Note to my readers: This post was first published on Feburary 1, 2011 under the title “The yarn wrangler.”
One of my crochet goals for this year is to become a more mindful crocheter.
Yesterday I had thought that I would make more progress toward that goal when I attempted to work on a project I call the Big Rug.
While I did manage to complete three hexagons, my progress was hindered by difficulties of my own making, namely the yarn I am using is in a state of complete disarray. Today, with sunshine and comfortable temperatures, I decided to do something about that disarrangement.
I started by gathering together all of the Lamb’s Pride bulky weight yarn that I have purchased for this project:
Then, using some of the principles of organization gleaned from watching multiple episodes from Hellen Buttigieg’s home improvement show, “Neat,” I sorted the yarn into one of five categories: yarn in skeins, yarn in balls, yarn in squares from the first iteration, yarn in squares from the second iteration that were not joined to other squares, and yarn in squares from the second iteration that were joined to each other.
I was then able to dispatch two of the categories in short order.
First, I unraveled the three remaining squares from the first iteration and wound the yarn onto existing balls of yarn of the same colors:
Next, I turned my attention to unjoining the squares from the second iteration of the Big Rug project, and in short order, they were separated and ready for unraveling:
Buoyed by the quick success of dispatching two of the five categories I had begun with, I then turned my attention to a collection of Red Heart Super Saver yarn scraps I have amassed over the past 6 months.
I started saving the ends I trim from various projects because my youngest son is of an age and generation that does not believe in wasting things or cluttering the world with trash, and he is constantly thinking of ways to reuse materials that might otherwise be thrown away. He persuaded me that the scraps could (and should) be saved to stuff any future amigurumi projects I might make, and as I worked on my 2010 North Carolina State Fair project, he dutifully collected bits of yarn that I might otherwise have thrown out.
After seeing some projects at Ravelry done with yarn scraps that were simply tied together with a square knot, I decided to do the same. When I began my organizing efforts today, I had eight balls of varying sizes of the yarn scraps, and a pile of ends that I had not begun to sort through:
I began by combining the assorted balls that I had begun (eight in all) into one larger ball (seen on the left in the photo below), and I then began tying the ends of some of the remaining yarn and got a reasonably good start on a second ball (seen on the right on the photo below):
Here are the ends that are left and awaiting the opportunity to become part of the larger whole:
I have done some experiments with this yarn that I have amassed, and I found that I get the best results when I crocheting using a J hook and another strand of yarn. This yields a sturdy fabric that holds its shape.
I think that once I get these yarns in order, the projects I am making with them will begin to sort themselves out, and I will be able to move forward with my pursuit of mindful crochet.