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Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge

Do you remember the Use Your Stash Challenges? Earlier this summer I started the Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge all at the same time. Yarn and partially finished projects have been filling my Studio boxes and making it hard to work, find what I need and let’s not talk about the GUILT.

  • from not finishing that afghan.
  • from wasting money on yarn that I will never use.
  • from too many unfinished objects (UFOs) filling up my crochet space.
  • from ____________ you fill in the blank.

It is bad when the  guilt is so obvious that my friend noticed. She looked at the stuff. Heard my plea for help and said “You need another Challenge” and something that sounded like “you have already started the challenge by crocheting all those scarves this past week. Why not give do another?”

It’s good to have  an encourager in your life. She is one of mine and she is awesome.

Here is the Challenge. Ta Dah……

The Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge.

No acronym, no cool title, no rules- except just get started. The goal is to use your yarn,get things completed, out of storage and to get rid of the guilt. Here is what I have been working on during the challenge.  It is totally unplanned, fun and random. Crochet by the seat of the pants with some creative repurposing of crochet blanket starts and several”why did I Start this project”. There were also several “Oh I have tons of this yarn left…. what can I make out of it” – projects that look nicer than I could have dreamed. I have also been buying yarn to finish projects as I go. It is nice to finally have so many finished projects rather than the huge storage box of UFOs that I did have.

Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge

Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn ChallengeFinish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn ChallengeFinish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge

Finish Your Projects and Use Your Yarn Challenge

There are three of the black granny square scarves but one photo works for today. There are at least 4 more scarves in the works. They need everything from borders, blocking to photography and listings written. Several new patterns have developed that need writing and editing but the yarn backlog is finally getting smaller.

Life

Life is more chaotic than normal this summer and is wiping out the time spent on pretty much everything to do with the Studio. Just normal everyday things like water leaks, birthdays, going to lunch with your Mom, spending time with Grandkids and then an unusual one or two like Hubs had surgery. He is doing quite well but the recovery is going to take a longer time than we had planned. While crochet has been happening there just hasn’t been a bigger span of time to write a blog post, edit a pattern or photograph the scarves. I hope to get the chaos resolved in the coming weeks.

Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. You can read one of the other challenge rules here if you like more structure: http://www.chocolatedogstudio.com/?s=Use+Your+Stash+Challenge

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Step out of your comfort zone

Is it time to get out of your comfort zone? Are you setting goals for the New Year? I am. Stepping out of my personal box has been on my mind almost constantly these days.

Last month, Hubs and I spent time (together) out of our comfort zones. It was a business conference (which was out of my comfort zone) for women. Yes, Hubs was definitely out of his comfort zone, but he wasn’t alone. When we pulled into the parking lot, another couple was getting out of their car. The man looked at Hubs and said, “I’m so glad to see you! I’m glad I’m not the only one.” There was instant brotherhood bonding going on. I thought they were going to high-five and fist bump right there in the parking lot.

Despite the obvious gender differences, the teaching was great. Hubs and I came away motivated and encouraged.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

I’m sharing this story because many times being out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow your business, grow personally or emotionally, or even grow as a crocheter. It feels much like hang-gliding naked. I know that is a horrible visualization, but it’s exactly how it feels.

So, let’s step out of our boxes, get out of our comfort zones, and write some goals. There are many different ways to do this. Some examples:

  • Word for the year
  • Write them down in categories: personal, spiritual, health, business
  • A bucket list

Set Audacious Goals

Don’t procrastinate, just pick a way to record your goals and do it! But, make sure your goals are big and audacious enough to be dreams.

Last night, while I was at the gym, one of the machines in front of me had a tv, and there was one of those shows on. You know the kind, where the multi-millionaire businessman helps some dinky home business hit the big time. Yeah, that one. The takeaway I got from that show was DREAM BIG. Dave Ramsey said it, too, in his talk at the business conference Hubs and I attended in November: Dream Audaciously. Set your goals high! If you only make it 1/4 of the way to your goal, at least you are 1/4 farther along than you were last year.

Organize a Path to Your Goals

Take your audacious goals and divide them out into monthly steps and then start walking — one step at a time — in the direction of your goals. Even if you don’t meet any of your goals, you will at least be further along the path. The key to this, when you don’t reach your goals the first month, is don’t be discouraged. Keep going.

Develop a plan and make it happen! Something amazing happens in our lives when we take the time to write down our specific goals, not just keeping them intangible thoughts in our brains.

~Dave Ramsey

Why am I Talking About This?

You may be wondering why I am even talking about this. I hear you saying, “But, this isn’t crochet. Why is she talking about goal setting and business conferences? What is the deal?” Actually, this does apply to crochet and your yarn stash. I have been setting goals as I figure out what I have on hand for the Use Your Stash Challenge.

Think of Your Goals as a Gatekeeper

If everything you do is pushing you toward your goals, then everything you decide to do will go through those gatekeeper goals. This sounds a little wacky until you really think about it.

If using up a good portion of your stash is your goal, then set some audacious goals about what you will make. Challenge yourself to work as hard as you can to finish up those projects! Get ’em done, move ’em out! Commit to doing it, even if you don’t love the project anymore.

What are Your Audacious Goals?

I’ve been hard at work on my goals. I set all the partially finished stuff on my ironing board (because my 6′ x 3′ table was already full), and took snapshots of each of them. The good. The bad. The downright ugly. The stuff I’ve fallen out of love with. All of it.

It’s all stretched out there, teasing me to get started. Quite frankly, I am intimidated — and a little embarrassed that I let my WIPs get so far ahead of me. They’re almost out of control.

There’s these …

 

get out of your comfort zone

And then there are these granny square centers…

granny square centerscenter rings granny centers

Then I found these granny squares that I tested and neglected to do anything with…get out of your comfort zone and finish that WIP granny squares neglected granny squares

And let’s not forget the scarves, hexagons, and potholders that are unfinished…scarves hexagons and potholders

While this may all seem like a lot, I haven’t even shown you all the yarn I have squirreled away. I am pretty sure I could go a year without buying yarn. (Ha! Like that would ever happen.) But, I do need to get the stash smaller.

So, one of my audacious goals is to not buy any yarn in January and the first half of February.

My second audacious goal is to finish as many of these WIPs as I can in that same time frame. Why don’t you join me? The official start date is January 15, 2017. It will be fun to hold each other accountable, and also to encourage each other.

Talk to you later,

Karen