crafting goals 2017 edition

Monthly focus: at the beginning of each month I’ll put down whatever I’m currently working on and start a new pair of socks from the Rockin’ Sock Club. I’ve already paired 3-4 years of yarn with the charts and I plan to start from the oldest and move forward.

Then, once that pair is complete I’ll move on to something else. Preferably something from this list:

  • Knitting
    • Focus on and complete at least 3 WIP’s
    • Keep up with the Proverbial Yarn Club
    • Any new projects will be completed and not left to linger…

 

I’ve started out with a bang for January. My first pair of socks, Lenore, are complete and I’m fairly close to completing the Viriditas shawl from the first Proverbial Yarn Club shipment.

Here’s to a productive 2017!!

joy of knitting

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I’ve had a mixed relationship with crafting this year. In the past I was more than happy to have many many items mid progress. It was exciting to start something fresh and new whenever the whim struck me. Now? Now I feel like I have too much in certain areas of my life. And this too much is bogging me down both mentally and spatially, which is probably why the KonMari method has sparked my interest.

As you’ve probably guessed, one of these areas is my crafting paraphernalia . Skeins of yarn, cross-stitch patterns, bundles of WIP’s that may never be completed and it’s creating a sense of duty that I don’t care for.

To alleviate this unnecessary tension I have sorted and prioritized a lot of items. Many have been given away or just plain trashed over the past few years. Even with all this I still feel like I have too much. That the crafting to do list is overwhelming and it’s taking the joy out of something that I do, well, for joy.

So what’s the solution? I put all the undone items away and selected one. One that will be a joy to work. One that the final result will bring me happiness. One that will remind me why I do these things to begin with.

For now that project is Stonecrop by Jared Flood. It’s not a particularly difficult pattern, but it has just enough to keep me interested. It’s the perfect project.

I’m about midway through the 4th pattern repeat with 8 more to go and since I’ve been averaging a little over a pattern repeat a week I should have a lovely new stole within the next few months. This is exactly what I need right now…

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Here is my Ravelry project page if you want to keep up.

well laid plans

This morning I woke up with a really terrible headache. You know the kind, the kind that makes you want to crawl back into bed for a few more hours and try again later.

So for a little motivation I ran out for some of my favorite coffee and a delicious fruit danish and took some time to get some reading in.

breakfast

It totally helped* and I was back on track. Sometimes a little indulgence is exactly what I need to get going.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here, but I set up some crafty things that I want to accomplish for May, because lists are what get me through life the day.

For May
Finish Roadside Attraction socks
* Weave in ends and block the Rockefeller shawl
* Finish the white on santa’s beard
* Finish 1 Fiddlehead Mitten
* Finish 2 preemie hats
* Cast on one new project

Yesterday I finished up the toe of my second Roadside Attraction sock, wove in the ends, and then wore them out for a bit. Love these socks so so much!

sock1

I really love the simple design. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making another pair of these. Maybe with a little longer leg next time.

sock2

Since the socks are done I’ve started back on santa’s beard. Seriously… so much white. After the white is done I’ll need to add the off-white, but for now I’m going to focus on the pure white bits.

Progress.

santa1

 I’m fairly confident that I can get these things done this month**. I’ve even calculated how many ends their are to weave in on the shawl (48) and how many days left in the month (23) so that I’ll know how many need to be done each day (2.09). I’m nothing if not a planner…
 
* This post is brought to you by the magical danish and awesome latte.
** Or at least 4 out of 6… that’s not bad, right?

knits on friday

Public service announcement: please read!
Craft on friday will now be knits on friday until further notice. I plan to spend more time being bi-craftual so I think knitting and cross-stitch deserve their own personal space on the blog. All cross-stitch content will now be posted to on Tuesdays.

And now back to our semi regular program…

One of my knitting goals for this year is to use or destash more yarn than I bring in. To that end I’ve been paying more attention to what I buy and trying to limit it to things I want to knit in the near future and not just buying yarn cause it’s pretty. Because honestly, so much of it is pretty and that’s what got me here in the first place.

I did buy yarn while I was in Charlotte a few weeks ago. This gorgeous green will be a Simurgh shawl. I plan on starting it after I get a few things finished up, but I’m already imagining how beautiful it will be.

green

I also may have completely caved on the Rockin’ Sock Club that, for the past two years, I’ve sworn to forego and then made the mistake of looking at the first shipment. Damn you Blue Moon for having such amazing yarn!

In my defense I have vowed to knit all six skeins that will be arriving this year. I’ve already caked this one up and it’s ready to go… January’s shipment of Portland Plaid for the win!

STR1

But before I start that I’ll be knitting up a few preemie hats. Good friends of mine recently had twins who were born premature and it made me think about all those little ones that need toasty heads to stay healthy. It may also help me to use up all those little bits and bobs of yarn that I wasn’t sure what to do with. As far as I’m concerned it’s a win/win.

Preemie hat the first. Seriously tiny.

preemie

I did manage to complete the Beet socks and I plan on knitting the leftover yardage into another preemie hat. Look at all that yarn being used up!

beets

The plan now is to get another preemie hat on the needles and then get going on that gorgeous new Portland Plaid. See ya next week!

 

crafty friday

Oh my gosh! The past two weeks have been part hectic and part recovery from the hectic. This was partially due to my brother-in-law getting married and we spent a week in Charlotte visiting so many people plus all the wedding shenanigans. Good times!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled Friday of crafty goodness…

With everything settled I can finally show you a picture of my not so secret project aka gift for the bride to be.

shawl1It turned out beautifully! The pattern is Meira and was a lovely knit. I’m really thinking about making one for myself.

Knitting seems to be in my blood lately. Not only did I whirl through the shawl, but I’ve completed one sock. You heard me… one sock! I’ve cast on for the second one so hopefully I’ll have a pair shortly.

Sock the first.

sock2

With all the knitting I’ve been really neglecting Santa. I think I needed a bit of a hiatus from him and knitting has filled in that gap nicely. Once I finish up the second sock I’ll get back to making him a priority, but honestly, that white beard is leaving me a little unexcited. So.much.white.

 

craft on friday

Short post this week and *gasp* no pictures. This turn of events brought to you by 1 part not much to show and 2 parts I just don’t feel like taking pictures at the moment. Oh yeah, and it’s Friday, duh.

Here’s the 411 on my current crafting situation:

  • I’m super close to finishing up the not so secret project, so close! No more pictures until it’s done and the recipient has a moment to model it.
  • The zombie sock (the first) is almost done as well. Their is only a bit left for the leg and then we’re on to sock the second!
  • Oh Santa… you were the whole reason I started posting craft on Friday and you have been so sorely neglected. But next week I will have the time, but let’s  not talk about the fact that I’ll be out of town again the following week. I’ll have to seriously consider taking you with me…

craft on Friday

I know I only post here once a week (for now, I really have so many things I want to talk about with you…), but I was so close to missing it again. I have a good excuse, maybe, I’m on the east coast visiting family and we’re having a great time painting VanGogh’s and spending time together. I’ll talk more about that another time, it was so much fun, but for now I want to remind everyone to spend time with those you love. Write notes, send a text, make a call, visit. Do it, it’s important.

Anyway, crafting.
I’m still working on my not so secret project. I haven’t worked on it since I left on Tuesday cause I started on the lace section and I’ve got to pay attention. Distractions are not OK for this knitting and distractions abound here. A bit of the lace panel for your viewing pleasure.

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It’s really a joy to knit and I can’t wait to show you the whole piece. My plan is to have it completed within the next couple of weeks, maybe…

In other knitting news I’ve made some progress on the vanilla sock. I turned the heel on the plane and have started the leg.

sock

It’s coming along and I’m thinking I might be able to start the second sock before I leave here on Tuesday, maybe…

I don’t have any updates on Santa because
a) I’ve been working on the not so secret project
b) I’m on the other side of the country and couldn’t take a picture of it even if I wanted to

But I can show you this cross-stitch project that I finished at the end of last year and brought with me as a gift for my sister. This is the Big Zipper by Bent Creek. It’s humongous. For scale and if you have good eyes you can see the needle at the bottom middle.

bigzipper

Tomorrow we’re taking it to be framed. I’m excited to see it truly complete.

Well, it’s midnight here, but I’m fairly certain I have my settings set for the west coast and it will look like I really did post this on Friday, maybe.

craft on friday

Back to our regularly scheduled Friday update. Of course, I’m running late. Running late in my real life so I’ve got to make this quick!

Through the power of FOCUS I was able to get all the things done in my regular daily life so that I had extra time to get this little bear a face. So cute!

Santa - week 5
Santa – week 5

One thing I’ve been avoiding is using the gold metallic thread. It’s been ages since I’ve stitched with this type of thread, but I remember it being a bear (haha, see what I did there?). Anyway, my memory, it is correct. The stitches aren’t laying evenly and I was destroying the ends of the thread by merely pulling it through the fabric. Such a pain!

You can see the unevenness of the stitches. Not acceptable.

gold

Then I remembered this great product called Thread Heaven that I used to use every time a metallic thread was involved. It’s fantastic! And I tore this place apart looking for it to no avail. It seems that I must get more of this before continuing with this aspect of the piece. Their’s plenty of other things to work on for the time being, though, I was sorta in the mood to get some of the gold done to shine it up a little.

Before I run, here is an update on my secret, not so secret project. At this point I’m almost done with the stockinette portion and most likely I’ll be starting on the lace sometime tomorrow. I’m beginning to believe I may, in fact, complete this project on time. Especially since I’ll be on a 4-5 hour flight next week. So much knitting time to look forward to…

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squirrel!

So, I’m terribly obsessed with my current cross-stitch project. It’s all I can think about. That is until yesterday when I decided that a friend of mine needed a hand knit and she needs it like right now. Or more realistically, soon, very very soon.

What does that mean? That means I spent time (so much time) yesterday perusing Ravelry to find the perfect pattern. And I did. I found it. Only one teensy tiny problem. My LYS did not have the yarn I needed. Or more accurately they didn’t have the color I wanted in the exact weight of yarn I was looking for. What to do now? Well, buy yarn in the right color (this is what was driving this particular obsession, go with it) and then spend more time on Ravelry finding the right pattern for this particular yarn, of course.

Behold… the perfect yarn!
MadelineTosh Pashmina in Bloomsbury for those who would like to know.

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I’m still waffling on the pattern. I mean, I found one that would be so lovely. And then there’s a second one that would be beautiful. Yeah, I’m waffling. The bottom line though is that I have to cast on by tomorrow. I have to make a decision. There is so little time…

Not sure how much of this I’m going to post about this in the coming weeks, since I’m not sure if she reads here or not. I may post progress pictures as a way to keep myself in check though. I know you guys will ask me how it’s working out, right? I guess what I’m saying is that I may need some accountability so I don’t slide back into my other project. You know, the one I’m obsessed with? The one I’m supposed to be posting about on a weekly basis? Maybe I’ll take a short hiatus on that until this is done. Maybe…

craft on Friday

Did you notice? I skipped a week.

I know… once a week is too much maybe? Probably not, but by the time I remembered (need to remind myself that the calendar is my friend…) it was Saturday, then I was busy, and then it was Monday, and then I thought it was too late. Was it?

Anyway, it may not show, but I’ve been busy working on Santa. Pretty much exclusively to all other crafty things. Here is the missing week 3 photo. More bear.

Santa - week 3
Santa – week 3

I’m pretty determined to get that little bears face done. I’m realizing that even though I’m getting most of my tasks done from day to day I seem to be missing  time* that would be more conducive to cross-stitching. I’m sorting that out. Look to next week for a completed bear face. Pressure. I need it.

Santa - week 4
Santa – week 4

I have been knitting, a little. On the bus mostly, which isn’t often.

I was thinking about this yesterday and how I was feeling really guilty. But honestly, right now I’m so into this Santa that it seems a chore to knit. Crafting shouldn’t be a chore. Obvious. So I knit on this sock when I’m bussing and when I’m home I cross-stich guilt free. Until the knitting bug bites again, which we all know it will. Obvious.

So here is my bus knitting. Great yarn and someday it will be an amazing pair of socks…

zombie_sock

 

*I’m looking at you CastleVille, Candy Crush, and various other clickety click games.