Thursday, June 4, 2009

Emma hood and pondering on clutter

Today I knit myself a hood similar to the one that Lyra wears in The Golden Compass. You know the one I mean, if you've seen the (really not comparable to the book!) film.

Emma Hood
Moda Vera Mandorla Printed (55% merino 45% acrylic)
100g ball, ~100m (gauge given as 7-8mm needles = 12st x 12rows)
6.5mm needles (so it's a thicker fabric and slightly stiff)

Cast on 60st using cable caston
Did 7 rows of seed stitch, so finished with WS row
Then stockinette until I nearly ran out of yarn - as I was knitting on a circular needle, I could hang it on the cable and test it on my head as I went.
The cast off I wanted an obvious seam for, so folded the hat in half and the two needles with live stitches next to each other. Using another needle, knit one from the front needle, then one from the back, the pass stitch over, and knit another from the alternating needle and so on. You can cast off however you like, of course, but this gave me the nicest edge.
Twist up some of the left over yarn (I had maybe 1m left over!) to make ties under the chin.

It took me about 3 hours all up to knit and would make a great gift for winter for anyone who "can't wear a hat" because their hair make them look like they are bald with a hat on. I was complaining just last night that my ears were cold and my lace beret just wasn't cutting it in the breezey weather we are having here in Adelaide, so it was nice to make a hat quickly, and use up some of my stash.

I've been thinking a lot about stuff and things recently. I have a lot of stuff as anyone who's helped me to move can attest. But recently we moved house to a lovely big new place and there is ample storage for everything we have and there is no need to keep extra stuff. What I *have* done though is buy some storage furniture - three new bookcases to replace the collection of crap student furniture, and two new cupboards for in the study. The ceilings are high here and it makes sense to use that height rather than just the floor space.

I've also been ruthless in my unpacking. I have things that I've had for 5+ years. For example, I have some handmade paper boxes that had a cut-out lid on them. Useful for soap storage and presentation but utterly devoid of usefulness without me making soap for them (I used to do that - make soap). I've schlepped them from Canberra to Sydney and around Sydney and then down here to Adelaide x4 places and now I've said "no more" and put them in the recycling. I've learnt two lessons now:

1. Just because it's something useful, doesn't mean that I have to keep it. Also

2. If I haven't used it by now, but have kept it for a rainy day, chances are I can do without it.

There are things that I keep longterm. Yarn. Books. Paper and pens. But even there I do pare down what I own when I get the chance to review what is there. The upside of all of this is that there is now a method to my stuff and I can find stuff when I want it. I also will use what I have because I can look at my craft cupboard and see my glue gun, or beads, or photos, and do something with them.


Kate said...

And will you even remember that you have it when you need it?

Usefulness is not an inherent trait of an object. It comes from - shoker!- whether or not you'll USE it. I know, totally non-obvious, right?

I'm working on that one myself. It's a lot harder than it seems.


Emma Someone said...

Iknow! Isn't it odd - it's only useful if you use it, and also if you know where it is. There is no point in owning 2 boxes of stamps, for eg, if when you need them you can't find them. Same with needles or yarn or shoes or anything!

Supercutehood will have pics when we have internets...

Not Jenny said...

I am preparing to sell my house so the clutter question is very foremost on my mind. I have wedding gifts in my kitchen cupboard I have maybe used twice in the almost seven years I have owned them. Do I pack them up to stage the house, or just get rid of them to stage the house? I will be asking the same question to some random sheets and dust ruffles in my linen closet today too.
I have to keep telling myself that just because we put an offer on a much bigger house it doesn't mean we have to take EVERYTHING with us.