Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daybook For Today- January 29th, 2015

Outside my's been dark and gloomy. Thought I heard some hail on my window at work but it was gone by the time I ventured outside.

I am:
Thinking...of all the wonderful things I can create with the yarn I've ordered.

Thankful...for all the wonderful people, from my mother and grandmother to my 4-H leaders, who helped teach me how to knit, sew, craft and create.

Wearing...Favorite purple tank and a stretch knit  skirt with black tights, 3/4 sleeve cardigan and flats with my puffy warm jacket and a wool scarf. Changed into comfy sweats, fuzzy socks, a loose tee and big zip up sweater as soon as I got home.
Creating...Socks and big warm knitted things. sit on the couch with a heat pad on my back to knit while watching tv. much yarn and how many project are too much
Reading...Knitting to Stay Sane Blog.
Watching...Justice League Unlimited Season 2 on Netflix.
Listening...2 Knit Lit Chicks Podcast Episode 84.
Hoping...for money to fall out of the sky and pay for my bills and hobbies. do a short row heel and pick up gusset stitches.
Pondering...why I like lists so much.

In my kitchen: Not cooking tonight, probably going to reheat spaghetti with mushroom meat sauce.

A favorite thing: Soft silky yarn and fluffy soft cats

Quote: From Myke Cole's article on Five Books About Deeply-Flawed, Despicable People from
"Stories are about people...And here's the thing about people: they aren't perfect. People make mistakes, frequent and horrendous mistakes. We screw up early and often and horribly. The best protagonists in all genres, fantasy included, are equally flawed, not so horribly that we want to see them burn, but enough so that we see our own errors reflected in theirs. Because if our favorite fantasy characters can fall so far and find redemption, the maybe we can too."

Daybook Plan

I am going to try to start a periodic entry that serves as a snapshot of my life on that day. I'm modifying a format I first saw from the Simple Woman's Daybook back in 2010. My entries will look something like this depending on what's going on and I may change my mind about how to display it but here is where it stands for now.

Daybook For Today-

Outside my window

I am:


In my kitchen:

A favorite thing:


2015 Week 4

Its almost the end of January and as I look back at the beginning of this new year I see that I hit my stride and maybe over did it a little in my enthusiasm. Not a bad thing and it certainly got my creative juices flowing in a big way but my muscles are telling me I should have eased into it a little bit. 

I started to make progress on several socks, my temperature scarf project and my shawls. In an effort to get a few things off my needles I powered through a night and a morning of dedicated focused knitting and finally finished my monthly shawl/cowl knit a long project, the Armonika Cowl and my 1st of 12 Mystery Hats, this one a stranded colorwork with cables.

I also started planning for February and making lists of things I wanted to make, groups I wanted to knit along with, yarns and needle required and what I needed to purchase. Putting this on paper make me realize that not only am I not slowing but I'm planning to ramp up even more in February but the I find I like the challenge of trying things I either haven't done before, like sweaters, or that push beyond the difficulty of what I already am comfortable with, like complicated socks, mystery patterns, cables, fancy lace and a variety of yarns from singles to super bulky. Here is a quick run down of my plans for February:
  • Februarys mini hat in Meagheen Ryan's 12 month series
  • Hats 3, 4, and 5 in a 12 week Meagheen Ryan's Mystery Knit-a-Long (MKAL) series
  • His Golden Lair shawl for the Mega-KAL KAL
  • Talamh Sweater for Carol Feller's mini-KAL
  • Buttercup's Heros Sock for the Feb/March Solid Sock MKAL
  • No Purl Monkeys Sock for the Fire theme Solid Sock KAL
  • 3 Meagheen Ryan MKALs; one sock, one hat and one big warm thing
I also plan to continue and finish these projects if they are still on the needles by then:
  • My first lace shawl, Waterspout, which will be a gift for my dd (through with 1st chart, still have 2nd to go)
  • Mystic Cuppa, I'm doing as a MKAL with Knit and Knag (finished 1st clue, have to catch up with clue 2 and then several more still to be released)
  • Simple Stockinette Sock for January's Bigfoot theme with Sock-a-long (top down; turned the heel on the first sock)
  • Meagheen Ryan's Name Game sock (top down; still working on cuff of fist sock)
  • Finish January's rows on Temperature scarf (16 days done so far)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 Week 3

I've found my inspiration among several Knit-a-long (KAL) groups on Ravelry. Through their forums, photos, shared projects and challenges I've re-discovered my drive to create. Here is a quick update on all things started and finished.

I've made 2 sets of Bitty Baby Booties in blue and yellow for my nephew, a knitted mason jar cozy and finished a scarf I started a long time ago for myself.

I'm knitting a long with a Crafty class with Anna Dalvi called My First Lace Shawl, which is exactly what it's titled, and introductory class on the techniques and skills needed to knit a simple lace style shawl. While knitting the pattern that comes with the class I also found my way to one of her Mystery KALs (MKALs) and jumped in for a second scarf. I'm finally tackling things like reading charts, increases/decreases for decorative effect, lifelines, and bigger projects.

I've also joined a few hat and sock KALs to keep  me busy and increase variety. And I'm still knitting on the monthly shawl/cowl pattern for January.

I'm also looking ahead to the next few months and trying to figure out which things I want to do more of and what I want to try next. One of my hats did some simple cables and stranded colorwork for the design and so, while I did a crash youtube course to get me through the pattern I think those are going to be what I focus on learning more solidly next.

2015 Week 2

Creativity feeds the soul and apparently I've been starving myself because now that I re-started knitting, I've jumped in with both hands (yes it should be feet...I don't t know about you but I can't knit with my toes). And it feels good to be creating again.

Coming out of week 2, I went from one project to many that will give me both quick accomplishments and challenge my commitment and skills. 

I've decided to take on the following goals this year to get me to at least 52 Finished Objects in 52 weeks:
1. Knit along to make 12 scarves/shawls this year. 
2. Finish all 5 WIPs from last year. 
3. Start 1 small/baby item and 1 larger gift item each month to get a head start on Christmas/Birthdays. 
4. Learn one new skill or take one class each month. 
5. Knit one hat, socks or other accessory each month. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Week 1

So as I said I've started knitting again. I've been seeing numerous ideas on my Pinterest feed for using Mason Jars for things beyond canning. Since I haven't canned recently and have used up most of my canned goods, except the wonderful raspberry jam my mom made, I have lots of empty jars on hand to use. I have been using them with lids to store dry goods: flours, beans, nuts and such. But then I started seeing ideas for using them to make oatmeal, hold coffee and tea and treat then like any large mug. But as I looked at the idea there were flaws.  The glass lost heat too fast, it transferred that initial heat right to my hands making it impossible to hold until it was too cool to drink. It also had problems with condensation and drips going right down the sides and making rings on my desk. There were lots of patterns for sleeves from felt or fabric which solved the hand issue but still had the ring issue and a bit if the heat loss issue still. 

And then I saw the knit Cozy pattern. I found one that had a basic and two ribbed variations and in a fit of inspiration and need to distract myself from an uncomfortable situation I cast on my first project in over a year and got the cuff worked out while remembering how to work in the round. I did most of the body Friday night while a passenger on a long drive and then finished the bottom on Sunday.

 It was satisfying to use old skills and knowledge, to finish something so practical and immediately be able to use it, and to realize how much the process of knitting and handling yarn prepared me without my being aware of it for other things I've done recently. A good first week despite everything else. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New year, old ideas

It's the start of a new year and like most I took time to reflect on where my like is and what I want to be doing with it. I've had a rough few days but am coming out on the other side more focused and committed to making some changes for the better. 

I actually began the introspection last summer but then I was focused in my career and my immediate relationships, or lack there of. While most of that work remains ongoing, a work in progress, I've hit a good point to look at some of the holes I created when I backed up and simplified. When I need an escape I turned towards books and let myself get lost in some great stories, and a lot of crappy ones. And I've enjoyed watching tv and movies with my friend and now with my boyfriend. But at the end of the day, while I read and saw lots of creative things, I was not creating anything myself and I was suffering for it. This was especially noticeable when I realized how much joy I got from just preparing a meal from scratch for someone I cared for. 

This brings me back to something I started looking for over five years ago...balance. So I'm bringing back some old hobbies, practices and ideas. Where as the past few years have been focused on fitness and sport, I pushed myself too hard too fast. I let it take up too much of my time and I allowed it to overwhelm my focus

My immediate goal is to bring knitting into my life. To that end, I found a quick, practical project, the mason jar cozy, which I knit up in my spare moments over just a few days. I jumped back into my site and decided to follow along with a one-a-month shawl group and a 52-in-52 group to keep my motivation up. I'm also going to try knitting a row-a-day temperature scarf that will be a year long project. More to follow but here is my first finished project:

Happy New Year, 2015!