Recycled Jars

No one in my immediate household drinks coffee, except for me. So rather than making a whole pot, I make a cup at a time using instant coffee. Over time, I have accumulated a few empty glass coffee jars. The shape of these jars fit perfectly in my hand and I hated to simply throw them away. It seemed like such a waste. So, I found ways to reuse the jars.

Recycled Jars - Spices

They turned out to be perfect for spices like cinnamon sticks and leftover sesame seeds. I reduced the clutter in my pantry by saving smaller items in these jars rather than keeping bulky cardboard boxes or using plastic baggies. They also look very nice lined up in my pantry.

Recycled Jars - Kitchen

When I spin my own fiber, I use an old ball of acrylic yarn to tie up my skeins for storage or before dyeing. This little strawberry jam jar was just the right size. My son punched a hole in the lid and presto, I had a yarn pull jar.

Recycled Jars - String

Leftover candle jars are also great for storing items in plain sight. When the candle burned out in this thick glass, it became a repository for my double-pointed needles and other knitting doodads.

Recycled Jars - Needles

These empty candle jars collect my leftover yarns. From time to time, these leftovers become useful – like for wrapping packages, adding a hint of color to another knit piece, or for anything where a piece of string is needed. The lids keep the dirt and moths out and they display nicely.

Recycled Jars - Yarn 1

Recycled Jars - Yarn 2

My yarn jars make me happy and I feel like I am contributing just a little bit to making the earth greener.

Blogging – Plan or Serendipity?

Back when I decided to start a blog, I thought of all the knitting things I wanted to learn about and share. I came up with a list of topics and drafted several posts before Agujas went live.

The first few months, I planned my posts using an editorial calendar of sorts. I researched, visited, knitted and wrote. I also became an avid photo-taker. I love the process of discovery, both about my subject matter and my writing. I found that the creative processes of knitting and then of writing rejuvenated me. Even after a long day at the office, I still had surplus energy for these creative pursuits. Now the process has become rather organic. Almost as if the blog has taken on a life of its own.

Just when I fear I’ve run out of things to say, some interesting exhibit or artist comes along and incites my curiosity and a story takes shape. So with a little bit of planning, and a good dose of serendipity, I keep blogging.

2012 Blog Planner

What is your process for blogging? Do you set goals to post once a day, once a week? Do you post around certain themes? Or does it just come to you?

My Knitting Notebook

Some time ago, I started keeping all the yarn labels for my projects so that I could remember which yarn I used. Rather than stuffing them in a drawer, I wanted to organize them somehow. I found this simple journal and started stapling the yarn labels onto the pages.

On the margins, I jotted down the name of the project and the date. At some point, I started including a scrap of yarn with the label so that I could remember what the yarn looked and felt like. The sample on the left page below is what I used to make a pair of baby booties, including the pretty ribbon to tie them together. The sample on the right was a souvenir yarn from Romni Wools in Toronto. It’s patiently waiting for the right project.

The yarns below went into making a thick cabled scarf for my husband, a racy striped garter stitch scarf, a cabled hat and washcloths.

I started this knitting notebook long before it occurred to me to download an app or start a blog. Both of those are good memory joggers. I do keep my Vogue Knitting app updated but there’s nothing like being able to touch and feel the yarn between my fingers. Modern technology still can’t replace the tactile experience.

Do you keep yarn samples? How do you organize them?