Thursday, September 20, 2007

How's that for a slice of fried gold?

Y'all know how when you first start to knit, you really don't know what you're doing and every stitch is a chore? Then all the sudden a light goes on in your brain and you 'get' it. After that, most of the work is over regarding the basics and you can enjoy watching your knitting happen, stitch by stitch.

Then you try lace, and it's back to remedial class again. Or a sock, or heaven-forbid some set-in sleeves (these are hard for me, don't know why). But soon you learn that after each new and scary knitting experience, there comes a time where even it isn't so bad anymore, and you enjoy it. (Though I have had projects that I detested from start to finish.)

Around this time, I think, you take a look at your yarn stash, which has either grown exponentially, or is about to. You feel the weight of all you have - or the weight of all you don't, but will soon have. For a while, you probably have run around buying all you can see - skeins and skeins of sock yarn, more lace yarn than you can knit, several sweaters' worth that seems like a real good idea. You're in this holding pattern for a while.

Then, one day you open your email and you have a golden-etched Ravelry invitation. And, my goodness, they have a section right there for the yarn stash, so you start photographing little bits of it at a time and posting it up there.

And not long after, realize your stash is not only huge, it's full of stuff you probably won't knit, and even though you're so excited to have yarn and have it all up there, you feel a bit guilty about it.

Now, I'm asking meself outloud where y'all can hear it, why is that? Why the guilt? I'm not going to stop buying yarn, but I have made some bad choices in my life, and some of them were expensive bad choices.

But really - I wish I had a Ravelry for the rest of my life. Don't you? I mean, I'm sure all those books under the bed...there's lots to sell and swap away. Clothing? Do I really need 12 white t-shirts? Sure, a lot of them are now shorter than the current fashion, but do I get rid of these perfectly good, clean clothes just because of fashion? That seems a bit...ruthless. (Who is Ruth, anyway?)

Something about it all being electronic and in the computer is a reality check for me. I always had a hard time paying my bills with any skill until online banking came along, and I supposed this is like it. But I'm wondering - is it an accident that I have had this big purge/cleanup in my life at the very same time that I started organizing my knitting?

Things usually happen in themes for me - don't they for you? The big overarching theme now is 'get rid of what I don't need.' I've also been cleaning up my spending (but you do not want money advice from me, I promise, so I never blog about it). I've been eating healthier. Two weeks ago, I gave up Diet Cokes because of an article I read. This one was hard for me - diet cokes had become my morning coffee, and all this water and tea is really getting to me. So I have allowed myself one or two cups of coffee a week, and a diet coke if I want one, but I have to really want it. And most of the time - I don't want it.

I have an online Ravelry for health, I've used Weight Watchers online for about four years now. And the bank. And how I wish I had one that cataloged my belongings, because it would be a barn-burner.

I started out to say I am really enjoying how things look around my place, and ended up talking about Ravelry. I hope to see y'all there - Ravelry is a slice of fried gold, y'all. I am not going to start a self-help-from Ravelry group, but I think it's responsible for making me better, lately. I've bought yarn with a purpose, organized my stash, finished up or trashed projects that have been waiting around forever. It's spilled over into the rest of my life, and that is a good thing.

I mean, the only way you could make gold better is to deep fry it. Because (at least in the South) deep frying makes everything better.


Blogger Jo said...

I know what you mean by needing Ravelry for the rest of my life. I have purposefully not bought new yarn recently because by taking pictures of it all for my Stash I know I have something I can use for a particular pattern already in my stash.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Interesting. You and I are at about the same point in life looks like. I too am trying to de-clutter. I am going to go through my wardrobe and get rid of all the clothes that don't fit or I don't wear. I cut out the Diet Coke too. (saw the same article) Water is boring, but a squirt of lemon juice tarts it up a bit. I'm trying to get more exercise.....AND i got into Ravelry recently too! So I am looking at my stash and freaking...

9:11 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

I started taking stash pictures this summer and only got through the sock yarn. Last Friday I mercilessly went through my stash to sort out what I *really* won't use, and I feel so light! I heart Ravelry. Now about my books...

9:18 AM  
Blogger bellamoden said...

Ravelry is but you're right. It's definitely eye-opening.

I find though that Ravelry doesn't curb my desire for yarn though. That's annoying.

9:31 AM  
Blogger KSD said...

The Southern deep-frying comment reminded me of buying some sushi at a store here in Athens once. As I was checking out, the cashier asked, "Have you tried this stuff deep-fried? It's really good!"

11:11 AM  
Blogger Pam the Yarn Goddess said...

I just listed some yarn that I'm destashing. I was horrified when I inventoried just the Lorna's Laces. I had 126 skeins of it. I don't need to tell you what it costs per skein. I almost fell over. Then I looked at the rest of the stash and thought, this is a down payment on a house.

That's when reality set in.

So what did I do? I was so depressed that I bought two more skeins.

12:43 PM  
Blogger smelk-o-matic said...

I came to pretty much the same realization after I had posted my stash. I don't really totally understand the guilt, except for that I know that I spent a lot of money on it all in a very short amount of time. I mean, it's not that I mind having it there.

Oh, well. But, you're right - if anything, I think Ravely will help keep me more honest!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Sounds familiar :) I really liked the Yarn Harlot's approach to that guilt- consider yarn entertainment value, and divide the cost of it by the hours spent on the project, and it's generally cheaper than a movie or going to a bar.

One of the benefits of being pretty poor, most of my 102 stashed items are single balls of fairly cheap stuff, but it's definitely helped me put a check on what yarn I buy, and it's made me more purposeful (having specific patterns I want to make). I think many vices people have are due to a lack of purpose, and furthermore, an organized approach to that purpose.

Cheers to yarn, organization, and purpose!

10:55 AM  
Blogger Knitting Kris said...

I like your blog post, and this one really spoke to me. I wish I could carry the Ravelry concept over to other areas, but I've not yet photographed my stash, and am a bit scared to, to be honest! But I appreciate you musings on all of it, and find it to be very applicable to my life too!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

Oh yeah, I completely hear what you mean. Well said!

1:37 PM  
Anonymous J.P. said...

Very well put. I have been thinking along the same lines lately and you put it into words really well..

4:47 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

The ruth in Ruthless is the Ruth from the bible. We used to have 'ruthfull' as well, which meant something along the lines of compassionate and caring, but we've lost that along the way, which I'm sad about.

I think we could all stand with being a bit more Ruthfull.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Jen said...


4:33 PM  

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