cleaning up

It seems in a very short space of time, we've gone from warm, summery days to this:

Leaves are turning color and falling down. It happened practically overnight. Last night I could hear sleet hitting the roof and we have a frost advisory for tonight. Good thing I have picked the last of the tomatoes; I think the rest are toast. 

I spent an hour in the cold, windy drizzle watching Daniel play soccer (they haven't won a game yet, but those kids are having fun anyway), but it was otherwise a good day to stay in and do some much-needed cleaning house. I've been run a little ragged lately, what with adjusting to my work schedule added to my usual responsibilities, and the house has gotten really messy. Not "Hoarders" messy, but bad enough to make me twitchy and unable to relax. Even Stuart noticed and he generally has a higher tolerance for mess and clutter than I do.

After a few hours of cleaning, a lot looks better, but there's still some left to do tomorrow. I got bogged down in the project of cleaning out some of my knitting patterns. You have to understand I've got more patterns than I can possibly knit in my lifetime. I'm fine with that because I also have a fickle mind, and there's no telling what I'll want to pick up and knit next. I'm glad I have all those options right on at my fingertips. 

At the same time, my shelves were stuffed too full and I knew there were some things I liked at one time that I know I'll never make. Like the wide-collared cardigan patterns I downloaded before I realized how dreadful I look in them. And the fancy twisted-stitch sock patterns I printed out when it turns out I hate knitting twisted stitches on sock yarn and tiny needles. And all the adorable knitted dresses and jumpers I meant to make for Anya when she was so little, and the hooded jackets I wanted to make for Daniel before he decided "Sweaters just aren't my style, mom!"

It's fine. My tastes have changed and my children are growing. How they're growing! They're growing up and they're great kids and while I get a little nostalgic for the cuddly toddler years I never want to relive them. It was not an easy time for me. And although there will always be babies of friends and family members I can knit for, it's unnecessary for me to have 50 sweater patterns on hand for newborns when I'm unlikely to knit more than one or two a year.

Beer and pattern sorting. Wild times.

So I went through the patterns and tried to be ruthless. A few books I know I'll never use are headed for the used book store where I might get a few bucks for them. A huge stack of paper went into recycling, and some nicer printed patterns in plastic sleeves are bound for the thrift store. Maybe I ought to save them just in case, but the truth is, I want the stuff I have no use for out of my house. It's overwhelming enough to see what I kept!

I was just as ruthless with my yarn stash over the summer, and I managed to sell a decent amount, though there is plenty left I'd rather see gone.

How did I end up with so much? There were a few years there, I guess, when it was sort of like I thought it was now or never with the yarn and the patterns, like I had to get everything then or I'd miss my chance. In reality, the yarn business and designing world have evolved to be much better. There are more options, and better ones, and I'm better off knitting what I want instead of getting stuck in the past.



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