My new favourite shawl! Finished just before Christmas. I was thinking of giving it to my MIL, but my Hubby insisted I keep it for myself. I am really happy he did.
Yarn: Austerman step classic
My new favourite shawl! Finished just before Christmas. I was thinking of giving it to my MIL, but my Hubby insisted I keep it for myself. I am really happy he did.
Yarn: Austerman step classic
I realized a few weeks ago that I had started to avoid the Sunday ritual of posting my YOP update. I’ve also realized that it has started making me avoid my blog and our Rav group. This is all unfortunate, since I really like blogging, and I am a group Mod. Also, I really like the idea of having my knitting goals laid out before me so I can plan things.
But sometimes even the best laid plans need to be revamped. It was almost two years ago that I realized that there were other knitters who thought that the crazy idea of a Year of Projects wasn’t that crazy, and thus the idea and the group was formed, and off we went. For a long time, it really worked for me. Then, in the last few months it stopped. I’ve actually come to hate the list a little bit, and got really bored with posting the same updates every week.
Clearly there was a huge problem. I thought about stepping down from the group. I thought about not blogging anymore. Neither of those options felt like the right option. So I created a new option. I realized that the YOP police weren’t going to break down my door if I admitted to mostly abandoning my list, and I remembered why I proposed this group at the start – to build a community that encouraged each other. And we have a great community that I still am interested in being part of.
So with that in mind, here’s my new and improved (for me) Year of Projects List inspired by my BFF and Nerd Wars. The first Sunday of each month I will post my knitting goals for the month. Some things will be off my list (as I am not removing it) and some things will not be. I won’t be posting the whole list every week, but will continue to update the page. I will still also be keeping track of what comes and goes out of my stash. I will update each week on Sundays but those posts will have a much smaller focus. Until I have more time I am also not going to worry about posting finished objects only on Fridays. If something is finished it will be posted on Sundays and if I have time during the week I will post more often.
1. Finish Mum’s Socks
2. Finish Jaywalkers
4. Barndom (this may be a stretch but I’ll give it a shot).
5. Wurm hat (I realize it doesn’t look anything like a hat now)!!
And if all that happens then I’ll hopefully finish the hood of Roam.
Balls in/Balls out
I’m looking forward to reconnecting with everyone. Hope you all have a great fibre filled week.
No finishes this week in the fibre world for me. But, I have finished some work for my next two classes so the week has still been pretty successful. And, even with being back in class and having to play catch up since I didn’t receive my access codes until four days into the classes, I have managed to find some knitting time. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m back in my own classroom teaching again or the fact that the weather is cooling off and certainly turning from summer to autumn, but I have been feeling the urge to get Roam back on the needles. The second front half is almost complete despite it’s best efforts to be a thorn in my side and forcing me to frog back about twenty rows. I am still convinced it’s going to be a disaster in the end as I firmly established here but that call of a completed cardi is becoming too much for me to ignore so it has my love again. I also may have cast on my Hubby’s sweater in a fit of startitis. The first sleeve in almost finished, (I’m using it as my swatch), and it’s going to be a lovely, warm, rather rustic sweater and so far he seems to like it.
Hope everyone has had a great fibre week.
Shawls (12 in 12)
14/38 In Progress
On My Needles
With what we all hope is a few short weeks before Widget appears in the world as pudgy little ball of wails and gurgles, I figured I had better get moving on his blanket because while the weather has again turned warm enough that a wool blanket is the last thing anyone currently needs this little boy will be appearing next month sometime and he needs something from his Auntie to welcome him into this world. So with that in mind I am tackling the last few squares of the blanket and have the wonderful notion that I will finish with a few days or weeks to spare. I do love how it is turning out and I hope it will keep his little toes and belly warm all through the upcoming Canadian winter.
Between My Pages
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, (a.k.a The Bloggess) was supposed to be vacation reading, but it didn’t make it there. I bought it a few days before we were to head out and made the mistake of reading the first page and then the next and the next and I think you can see where this is going. By the time my husband came home from work I was well over the half way mark and double over in laughter so hard that all I could do was hold the book up in the air to show him that nothing was so horribly wrong, but that I had a good reason that I couldn’t pull myself together enough to get up and give him a proper greeting. That happened a few times while reading the book (and just for the record it happened to my husband too). He did at one point have tears rolling down his face and I thought that I was going to have to track down an inhaler for him as I felt very certain he was laughing himself into an asthma attack.
Now before you all start thinking, “I need to run out and buy this book right now because I need a laugh”, please read her blog first. It may be just as easy to find Jenny offensive as it is funny and she acknowledges that with an apology in the intro of her book. She is however, unapologetic about mental illness and anxiety disorders and growing up in a very unique family. Another fan of her work looked at me and said “I wish I’d known when I was growing up it was okay to laugh at some of that stuff. It would have helped a lot knowing that didn’t make me a bad person.” And she’s right. Jenny does make it easy to laugh about things openily and loudly that not everyone would find funny. While I will admit that my high-school experience didn’t include cows “private parts” I can relate to a lot of other things in her book and personally I think she’s hysterical. Like I told her when I got to meet her a few weeks later, (I didn’t know that was going to happen when I bought the book), “you make me laugh on days when I would rather hide in my closet and shut the doors.” And, if anyone reading this has even an inkling of what depression and anxiety can do to a person, you know that’s a pretty big accomplishment.
There’s something about the start of a new year that seems to promote people to take up new challenges and push themselves to see what can be accomplished over 12 months. Here on January 2nd or 3rd next January seems like a life time away, even though we know full well that it is literally just around the corner. Optimism is high and once the cloudy fog of the New Year’s Eve party clears, it feels like the beginning of the year is a chance for all of us to start fresh, right the wrongs from the last year, and hopefully end the year better than we started it.
Knitters are no exception to this. In fact, us fibre folk are perfectly suited for this kind of behaviour. Unlike other people who say things like, “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to save more money” those of us who surround ourselves with yarn have a decided advantage in this area. Our goals are right in front of us in unknit form, taking up the entire living room closet, two baskets under the coffee table and the side table. (Maybe in your house it’s not in exactly the same places, but you understand what I’m saying. Let’s just run with it.) It stares at us, mocks us, begs for our attention, and at least for me, occasionally throws itself on the floor at my feet when I go into the closet for other things. We all have a stash. Even if you are a very new knitter, you have a stash. It’s not a dirty little secret. if you knit, you stash, and the rest of the knitting community knows it. (I understand if you don’t show your stash to non-knitters. They just wouldn’t get it.)
In my circle of friends and knitters, many of us have come to the realization that we have too much stash. I know that some of you will argue with me on that point and say that you can never have too much stash. What happens if there is a major sheep shortage in the world and then the alpaca and llamas go too? What if your furnace breaks down at three a.m. in the worst blizzard of the decade and you won’t be able to have the repair guy show up for days? You have ready-made insulation and really what else are you going to do while trapped in you unheated house waiting for your spouse to dig you out of your front door so you can go out into the frigid winter air? (You laugh, but it happens. I was seven, my dad had to go out my second story bedroom window, the furnace worked the whole time and the wood stove had lots of split trees. It took my dad and my uncle 2 hours to clear a path to the door. Then they went and dug out my aunt. I was unfortunately not a knitter at the time. What a waste.) My husband has started to refer to my stash as the Other Retirement Plan. He’s not wrong. None of this changes the original point that many of us have decided that we have too much stash and we all want to tame it. (We have one friend who is managing this wondrous feat. I need to be more like her.)
So the 12 in 2012 challenges are starting. The group of us seem to be pretty well spread out over the ranges, from completely realistic and sane to are you out of your mind? Maybe you need to have your meds changed kind of crazy. For once, I’m not in the crazy camp. (I know that’s hard to believe.) My friend Tanya over at Nonlinear Solutions is making 12 socks. Not 12 pairs, 12 socks, 6 pairs. Completely reasonable given her life and the time that she had to devote to knitting. Another friend has decided to join in the Lettuce Knit Challenge of making 12 sweaters in a year. That is still not insane owing to the decision to include sweaters of all sizes from infant to adult. My friend on the other hand is getting up there on the crazy scale as she has decided to make 12 adult sweaters since she already has all the yarn for it in her stash. Another friend is making 12 afghans. She will argue that some of them are already started and 1/3 finished. I argue that 12 afghans is still 12 afghans and that is something I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around. I’m pretty sure that she already has most of the yarn in her stash too. (All joking aside, both of these women are wonderful knitters. And while I could never imagine doing either of two challenges, they both may get it done.)
Me? I’m doing 12 shawls. There is nothing crazy about this. I knit 7 shawls last year without even thinking about it. I knit shawls the way other people knit socks or hats. I don’t do major lace work shawls. It’s just not my thing. I like some lace, but all lace makes me cry just thinking about it and I can already feel my left eye starting to twitch just at the thought of it. BTW – If you are a lace knitter, I bow down to you.
My first shawl is ready to rock. The yarn is wound, the pattern is picked, and I am doing the absolutely unthinkable and finishing the last few rows on my Flamboyan before casting this one. My other 11 shawls are picked and there has already been one change as I won a copy of the Walnut Grove pattern yesterday and I want to include it. But things are set and ready to go. I want to use as much stash as possible for this little challenge. I know I have the yarn for at least 6 of them in my stash already. I’m sure there’s more but I just haven’t paired up the rest of the patterns with yarn yet. It is part of the goal to get more balls out of the stash than in in 2012.
So here it is. My January 2012 soon to be shawl :
Yarn: MCN Sock
Colour: And Then Oz Kicked Jacob in his Delicate Girly Wolf Parts. The End.
Wish me luck.
This may be one of the most exciting creations I have had in a very long time. It is downright remarkable and I am very, very excited. (Admittedly I get excited when my husband makes me coffee or when pretty yarn gets put in my hands so I realize that I might be setting my ’causes of excitement bar’ pretty low, but I mean this is exciting.)
A few months ago my stash closet looked like this.
Finding anything was a nightmare and involved pulling stuff out and digging through all the stuff I did not pull out. There were yarnalanches almost daily and it was bad enough that even a trained Sherpa may not have been able to find their way out of the seething black hole that my yarn closet had become. Anything that went in there had a 50/50 chance of actually coming back out. It was bad enough that looking at the yarn stash started to cause anxiety for me, and I knew that something had to be done.
Unfortunately, we all know in the real world there is a huge difference between what should be done and what gets done. In my world you would be able to eat all the pizza you want without worrying about your waistline or cholesterol levels, I’d work three days a week and get paid for five because my boss would understand that the two extra knitting days a week are that important, I wouldn’t have to work out 4 days a week to still be able to wear a bikini nicely, there would be world peace, and my stash would be organized. But the days went on and nothing really changed in the real world. Pizza is still not all that good for you, the world is sadly not at peace, and my stash was still a mess.
And then one day, just over a week ago, the lights went out. Or at least some of them. You can read all about that little adventure here if you’d like. But to make a long story short we needed an electrician and he needed my fuse box which meant removing the yarn from the closet and moving it into the middle of the floor.
So for a few days my stash looked like this.
And there it sat for a few days, taunting me and sometimes literally tripping us up. And then the thought struck me. I will never, ever, barring force majeure, have my stash all over the floor and have the time to organize it properly again. So I’d better take advantage of it. I told my husband I thought it would only take a few hours and he sort of chuckled at me and said maybe a few days. I was convinced he was wrong so I opened up Rav got out my phone and set about organizing my stash both in the containers and on Ravelry. Somewhere around hour five on day one I realized that my husband was right and this was not going to be quick and that I had done nothing else all day. This is how it looked after day one.
Sometime during day two I decided that I hated everything in my stash and that I hated knitting in general. That’s when I walked away from the whole mess for a while before I did something rash like try to see how fast different fibres burn. I have to admit that when I returned I could see a difference.
So with returned vigour I attacked day three of the organizing and this is what I produced! It’s an organized stash closet with about %95 of my yarn in my Ravelry stash page. I assure you that I am currently very sane. (Check in with me again closer to Christmas. Sanity at that point is optional.) But I did hear trumpets hailing my victory and I think that the skies opened up and light shone directly onto the organized stash just to further illuminate the gloriousness that my closet now contains. Now I know where stuff is and my yarn does not leap out at my husband and myself as we walk past the closet on our way to the kitchen. It’s really rather glorious and very exciting.
With any luck my next accomplishments will be world peace and waistline-friendly pizza.
My husband’s Nan is a wonderful woman. I love her like she’s my own Grandmother and she does her very best to encourage my knitting habit. She herself is still a very active artist well into her 80’s and is a huge supporter of all handmade things. She also has a very firm belief that if you “put your thoughts out there, the Universe will hear you and provide you with what you need.” Just to clarify, she doesn’t believe that things will magically fall into your lap, but that you will be given the opportunities you need to achieve your goals. And she may be right.
For months I have been saying that I need to organize my stash. I’ve decided that the way that I have all my yarn stuffed into whatever free space is available in the part of the closet dedicated to my yarn is really disgraceful. It’s gotten to the point where having to get anything out of the closet stash is really an Odyssey worthy of Homer and something I generally try not to do when I’m home alone for fear of being lost for hours without food or water under the yarnalanche that threatens to happen at any given moment. It’s not even that I have that much yarn it’s just that the organization of said stash stopped at some point and I just started tossing things in the closet to keep the living room organized. I keep saying how much I have to organize it and I just haven’t done it yet. I know that dragging all of it out of the closet, sorting and organizing, and then putting back is going to take up a fair bit of my time. While I love spending time with my yarn, this is really not the way that I want to do it and I’ve just been putting it off and the situation has just been getting worse.
So now, I have to organize my stash. Apparently, the universe has decided that I need good kick in the pants and has thusly given it to me. We live in a 60-year-old building. Which means that in addition to having a huge amount of space (since they actually built things big enough to live in back then), we also encounter problems that you would expect from a 60-year-old building. This little universe-given solution came in the form of 1/2 our fuse box frying itself. In fact, as I sit here and type this, half of the apartment is sitting in the dark because anytime we turn anything on that draws power on that side of the apartment the fuse box hisses and crackles. We are very concerned that it will fry the rest of the box, and since our kitchen, tv, desktop computer, and AC are all still working fine, we’d really like for that not to happen. Currently, my laptop is plugged into an extension cord and getting power from the stove (it’s a really long cord), and I am lounging on our futon since sleeping in the bedroom would have meant sleeping without the fan going which would have really meant no sleep at all for either of us. (I’m kind of enjoying the futon being set up. It’s not all bad.) And this all happened on the weekend so there’s not much the super can do about it since the supply company that the building handyman deals with is closed until Monday. So we’re having a little adventure in our own place until things can be fixed.
So how is this forcing me to organize my stash? The fuse box in is the closet behind my stash and they need to replace and update the whole fuse box. I have to haul the contents of my stash out onto the floor so there is space for the electricians to work and so they don’t get their grimy hands all over my stash while they rip out part of my wall. (I am oh so very thrilled at this happening. Really.) But it has to happen, so I might as well take this opportunity to organize things. So really, Nan was right. I put a thought out there and the Universe answered my call in the most obnoxious way possible. But, now I will have an organized stash and that, in theory, should make my knitting life easier. But, that doesn’t have to happen today, ’cause the electricians aren’t coming today and I am blissfully skilled at ignoring the half stash that is already on the floor since I needed to make some room for the Super to poke around at the box. I would in fact be willing to knit the entire stash instead of putting it back in the closet but since the Universe seems to be in tune with my knitting thoughts right now I am concerned that the ceiling might collapse or the yarn will somehow fall through the floor. And that’s the story of how we will have a whole new fuse box and I will have an organized stash. Or at least a new fuse box.