Clear that Clutter!

I’ve been on a (very slow) decluttering/simplifying kick for a year or two now. It isn’t that I haven’t bought anything in that time (boy, have I!) but I have been trying to look at what I own critically. Our condo is 900 square feet, which isn’t anything to sneeze at, but it feels crowded.

I’ve been taking things to various resale places fairly regularly, and I keep a bag by the front hall closet that is just for stuff to be donated. I generally take books to Fairs Fair, because they’ll give you store credit, I take my nicer clothes to Rewind Consignment (although they refused an awesome pair of boots a couple weeks ago), and everything else, plus the stuff the first two places didn’t take, goes to Value Village. Oh, and I list yarn and fibre in my for-sale-stash on Ravelry!

I had a few things that I thought were worth something to people, more than I’d get at the bookstore, so I decided to dust off my old eBay account!

For the knitters, I’m destashing 3 Rowan magazines, #34, 38, and 40.

For the paper crafters, I’m destashing 3 Magnolia Ink Magazines (the very first 3, I believe).

For Trollbeads fans (or fans-to-be) I’ve got a plain sterling silver bracelet including the basic lock!

Does getting these 7 things out of my house make it feel any less cluttered? Not really, they don’t add up to much total space, but knowing that 7 (more) things are out/on the way out makes me think of knitting – each tiny stitch adds up to a sweater. Maybe in a few more months it’ll be more noticeable!

And do any Calgary friends know if there is any consignment place for home items? Mixing bowls and the like?

Length of a piece of yarn?

Back in the summer of 2006 I tallied up my entire yarn stash, and put it in a spreadsheet. I then I set it up to calculate the number of kilometres of yarn that I own. I just tell it how many balls of the yarn I have, metres per ball, and how many balls of said yarn I have used so far.
Every now and then I make a note on one side of what the stash was sitting at on a certain date.
July 2006 (when I did started the sheet): 8.33km
Jan 1 2007: 7.65km
Today: 6.5km (about 4 miles for the Americans)

I’m doing rather well, especially as I’ve bought yarn this year. I do have to confess though, that it’s only so amazing today because I sold 12 skeins of brown Waterspun on eBay recently. That’s 1.4 km of yarn. Then again, 900m went into Rambling Rose, and close to that has gone into the Capecho so far. Clapotis was 500m, it all adds up. But, managing the stash isn’t just about making stuff out of the yarn, it’s about thinking about what you will actually use. I didn’t think I’d use my novelty yarn, so I donated it. I was tired of this brown yarn, so I sold it.

Also, I may have alluded to a large Webs order. I was feeling bad about that, even though I can afford it. I also had promised myself that I would constrain my yarn stash to one drawer unit, and I need room for the coming Webs stuff. I may need to get rid of more… But there isn’t anything else that screams ‘sell me!!’, so I’ll just have to get knitting.

Taming the BEAST

I have taken the first steps.
Here we see the BEAST in its natural habitat:
(Up until December, its natural habitat was an old wine box. It has insisted on staying out.) Lucky funny-bear standing by in case of meltdown.

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And there was no meltdown! I sewed straight! On the lines! I played with the different stitches it does too, as you can see. It can apparently also sew on buttons, but that is just scary. I’ll do that myself, thanks.

I went to FabricLand yesterday and bought that fabric from the remainder section. Stripes on purpose, so I can practice. There are only so many straight lines you can sew though, so this week I’m going to start on a simple A-line skirt from Sew U. I bought this book (along with In Stitches) an embrassingly long time ago, with the intention to do just this. But I’ve finally built up the courage, and dare I say it, enjoyed sewing my lines.

I was proud of myself for leaving FabricLand with nothing but a membership and cheap-o practice fabric. I wandered for a while, and have all sorts of ideas, but didn’t buy anything else.

I did find buttons for Rambling Rose, pictures… soonish. My photographer is working 14-hour days all this week, so I won’t see him much and definitely not in daylight.

Saturday Seven:
On my way to FabricLand I dropped of a box of all the stuff I’ve collected recently to give away. One full office paper box, and about half a garbage bag. Mainly clothes, some books.

I did it!

I would like to post and say that last night (Sunday the 25th) I finished February’s FO. Rambling Rose is DONE! All I need now is buttons. But it’s done, and fits not too badly.
There are short rows at the back neck, so you don’t get choked by the sweater (good). But I think there might be too many (for me at least), as it bunches a bit, and give me a bit of a hunch. That may come out with another block.
I started pentagon # 5 today at work. I don’t have the laziest job in the world anymore, I actually had to do stuff today. People are finally starting to move into ‘my’ lovely empty office, so this job will probably end on Friday. sigh.

I just went through my closet, and added stuff to the giveaway pile. All but one pair of my shorts are in there. Funnily enough, the ones that fit are the ones I would’ve said are the smallest. Well, I guess they’re tighter in the leg than the others, but there’s space in the waistband. All the others I could only actually do up around my waist, and I prefer to wear them closer to hip level. sigh. They used to fit. I should be too hard on myself though, two of those pairs I used as uniform shorts (we could wear non-school issue, if they weren’t too short) at school, and I know I’ve put on weight since then. Healthy weight. So that’s:
– 3 pairs of shorts
– 7 sweaters/shirts
– 3 shirts put into my ‘to alter’ pile, for when I make friends with my sewing machine.

Seven Things #2

I haven’t taken anything anywhere, but I have been adding things to my donation box. I keep a box in the bottom of my closet, so there’s always a place to put stuff I don’t want.
I went through my T-shirt drawer today, and ended up adding 5 tank tops to the box, and retiring a few t-shirts to painting/messy stuff shirts.
Also added a candleholder, an old phone that was here when we moved in (it was on a high shelf and had been forgotten about).

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get out and drop those off somewhere.

Spring Clean/ Seven Things #1

I’m in a clear-out-y mood. I found EarthChic’s Seven Things blog the other day, and it inspired me. I have a lot of stuff. Sometimes I feel guilty about having so much stuff. Giving 7 things away every week for a year? Not sure if my pack-rat self could manage that though. I could if I counted each book and T-shirt as one I guess. I also see this project as a way to be more organized. Can organizing a cupboard count as one thing? I think so. In my permutation of this anyway.

So today, I’m making a start. I am going to take a whole bag of books to a local used bookstore, and when I get home, I’m going through my clothes.
Also, I’ll be stopping by the knitting store I haven’t been to yet. A knitting store withing walking distance! How cool is that?

Also, I’ll be mailing off something I sold on eBay. I’ve sold a couple things in the past week, they can be my first things:

1. MASH DVD box set lot (Seasons 1-4)
2. The Knitting Goddess by Deborah Bergman
I’ll update later with what the bookstore takes.
3. Well, me being me, I forgot to even count the books before I left. But I left with a very large carrier bag full (10-12 books), visited two used bookstores, and only came home with 3 that no one would take. (I also bought 3 books to fill in some serieses, but we won’t mention that)
4. Friends, Season 1 successfully sold.