Thursday, November 1, 2012

Patterns of Behavior Sweater

At the beginning of the year I was on a kick to knit with the various beautiful yarns I've been acquiring over the years.

What was the point in having them tucked away in the dining room credenza if I wasn't going to actively enjoy them?

This plan was working well until two things happened.

First, I find it hard to juggle my personal knitting with my work knitting. There are only so many hours in the day, after all.

Second, in April I started the Patterns of Behavior Sweater.

Patterns of behavior sweater

The name will become obvious in a moment.

The original use-the-nice-yarn plan was to just knit the stuff. Keep it simple so projects would be completed and I could get on to wearing them.

That, obviously, didn't last long.

As I contemplated the Spring Pansies yarn I bought from Ellen's Half-Pint Farm during the 2011 New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival the idea of knitting another Schleppy Sweater of ribbing and stockinette didn't appeal.

No, instead it should have a big cowl neck.

And if I was going to work a cowl neck it should have an interesting stitch pattern.

And if I was going to do the neck in an interesting stitch pattern I should do the hem and cuffs in the same pattern to tie it all together.

Patterns of behavior sleeve

Suddenly, instead of just knitting the yarn already I had fallen back into the old habits, ahem--Patterns of Behavior, of making complicated projects.

In this case, a sweater with Feather & Fan hem, cuffs, and cowl collar.

Despite all that I'd been zipping along, until it was time to start the sleeves.

Figuring out the stitch count for the cuff tripped me up. And then we moved. And then I had work knitting. And, well, you know how it goes.

I picked the sweater back up a week or two ago. Rhinebeck pressure, you know.

The sleeves flew along once I started knitting them. I decided to work them one at a time, in the round, on double points.

The yoke, which always seems to take forever when I'm working a sweater in the round, has moved along briskly as well.

Patterns of behavior sweater

I was working on the sweater last week during Adirondack Yarns' open knitting session and had a really constructive conversation about the collar with one of the other knitters.

We decided I should work the first part of the collar in stockinette stitch so I can easily work the increases to get to cowl size, then switch to the Feather & Fan pattern.

I'll have to remember to reverse it when the time comes since it's going to fold over and I don't want the wrong/back side of the knitting showing.

I'm getting really close to having the yoke done. Unfortunately, my left wrist is cranky so I think it's best to take a knitting break for a day or two.

At little rest now prevents a long rest later!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I may have mentioned that the house we're renting was built in the mid-1800s.

Although I try not to think about it, I'm sure many people were born and died here since that is what you did back then.

Hubby and I were standing in the upstairs hallway as he got ready for work.

The door to the spare room was mostly closed. This is usual since I'm trying to keep the unused areas shut off to save on our heating bills.

But then the door rattled and closed the rest of the way.

We both stopped and looked at it.

In my head I told myself it was the wind, even though there aren't any open windows and the door at the other end of the room leading to the back steps is closed as well.

Hubby said, a little too causally, "Weell, I'm going to go ahead to work now. Try not to think about today being Halloween."

Rising to the challenge, I decided to open the door so we could battle whatever monster was lurking within together.

I almost pissed myself when I saw movement in the room as the door swung open.

Why the heck was something moving in an empty room?!

As the door swung fully open Samson came bursting out.

Much to our relief and laughter.

I had actually been wondering where he was for at least an hour, but had assumed he was napping under our bed.

He likes to lay on the floor in the spare room as it gives him a good view of the hallway and down the staircase.

Our theory is the door was only half open when he went in and he knocked it shut the rest of the way.

What we don't understand is why he didn't bark when he wanted to come out.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Bad Sign

I've been working from home for over two years now.

During that time I've occasionally thought about that cartoon on The Oatmeal blog about the pros and cons of working from home.

When we were in New Hampshire I think my social skills weren't able to slide much because I saw Hubby regularly during the day and I'd have to get dressed to meet him for lunch in the cafeteria.

Basically, I was interacting with people on a regular basis.

Not so here in New York.

No, here I've been able to rapidly become feral and jump straight to the one year mark on the degradation of social skills panel.

To make myself feel better I like to blame hubby's weird schedule. I wake up before him but don't want to make noise showering. Then when he leaves I have to get to work, with the end result being I either shower at 4 o'clock in the afternoon or I don't shower at all.

This is wrong and I know it.

I've been thinking for a while now that I have to be more diligent about showering and dressing as soon as I wake up.

The urgent need to enact this new routine was driven home this morning.

The house is a pig stye and needs to be cleaned. When I announced that this morning Hubby responded, "We've been saying that for months." And I had to point out that it's really true now (as opposed to before when it was just slightly messy).

I decided that since I had a lot of housework ahead of me it would be easier to tackle if I was ready for action, which means wearing shoes.

So I got dressed.

Then I went downstairs and put on my sneakers.

And Samson lost his mind.

He started dancing around me.

He ran to the front door and rang his bell.

He ran back to me, danced some more, and woofed.

It was very obvious that he thought something exciting was going to happen--most likely a walk--because mommy was putting clothes on.

Wow. I've got to make an effort to get dressed every day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Walked by a Pup

When we lived in New Hampshire I would walk a two mile loop with my friend Judy every morning.

This was good exercise for us and a chance to get some fresh air.

When the pups were on their morning out I would call her, which was the prompt to put on her shoes and come down to meet me.

We were very consistent. Since the pups always had to go out every morning, which meant I had to be out in all kinds of weather, there were few excuses not to. I mean, once you're dressed and standing in the rain why not walk?

It hasn't been that simple here in New York.

First off, we have a yard again so I can stand on the porch in my pajamas watching the pups romp.

Second off, walking by myself isn't as fun.

So I decided to take Samson with me as company and in a vain attempt to wear him out.
It was actually a bit worrisome.

Or should I say eye opening?

Now, Samson has run off a few times. When we first moved here he mainly ran off to the landlord's house across the property to harass their dog.

Luckily he is beautiful and charming and they like dogs so they don't seem to mind much. The landlord also realized he could just order Samson to "go home!" and he would.

But then he started expanding his territory.

I realized just how much on our first walk.

I let him be off the leash because he pulls too much (still) and he walked with purpose and determination. He stuck to the right hand side of the street, but then occasionally crossed to the left hand side to sniff and pee on a particular tree or fence.

Then he'd cross back.

Of course, he didn't look either direction when he crossed, which was heart stopping. We're on a dead end road, so it's relatively quiet but people tend to fly down it.

There is a field and a barn up the road and he detoured into the field and around the barn when we got there.

He continued to lead the way until we reached the big end in the road half a mile away.

There is a large apron on the bend because there is an access road going into the fields.

He trotted into the apron to pee on the fence posts. I continued to the far end of the apron and stopped to wait for him. Shortly after we moved here I mapped out both a two mile and a three mile loop and I was ready to keep going.

Samson had other ideas.

After he left his calling card he trotted over to me. However, instead of blazing the trail as he'd been doing he stopped, looked at me, and then headed for home.

We'd reached the end of his territory.

He'd checked the perimiter and it was time to head back.

Holy smokes, is that where he'd been running off to?

I followed him home and he repeated the behavior of crossing at set points to make his mark.

A routine was definitely in place.

The thing is, however, I'd never noticed that he disappeared long enough to do the entire mile loop and I never noticed him coming home as tired as he did from our walk.
But I can't imagine that his behavior was just a one time thing.

My suspicions were supported a few days later when I let Baru come along. It was immediately apparent that Baru knew the patrol route as well!

Those dogs are a caution.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sock Season

I have spent most of the summer running around barefoot.

This is not necessarily an issue since I like being barefoot.

It has been possible for my toes to enjoy their freedom because I work from home and, now that we live in the middle of nowhere, I don't spontaneously go places anymore.

In fact, my slide into being feral recently led me to be concerned about what I'd do in the event of an alien invasion. How prepared would I be to battle aliens barefoot and in my pajamas? Although I don't expect to be going places, shouldn't I get dressed everyday in the off chance that I might have to make a fast escape from an intergalactic threat?

These concerns are being naturally addressed by the advent of cooler weather.

Maybe the threat of an alien invasion can't get me to put on shoes, but cold weather sure will.

And you know what? Sock season is awesome!

Is there anything quite as awesome as wearing handmade socks in comfy shoes? Aside from knitting more socks for future wear?

Really, if you have to give up going barefoot, due to either cold weather or aliens, handknit socks are the way to go.

There is just one problem with it.

The need to eventually wash those handknit socks. With commercial socks you just toss them in the washer and dryer and move on with your life.

Handknit socks should not be subjected to such abuse. They need to be hand washed. That isn't to say that they are delicate flowers, but...they are delicate flowers.

Trust me, I've lost at least one pair of socks to the horrors of the dryer.

Now, I must confess that when I was living in Connecticut and had a brand new washing machine, and even in New Hampshire where the washer was fairly modern, I shamelessly and without hesitation threw my handknit socks in the washer.

I would machine wash cold on the delicate/knit cycle and then hang them to dry on a collapsible wooden drying rack.

My socks and I lived happy lives.

But those days are over.

The house we are renting now has an ancient washing machine.

Don't get me wrong. It's a solid unit and it's doing a great job cleaning our clothes. But I don't trust that it's knit cycle is really as delicate as my handknit socks want it to be.

This presents me with a dilemma since I like hand knitting socks, but not hand washing socks.

Actually, it presents me with a dilemma and a massive pile of dirty socks on the bathroom floor.

 And cold toes that are unprepared to face aliens.

As you can see, I own dozens of pairs of hand knit socks (there are also two sweaters in that pile adding to the bulk). But even my sock drawer has a limit.

A breaking point is being reached.

I'm either going to have to hand wash the buggers or risk ruin and throw them in the washer.

In actuality, I might split the difference by putting them in the bucket to soak and then running them through the spin cycle to get the excess water out.

Honestly, I don't understand how letting the socks stand in water for a bit actually gets them clean. Don't they need the agitation?

Action must be taken soon.

It takes me two weeks to knit a pair of socks. I only have nine clean pairs left in my drawer.

I hope the aliens don't show up anytime soon.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I don't miss my commute

And I don't miss working in an office.

But sometimes I miss how they both boxed in my day.

When you work in office you couldn't mess around in the morning. Any disaster had to be dealt with in the 15 minutes before you left for work. After that it was either over or you would deal with it when you got home.

Working from home it's easy to get sucked into things. You start dealing with one task that leads to another task and all of a sudden your whole day is gone.

As for the morning commute, I don't miss sitting on the Merritt Parkway for an hour twice a day every day. But I do miss the mental free time that activity provided at the beginning and end of the day.

Since I started working from home I haven't managed to find an activity that replicates that forced contemplation that sitting in the car during rush hour seems to provide.

Maybe I just think about different things differently now.

Our move to New York has brought new complications with Hubby's schedule being so different from anything it was in the past.

Now I must balance my need to work with my desire to see him when he's available.
It's an ever-changing adventure, this working from home stuff, one of these days I'll get the hang of it.

As an interesting aside, I got a new iPhone earlier in the week. I wrote most of this post using the dictation function. It's pretty cool. It's also much easier than trying to type on the little bitty keyboard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We have a fruit fly invasion.

This morning I thought I'd wash the fruit in the fruit bowl to help combat it.
Although I think that tip is actually for when you first bring the fruit home.

As I was washing the peaches I thought, "wow. The fruit flies are so aggressive this peach actually looks gnawed on."

Then I realized it HAD been gnawed in.

By the damn mice!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's A Start

Findley light blueI finally cast on for my official Ravellenic Games project (The Three Lace Cardigan from the Juniper Moon Farm Findley book) last night.

You know, I'd been composing this blog post in my head (as you do) and I've totally forgotten was I was planning to write. I do remember that it was going to be very clever (of course) and not really knitting related.

It was also full of excuses about why I haven't blogged since Saturday.

With that as the lame segue....on Sunday I drove two hours down to civilization to attend the bridal shower for my cousin's fiancee. It was fun and very nice to see the family (which reminds me that I have letters to write. You know, letters. On actual paper?).

Now when we moved from CT to NH we disposed of our second car. Hubby had a walking commute since we were living at a boarding school and I had zero commute since I was working from home.

With our move from NH to NY I've said we should give it a year before we run out and buy a new car. (That's a key point. Along with the fact that I'm the one who chose the house on the edge of nowhere.) Having grown accustomed to the reduced expense from having just one car I said we should give it a year to see how many times it's an issue.

Well, Sunday was an issue since hubby had to work and my event was at a time that prevented me from dropping him off.

Happily, my in-laws lent us their car.

So I didn't blog on Sunday because I was roaming the country side. Didn't knit much either, for that matter.

We were supposed to return the car Monday morning before hubby went to work, but then he suddenly freaked out because it was the end of the month and he had to do inventory. He changed direction on me and declared he couldn't return the car until Tuesday.

Three lace cardigan hemOf course that wasn't working for his parents.

In the end, I slammed a few drawers, stopped around a bit, then packed up my work stuff, and drove the car back alone.

I told hubby I had my toothbrush so if he didn't get home until midnight he should just leave me there and get me in the morning.

Fortunately he got off work early enough to retrieve me.

It worked out well because I got my necessary work done AND had lamb and mashed potatoes for dinner!

We were able to hang out and watch a movie after dinner because I ensured I got my work done in a timely fashion.

That allowed me to finally start my sweater.

Phew! Two inches of garter stitch in lace weight yarn sure takes a long time to knit.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012!

If you are reading my blog then you probably either knit or crochet and therefore know what the Ravellenic Games are.

black bean For those rare people out there who are reading my blog and don't know, they are a personal challenge to start a project during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games and finish it before or during the closing ceremonies.

For the sake of posterity, I'll point out this even was formerly known as the Ravelympics. However the US Olympic Committee finally noticed it and sent a cease and desist letter stating the name was violating their trademark.

Now, as you know if you followed the story, most knitters and crocheters understand and respect trademarks, copyrights, and intellectual property (although like any group of people there are some that either just don't know or know and don't care, but that is another conversation). Anyway, as has been reported far and wide, things would have been fine if it had stopped there, but the letter was a little derogatory to our crafts causing hurt feelings and a massive uproar.

The end result was the USOC apologized for the poor choice of language and the Ravelympics were renamed the Ravellenic Games.

Everyone, supposedly, is happy now.

I, of course, was not blogging regularly at that time (as opposed to now when I'm also not blogging regularly, but I have a really good excuse---my laptop crashed and put my work behind schedule, but that is also another conversation) so did not jump into the fray.

However, during the heat of the kerfuffle (do kerfuffles have heat? Maybe height?)...when the frenzy was at its height I had an Olympic athlete in my house. He is a coach for the skeleton team (which I think is like the luge or the bobsled? Now that I know one of them I'll have to pay more attention!). He might have been an athlete at some point, which reminds me that I wanted to Google him. And the skeleton.

Anyway, the point is that I resisted pouncing on him and asking him whether he felt that knitting denigrated his athletic endeavors. My supreme self-restraint stemmed from the fact that hubby had only recently become friends with him, hubby has to work with him in a professional capacity, and it was only the second time I'd personally seen him.

(However, I was not so restrained the third time I saw him when he was sitting on my porch drinking wine with hubby and I received the notice that my Trellis Mitts were accepted for the new 101 Lace One Skein Wonders book. I actually ran out on the porch and did a Snoopy dance right there in front of the guest.)

Still, it is important to know for the future that I have access to an Olympic athlete type person if for some reason we should find we need it. I understand he can be distracted by good wine, which probably also means he can be distracted by good food. We should factor that into any plans we have.

Anyway, since the point of the Ravellenic games is to knit or crochet I will now actually talk about my knitting.

Lace Long Jump

For Games past I've usually done the WIPs Wrestling style category. Whichever one was for taking a languishing work in progress and finishing it up. And, boy howdy, don't we all those those?
Findley light blue

This year I decided to mix things up by doing a fresh project instead.

In a moment of insanity I settled on the Three Lace Cardigan from the Juniper Moon Farm Findley book. I've seen it in person and it's adorable. I even started it at one point, but didn't get very far.

I'm not expecting to finish it by the closing ceremonies, although I might be pleasantly surprised, but I'm hoping this is a kick start to get it going and well on its way.

Yes, I did say I had started one once, but I've abandoned that one for a different color yarn. Therefore the first one counts as a swatch and was part of my training. Actually, that one helped me realize that the yarn doesn't play well with my Addi Turbos. I had even purchased new needles for it.

Cowl Jump

Despite the ambitiousness of that cardigan, I didn't not actually cast on for it during the opening ceremonies last night.

Cozy Cowl Ravellenic Games 2012Instead I quickly changed direction and worked on a cowl instead.

My new local yarn store, Adirondack Yarns, had a kick off party last night. I keep attending their open knit-nights on Wednesdays with yarn from my stash, no one has said anything about it, but I feel a little bad. But I've bought stuff from them before and they know I'm new in town.

Anyway, for the party I thought I should use yarn I'd actually purchased from them. At Thanksgiving I'd bought two hanks of a locally grown and spun 100% angora yarn. This seemed the perfect opportunity to use it.

As though the cardigan wasn't enough of a challenge I've now set myself up with two projects!

Things aren't as bad as they sound since I flew through the cowl. I just need to get the dang thing cast off properly and I can move on.

Ok, I think I've rambled on enough for now (this tendency to go on and on is probably one of the reasons I haven't been blogging much lately--I know that once I get started it will be a black hole of time). The Ravellenic Games last for 16 days, there's plenty of time to tell you more later.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Being Disciplined

When I was younger, and thought I'd grow up to be a novelist, I heard that writing was a discipline that had to be practiced every day.

I heard that some professional writers would set aside time each day to write. Or at least sit at their desk and think about writing, who knows whether they actually wrote anything.

It was not a discipline I pursued. If I was in the mood to write I did and if I wasn't I didn't. Simple enough.

Then after college I didn't really feel like writing fiction any more. Then I eventually got a job where I was paid to write and there was no practicing about it because I was required to write something almost every day.

Maybe because I'm getting older and wiser, or because I am now getting paid to write, but I'm starting to see the wisdom of this being disciplined business. Of viewing writing as an activity that has to be practiced.

It's not actually the act of writing, although my neglect of the blog in recent years would argue otherwise, so much as the style of writing I want to practice.

I feel like these days I'm either writing long articles about technology or sound bites about yarn.

I want to write long things about yarn.

I want to write short things about...anything.

I need to play with styles, and lengths, and topics. Writing is a discipline. It takes mental muscles and they need to be used and stretched.

The well of words is a pump that needs to be primed. haha.

Sitting down and putting words on paper, or screen as the case may be, is a habit that has to be cultivated so it becomes a reflex.

In theory, our new home is peaceful and quite and otherwise conducive to a pursuit such as writing.

Goodness knows I spend enough time goofing off in aimless pursuits that I should have enough time to practices the discipline of writing.

It's a matter of making it a priority.

These means I have to start blogging more regularly and I have to stop neglecting my pen pals.

So, this is me, being disciplined.

But that's enough practice for tonight. I have to go clean the kitchen.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Unpack The Yarn

Doesn't that sound like excellent advice?
Of course, if yarn is getting unpacked it must mean that at some point it was packed.

And if yarn is being packed and unpacked that must mean we moved.

That's right. Although we moved from CT to NH just two years ago we have now moved from NH to NY.

Hubby decided that after 15 years as a teacher he had done enough to give back to society. He wanted to pursue his interest in wine.

It was supposed to be a long-term plan, but then he saw a job posting for which he sounded qualified near where is elderly parents live. We decided there was no harm in trying and it might be a good learning experience.

And he got the job.

Now he is the wine director at a boutique resort and is having a ball.

The month of May was hellish as he was finishing the school year and also making the four hour drive to the resort any time he could to get some floor work in before the busy season started.

Then June was kinda ugly because we moved and had to adjust to our new life and his new schedule. In addition to the move and unpacking, I had to go on a business trip, and I had an article (or three) due, and I still had to keep my yarn job stuff going. Some stress-induced tears might have been shed.

But July has been going well and we're starting to get a routine.

I Told You So
When Hubby received and accepted the job offer in March and we knew change was coming I was able to go from supportive, cheerleader wife mode to cranky, put-upon wife mode.

I started the transformation by loudly announcing that I would end up doing all the packing by myself at the end of May and that we would need two moving trucks because we've always needed two moving trucks.

Let, me tell you, being correct is not as fun as you would expect it to be.

Now, when I said I'd be doing all the packing myself, what I actually meant was that Hubby wouldn't be around to help me. And I was correct as he was in NY working. I wasn't, however alone.

First my friend Nancy came up early in May for 2 hours one day and packed my china cabinet for me to get the ball rolling.
Then, as moving day approached, my friend Judy came and spent an entire Sunday helping me pack.
Judy and he husband also came and helped on truck loading day.
Mom came up, of course, and helped finish the packing. She was in charge of cleaning up as we were loading the truck.
And, of course, we needed two trucks. Hubby thought we'd be OK with one truck since we managed to shed some old furniture this time. He thought that on a previous move we just didn't get a big enough truck to start with. I don't remember what his reasoning was to dismiss the other two truck moves we had.

Well, as we were realizing that a second truck would have to be acquired and trying to figure out how to manage four vehicles with only 3 driver, Rick and Judy announced that the didn't have any plans for the weekend and could drive our second truck.

We were flabbergasted and warned them that if they said that again we'd take them up on the offer. But they were ready, willing, and able.

Fortunately, the house we're renting in NY is a partially furnished four-bedroom so there was plenty of room to sleep all of us comfortably after the drive.

Unpacking, Endlessly
In case you're wondering, Hubby had dropped Samson and Baru off with his parents the last time he was in NY so they were out from underfoot for all the packing and loading.

When it came time to unload the trucks we had mom, Rick & Judy, Hubby's parents, and his brother & his wife and daughters.

It was pretty awesome to wake up the first morning in my new home and hear so many people focused on getting us settled in.

Most of our possessions seem to have survived the trip in one piece. One lampshade, which was already a little roughed up, got roughed up more. And a couple floor lamps got scratched, but if you twist them the right way it's hidden. I'm pretending they were "distressed" on purpose.

I guess the biggest disaster, which was easy to recover from, was that laundry detergent spewed everywhere in the smaller truck when the cap popped off the bottle. Lamp bases and my desk all took a hit. But it just had to be wiped and rinsed off.

That was probably the cleanest truck they've every had returned!

Vinegar and oil spilled in a box in the big truck, but nothing seemed to have gotten damaged. One of my boxes of yarn got hit, but magazines were in that part of the box and no yarn was damaged.

Despite the fact that we've been here over a month now (we drove over on June 1), the house is still in chaos.

For previous moves Hubby was a teacher and I was either on vacation or unemployed so we were able to just focus on unpacking for the first week or two after we moved in.

Not this time.

Hubby had to go straight to work (in fact he had to bug out the day we were unloading the trucks, which lead to some hysterics on my part when he expressed concern about the gas levels in the moving trucks when they got returned) as soon as we moved. I did, too, for that matter. Just because I work from home doesn't mean I've got tons of free time.

We're trying not to sweat it. As we need things we go questing through boxes, which leads to one or two getting emptied. We figure it will get there eventually.

In the mean time, we live in a lovely, rural area. Peace and quiet abound. It seems it should be just the right atmosphere for a writer. No distractions (aside from the pups and the boxes) and inspiring scenery.

I'm hoping I'll be motivated to start blogging regularly again.

Did I mention we moved in on June 1?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lady Godiva's Glove?

The other day I got out the doll I knit with the idea that I should probably finally make her some clothes.
For motivation I put her on the side of my desk where I could see her constantly.
Since her head is (let's be honest) a little big for her to sit up nicely I arranged her so she was reclining comfortably.
(Remember, I work from home so having a naked doll on my desk is not an issue.)
This morning I arrive at my desk and she is wearing one of my fingerless mitts.
"huh," I think, "that's weird."
When Hubby woke up I asked if he had put the glove on her.
He said yes.
He said her saw he laying there and she looked like a Mini-Me and I'm always wearing my mitts so it seemed appropriate.
My Hubby is silly.
On the other hand, considering it's just us and the dogs if he had said no we would have had a problem.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

That's just weird

The Purple Jitterbug Socks were the socks of choice this morning.

As I was "walking" the dogs I felt a bit of a breeze on one ankle.

(I use the word "walking" loosely since I take them across the street to the big field, remove their leashes, and let them run.)

Why is there is a breeze in my shoe?

I look down and see a big old hole in my sock heel.
"Wait I minute," I think, "didn't I already darn these socks?"

And, sure enough, I can see a little patch on the other heel.

Why on Earth would I darn one sock and not the other?

(Oh, maybe because darning is boring and sucks?)

Thinking I might have mentioned it in a previous blog post (back when I was blogging regularly), I check my project in Rav to find the links and sure enough, there is it.

One sock looked thin, so it got reinforced, and the other looked fine.

The weird thing is that happened on April 30, 2011.

How freaky is it that almost a year later the second sock should bite the dust?

Also, looking at the first sock, there seems to be some thinning below the patch so I should hit that while I'm at it.

On the bright side, I'm pleased to report that I do learn and evolve. Subsequent sock darnings have included preventative patches on the second sock.

I've been practicing strict project monogamy this year.

It's been going well and I've been finished a lot of projects I haven't been telling you about.

I've been selecting my projects with care based on either special yarn I've been hoarding or a special pattern I've been wanting to make.

Those are, of course, fairly broad criteria and don't really pinpoint projects. A couple knit alongs have presented themselves to help me select projects.

Anyway, my point is, with all these sock deaths, maybe I should dedicate a month to using up some of this fabulous sock yarn I have.

Hmm, maybe this year I'll take Summer of Socks more seriously.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Doggone Embarrasing

Don't let Baru's sweet face fool you.
Samson and Baru have outdone themselves today.

When I "walk" the dogs I take them across the street to a big field. There I remove their leashes and let them run around or we play fetch.

Various people on campus have informed me that it is a great source of amusement to them to watch the dogs drag me across the street every day.

But that is my life, so what are you going to do except laugh along with them? I'm out numbered and outweighed and the dogs know it.

When we take these outings I do my best to stop them on the sidewalk going and coming and to never cross in front of a car. It is my hope that these routines are seeping into their furry brains and will be applied if they ever get out alone (not that I really believe that will be the case).

So today they are all excited about the sunny weather and actually made it to the tarmac before I managed to bring them to a halt and drag them back onto the sidewalk.

During this struggle there was a police car coming down the street, but he saw us and stopped.

Once we were safely on the sidewalk I waived him forward.

He rolled forward a little, but since pedestrians in New Hampshire have the right of way he stopped again and waived me forward.
Samson is only controllable when asleep.

The dogs some how saw that, interpreted it correctly, and tried to take off across the street!

Really, puppies?!

But I hauled them up short, retreated toward the house, and waived him on again.

This time he pulled up to the curb, got out of the patrol car, and laughingly informed me that he had never seen that before. The dog seeing the signal and going.

I agreed that I was pretty surprised as well.

Then I told him they are friendly, but jumpy, and he already saw I had no control over them.

Despite that he bravely came forward, gave them pets, and told them how beautiful they are.

He suggested that I get them pinch collars, which won't hurt them, but will allow me to control them. He implied I might even get to be the Alpha when they are wearing them.

I've always wanted to be the Alpha. I think a trip to the pet store is in my near future.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Packing Decisions

Eiffel towerWe are going on a trip.

This is not unusual for us.

What is unusual is that we are taking nine high school students with us. Or is it they are taking us with them?

Anyway, it's a ten day educational (snicker) tour covering London, Paris, Florence, and Rome.

Now, you know I've already been to Paris. And I spent a weekend in London when I was in England for my Junior Year Abroad. I've never been to any part of Italy.

Don't get me wrong. I don't at all mind going back to London and Paris. But I'm really looking forward to Italy.

And the Chunnel.

What does all this have to do with knitting?

Why, I have to pack projects, of course!

Now a normal knitter would tell you that a 10 day trip needs an ungodly number of projects.

But, as we've established, I'm not a normal knitter.

My plan is to take my active project--Lucy Neatby's Sea Lettuce Scarf in her Cat's Pajama Yarn in Honey Pot that I've had for ages--and one back up project.Sea lettuce hanging

For reference, when we took a 10 day trip to California last summer I took four projects and basically only worked on one. Although I finished it and started a new one on the trip home.

The point is, two projects will probably be rather adequate based on past behavior.

The second project will, not surprisingly, be a sock. They are still tops for travel projects because of their portability.

But as I pawed through the dining room credenza trying to decide on which sock yarn to bring, a little voice said, "There are plenty of stockinette stitch sweaters you want to make. Why not bring one?" However I dismissed it since I wouldn't want to track multiple skeins of yarn.

That is another advantage of socks, generally a single ball is required.

As I was making my decision I first reviewed my Ravelry stash and was reminded I have a staggering amount of sock yarn.

Sock yarn!Then I pulled it all out and put it on the dining room table, confirming how much there was, and confounding the situation because it's all so pretty!

There was a moment of panic when I realized I couldn't find one of the yarns I bought at Rhinebeck last year, which led to me realizing I couldn't find any of the sock yarns I bought at Rhinebeck last year.

After a few minutes of turning storage places over I realized they were in a bag next to the china cabinet. phew! Nine skeins of sock yarn would have been a big investment to go missing.

With them all laid out before me decision making could begin in earnest. I was debating taking a known quantity, like Jitterbug or Indulgence, that I could just cast on and go since I'd used it before. I also wouldn't need to carry multiple sets of needles.

But I also thought taking an older yarn that's been waiting for a while would be good.

After sorting my Ravelry stash half a dozen ways, I settled on the Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn that I bought back in 2009(!).smooshy yarn

It was a pinch battle between that and the Seacoast Sock Yarn I bought in 2010 that is so soft and pretty.

Basically, the Smooshy won because it was already balled.

To solve the needle dilemma, I paused the Sea Lettuce Scarf this afternoon and went ahead and swatched. My US 1.5 Darned Pretty Needles seem to be doing the trick.

With my projects settled, I just have to worry about packing clothes now.

The irony of all this is that I'll probably just work on the Sea Lettuce Scarf the entire trip and won't have to pull out the back up project at all!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Pemberley Slipper

I'm back on track!

With my knitting, not my blogging, obviously.

I just took myself in hand and focused on the slippers.  Well, to be honest, I do have a pair of plain socks on the go. But just as sock yarn doesn't count as stash a plain stockinette stitch sock doesn't count as a WIP.

First Pemberley slipper
I started the first slipper on Feb 2 and finished off yesterday, which was about a week of knitting once I got going.

It worked up quickly, in the end, probably because it's small.

It hasn't been terribly difficult, either. Really, the hardest part has been picking up along the wee heel flap.

The flap is only 20 rows and you pick up 16 stitches and I could not squeeze that number of stitches into the allotted space for the life of me.

So I ripped it out and reknit it with a garter edge, thinking that works so well for my normal heel flaps it would work here.
Pemberley slippers start
It did not.

So I reknit it regular and just did my darnedest to get the correct number of stitches. Still, I was glad the heel flap was just a few stitches over very few stitches. I must have knit it three times sitting at Library Knitting last Friday.

Pemberley progress

Turned out I wasn't picking up my stitches in quite the same way the designer recommends, but I got them picked up and that is all that matters. Once I conquered the heel flap it was pretty smooth sailing. By Monday, just three days later, I was almost done the foot.

Which is pretty speedy, if you ask me, even with the lace and intarsia.

One thing I think I'll change on the second slipper is how I'm working the edging. By instinct I was crossing the colors to the inside of the sock, which is in theory the wrong side.

After the first repeat it occurred to me the lace would be folding over and the crossings might be visible, but I decided not to go back. Now that the slipper is done I don't think the fold over is enough to see the crossing.

However, I do think it is effecting the way the lace lays.

I think the crossings being on the inside are making the lace more like to stand up and roll to the inside of the slipper.

My hope is that by crossing them to the outside the lace will be encouraged to roll to the outside and lay flat.

None of which effects the lace that crosses the toe. That is very perky and I'm not sure how I can pick it up differently on the second slipper to get it to lay flat. However, if the rest of the lace is rolling out that might pull the vamp lace along.

Another momentarily tricky part was when I finished the foot and was ready to start the toe. The pattern says to pick up stitches along the vamp edging (which is the lace bit that goes across your toes) and my working yarn was on the opposite end of where the lace was attached to the slipper.

I finally realized I had to fold the floating edge of lace across to meet my working yarn. This totally makes sense when you remember that you are going to start working in the round at this point.

Still, I was glad I hadn't cut any of the yarn ends at all in case I had to go back.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting Distracted

I can feel my project monogamy slipping away!

My focus is being lost. Multiple projects are calling my name and I'm finding it hard to ignore them.

Despite all my big talk yesterday I haven't started the slippers yet. How quickly things change. Could it be the blogging? I looked at it too directly and caused it to shatter?

Instead of the slippers I was working on a nosewarmer.

I know. And they are as silly as they sound.

I made ones for my walking friend and myself last week when it was particularly cold. What? Cold weather in New England in January? Who would have thunk it.

Then I made one for my friend Mel out in Chicago because she had mentioned she wanted to be more active, but it was rather cold to be walking or jogging outside.

Well, she thought it was adorable and her husband got jealous and wanted one with a mustache.

So that's what I was knitting last night.

The other project that has been drawing my mental eye is a pair of fingerless mitts.

I made that Cable Brim Cap out of the Winter 2011/12 issue of Vogue Knitting. I used Juniper Moon Farm Chadwick yarn. It came out very cute.
I had about 33 grams of yarn left, which doesn't sound like much, but it's such lofty yarn it looks like a good amount. Anyway, I was thinking maybe I could use the leftover yarn to make matching mitts.

And, well, all that is keeping me from the slippers.

But I can salvage this.

The mitts are still just an idea. I can nip that in the bud.

All I have to do is go crochet a mustache and then nothing stands between me and the slippers.

Well, aside from giving Samson and Baru last outs and going to bed.

But at some point soon the slippers will be mine!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Joining in Pemberley Slipper KAL

You will not be surprised to hear that I follow knitters and crocheters on Twitter.

Really, who else are you going to follow?

Depending on how I came to their account, I might not make mental connections out their blogs or patterns I see in magazines (which I suppose defeats the purpose a bit).

Because of this I was pleasantly surprised to see Fiberfool tweeting about hosting a KAL for the Pemberley Slippers from the Jane Austin Knits magazine from Interweave Press.

That image up there is the official KAL image from her blog, which she said participants can use.

Back in November I took a pair of classes with Sally Mellville at the Elegant Ewe down in Concord.

They were good classes and since it was at a hotel up the street (it's a small shop) they cleverly had lunch back at the store. And a discount for class members. As I was waiting to check out with some sock yarn (of course) I saw the magazine on the counter, flipped through, liked the slippers, and bought the mag, too.

And promptly tossed it into a cabinet in my new desk and semi-forgot about it.

Well, with my new found theme of "knit it if you love it" (and I have been knitting, just not blogging, I have to work on that) joining the KAL seemed like a good idea.

In fact, right after I discovered the slipper KAL I discovered a KAL for Lucy Neatby's Sea Lettuce Scarf, which has been in my queue for quite a bit longer than the slippers.

The slipper KAL runs from Feb 1 to Feb 14 and the scarf KAL starts on Feb 29. It's like they planned it for me.

These struck me as two opportunities to have some guided KIFYLI projects. I mean, how else are you going to prioritize? If I was able to prioritize all this stuff wouldn't be languishing and I wouldn't have so many WIP/UFOs, right?


I was planning to use Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted yarn for the slippers. You might remember this yarn took a brief turn as the top for the Uncooperative Sweater but got frogged. I've been looking for a project for it.

Sadly, I swatched last night and was unable to get gauge. Well, I was unable to take the steps necessary to see if I could get gauge.

I swatched on US2s and it was rather tight. I got 6 sts/inch, which was short of the desired 8 sts/inch. Of course, since I was watching TV I went UP a needle size instead of down. After the second swatch was even further out I realized my mistake, realized it wasn't going to happen, and selected a new yarn.

I'm going with Ella Rae Lace Merino. The original, thinner version. I swatched that on US2 and got gauge no problem.


This opens up color opportunities. With the worsted version I was going to be bad and use a variegated yarn. It might be just as well it didn't work out.

With the Lace version I'm going to go two-tone, which is suggested in the pattern notes. I'm going to do a brown slipper body and green lace edging (since the edging is leaf shaped). This might be an easy selection, but I had too many options in stash and could have been dithering forever.

I read through the pattern this morning and was pretty sure I see where to do the color changes, which was confirmed by a quick post in the Designedly, Kristi Knitters Ravelry group. All indications are that we can race ahead in the pattern if we know what we're doing. I'll probably cast on and see how far I get. It will be interesting to see the discussion of the construction and get the extra guidance on the pattern.

It will also be interesting to continue the project finishing momentum!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

If you love it so much, why don't you knit it?

Random scarfThis is something I've been wondering lately as the new year has arrived.

It's not really a stash-busting impulse, but I suppose it can be viewed that way.

I've just been thinking of all the lovely yarn in my hoard.

I go to local yarn stores and I go to fiber festivals and I see yarn that I just can't live without.
That yarn comes home with me and then proceeds to languish in the dining room credenza.

Feeling alone and unloved. Well, alone except for the all the other languishing yarn.

Lucy Neatby uses the slogan "make your yarn happy, knit it." And I remember my mom saying about various things as I was growing up that it was "their life's ambition" to be used in the way they meant. (This could apply to anything from a doughnut wanting to be eaten to nice shoes wanting to be worn).

 Love and UFOs

There is supposed to be a coorelation.

You hear knitters and crocheters all the time talking about getting bored with their current WIP and wanting to start something new and they don't know why.

The consensus is that if you really love the yarn and the pattern this won't happen. And when it does happen, people usually say you must have learned what you need to from that pattern and are ready to move on.

This phenomenon is partly behind my impulse to knit small projects this year so I can finish them. But, really, I just want to finish things.

But then I thought if I use some of these yarns in my hoard that I'm so in love with maybe that boredome won't set in.

On the other hand maybe what I need to be doing is sticking with mindless projects I don't have to focus on.

After all, look how quickly I finished the Electric Bunny Sweater.

Drawing the Line
This was all going through my head as I was finishing the Electric Bunny Sweater and beginning to contemplate my next project.

Should I try to finsh on of my WIPs that was approaching UFO status? Or should I use one of my "precious" yarns that I just had to have at the time? If those yarns were so compelling, why was I avoiding them?

And I decided to go for it.

The first weekend in December Hubby and I went to Portland, Maine.

He was taking a wine appreciation class so was locked away all day. I was along for the ride and ran loose in the Old Port area of the city. I was able to track down three yarn stores to visit.

Including Tess' Designer Yarns. Now back in, oh, 2005, Cynthia gave me a hank of Tess' hand painted silk...which I haven't knit up yet. Just terrible. See what I'm talking about? These poor neglected yarns.


She does lovely stuff and I came home with a hank of Kitten, a 65% Cashmere, 35% Silk blend that is just to die for and cost a pretty penny to boot.

I brought it home and tossed it in the dining room credenza to join all the other precious, expensive yarn I don't actually use.

But when the Electric Bunny Sweater was finished I said, "Enough!" and I got out the Kitten. And I told myself I would not complicate things. I would not find a pattern with lace or cables or something else that would slow down my progress.

I would just knit the damn yarn. And then I would wear it. And the ownership of it would be justified.

Random Scarf
So I present to you the Random Scarf. Eleven days from start to finish. It would have been less if I didn't have a couple false starts.

First I cast on 100 sts and decided it didn't look good and was too short. That was fairly annoying because I'd done a knitted cast on, which took forever, because I didn't want to guess for a long tail.

Then I accidentally cast on 50 sts and decided that was too wide and would get annoying.

Finally I cast on 400 sts (I was aiming for 300, but decided to use the entire tail because I wasn't doing another dang knitted cast on).

Then I just knit. I alternated stockinette with reverse stockinette and drop stitches and I didn't sweat it.

It also would have been finished sooner if the cast off hadn't taken two or three days.

The end of the yarn was approaching as I was working a double wrap row. I decided to listen to the frantic little voice that kept saying, "You aren't going to make it!" and picked it out.

I knit a regular row and started casting off. The frantic little voice came back and got all smug when I ran out of yarn half way through.

Do you know how much of a pain picking out a cast off is? Then I had to unpick the last row to have enough yarn.

Finally I cast off using one size larger needles, but it still came out a little tight. All the ladies in Library knitting said to blow it off, so I did. Since I was supposed to be relaxed about it.

I ended up with more leftover yarn than I expected since I'd run out before. I couldn't bring myself to clip it off so I worked a crab stitch with it along the cast off end. Only made it about half way, but noone whould be close enough to my scarf to know that but me!

Anyway. It was pretty cool to not only use up some precious yarn so quickly but to actually finish a scarf. (Scarves usually bore me to tears.)

I'm on to my next precious yarn. I was thinking of using the Maple Creek Farm Fredricksburg that I'd bought at Rhinebeck in 2010 and have actually used to cast on a sweater. But the Merino/Silk blend I bought at Ellen's Half Pint Farm during the 2011 New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival has been calling my name since it joined the family.

So I'm going to go for the Spring Pansy. My reasoning is that the NHSW is in May, which is right around the corner, while Rhinebeck is in October.

After all, I'll have to prioritize these lovely yarns somehow.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Lack Of Tact

Not all knit and crochet patterns can be free!

If they were all free then designers would get other jobs because they couldn't pay their bills and then where would we all be?!

Phew. Sorry. Third post in my attempt to start blogging again and I go with a rant. But I just had to get that off my mind.

It's a debate that has been held before and will be held again and I probably won't add anything new to the conversation, but I think it's stuff that needs to be said.

I don't know if it's that our society has developed a culture of entitlement that causes people to not want to pay for thing or respect other people's efforts.

Or if the internet is to blame because people expect things on the internet to be free and they aren't.

Or if people are just spoiled brats.

But this expectation that all patterns are going to be free really gets on my nerves sometimes. And the annoyance builds up and eventually boils over.

I could bitch to Hubby about it, and he would listen, but I'm not sure how much he'd truly understand my complaint, so it's not very satisfying.

And I can't always say it to the people pissing me off for a variety of reasons.

Mainly because I'm annoyed enough to say it I won't say it politely.

That would be bad because I don't want to get into a debate with them because chances are they'll be closed minded and not willing to listen to reason (no, that isn't kind and is a sweeping generalization, but it shows you how annoyed I am that I'm being closed minded myself.).

And, of course, when you aren't polite you end up alienating people and that is contrary to all of my goals.

So I keep it bottled up and end up waking up at 3 am because it's just one more thing on my mind then I remember I have a blog, which is my personal opinion and a bully pulpit and I can declare...

Not all knit and crochet patterns can be free and you should stop expecting them to be!

Don't get me wrong.

I like free patterns as much as the next knitter and have quite a collection of them.
But I also purchase patterns. I buy books. I buy magazines. I buy individual patterns.
I appreciate the fact that someone went to the effort of figuring it out, writing it down, and making it available so I don't have to.

I have also not bought patterns.
I have not bought patterns that I know I could figure out for myself.
I have not bought patterns that I think are lovely but know I wouldn't make or wear.
But I haven't not bought a pattern because I think it should be free.

There are two type of "it should be free" people who annoy me. There might be more types of them, but here are the two I want to slap.

The ones who sniff and say "I could design that."
Well, sure, you probably could, but don't go making noise about it. You are A) not helping anyone and B) undercutting the designer.

Someone worked long and hard to design that pattern and get it to a state that another person could use to create the object and it's not polite to loudly announce that you are going to, basically, steal their idea without offering any thanks.

I mean, if you're going to do that, at least do it quietly.
We're talking intellectual property here. And I appreciate that you can't own an idea. And I appreciate that an experienced knitter or crocheter can probably look at pictures of a finished object and replicate it, I've probably done it myself, but for goodness sake don't brag about it.

I think I'm not getting to the heart of my complaint here.....Yes, you can duplicate it by looking at it, but you didn't think of it until you saw the designer's version so shouldn't you show some appreciation?

Isn't that inspiration worth something?

The ones who can't design it for themselves.
 They don't have the ambition, knowledge, or skills to design their own patterns but they want all pattern to be free.

This shows a serious lack of appreciation for the designer's time and effort.

As I mentioned, it takes a lot of time and effort to dream up a design, work it up, write it down in a way that other people can understand, get it tested, and produce and distribute the finished pattern.

And if you're talking about a garment with multiple sizes, well the time involved just escalates.

Part of this might just be ignorance (as in a lack of understanding).
Having never designed a pattern themselves they don't appreciate what goes into it.
Or they might have made up a project but never written the pattern down in a comprehensible fashion so they don't realize how hard that part can be.
It might be possible to show some of these people the light. It might be possible to say, "Hey, it takes a week of 8 hour days (i.e., a full time job) to make that pattern you don't want to buy," and they'll say, "Oh, I didn't realize! Here is my money. Thanks for creating such a lovely pattern for me to make."
Or they might be unimpressed and still expect it for free.

We're partially to blame.
Depending on what you're trying to sell, free patterns are a key component.

Designers might offer a few free patterns to introduce people to their designs.

Book publishers offer free patterns to entice people to buy the book.

Yarn manufacturers offer free patterns because their goal is to sell yarn.

I have a few free patterns of projects that seemed so simple or generic that there didn't seem a point in trying to sell them. Something so basic that I was sure other free versions already existed. But even those patterns took me a few hours to create.

But the internet, the internet is a key to this free pattern expectation.

The internet, as a free publishing platform, allows anyone, with or without design experience or expertise, to post a free pattern.

Some of these patterns will be very good. Some of them will be very bad.

You would think the bad ones would make people more willing to pay for patterns with the expectation that they went through a more rigorous editing process. (And, yes, I've seen the shouting online about errors in magazines and books, but come on, we're only human and humans make mistakes so cut people some slack.)

But, anyway, it seems to me that people are being groomed to expect free patterns at every turn and we must stop that.

There must be a way to get them to understand that some patterns are free and others you have to buy.

And to get them to appreciate that fact.

And to make them understand in a tactful way that won't piss them off.

After all, some restaurants give a free dessert on your birthday, but you don't expect it every day of the year, right?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Done: Electric Bunny Sweater

Electric Bunny Sweater done I suppose this would be the first finished object of 2012, but that just doesn't seem right since most of the knitting was done in 2011.

In fact, the sweater was really basically done on New Year's Eve, I just had to seam the underarms and ran out of time before we went out and about. The knitting was done. The ends were woven it. There were just two inconvenient holes.

We had a nice, quite New Year's Eve with some family. We have a niece about 45 minutes south of us and she had her parents and siblings over as well. Just some finger food and Hubby brought a bottle of sparking wine.

Anyway, when we finally woke up on January 1 I took the time to finish it off.

I was a little concerned about the seaming since the fabric in that area is fairly pastel and the yarn I was using was dark purple and white. Happily, like any good mattress stitch seam, the purple yarn was swallowed up and is mostly invisible. Yippee!

The colors are fairly accurate in this picture. You can't see that the sleeves are slightly different in both color intensity and sequence, but I think that is part of the charm.

Electric Bunny detailThe yarn is hand dyed and spun so there are slight variations. And, actually, it does run through from bright primary to slightly softer.

I knit the right sleeve first, with the orange band at the top. When it came to the left sleeve I considered trying to make them match, but it would have involved a lot of cutting and reconfiguring of yarn and I decided against it. I figured with the yellow start the sleeves would be similar enough.

Besides, how annoying would it have been if I'd gone through all that effort and they still hadn't matched, right?

In addition to being a finished project that is warm and snuggly, this sweater is knit from Rhinebeck yarn.


I'm very proud of myself for having used the yarn in the same year I bought it. haha!

Project Recap
Yarn: that I bought at Rhinebeck.
I used about a skein and a half of her standard rainbow/white yarn for the yoke and cuffs. (The yoke took one entire skein.)

Electric Bunny finishedalign="left" hspace="5" vspace="5"The body and sleeves are in a custom color she spun for me that is a more solid rainbow. The color changes are more gradual with just slight overlaps where the color transitions from one to the next.

I had 4 skeins of the custom color. I used about 2.5 or 3 skeins. (Which is to say I have one entire skein leftover and about 1/4 each of the two skeins I used for the sleeves.)

So the fourth skein, which was an insurance skein, wasn't needed. But I'm happy I had it. If I'd been knitting the sleeves, watching the skeins decrease, I would have been sweating.

Needles: US 10 for the body. US 8 for the ribbings.

Pattern: My own design. Based on the principles outlined in Righette’s Sweater Design in Plain English and Bernard’s Custom Knits.

For now the leftover yarn will be put into stash, but I'm thinking I'll make another cropped poncho with it.

I considered a triangular shawl, but when I free-form those I'm not usually happy with the results. And scarves bore me to tears. And I really like my cropped poncho. And I think the yarn should be used for something I can snuggle into.

Well, knitting production is off to a good start. On to the next project!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Backward and Forward

New Year's Day.

A day for resolutions and goal setting.

I do my best not to fall into that. I try to keep the mindset that every day is a day to improve and make changes.

Not that I always follow through on that.

But, as we've already established, I'm susceptible to peer pressure so a few vague resolutions always get made.

To be a better person.

To be more organized.

To practice better time management.

Unfortunately, these seem to be the same resolutions I make each year. But aren't they all?

Knitting resolutions are easier to make, partly because there is usually more hope that they will be fulfilled.

This year I shall resolve to knit more.

Oh, sure, we all say that and we all mean it, but it has new meaning this year. I swear that I have less knitting time since we moved to New Hampshire.

I'm really not sure how that is working out since I'm supposed to have more free time considering I don't have a commute any more. Apparently I'm managing to suck up that time in other activities which don't include knitting.

tsk tsk.


 I am also resolving to blog more. Looking back at the blog archives for 2011 I'm appalled at the low number, which is about half of previous years. 

We can laugh at this goal considering how badly I crashed and burned during that November blogging challenge. Two whole posts. Ha!

Of course this goes right back to that time management goal.

It's not that I haven't had stuff to blog about. It's a matter of taking the time to sit down and do it.

I suppose all these goals speak to being more mindful of how I'm spending my time.

But those two goals also go hand in hand. If I'm going to blog more I'm going to have to knit more.

According to my Ravelry project--although I wasn't blogging I was at least putting information into Ravelry--I completed 24 projects in 2011. Actually I think it's 28 as I made four Christmas ornaments that I didn't enter into Ravelry.

In what turns out was a moment of over ambition, I had declared 2011 the Year of the Sweater.

That was a massive bust as I only ended up finishing two sweaters! The Green Schleppy Sweater and The Electric Bunny Sweater.

To my credit I did work on both the Yellow Lace Top and the Three Lace Cardigan.

Can't tell you what happened with this sweater resolution business last year aside from pointing your to my comments about having less knitting time last year.

Think Small

Having learned my lesson I'm declaring 2012 the Year of Small Projects.

I think focusing on projects that have short term completion dates will be more satisfying. Something to show for my efforts.

Also, I'm concerned that of my 24 projects last year only five of them were socks! One of those pairs was started a few years before.

I need more socks. Aside from all those socks I darned recently two more pairs exploded. My sock production has fallen behind and my wardrobe is feeling the pain.

Additionally, I have a ton of lovely sock yarn to begging to be knit. I know sock yarn doesn't count as stash, but it can still get lonely.

Not to mention finally having found yarn for my Autumn Road Socks, and those two fancy kits I bought a Rhinebeck two years ago.

Yes, socks will be a priority this year.

So, where does that leave us?

Knit more.

Blog more.

Focus on small projects.

Focus on socks.

Sounds doable.

What knitting or crocheting goals are you setting this year?