Checking In

February 22, 2011

After I decided to do the 111 in 2011 project and posted about it, I got a little stressed.  111 skeins/balls/units of yarn is a lot of yarn.  Even if you decide to use 111 skeins of bulky yarn in 55 m skeins (not that that had crossed my mind no siree it hadn’t) that still works out to 6105 m to knit up.  Or 6.1 km.  Not far but not really close either.  And since I’ve gone public with it, what if I don’t make my goal?  It’s enough to make a knitter lose sleep.

So, to ease my nerves, I tossed my stash a few weeks ago and pulled out several projects worth of yarn (hats, coats, shawls, sweaters, socks) in various weights and piled them up on my desk.  As incentive.  I still don’t have one empty storage bin but I’m getting close. 

I also pulled out several mill end bags and figured out what to do with them.  Sometime last year I went a little crazy got a great deal on Patons SWS mill ends at my local Zellers.  I bought nine bags.  Maybe 10.  No, definitely nine.  Ok nine that I’m admitting to.  Each bag has five balls of yarn in it.  I used 2/3 of a ball to make a hat.  And the rest of it has sat, silently reproaching me.  So I measured it, caked it and knit a French Market Bag out of five more balls.  To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the bag.  It’s not as big as I’d have liked it to be (even though I knit the body another 7 inches longer) but that’s my problem.  But, I used up nearly a pound of yarn and I’ll use the bag for something.  And that’s what got the blood flowing.

I knit up a pair of fingerless mitts for me using yarn that’s been kicking around for a few years.  I knit up some dishcloths for the house and cottage.  I’m working through some Loops and Threads  for kids mittens as well.  I blew through four balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky last month and I’ve finally started that Lopi sweater (#18, Design 1) for the Hubs.

So, in nearly two months, I’ve used up 18 balls/skeins of yarn for a grand total of 1631 m knitted.  Which is 1.6 km.  Which is about the distance from The Money Pit to the highway on-ramp.  Which is exciting.

I’ve got 93 balls left to knit and I’m just getting going.  I’ve got some chunky blankets to make for the cottage, more felted clogs and lots and lots of socks and mittens.  I am finding it kind of empowering to shop from my stash as well.  I have a lot of yarn and most of the time I can make it fit the pattern I want to make.  And if I can’t, well, the pattern is filed for future use when the stash is smaller and I can justify buying more yarn.  I might it at that point.  If I still like it.

And it’s nice to see some space emerging.  No empty storage bins yet but I cleared off a shelf in our spare room closet last night and slowly but surely that giant pile of yarn on my desk is getting smaller.  I also have fewer projects on my needles at any given time and I’m more organized about what I’m making.  But the best part of all of this is the incredible sense of satisfaction I get when I can “x” out the numbers on my count down chart. 

I’ve gone from I think I can to I know I can.  I’ll update again in a month.  And when I hit 5k, I’ll have a little something special planned.

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111 in 2011

January 28, 2011

I have a lot of yarn.  A lot.  I can’t fit it all in one room anymore.  Well, that’s not entirely true, it can all fit in one room, if I emptied it all out on the floor or just stacked up all the boxes and baskets and totes in that room and forgot about furniture. 

Mostly it’s stored in what I call my home office (which co-incidentally happens to be the smallest room in the house…outside of the 2nd floor bathroom) and what the Hubs calls the Hoarders Episode.  But I also have yarn in the spare room closet and a bit in our bedroom.  Oh, and our actual home office.  Crap I have a lot of yarn.  It’s frightening when I think of it.  I’m not at Hoarders level yet, but I could easily get there.

So enough is enough.  Also something I’ve had enough of is the Hubs bitching about it.  Oh sure I’d bitch about his stuff, except that he doesn’t really collect stuff.  Except for bottles of Diet Coke.  But he drinks those as fast as he buys them so no dice.

I don’t know where I came across this idea, probably on Ravelry since I’m not this imaginative, but it struck a cord.  Someone was going to go through 100 balls of yarn in 2011.  Neat idea, but for me 100 balls in 2011 didn’t have a nice ring.  So I’m going for 111 in 11.  It has a nicer ring to it.

And I don’t imagine it will be all that hard.  I’m not putting a distance requirement on this project, one ball is just as good as another.  Obviously laceweight is going to bite since it’s so thin and there’s so much of it but even still, it will be nice to get a few skeins of that out of the closet and made into a shawl.  Or three.  I have just over 11 months to go.  I’m pumped.

I just used up five balls of yarn (365m) as of last night.  That means I have 106 balls to go.  And I’m about to start the Hub’s Lopi sweater which will use up 22 more balls.  And there’s my self-imposed-sock-club (post to come on that one of these days) which will knock off at least 11 more skeins/balls and maybe more.  I have a few baby blankets to knit and several hats to make, Lizard Ridge  (21 more balls) and my mom wants a shawl as well.  I hope to reach my goal in the fall but that’s likely tempting the fates so I’ll keep my mouth shut. 

It will be interesting at the end of it all to see how many kilometres of yarn I’ve used.  I can’t wait to tell the Hubs how far we could have driven overall with the amount I will have knitted.  That will be supercool.  Well for a knitter it will be.

And I can’t wait to see how much free space I’ll have at the end of it.  I’m hoping to free up at least two 76L totes.  But who knows.  Maybe it will be more.  Maybe I’ll be able to finally fit another chair in the Hoarders Episode room my home office.  Maybe I’ll be able to fit a chair under my desk.  Oooh the possibilities.

I’m also on a yarn diet too.  In conjunction with using up these 111 balls.  The diet ends in April (when I take a brief visit to the US and all their glorious and well stocked craft stores) but I’ll be back on it in May. 

Wish me luck.  And send suggestions on yarn eating projects.  I’ll post sporadically about how many balls I’ve knit up and how many kilometres I’ve knitted.  I’m guessing that by the end of it I will be able to get from my house to Toronto.  That’s 70 kms.  About a marathon and a half.  I can knit it.  Now if only I could run it!


Sometimes it really is all about the little things

October 6, 2010

Now that it’s fall, seem to have more energy and motivation to do stuff around the house.  And I’ve made a few changes to how I do some things, specifically laundry.  As much as I’d love a main floor laundry room, that is NEVER going to happen.  We just don’t have the space, and without a massive wallet-breaking renovation and losing half our backyard in the process, we never will.  So I suck up trucking four or five or even six baskets of laundry up and down three flights of stairs every two weeks.  Sometimes every week depending on how dirty we are.

That’s not the bad part. 

The bad part is DH’s shirts and all our table linens that sit (and multiply in the dark of night) in the laundry basket in our bedroom (where I fold the laundry) until I haul it all back downstairs, iron and fold and then bring the shirts back upstairs.

I don’t mind ironing but I don’t like going up and down the stairs like a crazy woman carrying anywhere from five to 25 shirts.  Yes DH has a lot of shirts and I am a lazy wife.  And no, he’s not going to iron any more than I will and I enjoy doing it on a Sunday night while I listen to the opera show on the radio.

So, I finally had a flash of brilliance and brought the iron upstairs to the bedroom.  Genius I know.  Now the iron lives on top of the armoire when it’s not being used, the ironing board lives in the knee wall closet when it’s not being used, I don’t have to wrestle with carting a million shirts up and down the stairs and quite frankly the task is much more enjoyable as a result.  Sometimes a small change is all it takes to make an unpleasant task better.