Showing posts with label stash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stash. Show all posts

May 26, 2014

Excess, etc...

It may come as no surprise to you that America is a land of excess. 

Almost 20 years ago, when I returned home after an extended time in Ukraine, I remember gawking at a grocery store aisle full of butter. My friend and I counted 50 varieties. I'm pretty sure salted butter hadn't even made it's way to Ukraine that year, so suddenly having 49 other options proved more than overwhelming.

We walked out of the store without any butter, slightly dizzy. 

Grocery stores are not the only places that make me dizzy. I've mentioned before my need to declutter craft supplies.

This week, I dove into the scrapbook heap, determined to catch up on a backlog of ideas and photos. (A friend of mine referred to it as 'nesting'... yes... that must be it!) Whenever I had a spare moment, I'd sit on the floor and craft away.

I had quite a successful week. 

However, when it was all said and done, and I finally got around to cleaning up the mess (I desperately needed to vacuum), I went through the stuff that I had and got rid of a bunch of it. (No dear reader, I didn't throw out perfectly good craft stuff... I'll donate it to a thrift store.) 

While I was crafting I realized that having too much to choose from sometimes stumped my own creativity. Or I couldn't find what I was looking for, because frankly, the pile of paper was too BIG

The Sailor has a thing for excess. He never minds me shopping or buying things... as long as it's not in excess. You can imagine then that he occasionally found my craft stash overwhelming. Happily, I've decluttered a LOT of it, especially the yarn

I often hear stories about people stashing their yarn in closets, under the sofa, in between the sofa cushions -- you get the picture. While I admire their tenacity at storing the stuff, I sometimes wonder how can they remember what they have? And doesn't there come a point where they don't want to use any of what they have (because they have too many choices!) and they end up buying even more? 

A lot of this applies to every day life as well... buying too many clothes can mean you can't make a decision on what to wear because you have too many choices. Buying too much food at one time means that some of it eventually spoils before you can eat it. Even taking out too many library books at one time and then only reading half of one before they are all due is living in excess. (I'm totally guilty of that latter one!)

One of the most amazing pieces of art I've ever seen in my life was by a little girl from Belorussia. She created an incredible scene with a horse, using only twigs and bark and things found in nature. All the gel pens in the world couldn't have come up with something so neat. Seeing that picture made me reassess my own excess.

Did I finish EVERYTHING I wanted to scrapbook? Um, no. But the next time I pull out the supplies, you can bet that I'll have less to choose from... and I'm pretty sure I'll be more creative and efficient as a result. 

May 4, 2014

Weekend WIPs

I seriously can't remember the last time I actually bought yarn (!) That doesn't mean I haven't been crocheting or knitting though. I'm just really trying to use up my stash before I purchase more -- and I'm trying to be more purposeful about buying yarn for a specific project, rather than stocking up willy-nilly just because some yarn is on sale.

A few days ago, Lion Brand posted this article about yarn organization on their blog. The headline started out with something about 'Too Much Yarn...' When they posted the story on Facebook, I read through the multitude of comments it elicited -- most of which said you can never have too much yarn. 

While I can jokingly agree (I mean, I'd hate to see the day that I have NO project to work on because I'm completely out of yarn...) I also believe that stashing the stuff can be to your detriment on occasion. 

For instance, this weekend, I found three nearly complete skeins of Bernat Cottontots -- all in different colors -- in my stash. I had purchased the yarn at a clearance sale and then made this blanket. I also used up some of the pink and green for this Princess and the Pea dress.

I scrambled through patterns and looked on Ravelry for ideas on using up the remainder of the skeins, thinking that I would just go and buy some more and make a striped blanket or something. Then I discovered that this yarn is now discontinued. 

Just great. I made that blanket three years ago. Had I really been hording those leftover balls of yarn for that long?!

I'm also pretty sure I have some yarn in the basket that I've been storing since I re-learned how to crochet nearly 5 years ago. It's definitely time to do something with those leftovers. 

So I'm still making dishcloths and washcloths and even baby cloths. Even if I don't use these myself, I'm going to keep a stash of them as gifts for people. Just the other week, the Sailor and I had a BBQ with some new friends and when I next saw them, I gave them a thank you note for their hospitality and two dishcloths tied with ribbon. The lady was thrilled!

I've also been using up a bunch of other cotton yarn to make some teethers for the Peanut. Something tells me the next three months are going to fly by... and then this baby will start teething before I know it. These would also make great last minute baby shower gifts or even just a token gift with a card for a new mom-to-be. Pattern available here

Finally, I purchased way too much yarn for this bulky blanket. (Remember, it started out as  shrug #1 then shrug #2...)  So this weekend, I started making a basket. You know, to store more yarn. Or those teethers. Or maybe these little squishies I'll eventually make for the Peanut as well. 

All in all, it's been a good weekend for stash busting with the current Works-in-Progress. When the stash is under control, I have some scrumptious sock yarn that I plan to use for a gorgeous two-toned shawl, as a reward for my efforts, if you will. But first, I have more dishcloths to make.