Rules for Feeding the Stash

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


I did some thinking, and I weighed my remaining yarn, and I decided that yes, I can squeeze another repeat of the main body in before starting on the border.

I'm not really knitting a whole lot right now, which feels kind of weird. I probably could bang the rest of this shawl out in a couple of marathon sessions, but for whatever reason I haven't felt the urge to just sit down in front of Netflix and knit for three or four hours. And that's fine! It just always feels a little weird when I'm in the "ebb" part of the ebb and flow of knitting.

Last night I did a couple of quick sewing jobs for a friend and made one of the best fry ups I've ever eaten. Tonight, choir starts back up again, but I still have a few weeks before bell choir starts up and my Wednesdays get really crazy. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Plagues and Socks

Hello from the land of ear infections! I came down with some awful plague last week that made the skin start peeling off the roof of my mouth (I know, I know, it's disgusting), but after a few days in bed I am back to 100%...except for an ear infection that turned out to NOT be part of the plague. Apparently my ear is so swollen that the doctor couldn't even see the membrane without using the baby-sized ear speculum, so that's fun.

In my effort to knit more socks this year, I banged out a few rounds on this pair that I started after finishing xmas knitting last month. I've had the pattern and yarn for these socks since I was still in college (!!!!), so it's nice getting them finally knit up. My only issue with these is that I need to knit these on US1 needles, and that's just too small for me. I can handle US2 okay (they're not my favorite, and I need to take plenty of breaks), but my hands go numb pretty fast on anything smaller, so I'm trying to be real gentle with myself as I work on these. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


January's always a funny month for me. It feels almost like liminal time, and many years I've struggled with wanting to start new things and having them crash and burn. This year I'm trying to take the weird sort of in-between-ness of the month and roll with it, and I'm trying to resist the temptation to cast on any new projects in favor of finishing up some WIPs.

I set this shawl sample aside in December (and, in fact, for quite a bit of November as well), and it's been my lunch knitting this week. It'd probably go a bit faster if I made myself sit down with it in front of Netflix, but so far I'm content with carrying it around. I'm  ready to start thinking about the border—I want just a garter stitch border, but I'm trying to decide if I should start it in a few rows or try to eke out one more set of lace repeats.

Saturday was my eleventh diabetes anniversary, and there's still a couple pieces of chocolate cake on my counter. I may or may not do some more baking this week. I really want this year to be the year that I maintain a sourdough starter, and I've been dreaming of sourdough biscuits, so maybe I'll try for those—assuming I can get a starter to maturity! 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Looking Ahead at 2020

I didn't really set any crafting goals last year. Ultimately, this was fine, as the entire year went a bit sideways and I barely got anything done anyway, but as I was looking forward to this year, I knew that I wanted a bit of direction.

In terms of my design work, I have six garments planned and I have the yarn ready to go for five of them (the sixth one I'm just waiting on the dyer, so they're pretty much all ready to go). These are all things that I'm looking forward to making and am excited about designing and writing up, and I hope that I get them all finished this year.

I also pulled out some sock yarns with the intention of doing a Yarn Harlot-style self imposed sock club. I pulled out twelve skeins and picked out patterns, but I think I'm going to pare it down to six. I have three pairs of socks on the needles right now that I want to finish, and I also have some sweaters in my queue that I'd like to knit up with a few sweater quantities in my stash.

I also decided that this year is going to be the year that I learn more about making my own wardrobe. I've been meaning to get into sewing more for a while, and I think I'm finally ready to go from thinking and reading about it to actually doing it more. I also think it's really important for me to have another creative hobby that's not work. Yes, I still knit other patterns for my own enjoyment, but I'm always negotiating in my mind, "do I have time to knit this and also get my design work done?" I'm also planning on a pretty big change (but more on that later), and I know I'll need to be aware of carving out time for me to do something purely for my own enjoyment and gratification, and I think that sewing will be a good fit for that need.

What are your goals and plans for this year? 

Friday, January 3, 2020

2019 In Review

2019 was a really hard year for me. In fact, it was one of the worst years I can remember. There was a lot going on in my personal life, and while we all made it out to the other side, I definitely didn't make it here smoothly or easily. My mental health went from "pretty well-maintained" to "well, technically it's been worse than this, but wow this is really bad and I'm just going to go back to bed." The very end of the year was pretty rough, so I'm still recovering, but I'm hopeful that I'll get back to where I want to be before too long.

I didn't really get a whole lot done in terms of creative output, but I managed to avoid stopping knitting all together. I knit 20 projects last year and released 9 patterns, both of which are less than usual. My favorite projects are my Jeri and my Currituck Sound, and I'm very enamored with my cropped Filled With Secrets and Hell Creek.

My writing output was also really small this year. I managed to write poems and some short pieces for my Patreon, but that was about it. I stopped submitting pretty early on in 2019, but that's something I definitely want to pick back up this year. I also have some great short fiction plans floating around in my head that I can't wait to play with and put on the Patreon this year.

One great thing that happened in 2019 was that I changed jobs in my library! At the end of October I moved from Interlibrary Loan to a brand new position in Oral History. I love my new job (and my new office!), and I'm thrilled that I have this opportunity. I'm working in metadata, which I love, and I'm also doing some transcription work.

I'm letting myself plant the expectation that 2020 will be a good year for me and that I'll have lots of opportunity for growth. I have plenty of new things that I want to try, and lots of things that I want to keep doing, but more on my hopes for the next year on Monday! 

Monday, December 30, 2019

Finished: Rainbow Christmas Socks

I used to knit a lot for Christmas, but over the years I've scaled down quite a bit and now I only regularly knit for my mum. She'd mentioned in the past wanting a pair of rainbow striped socks, and I've had this rainbow Felici in my stash for her for a while, so this Christmas seemed like the perfect opportunity to knit it up.

These were knit using my basic sock recipe with my favorite garter-edged Eye of Partridge heel flap. I never knit any other heel, if I can help it. It was easy keeping these a secret from Mum, since we don't live together, and they only took a few evenings in front of Netflix and a night caroling at the bar to be finished.

I'm hoping to squeeze out one more FO this year—I have 68 rounds left on the second sleeve of my Arachne, so barring any major catastrophes, I should be able to bang the rest of it out long before the countdown tomorrow night!

Ravelry Page: Rainbow Socks
Pattern: none, just my basic sock recipe
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici, "Rainbow" 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Getting Handsy

As you can see, I've not made very much progress on my mitten this week.

This is because I didn't cut a long enough end to kitchener the cuff, and instead of fixing it right away, I tried leaving it on my table for several days to see if it'd fix itself.

I'm just a few rounds away from starting the really fun part of the chart, and it's going swimmingly so far. Pretty much all this progress was made last night while watching Christmas at Dollywood at my mum's house, and now that I've actually made it onto the hand portion I think I'll make some good progress this week (and just in time—it felt like -14F this morning!).

This weekend was crazy busy. Yesterday was my choir's Christmas service, and we sang the Vivaldi Gloria. Saturday morning we had rehearsal for it, and then I drove up to the city to see my brother's Christmas concert. Usually I meal prep on Sundays, but hopefully I have stuff to tide me over, because yesterday all I did between finishing my concert and going to mum's for dinner and the movie was nap! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Humble Beginnings

Oh my gosh, I can't believe it's been over a week already. Thanksgiving was great—it was quiet and cozy, just my mum and my siblings and me (and the dogs!), and we made way too much food and watched the parade. I spent the rest of my long weekend resting, catching up on reading, and working towards my NaKnitMo goal (which I met just in time on Saturday evening!). It was nice to have four days off, but now this week feels like it's dragging.

I haven't been knitting much yet this week (I did a LOT of knitting last week though, so of course I want a bit of a break), but I did start my 2019 Gift-a-long project. I'm finally knitting the Birch Bark Mittens, which have been in my queue since the 2017 GAL, and I seriously cannot wait to have these on my hands. I haven't counted the rows in a hot minute, but I'd guess I have about half of one cuff here, which is a decent enough start. Depending on how long it takes me to finish these, I may also jump into the Feet/Legs thread in the GAL group and knit up some Woodland Loafers out of a great gold wool-mohair blend I scored at a flea market last year.

I'm not doing much gift knitting—as usual, I'm knitting for my mum, and that's it. That project is started and is going really smoothly so far, and I'm already finished with the rest of my gift shopping, so I can just settle down into cozy mode and drink cocoa and eat cake to my heart's content! 

Monday, November 25, 2019

Finally Some FOs!

I finally managed to get some FO photos taken this weekend! Alas, I made the collar on my Villainous CYOAT so tight it won't go over my head, so I'll have to rip that out and redo it. But my Ripple Bralette and Currituck Sound are both gorgeous!

The only thing I'd change about my Ripple Bralette is making the straps two inches longer. I guessed on these ones, and I think I want more cleavage showing. I'm thrilled to bits with how this one came out, and I love wearing it. I already have yarn set aside for another one, and I'll remember to lengthen the straps on that one.

Ravelry Page: Ripple Bralette
Pattern: Ripple Bralette by Jessie Mae Martinson

I finished my Currituck Sound on Friday night and I'm SO IN LOVE with it. I'm so glad I decided to cut out the second repeat of the zig-zag slipped stitches, because I definitely wouldn't have been able to do two-color brioche if I hadn't. In a more perfect world, I'd have been able to get another two or three inches of brioche out of the orange yarn, but I'm still super happy with how the shawl looks.

Ravelry Page: Currituck Sound
Pattern: Currituck Sound by Kristen Jancuk
Yarn: The Dyeing Arts Splendiferious Sock (blue) and The Dyeing Arts Superwash Sock (orange)- both dyed by me at a dye workshop several years ago

(I have no clue what my eye is doing in that picture, but the shawl looks GREAT)

Friday, November 22, 2019

We Have Brioche!

As you can see, I decided that three braids was enough, and I'm now on the final brioche section of my Currituck Sound. I've never done two-color brioche, and I've only ever done one practice swatch of single-color brioche, years ago, but it's going well. I messed up the setup rows and had to rip back and redo them, but in the scheme of things that was just a minor hiccup.

I'm hoping to get this finished tonight and then catch up on blocking over the weekend, but we'll see if I get distracted by one of my current books. My bell choir is playing on Sunday, so I have morning rehearsals tomorrow and Sunday before we preform. I'm also planning on making a couple of loaves of bread to use for stuffing on Thanksgiving, so I definitely have plenty to do this weekend!