First Two FO’s of the Year

I may be behind posting, but at least it’s not as far behind as I am on last year. 😉 I have not one, but TWO projects finished, and before they become ancient history, I want to share.

The first official finished project of 2012:

I started this yarn last August when I needed something to do and demonstrate with whilst acquainting a new spinner with her new wheel. The colored fiber was a lightly roving of Australian 54’s – pretty enough, but nasty to work with since it was lightly felted. Predrafting took some effort, but paid off in the end. I bought the roving as part of a destash before I knew anything at all about spinning. Good thing I only paid $5 for it, but I still wonder about the morals of the woman who sold a novice roving in this condition. 😦 The white I picked up at Heritage in Michigan last summer. It was possibly the most unpleasant roving I’ve worked with. It was chock full of VM of the sort that doesn’t fall out during spinning, so I had to stop regularly and pry the bits loose. It also was prone to tangling, forming little neps constantly. Wish I’d written down what sort of fiber it was, as I don’t want to make that mistake again, but for some reason, I don’t have that information. Regardless of the struggles, I do have well over 600 yards of “Buttermint,” as I’ve christened it, and almost 50 spare yards of white to use as trim on something. It came out about sportweight. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet. It felts easily and it’s not my normal colors, so it will take some thought. Open to suggestions!

The second project I finished just this week, marking one of the 3 past due Christmas gifts off the to do list at long last. 🙂 That is a tremendous relief! Although I started this project last February, life quickly got in the way, and it didn’t much progress for quite a while. Ultimately, it was nearly all knitted after mid-October and while I was working frantically to do so many other major tasks at the same time that I couldn’t begin to count them.

The story behind this is that for Christmas 2010, my younger daughter had put a knit afghan sold by Land’s End on her Christmas list. I found this somewhat insulting, beings as I’m a knitter, so I finally braved asking her why that one and not one that her mom made for her. Her response was, “If you can make one that pretty, go ahead!” Considering how simple it was, that was NOT a problem! This is a close copy of the one from the catalog, but possessing more cables and substantially larger, since both of them are tall and my son-in-law is definitely not a scrawny fellow. At Christmas, it was larger than the average afghan, so I took it out to show, hoping for the go ahead to bind it off and be done. She asked how much more yarn I had – answer being 8 balls, which was 40% of the total I’d purchased. She told me to use it all! WAH!!! 😦 Well, it’s done now, and it’s a BIG blanket!!! It’s so big that I had to start carrying it in a mammoth tote bag with more internal capacity than my roll on suitcase, limiting the places I could take it as social knitting. The yarn is Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky, and I really enjoyed working with it. It was a pleasure to knit, and despite running 2136 yards through my needles, I never really grew tired of it. Since it is superwash, it was a bit of a bear to wet splice, but with perseverance, all superwash wools that I’ve used have finally capitulated, and I’d rather work hard for that bond than darn in 40 ends in a somewhat slippery yarn on a project that is going to receive heavy use by a non-knitting family. This yarn, though called bulky, knits more like an aran weight, IMO. The basic pattern I used was All Natural Cables by Lion Brand, biggest modification simply being the length. If I had it to do over again, knowing I was going to use all the yarn, I’d have made it one cable wider and just run out of yarn sooner, I think. It’s being delivered to her as I type this, and hopefully she will send me a picture of it in her lovely home, so I can update the post with an in situ photo.

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It’s That Time Already?

Actually, in many ways it seems like it should have been “that time” months ago! 2011 was painfully long in many ways, but shockingly short in others. I’ve been doing battle with myself for nearly a week now about this post. I really didn’t want to face it. That doesn’t say much for my personal resolve to see my goals as just that – goals. They aren’t set in stone, nor a measure of failure vs. success. They are meant to be a guideline to keep me focused during the year – something I really need!

That said, 2011 hurt. I had a beautiful set of goals, clearly too big to accomplish everything there, but such delicious options! Despite the turmoil of the early months of the year, I managed to plunge into my list with enthusiasm, delighting in my projects. It’s a good thing I did. It turned out that what I did in those first few months was pretty much all that got finished the entire year. That is scary! I did get someplace new, set up a savings plan, lose those 25 pounds (which had morphed into 40 and are all gone), learn to double knit, and read 100 books, (though one of them wasn’t completing the Bible). I finished 3 UFO’s, just one pair of socks, and I got a fantastic start on Burridge Lake, though it is now classed as a UFO, since I’ve not been able to touch it since May. 😦 I worked hard on my stash and my DVD’s – for a while. I have a new toilet and installed shower facilities in my bathroom, but that was the end of making my bathroom wonderful. I wove a wonderful shawl. And I blogged regularly and learned my Bible verses – until mid year…

But I need to be kind to myself. I survived an amazingly tough year! I never dreamed on January 1 even half of what happened – of how my year was going to be reshaped. I didn’t imagine getting a new car, competing in 5K races, learning to set up an IV and give injections, or planning a funeral, nor did I think I’d lose two of my closest friends. I’ve grown and changed dramatically in the past year, and I’m thinking it might take another year before it all soaks in!

So, all that said, here I go again with the goals. This list is nearly a carbon copy of last year’s list. That was tough on me, as part of the excitement of New Year’s Goals is leafing through the files in my mind and deciding which of my life “wanna do’s” I’m going to try to tackle in the coming months. I had very little of that this week, and it’s disappointing. However, the goals I set last year are still very valid – still things I do really want or need to do, so I’m sticking with them with about a half dozen changes sprinkled through the list.

But truth be known, I really have just one REAL goal for 2012… that when it’s time to write my list for 2013, it’s a LOT different! 😀

Knit/Spin/Weave Goals:

  1. Publish at least 4 knitting patterns, including another KAL
  2. Complete Level 1 of the Olds College Master Spinner Program
  3. Knit a project from wool I’ve cleaned and spun, using a pattern I’ve designed
  4. Make another 2 pairs of handknit socks for myself and 2 pairs on my CSM.
  5. Finish at least 3 of the projects currently languishing in my WIP/UFO tubs – at least one item started before July 1, 2010, and the other two any time before July 1, 20111.
  6. Knit something tiny – size 4/0 needles or smaller – probably something for my future miniature yarn shop
  7. Weave something on something other than a triloom.
  8. Make a lovely sweater to fit the new me that shall be at the end of the year
  9. Learn Portuguese style knitting
  10. Attend a class teaching a skill that is new to me

Other Creative Goals:

  1. Finish at least one of the current remodeling projects – nook, laundry, sewing room, or kitchen
  2. Finish Reba – bisque porcelain doll
  3. Move one of my dolls from hospital patient status to display status – maybe Aaron, so he can show off his adorable knitted romper?
  4. Finish the interior and/or exterior of Friendship Cabin, a Real Good Toys Adirondack Cabin that we started several years ago, but which has languished untouched since sometime before the beginning of 2009
  5. Finish my Gail Wilson Hitty, which was started with enthusiasm during the online class, worked on for three nights, and now has the rest of the girls giving me “the look” for not getting their sister done
  6. Find the stories I started writing and complete at least one rough draft
  7. Finish a Hitty carving project
  8. Finish my Minstrel spinning wheel
  9. Create a photo book and a calendar
  10. Finish either a quilt or cross stitch UFO

Decluttering/Organizational Goals:

  1. Catalog DVD library and view those I’ve not watched
  2. Stash all my yarn on Ravelry – which will get done one of these years if I keep at it!
  3. Organize my computer photos, then print and label as I think necessary (okay, yes, multi-year!)
  4. Restock and reopen my internet stores, thus moving stuff, boxes, and packing material out
  5. Get loose knitting patterns into a usable system
  6. Have all books properly shelved. No stacks, floor rows, or double shelves.
  7. Clean out one of my email accounts, then maintain it
  8. Build and implement one of my storage solution plans
  9. Get my entire bathroom “wonderful” – tougher than it sounds!
  10. Scavenge all files off old PDA before I lose them

Personal Goals:

  1. End the year at my target weight
  2. Read 100 books, one being The Holy Bible
  3. End the year debt free – both money and promises made
  4. Go somewhere new – state or country
  5. Blog at least once each week
  6. Solidly memorize at least one  scripture verses each month
  7. Memorize one favorite hymn each month
  8. Spend time at least once each week working on a foreign language
  9. Spend at least a few minutes every week making music
  10. Walk 250 miles and participate in a 10k race.
Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 3:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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2011 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Published in: on January 3, 2012 at 4:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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