One of the hardest parts of living in a remodel project (aside from cooking for a family of nine with no pantry and only two square feet of counter space) is not knowing where anything is. We pulled the floor … Continue reading
Naturally, when my stash was threatened this morning, I went on high alert.
I even posted a guard.
In a stroke of genius (and because I am a super fun mom), I appointed my number one suspect as guardian of the yarn, as if I never thought she would be capable of such crimes.
I’ll let you know how that worked out as this story unfolds.
My inner knitter is doing it again. She is so predictable. You see, I had the audacity to plan out my knitting for the next couple of months. I have made a list, I have checked it twice. Christmas is coming and it is deadline time once again. I told my inner knitter that she has to buckle down and get some things accomplished. She was happy at first, to have such a pretty list of knitting to do. Inspiration was flowing and the yarn went on the needles in a happy fashion. It was hard to not knit all the things! This list was inspiring! This list was exciting! This list was totally doable!
Fast forward to today, however, and my list has made a mysterious change. My once alluring siren has now morphed into a harsh task master – whipping my conscience for not completing projects in a timely manner, shaming me for desiring a smidge of inspiration, and shackling my creativity with a sense of obligation.
My inner knitter yearns to be free from her list of must-knits, but knows that she will be so satisfied if she could only see it through. She slogs through knitting projects that long ago lost all of their cast-on excitement, and she dutifully works to complete what she started with great determination and resilience.
But she also dreams of the day when she can cast on some frivolous knit with no deadline and no anxious little person endlessly asking, “Mama, is my ______ done, yet?” and no Christmas tree to mock her.
And so, oftentimes when I sit down to knit, I will find myself on Ravelry, surfing through everyone else inspiration, living vicariously through the creative expression of other people. I will waste the entire window of knitting time poking around on other peoples’ project pages and adding more patterns to my queue.
The irony is that my queue is full of the things that I found the last time this list tortured me so. And some of the things that I am knitting now came from that wandering eye when I was trying to avoid some “must-do” knitting of the past.
It’s a vicious cycle, I tell you. Vicious. And my inner knitter never strays from the merry-go-round. Make list. Cast on. Knit. Get bored. Surf Rav. Make new list. And on and on it goes.
This actually reminds me of my stash. Oh, inner knitter! You have gobs of gorgeous yarn! Pounds upon pounds of heavenly fiber! Why do you continue to haunt etsy? and Eat.Sleep.Knit? and swap groups? Use the amazing stash that you have, already!
My inner knitter is so predictable!
Before I reveal how well I did (or didn’t) do in keeping my New Year’s Resolutions in the month of February, I’d like to point out that February is a very short month. Consequently, a few of my goals weren’t realized until a couple of days into March. Nevertheless, I didn’t do too bad.
1. knit something from my handspun – Remember this gradient that I spun in January?
Well, it became this.
This shawl was a knit-on-the-fly kind of project, in which I didn’t really have a plan at the beginning. I did know that I wanted it to have a sort of “blossoming from the ground” kind of feel with the blue at the top being the flowers, the green being leaves, and the brown edging being roots. Accordingly, I agonized over every stitch pattern, count, and twist until it drove me crazy with the wondering if it was going to turn out okay in the end.
The magic of blocking put all my fears to rest and I am extraordinarily pleased with the finished shawl. I am considering writing a pattern for it with a few tweaks to make it even better, but that takes a lot of time, so it might not happen (this year, anyway).
Then I promptly gave it to my dearest friend for her birthday.
So, knit with my handspun? Check.
2. Knit a christmas gift or christmas decoration – This was the project that fell into March knitting time. To be fair, I had two of them done in February, but I have seven kids, so seven ornaments was, obviously, the goal.
Elvish Mini Christmas Ornaments in all sorts of scraps
This photo is awful. Even now, they aren’t quite finished. I ordered little bells for them and will use the ends that you see for sewing them on.
So, knit something for Christmas? check.
3. Spin one braid (at least) I am halfway done spinning this –
I would have more spun, in fact I acquired several amazing braids that I cannot wait to get to, except that I had a mental hiccup. You see, I ordered my dream wheel – a Schacht Reeves!– and I want to spin on that! Alas, it isn’t coming until the first of April, so I have to content myself with my (still wonderful) old wheel.
So, spin at least one braid of fiber? check (halfway)
4. Keep my yarn/fiber purchases to the bare minimum (an unofficial stash down of sorts) Ahem. Ah. Hmmmm. Welllll. It’s like this….
Actually I don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just say I had to expand my stash storage. I am now officially declaring a moratorium on stash growth. At least for March…
So, unofficial stash down? BIG FAT FAIL (oh! you have no idea)
5. Keep my WIPs to a maximum of four. Yes! I did it! And I love it. I am finding that in my growingly chaotic life, having fewer projects on the go is very comforting. That is not to say that I didn’t get hit with a case of startitis here and there. Because I totally did. But I resisted. And I am happy.
So, focus on fewer projects at a time? check
Two months down, ten to go. And I’ll do better in March. It is longer, after-all.
I just read an interesting study about New Year’s resolutions. In 2007, the study tracked 3000 people through one year to see how they fared in keeping their New Year’s promises. The end of the year showed dismal results. Only %12 percent of the original 3000 people had accomplished their goals. SO, how are you doing with yours?
As for me, I am going strong here at the beginning of the second month. And this is what that looks like –
My knitting/spinning goals were set out as follows –
1. knit something from my handspun – I am working on this one. I spun up a lovely merino/yak blend for the Follow Your Arrow mystery KAL and that is still in progress. It’s not my fault it isn’t finished. I blame Ysolda.
Spunky Eclectic Club Fiber August 2013, 8 oz of two ply sport weight. Ravelry page here.
I would post progress pictures, except that it is a mystery knit and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. If you want to see it so far, here is my project page.
2. Knit a christmas gift or christmas decoration – The Blessing’s Christmas Stocking is finished, blocked, and packed away for next Christmas. The feeling of accomplishment that fills my chest at having a Christmas item finished before February even began is enormous!
3. Spin one braid (at least) I spun 12 oz of fiber in January. I showed you the merino/yak above, but there was also this gorgeous Mixed Color BFL progression.
Spunky Eclectic Colorway for a Cause “It’s a Beautiful World”, approx 450 yards of fingering weight singles.
Ravelry page here.
This is already on the needles and half knit. I got a head start on February’s handspun knit.
4. Keep my yarn/fiber purchases to the bare minimum (an unofficial stash down of sorts) Unsurprisingly, I didn’t do so well at this one. Thank goodness I wasn’t more specific!
This month I added to the stash 24 oz of fiber, and only spun 12. I gave/traded away 4 oz. This puts me at +8 oz.
As for yarn? I added 10 skeins and only knit 4 and scraps. But I gave/traded away 5 skeins. So +1 for yarn.
5. Keep my WIPs to a maximum of four. (In my original post I said a minimum of four, but ya’ll knew what I meant, right?) This I accomplished with great difficulty. And, right now I have five, but just since yesterday. The Mystery KAL kind of doesn’t count, because once this week’s clue is finished, I can’t work on it until the next clue comes out, which makes it kinda like a finished object each time I finish a clue. Besides, last night I didn’t want to knit my lace Hitofude Cardigan, and the rows on the Allegro are getting snore-inducingly long, and I finished my clue on the MKAL Shawl, and the other knit is taking too much brains, and I just really wanted an instant gratification type project. So I cast on a dress for The Blessing with this lovely stuff.
I am half done. I will be knitting longies to go with it, too. Awesomely cute!
One month down, eleven to go. And doing just fine.
I love the challenge of resolutions and the feeling of accomplishment that sticking to them brings!
(I am doing really well with my healthy changes resolutions, too, but that is kind of boring, so I won’t detail it. Suffice it to say, the longer I go without sugar and coffee, the less I want it, and the more active I am, the better I feel. These are lifestyle changes, not just for this year, so I will just carry on and continue to reap the benefits thereof.)