Friday, July 4, 2014

Of birds and stones, or crafty decluttering

Hello and welcome to everyone visiting from Stitches and Seeds. I'll be joining the Around the World blog hop next week, but in the meantime if you haven't already seen Eleanor's beautiful Persian sweetie shop blanket, then get hopping!

I've been tackling my craft-related clutter recently. I've been pondering this, and particularly Rhonda's thoughts on a stash of yarn or fabric as another kind of stockpiling. My stash is just clutter - I don't know what to do with it, a lot is poor quality, none of it goes together and I still have to go out to buy new fabric or yarn for a new project.

There's one exception. I'm cutting up off-cuts and torn clothes into patches for my first attempt at a quilt for our bed (partly because I want to try quilting, partly because we don't have anything between heavy duvet and light sheets, and parly to use up the huge pile of fabric odds and ends I have accumulated). Wondering what to use for backing fabric, I came across a vast quantity (about 3m by 2.5m) of plain white cotton which I bought on the basis that white cotton would always come in handy. I bought it from 'les puces' - the fleas - at my favourite fabric shop, Le Chien Vert (the green dog). It's all the ends of rolls that have been moved to the back storeroom to save space and they are super cheap - my 3m of white cotton was €5.

I can see that with a little more understanding of the kind of things I do make, I could accumulate a small stockpile of quality, versatile, low-cost fabric which would come in useful when the crafting bug bites on a Sunday and nothing is open, and help keep the costs of that down when I'm tempted by €12/metre fabric. It's like stockpiling food - only do it with things that will keep and you know you will use. Most of what I have really falls under the heading of 'wishful thinking.'

So this has convinced me. I'm no longer going to try to go no-stash, but I do want to clear out what I have and start to think about building a small but versatile stockpile. I'm trying to find ways to clear the decks without either buying more stuff or just chucking it out, and I have had one small area of success.

Killing two birds with one stone, I have used all the leftover odds and ends from other projects involving cotton yarn to make some lovely new washcloths. I was running low and thinking of getting some nice pretty cotton for nice pretty washcloths and then decided I can do that when I've used up all my cotton stash. These washcloths are noticeably better than my first attempts - looser knit, bigger and a better pattern/texture for washing. Plus I enjoyed getting my needles out again, and the feeling of frugal smugness when knitting washcloths in leftover yarn.

Have you got any top tips for stash-busting?

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