The Year of This and That

Every year I designate a theme of some sort. Just a little goal to spur my creativity on and keep my knitting or spinning fresh and new. I have been very satisfied with the results.

The Year of the Sweater (2010) yielded me a nice stack of handknit sweaters.

The Year of the Stash (2011) saved me tons of money, taught me to use some ingenuity when matching patterns to the yarn I had on hand, and still left me with a cabinet full of stash!

The Year of Spinning (2012) was when I added spinning to my fiber obsession, adding a new dimension to my passion for knitting.

Last year could be called The Year of Survival. While I didn’t make any declarations last New Years, I did get some fun things done.

I did some knitting –

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I did some spinning –

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And I did some knitting with my handspun –

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And that’s not even all of it! Pretty good for vomiting the first half of the year and nursing a baby the second, huh?

So, now it comes to 2014. What to do? I have a few ideas flitting around.

Knit only from my handspun for the year?

Only have one WIP at a time?

Set some kind of goal for each month. Say, every month I have to knit a sweater, a shawl, a pair of socks, or what have you?

Another stash down? Lord knows I need it!

A Christmas focused year?

Or maybe a mixture of the above.

Okay. I got it. Are you ready?

This year. Twenty-fourteen is The Year of This and That. And it goes a little something like this:

Each month I will –

1. knit something from my handspun

2. knit a christmas gift or christmas decoration (The Blessing still needs a stocking, I want to make each kid an ornament, and the nativity scene needs some sheep, for example)

3. spin one braid (at least)

4. keep my yarn/fiber purchases to the bare minimum (an unofficial stash down of sorts)

and 5. keep my WIPs to a minimum, say….. four. Yeah. Four is good.

That sounds do able but also challenging. And productive.

Ready. Set. Begin.


A New Year – A Big Goal

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I have generally dropped the ball.

“I’m gonna exercise every day” turns into “maybe next year I’ll get into shape”.

“I’m gonna eat better and lower my sugar intake” turns into “pass the chocolate, please”.

“Less Facebook, more walks outdoors” turns into “it’s too cold outside. Let’s see if anyone has messaged me”.

And on and on. I am just not able to improve myself by making vain promises on January 1st every year. (That is not to say that I won’t try, because I will. I just won’t be blogging about it anytime soon.)

However, as a knitter, my resolve is amazing! In 2010 I lived up to my resolution by knitting myself some amazing sweaters and in 2011 I saved tons of money and used my stash instead of shopping for new yarn. I am feeling pretty good about those things.

Which leads me to wonder what I should do next. Set a goal to reach a certain number of miles knit? Knit something new every month? Learn a new technique every month? Make a pair of socks every month, much in the same way the Yarn Harlot does her self imposed sock club? Knit for charity?

None of these ideas inspire me. The idea closest to getting chosen was that I could finish my current WIPs and then only have one thing on the needles at a time all year long. Challenging, beneficial, and impossible.

So, I think that this year I will resolve not to resolve. I will follow my whims, knit my passions, explore techniques that intrigue me, give to those in need, and try to end up with a few more pairs of socks in my drawer.

Twenty twelve is the year of inspired knitting.

What’s inspiring you?

The Year of The Sweater Project Continues…

This year I set out to knit seven sweaters for myself. I realized that have been knitting for a few years, but I always for others. Until this year, I had not knit a single thing for myself, so I decided that this is my year. I picked out seven lovely patterns, bought a whole bunch of yarn and have been working on it off and on ever since. So, here is where it stands:

Sweater #1 – Vine Lace Cardigan in Malabrigo Chunky Pink Frost was the first sweater I made for myself. I knit it in one week (you gotta love bulky yarn!). It is big, squishy, and while not very flattering (I did say “bulky” yarn!), I am very pleased with it. Completed in April.

Sweater #2 – Tea Leaves Cardigan in Madelinetosh Merino Worsted Fig is my favorite so far. The color, the feel, the style, the buttons. Love, love, love! This is the sweater that makes me wish for winter to come quickly. The only downside is that I think it’s gonna pill something terrible! Completed in May.

Sweater #3 – Mondo Cable Cardi in Dream in Color Classy Dusky Aurora is the workhorse. A beautiful yarn, that also happens to be superwash, a simple pattern and an awesome color! I took this one camping last week and loved every minute that I wore it. This baby grew a bunch when I blocked it, but that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm for it one bit. Completed in June.

April, May, June. Each month I completed an entire sweater! I didn’t realize that until just now. That is really very cool! So, what happened to July and August? Summer heat? That, or the allure of lace…

Sweater #4 – The Shawl Collared Cardigan in Wool of the Andes Worsted Cranberry is not in a happy place. I made some dreadful mistake somewhere, but I have gone too far past it and must now fudge some fix. That is why this sweater is hibernating. I am thinking that soon it will see the light of day, though. It’s been awhile since I looked at it…

Sweater #5 – Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace Whale is my current project. I thought that I would make some killer progress on the first sleeve last night while watching a movie with the Man, but I found “Edge of Darkness” a little too riveting for much knitting… (Either it was the intensity, or the fact that the speech was mumbled and we had the subtitles on so we could know what was going on. Too bad they had to use such horrible language. I really hate that.)

Sweater #6 – was Tissue Cardigan from Interweave Knits in Knit Picks Shadow Spice, but since I just finished the Wispy Cardi in Malabrigo Lace Amoroso, I have decided to bump the Tissue Cardi off the list and count the Wispy as Sweater #6! Perhaps the Tissue Cardigan will be knit some other time. It really is lovely, and I have the yarn – if I can manage to save it. It is lace weight. And gorgeous. I don’t know, it just might have to be a lace shawl or something lovely like that. (I have yet to make anything from “Knitted Lace of Estonia” and you know I am dying to do that!) Completed in September.

Sweater #7 – the plan is to make Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo Worsted Velvet Grapes. I hope that is what I do… 🙂

So, in summery- Seven sweaters intended, six started, of those, four completed. And it is only September. Cool.

Any ideas for next years goal? I am thinking socks. (I hear you gasping. I still have a few months to warm up to the idea. And I must say that having a drawer full of hand knit socks is mighty appealing!)

WIP Smackdown!

Okay. So, the other day, I set some serious goals for my knitting. I said that I would do these five things before I cast on a new project:

1. Finish one ball of yarn on each large work in progress (that would be the three women’s sweaters 1 2 3 );

2. Frog the things I will never, ever, ever get around to even wanting to finish (that would be the socks and the goofy toy thingy);

3. Finish the gifts that must be done by September 26 (small things, but tedious, and boring because I am over it 1 2 );

4. Decide whether or not to finish Icarus (despite my occasional desire to work on it, it is sinking fast on the to-do list).

5. And, finally, get Celandine to mundane mode (more and more medalions before it becomes stockinette on lace weight on small needles around and around and around and around…..)

I am sure that you are all holding your collective breath for this update, so here we go!

The good news: I have made some progress. Not only that, I have found that by forcing myself to focus on these projects, I have pushed past the boring bits and actually enjoyed the knitting. (I refuse to learn the lesson, here. I am not trying to change my ways, only get the WIP list shorter so that I can start more projects!) I have frogged the little frogables, knit up one ball on a women’s sweater, and am working on the second sweater. Actually, I tricked myself with this one. I had already decided to work both sleeves at the same time, which means two balls are in play, so I am doing two balls on that one. Oh, and I made a decision about Icarus. It was hard, but I think I will be happier. Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit. That is 2.5 out of 5 – hey! I am halfway. Yippee!

The bad news: I want to cheat so bad! I sit and knit on some old project while fresh skeins of wool stare at me from all sides. Knitting books line my knitting table, knitting magazines on my nightstand, and the new Knit Picks catalog came in the mail yesterday! I even caught myself moving toward the Pima Petite thinking, “It is time to cast on Chloe’s shrug. That’ll be a quick knit.” At least I caught myself in time, but that was a close one. I am hanging on by a thread, and knitting as fast as I can before I lose all control and cast on six new projects in some wild, wooly frenzy. Plus – look at all of this recaimed yarn! It is like Christmas in August! There are two laceweights in there, and you know how I am about lace these days…!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..