Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday 7: An additional challenge

Instead of talking about counts this week, I want to tell you a little of what has been going on here. We just moved into a new house with very little warning. I had 3 weeks to get as packed as possible while watching my littles, and then moving day happened. Maybe you are much better at culling your life than I am, but I still had a lot of stuff that didn't get thoroughly gone through before we moved. That means I moved clutter from one house to another. sigh

The easiest place to see the clutter is in clothing. We have so much clothing we don't use. I have been trying very hard to get rid of unwanted clothing the since I started this project, but... I have been holding on to a lot unnecessarily. Clothes that don't fit well, but have memories attached (note to self, I am not going to be 4 inches shorter for a looooong time...), clothing I liked when I bought it, but haven't worn in a long time. Clothing that other people could be wearing, instead of sitting neglected in the back of my closet.

I realize my relationship with clothing is not the same as others': My rule for jeans is if they don't smell and they aren't visibly dirty, they don't need to go in the laundry. I have several pairs, but I only wear one or two pairs until they fall apart, then I pull a pair out of reserve. (I have been known to mend a favorite pair of jeans until there is no possibly way to mend it again, and then I turn it into something else.) I don't sweat, so a single tank top can last me an entire weekend, and the only reason I put it in the laundry is because it is stretched out. The same goes for t-shirts and socks (aired out over night, of course). My jeans rule also applies to hoodies, sweaters and sweat shirts. The only clothes that automatically go in the laundry at the end of the day are undies.

You would think, with clothing rules like that, that I would rarely have to do laundry. Once upon a time, in college, that was true. I did one load of laundry every two weeks (and a second of bedding) and was good. Now, however, I find little hand prints on my shirts. Glasses of milk are spilled on my jeans. And, of course, I do laundry for my children and boyfriend, too. If they are being kind to laundry, I can get away with not having to do more than 2 loads of laundry a week. More often, though, I do a load (or two!) a day!!!! 

These clothes are not always dirty, though. Well, okay, they are, but sometimes they are dirtied before that have been on a body. I don't mind doing laundry, but I HATE putting it away. Right now, I am looking at a basket of laundry waiting to be folded. Likely it will wait until tomorrow, because I put away 4 full baskets this morning. If it sits there long enough, my littlest will start pulling clothes out of the basket, one article at a time, and distribute them around our home. Some articles will be fine, ending up in harmless places: on a clean floor, on a bed, on the couch. Some articles, though, will be less lucky: dropped in a toilet, put in the dogs' water bowl outside, used to wipe up a spill on the floor. 

I realized as I was folding a shirt I remembered folding a few days before, and a few days before that, but that had been worn by no one, that I was washing clothes that I shouldn't have to. Worse, it was a shirt I haven't worn in more than a year, and don't particularly want to wear now. That is when an idea happened. I put away the laundry that belonged to the rest of my family, and then I went through my closet, one section at a time, and pulled out 1/3 of it. That means if I had 9 around the house t-shirts, now I have 6. I picked 1/3 because it seemed like a big enough percent to make me really decide if I wanted to keep a shirt I haven't worn in 6 months but really love, but not a big enough number to make me have to chose between clothing I enjoy wearing frequently.

For the most part, it was pretty easy-peasy. For dressy t-shirts, it was a little more tricky, but after trying on a few of the contenders I easily decided on what could stay and what had to go. 

I haven't tackled my dresser yet, but I have been keeping strict to the 1/3 rule as I unpack more caches of clothing. The pile on my dresser for friends to look through before I donate is getting bigger. I would guess there are about 40 things up for grabs right now (typing that makes me freak out a little at the implication of how much clothing I still own...).

Here is where the challenge comes in: Pick a percentage right now. 10% is good. 33% is good. Any number that you think will push you to get rid of things you don't wear anyway but won't cause you to have a panic attack is best. Now pick a drawer, or a section of your closet, and go through it, removing the appropriate number of articles and donating them. Or trading them. I don't recommend putting them in your craft stash unless you are going to use them RIGHT NOW - that is just a way to say you are cleaning out your closet without actually cleaning it out. Now enjoy your space, and the knowledge that the next time you grab out a t-shirt/pair of jeans/dress, it will be one you will actually want to wear.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blanket Project: Week 46

I have been working away on the blanket this week. Really, it is my favorite project to work on and I have to force myself to work on other things. Ready to see how gorgeous it is? I finished the row I was working on. I can't wait to start a new row! I plan to crack open my bag of yarn from the Zombie Knitpocalyspe as soon as possible!

In other sock yarn use news, I finished up a pair of mitts.
Cursed Cable Mitts by Mel-Tran Designs
I picked up a pair of socks that has been sitting for about a month.
Ziprelaxagon Socks by Kirstin Hall
I also have a test knit I will be starting this week.

237/776, instead of 322

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tour de Fleece 2013

Tour de Fleece is a spin-a-long that occurs at the same time as le Tour de France. The idea is to spin every day the cyclists ride. This year, the tour started Saturday, June 29 and rides until Sunday, July 21, 2012. There were two rest days - Monday, July 8 and Monday, July 15. Today, July 18, is the challenge day. It is possible to be a part of a team, and you set your own goal for the ride. 

My goals:
-Spin at least 15 minutes a day on my superwash merino that I want to eventually spin into a 3-ply yarn for socks.
-Spin at least 15 minutes a day on another spinning project.

The superwash merino was a WIP coming into the Tour. I had one complete turtle/cop and had started a second. As of yesterday, I have made a very decent start on the third.

For the second goal, I picked out a few things from my fiber stash:
I wanted to finish up the second part of a green BFL (~2 oz), then start the 3.4 oz of blue Peruvian wool, and play with the brown wool in conjunction with the colorful locks for challenge day because I've never worked with locks before.

I finished the green (bottom skein). It is about 110 yards of sport/dk, 2 ply. I sent it off to my friend Josh. He should get it in the mail today. The top skein I am keeping for myself.

The blue is finished, as well. I set is as a single, and plan to send it to my friend Hayley. It was ~182 before washing.
Pre-wash. Look at all that extra twist!
Hanging to dry - pretty balanced now

Finished skein
 Today I am going to start playing with the brown and the locks. I'm not sure how much of it I will spin, or what it will look like, but I am excited to try something new!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Saturday Seven: Weeks 15 -18

If a blogger continues to get rid of things, but doesn't blog about them immediately, do they still count? I think yes. I will recount to you the weeks that I can recall, with photographic evidence where I have it.

Week 15:
This week actually took place before the last Saturday seven post I wrote, but just found the pictures this morning. My sister visited over the winter, and I sent her home with some stuff I didn't want anymore - a sundress, four pairs of socks (one that she had given me that I didn't even open...), a trial sized bottle of baby shampoo, and 6 books. I was photo-bombed by my niece. (12 things)

Week 16:
I have no photos for this week, so you will just have to trust me (and I'm sure my sister will back me up). In May, my sister visited for half a week. While she was here, she looked at my yarn stash, and I gave her some yarn that I had no interest in any longer. I gave her friend a skein, as well. (1 skein + at least 6 skeins, but I don't remember exactly how many, so... ~7 things)

The second half of the week, we caravanned to Michigan. I took more baby stuff for Jasmine - a play saucer, and at least 6 boxes of clothes. (~ 7 things)

Week 17:
We are to the present! I am getting ready to move in the next couple weeks, and you know what is a great motivator for getting rid of stuff? Moving! The donation truck was making it's rounds last week, so I set out: a bag of toys, a bag of bedding/housewares, and 6 bags of books. (8 things) The only bad part about them coming last week is that I am still finding things to donate... Oh, well. I'm sure they will do pick ups at the new place, too.
 P.S. - Those two boxes of books that I speculated on putting out during week 12 definitely were filled and put out the next time the donation people came around, in addition to at least 1 bag.

Week 18:
On Monday I went to the post office with 10 packages. While not all of them contained random things that fit this project, several of them did. Things sent off include: 2 skeins of handspun (One I was never going to use, spun last year during Tour de Fleece; the other is a second skein from a fiber and I only need the first skein), 2 cops of singles I was never going to use (spun last year during Tour de Fleece), worsted weight yarn leftovers (which add up to about 2 skeins), a handmade journal that I picked up in college and am no longer interested in using, and a ponytail for locks of love that has been waiting to be mailed for about 6 months now (the baggie kept getting covered by other things...). (7 things)
12+7+7+8+7 = 41 things
Total so far: 219 things

I won't be updating my totals this Saturday, but look for a post in 10 days.

Blanket Project: Week 45

Hi, all. I know it's been a while since I posted at all. Don't worry, over the next few days I will be flooding the blog. A lot has been going on with life, but I hope to get back to a normal schedule next month. In the meantime, let's get caught up on some things, shall we?

First, my favorite project for me. The sock yarn blanket. It has not been getting as much love as it should (just look at the numbers at the bottom...), but it has still been getting love. Here is what it looked like yesterday - I've done another small square and a large one since.

I'm sure you can see that it has a lot more color than it has in the past. That is because I have some very generous friends who have given me sock yarn leftovers. The top four and a half rows of the blanket are made up of yarn from my friends. The next several rows will be made up of yarn from my friends, too. I have a stash of minis waiting to be tackled, before I even have to worry about using my own leftovers again.
Mini skeins and sock yarn leftovers that came home with me from Zombie Knitpocalypse 2013
Since I got home from the knitting retreat where I received all the yarn pictured above, I have used only the little pile of yarn in the upper left corner. That leaves me with a lot to go :) I have also received more mini skeins: some from a friend who came to visit (pictured below), and a package from another friend that I met at the retreat (not pictured because they are all packed up in preparation for the move that will be happening before the end of the month; I'll try to remember to photo them once unpacked).

Once I make it through all those minis (or if I decide to put in a row of yarn from socks that I've made), I have finished 5 pairs of socks that haven't made yarny contributions yet, and I have 6 projects cast on that need to have squares put in, too.  I have enough yarn to keep me knitting on the blanket for a while, but that is not stopping me from working on socks. :)

236/776, instead of 315

See you all tomorrow! (Or later today, if I finish another post.)