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All Treats, No Tricks this Halloween

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Over the summer, John and I had many discussions about our things owning us rather than us owning our things.  I'm not sure why, but we both tend to descend into pack rat mode without much provocation.  Sometimes I think it's because we both grew up having to earn everything we got, so when we attach value to something, it's hard to just let it go without knowing that we'll get some of it's value back (John) or that someone will get some use out of it's remaining value (me).  Since Ms. Z became a part of our lives, the time we had to find ways to sell off old stuff, use it or give it away seems to have disappeared, so much has accumulated.  We've been giving our things a good hard look and trying to put together a plan to get rid of some of it so that it will be easier to do some minor remodeling in the spring.

My big (self-assigned) task is to examine my craft supplies and try to be honest about what I'm really using and what I am holding onto for either sentimental reasons.  Craft supplies, of course, includes yarn.  Don't get me wrong, I love my yarn and it's a constant source of inspiration, but I'm only willing to give up so much of my home to yarn, especially if I'm just looking at it and not knitting, crocheting, weaving or doing some other kind of crafting with it. 

So I made a some decisions/resolutions for the fall:

  1. To create a list of all my unfinished projects and to make a commitment to completing these projects before acquiring new yarn or material to start new ones.
  2. To limit my stash expansion to yarn that will be used immediately, might truly never be found again or is a special souvenir from a trip
  3. To shop the stash whenever possible, and to consider designing my own garments or modifying existing patterns to use stash yarn.
All in all, I've been pretty good since September about limiting stash expansion.  I've stepped back from some of the yarn and fiber subscriptions that I would love to continue.  I've started all my recent sock projects from stash yarn.  And I've created a "To Do" list for all my current projects, prioritized them, and have made a mental commitment to getting to the point where I only have a few projects going at any one time.  As much as I like to start things, I find that having too many projects in process sometimes makes it hard for me to get anything done because I just flip flop aimlessly between them. 

That said, it hasn't been a stash expansion-free Fall so far.  I had a couple of "clubs" that just wrapped up, and I allowed myself to remember our trip to NYC with some fiber souvenirs. 

20101107_SweetGeorgiaFiberC.jpgThese are the September and October installments from my Sweet Georgia fiber club sub.  The September fiber (in the back) is washable Blue Faced Leicester in the colorway "Heavy Traffic".  The October fiber (in the front) is called Panda (a blend of superwash merino, bamboo and nylon) in the colorway "Brocade".  The Panda is stunning both in hand and in color and I can't wait to try spinning sock yarn out of it.

20101107_TractorCormo.jpgThis lovely bundle is 1800 yards of worsted weight 100% cormo yarn in the colorway "Tractor" from my Juniper Moon Farms CSA share.  It just arrived on Friday.  I don't have any immediate plans for it, but I am mulling the idea of Momma and Daughter sweaters since 1800 yards should be enough for an adult woman's and child's sweater.  The farm blog for Juniper Moon is one of my regular reads.  I really love hearing about what goes on with Susan Gibbs and her farm, and feel like it was a privilege to be able to help support the farm by purchasing my share this year.  I hope to do it again in the future sometime.

20101107_KoiguMori.jpg It would have been easy to spend my whole trip to New York City trolling yarn stores, but decided to limit my stop to just two.  The first was Purl Soho.  It's more than a little amazing how much color in yarn, thread, felt and fabric is packed into that little store.  They had a large selection of Koigu Mori (a silk blend KPPPM) on 40% off sale, so I decided that I would finally make the Chevron Scarf out of Joelle Hoverson's (the store's founder) Last-Minute Knitted Gifts using these bright, happy colors.  I love silk-blend yarns and there's really not enough orange in my wardrobe, so these yarns will definitely be inspiration for clearing out some of my current projects so that I can get started.

20101107_HabuTexturedYarns.jpgMy second (and final) fiber destination in NYC was Habu Textiles.  The "showroom" is a surprisingly small room tucked away in a high rise in the garment district (at least I think that is where it is... forgive me if I've bungled the geography).  I could have spent a great deal of time here, and significantly more money than I did, but I decided to stay away from their pre-packaged kits and design a simple woven scarf kit of my own from their mill ends collections.  I loved rummaging through the three large baskets on the floor that contained random collections of different types of Habu yarns.  After picking two bags that I thought had a lot of different textures, but had compatible color palettes (and reminded me of fall colors in NYC) for the weft of the scarf, I selected the cone of silk yarn in the middle to be the weft.  I planned for a plain weave scarf about 8" wide by 60" long with a sett of 14 - 18 epi.  The weft yarns will be used randomly as my mood takes me. 

All of these lovelies will be waiting until I start to complete some of the 20 or so projects on my to do list... I've decided to try to keep myself to one weaving, quilting and spinning project at a time.

 



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