Sunday, January 14, 2018

[YOP] Week of January 20th, 2018


This has been a pretty quiet crafting week, at least that I can share.

The majority of my crafting time has been spent focusing on the brioche shawl test knit, and I can't share any more images of that until it's completed. But, needless to say, I am going to be able to cross off my brioche goal for 2018 for sure just with this project!

I did do a bit more work on my Shimmering Stole since I don't feel comfortable taking my brioche project to my social knit night. I also did some more work on the House Cozy MKAL, but I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it.


The yarn I ordered for my Winterberry sweater finally arrived. It's gorgeous. I can't wait to cast on, but it will have to wait until I finish the test knit. If I don't wait I will get too distracted and never finish by the deadline. I am already worried about it since I am a slower knitter.


That's really it for this week!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

[YOP] Week of January 13th, 2018


It's been a pretty good week for me. I made it to work every day this week, I went to the gym once, I got in some healthy grocery shopping, and so much more. More details on non-crafty related items can be found on my personal blog if you are interested.

Now for the crafty goals!

1. Buying yarn. - This is a big fail. But, the majority or yarn I purchased is for specific gifts for specific people, so I am actually OK with this.




2. Using stash yarn. This is actually working for me. I was accepted to do a brioche shawl test knit and I will be using approximately 9 skeins, 3 of each colour, of the luscious Cadena Alpaquita I have in stash. This is going to be a gorgeous and super squishy brioche shawl! I can't wait! Sneak peek below!



3. Finish WIPs. No finishes yet, but I have been working on a few. My Mara is coming along, as well as the New Year's MKAL (I completed clue #1 on time!) and my Shimmering Stole.



4. Frog unloved projects. I frogged another project this week. It feels good. It was another victim of not swatching and ending up super HUGE! 30 inches just for the front...yeah... I am going to see if my mom wants this yarn since it's cotton and she loves cotton.



5., 6., and 7. Nothing to report.

8. Be more social. I went to my LYS knit night on Thursday and it was great to sit around and knit and chat (and buy more yarn of course). 

Also did some work on one of my technique goals by accepting the brioche shawl test knit. I am really looking forward to this!

Overall, a very productive week! How did everyone else do?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

[YOP] 2018 Goals


I am looking forward to 2018 for many reasons. More focused crafting goals are indeed some of them.

Every year I make fitness goals, general self-improvement goals, education goals, and of course crafting goals. Pretty much every yeh I fall flat and blame illness or something else.

This year I am so much more motivated. If you are interested, beyond crafting, feel free to visit my personal blog, Everything Gwenny. I will be posting a 2018 goals entry there as well.


With regards to my crafting goals, the last few years I have made the same goals, and not been very successful at them.

This year I am much more dedicated. After two years dealing with major illness and having to take full sick leaves, I need to spend a year saving and have made some other life goals for this year to help.

My main crafting related goals are as follows:
  1. Try to avoid buying yarn as much as possible. 
    • I am making exceptions for Unique Sheep KALs only this year. No sweater club, geek club, etc. /sadface 
    • I also already preordered some yarn for a specific project, so even though that will be paid for and arrive in the new year I am counting it as 2017 yarn.
    • I have worked in a way to “earn” yarn buying money with exercise minutes. I will be making a more detailed blog post about this later.
  2. Try use up stash for any new projects.
  3. Try to finish off some WIPs languishing in my pile.
  4. Frog projects that I know I will never bring myself to finish to repurpose yarn or donate to charity.
  5. Go through my stash and sell or donate skeins I no longer love.
  6. Attempt the Boo Knits 2018 Challenge. My entry post can be found here.
  7. Learn double knitting. I am hoping to do the GAL afghan this year, or at least some of the squares. I am just waiting to see what the theme(s) will be before I commit.
For item #3 I have created a Ravelry project titled Knit The Bin 2018 where I list which WIPs I want to focus on, and the progress towards completing them. The project page can be found here. I currently have 10 projects listed. I doubt this will happen, but I want to have something to strive for!

This item also includes the full finish, which means weaving in ends, seaming, and blocking! I am notoriously bad at finishing something and then showing it in a bag, or somewhere else, and not truly finishing it. I have already started working on this habit by blocking the shawl that I completed and posted about in last week's post. It looks so lovely! I always forget how much a good blocking changes a project for the better.


The next item I have from the WIP pile to be finished is my Mara shawl. I started it with my best friend in August of 2014. She finished hers long ago. I have no excuses. I just have to finish the edge and cast off. It is to be 4 inches. I am so close. I have quite a bit of yarn left though so I might make it longer. I am also considering an i-cord bind off, but that might be insane.




I have already started working on item #4. The first victim is a sweater I started for my son in late 2013. This was before I learned the ins and outs of a gauge swatch (well gauge in general really), carrying colours up the side, and so much more. It has been sitting so long there was dust gathering on it…oops.

I am hoping this yarn is not lost now. I am hoping to reskein it and give it a gentle bath and maybe save it. Honestly, I wasn’t much of a fan of the yarn anyhow, part of the reason I didn’t keep working on it. It’s a 50/50 merino wool and cotton worsted blend. I would like to at least donate it to one of the groups that knit for charity (of I can save it).

 


For #5 I already have a bag set aside that I have been dumping the skeins into. I pick out any high-end ones that I might be able to sell and then list them on Ravelry stash page. I then let my mother and sister go through it and pick what they like first, then my sister-in-law who knits for charity, and anything left goes to my local charity.


So that's it! What do you think? What are your crafting realted goals for the New Year?

Monday, December 25, 2017

[YOP] Year of Projects - 2017 Year End Wrap Up


In typical Gwenny fashion, I have been very lazy at updating this blog! I have had one hell of a year dealing with a new job, illness, a son heading to college, and so much more!

On a positive note, I have finished several projects this year, including a sweater for myself, and I am very proud of that!

Project #1
I started and finished a test knit for a lovely shawl by designer Deborah Arnouts called My Heart in the Highlands. It was made with a super squishy Aran Tweed gradient set dyed by Pandia's Jewels.


Project #2
I also finally finished my first Stephen West MKAL project from 2014! This is the Exploration Station from the WestKnits Fall MKAL 2014. I don't know what took me so long to finish it. It's lovely! I blame the brioche section and i-cord bind off. I used multiple yarns I purchased back in 2014 specifically for this project from a LYS called Lettuce Knit that has since ceased business. 2 skeins of Shantiknits Sock Yarn in Pumpkinfest and Spring Time, 1 skein of Julie Asselin Nanos in Jaipur, and 1 skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in Stumptown Brown.


Project #3
I started and finished a simple hat for my husband for Christmas. It has been the only thing he has ever asked me to knit for him. This is the Barley hat by Tin Can Knits. I knit it in Estelle Worsted in a basic black (because that's all he will wear).


Project #4
I started and finished the Lemongrass sweater I have been wanting to knit for a long time. I already had the yarn, and the designer, Joji, has a KAL every fall. Since I was on sick leave this year I decided it was the best year to do it. With the motivation of the KAL and the time due to sick leave, I was able to accomplish my goal. I knit it in the denim colourway of Americo's Cadena Alpaquita. This is one of my favourite yarns. I am sad that Americo will no longer be carrying it. Luckily they have many more gorgeous yarns to ogle over.


Project #5
And finally, I was able to start and finish a shawl for a co-worker as a Christmas gift. I completed it on the evening of December 23rd. It will be gifted to her when I return to work (hopefully) in the new year. This is the Rushing Tide Shawl by Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns. I used SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock yarn in Mulberry. I just need to block this to open up the lacework.


I am going to be focusing on WIPs and using up stash next year. Look for my 2018 goals post in the new year for more details.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a fantastic New Year!

Monday, November 7, 2016

[YOP] Week of November 6th, 2016


Wow! I really suck at this blogging regularly thing don't I? It's been almost 10 months since my last update!

To be fair, a lot has happened. Those who know me well know I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and it wreaked havoc on my life the past few years. This year I hit an all time low and had to leave work on a sick leave and pretty much chew painkillers like candy until I was finally take in for surgery this summer. I just finally returned to (mostly) normal life in September and am back at work and trying to (slowly) pull my life back together.

That being said, I did get a heck of a lot of crafting done during those months! I mean...what else was I supposed to do with myself stoned and useless except watch Netflix and knit.

Let's see if I can touch on all the projects I have had ongoing since my last update, starting with ones I have actually finished. That's right! Your heard correctly! Projects I actually finished!

Firstly, I completed one square from Norah's Vintage Afghan for my German Shepherd Lovers Ravelry group. Each of us knit a square for the afghan and the complete afghan was then auctioned off and the funds were donated to a deserving dog rescue. The yarn used was Berroco Vintage, and the colourway was Oats. Here is my square.


And here is the completed afghan.


Next up, was my lovely (and aptly named) A Little Slice of Chaos shawl. This was both the pattern, and the yarn, from my April 2016 SAK (Smart-Ass Knitters) yarn club. The yarn is Chaingeling DK from Indigodragonfly in the Prince inspired colourway Ω≠∅. The picture isn't great, and the shawl still needs to be blocked, but she is finished.


And finally, my favourite so far, was my Wintersweet shawl by Boo Knits. I adore Boo's patterns, and I have started many of them. But this is the very first time I have ever finished one, and it definitely won't be the last! This shawl is gorgeous! And with just under 1,100 beads added, it's also a piece of artwork. I am almost afraid to wear it. Again, the pictures are not the best, and it still needs to be blocked, but it is finished! This was one of my Knit The Bin project goals so it makes me doubly happy! The yarn is lovely lace weight 100% tussah silk from DyeForYarn in the Crumbled Eiffel Tower colourway.



Well that's it for finishes...for now!

Let's see what is new and exciting on my needles.

First up, I am working on a type of Scoreboard Scarf for the hubby. He loves the Toronto Maple Leafs, but they always do so horribly. He was really excited for them this year due to a few additions to the team, specifically Auston Matthews, their number one draft pick for this season. I wanted to document this journey with the scarf. I am using Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK in Snow and Navy, but I am not super fond of it. I really hope it softens up more in the soak and block stage. Here it is so far after the first 12 games. The Navy represents the Leafs and the Snow represents their opponents. There is still a lot more Snow than I like, but a lot more Navy than I was expecting. /grins


Also currently on my needles is the Pumpkin Spice shawl by Threebagsfulled in the Criminal Knits Ravelry group. A KAL is being hosted in both the CK group as well as the Wolle's group as the pattern was designed for the new Wolle's Silk Cotton Heather yarn. I chose the Red Heather colourway for my shawl, although it looks a little pink in this horrible picture. The picture of the yarn alone is a more accurate depiction of the colour.

 

 I am also working on a sweater for my son. When I asked him what colour he would wear he picked red, so red it is! This is Flax, a free pattern on Ravelry by Tin Can Knits and the yarn is Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch W4 (worsted) in the Cardinal colourway. It's a gorgeous Canadian 100% merino yarn I discovered in my local yarn store, Creative Yarns in Scarborough. I am hoping to have it done for Christmas...but there is still quite a bit to go...and I am easily distracted.


These are my most important projects right now. I also have two sweaters on the go. One is stalled waiting for help from the designed because I keep mucking something up, and the other is stalled in the seaming phase...because seaming... I also am starting another MKAL, a Velveteen Rabbit themed MKAL, on Friday.



Monday, January 25, 2016

[YOP] Week of January 24th, 2016


I participate in "A Year of Projects" which is run by a group over on Ravelry.

I am hoping it will (a) help me be more productive (b) help me finish more projects and (c) help me blog more often... Fingers crossed!

Here is an update on current goals, and progress towards those goals.

General Overall Goals
  • finish more projects - Nothing completed this week except two full clues of two separate MKALs.
  • start fewer projects - I only started one new project this week, and with stash yarn! So that's good...right? I have two others that will start in the near future though...maybe this week...
  • use more stash yarn - I only started one new project and used stash yarn for that! I will have to buy a few more balls to finish it though as I do not have enough.
  • buy less new yarn - I only bought one skein of yarn this week and that is for a charity project I was asked to help out with, so I have no second thoughts about that purchase whatsoever. More details on this project later!
  • sell or donate stash yarn I no longer have any interest in - Nothing new on this front this week.
  • add stash I plan on keeping to Ravelry for easier tracking - Nothing new on this front this week..
  • organize stash room - Not going to happen any time soon. just discovered several leaks in the roof so just bundling everything up safely until we can get it repaired/replaced.
  • sell some of my finished items - I now how finished items as well as hand-dyed yarn listed on Etsy. I have sold some yarn, but none of the finished items yet. Hopefully soon! It will help pay for the new roof! - I sold a skein of my hand-dyed yarn this morning! Yay!

Technique Goals
  • double knitting - Really enjoying the double knitting square. It's a little slow still, but not scary at all.
  • toe up socks - I received some good tips from an avid sock knitter at my LYS, so going to work up a swatch and then attack some socks with my awesome new self-striping yarn I scored. Planning on starting this in February for a Spring Sock KAL.
  • more complicated lacework - The MKAL lace shawl I am working on right now is actually pretty complicated. It has lacework on both the RS and WS and beads as well.
  • clothing items - I was going to leave this for a bit due to my surgery, but then I figured I could make a sweater for my son! I am going to make him a Flax sweater in some of that lovely red Shelridge Yarns worsted I have fallen in love with.

Specific Project Goals

I have created a project page on Ravelry called Knit The Bin where I am collecting WIPs that I want to finish that were started before the beginning of 2015.

I actually finally got around to picking up a bin and started storing the projects complete with their yarn, needles and pattern in Ziploc freezer bags. I feel all organized now! Unfortunately I have mostly been focused on new 2016 projects. /sigh


  • 2015 Advent KALendar Shawl (completed 01/09/16)
  • The Doodler Shawl
  • Meander Cardigan
  • Wintersweet Shawl
  • Spellbound Shawl
  • Mara Shawl
  • Hello Sweetie Spoilers Socks
  • 50 Shades of Awesome

Projects Started in 2016 I Want To Complete This Year
  • A Wrinkle In Time Shawl - Completed clue one January 16th.
  • Nemesis Shawl - This has become my new TV/car knitting project. Still not done clue #1 yet.
  • Opal Shawl - Stalled. 
  • GAL 2016 Video Game Themed Blanket - Square one in progress.
  • Scoreboard Scarf A - Completed a few rounds this week.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool Doctor Who Themed Shawl - Completed clue #1 January 22nd.
  • Depth Charge Shawl MKAL - Completed clue #1 last night (January 24th). LOVING THIS MKAL!!!
  • Askews Me Brioche Dress - Completed a few rounds this week.
  • Bounce Baby Afghan - Cast on this week.

Here is a peek at my Depth Charge MKAL. This is easily my favourite MKAL to date. The fabric produced by holding the strands double makes for a super squishy fabric I enjoy holding on to. The video tutorials provided by the designer, Josh, are super helpful, and very hilarious. I am actually up to date on this one so far! Finished clue #1 last night and started the pickup for clue #2. I am in love! (Even after having to weave in all those evil little ends!)



And here is an updated sneak peek at my Bow Ties Are Cool MKAL. I finished clue #1 and started clue #2 this week.



No shopping pics this week because I was a good girl. But I expect some next week...

Monday, January 18, 2016

[YOP] Week of January 17th, 2016


I participate in "A Year of Projects" which is run by a group over on Ravelry.

I am hoping it will (a) help me be more productive (b) help me finish more projects and (c) help me blog more often... Fingers crossed!

Here is an update on current goals, and progress towards those goals.

General Overall Goals
  • finish more projects - Nothing completed this week except a full clue of one of my MKALs.
  • start fewer projects - Ummm...I started four new projects since my last update...
  • use more stash yarn - Out of the four projects I started last week, 2 of them were started with yarn I had in my stash. 50% is not a bad ratio for me!
  • buy less new yarn - I picked up some more of the worsted yarn for the GAL afghan, so I couldn't help myself there, and I also got sweet talked into some really awesome self-striping sock yarn.
  • sell or donate stash yarn I no longer have any interest in - I found some crochet cotton in my closet I won't use and that will be going to my sister. I also found a bag full of knitted and crocheted squares that I will be donating to Blankets For Canada. Just have to find a way to meet up with someone for the drop off.
  • add stash I plan on keeping to Ravelry for easier tracking - So far just entering what I buy as it comes in. Still need to find time to do back stash.
  • organize stash room - Not going to happen any time soon. just discovered several leaks in the roof so just bundling everything up safely until we can get it repaired/replaced.
  • sell some of my finished items - I now how finished items as well as hand-dyed yarn listed on Etsy. I have sold some yarn, but none of the finished items yet. Hopefully soon! It will help pay for the new roof!

Technique Goals
  • double knitting - As promised, I cast on my first GAL DK square and it is going even better than I hoped! Not so scary at all!
  • toe up socks - I received some good tips from an avid sock knitter at my LYS, so going to work up a swatch and then attack some socks with my awesome new self-striping yarn I scored.
  • more complicated lacework - The MKAL lace shawl I am working on right now is actually pretty complicated. It has lacework on both the RS and WS and beads as well.
  • clothing items - I think I am going to leave this goal until after surgery in June because my body should change quite a bit afterwards.

Specific Project Goals

I have created a project page on Ravelry called Knit The Bin where I am collecting WIPs that I want to finish that were started before the beginning of 2015.
  • 2015 Advent KALendar Shawl (completed 01/09/16)
  • The Doodler Shawl
  • Meander Cardigan
  • Wintersweet Shawl
  • Spellbound Shawl
  • Mara Shawl
  • Hello Sweetie Spoilers Socks
  • 50 Shades of Awesome

Projects Started in 2016 I Want To Complete This Year
  • A Wrinkle In Time Shawl - Completed clue one January 16th!
  • Nemesis Shawl - This has become my new TV/car knitting project.
  • Opal Shawl
  • GAL 2016 Video Game Themed Blanket - Cast on Square one this week!
  • Scoreboard Scarf A - Completed a few rounds this week.
  • Bow Ties Are Cool Doctor Who Themed Shawl - Cast on this week.
  • Depth Charge Shawl MKAL - Cast on this week.
  • Askews Me Brioche Dress - Cast on this week.

Here is a kind of bunched up picture of clue one of the Wrinkle In Time MKAL. It's actually very pretty, I'm just not very good with the camera.


And here is a sneak peek at my Bow Ties Are Cool MKAL. I am quite enjoying this one!



The results of this week's visit to the LYS. The Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Worsted Yarn is some of the softest and squishiest I have worked with, and it`s Canadian! Such a great choice for my GAL afghan. I am so glad the owner of my LYS encouraged me to try it.


A close up of the super awesome self-striping sock yarn!


And the best part, the complete set of ChiaoGoo twist needles I have been drooling over for close to two years...



I think I'm in love!