Monday, December 7, 2009

Caught, Bagged and Tagged

After being trapped in my home for an entire week during the holidays, I decided to organize my craft supplies. This meant embarking on a project I have had in the back of my mind for quite some time.

Several huge sales a few years ago prompted me to purchase enough yarn to make a bunch of sweaters. The fiber was dropped into the recesses of deep stash, never to resurface. Needing to simplify my life, I went through everything last May and got rid of any materials that would never realistically be used. This purge was intended only for the acrylic yarn gifted by well-meaning friends and family. Recently, I turned a critical eye on the rest.

First, I located the boxes of 1 and 2.5 gallon Ziploc storage bags from the last stash overhaul. The smaller bags were designated for tiny projects like scarves, hats, toys and gloves. Larger bags held a sweater’s-worth of yarn. This was the primary focus. I managed to assign patterns to almost every big batch of fiber from the same dye lot. I wrote project information on large note cards. Each card had the name of the project, approximate number of skeins needed, intended size, gauge, list of notions/tools and miscellaneous notes. (Will I need to download errata? Have other bloggers complained about the garment stretching after blocking? Does the designer typically write clear instructions?) We know the drill.

When I managed to track down all of the patterns and transcribe the necessary information, the note cards were placed in bags with the yarn. All of these bags were then put in their own clear plastic storage tub, away from the other tubs containing unassigned skeins. The photo was taken partially through the process and doesn’t show the end result. My yarn collection is quite scary and I am not entirely sure it’s a good idea to expose the entire mess to the world.

When I had a roommate last year, yarn was sneaked into the house surreptitiously at odd hours when she was not present. Even though I didn’t go overboard with purchasing, the addition of any new materials would have sparked a discussion where she would be confused but accepting and I would simply be ashamed. Assigning projects will help me work my way through the rest of the stash and prevent potential yarn binges. If I feel like making a sweater, there are at least a dozen options waiting for me. An accessory? Right there in the tub containing single skeins of yarn. Love the new system so far and hope it continues to work the way I intended.

My knitting life has been revitalized as well. Searching through boxes, I have located most of my UFOs and can finally work on finishing everything. Single socks are bagged with their needles and sweater pieces have been located and stored in the same place. Huzzah!

Speaking of knitting, the Damson shawl has been ripped back and re-knit, only to discover a huge mistake about ten rows back. I will have to frog hundreds of stitches to correct the error and hopefully I will be able to find the patience. The pattern is extremely well written and the screw-up occurred as a result of my own lack of attention to detail. I may write about this later in detail when I can correct the problem and continue the pattern. Keeping this project with me during social visits was a huge failure. Apparently, I can only do mindless garter stitch while talking to people. There are plenty of charity blankets to work on, so looks like they will be my next go-to items.

Finally, a dear friend sent me this wonderful link on CNN about urban knitting. Some of the items I knew about- others I didn’t.


Edit: Blogger has once again rejected HTML tags, so here is the link: http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/12/04/knitting.irpt/index.html

3 comments:

Virginia said...

Yeah, I had to rip out the Damson about 50 million times before I finally got it right. And it was all my own mistakes. Then I figured out lifelines and started putting them in every 10 rows or so. Once I finally found my groove with the Damson (which took a while) I stopped using them.

To answer your question on my blog: if I remember correctly, and I don't have the pattern in front of me, every YO in the Damson is to actually increase a stitch.

And, you know, create pretty lacy holes. :)

Good luck!

Cuckoo Armadillo said...

YOU DID AMAZING!

Zabet said...

Oh my god, that is like an organizationgasm. Seriously, just thinking about all that organization has me hot and flustered. *swoon*