Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Year of Using What I Have

          I am very blessed, in many ways. I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family, and I am rich in beautiful yarn, fiber, kits, and craft supplies. I’ve been collecting craft supplies since I was a kid, and really got into it in high school and college. Between thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets, the time I spent working at a yarn shop, and gifts from friends and family (including inheriting things from the crafty women in my life), I have more than enough to keep me busy for a good long while. 

         I recently moved and was reacquainted with a large portion of my craft supplies, not to mention other belongings. I feel a bit overwhelmed, as I’m still unpacking. And really, the same thing could be said of many aspects of my life--beauty products, books, clothes, everything. The past few years I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism and decluttering. I’ve pared down my wardrobe quite a bit and I've even cleared out a large number of books (the thought used to make me shudder). I’m usually pretty intentional about what I bring into my home and life, but it has added up over the years. So I’ve decided that this year will be the Year of Using What I Have. I will do my best to use up the hand lotion, makeup, nail polish, yarn, fabric, fiber, craft supplies, books, magazines, clothes, shoes, kitchen tools and even food that I already have, before I buy more. It’s not that I can’t buy any yarn or anything until I’ve used up what I have, but I have to be mindful about it. I just have so much of everything, and I would like to use all of it.
       So, I pledge to do my best to use up and clear out my things. I also pledge to use my belongings; if there are things I don't use, for whatever reason, I will evaluate why they are in my life. The smell of that hand lotion isn't as nice as I thought it was? Time to give it to someone who likes the scent. Those shoes that pinch, the dress that rides up? Gone. The yarn that I don't love anymore but my friend would adore it? Gifted. Paring down will give me more time and space for the things I do love. Also, I was recently thinking about my creative habits as a kid. Some of my best creations came from figuring out the best way to use what I had on hand. While I do want to have the leeway to purchase new tools or materials when needed, there is something to be said for challenging myself to use what I have. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hummingbird Socks

   As mentioned in my previous post, I spun the yarn and knit a pair of socks for my grandmother's birthday.

Fiber: Sweet Georgia Superwash BFL on Hummingbird, 4 ounces. I divided the fiber in half lengthwise and spun each half, then chain-plied each single to keep the colors together as much as possible. 

I ended up with about 315 yards total, which was enough for a pair of socks, but I should have been more careful while  spinning. My second skein didn't have quite enough yarn to complete the sock, so I had to rip back the first one. 

Pattern: On Hold Socks by Wendy D. Johnson, from the book Socks From the Toe Up
Yarn: 3 ply BFL handspun in Hummingbird, approximately 315 yards, heavy fingering weight
Needles: US Size 1 circular needles

 I'm happy to report my grandmother loved them!