Rearranging my Life

Often times I think that when I move into a new place things will get better. I’ll actually find time and energy to do all the projects I want to. So far it hasn’t been working out that way. Not until now.

I haven’t started doing any crafts yet. I have done a few projects over the last year that I need to share and post. But it’s not a steady thing right now. I’m working on sorting out what it is that I want to do.

When my grandfather died at the beginning of the year I ended up taking a 4 day trip to go visit my mother and go to his military funeral. I decide to start on one of the many projects I’ve wanted to do. I made a kitchen towel. I had plans to make a second. I didn’t end up finishing the second one until I had surgery in May and was stuck at home for a week. I also started working on my hooded shawl again since an extra skein of the yarn used was found in my mother’s stash. I have about a row and a half plus the cable style bind off to finish still. I think that’ll be my project for August. I really don’t have much need for it till the fall anyway.

I found my dragonwing scarf, but still need to figure out where the second skein of yarn is hiding. Hopefully I’ll find it tomorrow. Monday is the day I’ve set aside to go through my yarn. Since I keep getting more and more yarn from my mother each year and I haven’t been doing any projects.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to get rid of any of it yet. I’ll have to make that decision tomorrow. But I feel like it’ll do me some good to at least see what I have and start making plans for some of it.

So far I’ve gone through most of my beading supplies. I’m getting rid of a good chunk. I’ve decided that I just don’t have time for it. I’m keeping colors that really speak to me and beads that are big enough to also be used with yarn. So the next thing I need to do is start looking at projects that use beads. I also think I might try using some in cross stitch projects since I am keeping a few of the seed beads.

I’ve also purged my kitchen items. I did one purge back when I moved into my last apartment. But to be honest, I regret purging a lot of the items I did. At the time I said, I haven’t used these in forever and I don’t have room for them. I loved them though. This time I’m purging the extras. I’ve received a lot of my dishes from my mother. But as I get older I want to get things that fit my style. So a while back I had bought a new set of plates and bowls. So now this time all the old ones are going. As well as most of the silverware. I don’t really need 20+ forks. I’ve paired it down to the most complete set. I’ve also gotten rid of duplicate utensils. And I’m getting rid of the china. It’s not a family set or anything. But I’m never going to end up living a “traditional” lifestyle. And I don’t really have a use for it. I don’t plan on throwing fancy parties or having all my family over for holiday meals. The dishes I have now will work just fine for the parties I will have.

The latest purge was the clothing. I’m still thinking I’ll go back and do another round. The job I’m working now allows me to wear my regular clothes. So I don’t really need my dressier items and since I don’t have to wear the uniform anymore, I can toss all those shirts. I emptied a whole drawer full of pants. Got rid of an armload of shirts. Took a look at my leggings and got rid of the duplicate colors. I think I still have some tops that could probably go, but I’ll probably give it another week or two before I look at them again.

Other things I’ve done since moving, include actually baking again. I even did a little writing. And over the last month I’ve listened to 125 hours of audiobooks and about 20 hours of podcasts. And probably most importantly, I’ve started exercising again. I’m slowly ramping it up. Up until this week I was walking 3 days and running 3 days (I just finished C25k W3D3). This week I’ve added a second walk to my days off. And the goal is to do whatever walking is necessary on the days I do work to get my step count up to my goal of 10k a day. I want to add weights and bands to my routine at some point. As well as yoga before bed. But right now I’m trying to do things slowly so I don’t burn myself out as I have done in the past.

So what can you expect to be happening here? At some point I’ll start drafting up some posts of my finished projects. I’ll start posting some WIP pictures. I might even blog a little about my running. I’ll probably share pictures of my craft purges. I might even share a little about how the writing is going.

When will it start happening? I don’t know yet. Summer usually means more time off work for me. So I do have extra days off. I’m usually off for the weekends, so that’s when I’m doing most of my side projects. In addition I’ve been getting Mondays off most weeks. And I’ll occasionally get a second extra day. Some of those days I might try and pick up extra hours at work in another department. Others I might decide to devote to doing other things, like blogging, writing, crafting and organizing my new apartment. So, hopefully you’ll be hearing from me again soon.


Packrat Crafter is coming back!

About a year and a half ago I got laid off from my job. I kept posting and working on my craft projects while I was looking for more work. As the hotter months began to approach, I decided to get out of the hot Texas sun (where finding interest and motivation to knit and crochet can be hard) and head back to Colorado.

I’ve been living in a crappy basement apartment for the last year and now that I’m moving in to a real apartment and actually have my favorite chair back, I’m going to start working on my crafts again (not that I haven’t been doing a little bit).

I’ve got a few things I’m working on, including the hooded shawl (which I ran out of yarn for!) and a dragon wing scarf.  I also have a couple finished projects (some dragon egg dice bags). And plans to attempt making socks again (and for which my mother sent me two small boxes full of her unused sock yarn) and some towels that will hang on an oven door with a button to keep it on.

I’m starting a new position at work, so as I adjust to the new workload and schedule and as my sass and vigor come back I’ll start posting some pictures and linking you to the patterns of the projects I’m working on and maybe even throwing in a few other little things… so keep your eyes peeled in the coming days and weeks!

Felted Bowls – Part 2 of 3

feltedbowl2This bowl is the only one that didn’t felt nearly as much as I wanted. I can still see the stitches pretty well, but it has definitely shrunk a fair amount.

I put this bowl through the wash two more times than the rest before I decided that was as good as it was going to get. I’m guessing that it was because of the single crochet stitches versus the doubles from the first set of bowls along with the soy blend. However, this bowl is also the sturdiest of the bunch.

While I do like the bowl, I’m pretty sure I won’t do this pattern again as the bottom is way too rounded for my taste. I’m not sure what I’ll used it for yet, but since it’s sturdy I can put just about anything in it, as long as it’s not too big for the bowl.

You can find my original notes on my progress here and the original pattern here.

Labor Day Weekend

I had a pretty lazy weekend. I went and hung out with friends for most of Saturday, cleaned up around the apartment on Sunday and just played games all day Monday. Which means I also never got around to sewing the lining for my new bag, felting the bowls that I finished, or sorting the last of my beading supplies.  I did do a fair amount of work on a different bowl pattern on Saturday while hanging with my friends, so you’ll all get to see that on Wednesday.

I have a bit of time this evening which I’ll probably use to felt the blue bowls. So I should have something to post next Monday.  And with any luck I’ll finish sorting the beading supplies so I can set up the sewing machine on the table and sew the lining for my bag.

Crochet Thread Everywhere

Crochet FlowersIn college I used to wear crocheted flowers in my hair. It was my little bit of uniqueness. Flowers also only take a few minutes to bust out if you’ve got a rhythm going. I still have most of the flowers I made and a lot of them still have bobby pins attached, even though I don’t wear them anymore. Now, if I wear them it’s probably because I’m doing some sort of Halloween event and I’m dressed up as a fairy.

At one time, when people used to complement me on the flowers and say how they’d love to have some, I started making them to sell. As a result I ended up with a pretty decent stash of cotton thread. I also started experimenting with different flowers and even made a few leaves. However, despite all things, I only actually ended up selling a few of the flowers.

And like all other things, my mother ended up passing a long of bunch of her own thread since she had stopped crocheting doilies, so she didn’t need the smaller balls that she had left.Crochet Thread She also had a collection of tatting thread, but she never ended up actually doing any tatting. Tatting is also something I haven’t done, but it is on my list of things I liked to learn (along with Tunisian crochet and needle felting). I have some plans to make some crocheted lace bowls with the thread. And hopefully I will start tatting. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the thread I used to make flowers, so it might sit around for a while and be used to embroider any amigurumi I make.  But before I really do anything with the thread I’m going to have to invest in a set of steel hooks and a tatting shuttle since I have neither.

Yarn, all the yarn…

20150803_212514I have a lot of yarn, maybe not as much as some people. But for someone who, on average, has only been completing about one project a year, I have way too much. I have already improved on this figure having finished two new projects and completing an old one. I mostly crochet these days, but I’ve also done a few knitting projects in the past. I didn’t actually learn to knit until my 20’s. I had tried as a kid when my mother first taught me how to crochet, but it was beyond my ability. It was probably in large part due to the fact that I have a tendency to knit pretty tightly so it was difficult to squeeze a needle in.

20150803_212435At the beginning of this year I knew that at some point in the coming months I would be moving into a much smaller space. I would no longer have room for what probably accounted for 3 large tubs of yarn. I have since whittled it down to two tubs with a few baskets with projects in them. At the moment I have two projects I’m actively working on and about 3 old projects I need to assess and decide if I want to finish them or do something different with the yarn.

20150803_212332All this yarn is of course still too much.  I don’t have room for it.  The yarn all hides under my bed which is sitting on risers so that the tubs will actually fit underneath. The yarn is also only one portion of my craft hoard. I have several containers full of beads and beading materials. I have a few boxes of scrapbooking supplies. I have a smaller tub with fabric inside. And I also have a hat box full of crochet and tatting thread (not that I actually know how to tat at this point in time). All of these things are also scattered, unorganized and haven’t been seriously looked at in years. At some point in the future I will share pictures of these after I’ve sorted, organized and gathered all related materials together. But for now I’ve shared a few different angles of my yarn hoard sitting on my extra large chair, which happens to be the first piece of furniture I ever bought for myself.

Tune in next week for a look at one of the projects I finished this year. Also, feel free to share pictures of your own yarn hoard in the comments!

Hello world!

I’m a packrat. I have a hard time letting go of stuff and I’m always buying new things before I’ve finished the last project. And I have a hard time saying no when someone gifts me unused skeins of yarn or other craft supplies.

My goal is to reform my ways and only buy things to help finish a project.  That is, until I run out of yarn to make things.

I’m here to share the projects I’m working on and things I’ve finished.  With any luck I’ll get my yarn hoard down to a manageable size within the next year and empty out the two giant tubs hiding under my bed.

Regular posts should begin in August and until then things will slowly change as I customize this blog.