Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Getting my ducks in a row...

On September 8 my 2 year old water heater began leaking...I say the 8th, but that is when I found the puddle in the basement, in the room where all my fabric was stored. At first I thought it was yet more water from a tropical storm that had passed through the previous weekend. We have been having water, mildew and mold issues for years. We finally decided to do what should have been done a few years ago...strip the basement, gut it, no more finished space. The only way to clean and remove the mold was get everything porous out of the space. I had wool, yarn, fabric and various fiber tools stored down there...the upshot of all this is I emptied it, trip after trip, up and down the cellar stairs only to put it all on the deck...a horrible mess. Only to have to protect everything from rain, sometimes unsuccessfully. The realization that I needed to make some decisions about my stuff, where my focus lies,what to keep, what to sell or pass on to someone else, etc. was overwhelming...Some was ruined by mildew and continued dampness, some was washable. A lot was pitched. But what came through all of this loud and clear was the amount of unfinished or planned projects that never made it. The plans for fabrics and yarns all came back to me as if I had just purchased them...I thought, shoot, I wouldn't have a storage problem if I had just made what I had planned when I bought it. So almost 2 months later, the basement is a basement, nothing more. It no longer smells. I have nothing down there that is porous. I was ruthless with reducing the 'stuff' and only kept what I could store up here and what I absolutely had to keep because I either loved it or it was needed to do what I love...but with the self imposed rule of no more...must use what I have and to actually finish the projects started and rip out the ones I just didn't like. The deck is finally cleared, things sold are gone, fabric( I was a quilter and still make them for special babies) was all washed and hung by hand so as not to have to iron it all...all means 12 large plastic bins, separated by color. Yarn and fiber also was washed and repacked. I still have a few things in my studio really tying up space but ran out of bins and I absolutely refuse to purchase any more...enough. So I have to come up with uses for the left out of bin fiber...not a bad thing, a challenge really,a good thing. So here is one of those projects that got stalled. So I am happy to say the first sleeve was finished last night and I will cast on the second sleeve tonight. I have also been washing sweaters but in so doing I see the things that make me crazy like a too tight bind off, or in one case I changed a sweater from hemmed to picking up and ribbing...well I picked those stitches up and twisted everyone one of them, has annoyed me for years...so I have begun the annoyance removal project. It is satisfying to finally fix something and then wash it without thinking, gee, I really need to fix that. So here it is, ribbing ripped out and re-picked up, correctly this time. It has been washed and ready to wear. This Meg Swansen's Spiral-Yoke sweater available from Schoolhouse Press. It was in a Wool Gathering #46.
Then the Traveler's Sweater from a old Knitter's. The issue focused on cardigans. I had bound off the sleeves too tightly. Drove me crazy for years...Fixed, now to be washed. Great sweater now really comfortable.

Then there is this little number. A Green Mountain Spinnery pattern. I thought I was going to run out of yarn while knitting it so...made it too short. But I did not run out of yarn, no I did not. I ended up with a whole skien left over. So wondering...

All of this amuses me seeing how I have not been knitting for a long while. So it is good. I have been helping my daughter as she is a new knitter and it was enough to jump start me.

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