Monday, 15 August 2011

Waste not

I hate waste, I despise it. That goes for the neverending heaps of garbage we produce as well as for stuff that could still be put to good use but goes to the landfill along with stuff that's really garbage. Does that make sense? I hope so.
I try to use things up as much as possible. Now that doesn't involve washing out a margerine container in order to keep paperclips or earrings in but I wear and keep my clothes a looooong time and I do things like cutting open a bottle of body lotion so I can scrape out even the tiniest rest. And you would be surprised how much is still in there but won't come out the normal way =)
Now don't worry, I'm not a messie and I don't drown in things. But I agree that we have too much stuff in our house in general. I have already been decluttering a bit but I could do better. Some things I keep out of nostalgia, some things I keep because I already have my future kids in mind (like toys for example - my mother kept her barbie and all the fancy clothes for me and I was happy to have them) and some things I keep because I deeply believe they could be of use one day.
Yarn definitely falls into the third category. I have a very tiny stash and a good part of it is very old. Some skeins belonged to my Grandmother who died 16 years ago. At first I kept the yarn because I didn't know how to knit at that time but always wanted to learn and I thought I could use the yarn someday. It took me a long time to learn to knit and I kept the yarn. Then I knew how to knit but couldn't find the right project for it. It's mostly cotton yarn, leftovers from many potholder projects. Three months ago I finally found something to do with it: Dishcloths and washcloths! I am so happy that I can finally use up all that yarn and make something pretty AND useful with it! And I'm sure my sweet Grandmother is happy, too =) She was greatly into handcrafts so I think she probably likes it a lot that her granddaughter uses her yarn to make something good =)
Now the photo doesn't show all of my so far finished cloths because some of them were dirty... The one with the banana looks a bit wonky here - it had shrunk in the wash and I had to give it a good tug in all directions ^^

And now I found another fabulous project for leftover yarn - sockyarn that is. A blanket made entirely out of leftover sockyarn! Yes I know the idea isn't exactly new but I had been looking for a good pattern for a while but couldn't find one at first. Then I found the "sock yarn square pattern" by Shannon Geddes and I couldn't be happier with it. It's so easy and a perfectly mindless project, I highly recommend it! And you know what? I even get to use my 2,75 mm needle which I had ordered quite a while ago but then didn't use it. It drives me crazy to have stuff lying around unused! Particularly as I not only try to declutter our house but also try to not buy any more new things if it can be helped.
By the way: it's not only great to use up leftover yarn from sock projects, it also feels deeply satisfying to knit a blanket with it. A blanket that will someday keep me or a loved one warm and will look pretty and colourful!

I know that to some of you this might sound crazy or obsessive. But I can't make all those garbage that threatens to drown us go away, I can't just snap my fingers and rid the world of all that stinking toxic waste. But I can make a bit of an effort to reduce my part of that waste as much as possible. A step is a step, no matter how small, right?


  1. So glad you found a use for your old yarn! I think you're right...your grandmother would be proud. :)

  2. I certainly do not think you sound crazy or obsessive....because you sound just like me! I, too, am always fretting over waste and how I can either reuse something or save it. I love to knit dishcloths as well! They are quite satisfying aren't they? I am going to check out your sock yarn blanket pattern. It has got me curious!