Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Love Your Library, vol. 12

I thought this week would be a good time to address this month's prompt:

April: Analyze Your Behavior What is your creative process? How do you go about starting a new project? Do you see a pattern you love first, then find yarn? Or vice versa? Think about the order in which you typically begin a project, and how you can do a better job of including your current library into the process.

When I was seriously yarn dieting, I had an "a-ha" moment that made me realize why my stash was growing and growing and growing, and why I was neglecting the amazing yarn I'd already purchased. And that realization was that my creative process was backward. Well, maybe not backward, but ordered such that my current stash of yarns was acknowledged last (if at all). Here's how my creative process used to work:
  1. Browse the interwebz, read knitting magazines/blogs/websites, look at Ravelry's hot right now pattern page .... see something AMAZING! Decide that I MUST MAKE IT NOW!!
  2. Look at the pattern's yarn requirements. Go directly to one of several of my favorite online knitting stores and daydream about making the project with various different yarn options they have in stock.
  3. Fall in love with a yarn I see online and decide I HAVE TO DO THIS PROJECT with THIS YARN. Yes, MUST.
  4. Purchase said yarn.
  5. Purchase said pattern.
  6. If I'm lucky, cast on right away. If stars are aligned, actually knit until I finish the project. (this almost never happens)
  7. Reality: Realize that I have ____ number of ______ I need to make with an upcoming deadline. Decide my beautiful MUST MAKE project needs to patiently wait until my obligation knitting is done.
  8. Time passes. Repeat process with new shiny patterns. Dig through stash two (or more) years later and remember the beautiful MUST HAVE project I'd planned. Feel guilty. 
  9. Rinse and repeat.
So basically, once I purchased yarn I either cast on right away, or it would enter the black hole of guilt. I was NEVER looking in my stash to see if I already had yarn that would work for the current shiny project I was attracted to, partially because that wasn't my process and also because that yarn was "dibbed" by another pattern already. When I did my strict zero-yarn purchases diet for six months last year, it forced me to turn my process upside down. I was afraid that the thrill would be gone--it is super exciting to browse and daydream and purchase something EXCITING NEW! Luckily, I was wrong. I discovered that it was just as thrilling to find the PERFECT PATTERN for yarn I already have, and I still felt that thrill I got from purchasing new yarn. So here's what I try to do now:
  1. Dig through stash on a more regular basis. Discover a PRECIOUS skein of something AMAZING. Decide that I'm not going to wait a second longer to knit with it.
  2. Hop on Ravelry and look up said yarn. Look at what projects other people make with it.
  3. Fall in love with a project idea. Purchase pattern.
  4. Hopefully cast on ASAP.
So what's missing from this process??? My library. I need to add "search my library first" step in there, and I will have hit the perfect trifecta of using stash yarn, using library patterns, and eliminating any crafting-related guilt forever. Teehee. Right? 

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