Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday


Happy Monday, kittens! I hope you all had a refreshing weekend! I spent Friday evening clearing out my storage closet and I threw away SO MUCH STUFF. It's crazy how much stuff I've been carrying around (and how much stuff my parents have been carrying around for me!). I still need to organize the things I'm keeping, but that space was really weighing on me and it's great to have that done.

I had a lot of swatching to do this weekend, and I managed to get it all done despite distracting myself at every turn with other things. I finished the shawl sample and it's blocking on the futon now, and I started this new cowl sample that I'm already completely charmed by. I initially cast this on as a way to avoid swatching, but I finally forced myself to set it aside just long enough to get the swatches for a couple of summer patterns done.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bordering Along


Here we are, Friday once again, and I have finally reached the border of this shawl sample. There's a part of me that would like to get the rest of it banged out this weekend, but I have quite a bit of swatching and grading to do, and that's going to take precedence right now. My goal is to finish the shawl up over the next week so I can get it written up next weekend, and I think I'm well on track to do that.

Like I mentioned earlier this month, January's always weird for me. I think my plan of just rolling with it and not trying to get lots of stuff done has worked, and I'm feeling pretty good about how this month has gone. I have a lot of big projects and goals I'm working on this year, and I think this sort of gentle start was the right way to go about this month.

I have finally started the most recent season of Great British Bake Off, and I'm looking forward to watching more of it this weekend while I catch up on some swatches. I'm also really close to finishing the first sleeve of my marled Old Harry. I'd hoped to finish that sweater this month, but that's looking a bit ambitious right now. It's not a big deal, though—even a February finish will leave me with plenty of winter to wear it! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Pair of FOs



Today I have not one, but TWO shiny new knits to share with you! Over the weekend I finally got around to photographing these, which have been waiting for me to take photos since the first week of January (I know, I know). Before we get into my first official FO of 2020, let's catch up on an unblogged one from last year.


You might remember this CYOA Tee that I wanted to knit for the OAL last year. I finally managed to finish the top in November and, well, this happened. I'd tried swapping out the ribbed collar for an i-cord one, and while it looked GREAT, it didn't actually fit over my head. So I threw the whole thing on my dining room table and didn't fix it until after New Year's. It took half an hour to fix.


I didn't swatch for this because I am a rebel, so it's a bit tighter than I'd planned, but it still looks great. I wish the shoulders were a touch wider, but that's all my fault, and only other people who make clothes or really care about fit will notice, so it's all fine.


Ravelry Page: Villainous CYOAT
Pattern: Choose Your Own Adventure Tee by Allyson Dykhuizen
Yarn: Cloud 9 Fiberworks Cumulonimbus, "Dr. Seuss Villain"


Now for my first official FO of 2020! I finished my Arachne on New Year's Day, so maybe I'm cheating a bit to say that I've already finished a sweater this year, but I don't care! I'm absolutely in love with this. My row gauge was off, so the whole thing is longer than written, but I'm really pleased with the finished length. I also love a deep yoke, so I'm not bothered by the extra length there as well. The black and the speckled green work as well together as I planned, and the whole thing is pretty close to my idea of a perfect sweater.


I alternated green skeins throughout, because I was using four skeins from three different dye lots. Overall, I think they blended wonderfully, although you might notice that brighter green band right underneath the colorwork. I have no idea how that happened. I didn't introduce a new skein there, I was doing the same thing I'd been doing in the rounds previous, and as you can see, it stops after a couple inches. It's a mystery.


Ravelry Page: Arachne
Pattern: Arachne by Andi Satterlund

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Midweek


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-ing


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!