Monday, January 26, 2015

Progress

downton kal7

downton kal8

downton kal9

You guys! I'm totally keeping up with the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along! I said I would and I'M DOING IT! That is so unlike me. But I've been working hard to be the sort of person who actually accomplishes their goals...and so far, it's actually working!

Unfortunately, my right wrist is hurting a lot and I think I'm going to need to take a knitting break. But not a total knitting break...I want to limit my knitting time and be intentional with my projects. And right now, my Downton shawl is my priority. It's actually a very clever plan because a new clue comes out every Sunday and that's it for that week. Once I'm done, I have to wait days for the next clue. A limited amount of knitting, measurable goals, a beautiful shawl...I think it's a pretty good plan.

I'm also in love with this week's clue! This clue uses slipped stitches to make a sort of star pattern. It has a neat texture and could be inserted into any plain garter stitch pattern to add some interest.

I'm sad I already finished this week's clue but my wrists will thank me for the break. In the meantime, I'm going to do some quilting. Exciting!

Monday, January 12, 2015

11,890 Grams

extracat

warm

cool

neutral

projects

stash

11,890 grams. 26.2 lbs. 126 skeins. Approximately 45,000 yards.

This is my entire collection of yarn. It's a lot. I'm pretty shocked. And yet, I bet at some point during the year, there will be a yarn I want for a project but don't already have. How is that possible?

The last photo shows my entire collection except for any "in process" projects or yarn set aside for projects in the near future. So, add to that maybe 10 gallon-sized ziplock bags of yarn and wips. I'm not sure I'll be able to use up half my stash in one year but I'm going to try!

Extra-cat and I had so much fun going through everything...weighing and sorting and organizing. It was a fun morning! But actually making things will be even MORE fun! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Go Yarnicorns!




Last year I participated in the Yarn-athon at Eat Sleep Knit (my favorite online yarn sore). I didn't do it on purpose, it's just that when you buy yarn, you're automatically entered in the Yarn-athon. All the yards I purchased started to add up and soon I was earning milestone awards. Like my mug and $20 store credits. Oh man, was I good at running that Yarn-athon! And at the end of the year, my team (Team Stitchosaurs) actually won! As a prize, all the Stitchosaurs got a $20 store credit.

tubularity1

Now it's 2015 and I'm a Yarnicorn. I'm ready to run and get some prizes...only...I don't actually need more yarn! Thankfully, there are ways to earn yards and prizes by earning badges and participating in knit-alongs. It's a pretty fun idea, actually. The discussions and knit-alongs are through Ravelry which I love! I love that this online store feels like a neighborhood store. It's a wonderfully nice and welcoming community...one I don't have access to in real life.


This year, instead of buying yarn (or fabric) that would be perfect for projects, I'm going to actually make those projects. 2015 will be about finishing things up and giving things away. I want to focus on making useful items and learning new techniques.

At the end of this year, I'd like to reduce my yarn stash by some noticeable amount...maybe as much as half? Is that even possible? Let's say it is so that is now my goal.

This weekend I will be taking a yarn inventory and calculating the total weight of my yarn stash. I'll keep a running tally of how much yarn I've used and how much I add back in throughout the year. Ideally, I will not be purchasing new yarn...only I know that sometimes you need a certain color for a project and that just happens to be the color you don't have!

Anyway, stay tuned for all the yarn (and fabric) fun this year! Go Yarnicorns!

Monday, January 5, 2015

More Knitting

downton kal

extra

downton kal 2

cats

downton kal 3

Ian has been in California for the past two weeks and the cats and I have been at home knitting. Over my four day weekend I finished my Follow Your Arrow shawl, started a larger version of the Cladonia shawl and finished the first clue in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along.

I've never done a knit-along before. I stalked the Downton Abbey MKAL last year but now I'm actually participating. I'd really like to keep up with the clues each week so I can be a part of the action. So far, so good!

Ian comes home tomorrow and I'm so excited! I know he's going to be so into hearing all about my knitting and looking at all my knitting and telling me what he likes about each piece and why and how it makes him feel. Oh yes, I bet he can't wait!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sparkling Bright

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living room

ornament2

follow your arrow

vector

scarf4

ornament

extra cat4

scarf5

bird

lights

What a lovely week. The house was clean, the ornaments sparkly, the cats sleepy. My parents came over for a few days. We went to see A Christmas Carol and over the course of the two hours, the world outside went from brown to white. Three unexpected inches of snow while we were in the theater!

I had enough time to finish my dad's scarf (original pattern here, my alterations here). I washed it by hand and it stretched out to enormous proportions! I threw it in the dryer and it shrank to pre-washing size. Whew!!

Since my company has left, I've had lots of time to knit. I'm almost finished with my Follow Your Arrow shawl. What a fun pattern...it's like a choose your own adventure story but with knitting! Sara from Knottygnome gave it to me for my birthday this year which was so sweet and thoughtful! I want to finish it up soon so I can wear it while knitting new projects...like the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit Along that starts on Sunday. I think I can do it, I'm on the last clue and I have a four day weekend coming up. Exciting!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Busy Days

cowl

snow

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snow3

kitty

dresses4

scarf2

6 woven scarves, one knit shawl, one knit scarf, one hand stitched Miss Juniper Kitty, 3 tiny dresses, one tiny tote bag, one tiny cowl and one tiny shawl. That's it, I've completed my "must finish by the holidays" to-do list.

Of course, I still have five woven scarves, one knit shawl and one quilt to finish up for gifts in January and February. It never ends. In the past I've felt frustrated by the never ending-ness of making gifts. Now, rather than feel that frustration and let it get me down, I prefer to think about how much I love giving gifts. No one is making me do this, it's my choice. So, now I embrace the busy times and feel a sense of satisfaction when I once again finish up a bunch of gifts at the last minute. And vow that next year will be different. Which it might be...I'm trying to change.

I'm also going to take some time to knit something just for me. Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along? Treat yo self!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cozy and Bright

juniper kitty

juniper kitty2

lights

fog

fabric

dresses

trees

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trees2

dresses2

December has been so very happy. And busy and foggy and bright and cozy. In between performances of A Christmas Carol and Bulgarian folk dances, Christmas Story musicals and holiday parties, I've been finishing up holiday gifts and decorating our little apartment.

I'm sewing Miss Juniper Kitty for Ian's niece Olivia. Alicia's patterns for these dolls are so amazing. I'm making an extra dress and a shawl for Miss Juniper Kitty to give to last year's Miss Maggie Rabbit. I'm so obsessed with these dolls. I do not normally enjoy making tiny dolls and things but for some reason, I LOVE making THESE tiny dolls and things. Alicia's creations are so beautiful and inspiring. I want to make more tiny things like crocheted blankets or patchwork quilts or knitted sweaters.

In other crafting news, I'm two thirds finished with the fisherman's rib scarf for my dad. My hands are tired but I must keep knitting. I'm going to knit until the night of December 22 and however far I get is however long the scarf will be. It'll stretch when it's blocked so that will have to do.

Just 10 days until my parents come into town for the holidays. I'm looking forward to making the apartment cozy and warm and baking cookies and thinking up fun snacks for us to eat while watching fun movies. It's going to be so nice.