Why I didn’t buy yarn for a full year


yes, you read that right. I, the self-pronounced queen of yarn, did not go to Joann Fabrics and purchase yarn in 2020. Okay, well it’s September and basically the end of the world *cough* sorry, year. 

There are three reasons I did it: 1) I was spending too much money on yarn 2) I didn’t have enough space for any more yarn 3) I didn’t think I could do it. 

Picture it, Sicil–Indiana, January 2020. A younger Evie goes to Joann’s with hopes and dreams of spending all of her Christmas money on yarn. She goes into the store, grabs a cart and heads to the yarn aisles. She stops, what’s that noise? She turns around to see a woman with not one but two carts full of yarn struggling to get to the front of the store. Evie could relate completely, it’s a really good deal. The woman joked that she didn’t have room for it all, but what could she do? It’s a really good deal. 

We both laugh at this joke as it is the plight of many crafters. Like I was investigating a murder as Perry Mason, I looked at her cart to find a clue that could lead me to the best deal. A little bit of this and that in every color, no real theme to her collection. So I asked “What are you going to make out of that?’ and she looked me dead in the eye and said “It’s going to sit in storage for the next year until I figure that out.”

Another laugh emits from our twisted smiles, but this time it was awkward laughter. You know, when you tell a joke that’s too painfully true that it isn’t really funny anymore? With that I trudged away to look at yarn. Would the yarn I bought today sit in my collection for another year too? It was like the rose-colored yarn turned a dismal brown when brought into the light. 

Each skein I looked at reminded me of a skein I had at home…taking up space in my yarn room. I remembered that thing of wool I was going to use for socks 5 years ago or the cotton for dishcloths never made. I want you to know how nightmarish my usually joyous trip to Joann’s became because it felt really strange to me too. It’s because when I really looked at myself, I found someone who really likes to hoard things, but hates to the point of loathing WASTE.

Plastic waste. One time only waste. Buying things and never using waste. I loathe it all. 

So that’s why I walked out of the store empty handed. And that’s why I knit only what I have too because having excess (to the point of obsession) doesn’t fit who I am and who I want to be. The person I am becoming doesn’t have enough time in the day to use all of the yarn she already has, so why add more? She has a run to get in, a meal to make (yes actually prepare herself) and wants to work on just ONE project tonight. Those are the important things, not trying to reorganize the yarn shelf to make everything fit or getting really frustrated with there is a yarn pile in the floor that she can’t organize.

Update: it’s been a year and a half since I wrote this, and folks I still haven’t bought yarn. Because the person I want to be wants to be really intentional about what I own. What are you intentionally doing during Covid?

What to do in the “slow season” of crafting

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Depending on your craft, the spring/summer time is your slow time. For us fiber artists, the slow season graces us around Feb 1. (At least in the Midwest as I know the Northerners see cold temps way past March) So here are 10 things I have planned for the slow season this year.

  1. Start on Christmas Presents
  2. Work on Summer/Fall Patterns
  3. Determine what 10 items I am going to sell at craft shows
  4. Book Craft Shows
  5. Blog!
  6. Dye more yarn
  7. Learn a new knitting technique (lace, here I come)
  8. Start working on craft show goodies (seriously never too early)
  9. Make three million crocheted pot covers for my plants
  10. Make something for myself!

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Overbuying craft supplies?

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Seriously, how many times do you go to Hobby Lobby and come out with $100 worth of stuff and you STILL can’t finish your craft project? I have bought five pounds of glitter because it was on sale and didn’t have any freaking plans for it. So I developed this super simple and no frills list to help me out.

I also have two rules 1) I have to have a project in mind before I buy anything 2) Make a realistic deadline for your project. That means if it is a baby blanket that needs to be made in 6 months, I have enough time to wait on a yarn sale so no need to buy it at full price now.

So now to the super simple shopping list template!

Craft Shopping List
use this so you don’t overspend at craft stores!

Free Pattern Alert: Kimona Kowl

As promised, I am sharing a pattern with you. If you are new here, check out my last post about my New Year’s Resolution. The Kimona Kowl is designed to lay flat underneath your coat or wear out in the open without getting in your way like a regular scarf.

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Kimona Kowl
Designed to be an easy, quick present for your loved ones…or yourself.
Design: @fiberflorafire | Evie Sehr
Supplies
Yarn: Big Twist Natural Blend (2 Balls)
145 yards, 7.5 grams
Other Supplies
• Needle: US N, 10.00mm
• Scissors
• Yarn needle
• Tape measure
Gauge (4”x4”) = 8 stitches, 8 rows
Abbreviation
• Ch = chain
• Sc = single crochet
• St(s) = stitches

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Pattern
Row 1: Ch 52 sts (38”)
Row 2: Turn, ch1, sc 52 sts
Row 3 – 13: Turn, ch1, sc 52 sts
Once you finish row 13, fasten off and lightly tug the finished work.

Sewing it together

Take your scarf and overlay the ends as such.

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Using a yarn needle and yarn left over from your project, sew along the edges using the mattress stitch as so:

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If something with this pattern goes wonky, please comment below!

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