What a year it has been

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to consign most of 2016 and all of 2017 to the history books. Suffice it to say that I am not happy about what has taken place in the United States, the unbridled id residing in our nation's House and his enablers in the US Congress. I haven't wanted to write about it, and I still don't, not really, but I have been inspired by all those who have crafted their way through the resistance.

At the beginning of 2017, my Facebook profile image was:

Madame DeFarge knitting at the foot of the guillotine

Madame DeFarge, one of Charles Dickens's most memorable characters, knitting the names of all the aristocrats she plans to send to Madame Guillotine.  I channel her righteous anger as I knit pussyhats and welcome blankets and plot the (non-violent) downfall (via democratic elections) of right-wing politicians, hoping for a (metaphorical) bloodbath in our nation's capital in 2018. 

Yes, I'm just a little bit angry. Just a tiny bit. Time to pick up the needles and make things happen. 

Organizing favorites and cleaning up my queue

Thursday, March 10, 2016

One of my goals for my knitting life is to get my Ravelry notebook organized so I can use the database features Rav offers more efficiently. I've had a bad habit of just favoriting or queueing everything without thought, so over the past few weeks, I've spent some time cleaning up my favorites and my queue. Let's start with the queue. Until very recently, my practice was to just save patterns I liked to my queue. Maybe I would knit them someday, maybe not. When I started my organization project, I decided that my queue would strictly be for projects that I've committed to make. So today my queue looks like this:

That's it, only two items, one baby sweater and a sweater for myself. I am committed to making both of these items. That doesn't mean that the order never changes - I need a birthday gift for a baby next month, so I've put that ahead of Acorn Trails. Moreover, I may just go ahead and cast on projects that never make the queue. The queue just means that I *will* make the item in question.

I am a lot less discriminating about what I add to my favorites, but I have been using the "bundles" feature to keep them organized. Everything I favorite goes into a bundle:

I don't take items out of favorites, even if I've made them (like Accola) or have them on my needles (Leaves of Grass).

I wish that Rav would update the layout of the projects page to allow for similar organization and make it more image-centric than the current database. What do you think?

Knitting Goals for 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Happy 2016! I hope everyone reading this from the Eastern US has weathered the storm and spent the weekend cozily knitting.

This year, I plan to be more thoughtful about what projects I take on. Inspired by Slow Fashion October, I want to add strategically to my wardrobe as well as tackle projects that offer challenging techniques, I've cleaned up my Ravelry queue and organized my favorites (which I'll talk about in a future post.) Here are some of the things that I definitely want to accomplish this year:

Pi Shawl: 

I picked Leaves of Grass by Jared Flood for this project, which is currently on my needles. I picked a lovely light green color and am looking forward to adding this to my spring/summer wardrobe.

Another project currently on the (teeny-tiny size 1) needles. I'm making I'm using stash yarn. 
These are Lucy Neatby's Smocked Guernsey Socks, offered for free on Craftsy as part of a three-pattern knitalong.  I have tiny 9" circulars for this one, but I think if I make more socks, I'm going to try the two at a time method.

Garment #1: Skirt :

I've had the Lanesplitter Skirt in my Ravelry queue forever.  I'm aiming to finish it in time to wear it this year. This looks like a pretty quick knit, and it's very flattering on a variety of body types.

Garment #2: Cardigan 

The cardigan I plan to make  one is Acorn Trails, which has a lovely cabled pattern to make the knitting more interesting but spaces of stockinette for the shaping. 

Design:  Convertible Mittens

I'm working on a pair of convertible mittens that I'd like to write up the pattern for and prepare it for release. 

Design: Lace Stole

I still have a skein of Swan's Island Natural Colors Merino that I want to use for something I design myself. 

2015 - What I've FINISHED - and what I didn't.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Looking at my Ravelry projects list, I noticed a few things about my finished projects list.  For one thing, there aren't very many of them. Between January 1, 2015 and today, I've only finished 5 projects. To be fair, one of them, Life Cycle, was a very long project. Plus I lost a good month or two of knitting time to my nerve injury in the Spring.

But the main thing I noticed is that all my projects were knit for someone else, either as a gift or a custom project. That needs to change in 2016. I'll still continue to knit for the people I love, but I need to make sure that at least some of my projects are for me.

(Wait, I lie! I did finish something for me, but I started it in 2014. That's my Custom-Fit scoop neck T. I finished it and I wear it.)

I've decided that I am finished with Mystery Knit-alongs. I did two this year, and the first wasn't a style I ended up liking. The second, I do like the pattern, but I bought the yarn with a specific person in mind and we have had a falling out, so now I have an almost-finished cowl in a color that isn't me that has an unpleasant association. Not sure what to do with it, other than stick it in a bag. Maybe give it away to someone else.

I'm also finished, at least for next year, with joining the official One Little Word project. Not only did I not finish my album, I didn't even start it. But I am going to choose a word to focus on for 2016.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. For those of us who are dealing with any kind of stress this Thanksgiving, I offer this wonderful guided meditation to help you deal with it with humor. Warning, it contains adult language so don't share with the kiddy table, but it's a great mantra for when things are stressful or hard. Namaste.

I'm also setting the blog up on Bloglovin' which means I have to add the following:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, or just a good Thursday if you're not in the US.

Falling Bobbles

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I love the Purl Bee and Purl Soho. On my last trip to New York I went out of my way to make a pilgrimage to the store, and if I didn’t have my son with me I would have stayed for hours. I love their aesthetic of simple, sophisticated patterns that are created out of beautiful materials, and if I ever win the lottery, I will be buying the $780 kit to crochet Bear’s Rainbow Blanket knit from Koigu Yarn, even though I rarely crochet.  Unfortunately, I have not won the lottery, so while I have knit several Purl Soho patterns, I have not often made them with their suggested yarn, much as I would love to.

Their latest pattern, Falling Bobbles, is a perfect example of their aesthetic. Simple, luscious, and pretty easy to knit. I really wanted to make it, but their suggested yarn requires  9 skeins at $24.50 each plus shipping. So, I ordered my go-to home dec bulky yarn, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick,  and ordered 9 skeins on sale for $40 including shipping. It’s soft and wonderful, plus it’s washable.

I’m debating who to give it to. I have two lovely elderly ladies in my life, my dad’s sister and my mother-in-law.  It depends on how long it takes me to knit, and if I feel I can finish Meta in time.

Pre-Thanksgiving Special!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Just in time for Holiday knitting, I'm running a special at my Ravelry store. Buy any two of my cowl patterns and get the third FREE! Use the coupon code 2FER at checkout. 

Melody's Cowl

Mossy Rib Cowl

Checkered Moebius