2009 knitting/spinning goals

24 projects in 2009. Any size project, any weight of yarn, ect… (finishing WIPs and UFOs can count!! )

12 of the projects must be made from stash (you can make more from stash if you want) AND

3 of the projects have a new technique that you haven’t tried before.

At least one of each of the following will be knit this year:

  1. Fair Isle project
  2. Intarsia project(even a very small area of intarsia)
  3. Two sweaters (one cardigan and one pullover)
  4. 4 pairs of socks (regular on dpns, toe up, Two at a time on magic loop or 2 circs)
  5. COMPLETED Shawl

For spinning, my goal is to use at least 2 oz. of stashed fiber for every oz. of new fiber that comes into the house.

These goals may change a bit over the course of the year, but I’m going to try to stick to them as fully as I can. I’m hoping putting this all out there will give me a sense of accountability for working towards these goals.

This idea came from mmlocke on Ravelry in the Stash Down 2009 group that I’m a part of. Her post is entitled “All Realists Check in Here.” I think she has the right idea, setting up stash busting/project goals that are more reasonable. When I first decided to participate in some sort of stash down/stash diet/ knit from your stash idea I decided that I was going to make it my goal to go through at least half of my stash of fiber and 1/3 of my yarn stash this year and that I would only make projects out of yarn from my stash. My rationale for this was that I had a TON of yarn in my stash and even though I don’t have sweater amounts in much (if any) of it, there are so many smaller projects that I could be tackling. After all, there’s the whole of Ravelry out there to keep me in project without having to spend any more money on yarn that will probably only end up on stash when I either over-buy or never get to the project in the first place. I was going to be a good and economic knitter and finally use all this yarn and/or fiber that I loved so much I just had to have it. Hell, I’ve got projects with yarn and/or fiber enough on hand for the whole year just in “Mystery…shawls, stoles, etc.” to last for a whole year, more than that most likely. With all the best intentions, I also promised myself that I was going to be project monogamous and only knit one thing at a time. I was going to be the most restrained little knitter in all of knitterdom. Boy was Tj going to be thrilled with me and my no money spending this year.

So that was the end of 2008. Here we are only 5 days into 2009, year of good knitting behavior and I’ve gone back on most of this. I started the Monkey socks a few days before the holiday and was plugging along on them. I was going through the yarn and fiber bins trying to figure out what was next. I have the first half of the fiber spun for Spirogyra

The first set of singles for that are ready to go on the wheel to be Navajo plyed; I really hope that my calculations (or comparing the yarn I spun to the one that is supposed to come right) were right for the wpi for the singles in order to end up in the 13ish wpi area for the finished yarn. I’m also terrified about yardage. It seemed like it went on forever, that I was spinning and then balling endless yards of yarn. I know it’s more than the 200 yards I need for the gloves, but is it enough to still be a little over 200 when it’s plied? ARGH. The point is that I have plenty of projects to work on. So what did I do? I ordered a shit load (okay only 7 skeins) of Malabrigo. (Edited to add: There was a problem with the credit card i.e. I entered the number wrong, so while I was correcting it, I added a few extra skeins to the order…now there are 18 skeins of Malabrigo coming to my house). In my defense, though, they were really pretty and they’re for making winter gear for my family. No excuse, though. As for only working on the Monkey socks…I got a bug up my ass last night (btw, this post started last night 1-5 and is being continued now on 1-6.) and I decided to swatch for the second A Little Twist wrist-warmer; I made the beginning of a pair for my mother when I was in CA last Feb. and hadn’t bothered to finish #2 b/c somehow she managed to lose the one that I had given her so the whole thing was on hold b/c I only had one skein of the Malabrigo that I was using and didn’t know if I could get three mitts out of it. Long story short, when we were visiting Mom over Thanksgiving, I found the missing glove and now I need to make it a mate. So rather than plug along on the Monkeys like I should have, I’m getting ready to start mitt #2.

I’m feeling completely useless today. We’re at the old house (In Kalamazoo) and today is moving day. The “real” moving day where we have the great big truck etc. and I’ve been sitting in the old bedroom in the bed for the last two days. I have a KILLER toothache. I’m not talking about a small pain that has to be looked at, I’m talking about the kind of pain that makes you scream out loud b/c there is nothing else to do and you feel like you are going to lose your mind if you don’t do something. I think a tooth needs some pulling…J I’ve gotten up and done the best I can to help sort and move things, but any motion that requires too much walking seems to intensify the pain. I’ve taken at least one of every pain killer in my arsenal, and those of you who’ve known me through the back pain debacle of ’04-’07 know what a big arsenal that really is. The pain is finally starting to recede now, blogging (which keeps me from focusing on the pain) seems to be helping, so I thank you if you’re still here for the rambling… I just went downstairs to get Jake a drink and all the furniture (along with TJ) is gone. He’s taken the truck to the house to unload appliances and furniture (and just when I was getting used to our only means of cooking being the microwave and the electric fry pan. We also have two crock pots. Still a stove and a dishwasher, positively decadent!!

I’ve rambled on more than long enough now. I’m doing much better at blogging more regularly, though. Go me!!

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Happy New Year

Howdy folks.  Just wanted to take a minute to wish y’all a happy and healthy new year.  Nothing at  all exciting going on at Casa Dwire tonight.  TJ and Jake have gone up north to spend a few days debauching with Unkie and Kay.  After having over a month of 24 hour Little Man care while TJ worked overtime, I’m thrilled to have a few days to unwind and just veg out.  Since I don’t really drink (why is that?  I used to enjoy it so much), New Year’s Eve hasn’t been that important of a “holiday” for me.  Right about now, TJ is putting Little Man to bed and then he’ll begin to imbibe until he falls down.  That’s not much fun to watch and I know he doesn’t have as much fun worrying if I’m having fun or bored etc.  Besides, having this time to unwind is going to be great for when he comes home (without L.M. who is staying with Unkie and Kay for a few days) and we have some much needed and missed time alone together.  We haven’t been alone since we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last December.

I’ve had a few offers from some friends to come by their places tonight, and I actually considered going, but TJ took the car and I didn’t want to inconvenience friends by asking them to come and pick me up and then get me back home.  I do enough of that.  That should be another one of my New Year’s resolutions:  drive myself around more.  I’m tired of feeling like a mooch all the time and having to ask Shannon to pick me up for knitting etc.  I’m going to drive myself to the next meeting I go to (unless it’s Guild b/c I have no clue how to get to Marshall or what to do once I’m there).  I really want to have more freedom and be able to do things that don’t include having to be picked up.

On the knitting front:  I finished the first of my Malabrigo Fetching mitts last night and I love the way it came out.  I did it on DPN’s b/c I was nervous about the 2 circs or the Magic Loop method.  The second one, though, I’m doing using 2 circs b/c I was annoyed with the dpns.  I’m going to go look up ways to cable without a needle b/c the cable needle irritated me, the regular dpn was even worse and the short dpn, while better, still bugged me.  It’s only a C4B, so it should be pretty easy to do.  I love working with the Malabrigo.  It’s just as great as I’ve been hearing it is.  Soft like butta and the colors are so pretty.  No real pooling and the slight effect of striping without actual striping.  I really want to get more of this and make a sweater for myself.

I really need to get busy swatching for the Secret of the Stole ii.  I have several different yarns that I want to try; different colorways as well.  I have some fingering weight silk/rayon in a variety of colors.  They aren’t solid, but I like the variegation and it’s fairly subtle.  I’ve also got some cashmere and some bamboo I’m considering.  I’m looking forward to swatching and playing with color and size of needle until I get a fabric that I like.  This is my first mystery a-long and I’m very eager for it to start.  I’ll be doing much of it once I’m in California visiting my mother, so I’ll have to have her get the cable modem for the month or so that I’m there.  Come to think of it, I’ll have to consider a new laptop – I’ve got a fairly cheap on in mind; I’ve realized that I really don’t need the bells and whistles to be happy with a laptop – since this one is falling apart and I don’t think it could take the journey, to be honest.  This one can become a desk top with the laptop portion as the “tower”.  I’m already using an external keyboard and want a mouse as well.  It’s totally falling apart.

I’ve gotten totally off topic here.  So I’ve got to swatch for SoTS ii and I also want to play with a market bag pattern.  I’ve been talking to TJ about it and then read a post on Holly‘s blog that spurred me to want to do something about it.  I’ve had the patterns printed for awhile, but have never really paid much attention to them.

I also just got a few new book:  Big Girl Knits, , Sensual Knits and Romantic Hand Knits.  All great books and some great patterns for tops, cardigans, and sweaters.  This is a big goal of mine, but I seem to continuously find reasons to put it off.  It’s either something else that needs knitting (market bags, shawls for gifts etc.) or I don’t have the right materials (even though if I dug hard enough I bet I could find them) etc.  I need someone to keep on me about making a garment.  I know I’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment once I do it, but I put it off.  There’s another resolution, one garment for myself this year, be it a tank top, cardigan, whatever.  I must knit something to wear for myself this year.  Another knitting goal I have is socks.  I have TONS of sock yarn, dpns, sets of circs, long circs for magic loop (even Addi’s in the long ones).  I really want to knit socks, badly.  So come on knitting pals:  bug me, nag me, tease me, do what it takes to help me keep my goals. 🙂

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is in my life for what you’ve added in the last year.  Everyone I know, especially my newer friends (read knitting friends) have added so much to life, more than I can say.  I’m thrilled and grateful  to know you gals and hope our friendships continue to grow in the new year.  To my “older” friends:  I’m sorry I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to spend with all of you.  You know that I love you now and always and promise to make more of an effort in 2008.  Happy New Year everyone!!!