Spring Cleaning

Since Harvard has the lovely policy of kicking students out of the dorm the day after graduation, I’ve spent the past week doing some preemptive moving out. I’ve also been trying to simultaneously purge in the process, getting rid of all the unnecessary junk that I’ve managed to accumulate over the past year. While it’s easy to throw away old term papers, hair products, contorted paper clips, etc., parting with fabric and yarn is a whole lot trickier. I’ve managed to get rid of some but only when I had such a ridiculously small amount that I would be truly hard pressed to make anything out of it. Think a scrap of yarn approximately three feet long, or a one inch square of fabric. Overall, I’m resigned to the fact that I will go through life with an abundant stash of yarn and fabrics. I’m OK with this.

In honor of this week’s cleansing spirit, however, my mini quilt is a scrap quilt:

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There are all kinds of fabrics in here, including antique fabrics and leftovers from the current larger quilt that I’m working on. I like that I managed to use up some of my tiniest bits of cloth. I’m considering make this a Mini Quilt Series since I could really use an outlet for those minuscule scraps that I’m unable to part with for whatever reason. Maybe I can turn them into placemats, or somehow sew them all together… oh, the possibilities.

Spring (well, nearly Summer) Cleaning is a beautiful thing. In addition to simplifying one’s life, it can also turn up the most wonderful of surprises… such as fabric you forgot you had! While unpacking in my room I stumbled upon an old feed sack from the collection that my mom gave me for my birthday. Somehow it got lost in the shuffle.

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I’m delighted to have discovered it, though slightly sad that it didn’t make it into the mix with its fellow feed sacks on the giant patchwork pillow or messanger bag. Perhaps it’s a sign that this fabric is meant for something special, something all its own. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll do with it, but I’ll keep you posted…

Meanwhile, back at the dorm, I’m about to take down my ‘scrapbook’ lamp, covered in bits of fabric and yarn from projects that I worked on this past year. I couldn’t let it go without a picture~ even though it’s only really been a few months,  it holds too many memories!

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(Yes, that’s lucky money taped to the wall behind it. I thought I needed to do something special with these particularly miraculous finds- coins that were difficult to pick up for whatever reason, or the three dollar bills that I found on the street. I told you I was obsessed).

Another aspect of the early moving out has involved taking my sewing machine back to my house which means, yes, a mini break from quilting. It’s slightly painful but I’ll appreciate it that much more when I’m back home- only one week away. It also means I can devote myself entirely to my knitting for a little while. Perfect timing since , thanks to this Domino Knitting technique, my inner knitter has returned 100% percent. I’m nothing short of addicted. I have already finished the first half of my stole:

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And a decent amount of the second half as well:

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The color combinations follow no rhyme or reason; I’m just choosing as I go. This method of knitting was made for me- colorful, patchworky, simple but interesting to execute. I’ve been carrying my knitting bag with me everywhere (even though this is a relatively bulky project). I can’t get enough. I’m probably known at Darwins (my favorite sandwich shop: www.darwinsltd.com) as the crazy girl who knits while eating an egg sandwich. Alas, amidst all this feverish stockinette stitching, I managed to make a little slip up and add a triangle on the wrong side of a previous triangle…

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I’m not going to lie; it was a painful discovery. And I only realized it once the entire first half was complete- no way I was going to undo all that work. But it didn’t take me too long to recover. Honestly, no one will notice when it’s wrapped around my neck. It does mean there are a few extra squares and that I’ll have to intentionally make the same mistake on the other side since the halves need to be symmetrical to fit together! My sister gave me the most reassuring advice; it makes it that much more my own, a little quirky… she’s right. I don’t tend to follow patterns and perhaps this is my subconscious way of defying them (no offense to Vivian Hoxbro’s brilliant pattern)!

Since Commencement activities begin next week and this weekend is full of final farewell events, my knitting productivity will likely decline for a bit- no worries,  us knitters do indeed have lives… but even the  busiest of times have spare moments and something tells me I’ll manage to squeeze in a few stitches here and there. It’s also the busiest times when I need this the most- whether sewing or stockinetting, these patchwork projects that keep me sane.

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Filed under clothing, knitting, quilting

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