Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An impossible task and a photo!

I have been going through all the patterns I have collected over the years and am pitching the ones I am no longer interested in.  If you know me, that doesn't amount to many hitting the recycle bin.  I have noted on the top of the pattern how many yards it calls for and what size needle/hook.  I then sorted them by number of yards  (>100, 100, 200,...1200, 1300, etc.).  I will further organize them by type within their yardage group.  Are you still with me? 
Believe it or not, I am now winding my myriad hanks of yarn into balls, putting them on the McMorran yarn balance, noting the yards/pound and then I will weigh each ball and get the number of yards I actually have.
The concept is to be able to match the patterns with yarn I actually own! I am going through all this complexity to do something simple and obvious. The last few years of work were punctuated by many trips to the local (and online) yarn stores to buy soul enhancing loveliness to offset the morale sucking times at work.  This created an overabundance of various balls of this and that and now I have the desire to use them for good.
When I am feeling particularly solid within myself, I may take a photo of my knitting room and let you see what I am talking about.  It is a large-huge amount.  I also have a weaving room with its share of inventory.  Then there is the spinning fiber.  Oy vey!  I need to live and long time. At least my children both knit and can appreciate the inheritance possibilities.

Today I had help figuring out how to add a picture.  This is the entrelac I mentioned the other day.  I thought I was picking up speed, but it turned out that I was making each row a bit smaller by eliminating one edge triangle.  I had to rip it back -- twice!  Not all the way, but about 5 levels of squares.  I have now figured it out and have knitted it enough to have used up all the yarn I had ripped out.  This is a huge accomplishment for me.  I have 22 rows of entrelac in this picture. I now have 31 rows finished.  The ball of yarn is all the rest of the dye samples tied together and wound.  I was thinking that there wasn't much yardage when it was in individual samples, but now that it is wound together I think I'm in good shape and it will make a long scarf.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Panic Not

Some of my readers are wondering if I have a terminal illness or a premonition of pending doom because I picked the title Before I Sleep.  Rest assured I have no knowledge of anything like that.  I picked the name because I have miles and miles of yarn to use up before I kick off.

My initial burst of speed got me down to 27 UFOs and I am working on #26.  I started it perhaps 5-7 years ago and it is on #2 needles and in silk I scrounged from a dye sample class.  There are perhaps 80+  two yard pieces of a slightly textured silk in 80+ colors.  When I started the project I would stop and choose the next color as each piece ran out. I was thinking I would graduate the colors from one end of the scarf to the other.  I put in a square of a contrasting color here and there to try to tie it all together and add some serendipity.   Now it is many years later, and I want to actually finish this sometime this decade, so I spent 2 days knotting the yarns together in the order I wanted and then wound them into a ball.  My decisions already having been made, I am making progress on it at a faster rate (faster being a relative term: think skinny yarn on #2 needles and entrelac).  When the ball turned out to be about 4" in diameter I realized that I have a LOT of yarn to go to finish this.  That's a good thing since it may actually turn out long enough to be a scarf.

Meanwhile, I knit a Wonderful Wallaby hoodie for my grandson Erik and have been cutting up old shirts to use in a bathmat.  I started to feel like I was trapped into finishing all 29 projects before doing anything else and that was crazythinking.  I can work on whatever I want to work on.  I tend to paint myself into corners to force myself to do stuff and this should be fun.  I need to take a good look at everything and decide if I even want to still do them.  Ravelry and blog reading has given me many more ideas and if I want to move forward I need to jettison some of the baggage I am dragging along behind me.  This applies to more than just fiber.  My whole life is up for re-evaluation.

This must be a facet of having just retired.  What are my interests, priorities, etc.?  What do I want to spend my time doing?  Everyone knows that our time line on earth shrinks a bit every day and we don't know how far ahead the cliff is.  I plan to do more 'wants' and fewer 'have-tos' (I have no idea how one should spell that).

Pictures to follow.  I still haven't taken the time to figure out how to add them.  I actually haven't even taken them yet.  I'm still in the early organizational stage of both this retirement and this blog. I've also  started reading again.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What was I thinking?

Just before New Year's Eve I sat in my comfy chair gazing around the room at my yarn, etc. wondering what to work on next when I suddenly focused on the number of partial projects that were languishing about in bags, bins, baskets, etc.  I started counting them and came up with a HUGE NUMBER - 37!  I didn't even have to dig to find these.  2011 is starting out as a finishing year.

Some of these projects were almost complete, yet something shinier caught my eye and I raced off in the new direction and never looked back.  This seems to have happened 36 times over the last few years.  I hear about new year resolutions to give up buying yarn, fiber, etc. , but my resolution needs to be to try to focus.  

It is week 2 of 2011 and I have actually finished 10 of the projects.  One of the 10 I hated and have since ripped it out.  I have also started one project that is almost completed.  It is a hoodie for my grandson.  I'll show a picture of it when it is finished.

Actually, I'll show pictures of everything when I figure out how to load the pictures.  I got a camera for xmas so I could do just that.

I'm not committing to 'no new projects', but I am locking myself in to evaluate each one and either releasing it back into it's former life as skeins of yarn, or continue to take time to work through this mortifyingly enormous pile of unfinished intentions.  

I also have more ideas and plans pushing forward in my head, so I will be doing some of those also.  You're welcome to join me for the trip as I attempt to use up my fiber stash and ideas in this last portion of my life.  I have already completed the schooling years, the motherhood years, and the working years.  Now I am retired and able to do whatever I want, whenever I want.  Join me on my journey toward the Big Sleep.