Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Organized or messy?





When I convinced Mr. Sunflower to let me close the shop, one of his worries was that I'd use that space as some sort of fiber-hell storage facility and he'd never be able to walk in there again. Well, I showed him. I set up this table and the shelves behind it, organizing all my fibers for carding batts. I painstakingly separated each fiber by category and labeled the shelves and all the little baskets and bins on the table. It was picture perfect until I started carding batts...at which time the table top looked like some sort of medium sized rodent had piffled through everything in some attempt at making the most colorful nest in Arroyo Seco. It is a constant struggle for me to find a balance between being "organized" (I use that word tenderly) or messy, because of being so spontaneous in my work.

I spent several hours this morning straightening the fibers on this table top and carding two batts. Each little bit of fiber is laid in by hand onto the carder drum, so it took almost two hours to card two 2.0 ounce batts. Definitely a labor of love! Boy, did I have fun spinning one of them this afternoon. I've been spinning so much roving that to spin a batt instead was a real treat.

So how do you work best? Do you do as I do, and go along until the mess gets so horrid you can't stand it anymore, or do you keep it organized as you go? I'm very curious how other people manage this. Please share if you have time. I'm a firm believer we can all learn from each other!

15 comments:

Twisted in Texas said...

Oh, yes! I definitely work in the messy rodent mode. You have seen it. It's a little bit like the mad scientist when the spirit hits me to card batts, select yarns for a stash-buster shawl, etc.. We are sisters, girlfriend.

island sweet said...

my studio/house is in fiber turmoil as i prepare for "the big craft fair". i'm usually definitely in the middle of messy/organized. i need to be able to see everything - all the possibilities - but i also like to come upon surprises -out of the corner of my eye - colour combinations that present themselves to me. i think if it's too organized you have to make all the decisions and your unconscious can't come into play.

Taos Sunflower said...

Good point, Shawn...

Kay: yes, the mad scientist is definitely the feeling...

recklessspinner said...

If my area was bigger than a crawl space, I'd definitely spread out. But as it is, if I don't keep things pretty neat I start to get confused which can turn ugly very fast. So as for me, I keep things fairly organized - and do a lot of grumbling.

Taos Sunflower said...

Mickey: You may actually be in better shape because of limited space, and you probably don't collect stuff you don't really need because of it. That, alone, would give me better focus. I remember hearing once that an Oscar fish will grow according to the size of his tank. I think that's how I am...the more space I have, the more I spread out.

Sea Mist and Sunsets said...

I like the oscar fish thinking but, I fiddle in a very small house with no studio, many supplies for many interests and a less than tidy approach. I suppose the reverse would be ideal however that unconscious element that island sweet speaks of is true for me as well. The messy rodent arena is where the serendipity dwells. Of course I would be a wealthy woman had I invested in the company that makes all the plastic boxes it takes to corral those supplies. Hindsight.

Taos Sunflower said...

I love that! Mr. Sunflower commented years ago that he wished he had invested in Rubber Maid. Ditto!!!

pennifiber said...

Joining the fray, er, discussion, my limited space prevents me from spreading out. That said, when I am working on something I tend to have everything out, in my case, on my queen size bed so I can see what I have. When I have found everything I need and/or the project is finished everything needs to be tidied up and I am making the teensiest bit of progress in everything having its assigned place. That helps. I wonder if it is partly because fibers feel so nice I want to see and handle them as much as possible. Also, seeing and handling has sparked ideas and I go off on a tangent planning another project.

Taos Sunflower said...

The bed's a good solution, then you have to clear it off once a day, for sure!

Birdsong said...

Staying organized is a huge challenge to me... being a visual/spatial learner, I seem to need to see everything in front of me. I use baskets for the projects that are truly current or immediately pending and keep them in my downstairs workspace, and then have shelves and chests upstairs in my so-called studio (I say that because I sew up there but seldom spin or knit, preferring the living room for those activities). I have to remind myself to clean and organize more frequently and like reading how others deal with this challenge. Proud of you for all the sorting and labeling!

Taos Sunflower said...

I'm with you on having to see everything. Years ago, I rented a house where space was an issue, and all my yarns and supplies had to be stashed away out of sight. I didn't realize until much later how much that took the wind out of my sails for inspiration.

ShabbySheep said...

Oh Martie, I'm like you I have everything organized and labeled~kind of anal I do say!!! But I only work best when it's a total mess and fibers are flying.
I would LOVE to learn to spin some day. I have every tool they make to make felt too, but still haven't found the time.
Thanks again for the Beautiful blanket. I blogged about it today on my blog.
You're a wonderful friend.
xoxo

Taos Sunflower said...

Sheri: I wish we lived nearer and I could get you spinning! It's my therapy (well, along with shopping on line...tsk tsk). Have a good weekend! XOXO

sallyrae said...

Messy is me, but I kind of know where everything is. Having fiber in three separate areas of my home is kind of a mess, but at least I do have it divided between weaving yarns, knitting yarns, spinning and loops. yes, Rubbermaid is my friend.
I want to see it all.

Taos Sunflower said...

Another storage hint: don't forget how much room you have over your head! Years ago I attached bars with pegs to the beams in the ceiling of my weaving room, perfect for hanging all sorts of stuff. I also had some big Moses baskets hanging from hooks from the beams...great for storing bags of fleece.