So I fell down the rabbit hole in January. I read Mari Kondo’s book on the magic of tidying up (sorry, cannot get the line over the second “o” in her name with this English type) and listened to her second book thanks to Scribd. A lot of what she wrote resonated with me. and it may sound crazy to a typical Westerner, but I like the idea of thanking those things in your life, even if they are just “things,” for the service and the joy they have given you. If nothing else, the practice helps to cultivate a spirit of gratitude for the many blessings we in the developed world have received from the Almighty. Have I had the time or energy to actually implement her book? Nope – mainly because I live in a house with a lot of other people – or to be more precise, I live in a house with the stuff of a lot of people – some of whom live here, some of whom do not. Stuff over which I have little control right now.
Anyway, Ms. Kondo’s thinking as I read it, is that one should go through ALL of a particular category of stuff at the same time, go through each thing, and determine whether to keep it – because after all, the first order of business in being tidy is to winnow out the the clutter and then organize what is left. Makes sense. To determine whether something should remain with you, you have to ask yourself if it sparks joy.
Does the red can opener in the kitchen tools drawer make my heart sing? Well, not exactly, but it brings with it a memory of the rather long life I have spent with my husband and stands as a reminder of the hurt I have caused him and the belief that I/we can change the things I/we need to change. No, I’m not going to tell you that story. Too private.
Do I need four can openers? No. Which is why I don’t have four. But often, people do have a number of things (don’t look at all the planners on my desk, LOL!) that they could pare down without it really hurting too much.
But I digress.
So… knitting. I had close to 100 projects either on the needles or waiting to be cast on. You knitters know how it is. You see a pattern or a ball
or ten of yarn and you cast aside all prudence and thoughts of future financial stability and buy it. At one point I had the smallest bedroom in the house as a craft room where I kept stash, tools, projects, a table and my sewing machine. But with the influx of adult kids, the craft stuff got relegated to a corner of the basement for a while – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
In time, some of the crowd moved on to their own respective abodes, but the stash remains mostly in the basement. Over time, I’ve pulled a lot of projects up from the basement. They’re stored safely away from moths and mildew, and because our basement is remarkably dry for this part of the country, I wasn’t worried about where it was being stored, I just wanted to be able to visit a little more often. You knitters will understand. The rest of you, just go read something else.
Thank goodness for ravelry – I can at least keep somewhat up to date on the stash, but there’s nothing like seeing it up close and personal – and thinking of the next wonderful think you are going to make. But all those projects. By the time I got around to finishing them, I’d either be dead or they would lose their appeal. So I started with about 2/3 of the projects I have going – 1/3 the ones closest to done and 1/3 either not begun, or I knew I wouldn’t finish (see above picture). Works in progress tend to stay in project bags – some were in pretty boxes if put aside to work while I worked on something else.
So this Sunday, before the gang came over for dinner, I set to work. In two short hours I went from over 100 projects down to 45.
I freed up about 35 or more knitting needles,
untold amounts of stitch markers and tool bags,
refiled at least 50 knitting patterns, deleted over 50 projects from my ravelry page,
and added a whole big bunch of delightful yarn back into my stash.
I took the larger batches of yarn back to the basement to be sorted and stored in bins by weight. I then kept one box of yarn upstairs for inspirational purposes and for the odd one- or two-skein project and organized a corner of the living room/home office to store projects I am not working on right now. Bonus: this little corner is not visible as you walk in the front door.
I now keep only two bags of knitting handy, so I can choose among a few projects at any given time. One of the bags has older projects that are fairly close to finishing. I am definitely a process knitter, but I like me some product now and then!
My current project OTN: see my next post:)
I was even able to repurpose two of the fabric “cubes” I was using to store projects for the home office (the stack of papers are all printed out knitting patterns I’m not quite ready to recycle.):
My knitting sparks joy as it always has, but now I am not burdened by projects I will never finish and the light has been let in a bit.
Ahhhhh….. That’s better…..
God be with you ’til we meet again+