Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIPS to attack 2012

This is one of my favorites posts to do every year.  It makes me look at the things I have in progress and makes me think about why I haven't finished them.  I find it interesting to see what made me stop knitting something and sometimes when I pick it up again and finish it in a day or two.  My, what a fickle knitter you are, Tasha!

A few stats about the Wips that I had at the start of 2011.   Of the 18 that I specifically addressed, I finished 8 of those & frogged 2.  Did you do that math?  I should have 8 left!  Well.....I created a few new projects that have become my "need to finished" projects.

First let's talk about what's new because that is so much more interesting.

Sam sweater #2
Sam Sweater #2 - I wanted to make a sweater for this cutest little baby that was born October 2011.  I started it right about the time that he was born, but I got bored & well, I was making a one year size so I figured I had plenty of time.  I pulled it out the half finished project & couldn't figure out where I had left off, what size needles I had used, etc etc.  I am pretty religious about entering that kind of info into Ravelry the minute I start a project, but I started this sweater on the plane to Paris last year & I had thrown several different sizes of needles in the project bag.  After I finished the back, I was totally lost & started freaking out.  I checked with the mom to see what size he was in, and low & behold he is 14 months old & is in at least an 18 month.  So I start over making this sweater, which is Sam sweater #2.  It's SO CLOSE to being done, I just need to make the button band, sew on buttons, and weave in some more ends. Did you know that striped sweaters have so many freaking ends???  I already dealt with a bunch of them, but there are still quite a few.

Sam Sweater #1, which is still in progress & still has the problems referenced above. Cabled Baby Sweater.  I couldn't put my hands on it to get a picture, but it's that cute one in the link but navy with gray in the sleeve / cuffs.  Which has nothing to do with the Dallas Cowboys, I swear.

Woodsmoke Scarf - When Loft came out I had to have some & cast it on immediately.  I'd been looking for a perfect yarn for this scarf, and this was it.  Just have to finish the borders.  It's so soft & pretty.

Endpaper Mitts
Endpaper Mitts - I really love these.  I'm going to get back to them, they are so bright & happy.  I'm still intimidated by the colorwork, but I'm going to push through it on these mitts.

Curlique Shawl - I've tried to start this shawl twice and I'm still not digging it.  I think it is destined to be frogged again.

Camo Socks

Camo Socks - I am making these for Patrick.  I was trying to surprise him, but I got stuck right here & not knowing how long to make the foot.  I finally fessed up to him about these, so I need him to try it on, finish the toe, and cast on for #2.

Girlfriend Market Bag
Girlfriend Market Bag - This was part of Cast on mania in August & I truly hate working these K2tog with the Sugar & Cream cotton.  It's in the frog pile.

Persephone - I'm not sure why I stopped working on this.  I love the idea of this sweater in this yarn (Brooks Farms Willow).  The pictures really don't do it justice- it's going to be really pretty.

Slippers - One finished with that terrible pink toe.  I thought I was going to work some stripes in these, but I was working on them during an Ann Budd workshop, visiting with my fellow students, and got carried away.  By the time I decided to add the pink the slipper was done.  I'm tempted to pull it out & redo the toe, but really, they are slippers, I think I can live with it.  Not to mention that they are knit flat & seamed, so I'd have to pull out the seam, frog the toe, reknit & reseam.  That seems like a lotta work for a slipper.  I cast on for #2, and I finished the first one in a half day class, so I really need to sit down, work on it, & finish it up.  It wouldn't take long!


Astrid - Did I even talk about Astrid last year?  I know for sure I haven't taken an in progress picture since I've been this far along.  I started this in July 2008 and I pick it up periodically.  As you can see, I have a lot of circles done. I checked my notes & I have all small & medium circles done & I think I need to finish 11 more big circles to be finished.  If that is true, wow, it's close.  Other than all of that seaming, which I won't do until I can lay it out.  I also included all 5 needles I found in that bag.  Needle eater!

Girlie-flauge Clapotis - destined to be frogged - I truly hate the stark whiteness of the white in it.  This yarn would make great monsters, though!

Chevron Love Mitts
Chevron Love Mittens
Oh how I love these mittens.  I got completely stuck on the thumb & I won't begin to explain to you why, let's just say I was confused.  Which I was.  And kind of still am, but at least I think I have it figured out.  This is a perfect example of getting off track on a project & then letting it sit forever even after you know what the problem is, but you really don't know why you can't just pick it back up again!  Because if I haven't mentioned this, I love them.

Now let's talk about the leftovers from the beginning of 2011 (including the few project that I had hibernating but there is no use ignore them because they exist).

Vintage Velvet
Vintage Velvet - this one is on the cusp.  I surely can't read my knitting on chenille yarn with reversible cables.  I'm not sure what to do with it.  Part of me thinks just finish it like it is, even if it's wrong, because really it's going to be felted & this gorgeous color no matter what.  And I can't even imagine what frogging Touch Me would be like.

Unblocked Barn Raising Quilt
Barn Raising Quilt.  Sigh.  You will recall that I post about being finished with this last year.  It was finished but the icord around the edge was kind of tight & I couldn't block it out to the size that it really wanted to be.  I pulled it out, need to block it, then come up with another way to do the edging. That is part of cleaning up my yarn room so I have room to block & use my new steamer.  I did work on the cleaning mission today & I think maybe there is enough room for this, I might try it this weekend.

I haven't worked on any of these to any great extent, so there really isn't much to say about them:
One Row Buffalo Scarf

Learn to Knit Afghan
Notes of Lyra
Misty Ike Socks
Triple S Shawl
Lace Sampler Scarf

Trellis Shawl (needs to be frogged, including mohair)
Noni Adventure Bag (needs to be felted.  That's it.  It's even sitting in a zipper bag on the dryer.  Seriously)

I also have these bags done & they just need to be lined:
Noni Carpet Bag
Carla Cabled Bag
Sunburst Purse
I figured I would put it out there, doesn't hurt to have a little peer pressure to get it done.

And there you have it.  We won't even talk about the fact that I have 3 brand new for 2012 projects on the needles. Ahem.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Goals, schmoals.

I don't know why I feel the need to have a talk with myself every year about what kind of knitting goals I have for the following year and then never look at them again.  I'm done.  Not doing it.  Here they are if you want to read about it & laugh.  Or I'll give you the quick recap.

  • I bought lots & lots of yarn even though I said I wasn't going to (that did last 3 whole months though).
  • I didn't make any gifts ahead.  Not even one.  I did give away a bunch of my past knitting, but it wasn't entirely planned out, so to say I did it on purpose is kind of cheating.  I also finished up a baby sweater that the baby outgrew while I was making it & gave it to a different baby, but again, completely unplanned.  It seems unfair to turn my timing failure into a "planned gift", but it did work out & I recommend it if you have nearly finished baby presents lying about. 
  • Get rid of sock yarn?  What was I, INSANE?   Well, I did finish 6 pairs of socks, which is pretty good.  And I made 11 other things out of fingering weight yarn, a few of which were originally in the "sock yarn" category.  Most importantly I did knit up the Yarn Pirate Culture Club that I specifically targeted in that post.  I am thinking perhaps that wasn't a coincidence.  Let's call it a win if for nothing else my self esteem.
  • Wips - that will be addressed in a full post of it's very own.  I don't think I can bear to do both in one day. 
  • Limit spending to $50 per month for the first quarter.  I can call that a victory, I really didn't buy much yarn until after DFW Fiber Fest, but wow, how the flood gates opened after that.  My total for January to March was for sure under $150. 
  • "Look at my existing yarn in a new way & stop trying to make it into the project I loved 4 years ago."  I still love the sentiment of this goal.  I did a little bit of this through using some of my sock yarn for hats & I also used some of a dye lot of a discontinued yarn to make a baby sweater.  I usually save odd amounts like that thinking that I'll find the perfect thing, but it was the right color for the right baby & I went for it.  Now I have enough of that yarn to make another baby sweater or something and make it all work out.  The few things that could fall into this category really end up being using up odds & ends, which I put a pretty good dent in too, but not enough. 
  • "Knit stuff that I love.  Destash the rest."  Yeah, I'm really not a good destasher - I like to have AllOfTheYarn.  I did a lot of culling in January last year, but otherwise I keep my yarn.  I can't help it & no I do not have a problem.
  • "Enjoy what I have and admire what others have without necessarily coveting some of my own".  I love that as well, I would say my success rate on that is pretty good.  Most of the stuff I stashed this year was pretty specific, most for baby things.  I see stuff & I want it too though, I am only human.  
What would I like to see for my 2012 knitting life?  I refuse to make too many goals.  Since I am kind of at a clean slate, I can tell you where my head is.
  • I would like to concentrate on sweaters & sock since I tend to use those finished objects the most. 
  • I am not putting too much pressure on myself - not so much "joining" & going along with a crowd, more just doing what I want when I want.  That's the only way the multiple sweater / sock thing will ever work out.
  • I am attempting to not buy yarn until DFW Fiber Fest, and then only a set amount.  No random buying just for fun.  I put some personal parameters from a  financial standpoint & while I'd like to say NO YARN, I do know that isn't practical.  Let me get through the next few months and then we'll talk.
  • I feeling like historically I have put a lot of pressure on myself to "get organized" & then I go follow a group around, and that just doesn't really work for me.  I've never been a person that likes to be held to rules & restrictions, it makes me wonder why I've ever sought that out!  
  • Get my yarn room organized once and for all!  It seems like I'm constantly throwing a bag in there.  Or throwing books on the floor instead of putting them on the shelf just to get them out of the living room.  Or put stuff in there that I don't know what else to do with.  It's a mess & that is stopping me from another goal I have - BLOCKING.  I have loads of stuff that needs to be blocked, but the yarn room is really the only spot where I have room to do it that is safe from the curious paws of my cats.  I find myself putting off the blocking part for most stuff because of this, so if I could just get it straight maybe I'll be more motivated to block the stuff that needs it.  Besides, I got a commercial grade steamer that should make this process so much easier - I hate my current steamer for so many reasons.  (drippy, not hot enough, takes forever, etc, etc).  I found a commercial grade stand up steamer for $45 on & ordered it immediately.  I can't wait to try it out! 
The only structured thing that I have going on - and I'm doing it because in our case the word structure is truly laughable - is that my friend Lyn & I have planned to start knitting through the book Knitter's Book of Socks.  I cast on for the first pair, Stepping Stones, on Jan 1 & am flying through them.  That is probably because they are knit out of heavyweight Socks That Rock (in color LL Cool Socks in case you care) & I'm just so happy to be knitting something for ME that I can't stand it.

So that's it - very loose & not very specific "goals" which pretty much amount to no goals.  I like it.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 - The Retrospective

I feel so completely disconnected from my knitting right this second.  I spent several days in Louisiana with my family to celebrate Christmas, came home & immediately left for Costa Rica with my inlaws for a week.  That setting really wasn't conducive to wool.  Let me assure you, sunscreen + sunburn + heat + more moths than I've ever seen really does not equal knitting mojo.  (yes, I did freeze every bit of yarn that I brought with me just in case, why do you ask?)

Here are just a few of the hundreds & hundreds of pictures I took while I was there:
Me at Manuel Antonio Park
Me at Manuel Antonio Park - Costa Rica

One of the many sloths we saw at Manuel Antonio Park (through the lens our guide had)
Sloth at Manuel Antonio Park, Costa Rica

It was hard to take a bad picture of this beach at Manuel Antonio Park, but this is one of my favorites:
the beach at Manuel Antonio Park, Costa Rica

I swear we went more places than that park, but I have so many great pictures it was a good place to start.  Well, one more.  Here is the view from the house where we stayed.  I took a picture of Patrick in the pool daily because he spent an awful lot of time in there (both with & without beer, scotch, rum, etc)  We actually spent a lot of time at the house because really, why wouldn't we?
Patrick hanging in our pool in Costa Rica

I might post more about the trip later, but I figured I would throw those pictures up now because my track record of trip reports really really sucks.

Are you ready to get back to the knitting?  Honestly, I'm not either because I can't stop obsessing about the pictures of Costa Rica, but I'll do my best.  I managed to get my numbers together for 2011- it's such a boring thing for everyone else, so let me take a moment to wish you a very Happy New Year & if you want to skip the rest of this I won't blame you one little bit.  As usual I like to have a LIST of everything I made in the year, because goodness knows having it all on Ravelry & tagged by year just isn't enough for my OCD brain.

Totals:  51 items (10 less than last year.  I blame all of the wash clothes I made last year)
Breakdown as follows:

Scarves - 10
Socks - 6 PAIR
Hats - 7
Wash clothes / towels - 2
Toys - 3 (all mini)
Shawls - 10
Cardigans - 2 adult, 4 baby
Other baby items - 2
Fingerless / regular mitts - 3
Sweater Sampler, which doesn't fit anywhere - 1

January – 1 baby, 1 shawl, 2 pairs socks, 1 hat, 1 scarf
Happy Baby Blanket
Simple Yet Effective #2
Flamingo Stripe Monkey Socks
Groovy Thorpe
Knit Clinic Preppie Socks
Savvy Scarf

February – 2 scarves, 1 shawl, 1 hat, 1 misc
It’s Good to Be Girl Shawl
Nouveau Bohemia
Sweater Workshop Sampler
La Novia

March – 1 hat, 1 scarf, 1 adult sweater
Lettuce Slide Scarf
Peasy Sweater

April – 1 scarf
Noro Melody

May – 1 scarf, 1 shawl, 1 pr socks
WM Poison No 5 Clapotis
LSU Socks
Mara in MT Fathom

June – 1 shawl, 1 scarf
Striped Study Shawl
Chroma Striped Scarf

July – 1 scarf, 1 pr socks, 1 pr mittens, 1 mini toy, 1 washcloth, 2 shawls
Shelburne Scarf
Pinata Socks
Eugenia’s Mitts
Tiny Zombie
Cotlin Washcloth
Ellie Shawl
Guernsey Wrap

August – 1 towel, 1 hat, 1 pr socks
Gridded Hand Towel
Bob Sockhead Hat
Loopy Striped Jaywalkers

September – 1 blanket, 1 baby dress, 1 shawl, 1 hat
Barn Raising Quilt
Clara Dress
Aspen Wrap
Sockhead hat Jitterbug

October – 3 baby cardigans, 1 pr socks, 1 shawl
Lace Edge Cardigan
No Purl Monkeys
Easy Baby Cardigan
Bitty Cabled Cardigan

November – 1 baby cardigan, 2 scarves, 2 shawls, 2 hats 
Garter Yoke Baby Sweater
Easter Egg Honeycomb Scarf
Shoulder Bling
Traveling Woman
Jayne Hat
Turn a Square Saints Hat

December – 1 scarf, 2 mitts, 2 toys, 1 adult sweater
Cranberry Garter Stitch scarf
Sweet Fern Mitts
LSU Mitts
 Tiny Santa
Curtis elf scarf
Featherweight Cardigan WM lace

Next time I'm going to address all of the WIPs I have.  Remember when I made my true confession last year?  Well it's time to revisit that & my "resolutions" for 2011 to see how I did.  I hope 2011 was good to you & 2012 brings you nothing but joy & happiness.  I'm truly blessed and can't really complain.