Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIP Update Early 2011

So.....last year I did a WIP reveal & had a few "finish or frog" conversations with myself.  According to my calculations, at that time I had 16 WIP (not including my Barn Raising Quilt, which doesn't really count because it's a long term stash buster).   I finished 6 of those, frogged 5, and there are still FIVE previous projects that are still not finished.  And now I have 18.  I guess I need another talking to.

Here we go again, but I'm starting with the most recent.

Ellie Shawl
I love this yarn & pattern combo. I bought this yarn at the Brooks Farms booth the first year they came to DFW Fiber Fest - I do believe it was in 2007 though I can't be absolutely sure. I just love the color & while I was knitting on it over the Christmas holidays my Mom insisted that I need to buy more if I see it. It's just that pretty & the pictures don't do it justice (as usual).
Ellie

Happy Baby Blanket
This is for a friend that is having a baby in mid-January.  I'm 1/4 of the way through & it went really really fast (like 3 or 4 days of light knitting maybe).  I need to get on it because she'll be here anytime.  They think she is going to be early - yeah, right!
Happy Blanket


One Row Buffalo Scarf
Clicking along on this. 
Buffaboo

Old Rose Moebius

It needs to go to the frog pond - I'm going to run out of yarn before it's as big as I want it.
100_0654

Give me some sock mojo socks
I stopped knitting on this because I can't find my working copy & I'm too lazy to pull out my book so that I have the heel directions.  Seriously, that is the laziest thing I think I've ever said.
Knit clinic socks

Peasy
I do like this sweater, I think it's destined to be finished, not frogged.
rowan felted tweed clover

Shoulder Bling
This is some of the easiest knitting that I have on the needles.  I just need to wind more of my yarn.  My cat got into it & it's....a little loved on.  She really loves yarn & she doesn't actually hurt it, but she doesn't like it to be in a neat skein or ball.  I really hate to straighten it out either way.
Shoulder Bling Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver

Lace Edge Cardigan
I need to sew on the edging or this baby is going to outgrow it!  I knit a 6-9 month & she was born in July.  Like I need to get sewing pronto.  Damn you, Debbie Bliss.
DB Baby Cashmerino

Vintage Velvet
I lost my place on this & I am horrible at counting rows on cables.  Chenille yarn surely doesn't help.
Touch me

Hellfire Crosswalkers
I think this is too many stitches.  The pattern swears it's not & it will work out, but I'm not buying it.  It needs a frog pond visit.
Vesper Hellfire

I Love Being a Girl
Another project that stalled because I need to wind another skein of yarn.  I think I see a pattern developing, but it honestly makes no sense because I have to wind new yarn to start a new project. Geeze
SG Love Bug

Garter Rib Yarntini
I ran out of yarn.  In April.  The yarn dyer was nice enough to send me some of the base to finish the socks.  And I still haven't wound it.  OMG - what is wrong with me????? (UPDATE: Wound the yarn & finished these 12/29/10. They are a little wonky because the toes are different & I didn't continue the patter for the same amount of repeats. And I don't care - they are house socks and DONE!)
100_1598

Learn to Knit Afghan

Long term knit.  I have done 22 of 63 squares.  A lot of the ones I have left are slipped stitch / mosaic knitting & I must admit, I kind of hate those squares!  Maybe I should figure out the color pattern on the afghan if I knit the other squares 3 times or something.  We'll see.  I tend to pick this up when I'm at a total loss.  I really do like the Knitpicks Swish Worsted & I'm enjoying knitting with it.  I would be happy to use this for baby things & washables in the future. (These colors + Pink)
Swish for my barbara walker afghan

Notes of Lyra
I really love this shawl.  I'm test knitting it for the designer & it's a great knit.  I finished the chart one full repeat & it's so pretty.  I just have to be in a special mood to work on lace with beads.  I would love to finish this & I can see it going in my gift pile because honestly?  The yarn color is just not working for me.  That might be part of why I keep stalling on it.
Madeline Tosh silk lace

Sweater Sampler
This has been on my goal list for the past 2 years. I was rocking through the sampler all the way until I got to the button part.  This is one of those projects that you need to read & not being doing something else.  It's very rare that I am in that situation - I usually knit while I'm watching TV & Patrick already fusses that I make his rewind the show we are watching quite often.  Another thing is that because it's pretty involved I didn't make myself a working copy so I have to work out of my book.  That gets really cumbersome & stops me from picking it up as an "easy project".  Easy must be my new safe word.
Sweater sampler

Lace Sampler a la Franklin
This was on my list last year, but as a long term project as well.  I am wanting to pursue my stitch dictionaries for patterns for it, but that is also not very portable.  That really stops me from working on this because honestly?  This is the softest yarn I've ever worked with.  It's absolutely dreamy & you'd think I would be doing whatever is necessary to work with it!  But....I'm all about easy, remember?
Lace sampler

Misty Ike Socks.
Ok, I will admit it.  I don't think this sock fits all that great.  I cast on for the number that should have worked but then it was too big in the heel / gusset.  Then I decreased to make the heel / gusset work.  I have no idea what I really did & how to make #2 work with it.  So my real problem now is...do I frog it?  Try to match it?  Make a sock like I want for #2 & live with the fact that they are different?  I'm currently leaning toward #3 but honestly the decision paralyzes me.  I haven't ever been able to knit socks successfully with Socks That Rock.  Ever.  That makes me sad, but it's true & I can't seem to fix it.
Retreat sock

Barn Raising Quilt
I have 39 of 42 squares knit.  I have so many scraps that I want to include that I keep increasing my plan for a bigger blanket.  But I won't pick the last 3 just in case I don't make more & then I'm stuck with what I knit.  I want it all to be "perfect" - I'm once again paralyzed by a decision that really won't matter, but it seems like a really big decision.

That is 18. I'd like to say that is all of the WIPs I have going on, but honestly there are a few more in my "hibernating" section of Ravelry. But I don't want to talk about them. Or they need their own post...
* Triple S Shawl (I love it dearly, but it needs it's own post)
* Astrid - about 45000 circles to make then seam (not really, but it's a lot)
* Dallas Guild shawl - which is more of a plan than WIP.
* Trellis still needs to be frogged. But who wants to frog Kid Silk Haze? Not me.
* Noni Adventure Bag is sitting in a zipped pillow case on my dryer waiting for a felting. Where it's been for about 6 months. I hate confessing that to anyone. I'm scared to death to felt it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 FOs

My most boring post all year, but I do enjoy going back & revisiting these later.  All of my FOs for 2010.

January - 1 cardigan, 2 scarves, 2 shawls, 1 hat, 2 baby (considering chicken a baby), 1 pr socks
Lucy in the Sky - brown
Geaux Saints Scarf
Colonnade Shawl
My So Called Hat
Annabelle's Shrug
Fit & Float Scarf
Happy Harlot Socks
Clapotis  - ms nancy
Chicken Blanket

February - 1 cardigan, 1 fingerless mitts, 1 scarf, 1 pair socks
Ophelia
Cheery Hand warmers
Big Cheery Scarf
Ribbed BFF Socks

March - 1 sweater
Vesper (kinda, I still need to weave ends)

April - 1 hat
Purple toddler hat

May - 4 hats, 1 shawl, 1 scarf, 1 baby
Roll brimmed hat x4
WM Traveling Woman
Noro Wisp
Baby Bib (orange)

June - 8 washcloths, 1 hat
8 washcloths
Odessa for Mom

July - 2 washcloths, 1 baby sweater, 1 scarf, 1 toy
2 washcloths
Louise Baby Cardigan
Lengthwise Garter Stitch Scarf
Little Lamb

August - NOTHING

September - 1 washcloth, 4 hats, 7 scarves, 2 toys
1 washcloth
Scathach hat
Shawl Collared Cowl
Wine hat & scarf (categorizing as a toy, I mean, what else is it??)
Rapunzel x 2
Muppet Scarf
A Very Warm Hat
Purple Alpaca Scarf
Star Crossed Slouchy Beret
One Row Malabrigo Scarf
Mustard Scarf
Center Square Hat

October - NOTHING

November - 2 shawls, 1 scarf, 1 hat
Sangre de Cristo
Basket weave alpaca scarf
Unoriginal Rowan Hat
Mara Shawl

December - 2 toys, 3 scarf, 1 mitts, 1 pr socks
Wine scarf & hat x 2
Casbah Sugarplum Batkus
Squooshy Mitts
Eternity Scarf
Jordyn's Pink Scarf
Yarntini Good to Be Girl Socks



******

Scarves - 16
Socks - 3
Hats - 12
Washcloths - 11
Toys - 5
Shawls - 5
Cardigans - 3 adult,  1 baby
Baby - 3
Fingerless Mitts - 2
61 total

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wrapping up 2010, Looking Forward to 2011

2011....it will be here before you know it.  As this year closes & I'm suddenly doing last minute Christmas knitting AGAIN (don't I say every single year that I'm not going to do this????) Actually, I'm more looking at the yarn to knit those presents & not doing it.  I can't help but look forward to my goals for next year.  Lately I have been doing a bit of "have to" knitting - baby gifts, Christmas presents, fast last minute stuff.  Two nights ago I decided that I needed an easy project out of nice yarn for ME & I went in my yarn room and wound some Buffalo Gold Buffboo (discontinued, sorry).

 Buffaboo

I hear a lot of talk about the Buffalo Gold & to me it always seems like yarn that you stash & don't use because it's so nice.  Which is totally ridiculous, I know.   It's also pretty pricey stuff.  It suddenly occurred to me that I have two skeins of buffalo yarn and, well, I didn't buy either one of them.  I traded a friend for one & then last year I won a skein at the DFW Fiber Fest.  How cool is that?  In keeping with last year's goal of not saving the nice yarn for the Pope, I cast on a One Row Scarf.  It's so soft & nice that I swear, I don't know what to do with myself.  It's little yarn on little-ish needles, so it's going to take a while.  But what the heck, I knit every day & I only have a pile of projects on the needles so what's one more????

Wow - that was quite a tangent.  Here's what I'm thinking for 2011.  I figured out how much yarn I bought this year.  Don't do that unless you want a huge shock.  HUGE.SHOCK.  I'm not revealing any true confessions here, but it was more than I thought.  So I'm saying it.  2011 is going to be a stashdown year.  It has to be.  I can sell or knit, but Stashdown here we come.  I've heard some talk that it's "trendy" to stashdown....I'm not sure if I believe that.  I think every year there is a movement for people to consume less, declutter, lose weight, stop spending, save money, etc, etc.  I usually don't follow that bandwagon because for the most part I think you are just setting yourself up for failure.  I remember hearing a speaker once say to pick ONE thing to change.  If you say you are going to change everything about your life, you are just fooling yourself.  It is possible, but it takes more self restraint than most people can take all at once.  I know I can't do it & I'm not even going to try.  I've lost about 30 pounds this year & I can tell you, it has mostly come from very small changes, not huge behavioral differences.  I believe this in most areas of my life & that's where I am.  But honestly, the stash is out of control.  I have a huge yarn cabinet & it's busting at the seams.  I can't get more yarn in it which is causing some overflow.  That is RIDICULOUS.  And frankly, if I knit up every bit of this yarn, what in the heck am I going to do with all of those knitted goods???? Well, here is my plan:

* Gift knit ahead.  This year I've had several last minutes wishes for knitted gifts.  I figure if over the year I knit some scarves, shawls, baby things, hat/scarf sets, etc. that I don't claim mental ownership of, I can gift randomly.  I have a few people that I wish I could just give them a scarf when they admire mine (if not the one off my neck!) and there is no reason that I can't do that.  I really do love scarf knitting & I love appreciative recipients.  Knitted gift giving does take a little forethought though, and by the time I think of someone to give something to, it's usually too late.  In the past I have thought that I need to knit for that person specifically, and in some cases I still believe that.  For the most part, though, I think a random nice person that I want to give a scarf or something to won't care if I carefully picked out that yarn & pattern for them or not.  And really, how many brown & pink scarves can I wear??? (my yarn color of choice for years!)

* Get rid of some of this sock yarn!  I blame 2007.  And 2008.  I got in the horrible habit of snatching up the new latest-and-greatest-hard-to-get-OMG-pretty-and-it-is-only-$20 sock yarn craze.  That gets out of hand very very very quickly.  And I did it for a couple of years.  To be honest, the yarn is still pretty but no one cares about it anymore.  For example: I fought tooth & nail catching Yarn Pirate updates until I finally scored some Culture Club.
Yarn Pirate Culture Club

I still love it dearly, but seriously, try swapping it for the new "latest & greatest" & see what happens.  No one cares anymore! I try to tell myself these days when the popular yarn posts & I get caught up in the craze.  I'm pretty good about it too though I still find it hard to resist Wollmeise (I did last week though, YAY me!).  So I'm going to knit some up and/or sell some.  Incidentally, if you'd like your own skein of fabulous Yarn Pirate Culture Club it's very easily available on Ravelry destash for...you guessed it, about $20. You can't have mine because I still hoard it like it is the rarest yarn on the planet.  Will I knit it up this year?

* WIP (Works in Progress).  Well, I did this in 2010, remember? I'm happy to report that I started with 16 projects, finished 6, frogged 5, and that leaves FIVE previous projects that are still floating around out there.  Only 5 WIPs, Tasha?  Bwhahahahaha.  Make that 18.  That's what I did this year, start a bunch of crap that I didn't finish!  It looks like a new WIP post is in order.  Really, though, this will eliminate a lot of my stash yardage quickly.  Well, more quickly than starting stuff from scratch, anyway.  In all fairness, 2 of those are long term blankets & one was on the needles when I did that last post but I didn't count it....(I'm going to stop justifying now).  I do need a frog or finish intervention, though.

* $50 per month limit on knitting stuff for 1st quarter 2011.  I can't do a no-buy. I just can't do it. I like my yarn, I like my knitting stuff.  Sometimes I need yarn to finish something or to add to something I have or just because it's pretty.  Or I want to buy a pattern.  Or needles.  And April brings DFW Fiber Fest & that means I can buy direct from a variety of oh so great vendors.  I can limit it in for a few months, though, and then reassess the situation.

* Look at my existing yarn in a new way & stop trying to make it into the project I loved 4 years ago. 

* Knit stuff that I love.  Destash the rest.

* Stealing this from Susan-from-Athens on Ravelry: "enjoy what I have and admire what others have without necessarily coveting some of my own."  That woman is smart. 

What are your goals for 2011?  Do you have any?  Will you be buying up a ton of yarn?  Can I watch?


PS - I will talk about my trip to Paris at some point.  I'm still processing it in a lot of ways.  Here is one shot for you:
P1010744
Yes, I found an alpaca.  In Paris.  Go figure. And since that wasn't very Paris-y:
Eiffel Tower

Friday, November 12, 2010

Taos Wool Festival October 2010

I have been trying to put together a blog post about my experience at the Taos Wool Festival for weeks.  This is why I end up not writing about my trips - I want to write about every moment & it's such an overwhelming task that I can't get past the first day.  So how about today I'll tell you about Taos in pictures?

Cool lodge where we stayed Taos Mountain Lodge



Food that we ate (I'm telling you - they put green chiles in everything! I loved them but seriously - I don't need every damn thing I eat to have chiles in it, and that includes you, Mr. Beer)










Welcome to the Taos Wool Festival 2010




When we got to the festival the very first thing we saw were critters!  This was a huge surprise to me - I wasn't expecting critters & I was very happy to see them there.
ALPACA!



SHEEP!



LLAMAS!





YAK & BABY YAK!



Scary llama video.  Keep watching & turn up the volume - you can hear him growling at me.

video

I had never been to New Mexico.  It is so gorgeous & I fell absolutely in love with it.  I'll go back tomorrow.  (apparently if you want to split gas & have a free place to stay, I'm your girl).














I was lucky enough to be traveling with Betty.  Betty is a firm believer in visiting local bars to get a feel for the place.





Yes, you are reading that right.  Abe's GROCERIES, Bar & Grill.  How could we not go check it out? 


Stray Dog Cantina (don't just call them Stray Dog - they don't like that much)- the only real bar open on the top of the mountain (in Ski Valley) out of season.



The Adobe Bar inside the historic Taos Inn







My personal favorite - there was a bar inside of the radio station. Yep - complete with a big dance hall, a swing band & lots of happy dancing people. It was a most unique experience.








Eske's Pub - this is where we drank the Green Chile beer - only because there weren't many options.  There were many BEER options since they brew their own, but if you don't like beer, don't go here. Having said that, I don't like beer but I did enjoy my beer.  How could I not taste it?






After we ate, and festivaled, and did sight seeing, and took in all  of the local flavor, we decided to....hit yarn shops.  What else, right?   Because surely we didn't buy enough dang yarn from all of the vendors  at Taos.  Geeze.
First we went to Weaving Southwest.  I've never seen anything like it & I've been to some pretty impressive yarn shops!













Red Willow Art and Fibers
This was a great shop that recently opened to showcase local artists. It is a great concept, Julie was positively charming, and the shop is so unique - you must go. (no web presence that I could find - but they are listed on this website)








This might be my favorite picture of the trip. We went to a shop that had a weaving demonstration. They let us sample Mexican hot chocolate & roam around. This was one of the many many many gorgeous rugs / wall hangings that were there.


And my very very favorite thing about the whole weekend? The vibe in this tent:
A Ravelry tent was set up & you could bring your chairs & hang out. It was such a fun & relaxing place to be that I swear, we spent nearly our whole time here. We would go look at some booths & pet yarn, come back to the Rav tent, hang out, knit, eat snacks, chat with new friends...it was just really cool. It was a place that you could leave your bag - a few times I even walked off without my wallet & never even worried about it for a minute. We met so many cool people & had great conversation, saw great knitted items, watched many talented knitters & spinner...we saw much show & tell, heard stories about what people bought & why, heard excitement from other people like ourselves that had never been & bought loads of stuff. It was just really neat. As a board member I'm helping to organize the DFW Fiber Fest & I wish I had a bottle of that atmosphere so that I could open it up at our event. Come join us in April 2011 & help us make that happen. (ok, shameless commercial, but if you are still reading you deserved a poke!)

What did I buy? I'll tell you as I knit it up because it's really embarrassing how much new stuff I got when I didn't even need one thing!

Peace.