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

Things I need to FINISH

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015 is "FINISH."  This word is appropriate for me because I like to start things. Lots of things. But finishing them is quite another matter. And now that the year is almost finished, and I haven't done much work on the OWL album (read “none”), I want to take stock of what I absolutely need to finish by the end of the year. 
I had so many knitting plans for this year. However, like all best laid plans, mine went awry. It always seems that when I set goals and make plan, something happens to thwart them. In the late spring, I began getting severe pain in my right wrist and arm, making me think I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome. That put me off my knitting for over a month, and I spent the summer playing catch up. Because nothing succeeds like a deadline, I was able to bust out the two projects I had to finish in a certain time frame. 
Probably the longest running WIP I have going right now is my Custom-Fit short-sleeve scoop neck sweater, knit in red Cascade Ultra  Pima cotton.The knitting’s been finished for ages, but the actual finishing was giving me fits. The set-in sleeves look better than most of the other sweaters I've made, but that’s not saying much. It’s wearable, though.  I still need to finish the hem. I chose a folded hem rather than an edging - which I now regret, because I have to hand sew the hem to make the garment wearable. I’ll have more to say about this later, but I think this is my last attempt at a sewn set-in sleeve. Once I get this sewn, I think this sweater will become a staple in my wardrobe.

I realized that I won't be able to get my Meta shawl finished in time for my aunt's birthday in early November, so I made a one-skein scarf with some stash Malabrigo Silky Merino in a hot pink on big needles that I should finish in plenty of time. Meta has now been postponed until Christmas
I put my Circo cowl on hold as well, but only because I need to finish the scarf first. This one isn't due until Christmas.

I started a pair of gloves, knit on size 1.5 needles, thinking they would make a Christmas present for my nephew who specifically asked for gloves. What was I thinking? It took forever just to do the cuff. So those are put aside. I saw some really cool mittens (along with a collection of 1940s knitting patterns) on the Victoria and Albert Museum website, but they also call for a size 13 UK needle which is a US size 1. I just don’t have the time or the patience for that. But I saw a cool adaptation knit in a larger gauge, using Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns for the math. I have taken that book out of the library a lot, so decided to buy my own copy. I thought I had some worsted stash yarn that would make great mittens in a bigger gauge, but it seems that I have single skeins, and no one-handed people to knit for, so back to the store I go.  They shouldn’t take too long to knit up and I think I can make at least 3 or 4 pairs by Christmas. Maybe I’ll throw in a pair for the mitten tree at Church - I can try a kids size first and get a pair out of one of those skeins. 
Finally, I’m going to meet Baby C  at Thanksgiving, and I just have to finish sewing up my little pink cardigan for her.