Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 8

Week 8:  Knitting from stash & some random use it up & toss it out!

I’m sitting here procrastinating, eating Dove chocolate hearts, and attempting to take the deep philosophical quotes inside the wrappers to heart.  I kind of liked these two: “Discover how much your heart can hold” and “Hold hands firmly, hearts gently.”  Well, it was only four chocolates, but I still found a way to stretch that out into at least 45 minutes of not writing this post.  Ugh.  I’m just not feeling it.  I should be energized considering I just spent a fantastic 2 days in the the big city of Seattle with my super knitty pal Troy (who has a new blog by the way!) and no mommy duties for the entire trip.  But more on that later.

Instead, I’m feeling exhausted.  I have a teething two year old who isn’t sleeping well (thus, I am not sleeping well either), a kitchen that magically regenerates four dirty dishes for every one that I load into the dishwasher, and a bank account that seems to do the opposite.  My skin is freaking out in all sorts of unexpected ways and I live in my sweats.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t showered in nearly 48 hours.  SO gross.

I’ve been dreading today’s post.  What to say?  I know I’ve made progress, but it doesn’t seem substantial.  For instance, this past week I finished a hat from a kit purchased at Sock Summit last July (about 135 yds total), and a pair of slippers from some stash gifted to me by Troy in August of 2008 (about 3 skeins used up).  That fits right into my plans to use up, sell, donate, or throw out something once a week.  But without a picture, some good solid evidence, it seems pointless.  Pictures are harder and harder to come by these days.  I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for a photo of the raw yarn instead of the finished project for a little while until I can get something snapped.

Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn

Though I feel this week’s offering for Thinning The Nest seems a little insubstantial, I do notice the effect that 8 weeks of this has had on my behavior.  Last Friday I decided I’d had enough of the needles I’ve been using for my Beekeeper’s Quilt.  The rubber coating on the cables had slipped away from the join where the needle and the cable meet, and a little gap had developed that snagged my yarn on nearly every round of knitting.  I put up with this for a good week or so in my typical grin-and-bear-it fashion.  But then I decided that my Beekeeper’s Quilt is one of the only projects that I work on daily, it makes me happy, and it just wasn’t worth it to me to continue knitting with crappy needles.  So I bought a new set of needles and deep-sixed the old ones.  That is a true departure for me.  Normally I would have either continued to knit with them until they finally broke entirely, feeling miserable the whole time, or I would have just tucked them away thinking I could use them again for something else.  But I decided, no, they just couldn’t be redeemed.  And just because they weren’t completely and totally busted, doesn’t mean they didn’t need to be trashed.  There is no more room in my house for things that don’t earn their keep.

Ha.  I’d like to think I’m that tough!  But ssshhhh….. don’t tell Knittymunchkin….  I’m a big old pushover :)

I still have a lot of work to do.  But I have to remember that it’s not going to happen overnight.  Each small thing I accomplish is a step towards the organized life I want to achieve.  Just keep moving forward.


Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 7

Week 7:  More Baby Stuff & More Random Acts of Kindness!
Ugh.  You’ll have to forgive me dear bloggies.  I feel icky, tired, lackluster, and not very chatty.  With Knittymunchkin’s second birthday arrived a whole load of new behaviors that I’m finding incredibly difficult to process and try to let roll off of me.  He’s getting his last set of molars, none of us are sleeping too well, and I am pretty sure I hear the word “no” at least every 30 seconds throughout each day.  It’s kind of a bummer.  But I promised an update every Thursday, so here we go.
This week was a big one, actually.  I got rid of a ton of baby stuff (to my former co-worker again).  Most of it I was fine about, but at the last minute I got sort of sentimental about one thing in particular and had to make sure to take a photo of it before giving it away.  Feeling sad about giving it up made me feel weak and stupid, but there was just something about it that made me want to hang on.  Maybe because I remembered using it so much when my baby was still a baby.  But away it went.  I knew it was pretty pointless to keep it.  In addition to those 4 big bags of things, I found someone at the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry who was looking for cloth diapering items.  To her, I sent a huge lot of cloth diapers that Knittymunchkin has outgrown: 8 covers with inserts, 8 extra inserts, 8 doublers, some biodegradable disposable inserts, and a sample of cloth diaper detergent.  That was a great feeling because the diapers were a bit worse for wear and I didn’t think there was any way I could sell them.  Yet, I didn’t want to throw them out or risk giving them to Goodwill since I figured they’d have no idea what to do with them.  It made me feel fantastic to know that someone else could get a little more use out of them.  I also mailed some sock yarn minis in dark colors that won’t go very well in my Beekeeper’s Quilt to a lady in New Jersey. She’s working on a blanket for her daughter who is going through a really difficult time, and had run out of yarn to use. Being on a budget, she was having a hard time finishing the blanket, so I thought it would be nice to help her out as so many others have helped me. And tomorrow night I am most likely going to be teaching a teenager to knit! So I am gifting her some dishcloth cotton, a pair of needles, and an instructional leaflet. All stuff from my stash that I don’t necessarily need anymore. I just hope I am an o.k. teacher and that she has fun with it :)
They say it takes at least a month for a new behavior to become a habit.  I’d say in at least that amount of time I’ve become almost addicted to the feeling of getting rid of things.  It’s so strange!  But I am always looking ahead to the next thing that I want to gift or sell.  I may have to allow myself a pass sometime in the future though.  This week was so big that I think it makes up for at least two weeks of destashing!
And because there’s not enough knitting on here (ever) anymore, and also because Lynn is always excitedly asking for photos, here’s a teaser pic of some of the puffs I’ve made for my Beekeeper’s Quilt.  I’d hoped to do a Puffrospective (Puff + Retrospective = Puffrospective) each month this year, but it’s not working out well with my lack of time for photography and blogging.  ~Sigh~  Someday….

Puffs in Regia by Kaffe Fassett


Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 6

Week 6:  Random Acts Of Kindness!
A long time ago, in a year far, far, away, there was a girl who had time on her hands.  She knit for charity, she knit for fun, she knit whenever she felt like it.  Then a little bundle of joy arrived and the girl rarely knit anymore.  Neither did she blog much, or do the things she used to do.  But she still collected yarn.  And though she couldn’t knit it, she couldn’t give it up either.  Until just recently.  Don’t misunderstand.  This girl still hoards most of her lovelies and you will probably have to pry them out of her cold, dead, hands long after she is gone.  But she felt she could sacrifice a few for the greater good.  And that is what she did.
There is a Ravelry Group called “Random Acts of Kindness“.  I know I’ve talked about it here before, but it’s been a while since I was active in the group.  You can post a wishlist or peruse other people’s wishes, and things are given or received with no expectations for a return gesture.  I know that in the scheme of things I have more than enough of the good things in life. And not everyone is as fortunate. So I thought this month would be a good chance to give back. I’ve received so many wonderful gifts, support, and kindness from people here at the blog and on Ravelry and it feels good to put a little bit of that back into the world.
I’ve had this ball of Plymouth Sockotta staring me in the face for the last 3 (4?) years and I kept looking at it and wondering whether I would really ever get around to using it.  It never even made it into my official stash, I was so wishy washy about it.  I thought about adding it to my Beekeeper’s Quilt since the colors are really pretty, but after knitting puffs nonstop out of a ball of Crystal Palace Panda Silk Print that was only half the size of this skein, and wanting to scratch my eyes out after, I decided using a whole skein of something was not for me.  Nor did I really feel the urge to knit socks from it. I have tons of sock yarn already that – shhhh…..it might hear – I like lots better.  So I thought it could use some loves.  You know, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all. It went out yesterday to a new home where it will be (hopefully) more appreciated than it was here!

Plymouth Sockotta

I also found a second wish to grant this week.  Someone was looking for bulky yarn to use for after school programs in which the kids learn to knit hats and things with knitting looms and needles.  I had some yarn left over from a charity knitting project I did for Warm Woolies a long time ago and it has been sitting in my stash for several years now.  This yarn was a prize I received in a contest for the Mystery Sweater KAL during which I made the sweater.  I thought I was receiving enough yarn to make the smaller size, but apparently she sent me enough to make the larger size.  So I had 3.4 balls of KnitPicks Swish Bulky left over and I felt that since it was given to me to complete a charity project with, that it needed to be used for charity.  I don’t have much time to knit for charity these days (though I hope to again one day) but giving this to kids to use in an after school program felt in keeping with the spirit in which I’d originally received it.  So it was mailed off yesterday to another good home.  I hope the kids enjoy it!

KnitPicks Swish Bulky in "Scuba"

So, another week without purging drama!  This letting go business is getting a little easier each time I do it. And knowing other people will use the things I say goodbye to, makes me feel even better!  Only 46 more weeks to go :)


There’s Something About Minis

Uh oh.  I have a new addiction.  Thank you Beekeeper’s Quilt!  As if knitting eleventy-quadzillion sweet and smushy little hexi-puffs wasn’t enough, I now feel the insane desire to collect eleventy-quadzillion cute little mini-skeins to knit them from.
There’s something about Minis.  But what is it, exactly?  I can’t explain it, but I’ve got it.  In the time I spend each day trolling Blankiemania, MiniMall, and Oh Scrap!: LSG Scrap Blankets on Ravelry for new swaps to join, I could probably have learned Mandarin and taught it Knittymunchkin.  Or cured cancer.  Or maybe just had a clean house.  It is a sickness I tell you!  And yet, I am just a rookie.  A baby, with my measly four swaps I’ve joined since December.  When people are talking about how many totes full of minis they have, and how the lid won’t shut, then I know that I am small-time.

Puffs in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in "Beachglass"

There are days I don’t love the minis so much.  Those are the days when I spend two hours (sometimes more) weighing, skeining, and labeling minis to send out, only to find that every mini is going to twist and tangle on me no matter what I do.  I wonder why I do it.  And then I remember….
Sometimes the highlight of my day is just walking to the mailbox with Knittymunchkin.  The budget has been stretched a bit thin lately, and knowing that a puffy little mailer filled with sparkly new sock yarn will be arriving in the near future gives me a little something to look forward to.  So far I have only allowed myself to join in swaps for which I already have yarn in my stash to use, in order to keep costs down.  You know me, I have enough for a lifetime of socks and then some to spare!  So it’s good it’s getting used.  Pretty much a win-win.
For now it’s all innocent fun.  But please, if you hear me start talking about my “tub full of minis” and how the lid won’t shut, stage an intervention quick!  I’m probably in trouble…..


Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 5

Week 5:  10 balls of yarn!
This week’s exodus happened sort of inadvertently.  As most of you know, I have a ginormous stash.  And it’s sort of out of control.  Well, it’s actually pretty organized, there’s just an embarrassing amount of it.  I’m just a little OCD about photographing it, entering it into Ravelry and my own personal spreadsheet, and keeping tabs on yardage as well as cost per hank/skein/ball.  Despite that, there are actually a few items here and there that slip through the cracks, so my entire stash is not quite up to date on Ravelry.  But it’s  close.  Anyway, I occasionally get messages from other Ravelry folks wanting to know if something or another is for sale.  Usually they are asking about my “regular” stash and I have to gently point out that the only things truly for sale in my stash are on my trade/sell page.  I try to be friendly.  And I wish them luck in their search.  I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?  But sometimes I find myself getting a little irked when someone who solicited me about my yarn has the gall to act huffy with me; like my yarn is up for grabs just because I took a photo and wrote some stash notes about purchase prices.

Ella Rae Silkience in "Silky Lime"

But sometimes when people ask I just happen to have been looking at that particular yarn and wondering what the heck I was going to do with all of it (I have a lot of sweater quantities of yarn).  And did I really like that color anyway?  That’s what happened this week.  I sold a nice lady (with the same first name as me!) 10 balls of Ella Rae Silkience in “Silky Lime”.  That’s 1190 yds total!  And I still have 10 balls left for myself.  I like to think that worked out nicely :)  Lucky me!  Another week without purging angst!
On an unrelated, but no less important note, Knittymunchkin turned two today.  Wow.  When they tell you time flies and that you’ll notice it more when you have kids, they weren’t kidding. How did my baby get to be two years old?!  I’m having lots of flashbacks to all the time we spent in the hospital with him, how fragile he seemed, and how worried we were for him.  And now he’s a talking, running, jumping, laughing toddler, with no trace of that fragility left.  Today was low-key as R. Darling had to work this afternoon and evening.  Knittymunchkin and I read books and had our milk and coffee waiting for Daddy to wake up.  Then we opened presents, had cake (with disastrous results), a nap, and a visit with Grandma.  A pretty regular day.  Next year will be a completely different ball game I’m sure.  This is our last “holiday” where Knittymunchkin isn’t wholly aware of the gift-giving business and the fact that the world really does revolve around him.  I never really thought I wanted to be a mother but now that I have Knittymunchkin in my life, I know I do. I am so incredibly grateful that he is here and I have the privilege of being his mama.  I am one lucky girl!  Happy Birthday sweet Boy!

The Birthday Boy!