1000 things

May 31, 2010

I joined the Simple Living group on Ravelry the other day because, well, I have a lot of stuff.  Not like Hoarders stuff but I do own a lot of things.  And lately it’s been weighing me down.  Especially my stash.  Which is sacrilege I know.  But it’s true.  The sheer amount of yarn in my house is making me feel stressed out and tired at the same time.  And while a lot of it is actually assigned for specific projects or people, I have come to the point where I just want to knit it down and fast. 

It took four years of dedicated yarn shopping but I’m at that point.  It has to go.  Like weight though, I didn’t gain it over night and it’s doubtful I’ll knit it all up overnight but I’m certainly working on buying less and knitting more.

So I’m looking for ways to simplify my life.  I’m also trying to stop buying crap I don’t need.  Especially after my very pricey purchase a few weeks ago which I was hoping to put off for at least a year…until my dryer decided otherwise and caught on fire.  Good times. 

Besides, as double mortgage holders now, money isn’t as free-flowing as it was.  Especially with me taking a pay cut.  I need to get my complicated and expensive life under control.  No one needs all the stuff I have.

But how does all of this whinging relate to 1000 things?  Isn’t the point of simplifying life cutting down on stuff?  Yes.  It is.  Which is exactly why I will be getting RID of 1000 things over the next year or so.  Which, to go full circle, brings me back to the Simple Living group on Ravelry.

Last week I was reading a thread in that group about how one woman was divesting herself of 1000 things she owned.  Which is a lot of stuff.  Someone else commented that the very fact that we (as a society) are able to get rid of 1000 things and not really feel much of a pinch is kind of frightening.  I completely agree.  And I’m going to try it. 

But first some rules.  The 1000 things can’t be regular stuff I’d be tossing out ie newspapers, garbage, empty containers etc.  Each of those 1000 things has to be something meaningful….an article of clothing, a book, cookware….something that someone can actually make use of.  And no, despite it stressing me out right now, I’m not getting rid of my stash either.  Well, not all of it.  Some of the yarn (which is truly awful) has to go yes, but I plan to get serious about knitting it up into its assigned projects.  And I’m going to be pretty diligent about buying new yarn.  Afterall, I have a closet full right now (and a hallway, and a spare room) and with my spinning wheel I’ll be able to make my own soon enough.  Yarn will definitely be part of the 1000 things but I’m not going to count it by the ball.  Instead I’ll count a finished project as one item towards the 1000…otherwise I’d hit that marker really, really quickly.

I”m going to add a page where I’ll track my progress.  If you’re interested you can check it out.  From time to time I’ll probably write about what’s gone out and why I let it go and where it went.  I”m pretty excited about this though.  1000 things out of my life.  And hopefully not replaced with 1000 new things.

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My newest yarn-y obsession

May 21, 2010

Nine or so months ago DH and I went to Iceland as part of our summer vacation.  Fortunately we had the foresight to go prior to all this volcanic dust and ash mess so we were able to fly in and out with ease and didn’t have to inhale all kinds of nasty dust. 

I have to say, Iceland is one of my favourite places on the face of the planet.  The only things I didn’t like about the country were the baggage handling at the airport (yes, actually I do need my suitcase and its ENTIRE contents to be happy while traveling) and the prices of just about everything.  That aside, the people, the food, the countryside and the yarn are all awesome.  How can a knitter NOT love a country where you can buy wool in every fifth store?  And see everyone, young and old, wandering around in all those awesome Icelandic sweaters.  Plus, Icelandic wool is one of the few things excluded from the country’s VAT.  Clearly Icelanders are very enlightened people.

So it will come as no surprise that I came back with literally a suitcase full of Lopi .  To be more precise though,  it works out to  two sweater’s and two shawls worth of yarn.  And a pattern book.  Which I flip through regularly.  DH is getting the cover page sweater in shades of blue and I haven’t decided what one I’ll be knitting for me yet.

Now Lopi, and even Lett-Lopi, is not soft wool.  It’s pretty scratchy and hairy and probably pills like mad.  And those sweaters are big, bulky and probably not-so-flattering on my not-so-svelte figure.  I’m sure they are time consuming to knit too, especially for someone who avoids knitting with more than one colour like the plague.  But for some reason I cannot get them out of my head. 

I have since bought two more pattern books and I troll through the Lopi project pages on Ravelry all the time.  I go to the Istex web site on a weekly basis.  I fondle my Lopi.  I dream about Icelandic sweaters.  And I really need to get cracking on knitting them up.

I wonder though, do I love the sweaters so much because they are beautiful or do I love them because I loved Iceland so much?  In the end, it probably doesn’t matter.


Hi there, remember me?

May 6, 2010

I can’t believe I didn’t post once in April.  Well, actually yes I can.  The new job, or rather the new commute, is kicking my ass and it’s all Ican do to stay away past 10pm.  Which is a bit weird for me as I’m usually just getting going right about that time of “day”.

My new job is going well though.  I like the people and the work and the office environment (Windows!  Sunlight is your friend!).  I even like the commute.  I enjoy driving the back roads through the farms and forests and seeing the geese and birds and cows and horses although I have yet to see deer.  I only wish I could knit at the same time although I suspect the OPP frown on that….something about paying attention while driving.  Wusses.

I really like that my new office is situated in the middle of a forest and I’m surrounded by lilac and magnolia trees and flowers and green stuff.  After working in the scary downtown of my city I cannot tell you how nice it is to be able to go for a walk at lunch and not fear for my life.

I just wish I didn’t work so far from where I lived.  Granted it’s 50 km, give or take (that’s about 31 miles for any US readers), but it’s 50 km through rural roads.  With a speed limit of 60 km  to 80 km (about 40 to 60 miles) it’s not nearly as quick as the 400 series highways (which are faster but way more stressful) and the view is prettier.   I really do have to remember to bring my camera along one of these days.  And let’s face it, speed limits are really just guidelines anyway.  Still, getting stuck at lights or behind some dumbass local resident driving at the speed limit is frustrating and I spend more time behind the wheel than I’d like not matter which route I take.  Which is pretty fatiguing and by Friday I am just knackered. 

Not to mention rushed because that extra 45 mins a day driving really cuts into my errand running and free time.  Thank God Fortinos recently extended their hours because once dinner is cooked and eaten and I’ve cleaned up it’s pretty late.  I honestly don’t know how women with children do it because if I had to look after anyone other than me, DH and the cat (who are both fairly self sufficient really)  I’d probably have a meltdown and end up sitting in a corner, sobbing and eating my own hair. 

I’m also spending more money on gas than I’d like, which isn’t as bad as it will be once the May 2-4 weekend comes and oil companies decide to gouge us in the name of “summer driving” supply and demand.  Uh huh.  It’s gonna hurt.

But overall things are good.  It’s nice to be respected (they think I’m an awesome researcher) and enjoy work.  It’s also nice to wake up and not feel the need to wonder if I can call in sick.  I haven’t felt that way for a long long time.  Definitely makes up for the extra long drive to the office.  Now if only I could do something about knitting on that drive…..