I saw an ad for a yarn company that said, "Failing at your new year's resolutions? Why not try knitting instead?" After I laughed out loud, I realized that a lot of my new year's resolutions, which I prefer to call goals, have to do with knitting, and my yarn stash in particular.
After developing my fitness and financial goals, I thought about what else I wanted to tackle this year, and managing my stash floated to the top of my list.
I'm working on purging my home this year, and I'm starting with my knitting stuff. Recently I was looking for a specific set of size 6 needles, and I finally found them on a project I abandoned at least eight months ago. Among the reasons I ditched this project is that I just didn't enjoy knitting with the yarn.
All that led me to the realization that I was never going to finish that project. I have a lot of projects that I've abandoned, and mainly because I wasn't having fun knitting them; either the pattern wasn't thrilling me or the yarn wasn't what I expected when I bought it.
Which brings me, finally, to my 2020 knitting goal . . .
I'm defining "love" here as the magical yarn-pattern-needles combo that makes knitting so meditative and calming. This seems easy, but I've identified a few steps that will be difficult for me.
1. Sorting all the yarn. Yeah, this one is especially troublesome. Yarn is so special to me, and sorting out what I think I'll use and what I might not causes a bit of anxiety, if I"m honest. But I am strong, and I can do it!
2. Ripping out projects that are in process. Ages ago in 2019 and before, I thought that I would always come back to a project, even though I cast it aside for a new one. This turned out to be mostly untrue, as my stack of unfinished knits clearly tells me.
3. Getting rid of old knitting needles. This one hurts because I know how much money I have tied up in my needle collection. As needle technology changed, I embraced it and collected the new (I'm talking to you, Chiaogoo!) without getting rid of the old.
Now to tackle these obstacles. I'm going to start by sorting my stash. Might as well jump right in!
The current state of my stash.
My stash is stored in a stack of boxes in the room we affectionately call "the heater room." Sad, isn't it? I can't easily get into anything, because the bins are stacked on top of each other, and the stack is pretty tall. I spy a bunch of old yarn in there!
Here's my plan: I'm going to lay everything out on the floor and sort it first by "keep" or "get rid of." I'll re-store the keepers (containers TBD, but I want something that's not stacked, maybe drawers?), and then sort the "get rid of" into donate or sell piles.
We have a non profit here called Transitions, which works to end poverty and homelessness for women and children in Spokane. One of the board members told me that a group of women knits there, and I thought, "Hey! I have some yarn they could use!" So, from the yarn I choose to donate, I'm going to put together little kits for cold-weather accessories. I'll put the yarn, a pattern, and some needles in ziplocks to make a bunch of kits. I feel really good about this, and it also addresses my over-abundance of needles.
The WIPs on needles need a stern hand, and I think I'll probably ravel most, if not all, of them. I don't want to spend time knitting something just to call it done, or waste time finishing a knit that I don't love or won't wear a lot. I might resurrect a few for gifts, but I'm not making any promises. Any sweaters I find will go bye-bye; I lost a lot of weight this year, so that yarn can definitely be re-purposed, donated, or sold.
I think the kits I plan to donate will take care of the needles I need to weed out, but if I have any left after that, I'll put them up for sale, or donate them to a knit shop for use in classes.
So with that, mischief managed! I know I'll feel so much better about my knitting life when I accomplish these goals, and since all goals need a due date, I'm promising myself to have all this done by February 15, 2020.
Since it's goal-setting season, Kelley (our shop owner) has set her's, too (you'll notice one of hers resembles one of mine!).
Kelley goes more in-depth about her goals here:
Leave a comment and share some of your knitting goals with us!
Happy new year,
If you've ever struggled with the decrease section when knitting a hat on 16-inch circular needles, you need to learn the Magic Loop method of knitting. Similarly, if you hate how sweater sleeves twist up while knitting in the round, you need to learn the magic loop technique.
This technique works on just about any size project, so you can use it exclusively for smaller projects in the round, such as hats, sleeves, mittens, cowls, socks, and so on.
Kelley just finished knitting the Shift Cowl by Andrea Mowry, and she's fallen in love with mosaic knitting.
While it sounds complicated or fiddly—mosaics are made up of little pieces of glass, after all—mosaic knitting is super easy. Seriously, you end up with a beautiful colorwork project, but you're only using one color in each row.
It's never too late to knit a holiday gift, but you need to plan accordingly, with smaller and smaller projects the closer the holiday gets. So, with only thirteen days left until Christmas, headbands it is.
Kelley recently knit a few of these beauties and highlighted them in her weekly Technique Tuesday Facebook Live broadcast. Check it out to get some tips for making headbands fit really well!