I once read somewhere that, when cleaning out your closet, you should get rid of clothes you haven’t worn in the past three months. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember what I wore yesterday. I would never be able to determine what I’ve worn in three months time. So I’ve come up with a system to keep my closet from being overstuffed.
Each day I take a picture of every piece of clothing I’ve worn during the day, with a few exceptions. Anything I wouldn’t buy second-hand, I’m not going to donate either. Meaning, I don’t apply this system to underwear, socks, or leggings.
After three months, I organize all of the pictures by categories of clothes. I also include sub-categories like tank tops, t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, etc. Then, going by category, I take out anything that doesn’t have a picture. Again, with a few exceptions. I have to have worn at least half of the items in the category for it to be included in the clean-out. That ensures I don’t get rid of all my sandals in the winter or my jackets in the summer.
I’ve been keeping track since October, so today I did a big clean-out
The pile on the left is to donate, the one on the right is to be placed on top of the trash cans for anyone who may be in desperate enough need to take shoes that are falling apart or t-shirts with pit stains. Again, these are things that I would never donate to an actual thrift store.
Two grocery bags to donate and two to toss. I’ve actually cleared off about half a shelf in my closet by doing this. If you ever feel like you have too much in your closet, I’d suggest taking the time to track your outfits somehow for three months or so and see what you really wear. I bet it’s not as much of your closet as you think.
Remember way back in June/July when I went to France? Well, in the small town we stayed in for our second week, there was a yarn shop, Au Fil et a Mesure, just a few blocks down from the house. Since I had much more down time there than in Paris (because there aren’t so many places you just HAVE to see in a small town), I decided to pick up some yarn and needles.
Sixteen balls of DMC Natura and a set of sock needles, to be exact. I decided my souvenirs would be socks made of French yarn on French needles. I had already picked up some wool to make Cassy’s Zooey hats for my mom and I while I was in Paris, but that project would have been a bit involved to pick up and put down whenever I had a few free moments.
So I set about making Cassy’s Earlybirds (btw, Cassy blogs atKnit the Hell Out and designs some amazing things that I just happen to be mildly obsessed with.) for four different people in four different colors. Not all at the same time of course.
I made mine in green:
Reddish-purplish for Mama:
Blue for Terry:
And purple for Gaga:
(Clicking on the pictures will take you to their respective project pages. Which should eventually be all updated with the specifics of each sock.)
It’s been a long time since I had made socks before I decided to do this. These were also the first time I had made socks in actual sock-weight yarn. Before they were out of some awful acrylic stuff like I was using to make everything at that point because ALL my yarn came from Wal-Mart. Not like there was much of anywhere else to get it where I started knitting anyway.
Even the heels are cute in this yarn. The only thing I did majorly different from the pattern is using a cable needle on the cables. I knit pretty tightly and was having a terrible time trying not to pull the stitch out while it was dropped. I still like making gloves better, because they seem to take less time, but I think I may be warming up to sock-making in general.
I had seen a bit about needle felting before, but this video from Bubzbeauty got me really interested. (In fact, I think her Totoro design is going to be the first 3D piece I try next.) I was wandering the aisles of Michael’s with a 50% off coupon one day and saw the Dimensions Feltworks Butterfly “learn needle felting kit”.
The kit comes with pre-printed felt, two colors of roving (unspun wool), yarn and embroidery thread, felting and embroidery needles. The first thing I would suggest is to get something better than the foam block included with the kit to felt on. The foam deflates very quickly, especially as much as you have to stab the needle into the felt to get it to hold. You can buy a special “felting mat”, but I went with a plastic-bristled scrub brush from the cleaning supplies aisle at Target.
The felting instructions are really easy to understand, as are the instructions on how to create the butterfly and use the finished butterfly. The embroidery instructions may be a little difficult to understand if you have never done embroidery before, but there are always great instruction videos on YouTube. All in all, this is a great little kit to get started felting, and a great project for beginning felters. Plus, it’s an adorable butterfly. What more convincing do you need?
Another thing, besides the felting mat I mentioned before, that might make it easier to learn is the Clover Pen-Style Felting Tool. You can use 1, 2, or 3 needles at a time, and it extends to two different lengths. Let me tell you, three needles at a time makes the whole process go a lot faster, at least when you are working flat.