Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year's End

And this the last day of the year.  I've been trying to think ahead to all of the plans and goals for knitting in 2016, which still seems very far away rather than mere hours. This past year flew past quickly though there are a number of aspects I will not be sorry to leave behind.

Per Ravelry, I finished far fewer projects this year than in years' past.  2014 must have been quite a banner year, 42 projects. Of course, 3 super bulky cowls that knit up in something like 5 minutes each helped with that. This year I finished 24 projects and knit somewhere right around 5 miles of yarn. (Pictures of some Christmas knitting) 

(Deb's hat) 

There's a possibility I'll still finish one more pair of socks today but if not, then they'll be the first project finished in the new year and nothing wrong with starting off with a bang (or a toe).

(Deb's hat)

2016 knitting already has a lot of plans and event knitting-- a couple of babies, a couple of gifts I've had in the back of my head, more sock knitting. Always more sock knitting. I leave in a week for a trip to Boston and so have been trying to decide what will be the best yarn for that trip. Part of me is considering stalking a couple of yarn stores there but a resort of yarn in the past couple of days points out just how much yarn I'm trying to stuff into overfull bins. 

(Pair 5 of the Year, in the Van Gogh's Sunflower colorway)

And therein I think is the actual goal: to use the yarn I have. I seem to make that goal on a regular basis with more/less luck. This year I certainly continued to add at a rate faster than I decreased. So for Loopy Academy Sophomore Semester Spring my goal is to buy *only* the yarn I need. I can get through a fair amount of yarn before YarnCon, which should be my next in person shopping and buying too much yarn event.

I'd like to get my stash back to yarn I remember owning--even when I think I have all of it in Ravelry occasionally a skein surprises me.  I'd like to have space in the bins.

And I want to focus on knitting things that make me happy.  So it's off to the queue to see what objects I can make that will do that.

Wishing you a peaceful end of the year and hope you are looking ahead to wonderful crafting things.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Loopy Academy Sophomore Fall Semester Finished

I've just finished uploading my Loopy Academy Sophomore Semester 1 projects. I did a number on my right shoulder cranking through the pair of socks that ended up being project 3 but they are done, off the needles, and in the gift bin for now. (I might reclaim them for myself but right now my sock drawer is full).

Project 2 was the knitted pillow out of Worsted weight yarn. I wasn't anticipating this particular project to be great fun and while the cabled chart was interesting and such, overall, I was less than enthused.


The yarn is Cascade 220 superwash, mixed with a little gray cat fur. (She's fine, she's sitting on my desk mewing at me even though dinner was an hour ago.)


I realized, about halfway through the chart that there was no way I had enough yarn for the original pattern.  You're supposed to knit a long bottom back, then the chart, then more cables for a while, and then a top flap.  And while the pattern clearly said "500 yards" I only had 440. User error, not pattern error.  So, I finished up the charts, made a much smaller than called for flap, seamed and stuffed.

I am already planning what else to do with the yarn.

Project 3 was the socks that I'd just started when last I blogged.




Definitely cranked through these a little too fast, what with also having needed to finish Christmas knitting on several other projects. But they're nice socks and, most importantly, they are done and turned in.  I was glad that I finally set on the socks, I'd been waffling around all fall trying to figure out what I wanted to made. None of the patterns I could come up with seemed right.  This felt like a good use of the yarn.

I'm waiting on approval on TLE for these two projects. That will hopefully come in the next day or so.  It's really interesting to see how much participation has dropped off from last year.  The freshman year galleries were much larger, here it's only 3 pages of pictures for each category. As things continue, I expect it will get even smaller, but more people are starting and working on it so over time there should be really lovely and expansive galleries.

To those still frantically knitting away the last couple of hours, good luck and remember to get things in long enough beforehand to have a toast a midnight!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Winding Down the Woolly Year

I'm about 80% done with Christmas knitting. The projects that have to be mailed are done, though not yet in the mail as they should be. The other projects are well underway and if not perfectly finished on 12/25, that's okay. The week after Christmas is an acceptable delivery time for those.  

As I sat here again today, trying to sort out my final Loopy Academy Sophomore 1st Semester project (cables), I found myself thinking that this year hasn't been the most satisfactory for me in terms of knitting. It's been fairly productive--16 projects done so far plus a big pile of grocery bags, and I'm on track to finish another 6 projects over the next couple of weeks (4 of those are >70% done). 

Yarn has been used up at Chez Hedgehog. I haven't been able to get ahead of myself--the overall stash is bigger than it was at the beginning of the year. A chunk of that has been Loopy Academy--6 projects that required non-stash yarn adds up. The cotton marathon of the summer took a dent out, certainly, but the Loopy Ewe orders and Stitches Midwest and such more than balances.  

I am surprised to find that while I always self-describe as a process knitter, this year I find that finishing projects without an immediate plan for who will receive said product seriously frustrates me. I have two large shawls and several smaller projects without a final destination. They sit in a box of finished objects and while I can see the work I put into them and recognize that they are well executed and interesting projects.... I'm annoyed that they haven't been wrapped up and given to someone.

That one is a Loopy Academy project may come as little surprise. The prompts, while certainly wide enough to not make me feel totally hampered, have also meant I've spent time on things I wasn't especially interested in (felting anyone? pillows?). I'm considering ripping out at least one of the Sophomore semester projects after we get through the end of the semester. I like the yarn too well to leave it in a project I'll never use. 

Behold the indignities of Gypsy's life. 

Anyway, tonight I finally did decide on my 3rd project: a pair of socks with two cables running down the leg. I'm modifying the pattern I almost always use, my 1x1 vanilla ribbed socks. I mocked up what I need in Excel so I know what stitch count I'm working with. And, as you can see in the first picture, I have started. 

These will be simple enough to be knit on the train this week and I'm hoping that this will mean that by the week's end I'll be the better part done with a sock. 

Next year, there are a couple of knit-for babies coming, so I hope to get to use up some yarn on them. Or maybe target my Loopy projects at them once I get the Sophomore 2nd semester prompts. And, maybe do everything for that out of sport weight or thicker yarn. This whole 11th hour, no really I'm knitting on size 0 (2.0 mm) needles and I'm going to knit a full pair of socks on these in 2 weeks plus several other projects is not my best move.  

If you're on holiday deadlines, may your needles be speedy, your remaining skein more than you need to finish, and your glass of wine never splash on white wool. 

AudioGirl Birthday and Square Assemblage

Among some of my closest knitting friends, AudioGirl and BrineyDeep, I'm not sure I would say there is a lot of agreement of things they...