Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012 Finished Objects


Thanks to the OKC Stash Down I have been a busy little knitter this month. Check it:
ELEVEN finished projects in one month! I'm pretty excited about that. Granted, one of them was a UFO from last year and most are small, but they're done and I pretty much love all of them!

Here's the run down:
Top Row:
Winter House Cloth- One of many I plan to make for Christmas gifts this year.
"Pebbles" Hat- The pattern name is actually "Republic Hat" but this was made to go with a Pebbles vest. It matches really well with the band of garter at the bottom & the little buttons. Perfect.
Dizzy Hat- A very sweet girl from the OKC sent me this Debbie Bliss Rialto from her stash. She apparently doesn't know I'm stashing DOWN this year. I felt a huge compulsion to use the yarn as soon as it got to me so it didn't go into my stash! Luckily, the yarn is AWESOME. Very springy, so it's super easy to knit with. I made this little hat for myself. It's tiny but I like the way it looks sitting on the back of my head :)
Insomnia Baby- Also thanks to the Stash Down I have a compulsion to use up every bit of a skein. So this little gnome was meant to take up some left over Malabrigo. I still have some though...

Middle Row:

Grandma's Favorite- An experiment for the Christmas cloths. I'm still not sure how I feel about this pattern but I have a TON of Dishie to use up, so I forsee another go at this one later in the year.
Elise Shawl- This was originally going to be for a swap but I was really unsure of the color for my partner. I like it but I'm not sure it looks good on me. This is sitting in the gift stash until I figure out what exactly to do with it.
Radicowl- I LOVED crocheting this and love wearing it even more. I get tons of compliments on it, too. I can totally see making more of these in the future. It's just SUCH a yarn eater, being crochet and all.

Bottom Row:

Pebble Vest- I've made this vest more than once. It's a great, quick baby knit but it is definitely newborn sized. Made this for a friend-of-a-friend who is always super excited to see me knitting & crocheting.
Zinnia Rialto- This is a baby hat that used up every last inch of the Debbie Bliss Rialto I was gifted. I LOVE the way it turned out. This is staying in my gift stash for a very special baby.
Hat Fit For A Best Friend- I've already blogged this. It served its purpose, keeping Clay nice and warm on his trip. :) I washed it for him to avoid accidental felting & it held up pretty well.
Another Zinnia- I frogged not one but TWO baby knits for my high school BFF's newest arrival. I gave up on cute sweaters as time was getting short and just went with this little hat. I'm pretty pleased with it. I kind of love that it's both knit & crochet. This may become my go-to girl gift.

I'm really loving how productive the Stash Down is encouraging me to be! I should have a LOT more finished projects this year and hopefully have some gifts ready for birthdays and Christmas without having to rush.

What have you worked on this year? Any accomplishments you'd like to share?

Friday, January 20, 2012

FO Friday: Hat Fit For A Best Friend

Clay is one of my best friends. Not just like the title "Oh... he's my BFF". No, like when you talk about things a friend should be- Clay is one of the best.

He's also a little bit of a nerd. He likes rocks and movies about cavemen. He wants to learn to can his own fruits & veggies. His dream vacation for as long as I've known him was Iceland. Iceland. Who desperately wants to go to Iceland? Well- he got his wish last year when his partner booked a trip for them and I was so excited for him.

Another big dream of his was to go to a wilderness survival training. This year I decided that would be his birthday present. I researched several in the area and found one with good reviews that didn't seem to be a secret militia training ground or something. Basically, I printed the brochure and said "this is your birthday present" because there weren't gift certificates or anything and I wanted to be sure he'd want to do it and that he picked a date himself. He's going this weekend and is so excited it's ridiculous. 

But it's going to rain... possibly SNOW... yes... SNOW in Southern California this weekend. 

So, in order to give his (admittedly large) ears some protection, I made him a hat. It's nice, soft wool that will keep him warm even when wet. I made it a little longer than normal so it covers his whole ears instead of just the tops like the pattern calls for. 

Ha! Doesn't he look cute? It's an awesome pattern with some cool decreases. Every other knit ridge disappears about an inch from the center, then the others do until you have just a little star at the top. The variegated yarn makes it a little hard to see put here is Clay graciously letting me photograph the top of his head outside Chipotle.
For info on the yarn & link to the pattern as well as my notes- check out my Ravelry page.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday- The Wall

I've missed a few weeks, but it's Wednesday and time for Ginny's Yarn Along.

So that means I'm supposed to show you what I've been working on, right? Ok. Are you ready?

Are you sorry you asked? 

I've hit something of a wall, people. I wish I could be like The Bloggess & steadily blog through depression, but my weeks of relatively silence suggest otherwise. I have, instead, tried to knit my way through it but my propensity toward crafting ADD has gone into overdrive. What you see above is multiple WIPS, some new, some old and some about to be thrown the eff out. And yes, they are all laying on my tile floor because that's pretty much how I feel about them right now. I may or may not have kicked some of them into place. They may or may not still be laying there as I type.

I'm not reading anything. I'm just getting through my own day. I know that I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a project, so I'm hoping I have SOMETHING to show you by this weekend. 

In the meantime, I'm taking a very basic Intro to Sewing class on Saturday with some friends. I'm excited about this as my father gave me a very beautiful sewing machine THREE Christmases ago, which is still in its box! Sewing projects are more "immediate gratification" so I'm hoping that will help me get moving on some FINISHED projects. 

What are you working on? Do you recognize any patterns you've made in my pile o' WIPs?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty Dozen

Happy New Year everyone!

As you know, it's been a rough few months around these parts. My sister was in a coma for a week. Meanwhile, we found out that my godfather's father (who is the closest I've had to a grandfather in almost 2 decades) has Stage 4 cancer in his lungs, kidneys & liver. This is especially hard because A) his son passed away suddenly 3 years ago... less than a month after learning HE had similar cancer and B) his wife has severe Alzheimers... so she's had to be told about the cancer several times already. In lesser news, my manager has been fairly evil about my time off due to my sister's hospitalization and my father is still not working. So, 2011... not exactly my favorite year.

Then last night my sister re-tweeted this:
with the comment "Hey, this. Literally."

And that's when I decided to stop thinking of 2011 as "the year my sister almost died" and think of it as "the year my sister almost died... but totally didn't". 

So, yeah, other things aren't resolved and it looks like 2012 might be kind of a rough year, but there are things I can focus on. Things I can manage. Things I can grasp & control so my ENTIRE world doesn't feel upside down.

Enter Ravelry.

I've been a not-very-active member of the Organized Knitting Club for a while. This year they are doing a lot of Knit-Alongs, swaps and contests. I'm participating in two: The Unfinished Objects KAL, where we finish up all those projects we've had laying around; The Yarnless Swap where we buy patterns for each other to use with stashed yarns; and Stash Down Contest where prizes are given for various accomplishments including using the most stash, adding the least amount of yarn and finishing the most projects.

If you've been around a while, you know I often say I'm trying to reduce my stash.I have failed miserably. I think this is mostly because I didn't have tangible goals or a real idea of what I was working with. Thanks to the Organized Knitting Club I have real motivation for stashing down and they've given me tools to see what I have to work with. For the Swap I've gone through my stash and matched it up with patterns. The yarns I don't know what to do with are marked as such and hopefully my partner will help me find a pattern for them. I've searched the house & my car to find all the WIPs I have everywhere to add them to Rav so I can finish them up. (You can see what I have entered so far on the right tool bar). Finally, I'm hell bent to win at least ONE of the contest categories for the Stash Down. I entered every last skein I had in my stash and came up with just under 60k yards! Eeek! That's really eye opening. 

Hopefully these things coupled with my competitive nature will help me get my stash under control and get ahead on baby & Christmas gifts for this year. So far I only know one person who is currently pregnant, so I'm hoping I can turn my stash of baby yarns into a stash of baby clothes! 

What are your crafting goals for 2012?