So, I’m back

The IT professional I lovingly refer to as DH has finally put the things back together that made the blog possible.

I blogged a couple of times on my other site. A post over there reminded me that I was blogging over there because the IT professional nearest and dearest to my heart had taken the blog down back then as well. I could have, maybe put it back together myself but the times I tried I ran into snags that I needed help with and frankly I was just too tired to get it done.

While I was gone, a new spindle joined the collection.

And little bits of quilting are starting to happen.

I had better get started.

Using up Yarn

WIP Management 2018 is going well. I have added many rows on to the projects I’m concentrating on right now.  My efforts at organizing the knitting accessories has also worked out well. Things seem to be at my fingertips right when I want them.

I do still start new projects. I’m still active in HPKCHC and so new, small projects will happen each month. I’m dedicated to Freeing the Wall, as my dear friend Kit calls it. This means cold sheep, no new yarn purchases, and using up the yarn I have now. This fell off my needles this month and while it’s only Red Heart, I still like how it came out.

Jill and I have been admiring super bright colors paired up with gray yarn and this was the result. I don’t have enough yarn or energy for the blanket I was admiring, but I could possibly do a batch of hats and/or mitts for Christmas this year.

I had in my stash, a small bin of leftovers from baby blankets past. This was my favorite yarn to knock out a granny square blanket with. It is also a Red Heart yarn, but came in lovely colors and was a pompadour yarn. That means, I think, that it had a tiny strip of a ribbon of some kind that gave the yarn a shiny appearance. This yarn is discontinued, so there’s no sense in saving it.  More isn’t going to come along and I don’t like to mix yarn brands. I gathered the balls and figured out a way to use them in a blanket or two.

 

I’m almost done with this one.  This blanket is made with three different colorways that go well together. The two variegated colorways have a yellow that matches what was a full skein plus a small ball of yellow.  I used up every inch of the middle colorway and blatantly ignored the color ending in the middle of a round. I shall do the same with the next colorway and it remains to be seen how I handle the end of the actual blanket.

I’m pointedly ignoring this.

While I won’t stop in the middle of side, I may very well end on a corner that doesn’t complete the round. I’m sure my grandbabies won’t mind.

And finally, cute little bookmarks made from leftover sock yarn.  That’s three new projects and no yarn purchases.

 

A small tradition but a sweet one

Our fairly recently established tradition for Valentine’s Day is chocolate covered strawberries.  David has decided that traditions are important. To me, traditions are perfectly fine, as long as someone else does the work. When you are consistently running short of spoons, traditions fall by the wayside in favor of what is easier and more restful. I do sometimes try to be supportive so I brought home chocolate and strawberries on Monday so I could make a batch.  The strawberries were not going to cooperate and last until Wednesday, which is fine, I wanted to make them while Joshua was still here. On Tuesday, I melted the chocolate and dipped a few dozen strawberries. I think they turned out rather nice.

The last time I tried to melt chocolate, I made rather a mess of things. This time, it worked perfectly. Chocolate is a fickle thing.

 

WIPPING right along

The WIP and Cold Sheep project is coming along great. I’m still struggling with wanting to buy some yarn for a candy cane scarf/hat/mitt set that I want to make for Chynna. I’m trying to hold off until next fall. If I still want to do this project at that time, I’ll get the yarn. The yarn I have in mind is inexpensive and I have some of the yarn I need already. The point of the project is to free up space in my craft room, use up some of this fabulous yarn I already have and most importantly, stick to a budget.

I’m rotating the WIPs and getting a little bit done on each one. I’m always surprised at how much you can get done even by doing just a little at a time. These afghans got a little bigger.

That big ball of yarn got a little smaller.

I used up some odds and ends to make a protector for the teflon pans.

I seem to only be working on crochet WIPs. I need to get some of the knitting and spinning in the rotation.

Yarn chicken, this time I won.

I sort of finished a blanket. By “sort of” I mean that I had a small ball of yarn left that I thought might be enough for another round or at least a single crochet edge. A day or so later, I was determined to try. I weighed what I had left. There was 12 grams. I then crocheted one side and weighed again. 8 grams. Well, this should be fine. I finished the round and came up several shells short. Not to be outdone, I ripped back two sides and finished again, this time crocheting a little tighter than I normally do.  Twice.

I should have taken a picture.  It was the closest loss of yarn chicken I’ve ever had.

I ripped all the way back to the beginning of the round and finished it again by crocheting tighter than I normally do. It was a very satisfying game of yarn chicken.

 

Organizing for a new crafting year.

Aka, the Great Stash Organization of 2018.

I have a few things that I would like to start this year. A candy cane scarf/hat/mitt set for Chynna for one thing. A shawl and a Lanesplitter skirt for myself for another. But, my major crafting focus right now is to finish things. In order to accomplish this, I felt I really needed to get organized. I have a long list of WIPs to get through.

I had a large pile of project bags that I needed to tidy up.  I could have hidden them in totes, but if they’re hidden I’m less likely to work on them. I gathered them all up from the far corners of the craft room and put them in one place. They’re all within reach of my office chair. But, still a little unorganized.

I took all the hats and put them in one bag, all the socks into another, and the mitts into yet another. I did the same for scarves, a pillow project, and the spindle spinning. Each family  and each blanket project got its own bag and  There is even a bag of cross stitching in the corner.

 

I have a lot of project bags. There is even a bag full of bags. Each thing is within easy reach for me to put into my Namaste knitting bag and head out to knit night or the living room. Wherever I want to craft.

I think it looks a lot better.

A small goal but totally doable is to reorganize my knit/crochet accessories.  I know it’s doable because I just did it.

They are all right next to where I sit.  Only a very few things like the double crochet hooks that I’ve never used and the very large knitting needles wouldn’t fit anywhere and are in a tub at the top of this shelf. Everything else, the dpns, the accessory bags, the interchangeable needle set, the circular needles are all right at my fingertips.  I had to move a few things around to open up that shelf but everything I still wanted in that bookshelf is there. I only have to grab an accessory bag and toss it into my project bag and off I go.

I did a few little things like reorganize and tidy up the interchangeable needle bag.  I took all the end protectors, the tightening pins, and the cable connectors out of the tiny ziplock bags and put them into two little plastic containers.

I also moved around tubs of stash.  The spinning stash is now along the same wall as the yarn and the fabric has been moved to its own place on a different wall.  I did a bit of sorting and actually freed up a tub.  All of the stray yarn balls have been sorted back into their proper tubs.

I meant to get all this done before the new year, but I’m perfectly happy that it was finished during the first week of the year. I’ve begun as I mean to go on.

WIP Management for 2018

How does one manage a large quantity of WIPs?  How does one find balance with finishing a project and starting all the shiny new ones that one comes across? I didn’t manage to conquer this problem while I was a cross stitcher and now I will probably never finish all the really cool patterns I’ve collected and projects I’ve kitted up. I’m starting to fear the same with knitting.

I’m lining up all my project bags and hoping to find some method for getting some time in on each of them.

Should I decide that Wednesdays are for WIPs?  Dedicate a project for knit night? Number them and grab a number out of the bowl and work on it for 2 hours? Random number generator on a spreadsheet?

So, this is the Great WIP Management of 2018. I’m getting an early start.

Step One:

I gathered all my WIPs into one big pile. I’m going through them to see what I still want to make and if there is anything I want to frog.

Frog No. 1  Minecraft Creepers Scarf.

I originally started it for Joshua, but he’s not into that sort of thing anymore and I’ve never seen that he wears his hat. I didn’t like how it was coming out anyway, too thick. I’ve reclaimed the yarn and put it back in stash and reclaimed the cable which is now back in the interchangeable needle bag.

Step Two: Pick something to frog if you don’t want to make it anymore.

Step Three: Document (see above)

Step Four: Feel better about yourself.

Step Five: Pick something and keep it handy.

I think this one will live under my desk so I can pick it up and work on it whenever I want. During the winter is a great time to work on afghans. I have had this yarn For. Ev. Er.

The few skeins that still have a ball band have a Sprouse Reitz price tag on them and then a tag from somewhere else.  I’ve never lived anywhere that had a Sprouse Reitz and I vaguely remember buying this yarn on clearance (84 cents!!  Oh My Gosh) at either a Fred Meyer or a Kmart.  Neither of those stores have been in this area for many, many years.  I’d like to say this yarn is at least 20 years old.

A few thoughts about knitting reality

Binding off in pattern: If these boots cuffs weren’t for my dear daughters, I wouldn’t have done it.  It looks a little better than not binding off in pattern, but not enough better that makes it worth how much longer it takes me.

Color changes:  I didn’t cut the yarn and tie off a new one for each color change, I carried the extra color up the seam.  It looks a tiny bit odd, but not having more ends to weave in made it worth it.

Knitting has an element of give and take. In the business world, this is called ROI. Return on investment. I want my things to be perfect, but I also have to be realistic about how much time I have. I had a lot of Christmas knitting to do and not nearly as much time as I thought.

Not a creature was stirring

Well, there was this creature…

Christmas Day passed super quietly with almost no company. All of the kids were elsewhere and we enjoyed a lovely quiet day. I still had to cook and clean, but one never gets away from that, does one? Our celebrations were a few days later which means I still had time to finish knitting.  After more cooking and cleaning, of course.

In addition to a few knitting projects, I did a little stirring myself. The sourdough experiments continued and another batch of peppermint sugar scrub happened.

Still, I was a day or two late finishing the boot cuffs. I was anxious to cast off the last one when this happened:

I know I’m famous for losing at yarn chicken, but that’s not what happened here. I cut the yarn before casting off the stitches on the last needle.

Merry Cook&Cleanmas, everyone!

 

 

 

Boot cuffs instead

My stocking suddenly turned into a boot cuff. I had gotten a few inches into the thing and started wondering if I shouldn’t put it down and start working on some small Christmas knitting projects I had planned.  I didn’t have anything planned for the girls who just wanted cash, but I wanted to do something small so they’d have something to open. I looked down at the stocking to be and boot cuffs popped into my head. I gathered some measurements and decided that this would probably be the perfect size.

I kept going with the red into a 2×2 rib and then cast off.

I didn’t like the cast off and will redo it in pattern to see if I like that better.