Monday, November 05, 2012

The issue of UFOs

I'm talking about those pesky, unfinished objects, not ET. Since we're going to be gone for 3 years, I've been approaching the stuff in the house with this question in mind: if I don't bring it with me to Germany, will it be relevant in 3 years when we get back? This has helped me part with stuff like magazines I thought I'd get around to reading and electronic gadgets that I don't want to bring but will be very obsolete in 3 years. It's also made me face my UFOs. Many of these projects have been sitting idle for years now already, do I really want to condemn them to 3 more years?

For example, there's the Burda jacket I started over 5 years ago and never got back to. I don't know why I put it aside so long. Maybe I thought that since I'd gained a little weight it would be too small, so why bother, or maybe it just seemed too complicated. But I tried it on and it will fit (I have lost a little weight), the style is still OK, and I must say that my workmanship on it was very nice, so I think it is worth finishing. It's coming with me and I will get it finished.

There's a myriad of knitting projects in various stages - three sweaters need blocking and seaming and a little finishing work and there are a couple of single, unfinished socks that either need to be frogged or finished (along with a mate). All are coming with me. It's going to be a UFO marathon!

But there is also fabric, yarn, and fiber for new projects, however not as much as I thought I would bring. After reading Rose's comment on my last post I realized I was way too ambitious in my thought of what I could use up in my projects. I probably still am. With a desire to sew, knit, weave and spin I have to accept that my project-time has to be split among these activities. It also made me realize that I have far too much fiber for spinning. I must, must, must resist buying more no matter how soft and tempting it is. At least fabric, yarn, and fiber can fit in my suitcase so if by some miracle I actually use up what I bring I can shop my stash during a visit home.

That is all...back to packing!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Maximum stash anxiety

I have a problem. It's what could be called a  princess, 1st world, or champagne problem, but it's a problem for me none the less. You know from reading my blog that I haven't been sewing much over the last few years. Except for my annual Christmas party dresses and some home dec, the sewing machine has been pretty idle. Well, now I have time while I'm taking a break from work to live in Germany for a few years. At least I'll have time for sewing during the week - our weekends will be spent traveling as much as possible. But that week will have to split among my many interests as well as my desire to learn German and explore the local surroundings. That's princess problem #1: too many hobbies, not enough time.

Princess problem #2 is that I have too much fabric. Selecting what to bring is giving me anxiety. I had a crazy idea to create a huge SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) to cover the next few years, but there's just not time or energy to do that. I am only home for a few weeks to gather what I want to have packed and shipped to Germany. It's totally out of the question to bring all the fabric - there's far too much, but at least I don't have to get rid of what I don't bring. Most of my fabric is stored in plastic bins and swatched on cards so I know what I have, but confronting it sort of feels like you do after you eat an entire box of cookies. I'm sick to my stomach that I acquired more than I can really use, but I want them all. There's some really great fabric stored away that I'd like to bring, but I think the best strategy right now is to bring the fabrics that aren't stored. Some of the fabrics are ones I pulled out because I had intentions of actually make something with it (ha!), and some are purchases from over the last few years that never got stored or swatched. It's all good stuff, and while I don't have exact plans for all of the fabric, I have some ideas of what it can be used for. I think this way I'll have fabric to sew and hopefully I won't have to buy fabric locally, where it's expensive and probably redundant to what I have at home. I will be making some trips home so I can bring some fabric back with me if I really need to. Hmmm, should I bring all my swatch cards to Germany or will that just make me nuts because I didn't bring the perfect fabric with me?

Princess problem #3 is too many patterns. Darn those sales at Joanns! I also have a sizable collection of Kwik Sew, Jalie, and independent patterns. Burda? I have 13 years of Burda magazine patterns. Thirteen years. And lets not forget the other foreign magazines - Patrones, Diana, Ottobre, a few La Mia Boutiques. I've done a bit of traveling and buying them is one of my weaknesses. So my plan for patterns is to bring a selection of envelope ones that I think would work with the fabric I'm bringing and to bring the last two years of Burda magazines. I still get Burda delivered to my address in Germany and of course I can go to any newstand and buy Burda and other sewing magazines (Ottobre, Patrones, Diana), so I don't think I will have a shortage of patterns to use. And if I really want a Big-4 pattern for some reason, I can probably have someone (mom?) mail it to me.

Princess problem #4. I also knit. So problems #2 and #3 apply to yarn and knitting patterns/magazines as well.

Princess problem #5. I also spin. At least fiber is squishable.

Princess problem #6. I also weave. My 4-shaft loom is somewhat portable and the rigid heddle folds up, so that's good for space issues. And I can weave with the yarn I spin, so there's a bonus! Well, at least the weft - I still need the right warp yarn.

Ok, my head hurts now, and I need to get back to deciding what to bring. I haven't even touched my notions. Scissors, thread, elastic, zippers, buttons...this is going to be harder than I thought.