Bins can make a room look pretty tidy. Bins can help one feel organized. But bins can also give one a reason to keep collecting items, because one can smoosh said items together very tightly and magically there is room for more!
Although I have "see-through" bins, yarn still hides! It hides everywhere. It's very smooshable, which means, I'll always have "room" for more ;) I've been putting off "destashing" for a while now (for "a while" means about a year). I think the issue is that I never thought my yarn stash was an issue, per se. I mean, I have space in the lab to work (albeit, not much room to really move around in)...but the reason it was never an issue is because I CAN'T SEE THE YARN!!! It's true. Out of sight, out of mind.
So, on a whim I decided to bring the stash out into the open this morning, for a little fresh air. I really wish I would have been struck by the cleaning bug after I ate breakfast *sigh* I thought this would be a quick 20 minute chore until I saw this...
Houston, we have a problem!
A BIG PROBLEM!!!
Now if you are thinking this is "tame" it's only because this isn't even the half of it. My wide angle lens can only capture so much. If I were able to stand in the corner of the room (which I can't because... you guessed it, there are BINS in the way) then I would be able to show you the full scope of foolishness that knitting (and other hobbies) has gotten me into!
Each ball/skein of yarn has a story behind it. Each ball/skein (probably) also had a "project" attached to it at some point as well, but as with many lofty ideas, the project just kind of falls to the wayside for another day. Another day, in another millennium ;)
The good news is that my yarn doesn't attack me because it's not tucked away in a closet. I don't open a closet and then suddenly get buried under a mountain of yarn (although how funny would that be!). The truth is my bins are blocking my closet doors! Because my yarn is in bins, the bins just start to eat up valuable floor space. The bins start encroaching on usable space and then the next thing I know, I am being smothered in my own craft room!
So I decided, as a way of teaching myself a lesson, that I had to stay in the lab until the mess was under control. That meant foregoing coffee and breakfast for
I managed to make a ton of progress by noon. I got together a garbage bag full of yarn to donate (yarn without labels) and a bin of yarn to sell (not trade!) which still has the labels on it.
Of course, while I was taking photos of the "sell" bin, my brain started to short circuit which kicked in the whole bargaining thing... you know, that thing your brain starts to do when you touch or see something soft, bright and/or shiny? You brain starts sending off the "must have it", "must keep it" chemicals and then all rational thought flies right out of the window! I started thinking about all the possibilities - Wouldn't this make the cutest pair of slippers? Wouldn't this make the cutest doggie sweater? A funky hat? Slowly the the "sell" pile started to get smaller, and the "keep" pile started to grow again. But as I tripped backwards over a bin (and back into reality), I realized that that way of thinking was exactly what got me into this mess in the first place! I had no plan for the yarn then, and I sure as hell don't have a plan for it now, so it needs to go! Besides, I don't have time for this mess, I'm freaking hungry! Are those spots I'm seeing? hahahaa
The good news is, I am allowing myself to keep some of the stash too. I'm not that much of a hard ass! The stipulation is that I can keep stash, as long as I am able to keep it nicely organized and in plain sight. Oh, and the most important factor - if I actually have a project lined up for the yarn!
And apparently my hunger turned into pure delirium so I even pseudo-organized the goodies I got to keep. Not like hardcore neurotic organizing by weight or anything (most of my yarn is the same weight anyway), but I kind of organized it by "type."
1 drawer is Knit Picks only (I am totally brand loyal apparently). Notice the very "blah" palette here... *yawn*
1 drawer is sock yarn (because I knit so many socks *sarcasm*) and the last drawer is dedicated to my favorite, luscious goodies - Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Shibui, etc. Here is a peek at that:
You know the yarn I'm talking about. The drool-worthy soft, luxurious, vibrantly-colored, goodness that is set aside for very special "me" only projects! Mine all mine! Below is a picture of the finished project. I conveniently cropped out the bag of sweater quantity Malabrigo that is sitting on top of the bin... :D
Unfortunately, I'm not done yet. So sit back down! ;)
I thought I was in the clear, and I was really feeling good about all my hard work so early on in the day. And then I closed the lab door, and realized there was more yarn to de-stash!!! I have one of those inexpensive plastic shoe holder thing-a-ma-jigs that you hook over the door. I justified keep the shoe thing, because I thought, what a great way to store small skeins of yarn, awkward spools of thread and plastic bags! But again, out of sight, out of mind. I totally forgot I had a mini stash of yarn going on behind the door :D
So a few more items got added to the donate/destash pile. This was an easy clean but now I'm officially done!
A final note...
I will say this, my stash is a collection of items that have accumulated since day 1 of my knitting journey. Many balls/skeins of yarn were picked up at local thrift stores as I was trying to decide if this was going to be a hobby I was actually going to stick with (and it is!). The more I practiced, the bigger the stash grew. In the beginning, I wasn't a smart shopper at all (yeah, yeah, yeah). If I liked a yarn, I bought it. When the "what are you going to make with this" question would pop up, I always told myself and others "I'll figure it out later" I just really like the yarn! In the beginning, I usually bought 1 of this and 2 of that. Now that I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it (damn, delusion runs thick over here!) I only shop for specific projects. Ok, retracting quickly before God strikes me down for lying. I try to shop only for specific projects. The only exception is sock yarn. I mean, sock yarn is pretty affordable, usually comes with decent yardage (so sometimes you can get away with only 1 skein), comes in very vibrant and wild colors, and you don't need super quantity of it, so all of this makes the purchase justifiable :D
If you are interested in any of my de-stash, check out my ravelry page which I will be updating shortly with all items I'm trying to sell off. Please do not offer to "trade" with me. Don't be cruel ;) All other items will be donated to a church, charity or to a local thrift store. If you know of any good places or causes, please let me know!
Oh yeah... one last thing (famous last words)...
In the middle of all this doggone cleaning, look what I uncovered:
The dreaded, now 2 yr old crocheted blanket project that the d.h. swore he was going to sew up for me last year! Do you know how useful this would've been while I nearly turned into an ice cube in the living room this Winter/Fall!? So if you hear me say "I wonder what happened to that damn blanket" remind me that it's still sitting in a little brown suitcase waiting to be sewn up! ;)
And on that note, until next time!!!