Saturday, January 16, 2016

Turning Remiss into Reminisce

It has been hard to get back into my quilting groove since the holidays. My sewing room needed to be unearthed and I have been crocheting or knitting instead of quilting. Yesterday, I thinned out the surfaces in my sewing room by putting away yarn, instructions, crochet hooks, and knitting needles from the following needlecraft projects. I have had yarn as far back as a project from 2012 languishing in mounds on the counter or in bags on the floor. Yes, I have been remiss in final cleanup after project completion. But rather than beat myself up over it, I chose to reminisce instead. Here are some of those projects. Completed? Yes. But remainders and associated paraphernalia put away? Not so much.

Here are those projects followed by dated links to more detail about them.
  • Stockings for Autumn (12/10/2014), Vivian (12/17/2014), Isaiah (12/28/2015)
    (maybe it is a good thing I did not put the yarn away between stockings)
  • Circular Blankie (12/26/2013)
  • Tree Sweater (10/02/2014)  
  • Reindeer Olympic Hat (02/03/2012)
  • Baby Surprise Jacket (12/8/2014) (actually only directions and no scraps on this; sent remaining yarn with the sweater to the baby's mom, a knitter herself)
  • Crocheted Sweater/Hat Set (10/21/2015)
  • Crocheted Cardigan (01/15/2016),
The leftover yarn from a knitting or crocheting project is the equivalent of scraps from a quilt. The amount of remaining yarn from the preceding projects, shown in the next photo, sure seems like a lot. Often I need another skein and then just use a small portion of it. On the left in the upper row is the yarn from the vintage Christmas Stockings, Cascade 220. I think I will need more red for the next one. On the left in the bottom row is the leftover from the circular Christmas Blankie. I bought three 10.5 ounces skeins and only needed a small part of the third one. Bottom row middle is the Bernat Satin from the crocheted sweater set. I have more of this yarn in other colors from an afghan I knitted so there is hope for its use. On the right bottom is the leftover from the crocheted cardigan. Above it is more of the same Jojoland Tonic yarn. I originally intended it for a blanket of patchwork squares in different knit patterns. After a few squares I realized the yarn had enough of a heather quality to it that the effort of the fancy stitches did not show up so it is being dispersed and repurposed. The cardigan was one item as least in the Tonic lilac and pink. I have more of those colors plus a lovely coral to use up. In the middle of the top row is the yarn I first used for that cardigan that worked up too stiff so I ripped it out.

Here are the leftovers from the tree sweater. Ah, fabric scraps are so much easier to manage. They do not have the weight and the gauge to contend with, just the color. I say that now, but I have yet to attack my 2016 goal of fabric scrap management and organization.

I organized and put away the tools from those projects as well, gathering up the circular and the doubled pointed knitting needles and the crochet hooks, sorting them by size, and combining the like items in Ziploc™ bags. I now have all those implements stored in one location. I gathered the yarn remnant bags together, stripped out the instructions which I filed in a three ring binder on a shelf, and combined the individual Ziploc™ bags into one large tote bag. Another reminiscence here... I got the black and white swirly and polka dotted tote bag in Atascadero, CA as a gift from the shop owner of a Quilter's Cupboard where I bought my Simple Gifts kit in November 2011. (See post for January 14, 2015.) This generously-sized tote bag used for storage is tidy and compact. My leftovers are all in one place now instead of being scattered.

I dug out and reminded myself about knit items I want to do in the near future and I separated those into an organza covered, circular hat box. I'd like to do a Baby Surprise jacket out of the variegated yarn, a scarf out of the ribbon yarn to the left, and two hats from the Top This kits with the elephant head and the lion head. I picked the animal caps up on clearance in North Carolina. These items are all pretty small and so I hope each will give me a morale boost after its speedy completion.

I have fond memories of this round box. My daughter bought me a plush red velour robe many Christmases ago. Presentation is everything. The robe came prettily packaged in that round elegant sheer container. So I am putting my want-to-do-soon projects in it and leaving it visible in my sewing room.

I am reminded of that special mother-daughter bond when I touch that simple cylinder and use it - and when I wear that robe - which I still do today, at least a decade later. My daughter was spot-on with her selection of that gift. Red is my favorite color, the texture is awesome, and the skirt is a very full A-line so it covers my ample hips quite generously without tugging. Here am I wearing that robe Christmas morning of 2005 so it dates back to that year or maybe even earlier. Hmm. I think I may have been prepped for church underneath that robe. Why else would I be wearing a ruby crystal necklace? Aha, here comes another reminiscence. The necklace was my mother's.

Cleaning up may be a distraction but it also is a relief - and can be a pleasure. I have a yarn stash that needs to be whittled down and that, too, is a 2016 goal; but I was not going to get into that. It may be too much yarn but it is organized and accessible, so why tempt fate right now? I have enough cleared away to tackle my sewing. I've resurrected enough memories to keep me content. I have enough found and defined to do a bit of knitting in the evenings. Perhaps I may even have a work in progress to show by Wednesday.


  1. You have such tasteful ways to organize your yarn, it's fun to see! And, that is a lot of things done recently; it's kind of exciting to see them all together I still remember that robe (I was so proud of it!). I don't see A's "fancy sweater" in the mosaic up top, but that was another fun finish!

    1. I actually put the yarn away from that one so it escaped my reminiscing! It's completion did get blogged about in my 8/15/12 post, though