What is my next oldest WIP?

Because I finished this one!  *cough* I finished in July, but let’s ignore that for right now.

Bonus: I won at yarn chicken.

I’ve probably had this yarn for over 20 years and I started the blanket almost 10 years ago. It feels great to have this one done.

The yarn had Sprouse Reitz stickers on it, and the last time I shopped at one was at least 35 years ago in Ft. Bragg. I vaguely remember purchasing this yarn at a Fred Meyers or K-Mart and it was in a clearance bin. The clearance sticker says .84! Which means I obtained the yarn after I moved to Utah and before the Fred Meyers closed.

So, the yarn was nigh unto ‘vintage’ by the time I started the blanket. I bought the yarn for the color and it was pretty nice to crochet with. It is Lion Brand Jiffy and had a fuzzy halo to it, but it wasn’t splitty and the work went fast. Well, fast while I was working on it, not so much when my ADHD had me wandering off to do something else.

I wonder what my next oldest project is. I know for sure that I have older yarn but it’s sitting safely in a bin waiting for inspiration to strike.

A Granny Stripe Or Two

I started a granny stripe afghan. Okay, I started two.

I first saw one of these on a podcast (Workshop Girls, sadly gone), and I wondered how I had missed such a fabulous thing. I knew I needed to have one. I have a deep and abiding love for a granny square and I know I will love the granny stripe just as much.

I have many afghan WIPs but Granny Startitis would not be denied.

Besides, I had this yarn in my stash and I didn’t really know what to do with it.  The blanket on the bottom is made with Red Heart in Gray Heather and Blacklight. I loved the Blacklight colorway on the skein, but every time I tried to make something it never looked right.  Mixed in with rows of gray makes it fabulous.

The one on the top is Vanna’s Choice leftover from other projects with new skeins of gray to balance out the colors that don’t look so great together. I’m determined to use it all up.

I try to keep one of these projects under my desk so that I’ll put in a shell or two during any homework breaks I want to take.

The Dining Room Has Been Reclaimed

AKA – What I did during my summer vacation.

When a kid moves out, you might have extra room. If enough kids move out, you really might have an extra room. As it happens, I did.

The dining room went from this:

to this:

The Wall Of Yarn ™ moved into the spare bedroom over the summer.

I bought adjustable shelves. This allows me to get into a tub at the bottom with out moving ALL of the tubs above it. Don’t you just love it when your yarn is easy to get to?

I created a cutting table out of an IKEA desktop and cube storage shelves from Target. This doesn’t exactly translate into having the sewing station completely set up, but there is a functional ball winder.  All the books from the dining room/craft room have also been moved.  I still have to figure out the best way to store the WIPs.  Another kid is moving out soon, so some things that ended up in the craft room closet will go in what is going to become a home office.  Once that happens, I’ll decide if I want my desk to stay where it is, or go into the home office with David’s desk.  One (or both) of the two rooms will have a daybed put in so we can have a guest room again.  It makes me wonder how we managed all of this in the townhouse with more people.  And then I remember, we only had two of the seven living with us full-time. It wasn’t until we moved that we got another of mine and two of David’s as well. We no longer have people sharing bedrooms, so it feels like we don’t have enough rooms, when in fact we have more than enough.

Other things that happened over the summer:

David’s birthday:  He’s a Star Wars fan.

Stanley’s wedding:

Isn’t my new daughter-in-law, Brittanie just too gorgeous for words?  Chynna was sick so I had to hustle her out of there just after the ceremony so I don’t have more pictures of the happy couple.  I seriously wish I had gotten a picture of her shoes.

Groomsmen, Stefan, Tim, a guy I don’t know, Joshua, another guy I don’t know, and Stuart.

Eliza, Joshua, and Stuart.  They’re darling.

Chynna and I made a few escapes to the mountains to walk, craft in nature, and get out of the city. If you are familiar with this area, you know that escaping to the mountains is just a few minutes drive away. I love this part of living in Utah.

And a mildly successful garden tower:

I got this for David for Father’s Day and it’s been a fun experiment.

Sock Mania Update

I’ve added to the Sock Mania pile. If “Sock Mania” is trademarked or copyrighted or something, we’ll just call this “In Which Kimberly Has Cold Feet And Wants To Get Over Her Fear of Knitting Sock Heels.”

Why, yes, that IS seven sock projects, plus one that is about to be started. I like to get socks to the heel sections and then knit all the heels because heels freak me out. Knowing me, I have another one stashed, lost among the WIPs that I’ve forgotten about.

By the way, I’m supposed to be doing homework, so naturally I’m goofing off.  I’m looking at the Internet. I’m organizing fabric. I’m making labels for the craft room.

Because, look! A purple label maker! I’m looking at more fabric, beads, nail stamping stuff and I really, seriously need to not be shopping and doing homework.

But… socks.

What was I thinking?

I went back to school.

It was great. It was hard. I loved it.

Someday, I’m going to appreciate that it wasn’t super easy. I’d just about given up on ever finishing my computer science degree. The thought would occur to me to try again every fall. Every fall, I would remember the many times I tried before and agonize for all the things I let stand in my way. Working full-time, raising children, limited resources, an un-supportive first spouse, I’m too old to learn, all came together and at some point I just gave up and said “I shall try again later”. The years came and went and so many doubts plagued me. Why should I bother? What will I use it for? It’s not going to make a difference in my career. The mommy tax was too high, I’m too old, I’m too out of shape, and so on. Still, my unfinished degree haunted me. Year after year, the thought would not go away that I regretted not finishing. I knew I could get around almost anything, but the idea that old dogs don’t learn new tricks seemed to be the thing that stopped me in my tracks.

Then, I ran across an article saying that it wasn’t true. There wasn’t any hard evidence that older people couldn’t learn new things.

I now had a supportive spouse, I now had resources, my children were grown, and with reading that article my last mental obstacle vanished. I enrolled in college with my two youngest children and we all went together.  They had been going for a little while already and my oldest has graduated.

I loved it. I got good grades. I may have cried a little. Okay, I cried a lot. But it was good, too.

Here, I am. I made it two semesters and I was going to take a trigonometry class during the summer but that didn’t work out.  I took a math leap class instead that takes what you know and pushes you a little farther. I don’t need/want to retake trig and calculus, I simply want to refresh my knowledge so that I don’t freak out again during my physics class.

Summer is over and I go back on Monday and I didn’t get anything done, crafting wise, that I wanted to get done.  I didn’t finish any socks, I didn’t sew pajama pants, I finish my shawl for fall.

So, of course, I started a sweater and bought more sewing fabric.

I may need help.

A Recurring Theme

Failing at yarn chicken is a recurring theme in my world.

I love the colors of this yarn for baby blankets.  My visiting minster’s baby was due very soon and I needed something I could finish quickly. I could achieve that by using two strands of yarn and still get the color I loved. Instead of trying to keep the colors the same, I thought it would be fun to get a marled(?) effect. The two skeins of yarn started at the same color, so I wound up several lengths of one skein so I could start the colors at different places.  I put this bit of yarn aside, because yarn.  I keep yarn scraps. I may have even been thinking that I would need that extra bit.

As usual I got to the end of the blanket just a few shells short of finishing the row.

I sighed with resignation, but not surprise, and went through my supplies looking for the leftover bits of this yarn that I was positive I must have. I love this yarn and I’ve made more than one baby blanket with it. I looked in all my usual scrap yarn spots for the bit I saved when I started the blanket, couldn’t find it, and concluded that I had thrown away the scrap.

I purchased another skein and finished the blanket. What the heck, I use this yarn all the time. It’s my favorite for baby blankets and will always get used.

I

So, of course, today I find the scrap yarn. It’s not enough to fail at yarn chicken, the fiber universe has to rub salt in the wound.

 

Sock Mania

I want more hand knit socks for fall.  My feet get cold on campus and wool socks are almost a necessity.  I purchased some before school started last fall and while they are nice and warm, they are thick and don’t fit great. The socks that fit and feel the best are the ones I’ve made.  Which means I need to make more. After my pattern paralysis, I finally chose a few patterns and spent some time with my swift and ball winder.  I wound up some of the new yarn from the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair,

picked a few patterns, and cast on a few pairs.

Pattern Paralysis

Startitis Paralysis: A condition in which one is burning to start a new project but is paralyzed with indecision on which pattern/yarn combo to use.

I have a literal floor-to-ceiling tower of sock yarn.

I have a shelf full of sock pattern books, thousands of patterns available on the Internet, my hard drive, and Ravelry.

I frequently browse through the books and the pattern databases. I flag patterns I like. I like several patterns. Why do I have such a hard time deciding on which sock pattern to start next?

In case you think I’m kidding about the tower:

That entire second column is fingering weight yarn. The first column of that style of tubs is Knit Picks yarn, some of which is also sock yarn. I have a lot of sock yarn.

Clearly, I need professional help.