Sunday, November 02, 2008


So like I said, in October I had a bad case of startitis. I started the following eight projects (all Ravelry links):

1. Backyard Leaves Scarf
2. Monteagle Bag
3. Earflap Devil Hat
4. Big Bulky Socks
5. Sunday Scarf
6. AspenGlo Wrap
7. Puff Daddy Scarflet
8. Gathered Scarf

Luckily, I apparently had an almost equally severe case of finishitis.  I finished four of the above (2, 3, 4, and 7), finished two projects started earlier, and ripped one.

First, I finally got around to felting and adding a tassel to the Fez for Penuche.  The picture is there to the left, but I included the Ravelry link for more info.  Especially since I know those of you with cats are thinking "oh, that cat looks so happy I should make one for my own cat."

Second, I finished the September Sockdown socks I posted about previously.

Last, I ripped out a pair of socks.  The stitch pattern made the sock torque, and despite lots of "don't worry, its not a problem when wearing them posts on Ravelry I decided I just wasn't enjoying the actual knitting and was uneasy.  So that's the yarn I'm using on #8 above.

So last, just to humiliate my cat a little more, here's a picture of her being forced to model the Puff Daddy. Which, by the way if a very quick fun knit and I already have the yarn for two more lined up.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Finally, I finished something!

Well if Blogger doesn't update the date, you'll be able to tell that I actually started this post 13 days ago.

I won't change the title, even though back then all I did was title this and add that picture you see. Which was my first FO in a while and I thought "phew, finally I can post about actual knitting, rather than just acquiring yarn!" Those was for the Sock Knitter's Anonymous group on Ravelry's September challenge - Orange. I think they are, don't you?

I'll get back with a better recap later, but there have been a few new starts this month, but also more finishing! And of course a little more acquiring. Including breaking my "no more clubs" vow for the Shakespeare in Lace Club. I mean really, could I have been expected to resist that????

And then today a friend and I went on a hunt for the yarn for Puff Daddy (look at the October 27th post, since I think that will take you to all of October). We didn't find anything suitable over our lunch hour, but then came back to an ad email for a shop with the specified yarn 15% off. It seemed like a sign!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where I've Been in the US of A

Again, I'm only including places where I actually did something more than drove through (even if I spent a night), which explains the Oregon and Indiana holes (and the later I drove through a lot when I lived in Wisconsin!). Looking at this, I seem to treat the US a bit like a grocery store - only going around the edges.

Where I've Been in the Big Old World

I suspect that this is more than a lot of people, but all I see when I look at it is all the places I've never been! I only include places I've actually spend time. Not for example, Germany, where I transfer planes on almost every trip to Europe but never visited. And I actually feel a little bad about that! When I went Argentina and Brazil a couple years ago it occurred to me that I'd been to 4 of 7 continents, so I'd really like to go to all of them at this point!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Trying to Get a Grip on Things

Okay, so I was right, I didn't do any better in August in either stash reduction or WIP reduction.

The WIP count stayed exactly the same - nothing finished, but nothing started either.

The stash count, well that went up by 4365 yards. Guess it never really recovered from finding over 5000 yards in the unopened mail that week!

This month won't do well for stash either I suspect. First, even though I was finally seeing the end for so many of my clubs I joined two more! The first was The Color Coop. I linked to it since you can still join. I'm familiar with a couple of the dyers, and intrigued by the idea of seeing how the different dyers will interpret the same inspiration. You rotate through the six dyers, plus you have the chance to buy from the ones you don't get in any shipment. Anyone think I won't be tempted to do that at least once? The second is the Wollmeise sock club. I couldn't resisted entering the lottery for that one, and of course the fates said I should join!

Second, a lot of clubs are shipping this month - Year of Lace, I Wool Dye for You, Seven Deadly S[p]ins, A Change of Seasons Lace, Webs Skein of the Month, No Two Snowflakes Laceweight, and the first Wollmeise.

Third, I was tempted by the The Knitter's Review into purchasing a couple skeins of yarn from Sunday Knits.

On the other hand, I do have hope for the WIP count even though I started something new. I've reached the point with the old WIPs that nothing is portable. Since I was trying hard not to start anything new, it meant I was wasting my largest chunk of knitting time - my commute. Plus I think it was leading me to resenting the other knitting and not working on it at home.

So I decided to try and follow along with Socknitters Anonymous Sockdown on Ravelry. I'll allow myself to start a new project for this, which will give me something to do on the train, and hopefully break the other malaise. As you can see, I've gone with the "orange" challenge for this month!

Oh, and this reminds me. I theoretically finished the Arctic Diamonds Stole during the Olympics. (Another Ravelry link, but you should really join if you haven't already!) I knit enough that I could have been done. But I decided that I had enough yarn to lengthen it, and really wanted it longer than the 48" the pattern specified.

So how does starting something new translate into hope that I'll reduce the WIP list? I'm hosting a finishing day for my friends on the 27th. Felting the Cat Fez, sewing up the Aran sweater, and finishing the stole are all on my list. These days tend to be good for motivating some finishing so I'm hopeful.

Monday, August 11, 2008

August is not looking better at this point!

Well work in general has been a bit of a bear of late. And the stress does seem to be making me do stupid things like slamming my hand in the car door last Sunday. By now that's pretty much better. I really got lucky I think having the main spot be between two knuckles. Given how swollen it was most of the week, I had to think what it would have been like if I hit a knuckle directly!

But the stress causing self-injury continues. Monday I'm opening a plastic bottle of tea and there is a sharp place at the mold seam on the bottle. My mind registers dimly registers the pain, but I keep opening the bottle and in the process slice up the side of my thumb.

And the work stress kicks up a notch last week, which means I never get home before 8pm any night, and I get up at 4am because of my long commute. Except for the day I get up at 3am because I have to be in earlier than normal. And what does my cat Baloo do while I'm in the shower that morning -


I think she was taking all my mumbling about my crappy life too literally!

This past weekend I did find time to go through the pile of mail. A lot of yarn was in there! I've added 5412 yards to the stash so far this month! Luckily, the only club that I'm still expect is Webs Skein of the Month, and even if they send laceweight how much worse can it get. But I think its a good thing I did get back to knitting last weekend, but I'm really going to have to kick it up a notch to even come close to breaking even!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Overall, July was a very bad month

Life in general. I seem to be having a string of bad luck. One of the more dramatic was when I got back to where my car was parked at the commuter train lot, got in, closed my door, and had the rear liftgate shattered. Pretty much scared the P out of me. And then I had a mini nervous breakdown.

And unfortunately, it seems to be carrying over into August, as I managed to slam my own hand in a car door yesterday.

Overall, I did pretty bad on the July resolutions. I did manage to get rid of more yarn than I had coming in - 5904.6 yards vs. 4054.63 yards. Mostly this was because right at the end of the month I learned a coworkers daughter knits and I put together a bag of stuff that I've had listed as "will trade or sell" on Ravelry to give her. At the time I was motivated by being just a few items short of my decluttering goal of getting rid of 1000 items last month. But it also helped here. Still negative for the year though.

And as for projects, well I already confessed to starting a new one. The knitting is done on that, but I just can't seem to get around to felting it. Then the only knitting I've been in the mood for is the Arctic Lace stole, not the projects I had planned to work on!

Oh well, and I just can't think clearly enough to make goals for this month, other than wanting the stash to continue downward.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Cheated and Started a New Project

But my nephew asked me to! How could I resist.

Can you guess what it is?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Well I remembered to photograph 1 thing!

Well I remembered to photograph one of the items I finished last month. I call these Peacock Zombies. The pattern is Zombie Socks from Sock Madness 2 (Ravelry link). I didn't quite finish them before the end of the first round so I was out. I also knew that I was going to run out of yarn before finishing the second. So I ripped them totally out and re-knit them toe-up.

Now I'm not big on doing such things - tossing them aside in disgust is more my style. But I thought this yarn and pattern worked perfectly. Here's a close-up. I think it looks like the design on a peacock's tail.

I did a picot bind-off on these because I thought they could use something a little fancier. I just love them. I really hope they fit the person I intend to give them to. They're also perfect colors for her taste. But if they don't I probably will give them to someone else. I don't think I can take re-knitting them a third time!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July Resolutions

I did really, really bad with last months resolutions. Not only did I not have more outgoing than incoming yarn, the incoming was more than double the outgoing! Not as bad as last month (which was more like 10x), but still, I really need to get a grip there! The funny thing is that I've been reading Not Buying It and really enjoying it. I feel like it is making me rethink my purchase choices, though the yarn numbers would seem to bring that into question.

On the projects, not as bad, but still bad. I finished two of the three projects I listed - Amandine's shawl and Margarethe's socks. No pictures. The first because it isn't blocked yet and the second, well just because I seem to be lagging in the picture taking arena lately. But I also started a new pair of socks also (and also, no picture), so the tally is still at 18 there.

This month I really want to try and reverse that yardage flow. Which I think means I need to get serious about moving out some yarn I have scheduled for disposal. Or finishing some big projects.

Which leads me to this month's project goals - finish the new pair of socks, those mittens, and Toad's Aran.

The last has been languishing way too long, and if I make it a priority this month maybe it can see some use this coming fall and winter!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Hometown

Well I saw a link to this tool in someone else's blog, and for fun searched in Flickr for my hometown. You forget how pretty a place is until you see it through other's eyes!

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

1. Westfield - Stanley Park, 2. River otter, Westfield River, 3. westfield atheneum, 4. Westfield Municipal Building, 5. Old Barn, 6. buried, 7. Covered Bridge, 8. Dinosaur Tracks, 9. Columbia by Westfield - 1941, 10. Picturesque, 11. Grandmother's Garden, 12. Why it's called "Whip City", 13. Way Up There, 14. falls, 15. proud, 16. Blue Angels

Monday, June 02, 2008

June resolutions

Well, first, how did I do with May's - horrid. Despite the fact that they were very modest. I didn't finish a single thing except this wee small sock to the right. I made this with the leftovers from Gayle's birthday socks that were finished in April. Plus, it was started in May also (okay, so it took an hour or so to do!), so didn't even reduce the WIP count by 1! So not only did I not reduct the WIP count back to 16, I actually started another project so overall the number went up by one! So now the WIP count is 19.

I didn't have a stash reduction goal for May, as it was my birthday month and I had essentially decided that I would let myself get a few things I had been lusting after. I didn't make it to Maryland or any other festival, but I still did some real damage. The net increase in my stash is 9913.43 yards! Wowzer, I guess I let myself get a few things. The worst part was the yearly stash reduction figure is now a negative 2115.6 yards. I'd really not intended to let the overall numbers go in the wrong direction.

So anyway, more yarn going out than going in is a BIG goal for this month. Getting the overall tally into the negative might be ambitious, as a few of those lace clubs are shipping again this month. But I will find away to get the month going in the right direction at least. I think what this really means is now that the travel is off the schedule for a while I must reacquaint myself with Ebay. I have sold some stuff off Ravelry, but I think the things that have been on my "trade/sell" list there for a while will be moving over to Ebay.

And to focus the WIP reduction, I plan to finish Amandine's shawl, Margarethe's socks, and the Yummy mittens. That would get me to that 16 WIP goal from last month!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Maybe I will decorate with yarn!

I think I've alluded to the fact that I'm doing a lot of work around my house. I recently used new floors as an excuse to send an email letter to a lot of friends, many of whom I hadn't written to in a while. Kinda like a Christmas letter.

Anyway, one friend wrote back and said something along the lines of "I know you're faking this. I didn't see a single ball of yarn so that can't be your house." I jokingly wrote back that when I moved things back into the house (new floors is as much packing as moving!) maybe I would decorate with yarn since I didn't have a plan for a living room yet.

Well apparently I wasn't the first with this idea.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May resolutions just a bit late.

Okay, its going to look like I've delayed this because I have bad news to report on the April resolutions but that's really not the case! I drove up to Massachusetts on the first to attend my niece and goddaughter's First Communion on the third. I arrived home Sunday night, but stayed home yesterday as I wasn't feeling well. I had thought about doing this a day early on the 30th, but just didn't get to it.

Anyway, these were the (failed) April resolutions:

- Have more yarn going out of the stash than coming in.

BIG OOPS here. The incoming yarn was close to double the outgoing! The actual numbers - 7487 in and a mere 3797.78 going out. What happened? Well in addition to all the clubs mentioned when making the resolution, I succumbed to the allure of a few things. Four cones of Soie Bambou from those evil Elann previews which I had been resisting the urge to open up until then. A visit to Stitch DC saw me walking out with 3 skeins of the special for the shop colors of Tilli Thomas Beaded Lace, a skein each of Silk Cloud and Nature's Palette lace just because the colors were pretty. And the kit for the Magic Carpet Ride scarf, though at least there I didn't get the kit for the shawl it is derived from! It really doesn't help that when I fall off the wagon I do it for lace yarn!

- Reduce the WIP/UFO list back to 17.

I did slightly better here. I'm back to 18, having finished the scarf which you see to your left and one of the pairs of socks. No picture of the socks right now as they're a gift for someone.

So what will the May resolutions be? I'm giving myself an easy month here:

Reduce the WIP/UFO list to 16.

Yep, that's all. I already suspect that I can't have the net stash numbers go down this month, and really don't expect a lot of knitting will really get done. I have a lot of traveling to do this month and the work on the house continues. Plus I really can't find where I put a lot of stuff getting ready for the floors to be installed!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Resolutions

Well first lets look at how I did with March's resolutions:

- I'm going to combine February and March yardage totals for a goal to have more out in those two months than I got in in those two months. February will help on this front, but there's still a lot coming in!

It turns out I didn't need to worry about this - 7598.28 yards left the stash while only 5179 yards came in. I'm still waiting for two of the March sock clubs (Tour of DC and Brooklyn Handspun), but even with those I think I would have made it! And I guess I can confess that I succumbed to the allure of the April limited edition Lorna's Laces at Jimmy Beans Wool. I had managed to avoid that temptation since the first of the year. Oh well.

- Finish two WIPs from the current list.

Um, things go south starting here - only finished one, some fingerless mitts.

- Knit a pair of socks.

Well I started two different pairs, but since I didn't even finish one sock from either one I don't think I can make this equal a pair!

So what will be my resolutions for this month.

- Have more yarn going out of the stash than coming in.
- Reduce the WIP/UFO list back to 17.

Doesn't sound like much, but I'm getting almost all of the flooring replaced (hopefully the third week of April) and I need to empty the affected rooms before then. Plus, if window replacement day is any indication. The fact that I won't be working doesn't mean I will get a lot of knitting done!

The UFO list is currently at 20, getting it back to 17 would get me to where I would have been if I didn't start 3 new projects this month. Three you ask, oh yeah, in addition to those 2 pairs of socks I started a scarf just because!

The stash challenge might be a little harder. The incoming is a little less than last month:

- 5 sock yarns (dkKnits, Tour of DC (from March), Harmony, and Brooklyn Handspun (March & April). Only dkKnits and Harmony continue after April.
- Webs skein of the month, which could be anything.

The two lace clubs continue but those shipments are quarterly, and Seven Deadly S[p]ins continues, but that is every other month. Those three clubs won't coincide again until September, at which point I'll be down to only one sock club. So I don't anticipate as big of an incoming month as March was in the future. Then again, me not buying yarn since last year. It would seem that I have to crack at some point. The Jimmy Beans splurge might have released some pressure, but.....

But I've really been saved the last few months by the number of people shopping my stash on Ravelry. That seems to have slowed down, so I either need to get some new stuff in there or get more active about stash reduction.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


So, those who know me, do you agree?

You Are An INFP

The Idealist

You are creative with a great imagination, living in your own inner world.

Open minded and accepting, you strive for harmony in your important relationships.

It takes a long time for people to get to know you. You are hesitant to let people get close.

But once you care for someone, you do everything you can to help them grow and develop.

In love, you tend to have high (and often unrealistic) standards.

You are very sensitive. You tend to have intense feelings.

At work, you need to do something that expresses your personal values.

You would make an excellent writer, psychologist, or artist.

How you see yourself: Unselfish, empathetic, and spiritual

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Unrealistic, naive, and weak

Monday, March 10, 2008

Noro Mittens

Well I finally finished these mittens.

I took a mitered knitting class a while back and had picked up some Noro Silk Garden for the class - I think it was on sale and I knew the colors would look nice in miters. Generally, I'm not a Noro fan. I know, that's probably sacrilege to most, but its the truth.

Anyway, we got a hat pattern in the class - a pillbox style with miters for the sides. I knew I'd have enough yarn for more than the hat and I'm anal enough to think winter accessories should come in sets, so I made a mitten to go with it.

And then like most projects, it got put aside.

When I was going through WIPs/UFOs this last year I decided to rip the hat - just really didn't like the style. But I liked the concept of the mitten. It may be hard to see but its K1,P1 ribbing throughout so very forgiving for a variety of hands.

Unfortunately my notes were vague at best - 22 rows for cuff, 25 rows to thumb. That's it! Looking at the mitten I was thinking "CUFF????" But I looked close and I had increased a couple of stitches right where the hand flares out from the arm.

Anyway, I made a second mitten as close as I could, keeping better notes. Then I also remembered that I had made the first with lots of leftover bits so it didn't have any of the purple or even the brighter green. So I made a third mitten, and finally have a pair that I'm happy with.

So these will go in the give-away box.

And so I remember what I did if I decide to do it again, here are my notes:

Cast on 44 stitches.

Work 22 rows in K1, P1 ribbing.

Increase 1 stitch in first two stitches of next row (46 stitches).

Work 25 rows.

Work 9 stitches in waste yarn, slide worked stitches back to left needles and continue working 20 more rows.

1st decrease row: *Work in pattern 6 stitches, K2tog, repeat from * 3 more times, work in pattern to end (42 stitches).

Work 1 row even.

2nd decrease row: *Work in pattern 5 stitches, K2tog, repeat from * to end of round (36 stitches).

Work 1 row even.

Continue pattern of these 2 rows until 12 stitches remain, ending with a work even row.

Thread tail through live stitches and draw tight to close top of mitten.

Pick out stitches worked in contrast yarn, putting live stitches on needle. When working first round, pick up stitches between two rows of live stitches to eliminate holes. Work 15 more rounds in pattern, reducing to 18 stitches within first two rounds.

K2 tog around.

Knit one round.

Slip one, K2tog, psso round.

Thread tail through 3 remaining stitches and draw tight to close thumb.

Weave in ends.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


This is Swappie!

Swappie came to me in a trade from some yarn. Swappie was crocheted by MamaK on Ravelry. Isn't she the cutest? Isn't that the most adorable expression on her face?

I also traded a person in Vermont for some maple syrup, though I'm sad to say I can't remember her Ravelry name. Being from New England originally, I just think the syrup from there is better!

Oh, and the actual numbers from February - 5466.13 yards and 1 kit added to the stash, 13346.9 yards destashed or used.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

March resolutions

Well first lets talk a little about February. I manage to do 2 of the 3 resolutions. I did make the Knit-a-Mile challenge finishing one of the WIP's, but didn't finish another. Then again, I didn't knit the last two weeks I think. But I really made the last challenge this month, despite that long list of expected clubs. Unfortunately I forgot the file at my office, but last I looked I had 13,000+ yards of yarn out and 5,000+ in. Essentially, I had lots of takers on yarn I had listed on Ravelry!

So what yarn am I expecting in March? Unfortunately a lot:
- Yarn Pirate Booty Club (last month)
- dkKnits Technicolor Dream Toes (continues through October)
- February and March Tour of DC Sock Club (March is last month)
- Harmony Sock Club (continues through June)
- Webs Skein of the Month (continues through December)
- Brooklyn Handspun Holiday Sock Club (continues through April)
- Seven Deadly S(p)ins (first of seven installments)
- Year of Lace (first of a year-long quarterly club)
- A Change of Seasons Lace (first of a year-long quarterly club)

In other words, March is likely to be the worst month this year. Those two lace clubs are going to be a lot of yardage, and a lot of the sock clubs haven't ended.

Speaking of clubs, one that is just amazing me is Webs Skein of the Month. If you use that link to go to their home page, there is a round blue area in the middle of the page that will take you to information. You can join mid-year at a pro-rated price. When I joined it was $119 for 12 months, or basically $10 per month including shipping. In January we received Sheep Shop Yarns Sheep Three, while in February we got Fiesta Yarns Swoon. Plus a pattern each month you can complete with the skein, and a little extra goody in February. If you look these yarns up on their web site you'll see that based on yarn value alone we've already gotten back about 1/2 what I paid to join. So they're being very generous. So if you're looking for a way to try some really nice yarns......

Okay, so back to March resolutions:

- I'm going to combine February and March yardage totals for a goal to have more out in those two months than I got in in those two months. February will help on this front, but there's still a lot coming in!
- Finish two WIPs from the current list.
- Knit a pair of socks.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Home & Garden Show

So I went to the Home & Garden show in Richmond last Saturday. And had an overwhelming desire to buy a pile of zippers!

At least that's what it looks like, right?

Actually, you zip and zip and zip and it turns into a tote bag!

Just like this. Kinda cool. The real idea is that it takes up less space unzipped so its good for traveling. But I really just bought it because I was amused. Though I do like the colors I picked.

Otherwise I mostly bought food - flavored oils, balsamic vinegar, applewood smoke sea salt and an herb blend.

This is my new idea for the backyard dream landscaping. This year replacing all the windows has to take priority as the big project, but next year maybe I can get the backyard landscaped. My backyard is fairly flat for about 10 yards from the back of the house, then slopes down pretty steeply to a wooded area. The constant in my plan is a patio on the flat part, maybe with planter boxes all around, then a winding path with terraced gardens down the rest of the yard. Because mowing back there is a nightmare! It also is the south side of the house, so a pergola over the patio would be nice. So the idea of a wall of water like this coming off the pergola before the garden area seems really cool to me!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Trades are fun!

Okay, so in my last post I mentioned surprising me with something from where you live as a trade for some of my yarn. And the first one from my end anyway was so much more than I ever could expect. The only thing I feel bad about is that apparently the Royal Mail is so much better than the US Postal Service that its not even funny. I've had my package since early last week and Jan is still waiting for her yarn to arrive in Scotland.

So I'm think Scotland, hmm, maybe shortbread or scotch (which my father and BIL would have enjoyed but not me), or .... Okay, I did wonder whether haggis was something you could mail, but had decided I'd at least I'd give it a try if it came!

Instead I get some cards - one with a small scene with sheep and the heading "missing ewe," two with print of textiles by Susan Woodcock from Blue Beyond Cards, and the last card a print of a painting by Martin Devine.

AND... The original painting you see here by Martin Devine called Scottish Landscape No. 71. I LOVE IT!

The best part is that I'm currently trying to put together a room in the house that will be my craft room. This is definitely going on the wall there.

Oh I only hope Jan's yarn arrives soon and she likes it as much as she expected!

Thank you Jan!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


A while back I used my excel spreadsheet to list my stash in Ravelry. Since then I've been gradually adding pictures. Once a picture is added, I've been moving the listing to the "trade or sell" section if I don't have an idea of what I'd use the yarn for or if I've decided I'm no longer interested in the project it was purchased for. I've added a link to that page on this blog.

I'm serious about making me an offer. In fact feel free to browse the entire stash. I've been rather open to requests for other yarn unless (a) I specific idea for a project and think that yarn is perfect or (b) its a yarn I purchased to try and its the only example in the stash.

I'm not actually interested in trades for yarn, since stash reduction is my primary goal. But i'd be interested in other trades. Be inventive. Maybe something unique to the area where you live. I'll also add a list of things I'm interested in, for example some older Simply Knitting magazines I'm looking for.

Or make me an offer for purchase. I tend to be rather generous with how cheaply I'll let things go, though that may be a function of how much I like the yarn.

Oh, and my Ravelry name is vaknitter . Feel free to add me to your friends and I'll do the same.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy? Groundhog's Day

I have a niece who thinks Groundhog's Day is a major holiday. I thought she believed it was THE major holiday, but she clarified this week that Christmas is a bigger deal.

She also loves dressing up their dog Blaize, aka Bubba (he was a post-Katrina rescue, so a southerner now living in New England). This is him helping her celebrate last year. Doesn't he look like he's having fun?

I put the ? in because the prediction is six more weeks of winter. So maybe not such a happy day for everyone! Actually, maybe that explains the look on Bubba's face, not the hat.

Friday, February 01, 2008

January resolutions met!!!!!


This is the first time I pulled off all resolutions since I started monthly resolutions, and I don't think its because I've learned to lowball myself!

These were the January resolutions, with results in bold:
- Take the "knit a mile" challenge in the Stash Knit Down 2008 group on Ravelry, and, since it straddles two months, knit the January proportion to reach that goal.

Counting only finished objects, I've knit 831 of the 1760 needed to meet this challenge. A little less than 1/2, but I've done a little more on some other things and feel it is still achievable from here.
- Finish the last two Christmas presents.

Done, as mentioned in my last post.

- Knock at least one more WIP/UFO off the current list.

Done, the Loopy and Luscious scarf in the last post takes care of this.

- Knit enough yardage to exceed the incoming stash from existing clubs and any other purchases I don't manage to resist (yikes I'm going to be near Webs!). Though there are enough existing clubs incoming that I'm hoping that thought will help resist the later.

By the skin of my teeth! Incoming yardage = 4150; outgoing = 4370.

The only reason I pulled this off is because my first yarn from the Neighborhood Yarn Company's Tour of DC sock club didn't arrive by yesterday, even though others have been getting them for the past week. Then again, the only reason I was this tight was because of my sister deciding that yarn was a good gift after all (see Murphy's Law ). But I didn't buy any new yarn myself, despite that Webs visit!

The beginning of the year totals I posted were off. I think the formulas in the spreadsheet that did the tallies were wrong. The new numbers are:
- 462990.15 yards of yarn in the stash
- 41 kits not otherwise counted in the stash (I did destash one of these)
- 19 WIPs

In addition to the three FOs mentioned above, I also started and finished two others.

So what will February's resolutions be:
- Meet the Knit a Mile challenge
- Finish two more of the WIPs
- Knit or destash enough yardage to exceed the incoming yardage from existing clubs and any other purchases I don't manage to resist.

So what clubs might I see this month:
- the last 2007 Flock Sock Club kit (not renewed for 2008)
- Yarn4Socks February Club (not renewed after this)
- Yarn Pirate Booty Club (not renewed after March)
- dkKnits Technicolor Dream Toes (continues through October)
- January and February Tour of DC Sock Club (continues through March)
- Harmony Sock Club (continues through June)
- Webs Skein of the Month (continues through December)
- Brooklyn Handspun Holiday Sock Club (continues through April)
- Tofutsies February, and also a 4-skein Collector's set I ordered last year

I've got a lot of knitting and/or destashing to do!

I'm hoping I can resist renewing these, especially since I'm in three other clubs that start in March! But if Zen Yarn Garden restarts the Sumptuous Sock Club I will not be able to resist that!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shhhh, its a secret

Well I can't really tell you what that is yet, but it is fun. That picture was this morning of what i knit yesterday. Its about twice that now. I'll tell you more some day!

Actually, I can tell you I'm using some very old stash yarn for it. Alice Starmore Scottish Campion in Teal and Eggshell. I think this yarn is an example of "must not use because it is no longer made" thinking. But what's the point of the stash if you don't use it. And its not like there isn't other similar yarn!

Doing pretty well on the resolutions. The Christmas presents were finished in time for the trip to Massachusetts. They went over well not just with the recipients but also others. I may start a box of accessories and just take/send it up next year and let them all sort it out amongst themselves. After all New Englanders can use hats, scarves, mittens, etc. much more than I can in Virginia!

I've also finished one old UFO/WIP - Loopy & Luscious. Unlike many of the old ones, I know when this was started - January 2006. I knit until I had knit through about 3 of the rows with the thick yarn and then nothing. Once I picked it up again it was finished in about a week. I really need to focus more as things really do get done then!

And last, I started and finished a moebius in less than a week. This is the free pattern from when Cat Bordhi was on Knitty Gritty. I told my sister I'd give her the Handmaiden Cashmere from my stash if she'd push herself to try. I started one myself to demo the cast-on for her, and finishing it only took a few days. If you're on Ravelry, check out my sister's profile pic (she's princesssusie). She's not good at entering projects, etc., but changed her profile pic to show her moebius modeled by Bubba her collie.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Murphy's Law

For years when people asked I said that yarn would be a good gift for me, or yarn shop gift certificates, etc. And they always said something like, "you have lots of yarn, that's not a good gift."

Flash forward and we reach a point where I've come to the conclusion that I really do have too much yarn. I see my sister yesterday for the first time in a while and what does she have for my Christmas present - two skeins of yarn! Lace weight with lots of yardage to throw off the January resolution!

Now in her defense, this is gorgeous stuff. The picture is one of the skeins, but it doesn't do it justice. They are both Posh Yarn Eva 2ply lace - a silk and cashmere blend. The one pictured is called Lustre, which is a very appropriate name and hence the reason its hard to photograph. And get this, the other is called Violets, and I'd already bought a skein of that for myself. Great mind right!

I think I created a monster giving her some Posh last year. She doesn't want to knit with anything else! I gave her some Handmaiden cashmere yesterday and we'll see if that takes. On the other hand, I ended up with her Filatura di Crosa Superior yesterday because she decided she couldn't stand that yarn.

I just re-calculated the yardage tally for this month, and I'm still negative (meaning I've used/destashed more than I've gained) but not by a lot. So heaven help me - we're going to Webs today!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

So a week in I still feel good

Well about the knitting resolutions anyway. I'm fighting a terrible cold, so that I don't even feel like knitting much.

I've decided that I'm not going to post numbers weekly, only monthly. But thanks to Ravelry I am ahead of the game at this point. As I've been updating the stash with pictures, I moved a few things into "for sale or trade" that I no longer was interested in the project for or couldn't think of one. Well I got a message about one of those this week and sold a couple skeins of Silky Wool that way. And someone wrote about another skein and I decided I could let that one go also. So yardage-wise I'm ahead even though some of the January club yarns also arrived this week. There's quite a few more coming, so I either need to destash more or get in the mood to knit to stay on the right side of the ledger!

So this means that if you're on Ravelry feel free to shop my stash. Even if I don't list it as "sale or trade" I'm fairly open to the idea of getting rid of stuff, unless I have a specific project in mind I'm still eager to do that is.

I'm leaving Wednesday for Massachusetts. I was planning to go up later in the month anyway for a delayed family holiday party, but my father needs to go to Idaho so I'm going earlier to stay with my mom. Hopefully I'll get a fair bit of knitting done sitting and visiting with her.

But Becky may be coming up to join me during the trip, in which case a trip to Webs would definately be on the agenda. Lord save me from myself!