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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keeping Sane

I haven't posted to the blog in almost 2 weeks! Did I lose all my readers?
Throughout my day I'm always, you know, thinking about things... and I come up with good blog topics while commuting or at the grocery store or sitting here in front of the computer. But when it comes time to write they may or may not have escaped my memory.

I was a little sick last week - some unknown bug. When we have the flu we know it's the flu and we call it the flu. When we have a cold we know it's a cold and call it a cold. Why is it when we have ANYthing else, it's a bug? I'd like to know what it was... give it a name... so I can hate it by name like I hate the flu and colds!

So I was thinking, while sitting on my couch doubled over, about the things that keep me sane in the midst of craziness. They're usually small things which combine forces in the face of some big thing that threatens to take my sanity. For this blog, I'll stick to knitting/crocheting and just give a sampler:

A nice environment. Sometimes you can't control this, but where I sit at home I like to tidy up the coffee table in front of me and maybe add something cheery to it, like flowers:It also helps to gather any tools you'll need for your project so you don't have to get up every two seconds. And maybe pop in a DVD or have the TV schedule nearby.

Keep all your tiny tools in one container. This keeps you from trying to hunt down ONE MORE stitch marker at the bottom of your project bag.I got this little plastic box from Michael's arts & crafts store for $1. It's been trucked around for a while and hasn't broken or anything. About those tools - don't be afraid to include ordinary things like safety pins, paper clips and lengths of yarn. They can save you in a pinch when you don't have enough stitch markers or want to put some stitches on hold.

Do yourself a favor and put slippery yarn in a zip top bag. You can poke a hole in it and pull the yarn through or you can just leave the top open like this. This will save countless hours of untangling - believe me!

Keeping records really does help in the long run. I know, I know. It's hard to keep a journal up to date and have the time to write in all those details about how you made your decisions and what you changed from your pattern, etc. At the very least, keeping the yarn tag can be a good substitute. When you open your very first ball, clip a length of yarn off it and thread it through the ball band or tag. You can throw this in a zip top bag or a shoe box, like me, and dig through them later if you're stuck, "I need one more ball, what was it CALLED?!" You can go one step further and write on the back of the label what pattern you made and what needle/hook size you used. One more step - you can paste it into a notebook with all that other information.

I could never keep up with a journal, but my blog has been around for years now. If I can't remember how many skeins of malabrigo I used for my green sweater I can just go look it up. You can get your own for free, I used blogger which has been pretty good to me. Now, there's even an online notebook and yarn community called Ravelry. Don't even get me started on that... that's a whole other post! (do check it out)

Finally, having a good reference book around is always a good idea. We have them ranging from $7 to $30 - here's a sampling:

I have a few at home. My more expensive ones were Christmas or birthday gifts. Some pattern books have good technical instruction also.

Phew! Anyone have any fun tips to share? How do you keep yourself sane while working on projects? Maybe I'll post a "keeping sane, round 2" post sometime....

Have fun with the string,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Stitch and Bitch Book is a great book to have, it has helped me out so much when I've forgotten how to do something that I've done in the past, or even trying to do something new.

When I've put down my knitting in the summer because of the hours I put in at my store... 12 hr days 6 days a week, just too tired to knit... sorry Guys... but you know ... so when I get back to it, and forget, it's a great book to refer when I'm at home or when I don't want to bug you guys next door.

So if you can't always remember how to do something or you aren't as lucky as me to have Sage next door, you should grab this book or a similar one and have it to refer to... it's such a relief to have!!!

And I "keep sane" at my store in the fall thru spring by knitting. Many thanks to Sage for that!!!!!!

Thanks for all of your help - Beth