Sunday, December 30, 2007

End Of The Year Checkup

... or, how did I do with my stash-reduction goals for the year? Confession is, I suppose, good for the soul, and in any case the public acknowledgement of my success/failures ought to be therapeutic. Or at least motivational!

Note: for 2007 I focused on yarn mainly, especially in the written goals. I did work on the fabric stash, though, and for 2008 my goals apply to all stashes--fabric, fiber, and paper!

Here we go. I'm going to put last year's goals in black type, and then comment on how well or badly I did in color. Let's see how it works.

1. Assess and organize. Knowing your enemy is the first step, right? Besides, it will be fun to meet old friends and maybe get to play with computer programs--I think Excel will work for this. Well, this is coming along. It's not anywhere near completed, though. I've tried using the Excel spreadsheet and Ravelry, but I seem to bog down. The rationalization: I'm purging, so I should wait till I've got it down to a manageable size. That's not good enough; for the coming year, I need to work on this more effectively.

2. Purge. Ruthlessly. I don't think this step needs explanation. Maybe it would help to think of it as Sharing The Wealth. Well, that's been happening. A lot of yarn went out of the house this year. The Yard Sale helped. Maybe another yard sale is called for. Or maybe more charity knitting and definitely more charity quilts!

3. Assign. Some things were bought for a specific pattern, so it would help to have the pattern and its source stored together with the yarn. Getting there. Same with the fabrics.

4. UFO Patrol and WIP roundup. Again, self-explanatory. I'm starting to think that a monthly repeat of this step would be really good for me. Knitting WIPs and UFOs are well herded and corraled. Time to do this for the quilts now! After all, there is that Fan Quilt that's been needing only to be quilted since... literally... 1985.

5. WIPs get whipped into shape. UFOs get judgment: they are either going to become FOs or they are going to return to their roots, ie yarn balls. Or charity quilts. No mercy! The knitty ones have been taken care of, so let's get to those quilty ones.

6. Periodic evaluations. How well is this working?? Not nearly as well as it could. Ah, the joy of distractions--like the Grandcarrot and Audrey. And the lure of shiny new yarns. Not so much with the fabrics, though!

7. Pattern round up and organization. All those lovely designs printed off the internet, especially the ones in the stack that the cat knocked over and mixed up. I've got notebooks and sleeves, so let's put them to work. Total failure here. The situation is actually worse than it was, since I've printed out more patterns!

8. Books books books. Lots of knitting books, most of which are keepers. Gotta weed out the ones that aren't, make working copies of some patterns so they're handy for assigning to yarn. A lot of books... A LOT OF BOOKS!!--got moved out in the yard sale. Quilt books, knitting books. I went from a 5-shelf bookcase in the studio to two 2-foot-high stacks of keepers. And the purge continues!

9. Gift and charity knitting. This is one of the reasons I said these steps weren't being assigned to a particular month--I want to do this all year long. If there are going to be yarny gifts for birthdays or Christmas, then I should decide that early and get on with it! And I've sorta let the charity knitting slide, since my knitting time has been drastically shortened, but that's really no excuse. Coming along nicely. Add charity quilting to this list, though, and it's not nearly as it should have been. The only excuse? The closing of Bearly Stitchin' means we lost our venue for spreading out and working on charity quilts as a group. Once I get my "studio" in order, I'll be able to do more at home, and that will help a lot.

10. Knit from stash exclusively. For this part I may follow Wendy's rules, except that since I don't knit socks, I won't need the Sock Yarn Exemption. I'm not even going to push for a Scarf Yarn Exemption, since I have lots of yarn that would make good scarves. Okay, didn't happen. Who could have foreseen the Black Sheep Knittery sale, or even the Pink Porch closeout? I think I need to plan to shop from stash FIRST whether it's for a quilt or a knitting project, and leave myself some slack as far as buying or not. Let's face it, will power (or won't power) isn't my long shot, so what's the point of setting unreasonable goals for myself?

11. Review, Reassess, Re-evaluate. Frequently. Okay, this is doable, and has been done. Maybe not as frequently as I would have liked, but often enough.

For next year? I think I'll keep it simple--the KISS approach seems to work for me. I did join the Stashbusters Yahoo group, and I think that will be very inspirational. Anne is a member and she and I have a lot in common as far as paring down the stash goes! She's wayyy ahead of me on the whole-house cleanout front, though. See, this is where I am having a problem. There are too many areas here (meaning in the house) that need attention, and so my efforts are scattered. I need to focus myself more on one or two areas, so that I actually accomplish something that can be seen. As it is, I do some here, some there, and whoa, it doesn't even show.

Since I fell on Friday, and managed to hurt myself yet again--this time it's ribs, ouch--I'm not able to do much physically, so I'm going to try to use this time for planning. (And no, it's not a bad injury, and it's getting lots better pretty quickly, just right now highly inconvenient!)


Sheepish Annie said...

OK. First of all, I need you to stop falling. This causes me a great deal of stress and anxiety. Seriously. Stop falling. I imagine that your family will agree with me on this one.

Secondly, I think you really did a pretty good job with the organizing. Sometimes goals need tweaking and other times they prove to be less than doable. Or need to be carried over into the next time frame. Either way, you're aware of what you need to do and are making progress! Yay!!!

Seattle Marie said...

I have to agree with sheepish annie, you really do need to STOP falling, tripping, head dives into jars, etc. STOP HURTING YOURSELF!

From everything I've seen you've made some serious progress with destashing and organizing. Now you need to harness ET, destashing doesn't do much good if ET is restashing as you go along *wink*

DPUTiger said...

Just look at what you did in 2007! Yes, you still have a ways to go, but if you have pics of the state of Things a year ago vs. the state of Things now? I'll bet there's a huge difference.

I'd suggest going around and taking pics of stash areas or working areas NOW, so you have a baseline when you're going through this again a year from now. You have changed some significant habits this year. If you keep improving in '08, you will have a LOT to be proud of.

I know I culled a lot when I moved (I did have Sandy over, after all!). I need to get back to organizing the TV room, since that's Knit Central, and will eventually get around to organizing the basement (Quilt Central) better. I've been buying and just tossing stuff down the stairs. Literally. Not good.

Larry said...

I am not going to evaluate my progress for the year. That would just be depressing. I went to three yarn shops yesterday and only bought one skein of sock yarn and that was only because it was the first time I had actually seen the new Noro sock yarn and I needed a sample for the yarn museum. It's scratchy though.

Ellen Bloom said...

Falling? You must have tripped over some fabric. I, for one, am quite pleased with the amount of yarn you got rid of at your yard sale. Most of it is residing in my dining room. THANKS!!!! Happy New Year, Marie!

CatBookMom said...

Stop. Falling. Now!! You did a great job with the yarn sale, and speaking as another who has a huge stash, whittle at it as you can. When I forget this, I get overwhelmed and fall into De Nial.

I hope we see you today at MM.

Anonymous said...

you know if you are too hurt you don't need to come over for turkey chili, or play with the grandcarrot or his new playmate sweet pea. And remember that champagne and pain meds don't mix. Rest easy today- no wild parties and we will see you tomorrow. Happy new year!

Madge said...

Congrats on the progress you've made in 2007! I for one think you've done a commendable job, and should give yourself a great BIG pat on the back. (I know there's more to be done, but as you say, a little bit here, a little bit there, and all of a sudden a big bit is done.)

Happy New Year! We're gonna rock the stash this year!

Annette said...

Good progress can be done in baby steps, it just takes a little longer. And your yard sale was a HUGE step. I think you did a great job on your goals. Congrats!

I'm sorry to hear about your fall. I hope you heal quickly!

Quilting Diva said...

I have a huge stash but I've been trying to decrease it and I'm winning the battle, it's just all the little pieces now LOL. I'm in the middle of reorganizing my sewing room and maximizing space in it for the umptieth time.

CelticMommy said...

Holy moly! Those were some big goals and congratulations on everything you did towards it. Keeping it up is the hard part for me... and not overdoing the stash.

I hope you are feeling better from your fall and that all things are on the mend for a great start to the new year. :-) Hettie