Blasting through the stash

While not officially stated in my New Year’s goals, reducing the amount of yarn in my home is a major campaign for 2012. Prior to a fall home reno, the yarn had wormed its way into every room in the house. It’s still there technically, but no actual yarn resides in the kitchen. In order to make myself look less loony to muggles (non-knitters) I have tried to reduce the amount on display, with some success.

But now to the point. This little sweater was knit with one and a half skeins of either Rowan or Debbie Bliss baby weight yarn. It was also a chance for me to try out the 80 bajillion baby sweater patterns I have placed in my Ravelry favorite page. The pattern is the Baby Boy 5-Hour Sweater. Here are my Ravelry deets.

 

And just for the record, this is the fifth finished knitted thing for 2012. It was started in 2011 but that doesn’t count right now because I make the rules. Of course the Beem is the real rule-maker.

 

Gratuitous dog photo

Four knitted things

Since Jan. 1 I have finished four knitted things. Now that’s finished, not started. Let’s keep that clear because two of these knitted things were supposed to be Christmas presents. Exhibit A and B:

These patterns are Turn A Square by Jared Flood and the Hitchhiker shawl pattern by Martina Behm. The hat was supposed to be part of my brother’s Christmas present, as blogged previously, the scarf was supposed to be part of my sister-in-law’s gift. She got a wrapped up pattern and skein of yarn instead. This caused some giggles but was not ideal by any means. Apparently before Christmas she was looking for a scarf but they were all too expensive. Knitsmith to the rescue, albeit a bit late. It’s a good thing she was only needing a scarf and not being attacked by aliens or something. Being rescued from alien attack is something you want right away, not two weeks later.¬† Anyway, these are both done and I have resolved to only take on three knit for Christmas projects past Aug. 1 next year. And start them before Nov. 1. Let’s be sensible.

The completion of these projects subtracts two skeins of yarn from the stash. Considering how much the stash has grown in the last year that is fantastic. I went to one fiber festival and the sock summit and picked up some presents for myself at both. I’m also slightly addicted to the yarn sites on the Triple Dubs. You understand where this is going. I have a small house and people aren’t fooled when you tell them big piles of yarn are chairs.

Anyway, I’ve knocked out two more projects this weekend: a scarf and a cowl.

The cowl will go in the Drawer of Advanced Planning. The scarf will shortly be a birthday gift. It’s just a simple garter stitch. The cowl was worked in the round until I ran out of yarn.

So there you have it – Jan. 9 and I’ve already finished four knitted things. I hope this trend of mass production knitting continues for me and for you if you’re so inclined.

Finish it already

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter F – for Finish. I am currently working on what could very shortly be the fourth finished knitted thing of 2012. This is impressive since it is only Jan. 8. That’s right, I have just complemented myself. That’s how I roll. I should not allow myself to get a swelled head about this accomplishment however, due to the myriad unfinished things dating back to years beyond 2011. Many of these unfinished items reside in the sewing room.

For several months I’ve believed that I would enjoy sewing if only I had the time and energy to do it. I am beginning to doubt the truth of this statement as I have yet to actually sew in spite of some available time and occasional energy. I see many projects I want to sew. This, http://www.purlbee.com/little-forest-quilt/for instance, would be a lovely addition to the front entrance. Every time I think of working on a project like this I remember the two quilt tops, one tie, a purse and pants needing to be hemmed that are on the to do list ahead it, or the American Girl clothes I want to sew for an upcoming birthday and I stay in the chair with the knitting.

I have flirted with putting together projects that only need sewing so that I can work on them right way when I get up or during my lunch hour. So far, this is another pipe dream.

What is the point of this post you ask? Merely to remind myself of the big pile of unfinished things weighing me down. I’m also just musing out loud about whether any of this will ever achieve completion or continue to languish in a basket. Should I scrap it all, donate it and just focus on the knitting and scrapping? It seems like a big defeat and an overall waste. This may seem very silly but whether I’m going to continue to stock the craft room as if I sew or whether I’m going to let it all go and give the space over to either less clutter or other priorities is a big question I’m pondering. My mother sewed beautifully and appeared to love it. (She also didn’t let quite as many projects pile up as I do. And tried to warn me of the folly of doing so.) People think I sew infrequently as I actually do. Letting go of it feels like letting go of part of her legacy, and a part of her that still lives in me, so it’s difficult. Maybe I should just put it away for awhile and see how I feel in six months. Maybe I should just give myself a break. Stay tuned.

New Year, Old Sock

Ok, so I forgot that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to blog more. Didn’t write it, but I’m going to do it.

This is the current sock, begun last year and continued this year. I keep the socks in my purse so if I have to wait somewhere, need a little knitting break during the day or find myself in a car full of knitting-supportive people, I can pull it out and get some stitches in.

Image

This sock is made from some¬†Knit Picks Felici I think. Anyway, this colorway is probably discontinued. I usually agonize over whether to order a specific Felici colorway until it’s discontinued. Smart planning. Check out the cute owl stitch marker, a gift from new crocheter Catherine Bigbee.

Anyway, this sock is made using the Yarn Harlot’s basic sock recipe. This is the pattern I usually use for socks. I get a good fit with it for the most part. I am going to try to step out (Get it? Socks, step out? Ha ha. ) and knit some socks from a different pattern this year. This may involve lace or cables. Contain yourselves.

The sock started out going really fast and has now stalled somewhat. However, I am nearly to the heel. I love the yarn. It’s really soft and appears to fly around the needle. I’m using one of those really tiny circulars instead of DPNs. I’m not sure how well I like the baby circulars. I think they make my wrist hurt but they’re easier to manage than the DPNs. Although I feel less clever while working with them. It only takes the Yarn Harlot 20 hours to finish a pair of socks, but I think in that 20 hours she actually knits on them. Imagine.

Knitting Resolutions

1. This post may contradict my first resolution, but I want to spend less time looking at patterns on the Internet and more time knitting them. I probably have enough patterns now to knit until I die so I need to get started. I’ve already finished a Turn A Square hat for my brother that has been on the to do list for awhile. And I used Shelter yarn, which was developed by the pattern writer, so that’s even better.

 

Turn a Square

2. Make more from the Sock of the Month Club. I have a bag full of these projects in my bedroom and more are on their way each month. I want to make a dent in this.

3. Mittens. I have four skeins of yarn designated as mittens and hats and they need to make the leap from yarn to knitting pretty soon.

4. Replenish the Drawer of Advanced Planning. I gave almost everyone a knitted thing for Christmas this season so the drawer is pretty empty. I want to repeat this feat next year but get the projects done by Christmas to avoid the mad late-night knitting and wrapped skeins of yarn and patterns. It always gets a giggle but really?

5. Finish last year’s projects. At the beginning of 2010 I made a list of things I wanted to knit last year. I didn’t get half of them done. I sort of scrapped the list for this year and made it a little more manageable. But I need to go back and wrap up some WIPs and one big project that has been in a holding pattern for probably five years.

6. Charity Knitting. There are plenty of people who could use a warm hat or scarf and I have plenty of yarn to make that happen. I want to make a hat a month to donate to Share the Warmth or a similar cause.

7. Become more comfortable with sock knitting. I have many patterns, many skeins of yarn and many dreams of beautiful socks with cables, lace and a perfect fit. I got the Wendy Johnson Toes Up Socks book for Christmas and received Kathleen Taylor’s big book of socks at the North Country Fiber Festival. I definitely have the resources to make that happen.

Wish me luck and God’s speed on your own list. I’m going to go knit something.