Monday, December 31

December Goals Round-up

On the 17th, I set myself a few goals to complete by the end of the month. We all know about how "the best laid plans" can go awry, but here is my progress record:

My goals for the month of December:

  1. Photographs of all FOs listed in Ravelry.
    No photographs were taken at all... partly because I couldn't find a yarn needle to weave in ends.
  2. Blog sidebars completely up-to-date. Done.
  3. Decide on first three projects to focus on as of January 1st.
    I have made my decisions, and have made a place on my sidebar to track them. That's another goal completed.
  4. All a-long's and a-month's listed *somewhere*.
    This was done in a series of posts on the 26th. Some goals were listed, but not all. It's a good start IMO, and I count this goal as complete.
  5. Computer desk and bookcase in living room completely decluttered.
    Both areas got some decluttering, but there still is a long way to go. On the up side, I *did* get both dining room counters decluttered. I will add them to my January goals.

Overall, I think I did quite well considering the work schedule I've been keeping, and my resulting health problems from all the kooky shifts. I'm working at getting "day shift" at Wal-Mart so that I won't have the problems associated with my body trying to switch shifts so drastically every week.

Wednesday, December 26

Other CALs, KALs, and a-longs

Cloth of the Week: This is a Yahoo Group devoted to making a dishcloth a week.

Dishcloth Weekly KAL: Every week a new pattern... another one that I'll decide on as I go.

For Me?!: A KAL/CAL that emphasizes that it's okay to spend five minutes a day working on something just for you. The December-January project is lace, and I figured that my lace shawl fits into that category!

Monthly Dishcloths KAL: 2 cloth patterns a month, and also on Yahoo Groups. I'll decide on this one once I see what the requirements are for January's cloths. This is an excerpt from the description on the Rav group: 1st of the Month KAL: These KALs have a monthly theme and usually have a picture of something pertaining to the month/season. Usually a solid color is best for pictured dishcloths. 16th of the Month KAL: These KALs are usually a repeating pattern of some type. I try to incorporate a “new” stitch. Maybe something that you haven’t tried yet. Variegated yarns are usually good to use for these KALs.

Stash Knitdown 2008: The January challenge is to knit a mile... that's about 1600 m {give or take} out of stash yarn. It actually runs from January 5th to February 19th, so I think that it's a doable goal with all of the stuff I have to work on!

Sweater-a-month: A goal-oriented group to motivate me to make {and finish!} a sweater a month! I will set Alex's hoodie as my first goal here.

January sock-a-longs and goals...

2008 Sock-a-long: January is a ribbed pattern, so my goal for this group will be to finish the pair of work socks I have OTN for Derek.

6 Sox Knitalong: This is a KAL group that makes 6 pairs of socks a year, one sock per month.

Sockamania: I have just joined this group, which is available for everyone to join on the blog. Once I receive my first pattern, I will decide whether or not I will participate.

Socknitters Anonymous: Another challenge group to knit more socks! The January assignment is a Cookie A. pattern or intarsia. None of the Cookie patterns have really inspired me that much, and I'm not interested in trying intarsia at this time, so I'll sit out this month.

Socknitters SAM: Another Yahoo Group that makes one pair of socks every two months. The January-February pattern hasn't been announced yet as of this writing.

Thrifty Knitters Sock Club: The patterns chosen for January are Bellatrix and Cabletini, but neither really inspire me that much. I may do the Bellatrix at another time, however. In the meantime, I'll just sit out this month with this group.

Lace Knitting... *sigh*

Lace and shawls are my main draw these days. In 2007 it was socks, and in 2008 it will be lace!

So far I've been very good {I think!}. I have only started one shawl so far, and that's my version of Stephanie's Snowdrop Shawl. I'm currently waiting for a lace needle to try out on it so that I can decide if I want to invest in a few more for future projects. The next project I want to do is Mystic Waters. I was a part of the Yahoo and Ravelry groups for this shawl, and now that the KAL is done, the FO is stunning and a definite must-do. Seraphina's shawl is done out of worsted weight yarn, so I am going to fit that one in there once my afghan is completed.

These are the lace-related groups that I belong to on Ravelry:

2KLace: This is a group that I hope will motivate me to complete the lace project(s) I am currently working on, as well as the ones I am planning to do.

Juno-Regina Along: An a-long created to knit Juno-Regina from Knitty as a group.

Lace Knitters: Another group to help motivate me... more in the way of help understanding and figuring out what I'm doing.

Laceapalooza: A group similar to Lace Knitters.

Muir-along: An a-long created to knit Muir from Knitty as a group.

Secret of Bad Nauheim: A mystery KAL by the designer of Chrysopolis.

Secret of the Stole ii: The 2nd SOTS KAL.

Seraphina's Shawl: A group devoted to those who want to knit, are knitting, or have knit this pattern.

Spring Shawl Surprise: Another mystery shawl KAL.

Monday, December 17

WTH?? Where's Nicole???

It's been a tumultuous time for me lately. I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty of the details, but suffice it to say that things have finally started to turn around for us. With all that turmoil over {or nearly so}, I've been able to get back to thinking about myself and what I'd like to accomplish. Part of this is also blogging again. I've joined a multitude of groups and "alongs" to try and get myself motivated, as well as follow a few of my interests. Now what I need to do is sit down and actually establish realistic goals for myself, that includes taking care of the house as well as my projects and stash. Of course, this will all need to fit into my typically harried lifestyle/ work schedule. I will post my goals for the month on the first day of the month, and I will start draft posts for the end of each month to upload on the last day to hold myself accountable for those goals.

My stash: This needs serious reduction in the worst way. Part of that will require actually inventorying it so that I know what's there, and can congratulate myself accordingly when milestones/ goals are met. I want to have an inventory listed in Ravelry of what's currently inside my craft room by the end of January. I think that's realistic considering just *how* much yarn there is in there. As an added bonus, it will help organize the room better. Once I know where I'm at, then I can start setting goals towards working through it.

My current projects: I have more projects on the go right now than I possibly know what to do with. I've been trying quite hard to focus on one project at a time more lately, but I have yet to make any *real* difference in my amount of WIPs/ UFOs. I am progressing faster on individual projects since I'm not switching back and forth constantly, but I am still finding the lack of FOs to be discouraging. I need to figure out what to do about this.

My wish list of projects: I have several shawls that I would like to make in the new year, as well as a few a-month groups that I've joined. I'll need to find a place to organize all that, as well as set goals so that I'm not overwhelmed with WIPs. In the case of shawls, I want to finish my Snowdrop shawl, and then start on my Mystic Waters shawl.

Photographic proof & accountability: I am seriously behind in taking FO and stash shots. I want to have all of my FOs photographed by the end of the year, and all stash photographed as it is logged into Ravelry. Part of this will also be making sure that my sidebars in here in Blogger are up-to-date.

My home: Between insane work schedules and a serious case of the I-don't-give-a-damn's, my home has been seriously neglected. I have decluttering, redecorating, and yard/ garden plans that I'd like to institute here. I intend to start this by decluttering the living room, dining room, and kitchen, as well as redecorating them. I have already made many of my redecorating decisions, it's just a matter of budgetting them to make them a reality.

In closing, I just want to {re}state my goals for the month of December.
  1. Photographs of all FOs listed in Ravelry.
  2. Blog sidebars completely up-to-date.
  3. Decide on first three projects to focus on as of January 1st.
  4. All a-long's and a-month's listed *somewhere*.
  5. Computer desk and bookcase in living room completely decluttered.