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A year of…

20152014 was a great craft year for me. I made dozens of things, from a big afghan that took almost 11 months to finish to baby headbands that went so fast, I tossed off 2 or 3 a night.

I made items practical and items whimsical. I used the cheapest broadcloth fabric or acrylic yarn, or the softest natural-fiber blends, as the project dictated.

I ran my usual range, sewing to crocheting to knitting, and even experimented a little with scrap fabric appliques.

It’s all so fun and satisfying, but this year, I want to do more than keep up the momentum. I want to continue to be productive, but all these materials tumbling out of closets and corners have become a real problem. I’ve read so many other crafters admit to the same problem I have: The supply has outgrown the space I have to contain it.

I need to get things out of bins and bags and boxes here and there. I need to finish the unfinished, and I need to use what I have to do it.

At the same time, it wouldn’t help my storage crisis to take 1000 yards of yarn from my closet, crochet them into a sweater, and then puzzle over how to wedge my new sweater into that same crowded closet.

The fact is–other than quick-consumables like dishcloths and scrubbies and hard-worn children’s mittens–we don’t often need anything that I craft. Besides, for me, the satisfaction of crafting is often in the doing, not in the possessing.

And so, the solution must be to make a greater percentage of things that I intend to send off to live somewhere else. I do that fairly well now, but the state of my closets screams “not well enough.”

I’d like to try my hand at selling, yes, so maybe this should be the year I finally make good on my occasional threat to secure a local consignment agreement.

But even more, maybe this should be the year I craft for a cause. If I want to de-stash in a meaningful way, charity is just the ticket.

So, a 2-part resolution:

For each item I make/finish off for myself or my family during 2015, and for each item I make to sell for cash, I will also make/finish off something to give to a nonprofit.

For short, I’m going to call this part of the goal “destashing through giving.” I’m even going to make it a separate category on this blog so I have a quick way of sorting through my post records to check up on my balance throughout the year. Update: I quickly learned that actually using this category gave me a creepy sense of patting myself on the back for doing something good. That completely defeats the pleasure of doing something good…so no more category. For the same reason, the numbers and updates fell by the wayside. It was much too much like keeping score of good works. Ick.

And except for things for my family, all I make this year will be fashioned exclusively from materials I already have, until the stash is slim enough to be put away neatly and order has been restored.

If you think you spy some loopholes in there, you’re right. “For my family” covers several “don’t acquire more supply” exceptions: dishcloths (because my yarn stash is mostly non-cotton right now), the “who can predict” of kids’ Halloween and school play costumes (in addition to stash fabric, I needed feathers, thermal underwear, and paint to finish this last season’s costumes), and sewing thread and elastic (because that’s just a fact of mending).

But as far as I can see now, those will be it for new purchases.

Let the stash control and charity stitching begin!

What are your crafting resolutions this year? Have you ever crafted for a charity, and if so, which one? Links, photos, and other inspiration are welcome!

Categories: Hardworking Handmade Item

Annie

A wife and mom, a worker bee, a churchwoman, a reader, and a crafter. What more is there to know? :)

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