Sunday, January 26, 2014

Evaluating my stash

Time to get real.  (Sigh.)  I know I have more stash than I can ever stitch...I was browsing my old blog entries this afternoon, and just looking at the things I've brought home from Celebrations every year, I'm sad to say most of the things I "just HAD to have" are still unstitched.  :(  I'm not the fastest stitcher in the world, and when you combine that with my love of large/complex designs, you get a big pile of unfinished or never started projects!  I keep trying the WIPocalypse/Stitch from Stash/No Stash Enhancement sorts of challenges, but I fall off the wagon way too easily. 

So.  I need a strategy here.  Any suggestions?  Right now I've got the "Daring to Begin" sampler in one hoop, a small Just Nan design (from my existing stash, for the Just Nan SAL) in another, and a few straggling stitches left to finish "Labyrinth."  I'm planning on getting that done soon while DH is away for work, so he won't know that it is actually finished.  :)  Also in the WIP bin are "Dark Sorceress," the self-designed "Fairy Tale Towne" with 2 of 9 spots completed, a Stoney Creek piece that was going to be for a friend's baby - the baby is now 4, a baby afghan with some of the Dragon Dreams' "Dragon Virtues" - started when all of those patterns were freebies and I wanted to stitch it before I would even consider getting pregnant, ha!, and Mirabilia's "Mermaids of the Deep Blue."  The Stoney Creek piece and the Mira, sadly, are rapidly falling off my radar.

What would I like to start?  Hmmm.  Lately I've been thinking about one of the patterns from Prairie Schooler's "Winter Samplers" booklet (the one verse about earth and cold and stone that always makes me think of Game of Thrones), and Homespun Elegance's "Olde Shaker Tune."  And looking at the lists of things I bought at Celebrations makes me want to do those, too.....

This year I did start tracking my stitching time in a small journal, and I've discovered that I typically stitch about 5 hours/week, in about 1 hour increments.  After the child is in bed, the kitchen is quasi-cleaned up, laundry is started, and other sundry tasks are completed, that's what I can find before bedtime!  And that is why I do a lot of little things, I think.  It is easier to work on a small piece or a piece with very few color changes than it is to pull out and concentrate on a Mirabilia-style pattern.

Am I crazy to try to do more?  Should I just be glad I get to stitch/finish anything at all??  After all, the pretty things in the file cabinet will still be there next year, and the year after that.

But I do NOT need to buy anymore.

8 comments:

Barb said...

I think most of us stitchers have that problem. I have more than a thousand books and have only done almost 600 projects so have a lot more books to stitch from. I have made it a New Year's Resolution not to buy any books this year. So far so good. LOL

Caitlin Jordan said...

It's fun to collect :-D

Xeihua (Sara) said...

Hi erin,

I think that if you're happy with just having them there and adding to your collection, than just keep as you are (afterall stitching is a hobby whose purpose is to make you happy) Now if you really want to force yourself finish something why don't set yourself some goals (real ones)and rules like I'm not buying/starting "a" until I do (x)stitches on project "b". It's working for me :)

feather-stitching.com said...

I'm thankfully finding it easier these days not to buy new stash, as quite frankly there isn't that much out there as new designs that appeal to me ... much better for the credit card!! My problem now has been stocking with up all the threads etc that I need instead. I have to say, though, that a formal rotation works the best for me to get more stitching done - especially those that I don't really enjoy working on. I'm back to doing that again this year, and I'm managing to get so much more stitched so far! I think it's just having those little 10-hour goals that helps (plus having all the projects in stitching order in a tub, all on individual Qsnaps/frames) ... that way I don't really have to think about what to stitch next (which I can sit and ponder over for a week!). I know if I'm not enjoying something I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I can move on to something more fun ... admittedly, though, you have to be relatively disciplined, so it's taken me 3 attempts to finally get back into that rhythm again! Either way, stitching is supposed to be fun, so whatever makes you enjoy the process is the perfect way to stitch :D (and like you I have enough stash to stitch for 20 lifetimes ...)

Kate said...

enjoy your hobby for what it is, to make you happy ;) . Dont stress over the details, if you are lucky to have a large stash then by all means enjoy it too. It's not going anywhere and you can pick up projects as you feel like or when time is kinder to you :)

Melinda said...

I am not a good finisher, but I am an awesome buyer and starter - so I have no advice or wise words to share. But just ENJOY!!!!

C in DC said...

I have this problem, too. I'm slowly working on decluttering my house, so I've gotten a bit stronger about getting rid of things - patterns and projects - that no longer appeal to me, even if they are half finished. I have things from 20 years ago that really need to move on.

With my kids' toys, I'm working on a "one in, at least one out" type policy, which seems to help. Maybe you could do something similar for your patterns/books/projects.

I'm also working through my home library and weeding books. I have lots of series that I read quite a while ago that I haven't kept up with. I'm re-reading the first one or two to see if they still hold my interest, and if not, they are gone.

C in DC said...

P.S. With little kids around, it is *hard* to find time to stitch. I'm waiting for the day when they take up, I don't know, track or something, and my job is to sit in the stands and stitch (and occasionally cheer) while they do their thing.