Monday Musings

Showing up

I tell people that Poopie and I are ineptly supportive of each other. This is because we do support each other. We are just terrible at it.

In the early part of our relationship, I had said that I thought I wanted to learn how to spin yarn. I mean, I already knew how to knit and crochet, so the next logical step was to learn to spin, right?  However, in looking for a wheel, I discovered that there is very little depreciation in the cost of a spinning wheel.  This meant spinning wasn’t going to be a low cost experiment.  Knitting and crocheting can be done on the cheap, and someday I’ll tell you about my introduction to weaving, but spinning…  I couldn’t justify that big of a purchase if I didn’t *know* I was going to pursue it.  So, I decided that was that. It would need to wait until I got rich.

Except for Christmas. My Poopie had found a spinning wheel in an antique shop, and purchased it for me!  (no, there are no pictures, Dear Reader…what is your deal with pictures??) I was so excited!  I would learn to spin!  And I diligently tried.  I really, really did.  I even found out about a poly drive band, and made Poopie help me figure that out.  Nothing.

However, I am lucky enough to live close to the Aurora Colony Spinners. And they have classes.  See, I had been trying on my own, and failing.  I don’t know if YouTube existed, if it was in it’s infancy, or if I just never thought of it, but regardless, I didn’t play on the YouTubes.  I decided, instead, to take a class on spinning.  The Aurora Colony even let me rent a spinning wheel.  With the patient help of Barbara Quinn, I was able to learn to spin (and ply) in just one day.  Seriously.  Just one day. All that time on my own, and one little class fixed it.  Le Sigh.

So, I called Poopie and ask him to please bring my wheel. He did.  I am informed this is called a chair wheel.  It’s a re-creation of a wheel that was made using the bottom of a chair as the frame.  I told everyone the story of Poopie buying me the wheel, and how supportive he is.  Appropriate oohs and aaahs.  I sat down to try out my new-found prowess…and nothing. One by one, several ladies tried.  No one could get the blasted thing to work.

So, I found out that it wasn’t me!!! It was my equipment. 20180226_213919.jpg Armed with this new knowledge, I went out (eventually) and bought myself a wheel.  Or 2. Or 3. Then I sold #2. Then bought #4. And later, #5.  Trust me, Poopie tells me about my wheel collection (which is only 4).  I ask about his guitars, and he finds somewhere else to be, and his hearing has suddenly deteriorated. I would also like to point out his wall of lp’s behind spinning wheel #1.

I, too, am inept at being supportive.  A couple of years later, I found a reel to reel for Poopie.  He had been wanting to start recording his music.  Being a Luddite, he was wanting analog.  So, I was in our local record store and noticed a reel to reel for sale.  Huzzah!  I bought it for him.  If you are a crafter, Dear Reader, you know that equipment has lots of variables that mean nothing to the lay person, but can make or break your project.  20180226_213943.jpgApparently, the same is true with music.  It would be very helpful, however, if Poopie didn’t sound like a trombone when he talks about his music equipment.  I’m not one of the Peanuts kids, I don’t understand “Wa waa wa waa wawa waa”.  So, even had the reel to reel I bought him actually worked, it was a 2 track instead of a 4 track.  Our local record store took back the defunct reel to reel.  Two machines later, he now has the one he wanted. Also, please note the 2 guitars and mandolin, in addition to the guitars and basses in the music room.

This post started out to be a post about equipment.  I was going to end that the lesson I learned from this is that if something doesn’t work, don’t necessarily assume it’s you.  MjAxMy1iMGFkZjZkM2M4OTI0MWNj

But then, yesterday, Poopie sent me a picture of this real, true to life CD (featured image).  That’s me being thanked on a CD.  Do you know what I did to deserve that? Me neither.  Except…I showed up.  I sat in the audience at most of their shows, and crafted.  When there were side projects, they knew they’d have at least one friendly face in the audience. Even my party foul story is about us showing up.  While Poopie and I were bumbling around like idiots, our friend was texting to make sure we were going to be there.  He was going to go up in front of a room full of strangers, and wanted just a couple familiar faces.  Never underestimate the value of showing up.

Poopie and I gave each other objectively terrible gifts that we had to return.  But, the true gift is that we showed up for each other.  So, take your crafting and show up somewhere and support someone or something you love.

Monday Musings

Madrona day 4 (belated)

The last day of Madrona is like the last hour of a night out partying. Everyone is exhausted, but no one is quite done. We know it’s time to go home, and we are ready to go home, but… there is still so much party left to be had.

As I said Saturday, Sunday’s class was John Mullarkey. I saved the best for last! But honestly, how do you pick a favorite class? I really can’t. I joke about my mad crush on John, but really, all the classes were excellent, as expected.

IMG955105.jpg
Franklin Habit’s sheep

John and Franklin are BFF’s, so I got a bonus Franklin visit when he came in to draw a sheep for John! John has many other talents.

Remember the story of how Pam and I met? Well, the other lady from that story was in this class. This time, we were on opposite sides of the room, and Pam didn’t attend. Did that stop the shenanigans? Don’t be silly, Dear Reader, of course it didn’t!

20180218_093227.jpg
John Mullarkey’s sheep

John was gracious as always. Especially when I compared his drawing of a sheep to Franklin’s drawing. I think he only threatened to kick me out of class a couple of times throughout the day. For a Sunday class, that’s pretty good for me.

You may think with John’s drawing skills, I should look elsewhere for a design class.  You may be wrong.  Like I said, he has other talents.  One of which is teaching.  His medium for art is in fiber and weaving, not in pen and ink.  He made the belt he was wearing, which he called “Robot Factory”.  Which looked like little R2D2’s, but, are NOT.  I really wanted the pattern, but it involved hexagonal cards, and I am not there yet. I couldn’t take a picture without being extra creepy. I think this showed remarkable restraint on my part.  20180218_091331.jpg

Here’s what I started off with to begin my design journey.  I generally try to bring colors I wouldn’t normally use, or wouldn’t normally pair together, for classes.  My thought is that I’m experimenting anyway, so I might as well go whole hog in my playtime.  Those colors are very “Easter” to me, and not ones people would generally associate with me.  So I played.  20180218_100404.jpg

The featured photo is the band I came up with.  I originally wanted to do a lollipop, but clearly did not grock the whole “S” and “Z” threading properly.  So it ended up being a Truffula Tree.  However, as people were coming along, some thought with different colors, it could be a poppy, and I tend to agree.  That’s the fun of design class, you just play and play.  With most of my samples from classes, I’m able to find things to do with them later. I’m sure the same will hold true for the Truffula Trees.

As I said, the class was great, and I was pleased that John remembered me from last year.  We will just conveniently forget it was probably because I am such a pill to have in class…or that I may have been creepily following him around last year (Hey, I didn’t take a picture of his belt!).  Hopefully, he’ll come to Oregon again next year, since I missed him last time he was in Eugene a couple of years ago.

After class, we were ready to go straight to the train station.  Pam and I had packed the night before.  My packing is on the left, and Pam’s packing is on the right.

As you can see, we have different styles of packing.  However, I’d like to point out that I knew where my brush was Sunday morning.

Today has been a day of recovery for me.  This wasn’t just a night out, after all. It was a VERY LONG weekend out.  My brain is still mostly mush, but I can possibly be of some value tomorrow in my day job, and that’s all they can ask of me, right?

Madrona was clearly a success for me.  It’s so much fun to try new things, and see how other’s approach the same things.  Isn’t it wonderful we aren’t all the same?

 

Monday Musings

Penny Lane

This week has been so eventful! I finished the shop hop. I went to a professional sportsball game. Aaaand…I got my first PodPledge supporter! This is so exciting, now I have to deliver on what I promised for support. I will also get to see exactly how the accumulation works. I *think* I understand, but I’m often a kinetic learner, so I may not have fully understood. While I will get that off before I leave for Madrona, I’ll need to play more with that site once I’m back. Everything I receive via PodPledge will be used to offset the costs of fun events…like Madrona.

Speaking of Madrona, I’m getting all my stuff and things together for the classes.

20180211_161051.jpg

As you can see, my packing is mostly project related, vs. clothes related. It’s all about priorities.

20180211_172015.jpg

I have also made sure to print out all my supply requirements and homework. I am finally getting excited.

We got our train tickets last week. I had planned to have a room to myself, but Pam needed a roomie, so we’ll be snoring in tandem.

20180211_170408.jpg

I think I forgot to tell her I’m *really* not a morning person. She wakes up at the butt-crack of dawn because she’s used to having to do farm stuff before work.

20180211_171438.jpg

Hopefully, she’ll have all her appendages when we are done.

It was at Madrona last year that I met Pam. Usually, I make her tell the story of how we met. She says she was in class, keeping quiet, focusing on learning tablet weaving. This is where people who know her laugh in disbelief. I assure them that she actually was minding her own business, but they never believe me, either. Anyhoo, in her story, there were these two girls in the corner (of which, I was one) laughing and being loud (I agree). But *this* is where her story gets wonky. She tells people we were saying things like “Marilyn does it this other way…”. (Marilyn is a “rival” of the teacher of the class we were in) We were not. However, we WERE the only three who the instructor remembered the names of.

Fast forward to the next day, I’m in a different class, minding my own business. Pam is next to me makes a couple of forays into small talk. I’m terrible at small talk. That and my RBF probably makes me come off pretty poorly. Luckily, Pam is never deterred. She asked me “what are you doing after this class?” I replied “eating lunch”. See?!?!?!?!? Terrible! “You need to meet my friends…and show us how to do that” Referring to the Portuguese Knitting I was doing. So, I followed along, and the rest is history. This part, everyone who knows her believes.

Pam is a force of nature. No one seems to notice me frantically blinking out SOS with my eyes when we go to different events together. That’s not true, Dorothea did, but she told me it was too late. I did have a chance to escape at the very beginning, but much like small talk, I’m terrible at picking up cues.

This story starts with our Airbnb room, which was located over a pawn shop. The instructions are to pick up the key at the pawn shop before such and such a time. If after that time, please go to the bar next door, and the bartender will have your key. Barb, who was my roomie last year, and I arrive after said time. So, we go to the bar. We ask the bartender about our key, and he’s confused. So he hollers at this guy who’s sitting at the bar, much like Norm from Cheers. The guy confirms there is a key behind the bar, and we get our key.

It’s a lovely little room…but, the door doesn’t actually latch. As you can see from the featured picture, it’s a lovely door, but the deadbolt is what keeps the door closed. I met Pam on Friday, and we were to meet for lunch on Saturday. Barb had a class Saturday, whereas I did not. She picked up her keys from the table, and I closed and locked the door and went back to bed. Later, I got up and got ready for lunch…but…no key. Barb had taken the key, thinking it was her car keys, and I was too asleep to know. So…I was locked in. I couldn’t leave because the door wouldn’t even latch (much less lock), so I would have left all of our stuff in a room with the door wide open. I didn’t call Barb because she wouldn’t have had time to come back and get me and go back for her class. The end result being that Pam thought perhaps she had scared me away (as if!). Had I just let her believe that… I could have escaped her orbit.

BUT…where’s the fun in that? Pam persevered, and I said “Yes” and have had many adventures since, and am looking forward to next weeks adventures! See, don’t you want to help me make new, exciting stories?

Monday Musings

Ma’am, you need to leave

I’m going to tell you a story that even my knitting ladies haven’t heard yet.  This just happened this past Thursday. I wish I could say that Thursday was the first time I’ve heard those words from a bouncer…We all know that that’s not going to be the last time, either.

Poopie and I went to Portland for a concert.  You’ll soon find that concert knitting is something I take VERY seriously.  I have to take lighting, seating, and table space into consideration.  There are some places which have surprisingly good accommodations for crafting, and I can do relatively complex work.  Thursday’s venue, however, isn’t one of those.  It doesn’t often even have seating.  So, the knit hat is what I generally take to work on when I’m headed that direction.  I can knit the hat standing and I can even do it in the dark, if need be.  These are but two reasons why it is absolutely my go to project on the go. However, I do need to make sure I have cast on prior to arriving, as that can be a problematic step to do standing up in the dark.

Well, Thursday was my lucky day.  While Poopie made his way to the front at the stage, I went up to the balcony and found a seat!  Up at the stage, one of those blurry guys is Poopie, he’s looking down at his phone. 20180201_193513.jpgHere in the foreground, you see the brim.  I’m that far along before the opening act got onstage.  When it’s general admission, you gotta get there early.

Prior to the concert beginning, I listened to a podcast on my iPod, and knitted.  Once the opening act started, I turned off my iPod, but kept the ear buds in.  This, Dear Reader, is why I can still hear even after all these years of being married to Poopie and going to all those concerts.  My earbuds double as earplugs.  So, still knitting along around and around in 1 x 1 rib, just listening to opening act vs. podcast.

When the opening act was done, a hand landed on my arm.  My neighbor in the next seat over asked me what I was knitting.  I told her I was knitting a hat.  “Oh, like a tuque?”  (Clearly, she is from Canadia).  I confirmed that’s what I was knitting.  She complimented my color choice, and I thanked her.  A little later, she asked if I thought I would be done knitting the hat by the end of the concert.  I chuckled and said I didn’t think so.

I continued knitting and listened to the headliner, and knit, and knit, and knit some more.  Meanwhile, Poopie was up at the stage so he could gaze adoringly at the guitar players. Lo and behold! I did finish the hat.  But, by that time, I really wasn’t into doing the finishing work.  There was probably enough light, but I would have had to strain my eyes, and it wasn’t worth it, so I put it away and fidgeted my way through the last few songs.

As everyone was getting ready to leave, the same woman asked if I had finished my tuque? I said I had, mostly, but I needed to weave in the ends.  She asked if she could buy it from me? I apologized and said no because I hadn’t woven in the ends. The woman assured me that she didn’t mind the ends flopping all about.  So, I took the hat off the needles and handed it over to her.  I had asked her for what I thought was fair for an unfinished hat, and she gave me more than that, but less than she had pulled out to hand over (what she had pulled out was more than I ask for a finished hat). I would have woven in the ends, anyway, but the bouncer was giving us the bum’s rush.  How like me to irritate a bouncer because I’m trying to complete a knitting transaction.  There were still lots of people up in the balcony, so I don’t know why he was hovering over US.

That was my excitement for the week!  Poopie thinks that she wanted the hat as a souvenir of her experience at the show.  I tend to agree. I would love, love, love to hear this story from her point of view.

I had planned to take pictures and all of that, but my plans went awry.  I was probably going to use the hat in a scrap post because I was using up spare bits of yarn to make a striped hat.  The lighting, though didn’t make in process pictures very viable.  I was going to wait until the next day when I had better light.  But, my hat had a different destiny than what I thought. The story I thought I was going to tell changed and became a different story.  Honestly, that is a theme of my life…probably life in general.

I do wish that I had finished my calling cards, so I could have given her one.  While the mystery of me is good for her story, where will she get her future hand knit tuques from???  Although, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of being the mystery knitter in some woman’s story.

In case I haven’t been clear before, I try to copy Life After Work in many things.  I tell her it’s the sincerest form of flattery, which she seems to be buying so far.  I did have some business cards done up for La Tejedora Crafts. However, when I started the blog, I knew I needed to update them, and carry them around to pass out like calling cards (this is the part I’m stealing from L) instead of just “business” cards.  However, while I have the mock-up done, I haven’t taken the time to print and cut the cards themselves. I’ll be doing that, you can be sure!

Monday Musings

Zen and the art of crafting

I flagrantly paraphrased the title of a wonderful book.  But I love the title of this post, and think I may unpack this over several posts.  (holla back to my yarn wall!!)
Today was a Monday.  Let me tell you, it was MONDAY.  It started off literally with me having to send an “All the best” email.  For those of you who don’t work with me, that’s how I say “FU” in a professional email.  Everyone I know in any sort of customer service gig has a phrase like that, like “Have a nice weekend”, or “Enjoy your day”.  How are we to deal with these days? Well, I craft.
“Zen is the “spirit of the valley,” not the mountaintop.”
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
…And so it is with me.  Crafting has been there for me in my valleys.  My very first yoga instructor explained how yoga/meditation can create some space around ourselves.  A mental moat, if you will.  That moat gives you space to respond to, rather than react to people and situations.  Many articles have been written about the difference between the two, and how important that difference is.  Reacting is sending the email that says “had you read the previous email, jerkwad…”  Responding is “all the best”.  Actually, responding is probably “I’m sorry you feel that way”.  “All the best” lives somewhere in the middle.  This is a journey, Dear Reader, I’m not there yet.
Even before I understood what meditation was about, I think I was meditating while crafting.  As I form a stitch, or spin a length, or any of the myriad tasks I complete on my way to my finished project, it is almost as if I enter an altered state.  While I engage one part of my brain to do my craft, another part is processing complex thoughts and feelings.  More articles talk about what meditation can be.  I have taken from my research* that anything done mindfully can be a form of meditation.
I find it difficult to do traditional meditation.  I know I’m supposed to let the thoughts pass through, but I seem to pick at them.  When all I’m tasked with is paying attention to my breathing, I get bored.  It’s not good to admit.  But, Dear Reader, if I don’t admit to the two (ha!) shortcomings I have, you’ll never think I can relate to you.  When I am crafting, though, I don’t seem to need to to pick at the thoughts.  They can come and go.  I can pay attention to them, or not.  That little bit of attention to what my hands are doing is all it takes for me to enter into the appropriate head space.
Not every project is a good Zen candidate, though.  You need something that you can “zone out” doing.  That thing depends on your familiarity with the craft in question.  It also depends on what you need out of the project. Something that is technical for you may not give the “Zen” experience. In fact, there have been many times in my crafting where I’ve needed to meditate to deal with what I’m trying to craft!  Crafting to solve my crafting problems! It’s crazy!!!!  (We’ll talk later about what those more complicated projects can do for you mentally)
Granted, crafts don’t start out as being calming or soothing.  I remember directly after teaching DeAnna to knit, her telling me I was crazy for thinking she’d ever find knitting relaxing.  Well, no, not while you are learning.  But it wasn’t even a couple of months later that she related a story about being irritated with her 70 kids (there are actually *only* five), and one of them brought her her knitting bag because he thought she needed the stress release.  She has many stories of using knitting as a stress relief (which is what meditation is supposed to do, right?).  The point is not to take up crafting in the hopes that you will suddenly find Nirvana.  Unless you hid “Nevermind” in the bottom of your craft basket.
If, however, you have already taken up a craft, see if maybe you can use it as meditation.  Is there something repetitive that you do in this craft that needs you to pay just a little attention? I, personally, have many projects going at the same time.  Each has a purpose, and one purpose could be meditation.  Even if you don’t have an entire project for this purpose, you may find that within a project, there is a step you dread because it’s mind numbingly boring.  Instead of looking at it as boring, does it help to use it to see if you can turn it into meditation? (I’m looking at you miles and miles of stockinette stitch in the body of a sweater–and don’t think I don’t see you quilt binding that needs to be hand stitched…)
Crafting has the added benefit of being “useful”.  It gives us an “excuse”.  While we can discuss the reasons why it’s BS that we need excuses, the fact remains that excuses make things easier.  You don’t have to explain you don’t want to talk to anyone today because you sent five “all the best” emails.  You are crafting.  You don’t have to react to your family member’s questionable political view, because look, that stitch just dropped. Hunh, where did that go?  And those days you just can’t even? For literally no reason other than it’s Thursday? Well, you’re being productive.  And you didn’t have time to shower because you had this project you needed to finish.  It’s not depression (unless it is, and if it is, get help for that shit, you are neither Superman, nor Wonder Woman)
That’s not to say that those who are close to you won’t know.  But just as it’s easier for you not to have that argument, it’s easier for them as well to not have that argument.  You don’t have to explain you need to decompress.  You don’t have to explain that yes, you are just sitting there doing nothing, but that in itself is doing something.  You are making Things.  And if secretly, you are building a moat so that you don’t scoop out their eyeballs with a spoon to feed to feral dogs, well, we can let that be our secret (that was oddly specific–unless you live in my head–in which case, it was just specific).
The featured photo is a gift for Barb.  It was Zen crafting at its finest!!  I spun the yarn, and was able to be soothed by that.  And then, the pattern was simple enough and repetitive enough that I was able to be soothed by the making of the scarf as well!
*there are no sources cited.  This is a blog, not a dissertation.  Use Google, like I had to!
Monday Musings

The life of a Hat

I craft in public. Lately, it’s been knitting…so this story is another knitting story.  I promise I do other crafts, it’s just knitting is uber portable for me.

Often, I’ve been told by strangers some variation of “I don’t have the patience to knit”.  My response is always the same…I don’t have the patience NOT to knit.

I DO NOT have patience.  I can’t stand waiting.  My time is valuable, dammit!!  However, since beginning crafting, and taking my crafting with me, I’ve been much more chill about having to wait in lines, or waiting rooms.  I just make sure I have something portable with me.  Take this hat, for example.

The life of the hat often begins on the yarn walls.  I’m going to re-use some photos from before to show you.  20180108_083103Here you see where it all begins…the Yarn Wall.  In the corner, is the Fun Fur.  If you look really closely at the photo of the Yarn Wall in the previous post, you will see the yarn in the very lower left hand corner.

The body of the hat actually was in the music room, but was hidden underneath a failed weaving project. See, underneath that cloth is the yarn I used.

20180113_142814 I know I can do hats pretty much anywhere, so I had decided to make a new hat be my new carry along project.  I wanted to try something different.  And I was inspired not only by my yarn wall, but also by talking about my yarn wall.  I wondered if maybe I could use the Fun Fur to make the hat look like it had a fur trim??

20180111_203205.jpgI tried a couple times to cast on.  Oh, yeah, this is why I don’t care for Fun Fur.  It’s not really all that fun to work with. So here I am at a bored board meeting.  I’m being unnecessarily snarky.  Strangers may think I craft because I’m not paying attention.  The opposite is true.  I actually am better able to focus when crafting.  I will discuss that in another post.  This is actually the second attempt at casting on.  I didn’t like the look and feel of the first time.  20180112_212808.jpg

Here I am knitting in a bar.  Poopie and I were at a friend’s birthday party last weekend.  Those ladies in the background were not part of the group.  Hat knitting is wonderful for bars.  It is small, and I can knit the hat in the dark.  Thank all that is holy, because the stupid Fun Fur makes it impossible to see your stitches anyway.

20180113_212025.jpgAnd here it is the next night at a concert at local venue. I have, apparently, a reputation for knitting at concerts.  There will often be chairs set aside for me at house shows so I can sit in my corner and knit while listening to live music.

I actually took several more pictures over the week, but my phone ate them before I uploaded them to WordPress…so, my lesson for this post is…save your pictures right away.  This hat came with me to stand in line outside of the Old Church in Portland  for a general admission show on Tuesday.  It also came with me to a City Committee meeting on Thursday.  My knitting is also commented upon (I’ll assume positively) as I perform my civic duties. 20180120_111958.jpg

Remember folks, you need to be involved.  If you don’t like how things are going, get involved and change them.  If you like how things are going, get involved to keep them going that way.

OK, off my soapbox, and back to my hat.  The final trip the hat made with me was to the mountains for a snow weekend.

Here we see me close to getting it off my needles.  You will see that while on a snow weekend in a cabin, and playing a tabletop game, I am finding time for knitting.

Turns out, the hat ended up very much as I had hoped.  The Faux Fur look worked out, and it adds a stylish touch to an otherwise “boring” beanie.  I’m not at all certain it was worth it,  but I had the yarn, and was able to experiment.  I, personally, wouldn’t buy Fun Fur, even for this, but since I had it, I’m glad I found a use for it.

While I have mentioned lessons and have jumped on my soapbox, the true lesson of this hat and post is that you can find time for crafting.  I’ll be talking a lot about how crafting benefits me, and what I get out of it (besides the things I make).  But, this is how I do it.  Just one stitch at a time.  Wherever and whenever I can, I make just one stitch.  And then, the next time, I make another stitch.  Each stitch is so tiny, it seems inconsequential, but put them all together, and you have a nice, warm, hat.

 

 

 

Monday Musings

Yarn Wall

I’ve shared with you, Dear Reader, the beginning steps of my crafting journey. Being a journey, there are many steps along the way.  There are also supplies needed.  While I do not limit myself to yarn.  I have a passing acquaintance with yarn *snigger*

Speaking of yarn, do you see the header? That’s a slice of my original yarn wall. The above photo is a larger view of the wall.   I don’t honestly remember where I stole the idea from, but when Thing 1 moved out, I got my craft room back.  WooHoo!! I took large pieces of pegboard, had O spray paint them, and hung them on the wall.  While the local big box hardware stores had the pegs in stock, the costs were pretty high for something I wasn’t going to see anyway.  I was able to find them much more cost effectively online.  Since I am a six year old at heart, I am all about the instant gratification.  I did buy a package locally to get started and tide me over.  But, since I’m disgustingly responsible, most of the pegs were computer generated.  I opened up bins, and spent a weekend putting yarn on my wall.  It’s adorable–Poopie tells people I have 10% of my yarn up on that wall.  Sure, 10%, that’s a number.

However, my craft room was overrun by *dun dun duuuuuuuun* guitars.   And pedals.  Lots and lots of pedals.

20180113_142828.jpg
LOTS AND LOTS OF PEDALS

While I may have been pulling yarn out of secret stashes, Poopie was pulling out guitars…dafuq?  And my craft room was less *my* room, and back to not my room.  But, Poopie loved how the yarn wall made the acoustics in that room work for playing and recording. So when Thing 2 moved out, and he moved all his crap out of *my* crap craft room, he said I could have a yarn wall in there, as well.  He even hung it himself. So now, I have two yarn walls!! I think Poopie may still be telling people it’s 10% of my yarn.  I’m still letting him.

 

20180113_142814.jpg
Acoustically useful yarn wall.

What my yarn wall has done has been to give new life to my yarn. Before, it was in tubs.  I really didn’t know what I had. Plus, I’m basically lazy, and trying to find something, even if I know I have it, just sounds like a lot of work when all I want to do is craft!!!  Now, the yarn is up on the wall, visible.  So, it’s pretty before I’ve even turned into something.  Even yarn I will never use, that I bought “on sale”, or was given to me is pretty.  I also have less of a tendency to only know about 5 of my 6 balls of yarn, so I can better plan my projects.  I have been doing a much better job of using what I already have, and choosing projects to match my yarn rather than the other way around.  Which means I have been purchasing a lot less yarn.  And yarn that no longer speaks to me gets to find new homes which will be better at loving it.

Granted, I still buy sock yarn every time it goes on sale, but that’s for another blog.  “Staples” yarn (cotton, sock, and baby yarn) live in the music room since I don’t generally get to go in there to get inspiration.  Other yarns live in my craft room, where I can make plans for it. (insert diabolical laughter here)

Notice what you don’t see up on these walls? My Red Heart.  I haven’t taken my Red Heart out to breath.  It’s still languishing away in obscurity.

20180113_142933.jpg
neglected Red Heart

Yes, you do see a motorcycle wheel to the left.  My Red Heart is still in the garage.  I used to have tubs of yarn I got from an estate sale on my back porch in addition to what lives in the garage (and other secret locations).  The porch yarn moved to the craft room wall when I got the music room yarn wall.  But not my poor Red Heart.  The porch yarn was pretty obviously not where it should be, and the tubs were getting brittle because of the elements, so that took precedence. 

I want to be clear, I’m not ashamed of my Red Heart.  I just know that it is sturdy and can handle being in it’s vacuum sealed bag (see, I am protecting it).  The other stuff, though, it needed to be unpacked.  I needed to go through it and see what I could use, and what I no longer had a use for. I *know* my Red Heart.

All in all, I am very happy I’ve unpacked my yarn.  Don’t tell Poopie, but there is still a lot left to unpack.

So, the lesson of the yarn wall is to unpack your shit.  You don’t know what you’ve got if you don’t examine it.  Find out what you’ve been overlooking.  Find out what no longer works for you.  And remember, just because it’s not for you, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t love it. Unpacking your shit can be painful and time consuming, but it is worth it.  And don’t beat yourself up if you can only take it in small doses.