Tuesday, February 12, 2013

To an Austere, Productive Year


I've been itching to buy yarn the past two weeks but the four-foot pillar in the corner of my room has been making it hard to justify a new purchase.



To be fair, the containers are pretty bulky and inexact so the yarn balls would probably come up to just half the apparent height if I gathered them into a pile by themselves.  I'm tempted to go on here about other excuses factual details like how I didn't buy all of them anyway (etcetera, etcetera) but then, that would get me veering off the path of reason onto the downward, slippery slope of greed. And since experience has taught me that the quickest path from digression to brevity is a bullet list, I shall use one in order to make my point quickly and easily.  So here goes:

  • To some extent, I'm always wanting new yarn but I've realized that the wanting begins to rear a compulsive head whenever I enter into a state of craft-related anxiety.  In fact, I could probably trace all my yarn purchases to one or combinations of the following: 
    • Indecision over which project to work on next
    • Work-in-progress hurdles, detours and dead-ends (emphasis on dead-ends)
    • Stubbornly vague design ideas
    • Unproductive attempts to write a blog entry
  • My very first yarn splurge* may have been excusable on grounds of ignorant enthusiasm but it's not like I waited until I'd gone through that first batch before I bought the next one.  But the buying must stop because I probably have at least two years' worth of material by now and that's not counting my hoard of thrifted clothes (which I intend to repurpose into bags once I'm able to get myself a sewing machine).
  • And now the hard part: how to enforce this yarn freeze.  As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, I've been working to stave off an urge to buy yarn for a couple of weeks now; I've so far been successful and these methods are the ones that have helped me the most.  (It's probably premature to be sharing this so early on but oh well).
    1. Using the yarn I have on hand as criteria for choosing a pattern, instead of the other way around.
    2. Crocheting motifs. More on motifs (the ones I've been trying and why I love them in general) on my next post next month week.
    3. Recycling sweaters. I bought five sweaters for the express purpose of recycling them into yarn. Two from this set, I turned into my yellow bell bag but I'm determined (and quite excited too because winding yarn into balls is fun!) to frog the rest into new-old yarn. I'm actually almost done with one of them:


Now, if all three fail, I resolve to take out and reorganize all my threads in a last-ditch attempt to deter me from hitting a "Buy Now" button on some yarn site somewhere. So if I ever put up photos of my yarns all piled up in a heap, you'll know what made me do it.


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* My very first yarn splurge amounted to 35 balls of Cannon thread: 12 maroon, 12 dark red, 6 gray, 9 pink  -- remember this, Mimi?

13 comments:

  1. my first yarns came from Ate Mimi too :) I also can related to the recycling yarns thing.. as I bought one stripe bag ( ! ) of bulky scarves from Baguio last 2010.. I think there are 60 pieces or so there.. I sold all of them. only 3 are left to be actually recycled ahahhah as for the justification when buying yarns, I lost all possible justification. In the end, I found comfort with purging my items.. it's liberating..

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    1. 60 scarves! That must have been one big bag you had when you got back from Baguio. But it's great that you were able to sell them, even if just for the space it allowed you to reclaim.

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    2. yup.. it's one big stripe bag.. and I've been carrying them around everytime we move to different apartments..

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  2. 2 years worth of materials.. <<<<

    I actually felt i'm swimming in pools of fiber before I started to destash :) You'll get by somehow.. you'll figure out the best way to deal with it after a while :) goodluck on that :)

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    1. Thanks Bheng. You have to know, I find your massively successful destashing operation to be inspiring on so many levels!

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  3. You can do it! :D
    I haven't bought new yarn since I bought the set of Hariri balls from Bheng last August (?). Whenever you feel the urge to buy more, just make yourself go over to your stash and stare at the pile first. It works! For me at least :)

    I've been doing step 1 since August. When I'm done with a project, I look at my available yarn and decide what to do next based on that. If I do find a pattern that I really really wanna make, I try to make it work with what I have (poor FO).

    Good luck!!!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Edwina. It's encouraging to have the affirmation that it can be done. :)

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  4. I will try that step 1 too :) I left some items for myself, and I will have to rely on this step number 1 as if my life depends on it eheheheh

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  5. In my younger years I was a compulsive shopper (of whatever I want) as long as I have money...but now I can safely say I can control myself. In buying yarn, I had to face the reality that I had little space to stack them, and limited time in this world to make use of them. But I do believe that one can keep beautiful yarns for no other reason but to collect and admire it :)

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    1. Self-control is what I need! I admire your policy of getting only enough for a project, although in your case, it's more than a project most of the time, it's a design you're able to publish as well.

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  6. In this case, I am still a big failure!!! But I managed two months without clicking any buy now button! I am actually feeling a bit uneasy because I want to buy some raffia yarns because I want to make bags. But I have been saying this since december and I never actually used the materials I bought for bag making! Hence I stick to yarns I will use for clothes. No more no less. I just feel a little bit spoiled lately because whenever I am having doubts about yarn purchase, someone will urge me to do it saying I deserve them .. heheh...(lorie of ginantsilyo)

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  7. Hi Lorie! 2 whole months, achievement na yun lalo na kung may mga nage-encourage sayo na bumili pa ng yarns. And since you're able to sell your lovely creations anyway, you really do deserve those new yarn purchases.

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    1. hehe, forgot to type in a smiley face, sorry to sound so serious! :)

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