I have been knitting since my junior year in college, circa 1984. I visited my grandma that Christmas. We were celebrating my grandparents' 80th birthdays, I think. I come from exceedingly good genetic stock. Both my father's parents lived to 103. Anyway, Grandma taught me to knit that Christmas. We went downtown and she insisted that I only buy 100% wool. She taught me to cast on and knit and I was completely hooked (or perhaps that should be "needled."). Since that time, there has never been an extended period of time where I wasn't knitting something. That first project was a simple garter stitch scarf. I remember having the finished scarf on the needles from about February until school let out. Grandma didn't teach me how to cast off!! But, I found a yarn store in Tacoma, Washington, where I went to school and learned. I think my next project was a simple sweater. It was supposed to be a crewneck but ended up as such a scoop neck that I had to pin the shoulders to my bra straps to keep it on!!!
25+ years later, I still learn a little something with every single project. I've done hundreds of purses. Literally. I had a business for awhile making felted bags. But, demand was high and I ended up with tendonitis. I had to stop knitting for 6 months to allow my wrist to heal. Pure torture. After that, I switched to the recycled sweater bags that I still make today.
In case you're wondering the point of all this, when you've been a knitter for 25 years, you end up with a lot (A LOT) of little bits of leftover yarn. I've put together a couple of purses simply by pulling all the yarns of a single color out of the cupboard and working them together. Here are a few examples of those bags:
How gorgeous is that!! I spent about two hours today getting things squared away. First step was to dump all the balls onto the foyer rug. Then I sorted by fiber, then by color. I have issues with putting cottons next to wools. Maybe the cotton was allergic in a prior life. I don't know. But, I would never knit a garment or purse mixing fibers like that. Wool with mohair is fine. Cotton with silk is fine. But, never wool with cotton.
The top 2 1/2 rows are all the wools. Now, mind you, this is just the single balls. I have TONS of wool since it's the fiber I prefer (thanks to Grandma). It's funny how you have a pile of 6 different reds and they all seem to go together even though one is a rusty red, one a cherry, and one a burgundy.
The bottom 2 1/2 rows are the cottons and miscellaneous. This is every bit of cotton that I have in my house. I really only use cotton for baby hats and sweaters. There are many reasons for this and I'll come clean with all my fiber biases at another time. But, I do like cotton for babies.
The cabinet is now a work of art. I'm going to try to put together a new banner for the blog using the photo of the entire cabinet. Truly, I could look at this all day long...