BY HAND

New Year’s resolutions for the overindulger in fabric and yarn

Posted Jan. 02, 2012, at 2:35 p.m.

This is my New’s Year resolution list:

• I will not buy another piece of fabric or skein of yarn until Feb. 1, because by then I’ll be more than ready to talk myself out of this resolution.

• I will take time every day to do some hoeing out in the room no one but me may enter. (This is such a laugh. The minute I put an ugly length of fabric in the needs-a-new-home pile I think of some really amazing project I could use it for.) However, I will divest myself of stuff I haven’t touched (actually, seen) in years.

• I will find another place for the old treadle machine so I will be more inclined to use it.

• I will design a new room for my house so that I actually will have another place to put the old machine.

• I will finish those sad UFOs (unfinished objects) — the tweed sweater parts draped haphazardly over the dress form; the rumpled baby quilt that needs sashing, backing and batting; the linen print dress sprawled across the trunk, the mermaid embroidery with the raveling edges that I’ve worked on for more than a year — maybe it just needs to be buried at sea.

• I will start projects for Christmas 2012 RIGHT NOW so I won’t drive myself crazy trying to finish mittens and socks two days before the great day. (Yeah, right. The minute the snow melts and I can get outside to dig in the dirt or plant my beach chair beside any body of water I totally forget I ever knew how to do a popcorn stitch or line a jacket.)

• I will buy one of those nifty wooden thread racks and I put all my spools on it. (Possible, very possible.)

• I will empty the spare-room closet, screw the thread rack to the door and organize the space with vertical racks to accommodate lengths of folded fabric so all I have to do is open the door to be confronted with the happy result of my organizing genius. (But what will I do with all the coats, that stack of adorable straw hats, the life jacket and the guitar I might want to play again? Well, maybe if I move that stuff to another closet … but wait, I have only two other closets — small ones. Looks like I am back to the design a new room resolution.)

• I will crawl under the bed to retrieve the plastic tote where odd balls of yarn live. I will get reacquainted with them and find clever, elegant projects to use them for. (This a scary resolution — the dust kitties in my house yowl at night and take no prisoners.)

• I will do my duty to my yarn, to my fabric, to my thread, beads, patterns, stacks of magazines, needlework books and flotsam and jetsam of related stuff by making a bigger effort to use it up before it winds me into a permanent cocoon.

OK, dear readers, I’ve made my list of New Year’s resolutions. Feel free to let me know what yours are.

Snippets

By Hand reader Lisa Colburn emailed, “I have an ever-growing collection of the plastic bags that my newspaper is delivered in and I would love to find someone who could use them. Last year, my sister who lives in Quebec was telling me about a woman in her area who was using plastic bags to crochet sturdy grocery bags as well as outdoor rugs. Are you aware of someone around the Bangor area who does this? I would gladly donate the bags.” Email Colburn at info@lisacolburn.com.

The annual St. Distaff’s Day Spin-in will be held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, at the Page Farm and Home Museum on the University of Maine campus. Bring whatever handwork you’d like. A wheel and drop spindles will be available for those who would like to try spinning.

Pen Bay Medical Center nurses and Pen Bay volunteer knitters in Rockport teamed up to raise awareness about shaken baby syndrome and to prevent infant abuse. Throughout November, newborns received purple knit hats and blankets to heighten awareness of the syndrome and the Period of PURPLE Crying, a program designed to help parents and caregivers understand and prevent the common causes of shaken baby syndrome. For information on shaken baby syndrome, visit dontshake.org.

Call Ardeana Hamlin at 990-8153 or email ahamlin@bangordailynews.com.

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