2015 already?

I guess it’s been a little longer than I thought since I wrote last. Let’s just say that 2014 was a bit of a whirlwind and leave it at that? Summary – I made a bunch of stuff, Team PI is awesome, Nerd Wars ended (forever…I know! It’s super sad.), I went to Rhinebeck for the first time (it was GREAT), met up with people from Team PI for real (also GREAT), made more stuff, and bought a TON of yarn.

Now that’s out of the way….2015! Goals, plans, stash!

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Nerd Wars may be gone, but Team PI lives on. There are other games, but none of them have really attracted my interest. To be honest, I was really slacking on the amount of time I was able to dedicate to challenge projects and I think I may have wound up leaving the game at some point anyway. BUT we still have our team…which is great. I really do enjoy spending internet time with these people. Why am I talking about this? Stash Down 2015.

One of our very smart team members brought up the idea of doing a team Stash Down for this year and boy do I need it! One of the by products of learning new knitting skills and having a little extra money is that I seem to have acquired quite a lot of yarn. It’s not the room-fulls that some people have, but it is starting to exceed the space I have to store it for sure. Plus, it’s full on sweater quantities in some cases. Oh & I still have a megaton of cotton yarn because I never did complete Project Use Up All The Cotton.

2015 Knitting & Stash Goals

  • Knit up the items which I specifically purchased yarn for. Things like my Owl Sweater that I’ve been wanting to make for over a year. I’ve put them all at the top of my Ravelry queue and I’m going to stubbornly resist starting other things until I get through these 5 or 6 projects. (Only exception is baby gifts. New babies don’t care about my stash goals and need hats regardless.)
  • Finish the projects that have been in the works for a super long time. There are 3 of them: 1) Raven socks. 2) Trillian shawl. 3) Linen stitch scarf.
  • FINALLY use up all of the cotton. I still have quite a lot sitting in a bin just waiting for me to do something with it. I think it’s time to get moving there.
  • No yarn buying except for baby gifts (if the yarn I need isn’t already in the stash) and if I go to any festivals like Rhinebeck.

Right now, I’m happy with those goals. If I can accomplish those, I’ll have brought the stash under control and made some really nice things in the process. (And made lots of room for more yarn!)

The Sweater that launched a thousand funks

You might remember the Sea Princess Sweater that I made for the Kiddo. It’s pink…very pink. I was super proud of how it came out. The Kiddo loved it. Even though it was probably a bit too warm out to be wearing a wool sweater, she wore it every chance she could get.

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Although it’s a washable wool, it still needed to be handled with care. I washed it a couple times  – with maybe one or 2 other items and in cold.

And then….this

It's a little hard to see here, but it looks terrible in real life.

It’s a little hard to see here, but it looks terrible in real life.

It got mixed into a full load of laundry somehow & washed in what was clearly water that was WAY TOO HOT for it. Now I have a weird looking pseudo-felted, cabled sweater. I’m not sure what to do with it. I worked too hard on it to be willing to just throw it away. What I know is that it sent me into a crafting & blogging funk the likes of which I haven’t seen in a couple years. Combine that with working full time and you can imagine how much I’ve gotten done.

BUT about 2 weeks ago I finally started to come out of it. I made a pair of baby pants, I finished the puppy hat of eternity, and I made a lovey blanket (pics & stories to come).

And now I have ideas…so many ideas! I have some really nice yarn that is just screaming to be used. A cowl, socks, washcloths…oh my. Now I just want to MAKE ALL THE THINGS!

On a separate note, what the heck does one do with a pseuo-felted, cabled sweater when it is totally unwearable?

I’m still here!

I haven’t fallen off the planet, I promise. I’ve been furiously knitting and trying to keep track of a preschooler’s summer at the same time (seriously…the Kiddo’s schedule has changed just a little and it’s thrown my entire world into a tizzy).

So real quick – here’s what I’ve been making lately:

Getting organized

I think I’ve hit that post holiday/post Nerd Wars tournament knitting funk. In lieu of knitting, I’ve been putting some kind order to the madness that is my pile of printed knitting patterns.

Since about 2007, I’ve managed to accumulate a fairly large pile of knitting patterns that I’ve printed out (most of which I’ve used). They’ve been moved from place to place, all over the house and they drive my husband crazy. Naturally they don’t stay in just one pile and I use several at a time so they kind of get everywhere. So I need to corral these suckers somewhere.

I’ve decided to go, perhaps surprisingly, low tech on this. I got myself a 2 inch wide 3-ring binder, dividers, and a giant stack of sheet protector sleeves.

It didn’t take long to get them all in order. First I put each pattern into a sleeve and then grouped them into categories. Then they went right into the binder.

I didn’t count them, but one pack of sheet protectors has 50 in it and I used 1 and a little of a second. Plus I got rid of a bunch of duplicates and unnecessary pages.

So simple, I don’t know what kept me from doing this earlier.

Birthday Yarn

Today is my birthday.  Today I did pretty much nothing but yarny things and I didn’t have to feel bad about it…because it’s my birthday.

After my husband left for work and took the little girl to day care, I sat and worked on my Leaf & Acorn shawl for a while.  Then I went to the store closing sale at A Yarn for All Seasons.  I bought $100 worth of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Tonal in Strawberry (#6336) for $50 – that would be 10 skeins.  When I got home, I knitted some more and then the little girl and I went out to dinner with some of the family.

Now that the kiddo is in bed, I’m able to knit some more.  Yay!

Tomorrow, I’m going to take my birthday money to another yarn shop and make some additional purchases.  Yay for me!

Digging out and jumping in

I think I’m finally pulling out of my knitting funk.  I’ve finished the knitting on the sunshine I’m making and just have assembly and embroidery to go.  And I’m actually kind of looking forward to making up some little birds.

The thing that has me most excited is that I’m signing up for Nerd Wars!  Yay!

Nerd Wars is a tournament on Ravelry where knitters (and crocheters and spinners, I believe) of different geekdoms compete in challenges of crafting fun.  I’m pretty jazzed about it.  Firstly, as I have previously mentioned, I needed something to get my out of my knitting rut.  Secondly, fully immersing myself in geeky fun is always super enjoyable and not an activity I get to do nearly often enough.

I’m a little nervous too.  I always get nervous when I try to join in on these kinds of things.  It’s funny, even online, I get the “what if people don’t like me?” feeling.  And I get worried that I’ll somehow disappoint people.  But I have to rein myself in and remember that the only way to enjoy a social media experience is to join in the social part.  Plus, the people on Ravelry are always super nice and I have yet to come across someone who isn’t supportive and friendly.

So, I submitted my sign-up today.  I put Team Bazinga (Big Bang Theory) and Dumbledore’s Army (Harry Potter) down as my top 2 choices.  I could have easily gone for Star Wars or Star Trek too, but I figure that a bazillion people will want to join those.  I won’t find out until the 27th which team I’m on.  I can’t wait!

In the meantime, I’m off to try and finish up some WIPs (works in progress) so I have lots of free knitting time for Nerd Wars!!

Project ADD

My yarn order came in from Knit Picks. Yay!

But boo!

Now I have project ADD.  I just started on a scarf for myself and now I got the yarn I need to work on the hat for my friend’s baby shower.  Oh & I still want to make a few little bird rattles.

I’m the same way with books.  I have a stack next to my bed of about 5 books, there’s one book on my new ereader and I’m expecting 2 pre-order books from Amazon in early April.

Ah well, such is the curse of the ADD knitter.