Stay true to your stash
I’m so glad that I decided to post my initial thoughts about managing time between internet “inspiration” sites and blogs & making things yourself. The comments on that post have been really interesting, and it’s prompted even more great talks in real life. It turns out that it isn’t just me who sometimes feels “over-inspired.” I wanted to follow up on this idea from that post:
I can’t possibly accomplish all the things I’m “planning on” doing at the same rate that these ideas appear online. Finishing everything on my mental to-do list will take years, regardless of what I see on Pinterest tomorrow. If I want to get more done creatively, I need to be conscientious about making time.
I said that my plans for what to make next were all in my head, but that isn’t totally true. I have a Ravelry queue and a Pinterest board full of ideas for things to make & for things to do in my apartment. (Shameless linking what!)
But I also have supplies. Drawers full of yarn, fabric remnants, embroidery floss. This is stuff I spent money on. I use space in my apartment to store it. I clean up around it. All these “someday” craft projects exist in my life in some sort of dormant state.
I’ve been pretty good at culling my stash down to things that I will *really* use one day – not just things I want to learn to use, or things that are shitty quality that I feel guilty about throwing out. What I own is nothing compared to some folks, but it’s still a lot! This apartment has no closets. I have a rule that I only buy random supplies if I have some idea of what I will make, AND they are on sale, or I will not be able to find them again. That excludes a lot, but not everything.
Still… I have some stuff. Often and infuriatingly it hangs around because I haven’t bought *enough* of it for whatever I want to do. I have the perfect yarn for a sweater, but I only bought one ball. And then I end up making three or four projects for that use one ball each rather than the thing I *really* want to do that would take two balls of yarn. Do the math on that one and it doesn’t save time or money.
I find that I much prefer to buy materials immediately before starting a project. That rush of shopping for yarn is often the jump start I need to get rolling on a project. (No laughing at me, non-knitters!) It also means that I can buy everything I need, and not more. And that my materials don’t spend a lot of time cluttering up a drawer somewhere.
The thing is that your “stash” is everything you own that you aren’t working on. And, given the overwhelming amount of ideas, it’s so easy to want to start whatever just got posted on Pinterest RIGHT. NOW. Which means buying even more supplies, stopping mid-project, whatever. This way lies the madness of expensive unused materials and half-finished projects EVERYWHERE.
I’m trying to remember that even though the pace of the internet is quick, good ideas are still good whenever I get to them. Even if I am using a tutorial that some blogger posted, you know, last month. Even if everyone else has made and blogged & promoted their projects everywhere already. What’s good is good.
Trying to be the best most current craft blogger is something I will never attempt. Usually, checking out other people’s work and ideas online makes me feel excited about what I do, or gives me great ideas, important instructions, motivation to keep going even when the people I know locally don’t get it.
But sometimes it’s just daunting and overwhelming.
When I look through my supplies, rather than my pinboards, for ideas about what to do next, I get excited. I remember. Knitted shorts! Underwear made from band tees! Fancy curtains! I have almost all the stuff on hand to get going on these things. All I need to make now is a little bit of time.
Tonight’s plan is to see the conclusion of this nail-biting drama: will I have enough yarn to finish my shawl? Stay tuned.