Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here. I would love for you to join me every Wednesday to share a single photo of what you are knitting (or crocheting) and reading too! Share your photo on your blog, on Instagram (#yarnalong), or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us!~

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I bought Jonny a copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (ha!!!)  He’s reading it begrudgingly, but mostly makes fun of it.  He doesn’t think that a single woman’s methods of tidying apply to our not-so-typical family, and I guess that is why I haven’t read it myself, thinking that she can’t possibly understand my life/home/family.  I do hope though that the book might help Jonny with getting rid of things (I am a long-time pro in this area.  Sadly, no one else in my family shares this trait with me.)  A couple of my friends have read the book and are all crazy now with special sock-folding and that sort of thing.  My biggest fear when they embarked on their Konmari journeys was that my hand-knitted gifts wouldn’t make the cut.  I was assured that none of my knitted scarves or hats were discarded.  However: in light of the wildly popular nature of this book, my advice when giving handknits is to include a little note stating something along the lines of, “If this gift ceases to bring you joy, I would be happy to take it off your hands.  No hurt feelings, I promise.” 😉

I talked about the book I read last week, Chiara Corbella Petrillo, on Monday.  I recommend it.

As far as knitting goes, I’m mainly working on Bea’s cape, and am on the second pocket of my barn sweater.  I’ve tried it on and I like the fit and length, so I am really happy!


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  1. Katherine says:

    In our household she is referred to as ‘special underpant foldy lady’.

  2. Actually, most of her ways of folding are fabulous. My husband’s barn clothes fit into his dresser for the first time in 12 years. Same number of clothes, just folded better. Though I had to laugh at her ‘how to fold bras’. My bras haven’t folded down that small since about grade 9 🙂

  3. Purging is my style, but hand knits? Never!

  4. Sounds like a good book to read and get some takeaways. I took yesterday off work to wash more of my windows in the house (living on gravel really gets them dirty) but it was so cold, I didn’t want to do that with the little grandkids running around. I ended up cleaning out more of my guest room closet where I keep my crafting things…yarn, fabric, thread, books on knitting, sewing, kits, cross-stitch, etc. I ended up taking 5 big boxes of new cake pans, baskets, lots of canning jars, Christmas ornaments, shoes, wooden wagon and wooden golf cart that we’ve moved many times, blankets to Goodwill. Some things I found I had forgotten about were pumpkin that lit up, pumpkin soap dispenser, Longaberger Kleenex basket with Kleenex, potpourri, oils for potpourri, red ticking fabric and thread my mom took home with her. It feels really good to purge.

  5. It took me a very long time to get around to reading this book and in the end there was little for me to like. Sadly, I felt like there was no space for creative pursuits of any sort in the life of the author, no room for holding an occasional gift out of kindness and respect for the giver’s generosity. Ultimately, I felt it was a very controlled, self-centred existence she was promoting.

  6. Dee Bryant says:

    I share a house with four small people (and a big one). The woman who wrote the book clearly does not share a house with four small people. I did take the clothes folding on board though and it was worth reading the book just for that change in my house – it has made a massive difference – BUT – I just can’t fathom emptying my bag … every … day. … seriously!

  7. Maybe I should give that book to Jeff for Christmas. hehe. 🙂 I, like you, consider myself to be very good at getting rid of things and keeping my “stuff” manageable, but Jeff has a harder time getting rid of stuff. I’ve had people recommend that book to me and I’m curious about it, but can’t even think about it until after the holiday season. 🙂

  8. The Konmari craze is funny to me. She must have followed me around one day while I was “cleaning” (aka “throwing everything away that I can get away with”). My husband keeps things because “we might need that later” and I throw it away when he isn’t looking. He never misses it. I love a clutter free house. With so many kids and homeschooling and my husband working from home, the house still feels full and homey without all the junk. The folding bit, meh, not so much.

  9. Yes let’s have cards that say”Please send the yarn and jars back if not in use”.

  10. My wife is a master at tidying up, decluttering, organizing, all that wonderful stuff – then three kids come along and mess it all up again. Not me, the husband, of course. 🙂 I’d take that book off your hands, but, I have to clear out the trunk of the car, or my bookshelf, or my workshop in the basement to make some room.

  11. We have accumulated so much stuff over the last few years…too many sentimental people who leave things behind or people who ask us to store things for them and forget all about them. Hope your plan works.
    Love your golden sweater…love the collar on the barn, makes me think of 1950’s land army girls…I’d like to make one too sometime.

  12. Ha! I read sections of this book aloud to my husband, with high hopes. How many sets of painting clothes does one person need? How about socks that were worn 10 years ago when he hiked the AT, but are no longer wearable, but bring back memories? Is it possible that there is some OTHER momento we could hold onto to remember that walk in the woods? We had a great laugh going through it actually, and we both lightened the load around our home, which was nice. But the “all at once” method will Never Ever work in a house with my children, I am afraid.

  13. I’ve just learned to knit + this is my first time getting to join in here, though I’ve been following along for some time! Yay!

    Also.. I couldn’t get all the way through Marie Kondo’s book before I had to return it to the library. I thought there were some good take-aways, I definitely find myself asking “Does this spark joy?” when deciding whether to keep something or not now, but I thought for sure some of it was just kooky.

  14. You’ll love your sweater. I live in mine. And I read that book. I was awesome for three days with getting rid of things we didn’t need. It is a good book and has great ideas…if you do it! Hah. Good luck getting Johnny on board.
    Have a great rest of the week. -Leanne

  15. Hi,
    The book sounds interesting, but I’m afraid I’d give up on it.
    Have a great day!

  16. I have begun the tidy book but lost interest so quickly (shocker). I think Jonny is right. I think people are so freaked out by hoarding that they swing the other way. I don’t want to be a hoarder but getting rid of so many things doesn’t make sense. How could we go to thrift stores EVER if we were constantly feeling like we had to bag up masses of “shtuff” to give away. Ha ha ha! I obviously have no answers!

  17. I love your note idea for gift knits It’s much better than my silent judgment of non-knit-worthy people. I still won’t knit for my brother in law, and his reaction was over 14 years ago. I knit him a charcoal, textured, fine knit, tailored looking cashmere and merino scarf for Christmas, and his reaction was pretty non-plussed. My husband said that he’d take it if his brother didn’t want it. We were both surprised, actually, because his brother was something of a clothes horse, fashionable man who wore tailored clothing, and it fit in with his wardrobe. I haven’t even made him an ornament since. I’m planning something for his girlfriend’s birthday, though.

  18. this book is quite popular; I would feel the same about handmade things! Shoot, I feel that way if I make tea and give it in a nice quilted jelly jar; if someone threw that out instead of either wash and reuse or at least giving it back to me, I would be sad, as it would be so wasteful! My godmother really liked this book; I have heard such mixed things about it; love what Gretchen R said about it in her posts however; it can be great to purge and reorg, but one also has to work with who they are and their family!!! It’s not a book I plan on reading at this point, esp. as I feel I know so much of it via other’s blogs! 🙂 yay for your knitting progress! and so glad for good books for us to read, like the biography you mentioned; the woman’s face is so beautiful!!! such joy!

  19. Catherine says:

    I have a friend whose husband really hated his job and applied for a job transfer. There was a possibility that it would take them to Europe and the family was really excited about the prospect of the adventure. However, her husband ultimately did not pursue it – he thought there was no way they could move. His wife is not a good housekeeper and they have so much stuff, he knew it was not realistically going to happen (or would take a long time and paid help to do). So now, he’s just counting down the years to retirement. Sometimes my friend talks about retiring to such and such a place, but her husband just treats it as a joke since he knows they’d have to burn the their home down first. There’s a moral in there somewhere…

  20. I haven’t read the book yet, but I read several articles about it and learned that I already do quite a few of her suggestions (must be because my grandfather was Asian). I can’t function well and get crabby in clutter, so decluttering is a matter of sanity survival for me. I actually enjoy organizing; it doesn’t seem like a chore. I could never have homeschooled seven kids without order. I’m not a minimalist – we have tons of books – but paperwork, clothes and toys I really try to keep to a minimum (although I still haven’t gotten a handle on the shoes for nine people problem). I’ve given up on changing my husband. I organize his office for him twice a year and he really appreciates it. He likes what I do to his office so much that he tries to keep it looking clean and neat a little longer than he normally would. The question I ask myself – which is sort of like the joy question – is “If we moved, would I want to take this with me?” Or “If I died next year, what value would this have for my kids to store?” (I know, kind of a morbid question, but one I think of a lot now that my pack-rat/hoarder mother is 80).

  21. Haha giving it to your husband! 🙂 Maybe I’m in the minority, but I really loved the book and have put it to good use. We move quite frequently, though, and I do the packing, so I appreciate less things to haul around!

  22. I JUST finished reading that book. 🙂 I actually liked it. I didn’t necessarily stick with every single one of her points, but I did take away some good tips, and I did like the overall message of the book. We don’t have much storage space in our home, so I really did appreciate the encouragement of getting rid of things that aren’t serving a purpose or aren’t important, and yes, I Konmari folded my clothes and I actually have room to spare in my small dresser drawers…that alone was worth the read. I am planning on helping my kids go through their things and drawers next. I think take the good from the book that you can, and if the rest of her methods don’t work for you, then discard them as well. 🙂

  23. YES! That is my biggest complaint after finishing the book – no advice for families or how to do it with children. But she did just have a baby herself so maybe she’ll have advice in that area soon enough 😉 We are still working on it in our home (I blame the pregnancy for slowing me down). The children now have a dresser and know the konmari method of folding their things which really does help a lot!

  24. Yay for your sweater! Love the idea of the card attached to knitted gifts and had a good chuckle about that book (whilst fantasising about my husband transforming into a declutterer)

  25. I like the idea of tidying up, but there is much that has such sentimental meaning (like those handmade treasures) that I could just never pitch them! I do think those books just don’t take into account real people, but we can all glean some hints at homemaking from them.

  26. The take away I got from the book is that it’s ok to get rid of things, even things that have been well loved or passed down but are no longer needed or useful. Her suggestion to thank an item for its service sounded cheesy but thinking that way has helped me get rid of things like old concert t-shirts and tapes that I didn’t want to part with!

  27. I have always been a pack rat, but after reading this book, was able to let go of things that weighed heavily on me. I definitely do not fold my socks in her special way though, or most clothing for that matter. It all just gets shoved into drawers–or lives in the many laundry baskets strewn around my house!

  28. I perused this book at the store and knew it would never be for me. I collect certain things. I enjoy it and make no excuses for it. To some my home might appear a little cluttered, but it is homey and comfortable. My family and others always seem to be relaxed and at ease here, and that makes me happy. I would never want to be that regimented. I purge when I feel the need, but I am not interested in a Spartan lifestyle!

  29. My mom loved this book and gave it to me to read. Will have to pull it out and read it.

  30. I can’t wait to see your sweater all finished! It’s beautiful.
    I love things to be tidy and organized but have really struggled with how to accomplish that with kids and a small house. I am not great at implementing tidiness like some people are. I agree that she doesn’t at all get big families and the mess inherent in having kids but the book really has been helping me anyway to find systems of organization and my house is looking way better over the last six months. We have gotten rid of a ton of stuff and really most of it was just junk, our clothes that I’ve been able to feel freer to consign and let go of. It’s been pretty life changing for me.

  31. I think there’s generally some misunderstanding about this book–she doesn’t suggest that EVERYTHING in your home bring you joy. I mean, toilet paper just doesn’t do it for me. 🙂 That’s more for things that aren’t strictly utilitarian. I also think you have to be “ready” in a sense, to use her method. The first time I read the book I thought she was sort of crazy. But then the second time, it started clicking. I’m working my way through it now and it really is freeing to use let go of STUFF. And the folding is incredible for saving space!
    As far as kids, she actually does have a kids’ “version” or suggestions, because she’s pregnant. Google did a whole thing with her during the “back to school” period about this.

  32. Did you ever read the post where I threw that book at the wall several times? I ended up loving it, then questioning it, it was a whole ordeal. All the links to the various posts are here: http://www.hesowsandshesews.com/2015/07/housekeeping-hindsight.html

    Anyway, I feel you. She totally doesn’t get big families, or homesteading families for that matter, but her book REALLY helped me out. I loved it. The only thing I didn’t like was how she treated things and people the same. You can’t just “konmari” people because they don’t bring you joy. God’s love calls us to do otherwise.

  33. I read the ebook. It was ok. I’m a cleaner and a purger by heart. Its just in my blood. What I got from the book was the ability to let things go. Things that are attached with negative emotions or things that give me no emotions at all. That’s been huge for me. In fact it led me closer to knitting! Making something beautiful or useful with my own two hands is now so important to me. Or receiving gifts that are hand made with love and thought. I wouldn’t worry about someone tossing out your knitting Ginny. I think the exact opposite. The knitting is precious…it’s love. It stays!

  34. I could not stand that book. I thought it screamed affluence and entitlement. (But maybe that’s the market for that kind of book?) I’d love to live in a world where all my possessions brought me joy, but I have budgetary restraints. And children. And my drawers are perfectly neat without spending time finding my my clothes “sweet spot” so I can fold them into origami rectangles. Just thinking about it gives me the heebs.

  35. Hi Ginny, I read the tiding up book and liked/hated it. I felt rather sorry for the author and her OCD childhood! Some of her ideas were interesting but some were way ridiculous. I’m with Johnny, no one way can meet the needs of my family and some of the low on the grid manner in which we live. Decluttering for me is not getting rid of stuff so we have next to nothing, but getting rid of stuff that either is not useful to my family and or does not bring be joy/contentment. My parents/grandparents 5 sets of china is over kill but I smile once a year when I use each and every set of china!

  36. I love to declutter, too, but I also worry about my hand done projects. The note is a good idea. Are you making your barn sweater with 3/4 sleeves or full sleeves? It looks like a fun one to try.

  37. Like Karen my Mike is a hoarder, but not of sorts, he is full blown. Not only does this man safe his own junk, he brings things home he finds on the side of the road or and the landfill, old windows anyone or maybe you would like a bucket? I now know one gift that will be in Mike’s Christmas stocking, my fingers are crossed that he will read it and take it to heart. 🙂

  38. I have been a clean freak and love to purge and organize so I’ve given the book a pass. My husband is a hoarder of sorts, he gets nauseous when he has to clean his office–so I do it for him! He saves EVERYTHING.

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