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Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

Up until I was 21 years old, I was a true daddy’s girl. Every hardship, illness, and setback my parents were there to help me through everything. As I grew and gained independence, I met a man and was engaged in a semi-arranged match. Initially, after finding approval by both sides of our families we decided to arrange our marriage. Unfortunately, this guy was not as forthright as I had anticipated and after a series of eye-opening events, I ended the engagement. Thankfully these revelations came before marriage, but it didn’t come without a huge price.

During that trying time, my dad and I had a deep falling out, when looking back is a very raw and painful period. The entire situation was a dark and sad chapter. As more and more things came to light about this guy, I wasn’t sure what to believe. I chose to believe him over my dad who had the foresight to know after a few encounters, this person was not who we thought he was, and as the strict Pakistani father that he is, he gave me the ultimatum to end the engagement or I was going to be on my own without his support. I chose the guy, and with that decision, I closed the door on my dad and hurt him probably more than I ever thought possible. But I was a big girl, and I knew better, right? Wrong. I could not have been more wrong.

Choices and Consequences

But the damage from that decision was done and when all the chips fell and the engagement ended (my decision), he went back to teach in Jordan, I stayed in the USA, I was left to pick up the pieces of a terribly embarrassing and heartbreaking time. My parents separated and my mom came back with our family to take care of me in Wisconsin. The stress and anxiety of everything that happened took a toll on me and my illness attacked my body with a vengeance. My dad stayed in Texas dealing with his own obligations coming back and forth to spend time with us several times before deciding to finally stay.

During that year following this episode it was extremely awkward and uncomfortable to face my dad. Gone were those days where I could call him Daddy and be at ease like I always was. He didn’t talk to me the same way, he didn’t act the same way toward me and most of the time I just felt like a complete disappointment even though I know I wasn’t. One act did not define my entire relationship with my dad. But it is difficult to describe what it is like to be a Pakistani daughter to a dad that once looked at you with pride and now all you saw in his eyes was hurt and disappointment. We both had a lot of work to do to repair this relationship, but one thing I have learned from my dad is to not be afraid of doing hard work.

Things Take Time

Even if we struggled in those early days, the love between father and daughter was always strong. Slowly but surely (and with so much encouragement from my mother and brothers and sister-in-law) my dad and I began to repair and recover from this difficult time.

It happened gradually. Mending any relationship doesn’t happen overnight. Pretty soon we started joking again. Anyone who knows my dad, knows he is the master of the lame jokes. He isn’t funny AT ALL, but being not funny makes him so funny. He has this contagious laugh and when he laughs at his own bad jokes, you cannot help but laugh along too. Things became lighter, easier, and soon everything fell into place and we arrived where we needed to be. Now our relationship is stronger and better than ever.

It has been 5 years since that fated time. In 5 years, so many changes have taken place in our lives and my dad and I have been through a lot. Together we built YARNutopia.com. We collaborated to bring our videos to a channel on YouTube. We both share the same work ethic and understanding on what it takes to build a dream into reality. We also have developed a deeper understanding as father and daughter.

Although he is still a very strict, and a traditional Pakistani dad, he has loosened his grip and supports his children’s decisions and choices even if we don’t always see eye to eye. This understanding has led to a better relationship between us. Now that I am facing my future with Nate, I am grateful that this growth and understanding between my dad and me has allowed him to accept and love Nate so much, accept my decisions that are somewhat less than traditional, and support us as much as he has! Growing up between two cultures is a difficult challenge, and unless you have gone through it, most won’t understand. Together my dad and I have been working on finding an easy median. I think we have found that common ground. I am happy to say that all the difficulties of the past are gone and that having gone through it has made us stronger! Yarn really can help stitch together relationships!


Onward and Upward

Today, through all the ups and downs, we have arrived in a better place. With hard work, our loving and supportive family, better respecting one another, and the unending love between a daddy and his baby girl.

On this Father’s Day, there is so much I want to tell my dad. How can I put into words to express what all he means to me? How many times I wish I would have listened, how many times I needed him and he was there no matter what? How much I love him? I don’t think there are words to express that gratitude that exist in any language. Thank you for loving me through all the good and the bad times. Thank you for being as loving and protective as you are. Even if I rebel against it, I realize you only have my best interest at heart. Thank you for encouraging me to build YARNutopia and always being here to make our amazing videos. Thank you for it all. I would not be who I am without you by my side. A simple I love you doesn’t seem to be enough, but I will say it anyway. I love you, Daddy.

So please help join me in wishing my daddy and all the other great dads, step-dads, granddads, moms who fill the role of dads, foster dads, and anyone who is there for a child, Happy Father’s Day!
~Nadia

 

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No Colon, Still Rollin’: World IBD Day

No Colon, Still Rollin’: World IBD Day

**Sensitive Content**

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If I could crochet a colon for myself and anyone else who has lost their intestines due to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, I would. If only it was that easy. I would stitch until my fingers fell off!! Unfortunately, I would have to crochet for millions of people who sadly have had total proctocolectomy surgery due to the devastation of inflammatory bowel disease. Today, May 19th, is World IBD Day. It is a day to recognize the millions of people worldwide who suffer from these debilitating diseases.

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I crocheted this colon (large intestine) as a symbol of loss. Crohn’s disease claimed my large intestine in 2008, only one week before my 18th birthday. On the very cusp of colon cancer, my disease was extremely progressive and surgery was my only option. The fight never ends because sadly, there is no cure. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and rectum. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract from mouth to anus.
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This colon represents each major surgery; each stitch stands for each procedure, x-ray, scan, or test that I have undergone. This may seem like an unusual analogy to represent an organ or diseases that most people rarely, if ever, think about. To me, this disease changed my entire life and those changes led me here, crocheting my very own colon, and using my voice and skills to advocate for others who don’t have a platform to help spread awareness. Many of whom are no longer with us. Our diseases may appear invisible, but we are not!

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Silly, strange, serious, or an obnoxiously bold statement, however you view this piece I created, hopefully it will generate conversation for inflammatory bowel diseases. Not just on May 19th, World IBD Day, but every day of every year until we find a cure.

Please *share* this blog post and you may be surprised to find how many people YOU know are silently suffering. There is NO CURE. Help raise more awareness so that I never have to type those words again.

To learn more please visit ccfa.org

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Thank you!
~Nadia

If you are looking to purchase this colon pillow, please follow this link to get it on Etsy!!

(Some of the photos used in this blog post were found on Google.com Image Search)


Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

When I arrived in this world, I am told, I was born with a paralyzed side of my face and the inability to open my left eye. From early photos, I always was the one with the very strange expressions and an odd look on my face. My mom always told me how beautiful I am and said it didn’t matter that my eye wouldn’t open, and God made me that way so everyone would think I am giving them a *wink* and fall in love with me. That is how my mom is. She sees the bright side in things. She is looking for the good in every situation–the silver lining–no matter how difficult life could be, she taught my brothers and me the same. Imperfections and differences make you beautiful, and that same thought applies to each piece I make by adding some “imperfect” characteristic.

We never had much, but we always had enough, and we always appreciated everything my parents were able to give us and make happen for us. I was given a strong work ethic, and that is why I do what I do by pouring my heart into each stitch of every piece I create. I could easily be doing any job and the same ethic would apply because it has been instilled in us by a mother that insisted we do the work. We learned how to cook, clean, pick up after ourselves and do laundry from a young age so we could appreciate how hard it is and never take people or things for granted; to have pride in doing and completing a job right from the beginning so we didn’t have to do it again and again.

My mom has walked with me through my journey with Crohn’s disease, and with each step, she has promised that I will never be alone as long as she can draw breath. She is responsible for my love of crochet when she handed me my first crochet hook and ball of yarn and taught me this craft. Little did she know how much this would mold my life and become a lifeline and a form of therapy for long hospital stays. To have the support and love is a gift I shall always cherish. But more than that, I realize I will never be lonely with her by my side, to look for the good and positive no matter what the situation, never feel sorry for myself, and that I always have a forever friend.


My mom is not like other moms. She and I have been through so much in this life. Whenever my brothers and I have troubles or burdens, it’s easier to bring them to my mom and she takes them away and makes everything better. My mom has been by my side at every hospital stay, every doctor visit, every medical test, even when doctors couldn’t help me, she helped me get through it all. I will never be able to thank my mom enough for all that she has done, is doing, and will do for me.

My mom is my best friend.

I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for her.

My mom never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, or be who I wanted to be.
She has taught me to have appreciation in everything I have and never take anything for granted. She has taught me how to love unconditionally, and she inspires me every day to make a difference in this world, even if it’s to help few or many. She is my biggest fan, and she is the closest thing to Superwoman anybody could ever be.
Please join me in wishing her and all the other moms (and dads or role models who fill those shoes) a fantastic day! It’s a thankless job sometimes, and you deserve more than one day of recognition.

All dogs go to heaven

I read an excerpt yesterday that said “Knowing that you will most likely out live them, owning a pet is to open yourself up to profound joy, yet prospectively profound sadness…” Although saying goodbye and letting go of our sweet girl, Bebe, was profoundly sad and difficult, the pure joy that she brought our family over the course of ten years can’t be measured in mere words. Saying that she was a good dog is a gross understatement. She was pretty much everything anyone would want in a pet.


She was loving and loyal. She loved unconditionally. No matter what kind of day I was having, it could be made better by the love of a sweet dog who had no barriers. She just aimed to please. Many tears were shed on her shoulders and she would bear the burden of my pain. Many days of dealing with illness, she was company during lonely days and nights. She was a cuddle queen.


More than anything, she was patient to a fault! She allowed me to dress her up, wore my homemade costumes and modeled them so sweetly. She made it easy to show everyone how cute she was when she got all dressed up and showed off our latest dog pattern. She was sweet that way. But she didn’t need a crocheted outfit to show off her cuteness. She was just naturally adorable!




My mom posted this a couple days ago on Facebook, and it sums up so much in just a few words:

“She was smaller than a soda can when she first arrived in our life. A birthday gift from Fuad almost 10 years ago, he wanted another dog more than me. I got two for 1, brother and sister chihuahuas, Bebe and Rueben. She was the runt of the litter, born with a heart defect, short and plump, and a face that slightly resembled a fruit bat, but her sweetness makes her the most loving creature I know. Her loyalty knows no bounds. She lives every moment ‘in the now’. I can walk out my door, forget my keys, run back inside, and she is as happy to see me as if I was gone for a week. Tail wagging, excited dancing, happy, jumping, Bebe.

Our sweet Bebe girl is on the last leg of her life. I remain forever hopeful tonight, as I sit beside her, reflecting on this amazing dog who’s life with us has been so well lived. Her time has been filled with the kind of great memories that only a best dog can provide. How lucky we are that we get to be her family and we’re the recipients of this kind of unconditional love. Even now when you call her name, she may struggle to lift her head, and there’s no excited dancing, but her ears perk up and her tail still wags.”


I hope your tail is wagging as you make your way over that rainbow bridge, sweet girl. May you find endless fields to run and lots of friends to play. I’ll miss you.


~Nadia

A Treasured Heirloom

I received this incredible gift this past weekend from my mom’s cousin, Janez. This blanket was crocheted by my maternal great-grandmother, Rose. I never knew my great-grandmother, so to have a piece of her work knowing we share this bond and love of crochet, leaves me humbled and speechless. Here is a photo of my great-grandmother, Rose in her later years.

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There are no words to describe how much this means to me. Thank you, thank you, Janez. I love this so much!

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I was told several times how my great-grandmother loved to crochet. Many conversations with my mom revolved around the fact that I must have inherited some of my talents from her. Until I received this gift, did it really hit me that I actually did share this with her. Even though I never knew her, it gave me chills to know that part of her lives on in me.

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Having never known her, this gift opened up a discussion about my great grandmother on things I never knew. My mom and her cousin shared photos with me. I was able to see her wedding photos and photos of her youth.

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I heard she had crocheted her entire life. That was something she truly enjoyed. Everyone received homemade gifts from her for Christmas and other holidays.

This piece is incredible

First off, I am going to guess the age of this blanket is approximately 40 years old. Upon examining it, I could not identify the exact fiber, but I believe that it is an acrylic blend fiber that is very heavy! The workmanship is impeccable and her squares are perfect. She didn’t turn her work and she slip-stitched the squares together to form the blanket. Each square measures 8 inches and overall, the dimensions are 40 inches X 56 inches. Her granny squares are on point!! After 365 Days of creating granny squares, I feel like I’ve come full circle receiving this granny square blanket that is so special!!

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Not only did I spend time learning to read her techniques through her stitches, but knowing that she spent time lovingly constructing this with her own hands was pretty incredible.

It is a treasure that I plan to keep for a lifetime.

Sometimes the smallest gestures mean the most. I can never express how much Janez’s gift means to me. There are no words that relay the magnitude of how special this is.

“The love in our family flows strong and deep, leaving us memories to treasure and keep.” ~Unknown

~Nadia

Crochet Tutorial: The Web We Weave Granny Square

I created The Web We Weave Granny Square design to add to our 365 Days of Granny Squares project. It uses quite a few chain stitches to create a look of a spider web! You can make this with the traditional black and white colors or you can get crazy with it and use bright colors or make your square bigger and just increase your chains each round to make your web larger! I hope you enjoy making your square!

This Spinning Spider Granny Square is a great match for The Web We Weave Granny Square! Make them both into a big blanket for a spooky afghan!

A couple disclaimers before you start: Be sure to check your tension and use the correct size hook for your square. I demonstrate with an H-5.00mm crochet hook in the video tutorial, but you can make yours bigger or smaller by using a bigger or smaller hook. Also, if yours turns out wonky when you are finished, you may need to block this square to make it nice and flat.

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Watch this video tutorial to learn how to make this granny square:

**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.

***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”

***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!

Pattern:

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.

Materials:
-Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in as many colors as you want.
-H-5.00mm Crochet Hook
-Yarn Needle
-Scissors

NOTES:
-You can use a smaller or larger hook to make this square depending on your tension. I wouldn’t use anything larger than an I-5.5mm Crochet Hook though.
-The finished square measures 6.5 inches
-This square is worked from the center outward

Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
St(s): Stitch(es)
Sl st: slip stitch
SK: Skip
SC: Single Crochet
HDC: Half-Double Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

With Black:
SOLID GRANNY SQUARE:
Ch 4, sl st to beginning to form a ring

Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as DC + Ch 1 Sp), [DC, Ch 1] 7 times into ring. Sl st to 3rd ch of beg. ch 4. (8ch sps, 8 DC)

Rnd 2: Sl st into Ch sp, ch up 3, [2dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in same sp, *3dc in next ch sp, [3dc, ch 2, 3dc] in next ch sp, repeat from * around. Sl st to beg. ch up 3.

Rnd 3-5: Ch up 3, DC in each st around putting [2DC, ch 2, 2 DC] in corners

 

 

WEB:
With white, Attach yarn in center ring (see video tutorial)

Rnd 1: Ch up 5 (counts as DC + Ch 2 sp), [DC, ch 2] 7 times in center ring, sl st to 3rd ch of beg. ch 5. If this gets confusing, see the video tutorial, it explains it a lot better.

Rnd 2: Ch 1, FPDC around ch up 3, [ch 3, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 3, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 3: Ch 1, FPDC around FPDC, [ch 4, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 4, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 4: Ch 1, FPDC around FPDC, [ch 5, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 5, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 5: Ch 1, FPDC around FPDC, [ch 6, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 6, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 6: Ch 1, FPDC around FPDC, [ch 7, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 7, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 7: Ch 1, FPDC around FPDC, [ch 8, FPDC around next st] 7 times, ch 8, sl st around FPDC

Rnd 8: Sl st into ch 8 sp, Sc in center st on background square and in next sts until the corner working in the ch sp and in each st (see video tutorial for visual instructions), *In corner, work in the FPDC st and in the corner ch 2 sp and put [sc, ch 2, sc], then work in the next ch 8 sp and in the next 10 sts and put a sc in each st, then sc in the fpdc and in the st behind it on the background square, then work in the next ch 8 sp and in the rest of the sts on the side until you get to the corner and then repeat from * around.

Fasten off, Weave in ends.

Enjoy!!

“O, what a tangled web we weave…” ~Walter Scott

~Nadia

 

Looking for a great project to make using this square? Make the Halloween Table Runner today!
Follow this link to see the pattern!

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I’m Sorry…

Preface

In the 365 Days of Granny Squares project, I get permission from designers to participate in this big project in hopes that their blogs get more traffic and there is a video tutorial to their written pattern. A few of the designs do not have written patterns available to viewers. Yesterday, I posted a granny square in our 365 Days of Granny Squares collection based off of a photo I saw. With it being Eid, it was a beautiful addition to the blog. I used a photo, with NO written pattern to design the granny square by sight as no one was linked to a pattern from a media link I found on Pinterest. It just led to a picture someone had taken of a square. Had I known anything about the designer, I would have contacted them as I have all the other designers that are participating in this project.

The Aftermath

Today, I was notified by another designer that the design of said square belongs to her, and she asked me if I could remove the pattern from my blog which I did respectfully. Furthermore, I removed the video tutorial and will be filming a replacement granny square for Day 188, so please bear with me and accept my apologies for this kink in this project.

I understand that it takes A LOT to design a project, and it was a mistake on my part to not research further to find an actual designer. I know how it feels to work hard on things and not be given the credit, and for that I am sorry.

However, that being said, although it was removed as she asked, and I felt things were resolved professionally, I have been pummeled with hate-filled comments. Serious trolling hate. I have been on the receiving end of bullies before, but this is the first time in the crochet community that this happened to me. There has never been anything, but kindness up until now. Comments calling me a hack, saying I lack talent, saying I am a “bit** of epic proportion,” the list goes on. Those I can handle, and maybe some people feel justified behind a computer to sling dirt at me. That’s their prerogative, but that’s not how I operate. I know that happens, so I just deleted them without engaging in anything that was said.

I might not have the talent of some, but maybe that will grow in time. What was really painful is they attacked me as a person. People attacked my race and religious affiliation (as the square was made for Eid), and for so many other things that have nothing to do with crochet. Criticize my crochet, and I can fix it. Criticize my work, and I can get better at it. But to outright attack me as a person, that is going too far, especially if it was being handled between me and the other designer. If I step on your toes, let’s have a dialogue and give me the chance to fix it, especially when nothing was done out of malice. I make mistakes. I am human. I am just one person in the sea of thousands of crocheters, and my naivete in this arena may have put me in a hostile situation brought on by my own actions. No matter what the circumstance, it is no excuse to combat that with HATE-FILLED commentary and bullying messages. What is the purpose of that? What does somebody gain by attacking another individual like this?

I thought handling things amicably between two individuals was how this should be done, even if I can respect her position on the matter, in no way did I expect this kind of backlash after the issue was resolved in a mature manner. She handled everything very kindly and professionally on her side. I apologize for any wrongdoing on my side that could have or would have offended her design and integrity.

In the future, I will use this as a learning tool and a way to grow. I hope to cross my T’s and dot my I’s more thoroughly from now on to bring you creative content. But more than that, I hope to just put good out into the world, and hopefully some will come back to me. Honestly, there’s enough hate in this world and enough pain than to continue to inflict it upon anyone. I apologize to anyone who I have ever offended in anyway in the crochet community.

~Nadia Fuad

Please refrain from hateful comments on this blog and anywhere in the cyber-world. Thank you.

10 Things Every Crocheter Can Relate To

If you crochet, you know what I’m talking about.

1. Where I go, my yarn goes.

2. Hate sewing in the ends!

3. When people ask, “What are you knitting?”

4. The frustration of frogging your work

5. Counting stitches and getting interrupted

6. Untangling yarn

7. Having your furniture swallow up your hooks needles or stitch markers

8. When your family or friends find tiny yarn scraps throughout the house

9. Pattern hoarding

10. Never having enough yarn!

If you can relate to more than half of these statements, crochet is definitely a dominant part of your life!! Hook on!

~Nadia

A Little Crochet Comedy

Over the years of my crochet career, I am often caught off guard by some hilarious crochet humor and have been known to share a few of these memes from time to time.

This blog is a compilation of some very funny graphics depicting how comical crochet can truly be! These posts will really send a chuckle through the crochet community! I know there are many of you that can relate to these humorous lines!

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This is my weapon of choice:
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Been there, done that.
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This one speaks for itself:enhanced-2065-1418309352-20

Everytime I stop at Herrschner’s, this happens to me:
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Oh, those pesky ends!!1cfa542d329ed9feec1ac3ab348652b7

It’s called a project hangover:
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HAHA!!!8b83828cdaed5df9c2dda1210420088f

I have a few true friends:
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EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
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Truth:
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The best place to get your fiber:
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They pile up fast!1424_10100458306837406_944811703914572623_n

I like to knit also, but this one is too funny to pass up!
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And I’m prancing all the way there!12049581_10100392662878426_5605304876626667336_n

Have you ever tried to knit or crochet your noodles?12115432_10100396933006056_2745634082301591553_n

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I’m a hustla baby:12144662_10100394928024056_6438999760109026109_n

Friday night fun! I party like a rockstar! A crochet rockstar!
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That bunny better do the right thing:
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NSFW (I laughed so hard, I snorted tea through my nose!):
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Don’t be a wuss:
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I get all kinds of crazy:
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LOL!!! EXACTLY!!
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This wasn’t very nice, but I laughed so hard!!
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Whenever you feel the need to get a good laugh, come back to this post.

Feel free to click on any photo and save it to your device and share it with all of your friends!

Do you have a funny meme or photo that is related to crochet? Share it on the Facebook page!

~Nadia

Yarn-Shui: The art of organizing and not obsessing

I have a honeycomb metal shelf where I have color-coded my skeins of standard yarn.

I roll my scrap yarn into balls and have lovely wicker baskets with similar shaped yarn balls for various scrap projects.

I have bins labeled by brand and/or bulk for easy identification.

Lastly, my specialty yarn is stored on display in pretty ways on decorative shelving.

I have been told that I have a slight obsession with yarn and organization. Up until recently, it didn’t occur to me that this could be construed as “a problem.”

Today, I cut ends from a project and put them in a colorful bowl of yarn confetti that, yes, I am saving, because what if a bird needs bits of yarn to build a new nest? It occurred to me, that maybe I was quick to condemn anyone labeling me “obsessed.” I think even the word “yarn addiction” was tossed out at me a time or two. Does anyone else regard their fiber as such a precious commodity? How do you organize your yarn and scraps? Does anyone else save their scraps for “what if” projects?! I have even had dreams of luxurious fibers. Oh goodness, have I gone too far? Help!?

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Share your organizations tactics in the comments below!!
~Nadia