At the moment, I'm feeling very hemmed in by all of the 'stuff' that's piled up around me. It's quite claustrophobic and stifling and definitely not the best place for creativity to flourish.
But despite one part of me wanting to get out the bin bags and just clear everything out (yes it's really that bad!!!), the rest of me wants to make sure that I look through my various stashes carefully to find the things I will use and the things I will clear out and send to new homes.
I will therefore be spending the whole year on my USE IT OR LOSE IT 2018 campaign.
I've pledged not to buy yarn this year until I've made a significant dent in the lovely yarn I currently have.
I started this campaign last year, but didn't have enough spare time to keep on top of it, so I already have a Ravelry group set up for this, which is a great starting point.
I would really love you to join in, share your progress, inspire others and make some lovely projects along the way (link is at the end of this post).
Use It or Lose It: What's it all about?
There are a few activities that form the basis of my 'Use it or lose it 2018' campaign. Each will form it's own blog post, but here is a quick summary for now:
Activity 1 - Books:
Look through your craft books, one at a time, and if you want to keep a book then you have to make something from it, preferably using yarn from your stash.
Mooch through your stash to find the most suitable yarn to use and pair it up with the pattern you've chosen. If you don't have suitable yarn then create a list called "projects for the future" and add this project to your list.
This list will come in handy when you visit a yarn festival or shop, because now you'll be able to buy with a purpose. If nothing takes your fancy in the book, then the likelihood is that you'll never use it, so give the book to a friend or charity shop, or if it’s like new, you could sell it.
Activity 2 - Magazines:
Flick through your magazines and remove any patterns that you'd like to make, or any useful tutorials or 'how-to' guides.
Mooch through your stash to find the most suitable yarn to use and pair it up with the pattern you've chosen. If you can't find yarn in your stash to suit your pattern you can add your project to your "projects for the future" list.
The rest of the mag can be passed on to a friend and complete magazines could be donated to a charity shop or local care home or school.
Activity 3 - Stash Yarn:
Go through your stash and identify what yarns you have that hasn't already been allocated to a project (from Activities1 and 2 above). Note down the yarn types and quantities you have and decide what you're going to do with it.
Once you've decided, pop the yarn into a project bag, and add a note to remind you what you'll be making with it.
If you really can’t decide what to make with the yarn, then consider giving it to a friend or donating to charity, or if it’s new and still in neat balls with yarn bands, then you could sell it. If you can't think of projects to make for yourself, then you could make a gift and keep it in a box, ready for birthdays and Christmas.
I have made a list of things I'd really like to knit or crochet this year for myself, including socks, scarves, shawls, cushions and blankets. I've also made a note of family and friend's birthdays so that I can also make suitable gifts in time for them.
Activity 4 - Works in Progress:
Find your Work's in Progress (WIPs) and decide whether you're going to finish each one, or let it go/frog it and reuse the yarn for something else, because if you've left a WIP languishing in a bag for a long time, then the chances are you've lost the love for it.
So there we have it for USE IT OR LOSE IT 2018.
Some things you may find useful throughout the campaign, are notebooks and pens, yarn/project tags (you can make these yourself from cardboard and string), files, clear filing wallets, storage boxes, mesh bags for your yarn and patterns.
If you find this process a little drastic, then you can simply place the things you don't have a use for currently, into a box and keep it for a year. If you haven't missed these things after 12 months, then you may feel happier about parting with them.
If you want to join in, you can join my Ravelry group and/or use the following hashtag on twitter #useitorloseit2018 - you're all welcome. I'm really look forward to getting to know you and to seeing your makes.
Click here to join the group
You can also join me on social media and be the first to hear about new pattern releases, free patterns and offers by subscribing to my website here.