Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Year of UILI

It's not so unusual to have a crafting 'theme' for the year. Every January, I'll see a trend (although I'm usually too late to join in); one year, it seemed like everyone decided it was a good idea to start a new project every day in January. Another year, it was to list all your WIPs and work on them. A friend dedicated one year to completing all the kits she had stashed. A couple of years ago, I decided to stitch an ornament a month; I completed four which, considering how slowly I stitch, was probably as much as could be hoped for.

This year I decided to (mostly) come up with my own theme - UILI. "And what is UILI?" I hear you ask. UILI stands for Use It or Lose It. I didn't come up with either the concept or the acronym of course. The concept is as old as time, and credit for the acronym must go (or at least my awareness of it) to Nicole and Jenny of the Stash and Burn podcast. The general goal was to use some of that stash we all seem to hoard; participants in last year's UILI challenge would pick a yarn in their stash each month and commit to using it for a project that month. You didn't have to finish, but real progress had to be made. At the end of the month, if you didn't care enough about either the yarn or the project to put a bit of time into it, you *got rid of it*. No more hanging around indefinitely, no more "oh, but this is too special to use!". You do something with your yarn or you lose it. UILI, in short. I didn't participate but it seemed like a great idea - except that I already have WIPs too numerous to count! I didn't want to start something *new* each month and just add to the already overflowing bins of started projects. So I've taken the UILI concept and tweaked it a bit for my own purposes.

I have a list of projects. No, I'm not going to put it here - it's too terrifying! I've committed to working on each project started before January 1, 2014 *at least* three times in 2014 or it goes away. I decided that if I didn't care enough about a project to put some time into it three times in a year then obviously I didn't care enough about it to finish it and that just makes it clutter. And aren't we all trying to reduce clutter? Some projects will be finished, most won't, but all will progress.

The first project to be 'out of danger' was "Party Cakes" by Country Cottage Needleworks. That happened January 28, so I'm clearly off to a slow start. This piece is worked with cotton fiber (DMC, Crescent Colours and Weeks Dye Works) on 40-count Newcastle linen in Golden Harvest from Silkweaver. It's for my sister (as so many projects are) who makes beautiful custom cakes. If she ever opens her own shop, I will insist that this piece be hung somewhere. :-)

So that's it. My crafting challenge for the year. I feel good about it.

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