Summer of Dreams

I’m going to try something new. It seems like the only blogging I get done anymore is explaining why I’m not blogging. I’ve decided that’s a total waste of time. So I’m just going to pretend like I’ve not been AWOL and go for it. 😉

So…

For the past few years, along with my BFF (joylinnknits on Ravelry), I’ve been participating in The Loopy Ewe’s Summer Camp and having a lot of fun. However, there’s been a nagging feeling growing as I work on those projects that perhaps I’m being more true to The Loopy Ewe (which I love, so don’t get me wrong here…) than to myself. As the last half of the final project sped across my needles last August, a plan took shape in my mind which seemed a most excellent alternative – now dubbed “Summer of Dreams.”

Very logically, in order to win a skein of prize yarn, The Loopy Ewe requires participants to purchase their project yarn (on sale) from them during the month of the particular challenge and to fulfill their specific inspiration and yardage challenges each month. I have absolutely no pick with this, as they always have a nice prize, and it’s a very well run event.

However…

I also have some very nice yarn in my stash, and I have a LOT of projects favorited on Ravelry and planned, and by spending my summer buying new yarn and starting projects that fit the criteria for the Camp challenges, I wasn’t getting anywhere on them. This was making me a little sad. And I’m sure I’ve started hearing fuzzy little sobs coming from a few particular tubs of yarn.

What to do?

Well…

This summer I’m still doing a challenge, but it’s a challenge of my own design – Summer of Dreams. Requirements are:

  1. Using new or recently purchased yarn, make a project that I’ve been wanting to make for a good while. (For my purposes, it’s been “at least” a year.)
  2. Make a project that’s been dreamed of and stashed for awhile. (See that “year” business in #1.)
  3. Complete a UFO that got pushed aside (probably when I started working on a Camp Loopy project!).
  4. As with Camp Loopy, this will start June 1 and needs to be completed by August 31. However, the three projects don’t have their own months and can be worked in any order or simultaneously if that suits.
  5. As with Camp Loopy, the total yarn usage is at least 1800 yards. However, there isn’t any yardage requirement on any particular project, just the overall total, so if you’ve been dreaming forever of making a couple of headbands and a full-sized Shetland Lace shawl, then go for it!

As with Camp Loopy, there is a prize at the end, BUT it’s something of my own choosing (think “DREAM”) and it’s purchased with the money I didn’t spend buying yarn. I’ve already picked out the Taj Shawl knit in the Moroccan color way of some ridiculously delicious Artyarns camel/silk – something I’d have never splurged on otherwise, but which is definitely less expensive than a summer of Camp purchases.

I’m excited, because my BFF is committing to knit Summer of Dreams with me. I have my projects picked out, and I’m chomping at the bit to cast on! I’ll FINALLY be knitting a Strandwanderer, using some (need I say yummy?) Wollmeise I purchased this past spring, Ana Sancho Rumeu’s Waffle Blanket from the brown Plymouth Marley yarn I purchased a couple years ago, and I’ll be finishing my barely begun Gallantry, which I started April a year ago and put down within a week or two when vacation, then Camp, took over my life.

So… Now that I’ve said all this, I’m issuing an invitation. Do YOU need a Summer of Dreams? Are there projects you’ve wanted to do “forever” that just aren’t happening? Here is your chance to join us as we make some dreams come true! Perhaps you just love the idea and want to set up your own challenge, or perhaps you want to knit along with us using the same rules we have set. If so, drop a comment at the bottom of this post saying you’re joining us on this adventure. If we end up with at least five knitters, I will come up with a prize and have a drawing at the end of August, with everyone who completes the Summer of Dreams challenge being eligible. So not only will you have made 3 of your dreams come true, but maybe you’ll get a prize, too. Sure can’t beat that combination!

So, what do you think?

 

Published in: on May 28, 2016 at 3:23 am  Comments (1)  
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Two Fun Challenges

Hubby went out of town for just over a week, and this time I was ready to take advantage of the time alone to get some big projects out of the way. There was a lot of work, but I made sure I had some play in the mix as well, and what fun I had! I did two knitting projects just for the sheer joy of doing them – and because I’ve wanted for several years to try out knitting with Schoolhouse Press Unspun Yarn. Of course, I really didn’t need anything else on my needles, and though I’d ordered my wheels when the new KAL for a Lace Neck Scarf or Shawl by Marilyn VanKeppel was announced, I had convinced myself I wasn’t going to actually cast on – at least not until I cleared out a few other projects.

Unspun 007

Beige, Spruce, Caramel, Dark Caramel, and Sage

Then DH took off to the airport, and next thing I knew, I had Unspun wrapped around my needles, eager to become a new shawl. 🙂

Peppermint Patty 006

Somehow that first evening, I got this brilliant idea that I was going to finish my project before he returned in a week, despite teaching 4 knitting classes, working on the remodeling, planning to finish my clock, doing some major cleaning projects, picking up all his normal chores… oh… and being surprised by one of my classes and having to cast on a sweater. The really fun thing is that I actually succeeded! I finished sewing in my end at six minutes past midnight, so the dates look like 8 days, but it was about an hour less than 7 days, not counting the blocking, which I faithfully did the next afternoon.

Unspun Wonder 001

The instructions say to block the top edge straight, but the pattern uses decreases in the fashion of the Danish heart-shaped shawls. I’ve wanted to knit one of those for ages, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to block this one taking advantage of the built in shaping. The top edge measures 72″ and the center back is 34″.

Unspun Wonder 004

I love the finished shawl. It’s feather light, but warm, the colors are lovely – sage, spruce, beige, caramel, and dark caramel, and the Unspun gives it a totally different look from anything else I’ve knit to this point. And it was lots of fun to knit!

Unspun Wonder 021

Unspun Wonder 023

Unspun Wonder 024

A few days into that project, I headed to Dayton to teach my Concerto and Symphony classes at Fiberworks. I was surprised and pleased to learn that Arlene now sells Unspun at the shop! She definitely needed a sample project and hinted about my shawl, but there was no way! Instead, I bought 4 more wheels, thinking I’d make the smaller Neck Scarf version of the KAL pattern. (Remember… I really needed a new project, right? 😉 )

Denim, Winter Blue, Donahue, and Raspberry

Denim, Winter Blue, Donahue, and Raspberry

Having succeeded in my “While Hubby’s Away One Week Unspun Wonder” (as I named it on Ravelry), I got this crazy idea. Could I do the scarf in one day? Wouldn’t know if I didn’t try! It took some scrambling to get it blocked before my 24 hours were up, but guess what… I did it! I finished the knitting in six hours (counting fixing a few mistakes that happened because I was thinking “fast” and totally negated the speed bit…), then had it washed and blocked an hour after that.

Little Wonder 001

I used larger needles for the scarf – size 10 (6mm) for the shawl and 10.75 (7mm) for the scarf.

Little Wonder 002

The following day was a gorgeous autumn in Ohio sort of day, so the photo shoot was fun!

Little Wonder 011

My “Little Wonder” measures 36″ across the top and has an 18″ drop.

Little Wonder 012

If I were to do this one over again, I think  would move the raspberry stripe down against the winter blue instead of having a denim buffer between the two. Still, I really love the way these two projects turned out, and there will definitely be more Unspun in my future. In fact, I’m going to be teaching Unspun projects at Fiberworks in the near future! 🙂

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