Jul 6, 2010

Ten Minimalist Knitting Choices You Can Make Today

This is a chapter from my book The Minimalist Knitter's Handbook. Image from Unclutterer.

Donate one skein of yarn. Everyone has at least one skein of yarn in their collection they wouldn’t miss – find that skein and get rid of it. You can gift it to a fellow knitter, sell it on Ravelry, or donate it to charity, but get it out of your stash and your home.  

Get rid of a set of knitting needles. We’ve all purchased a set of needles we’ll never use again. Put it in your “to donate” box and take it on your next trip to the Goodwill. You won’t miss it.  

Organize your pdf patterns. Divide them up by finished product type, who will end up with them {men, women, etc}, or come up with your own system. As you work, open up each pattern and decide if you still want to keep it. Chances are half of the patterns you’ve saved are ones you’ll never knit again.  

Knit a hat – and give it away. There are people all around you that will need warmth this coming winter, and you’ve got yarn and the skills to help out. Grab a skein of your workhorse wool and knit a hat you’ll give away – then go find someone who looks cold this winter and offer it to them.  

Clean out your notions bag – get rid of anything you haven’t used on your last ten projects. Notions bags are like purses; they collect crap. I like to clean out my notions bag a few times a year, and am always surprised at what I find inside. Most likely you’ll be able to lighten your notions load by almost half.  

Delete anything on your Ravelry queue that’s been there for more than a year. With very few exceptions, if you haven’t knit it by now, you most likely won’t knit it anytime in the near future. And with Ravelry’s amazing search capabilities, if you really want to find it again you’ll be able to. Lighten that visual clutter!  

Frog a WIP. If it’s been sitting in your “to finish knitting” pile for more than a year, you will probably never finish it. Whatever stalled you out the first time will continue to keep you stalled out indefinitely. Frog that project so you can use the yarn for another project. Better yet, once you frog it, give the yarn away! 

Finish a WIP. If it just needs a button band, cuffs on the sleeves, snaps sewn on, or the ends woven in, just finish it. Walk away from the computer, go grab what you need, and take the time to get it done and out of your WIP pile.

Knit outside. Connecting with nature brings a sense of peace and calm, centering you and helping you let go. It will get you away from your stash, all the knitting clutter you’ve accumulated, and re-focus your minimalist knitting mission.  

Re-purpose yarn from a thrift store sweater. There are dozens of sweaters in any thrift store that can be repurposed for new-to-you yarn. Find a tutorial if you don’t already know how, and help give new life to used yarn rather than buying new.

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