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2014 Knitting Plans: year-end wrap-up

Knitting

  1. Knit myself 1-2 sweaters.
    Well, I sorta finished two: my first CustomFit sweater and Hitofude. Unfortunately, neither fit. Sigh. For the CustomFit sweater, the hem is pretty floaty, which may be partly due to a change in my measurements and partly due to not paying close enough attention to the numbers CustomFit spit out before generating my pattern. Whomp. Hitofude is both too wide and too short, only the latter of which is my fault. So, it looks like I’ll be having to rip both of those back. Not ideal, but at least I bound them off?
  2. Knit socks, at least 6 pairs for me.
    Eight pairs total, five for me. I have another pair half-finished.
  3. Knit all 4 M Club patterns.
    I finished the first three, but ran out of steam before getting to the fourth.
  4. Knit at least 2 blankets (1 for me).
    Chrysanthemum is still at 70% done. Fail on this one.
  5. Try to not have too many WIPs.
    I have four right now, plus the two sweaters I need to fix.
  6. Knit some Xmas decorations.
    Knit my nephew a little snowman, but that’s all. Nothing for me.

Yarn

  1. Only buy yarn that is cast on right away.
    Aside from Stitches Midwest, I haven’t bought anything that I didn’t cast on. Pretty surprising!
  2. Stop buying yarn online.
    Haven’t bought any at all since the middle of the year.
  3. Get more self-striping sock yarn.
    Got two more skeins since my mid-year update.
  4. Destash some stuff.
    Nope.
  5. Work with scraps.
    Nope.
  6. Use my handspun.
    Nope.

Spinning

I’m not even going to post what my goals were because I haven’t spun at all.

Etc.

  1. Make at least 2 more quilts.
    Nope.
  2. Sew a small project or two.
    Nope.
  3. Publish a knitting pattern.
    Nope.

On the knitting front, things went sort of OK. Maybe if I keep knitting sweaters I’ll eventually have better luck? I’m also pretty happy with getting my yarn buying under control.  Spinning and other types of crafting didn’t really happen. I think my plans for next year will be a little less extensive.

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2014 Knitting Plans: mid-year update

Knitting

  1. Knit myself 1-2 sweaters.
    Finished knitting one (my first CustomFit sweater). I bought buttons this weekend, so I’ll be sewing those on and blocking the button band soon.
    I have plans to knit Dalriada next using some Rowan Calmer I’ve had in my stash since 2008. I’ve already swatched, so I just need to decide which size to knit and whether I need to make any changes.
  2. Knit socks, at least 6 pairs for me.
    Five pairs total, and four of those were for me.
  3. Knit all 4 M Club patterns.
    The first two are completed. Clue #4 for the third one (Magia) comes out tomorrow, but I only have clue #1 complete. I’m working on something for Knit Picks, so I probably won’t get back to Magia until that’s finished.
  4. Knit at least 2 blankets (1 for me).
    Chrysanthemum is still only 70% done, but I’ve had a lot of things keeping me busy. I’m hoping I’ll want to knit blankets more once Fall rolls around.
  5. Try to not have too many WIPs.
    I only have four WIPs right now, so I’m happy with that.
  6. Knit some Xmas decorations.
    I haven’t thought about this at all since my last check in. Ha.

Yarn

  1. Only buy yarn that is cast on right away.
    I haven’t done as well on this since my last update. I think I’ll be able to make a better go at it after Stitches Midwest next month. I think I’ve only gotten two yarns since the end of March that I don’t have specific projects lines up from.
  2. Stop buying yarn online.
    I had a credit at Jimmy Beans Wool, so I bought a couple of skeins to knit a Monster Face Hat. I also tossed three skeins of (clearance) yarn into a Knit Picks order to get free shipping, but I have that lined up to knit a Rib Warmer.
  3. Get more self-striping sock yarn.
    I will keep my eyes peeled for some at Stitches this year.
  4. Destash some stuff.
    Still no sales.
  5. Work with scraps.
    Still no. Been too busy with larger projects.
  6. Use my handspun.
    No.

Spinning

  1. Spin.
    Still haven’t spun at all.
  2. Reduce fiber stash (by spinning).
    Nope.
  3. Don’t buy fiber.
    I’m still doing well on this!
  4. Use my spindles.
    Nope.

Etc.

  1. Make at least 2 more quilts.
    Meh. I haven’t felt like sewing or planning for a quilt at all.
  2. Sew a small project or two.
    Nope. My crafty room still need to be cleaned, too.
  3. Publish a knitting pattern.
    Nope.

Well, I definitely haven’t done as well with yarn buying since my last update, but I’m kinda OK with that. I’m mostly just happy that I’m still knitting a lot and haven’t gone off the deep end buying yarn. Wish me luck at Stitches!

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2014 Knitting Plans: update

I decided it was time to see how my plans for this year were going so far.

Knitting

  1. Knit myself 1-2 sweaters.
    Nope. Haven’t even started one. I think swatching and starting on a sweater should be my goal for June.
  2. Knit socks, at least 6 pairs for me.
    Four pairs so far, with three of those being for me!
  3. Knit all 4 M Club patterns.
    On track: 2 down, 2 to go.
  4. Knit at least 2 blankets (1 for me).
    Still plugging away at Chrysanthemum, which I started in November. It’s about 70% done, if I’m planning on using up all of the yarn.
  5. Try to not have too many WIPs.
    Hmm…there a few things from last year (and some earlier than that) that are just sort of hanging out. My real I’m-working-on-this-at-least-once-a-week projects usually number no more than 3, which is good.
  6. Knit some Xmas decorations.
    I need to reassess what I want to do as far as this goes, since I started a couple of things that I think I may frog.

Yarn

  1. Only buy yarn that is cast on right away.
    So far this year, I’ve had 22 new yarns come my way: 10 that I purchased and have already completed the projects, 4 from the M Club (2 used), 3 from the Sunnydale Yarn Club, 2 that I won from the UILI contest on Stash and Burn, 2 superwash yarns I bought for baby knits, and 1 gift.
  2. Stop buying yarn online.
    I made an order for the Monster Mobile and got a couple of balls for a baby sweater,  but haven’t ordered any other yarn online this year.
  3. Get more self-striping sock yarn.
    Came up empty at YarnCon, but that may be my next purchase from Windy Knitty.
  4. Destash some stuff.
    I tossed some stuff on my trade/sell page on Ravelry, but haven’t gotten any nibbles yet.
  5. Work with scraps.
    Nope, but I’m thinking of using my Cascade Heritage leftovers to make Vivid.
  6. Use my handspun.
    Nope.

Spinning

  1. Spin.
    Nope! I think I need a plan some concrete goals.
  2. Reduce fiber stash (by spinning).
    Obviously not. I’m contemplating possible selling some.
  3. Don’t buy fiber.
    At least I’m not buying any fiber!
  4. Use my spindles.
    Nope.

Etc.

  1. Make at least 2 more quilts.
    I have plans for one and probably most of the fabric I need for it, too.
  2. Sew a small project or two.
    I haven’t used my sewing machine in forever. I need to clean my crafty room.
  3. Publish a knitting pattern.
    Nope. I’ve been really busy knitting, but not coming up with ideas of my own, really.

Not too bad. If I could make some specific plans for my UFOs, spinning/fiber, and sewing, I’d probably be able to get on track. Luckily, I’ve been knitting up a storm (and not buying much), so that is going really well. Hurrah!

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2014 Knitting (and Other) Plans

Inspired by a few knitting friends, I’m going to lay out my plans for 2014.

Since this summer will be my 10th knitting anniversary, I want to make sure I push myself a bit more this year instead of just doing relatively simple projects that don’t require much attention to sizing. Hopefully, my knitting goals sort of bear that out.

Knitting

  1. Knit myself some sweaters. I haven’t knit one since 2011 and that is just ridiculous. I think part of the problem may be knitting with worsted weight (or thicker) yarn, so I’m going to use thinner yarns. I would like to knit myself at least two sweaters this year, but more would be great, too.
  2. Knit socks. I’ve been doing a pretty good job having socks on the needles, so I’d like to keep up that momentum. I’m aiming for six pairs for myself this year, but will ideally knit more.
  3. Knit all four patterns from the M Club by Laura Nelkin. I joined this club in a fit of “if I’m knitting so much stuff so often, why can’t I join a yarn/pattern club,” but I need to actuallywork on the projects. I think they might end up being good gift knits, so we’ll see what happens with the FOs. The important thing for me is the use the yarn and knit up the patterns as they come up so that it doesn’t become a burden.
  4. Knit blankets. I’d like to knit at least two blankets this year, with at least one of those being for myself. I have one on the needles right now, so that’s underway.
  5. Keep down the number of WIPs. I’m typically pretty good at this, but did cast on for a couple of things last month that died out pretty much instantly. Tsk, tsk.
  6. Knit some Christmas decorations. I already cast on for a little Advent calendar garland, but didn’t finish it for this Christmas. I can definitely get that done in a few days, maybe next November, and have something cute and handmade to hang up for Christmas. I’d also like to buy (or make) a set of boxes or drawers that I can fill with little handknit items to hang on the tree. This yarn, I added some of the tiny toys I’ve made (including a hot dog, an alien, and a stegosaurus) and they looked super cute, so I’d need to knit up some more of those to fill up the calendar.

Yarn

  1. Only buy yarn that will be cast on immediately, or as close to immediately as possible. I’ve actually been doing pretty well at this, but a Knit Picks order kinda messed that up. Ha. If I’m not going to cast on in the next week, I can hold off on buying the yarn. In fact, I can’t even think of any exceptions to this.
  2. Stop buying yarn online. Related to my first yarn-related goal, I definitely need to abstain from buying yarn, especially yarn for multiple projects, online. First off, it’s hard for me to know if I’ll like a yarn if I haven’t knit with it before, so I sometimes end up with yarn that isn’t really what I’m looking for. The other problem is that I feel like I need to order more yarn online, either to get free shipping or justify the shipping I am paying. That does not result in me making good yarn-purchasing decisions.
  3. Obtain more self-striping yarn. If I feel like I Must Buy Yarn, I should definitely just grab a skein of self-striping sock yarn. I’ve knit two pairs of simple (plain stockinette and Jaywalkers) socks, and they’re really satisfying projects that I can work on when I’m distracted or on the bus. I have a enough to make five pairs of socks right now, so I’ll probably cap this at seven self-striping yarns in my stash total at any given time.
  4. Destash some stuff. I have a few larger quantities of yarn that I can’t see myself knitting into a sweater or blanket. I’d like to sell those and use the money to fund buying yarn I actually want to knit into larger projects, especially sweaters.
  5. Work with scraps. Over one-third of the entries in my stash are less than a skein, mostly of fingering- or worsted-weight, left over from various projects. I can definitely use them for small and large toy-like projects, but may need to find something larger (a blanket?) to toss them into.
  6. Do something with my handspun. I need to either knit it or give it away instead of just holding onto it because I made it. Just because I like spinning certain colors or fibers doesn’t mean I’ll like knitting with them.

Spinning

  1. Spin. I know that sounds silly, but I am a very inconsistent spinner; I can go months without touching my wheel. I don’t know if I need to set aside an evening week or have a goal of so many hours per month, but I definitely need to do something.
  2. Whittle down my fiber stash. I don’t have any fiber that I don’t want to spin, so the only way to do this is to work on spinning more often. I have 32 fiber stash entries in Ravelry, so I’d like to spin up at least seven of those. Part of the drive for this is that I may go to Yarn School in the Spring, which would mean coming home with at least five new fibers. That’s really not allowed, since I have three bins that my fiber stash is in and it simply is not allowed to go beyond that size.
  3. Don’t buy fiber. Because seriously.
  4. Use my spindles. I have a really lovely spindle that I probably haven’t touched in at least a year. I need to have it out in a more obvious place so that I can spin on it a bit from time to time. I know I definitely have fiber on it, not to mention the locks one of my other spindles.

Etc.

  1. Make two more quilts. At least. I bought some fabric that I like and think would be great for someone in particular, so that would be one quilt. I’d also like to buy some small-scale floral prints to make myself a simple, pretty quilt for my bed.
  2. Sew a small project or two. Maybe just pillowcases. We’ll see.
  3. Publish a knitting pattern. I have a couple of ideas rattling around that I’d like to work on this year. One, in particular, could be done for spring or summer.

Ah! So many things I want to do! Luckily, they’re mostly continuing good habits or trying to establish new ones. I have an entire year ahead of me, so I can get a ton accomplished.

I’m hoping to have up a recap of 2013 in the next few days!

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Weekend Yarn Winding

wound_20131019-5

After finishing up the Dusk Till Dawn Shawlette yesterday (FO post to come!) and having some time to myself after going to the really, really great Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry today, I decided to wind some yarn for the next few things I’m planning to knit.

Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere

First up is some vacation knitting: two skeins of Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere to make the Cowboy Cowl by Pam Powers. I’ve liked this pattern for a long time and I think it’ll look pretty and autumnal in this yarn. Plus, the cashmere should make it a nice piece to have next to my skin. I’ll eventually start angsting over what buttons to use for the back, but that’s at least two weeks off.

wound_20131019-4

The gray yarn at the top of this stack is Tempted Hand Painted Prissy Grrl Sock in Moonlight. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make my grandmother Orchid Thief for Christmas, and this light gray should be a nice, classy, simple yarn. It is 437 yds, so that should be more than enough, especially considering I’m a pretty tight knitter. I had initially planned on using String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Caper Sock in Pewter, but it’s only a 400-yard skein. I’m still going back and forth on this one, especially since the Caper Sock is a far rounder, bouncier yarn, which should make the pattern pop a lot more. Decisions, decisions…

Next up is a “One of a Kind” skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock that I bought at Stitches in August to make Dalice the Dorothy Day Shawl. Since the initial pattern was pretty large and made in worsted weight yarn (and knit on US 10s), I’m moving it down to a fingering weight yarn and knitting more of a shawlette. I’ll probably knit it on US 5, so the 420 yds I have should be more than enough. I am going to cast this on tonight so that it can be my travel project until I go on vacation.

And last but not least is Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Strychnine – Gothsock in Winterberry from the December 2010 GothSocks Club. I pulled this one out randomly because, well, Christmas is coming and this is just a fun-looking yarn. I don’t have a specific plan other than making myself a pair of socks, probably something Jaywalker-ish to play with the striping. I’ll be tossing it in my suitcase next week, even though there is almost no chance I’ll have the cowboy cowl done before I get home. Haha!

Isabel and yarn cakes

Cats and yarn forever!

That’s about all for now. I should have an FO post up in the next few days and, hopefully, another one for my Color Craving shawl done soon, too. The days are getting shorter so it’s difficult to get shots in decent light, but perhaps I’ll get some Color Craving beauty shots done tomorrow. Here’s hoping!

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