with the things that aren’t so popular in this brain of mine. That doesn’t make it easy, just a bit less stressful than dealing with the thousands of yards of yarn I’ve acquired. Yarn that I’m struggling to find a use for. Yes, I realize I should knit it… but there’s just so much!

I had recently shied away from EBay due to a bad experience with an overseas buyer, but you know what? It’s really hard to find a market for your items without using some sort of outside help so EBay it is!

So off I go to sort and force myself to part with a set number of items to keep it real. Often, I have to tell myself that I’ll be parting with X number of items or it becomes a completely useless exercise in fawning over my pretties. I even have to set rules like if I can’t find a new home for said item(s) in X number of days then they are sent packing to Goodwill.

All this so that I can walk into my craft room and feel good about what’s in there. So I can feel like I have exactly what I need, no more no less. So that I can have a seat at my desk without throwing random items on the floor so that Leeloo can have a go at them. All this is so that I feel good about me.

It’s also caused me to be more thoughtful in my purchasing. Granted, I may have gone on a slight bender when Aimee came to town, but that’s the fun of having friends. I can’t be a complete stick in the mud!

So, do you have too much, too little, or is it just right? I’d love to hear what you all think about your stashes or just your stuff in general.

 

culling the herd

Good Morning! It’s a nice lazy Saturday morning at Casa de Judi and I’ve spent a good portion of it catching up on blogs, which led me to Sew Liberated‘s post from a few days ago. I <3 this room! It’s everything I want a craft room to be. Tons of light, organized, spacious, organized…

I’m sure you can sense a theme here. I need to cull the herd and do some major organizing. And I need to do it today. I need to do it today since I hate even walking into mine. Now, realistically, mine will not look like Meg’s, but you know what? That is perfectly OK. However, I want to walk into mine and feel inspired and not like I have to wade through the piles and bins to find what I’m looking for. To that end I’m setting up a destash in Ravelry. You can find me here. I only have a few items listed at the moment and I need to add at least one photo, but you get the idea. Oh, and I’m open to negotiation. Send me a note and we can talk.