I have a storage unit that contains all of my belongings (okay, most – I have my clothing and some yarn/knitting gear where I am temporarily living). Recently I sold a few pairs of shoes on eBay, to moderate success. I also sold a shawl and my Nintendo DS. Let’s break down what I had to spend:
- $58.34 shipping & supplies at the Post Office
- $12.37 PayPal fees
- $5.04 packing tape (this is a story in an of itself)
- $25.95 eBay fees
Yikes, I wish I hadn’t added that all up. How much money did I bring in from the auctions?
Leaving me with a net of $232.11. A few things to note: packing supplies are expensive. I shouldn’t have bought the envelopes at the Post Office. Also, I think for a few items I undercharged on the shipping, but I’m lazy/not savvy enough to figure out for to fix that. I had to estimate how much each box would weigh. Somewhere in my many boxes in storage there is a scale.
Which brings me back to what I wanted to write about. My storage unit! I went there today, only for the second time since I moved four months ago. It’s not exactly in the middle of nowhere, but the area is sort of desolate. There is an art and a culinary school in the neighborhood, and lots of “design centers.” And a Jessica McClintock outlet store (if I were 17 again I would have been all over that). The actual storage units aren’t any better. If I were a better photographer, I am sure I could take pictures that show just how empty and lonely the place feels. Long rows of yellow storage containers, some stacked two high. A couple of cars passed me as I was scrounging through my things, but other than that I was very alone. It’s quiet. If I could smuggle in a generator, I could probably live comfortably in my unit.
The unit measures 20’x10′. It’s not at all packed to the gills. There is a little path down one side that goes to about the middle of the unit. I’ve been trying to rearrange things so it’s easier to move around and eventually unload, but I get tired and bored quickly. I had a mission in mind when I went to the storage unit – pillage! I have a lot of fabric (mostly of the quilting variety), and there is no way I’m actually going to use it all. Quilt-making is this precise art that I haven’t yet mastered. It requires patience and a steady hand. I am impatient and my hands shake (mostly from too much coffee). There are so many steps – iron the fabric, measure the fabric, cut the fabric, sew the fabric, press the seams, sew, press, sew, measure, cut, sew, sew, sew, etc. At least I know where I am coming and going when I knit. There is point A (cast on) and point B (cast off). Sure, there can be some seaming involved. Basting even. But knitting doesn’t usually requiring having a hot iron at the ready. I do love to sew. If I had more room here, perhaps I’d take it up again.
I went through my stash of fabric – two plastic containers and a cardboard box. I kept less than half of what I had acquired – and it was easy! After not seeing this stuff for a really long time, I wasn’t emotionally attached to it anymore. I had bought a lot of the fabric for a particular quilt I had in mind (and has started cutting for), but I am pretty sure it will never happen. A lot of skull fabric…. I also have a lot of very nice calicos from different modern designers, most of which I kept. I used to work at a fabric store, and had purchased a ton of batiked fabric in the hopes I’d make a quilt from it, but again, I doubt that will come to fruition. Basically I decided that all of this will be great eBay fodder.
I also grabbed some yarn and UFOs (unfinished objects). Some will go on eBay, some is to supplant the yarn I’ve been knitting through. It’s tough to get rid of yarn because all I see is potential. Each skein of yarn is like a baby to me – I can nurture it into something beautiful. There are hundreds of ideas sitting in plastic storage containers and bags and boxes, just waiting for me to cultivate them. I get so excited to breathe life into a new project. Of course, being me, it’s just as easy for me to run out of breath and stop mid-project! One of the things I brought back with me was a sweater I made for an ex-boyfriend. There is an old saying – only knit a sweater for your boyfriend if you are prepared to break up with him. I am living proof of this. I finished the sweater for his birthday but never washed, blocked, and sewed button onto it. It languished, the seasons changed to springtime, then summer, then I broke up with him. He’s asked me about it a few times, as if I’d actually give it to him at this point! But now I’m stuck with a giant brown sweater. I have a few ideas for it:
- Wash, block, and find buttons for it. Sell it on eBay with a story similar to the one above.
- Wash, block, buttons, and give it to my father, who would probably never wear it.
- Wash, felt, cut down the front and make a cardigan for myself.
I am leaning towards option 3 at this point, but I am afraid it still might be too big. It’s very densely knit, so it’s not going to shrink that much more in the felting process. I could swatch and see how small the swatch gets, and extrapolate out the measurements to see if this is a viable option.
I have a lot of work cut out for me. Lots of pictures and measurements to take to get the fabric ready for eBay. And miles more to knit before I sleep….