Saturday, September 12, 2009

Order Out of Chaos? Not Quite Yet...

I thought a three-day weekend would be plenty of time to organize my upstairs needlework haven, and still have time to crank out beautiful handmade sweater or two.

Yeah, right. I was so deluded.

After three days, I only managed to put away three totes full of yarn, empty two boxes of needlework magazines, and create more chaos than when I’d started. The only thing I produced in abundance was frustration. I hardly did any knitting. Nothing “flew” off the needles, anyway.

I realized late last night that I need to move even more stuff out before I can bring everything back. It’s time to let go of the excess, in both patterns and fibers, and concentrate on what I really want to work on.

It’s funny though, because just when I think I’ve made that decision, it backfires. Example – Yesterday when I was sorting yarn, I came across a few balls of mohair that a friend gave me. As I contemplated it, I realized that I don’t really like mohair, and I could get rid of all my mohair, and never miss it.

No sooner that I thought that, I came up with the idea of combining the mohair with some of the other yarn I have to make slippers. I have a favorite slipper pattern, and I usually make a few pair every year. I like to knit the slippers out of several strands of yarn, coming up with something totally unique and very warm. So the mohair stayed, rather than go on the garage sale pile.

And then, to prove my point to myself, I took the one oddball of mohair, a few other oddballs, and a cone of rayon chenille, and whipped up a crocheted cat mat.

Rusty and the other cats have been pining for appropriate sleep gear. Rusty has been sleeping on an old beach towel, folded and re-folded every time it looks like there’s too much cat hair on it. His pleading stare seems to say that he deserves better. The rayon chenille was the constant in this mat. I added the mohair yarn first, even taking apart the little sample swatches that were included with the ball. I made a double crochet square, using directions from the old reliable copy of “Reader’s Digest Guide to Needlework”. When I ran out of mohair, I added the boucle yarn that was part of a yarn bag from Goodwill. I switched to single crochet, and just worked around, not making any more increases at the corners. This made the mat start to cup slightly. When the second yarn ran out, I thought I was done, but after a while, I decided to make the edge just a little deeper. I pulled out some other cones of black yarn, and kept crocheting. I even worked a few decreases, to help with the cupping. The finished product is kind of funny looking. The shallow sides aren’t quite sturdy enough to stand on their own. I’m not too concerned about that. I am going to machine wash and dry the mat, and see if it gets any sturdier. It will work out either way – Rusty was already curled up on it this morning when I left for work. And the beach towel had finally made its way to the laundry pile.

Starting today, and continuing this week, I’m going to move out more of the boxes that are still in my way, and continue the reorganization process. I have a few things set aside for my sister’s garage sale on the 19th, and I’m sure that stack will grow. It better!

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