Christy and I have been talking about festival knitting. You know, actually knitting the stuff I buy at the festivals.
In years past I’ve been terrible about this. The stash gets bigger and bigger, and I have less FOs to show for it. I’ve given this some thought (quite a lot, actually), so you can read the full scoop in the extended entry.
After a little introspection I’ve decided:
I buy better than I used to
When I first got back into knitting, I’d buy a sweater’s worth of yarn just because I liked the color. No real project in mind, and with no regard for how available it would be if I waited until I needed it.
I’ve amassed many sweaters-worth of yarn, and really, there are only a couple that I have a long-term interest in (the coned cashmere from School Products comes to mind). I may not use either cone for another couple of years, but I know I’ll love whatever I make from it. The colors are classic (cream and gray heather) and there’s enough for a variety of projects. I don’t regret buying them one bit.
But there are several purchases I regret.
There’s this mohair I got on eBay. The seller (from Turkey) offered to refund the money after I sent the yarn back to him, at my expense. It all seemed like too much of a hassle, and in the end I could have been left with no yarn AND no money. So I kept it. I showed him alright. I now have 20 balls of this stuff and no plans for it.
And yeah, I mentioned that I might dye it in the post I linked to. I seriously doubt I will. I get annoyed every time I see the yarn. I just don’t think I’ll ever enjoy the yarn.
Other times, it wasn’t a bad yarn purchase, but rather a bad fashion choice for me. For example, the Snowflakes and Arrows vest. Love the look, but I’m unsure about its look on me. When it comes to different shapings, I can always drape some fabric or shawls to mimic the shape to see what I think it’ll look like on me. But that doesn’t work for colorwork. I’m too unsure about how this vest would look on me to make it. That didn’t stop me from buying the yarn for it though.
There are lots others I could share, but it’s more of the same — no forethought, bad project, bad yarn choice.
It was nice to hear Christy say the same thing to me this weekend. Maybe it’s a process that some knitters go through? The good news is that I don’t do this any more. I generally buy stuff I like and can use and can envision made up into a particular project.
I *love love love* to buy sock yarn
If there was a Sock Buyers’ Anonymous I would be a card-carrying member.
You all know the story — the handdyed colorways I could never wear as a sweater, the luxurious fibers that would cost a fortune to buy in large quantities, the ease in which it slips into the stash with barely any evidence that you bought more, the relatively inexpensive nature of the yarn compared to bigger projects, the one-of-a-kind lure that makes you snap it up right now.
It’s no wonder that sock yarn was at practically every booth at Rhinebeck.
I knit a lot, I just don’t focus
This one isn’t new, but it’s worth restating. All too often I allow myself to switch from new project to new project. If I only focussed a little more I’d have so many more FOs to show for it.
Knit half of everything I bought at this year’s fests in time for MDSW.
That’s 6.5 months for lots of socks and possibly a few other projects, too.
I’m taking a few steps to make this successful:
- I’ve added a tally of what I bought at MDSW and Rhinebeck this year to my side bar. As I knit things up I’ll cross them off. Who doesn’t like whiddling down a list?
- Christy is doing this too (it was her idea) and we’ll motivate and keep each other on track. It’s good to have a friend that’ll say “Girl, get your act together” and she will. I invite all of you to do that too. Peer pressure is a great motivator.
- I’m allowing myself to substitute something bought this year from something similar in the stash. So, if I use stash yarn for a pair of socks, that counts for one of the pairs I bought at a fest this year. The goal here is to not allow the stash to grow. So, if I buy something new and knit it, it doesn’t count.
- I might try some of my sock yarn in a lacey shawl or scarf project. If I get bored with the socks it’ll be a nice switch, and there are so many pretty lace patterns out there.
- I’m working on a Flickr gallery. Seeing everything all together is so motivating.
Cassie left a comment that she likes the idea but doesn’t think she could do it. I’m not sure either. But I’m giving it a try.
Why? Freely shopping at MDSW is a great motivator 😉