Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Knitter's New Year's Resolution

Happy New Year to the Knitters and Crocheters out there!

Well 2011 is upon us, so what New Year’s resolutions have you come up with this year? Me, of course the usual: eat healthier, exercise more, get more rest, etc. But my biggest New Year’s resolution this year is to commit more time to my knitting craft that includes getting my yarn stash organized as well as figuring out what I have and what I can do with it, learning new techniques, creating my own designs, and selling my handmade knits. So to work towards one of my goals I opened an Etsy Shop in November to begin selling online. I’m looking forward to sharing handmade knits from Knitter Mama.

My next goal as part of my resolution was to get my yarn stash under control and more organized. If you remember from a previous post it virtually took over my couch and coffee table as well as several square feet of floor space.

And when the holidays rolled around I had no clue what to do with it all, and I realized that it was way overdue for me to find a better solution for storing my yarn stash. Even though I managed to throw it into Rubbermaid© bins and totes in a corner of my living room so I could decorate; it was like the elephant in the room that I desperately pretended not to notice or at least not look at – but try as I might the disorganized piles, bags, totes and bins mocked me from their little corner and I knew that I had to do something about it. Not only was it an eyesore, it was so disorganized. I have to constantly dig through mounds of yarn and piles of copied patterns, knitting books, and a huge binder I keep my favorite patterns in to find what I am looking for. And I also realized this was how I managed to let it get so out of control. When I couldn’t locate that elusive skein of yarn that I knew I purchased, I would just go out and buy more and well then later I would find it and think I'll save it for another project and this viscious cycle continued until as you can see from the above photo it had taken over.

As I went to clear my coffee table of all the knitting paraphernalia to put out my Christmas decorations, I was determined not to let it overtake my holiday display. But alas, since I was still knitting right up until Christmas and for several days after, my lovely decorated coffee table became once again a knitting sanctuary for all my odds and ends, tools and supplies – burying the centerpiece and mulberry candles I like to put out each year. I knew it was past time to get this under control, so I walked around my 1,075 square foot townhouse looking for the right location to put together some kind of storage display that would neatly house all of my yarn as well as make my patterns easily accessible. Since I like to visit my LYS (Renaissance Yarns) regularly, I paid special attention to their yarn displays, and thought I wanted something similar, but on a smaller scale and of course affordable.

So after Christmas when the sales were in full-bloom I trekked to the local Target© and went straight to their storage/closet section with the dimensions of the area where the yarn would go in my head and a vague idea on how I wanted to store my stash. I was excited to discover that Target was having a great after-Christmas sale on all their Closetmaid storage, so I measured and calculated and tried to imagine in my mind what it will look like at the top of the stairs in front of the hall closet. I bought three 2x3 cube storage units, brought them home put two of them together, realized the third cube unit wouldn't fit. So I returned it and again scoured the storage section again, recalculating in my head, envisioning the pieces in the space and selected one 1x3 and one 1x2 cube unit. And this was the end result:

Doesn't it look so neat and organized?

I just barely managed to get all of my yarn stored away neatly in the cubes as well as in a 3-drawer unit hidden behind the mirrored door. So now all of my yarn, books, and patterns have a home and I can easily get to them without having to dig through tubs and bins. Unfortunately, due to the alarming amount of yarn I have, I ran out of room for all my tools (i.e. needles, stitch markers, and whatnots) - these are still in a nifty tote my son bought me a few years ago next to my knitting area. It's all organized, but at some point I will have to make some room in my upstairs storage for all my paraphernalia. So I've avowed that I will work through at least one of the cubes to make room for the other supplies and only shop when it's absolutely necessary - hmm...I wonder if this resolution will last as long as the one's in the past - somewhere around March perhaps! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can stick to it because I just have no more room for anymore yarn anywhere in my house. But I have to admit I'm a knit-a-holic, I can't help going in to my LYS just to check out what's new, so it will be very difficult to totally refrain from buying more. Especially when I find that new yarn that I MUST try out just to see how one of my favorite patterns will look.

Speaking of resolutions, I was reading one of my favorite blogs Fiber Arts and I noticed Aaron, one of the bloggers wrote about resolutions for knitters and I took note of a mention in his post: "My goal for the coming year isn’t to buy less yarn or spinning fiber. It’s to try and buy it closer to home. I don’t mean just buying locally made yarn and fiber either because that’s not always practical or possible depending on the project. If I’m doing a project that needs to be felted, I pretty much always go for Cascade 220 which is made in Peru, but I’d much rather see that sale happen at a local business right here in our community." I happen to agree with this sentiment because putting money back into your own community is essential to its economic growth and development and will follow this resolution myself; buy only locally whenever possible.

And my favorite part of the post was the mention of the The World's Biggest Yarn Stash. Of course I can't compete, but I wouldn't mind a place big enough to house all that yarn as well as a stash that big! I live in a  two bedroom townhouse that I share with my son Aiden and our dog Tara. But now that I think about it, my son only has two more years of high school and then he's off to college. Hmmm...maybe I should start measuring his room for more storage! But I digress; I'm resolved to try to keep my stash at a reasonable, organized, level. And I'm also resolved, if I must make a yarn purchase, to buy it locally as much as I can this year. I will keep you posted on how well I'm keeping to my resolutions. And I hope you will do the same. And I would like to wish everyone a prosperous and happy knitting new year!

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