Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two FOs and Two NEW Cast-Ons!

I said I would be setting some weekly goals for myself, to help myself keep motivated and feel like I've accomplished something, especially when working on larger projects.

Last week, I set these goals:
-Finish the Washcloth
-Finish 198 yds. of Heaven
-Use up the rest of the first skein on the Candle Flame Shawl

Finish the washcloth: DONE!
Pattern: The Cotton Dishcloth (once removed or dressed up)
Yarn: Peaches & Creme in Pink Lemonade.  Yes.. I still have more of this left.  This cloth only used up 39g and it seems like this will be the skein that never ends!

It is a great pattern though, I loved knitting it and already have plans to cast on some more, especially since it only requires 39 grams of yarn!

Finish the 198 yds. of Heaven Shawlette: DONE!
Pattern: 198 yds. of Heaven
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton
Comments:  I added an extra repeat in the main body, and somewhat regret it.  It used up a lot more yarn, but it came out bigger than I expected.  I did use a size 10.5 US needle since I was using a dishcloth cotton for the shawl.  I'm sure once it blocks out I'll like it a little more, and if not I'll wear it inside when it gets cool.  This was done for a KAL on Ravelry and I love the pattern.  I may make it in another yarn, or even a laceweight yarn at some point in the future.

Finishing up the first skein of the Candle Flame Shawl.... yea, it didn't happen.  I had a very busy week between work and life in general, so no other projects happened this weekend, but it's okay.  After watching tons of podcasts and listening to everyone talk about socks I decided I needed more socks on my needles.  Then while chatting in virtual knit night the other day, someone showed me the nanner socks she was working on by Wendy Johnson.  Wait... I have that pattern, and yarn I bought FOR that pattern YEARS ago!  But that yarn was living in Ohio... or so I thought.  Turns out it was in my boxes upstairs!  So guess what I cast on?

Yup!  Nanner socks in Lime & Violet Sasquatch Sock (75% wool, 25% nylon) that I purchased ages ago from their shop.  This stuff has been in my stash for way too long, so it's finally nice to be using up some of those sock yarns I was hording...

Speaking of sock yarn, I also wound this:

Two skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy Sock Yarn in colors Gothic Rose and Deep Seaflower.  I bought these yarns over a year ago with intentions to knit them into gift scarves.  That hasn't happened yet, so when I came across the Stripe Study shawl for the Knitting in Circles Podcast I knew what I wanted to make out of these yarns.  The pattern has been downloaded, but haven't been cast on yet.  Hopefully I'll get them started at some point tonight.

Since I have two new FOs, I also have a new stash status update:

Yarn Out:  817g (2058y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

Wow, is it me or does this week seem to be dragging along just a little?

I seem to have lost my motivation at times.  I finished the socks and was thrilled to have one of my three major UFOs off of the needles, and encouraged by a Knit-A-Long I cast on a shawlette out of worsted weight yarn.  That flew along very quickly, but now that I'm "almost done" it's starting to drag just a bit.  Of course since it's a triangle shawlette it gets bigger and bigger with each row which means more stitches!

I am using stash, and it is part of my cotton stash, so I plan on using as much yarn as possible!  Yay for stash busting!

This leads me to the point of my post.  I like goals.  When the year started out I had several goals, and although I am still flying through my goals for 2012, I would like to set myself some mini-weekly or even monthly goals as the year progresses.  Why?  Because I need to feel like I'm accomplishing something!

Weekly Goals 1/23-1/29: (I plan on my weeks starting Monday mornings.)
-Finish the Washcloth
-Finish 198 yds. of Heaven
-Use up the rest of the first skein on the Candle Flame Shawl

Three goals, three projects, a good beginning.

Want to see what I'm spinning?
It's 100% Alpaca (I think...maybe Llama, I'll have to look.)  It's been a pain keeping Odis out of this fiber.  I have to keep it tied up even when I'm in the room and high on a shelf when I'm not.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One down... Two to Go!

I mentioned several times this year that I was planning on finishing up some of those UFOs that have been lingering on my needles for way too long.  When at knitting group last weekend I hauled along the socks I began knitting back in December of 2008.  They were plain stockinette so it was nice to just knit mindlessly along while chatting with everyone.

Well I finished up the ribbing this week and cast off.  Both socks were made at the same time so no second sock syndrome for me!

Pattern:  Widdershins
Yarn:  Knit Picks' Simple Stripes
Comments:  It was a great pattern and a great yarn.  The only reason it took me so long to finish them was because of a huge knitting hiatus and the fact that they were stockinette.  Next time I'm putting a pattern on them!  Love the yarn, wish Knit Picks still made it. :(

I'm heading down to the outlet mall to hit another knitting group today.  I think I'll take the shawl from 2006 along to work on while I'm there. :)

Yarn Update. :D

Yarn Out:  545g (1571y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

So far so good!  I haven't bought any yarn, and I'm plowing through some projects and using up stash!  I have a new found love in shopping from the stash. :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finishing the UFOs

I have some Unfinished Objects (UFOs) that have been lingering for years in my project bags.  Two from 2007 and another from 2008.  One of my goals for this year was to work on those UFOs and actually get all of them DONE this year.  Of course I have other goals for 2012 as well and so far for 2012 all is going well.  I haven't bought any yarn.  I've finished my January hat for the 12 Hats in 2012 KAL/CAL, and now I'm using my knitting time to alternate between the old afgahn and the ancient shawl.

This week, my main focus has been the Popcorn Ripple that I started in December of 2006.  I decided way back then that I needed it to be twice as wide as a normal afgahn because I wanted to be able to wrap myself completely in it while snuggling on the couch to watch a movie.  Of course, this means it takes quite a long time to complete a row and that is the main reason why I haven't gotten much accomplished on it throughout the years.  The stash diet of 2012 has inspired me to pull this 6 pound afgahn out and finally get it done.  Finishing it would mean another 6 pounds out of my stash which means 3 pounds could come back in as purchases. ;)

Of course, the giant afgahn isn't the easiest thing to haul around and work on while out and about, so I've had a washcloth living in my purse.  Another 4-corners dishcloth was finished today and added to my washcloth collection.

Pattern:  4-Corners Dishcloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme
Notes:  Love it.  This is the 4th or 5th time I've made this pattern and it's just such a fun shape.  Very easy to remember and I'm likely to make many many more this year as I'm on a mission to use up all this cotton.

New Yarn Totals for 2012!

Yarn Out:  453g (1146y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Wooohooo!  One pound gone from the stash in just 15 days!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arrow Hat

I never used to knit hats, but for some reason they seem to be one of the things I'm enjoying knitting most right now.

In Ravelry for 2012 I decided to take the 12 hats in 2012 challenge and make 12 hats this year.  It seemed like an easy challenge for me since I can knit a hat in 1 day if I have absolutely nothing to do.  So far, we're doing well for 2012.  I cast off late last night, and wove in the ends today.  I would have finished earlier last night; however, I ran out of yarn during the last few rows and had to rip and rework it a little.  Overall I am very happy with it.  This was made as a stash busting effort and will be tossed into the gift box for the upcoming year.  At the rate I'm going I may be done with holiday gifts by May. ;)

Pattern:  Arrow
Yarn:  Handspun - 97 grams and approximately 312 yards.
Comments:  I couldn't find a gauge for this pattern; however, I just knitted away happily.  It was a little on the large side, but it fits nice and it's comfy as well.  This was the first handspun I had ever made on my spinning wheel and I did hold it double to get the worsted/aran thickness.  I did run out of yarn a little towards the end, but was able to rip the two rows prior to the decreases in order to get the yarn needed to decrease at the top.

New Yarn Totals for 2012!

Yarn Out:  411g (1067y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y
I'm making progress!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Scarves, Yarn and Hats Oh My!

It's been about 3 days since I've last posted and believe it or not I've gotten quite a bit done in that time!

I think I'm surprising myself at how much I'm getting done this year as far as my fiber goals are concerned.  In fact I'm so motivated by how much I'm getting accomplished that I'm actually refocusing on my weight loss goals.  I am getting married in December of this year so I would like to be able to really drop some pounds before then.

First up.  Mom's birthday scarf is done!

Pattern:  Beginners Reversible Scarf
Yarn:  Handspun Romney (I think)
Comments:  I LOOOOOVE this pattern.  I have made the complicated lace, and the intricate colorwork, but for some reason lately I'm all about the basic patterns.  Maybe because they're quick and mindless and let me unwind after a hard day.  This is the first handspun I ever spun on my wheel so I had some different thicknesses in my yarn.  I did have to hold some of the strands together to get the right thickness when I realized my skeins were all a different weight.  It worked!  Scarf is done and next weekend I will mail it out to my mother.

I still had quite a bit of yarn left so I took the leftovers and cast on for my first hat of 2012!  I found TONS of hat patterns on Ravelry that I want to make this year, and I decided to join the 12 Hats in 2012 group to help me with some of my New Year's Goals.  Now that my mom's birthday gift is done I decided to get moving on my hats!  They make great gifts, and they're quick knits.  I plan on making several hats and tossing them in bags until birthdays and holidays come up later on.

Little O decided that my new Arrow hat makes a great bed, and wouldn't get up so that I could take a proper picture.  Never fear!  As it progresses I will get more photos. :)

Oh, and to give my hands a break from knitting I decided to get some roving out last night and spin a little.  Now this yarn has a bit of a back story.  I have never liked "art yarns" because I had no idea what to do with them.  Some I saw as functional, but they just were never something I had much of a desire to spin or knit.  Well... I was given this in a Secret Pal swap a few years ago.

She told me it was an art yarn batt... I could tell!  I tossed it immediately into my stash and was too afraid of it to actually turn it into something.  Well with my coming back to knitting and spinning I am on a mission now to use up that stuff I have, especially the stuff that has been lingering in my stash for so long.

The resulting yarn is actually kinda nice.  It's a funky green yarn with a lot of pinks and oranges throughout and a bunch of bright green ribbon yarn, and some other novelty yarns throughout.

The first skein has a lot more ribbons in it.  I planned it this way hoping I could have one skein of "ribbony" yarn, and then a skein of matching plain old worsted that I would be able to use for a cuff of a hat, or possibly decreases and seaming.  It worked out fairly well since the majority of my "fluff" is in the first skein.  This one was 55 yards and weighed in at 63 grams.

The second skein has very little ribbon and it's all at the beginning of the skein.  So I can easily start from the plain side of the yarn, and when this runs out I can start filling in with yarn from the other skein.  This skein clocks in at 60 yards with only 51 grams.

A total of 115 yards, I should definitely be able to get a basic hat from it.  Definitely won't need a fancy pattern since this hat will be all about the yarn.

With the finished objects and the new handspun this updates my yarn stats for the year:

Yarn Out:  314g (755y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  265y

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Well.. It's Not A Washcloth!

It's January.  January.  I realized two days ago when going on and on and on about how I was going to knit gifts this year for all of my friends and family, that my mother's birthday was coming up soon.  In fact it was coming up very soon.  At that point I had 17 days to knit a gift and ship it back home to her before her birthday.  Well, I was busy with a washcloth.  (Are you surprised?)  So last night I went into my stash and looked for a suitable yarn that I could turn into a scarf for mom.  I know what is in my stash, and my color preferences do not always match those of my mother, so I was very concerned about being able to find something from stash to knit for her.  Luckily the first bin I opened up was the one that holds my handspun, and a bluish gray was sitting on top.  5 skeins of it.  This is the first handspun I ever spun on my Ashford Traditional wheel.  I loved the fiber when I bought it.  I loved the yarn after it was spun.  But it wasn't really my colors.  It is however something I think that would work very well for my mother.

I started the scarf last night and was able to get that far before turning into bed.  I think I'll be able to finish it with plenty of time.

In case you were concerned... I did also finish another dishcloth. ;)

Pattern:  Seamless Circular Cloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme - Pink Lemonade
Comments:  Good Pattern.  I'm getting sick of the yarn a little. LOL.  This is the 4th washcloth I've finished this year so my gift box is picking up some items fast while my stash is beginning to dwindle!

I'm in a few groups on Ravelry, and although I am tracking my stash busting by tracking the grams used, another group of mine is tracking the yards knit.  So I thought I would add that to my destash list as well!

Yarn Out:  181g (388y)
Yarn In:  0g (0y)
Yards Spun:  150y

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Luv Washcloths

The washcloth high continues.  This one was finished yesterday and a new one was cast on immediately after.  This pattern was good, but it wasn't my favorite.  Not sure why just wasn't for me.  Maybe it's the way my yarn striped out?  Or maybe it's just because I wasn't thrilled with the shape of it.  NO complaints about the pattern itself.  It was written well, and her patterns are easy to read.  I had a few difficulties but that was likely due to errors with my own reading. ;)

Pattern:  Leafy Surprise Cloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme - Pink Lemonade (50g)
Comments:  Good pattern, I had some difficulties with the problem, not sure if it was me or the way it was written.  I found it odd you never knit across completely to finish off each section.  I ended up with one stitch that seemed to be carried along throughout the project without being knitted.  Was weird especially when casting off.  I'm not seeing where I made a mistake in the pattern, but maybe it was something I did wrong.

New Yarn Totals for the Year:

Yarn Out:  136g
Yarn In:  0g
Yards Spun:  150y

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Cloth for 2012

Well my holiday break from work is coming to and end.  Tomorrow will be back with all of the usual chaos and pandemonium that happens on a daily basis.  My goal is to get things done, and enjoy life with as little stress as possible.  Hopefully the new year will mean a better situation in work and home life.

Of course, back to work will also mean less knitting time for me, so posts may slow down a bit as my knitting slows down.  Hopefully I will still have time for my craft, but we'll have to see.

Early yesterday after finishing my blog post, I finished yet another washcloth that has been added to my "gift box."  I'm on a roll with the cotton washcloths lately.  They're quick, fun, and help with my stash numbers!

Pattern:  The Windmill Dishcloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme in Pink Lemonade
Comments:  Love this pattern.  It was very easy to follow and made a cute little cloth.  I still have a ton of yarn left on this cone so you will see lots of Pink Lemonade colored washcloths in my future. 

I'm really enjoying the variety of patterns I'm finding on Ravelry.  It's been fun to go through and queue about 10-15 washcloths at a time then work my way through them.  The nice thing about having a lot of one color yarn is that I get the chance to try out patterns, without running out of my "favorite color."  Once I find a few set patterns I like I'll be able to whip even more cloths out and use up all that cotton that seems to be lingering in my stash.  I bought this stuff ages ago with intentions to knit washcloths and it looks like I'm finally getting around to doing it!

The only bad thing about knitting washcloths is that after awhile my hands start to hurt from the cotton.  I am using a size 8 needle when I knit, so it's not a horribly tight stitch; however, I am a tight knitter and I've been knitting non-stop for the past few days.  I decided to give my hands a little break, and pulled out some BFL to spin that has been in the stash since 2008.

I started spinning after dinner last night and was done plying before I went to bed.  I did aim for a worsted and got pretty close.  I am amazed sometimes at how two skeins of handspun appear to be the same weight, yet one is 300 yards and the other is 150.  I really like a tightly spun and tightly plied squooshy kinda yarn and that does eat up the fiber when spinning.

This was 4oz - 150 yards of BFL handspun in the color Thermograph from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club.  I really enjoyed spinning it up, and I'm thinking I'll make a hat from it after the twist has been set.  One of my goals for 2012 was to knit 12 hats during 2012, so I have a need for some nice quality worsted weight yarn.  What better than my own handspun?

Finished items means a new count for 2012!  Yay progress!

Yarn Out:  86g
Yarn In:  0g
Yards Spun:  150y

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring on 2012!

It's a new year, and I am one step closer to completing my knitting goals of 2012!  We're off to a great start already.

The truth, I needed something to knit last night while I was "celebrating."  There was no alcohol on my new years eve; however, I did have family over and it's hard to socialize and knit on an intricate lace shawl.  Because of that I cast on for a washcloth that I had been itching to make for a few days now.  I finished this just after midnight last night making it my first finished object of 2012!

Pattern:  4-Corners Dishcloth
Yarn:  Peaches & Creme - 42 grams
Comments:  I have knit several of these and I love the pattern.  It does have you slip the stitch as if to purl but make sure the yarn is held in back.  I was holding it in front (as if I was purling) and it left some gaps that I didn't like in the washcloth.  Apparently when I made it in the past I didn't read the directions, or I just slipped as if to knit.

As I said I will NOT purchase any yarn or fiber unless I've used up twice the amount.  So with each finished object I will be posting my current yarn status.

Yarn Out:  42g
Yarn In:  0g
Yards Spun:  0y

So as of right now I can buy 21g of yarn if I really want!  I think I'll start saving up now so I can make a knit picks purchase later in the year for a few Christmas gifts.

Also this is the first washcloth of 2012 to go into my "gift box" where I'll be storing finished objects to give out in years to come.

Happy New Years everyone!!!  I wish you all a safe and happy year.