Saturday, March 8, 2014

February was better... sorta

My new Grease is the Word socks
made with Biscotte & Cie Felix , in Brillantine
I told you all about my goal to NOT buy yarn until I had completed 58 workouts. Well, that plan is not quite as motivating as I had hoped.  You can see by the calendar posted above that I did better on the workout front in February than January (200% better!) But it was still pretty weak tea as far as effort goes.

As it turns out being no where near my goal didn't stop me from purchasing 660 yd of  lovely alpaca worsted weight yarn while in Ottawa last month. It wasn't a free-for-all shop session. I was controlled. I stayed focused by only choosing yarn with a specific project in mind.  This cowl has come to the top of my knitting queue these days. 

Imagine this in black, turquoise and red!
Hilton Field Cowl by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Picture courtesy of Interweave LLC
I have also started a pair of plain vanilla Valentine socks for my husband. Nothing says "I Love You" like knitting a pair of cashmere blend socks for someone who has giant feet. That's commitment folks. I have finished the first sock and have already turned the heel on the second- so he might even get them before March is through. (Just in time for it to get warmer you say. Ba Humbug, I retort. Haven't you heard? Winter is never going away this year.)  These are being made with a lovely rogue skein of Hazel Knits Entice MCN.

Here's an new addictive knit:  Linden Mittens by Jane Richmond. I love this new mitten pattern!  I could, and likely will,  knit these mittens over and over again! And as you can tell I also have a deep affection for self striping yarn too.

Almost matching mittens.
Linden Mitten by Jane Richmond
made with  String Theory Colorworks Momentum Self- Striping
 in Megallanica

Well, I had better put more effort into destashing because it seems like not buying yarn is not working so well.  Although I am trying very hard to be mindful of what I am buying and to plan projects from stash first.  I destashed 2,320 yards in February so I figure that I am still ahead in the game.

March will be another issue as I may have looked at (and maybe purchased) sock yarn on the Webs website yesterday... this will only be a problem if I can't accomplish 46 workouts by the end of the month.

That's doable, right?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Year and New Goals for 2014

I had better get my act together!
Firstly, Happy New Year, albeit about 26 days late but the sentiment still applies  Did you accomplish all your knitting goals of 2013 before the end of the year? I did alright.

Last year was a great year for knitting for me. I completed 30 projects!  I made 11 hats, 8 "pairs"* of mitts, 5 baby sweaters, 2 pairs of socks, 1 big batch of knitted facecloths, and 3 child or adult sweaters.  Totaling just about 9,000 yards of yarn knit. Not too shabby. Finishing the year I have 4 unfinished WIP.

My last year's goal of finishing 5 big and 5 small projects was more than achieved. So yeah me! Yes, I totally count socks as a big project even though the result is actually quite small.

I actively put myself out of my comfort zone by trying some more complex projects than I have completed in the past. I tried- and loved- stranded colour work. I tried- and hated- intricate lace with beading especially as a knit-along project.  We'll call that one a draw.

My favourite project was definitely my LH and RH Snowfling Mittens.  The knitting of these mittens was fun but the games we've played afterwards have been so much better! I have big plans for 2014 on this front!

RH Mitten and me goofing around at
California Adventure Park this summer.
My least successful project was Georgia's Dream in Lime.  The sweater is lovely and so was the yarn.  I even enjoyed the knitting. Putting it all together resulted in a very stretchy sweater that will never fit G properly. EVER! I really don't believe in ripping projects but I am still seriously contemplating it for this project. The yarn is too lovely- and eye searing- to waste.  I keep trying to talk myself out of it!

I still haven't decided what to do with this.
I seriously thought about how to set goals for 2014.  I have a few specific things that I would like to  complete in 2014:
  • a sweater for each member of my immediate family. (This is a pretty big goal and will involve me deciding what to do with G's sweater above.) 
  • I have one specific UFO that only needs sleeves- my Early Evening Cardigan.
  • I would also like to knit a new pair* of mittens for my sister; and
  • a couple of pairs of socks for myself.
My issue for 2013 and a go-forward goal for 2014 will be to slow the stash acquisition!  I bought A LOT of yarn last year. Seriously! About 6 years worth. Now, some of that was vacation yarn shopping, a small portion was yarn clubs, and the rest was out of control on-line shopping.  I need to get my act together and actually use the yarn I have. Although I will have to buy yarn for Scott's sweater.

So that brings me to my ultimate to-fer goal for 2014: I aspire to not buy any yarn until I have completed 50** + 8*** workouts.  I will work from my stash until then.

For those of you thinking- what does that have to do with knitting? Well, admittedly, not much. I do, however, need to work on balance of my activities and working out more will join in well with other life goals for the year. If I hustle I could be shopping again in 10 weeks or if I continue as I have gone so far it could be more than 8 months. Either way I am not lacking for projects- or yarn- until then.

What are your goals for 2014?

* For me a "pair" of mittens is not necessarily a set of two. In the circumstances of anyone playing my LH vs. RH games a pair is typically only one mitt from their designated side.
**Full disclosure- this goal was originally going to be 100 workouts but with the calendar above it is easy to see that this could take me YEARS. So I have brought it down to a still-difficult-but-achievable-if-I-just-get-off-my-ass number.
***More full disclosure I have already cheated and bought 780 yards of yarn this past weekend while travelling; thus the  extra +8 workouts as penance.