Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Won the UFO Contest!

Dear Terise! I have announced it in my Blog. I have no pictures to share about it though except this. One of the prizes I got was this little wall hanging that I immediately put up on my wall and will view it daily as I iron out my unfinished projects! I also won a huge amount of Fat Quarters which I at once put into my ever growing stash. Well, here's the thing. Even though I managed to finish more projects than anyone else in the group of 18 people, I still have way more than I want.

Recently I decided that I no longer want to do multiple projects. There will always be a certain amount of multiples but even still I need to rid myself of the things that have been dragging me down lately. I have updated my goals for the next year and a half and one of them is to finish the multiple projects and stop doing them. Here is a pictorial inventory of the multiples that I've been up to lately.

The Bead Knitted Bags

Each of these little bags takes 10 hours to complete. They are made with size 8 pearl cotton and size 10 or 11 seed beads, on size 0000 knitting needles. It's rather like trying to knit hair on wires. I have made at least 60 or 70 of these little things, and possibly as many as 100. Here are five that I haven't sold yet, I think there may be more of them somewhere, probably in the box of stuff I take to sell at craft shows.
Anyway, I had several more that I had strung and ready to knit. I spent the whole of this last week knitting them. One more day and should have another dozen of them to add to the collection. These are the new ones that are unfinished as yet. Each one now has to be sewn together, which takes longer than one might think, and then a beaded necklace added to each one. So even when the knitting is finished there is still at least one to two hours of work left on each one. For any of you who would like to buy one, they retail for $30. Yes, I have done the math and I am only getting $3.00 per hour for my work! It's even worse because that doesn't include the cost of materials.

UPDATE: These beaded bags were something I was making to sell in my booth. I still have several that I am trying to finish. All the ones in the photos above have been sold, so they are very worth while to make. Each time I finish a batch of about a dozen of them, I say, that's it, no more. Then I start to sell them and next think you know, I have collected the materials for a dozen more. I will add an updated photo when I can.


One of the things I love to make is socks. They are nice small projects. They don't take a lot of yarn. In fact about $10 will get you into a nice pair of socks. Granted it does go up to $30 at times. But when you consider the hundreds of dollars you could be spending on yarn to make sweaters, socks are kind of a bargain. And socks are also something that you really can't have too many of.
I have gotten to the point though where I only buy shirts and tops that go with a pair of socks I have made, and I only buy sock yarn that matches tops that I have. I usually pair my tops and socks with a neutral colored pair of tight legged knit pants for my signature look. After all, why bother making these beautiful colorful socks if your not going to show them off?

However, as you can see, I probably have enough socks. In fact, I have so many that there are a couple of pair I haven't yet worn. And I have yarn for 8 more pair. Once I finish these I will have 25 pair of hand knit socks. I wouldn't have to do laundry for nearly a month! Enough already!

UPDATE: I have not now, nor ever will stop making socks. Sorry, but that's one piece of handwork that I refuse to give up. I have however taken to giving socks away as gifts to friend, co-workers, and family members. Here is a picture of my active sock collection, meaning these are the ones I wear. Actually, I haven't worn at least three of these pair YET! On top of that, I just counted the balls of yarn that I have for socks and I have enough for 27 more pairs. That's not counting the ones I can make from leftovers. So all totalled I could probably, without buying another ball, make about 40 pairs of socks.

Plarn Bags

Plarn, or Plastic Yarn, is made from those annoying plastic grocery bags that you never quite know what to do with. They are flimsy and break when you're carrying things into the house and once in the house, you have the perplexing question of what now? Do I just pitch them and let them try to biodegrade for the next millennium in a landfill, or do I save them and try to re-use them, or do I take them back to the store and trust the store to re-cycle them in a proper way, when we really don't know what they do with them? What to do? Some people use them as trash bags thus saving themselves some money. Others use them to collect animal wastes. Others don't ask these questions and just use their cloth bags when they remember to take them into the store with them.

I make Plarn out of them. Many people have made rugs our of Plarn. I make grocery bags out of them and I actually use them, when I remember to take them into the store with me! They reside in my car which is why this picture is set in my hatchback!
But the problem is, even though I have enough of these bags to handle my most heavy shopping days, I still have this mess next to my TV chair of unfinished Plarn bags. The reason why I wanted to dedicate this Blog to my multiples is to show that I really don't need all of these things and to count how many I have in the works. But I have no idea how many Plarn bags I have in the works. I have 4 of them started. The yellow one is waiting for me to collect more yellow bags to finish it. The others just need to be crocheted. But part of the problem is, I have plarn pieces cut and stored in various boxes and containers waiting to be formed into Plarn, a very labor intensive task.
I have plarn balled up in various colors that I could make a striped plarn bag out of and I have bags collected and waiting to be cut into plarn pieces. It's a never ending process! And it's a real mess! I have to get rid of it. But I can't see my way clear to throwing it all out because well, that wouldn't be ecologically PC. It's why I have the mess to begin with. So I have a goal. I will put a sign on my rear view mirror that says, "Take bags" to remind me. I will not get any more bags from the grocery store. I will finish the Plarn I have and make weird looking striped bags with whatever I have left and I won't worry about it. I'll take the ones I never use and put them into my box of things to sell at craft shows. Then I'll put a nice end table in that spot next to my TV chair, and that will be the end of it.

UPDATE: SUCCESS!!! I no longer have bags, plarn, or half done Plarn bags. I use my Plarn bags as shopping bag and the only time I make plarn any more is to fix the bags I've already made. So that is one thing totally off my list!

Pattern Models

These are two of the projects that I've designed patterns for. Designing patterns for me is a sideline, kind of akin to my writing. I use these patterns in my classes and eventually would like to publish them and put them on the market. But in order to do it, I have to make several versions of the thing so that I have a number of them to photograph for the cover art. Also, since I use them in the classes I teach I make a new one for nearly every class, so I have a lot of them. But I need to go ahead and finish the patterns and package them so that I can sell them somewhere other than Tawni's shop.

Those are my multiple projects and my goal now is to finish them all before fall! If I can get all that done, then this fall I plan to build up my shoulder muscles as I machine quilt about 20 projects in preparation for the quilt show next year.

Wish me luck!
Finishing Multiples,
Cindy K-K

UPDATE: I am still designing as a sideline, but there has been a distinct change in my circumstances. I am now a full time writer. Designing is part of writing and I have several design patterns out. I need to try to sell them to shops. But all in all it's not a business venture per se, but a sideline which I might make a few extra bucks doing. There is a lot to selling patterns and I so far have not wished to put in the effort it takes. I just wanted to clarify this to whomever might be reading through my Blogs. Thanks, Cindy K-K

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