Wednesday, February 1

January Round-up

Well, just how well did I do with my goals? Not too well it appears, but I did get quite a bit done regardless! This is what I had on January 1st as my knitting/ crocheting goals for the month of January:
Sweater: Tweed Cardigan (Mary Maxim kit); Shawl: finishing the Denise design; Afghan: finishing Derek's Popcorn MAM; Socks: finishing my Felici socks (Caprica colourway).
  • The tweed cardigan isn't finished, but I did spend 2 weeks mostly concentrating on the popcorn afghan. As I had posted earlier, I recovered from having to rip back so much of my early work due to missed increases, but that was a loss of at least 2 days worth of knitting. I started work on it again the day before Derek returned, and got it divided a few days later. I went through well over a ball of yarn while he was home for the 5 days. I still have the sleeves to do, the stitches are on holders right now; and the body is about half done. I'm on the 4th ball of the 8 included in the kit, and Derek expects me to be wearing it when I pick him up from the airport next Wednesday. It's a fast, and mindless knit, so it is an achievable goal... it all depends on what else I decide to work on.
  • I didn't touch the shawl at all =o( (no links since it's a design in progress)
  • The popcorn MAM didn't get finished, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. Firstly, it wasn't nearly as complete as I first thought. I had wanted to surprise Derek with it finished when he came home. I realized that I wouldn't be able to finish it in the 2 weeks that he was gone initially, as I needed approximately another week or so. I then discovered that I didn't have enough of the dark sage yarn to finish up the afghan. I checked my stash, and according to my Ravelry listings, I have NONE!!! It would be my guess that I had used a lot of it on his quiltghan back in 2002 or 2003... knowing then that I could easily buy more. Unfortunately 10+ years later, that is no longer the case. The colour is still being made, but nowhere I shop (or can get to) carries that colour. I will need to order more from Herrschnerrs, the only place online I could locate that colour. I had considered re-working it to become a "striped" afghan... using a different colour scheme for alternating strips... that way I could keep it a surprise still. The more I thought about it, the more I leaned towards letting Derek know, and letting him make the final decision on it. He decided that he wants it all to be in the sage colourways, so I'm ordering the additional yarn needed when I next get an email letting me know about a free shipping offer.
  • The Felici socks were worked up to picking up the gusset stitches, and left at that point. As much as I love the socks, and love working with the yarn, my priorities dictated that I work on Raith's socks and other projects that were "needs" rather than "wants". They still went with me everywhere, but spent the majority of the month being shown off, rather than knitted on.

What got finished?

  • Raith's socks. I finished the first sock on the 26th or 27th I think (checked my tweets for a guesstimate), and of course immediately cast on the second. That one was finished on Sunday (2-3 days), which seems to be quite typical of my second socks... what the first one takes in weeks, the second one is done in days!
  • Derek's travelling slippers. Derek travelling means new slippers... this is a tradition born of necessity for over 10 years now. I wasn't up to making him slippers when he originally left in December, and as it turns out, it was a false start anyway. I had him pick out a ball of yarn from my "scraps" bin the day before he left and whipped them up in time for him to get them in his luggage before we went to bed that night. 

What's in progress?

  • Derek's denim work socks. I cast these on right after finishing Raith's socks on Sunday. I've been meaning to get some more socks done for him, but haven't since I nearly killed my hands doing two pairs back-to-back for his b-day/ our anniversary in June last year. One of his pairs of socks is about to blow out, and I forced myself to buy 2 pairs worth of Tuffy when I was in Winnipeg dropping him off last week. When I got home and tried to put the yarn away in the bin Derek and I had bought for worsted wools, it wouldn't all fit! I did go out and buy another, larger bin, but at the same time I went hunting for the 2 hanks of Tuffy I had balled up back in the summer. As of this writing, I am FLYING through the first sock. I got the stripes done Sunday before bed, the leg done Monday, the heel flap/ turn done and gusset picked up before I went to knit night last night. For whatever reason, my fingers flew while I was there, and I'm now nearly at the toe. I fully expect to be grafting the toe tonight! It would be nice to have them waiting for Derek when he gets home next Wednesday.
  • Raith's slippers. These were also started on Sunday. I have been facing my ever-growing queue, and am seeing the list loom over me like the Sword of Damocles. Derek wants to go into Winnipeg for the weekend later this month, so I need to have the entire order he placed from the fall complete by that time. This pair of slippers, and one more is all that is left. These slippers would have been sewn up last night, but yesterday morning I ran out of yarn a few rows away from the second tongue being finished. It was a "Maxwell Smart" moment... "I missed it by that much!" I knew the yarn was well over 6 years old, since it was wound into a regular ball of yarn and I've been doing centre-pull balls by hand for at least that long. I was guessing at what yarn it was when I created the Rav entry, but when I got to the end of the ball, I discovered that I had wrapped the ball around the yarn label. Thanks to having my stash so well documented on Ravelry, I was able to find out that not only did I have 2 full balls of this exact yarn in my stash (and in which bin), but one of them was the same date code of "No Dye Lot" yarn as what I had been using! (2002 by the way!) Rebecca waited over 6 hours, and didn't go get the ball for me until just before I left for knit night, so the tongue wasn't completed, and I couldn't sew them up there like I had originally planned.

What about my other goals?

  • Releasing a pattern a month: I didn't get a pattern released... in fact I didn't really work on any designs this month at all. I did, however, submit an existing (but unreleased) pattern to the KP-IDP for consideration. I do have the Gumdrop Placemat Set dug out of the craft room, and here in the living room with me so that I will get the last of the samples finished, photographed, and can release the pattern.
  • Continue listing everything on Ravelry: This is an on-going process. I have been very vigilant about making sure that each new purchase is listed in my Ravelry databases. I am also tracking yardage of how much I buy... in the hopes that I will use more than what I bring in this year. A small amount of stash from the "front room" was brought in for me to catalogue, but I haven't made a huge effort in that direction this month.
  • Promoting myself more: I didn't do as much of this as I had intended to, but I still did more than what I have been doing. I have added a few more patterns to my Facebook page, I have registered at Craftsy (but haven't listed anything there yet), and have been tweeting a little more often. I have continued to be active on Ravelry, but not in a promotional sense. I am trying to make blogging and tweeting more of a habit... we shall see if I'm more regular with that in February than I was in January!
  • Stash and craft room reorganization: This particular goal got little more than "a lick and a promise" this past month. I made small, baby steps in a few things, but most importantly, I didn't make any backwards steps. 
All in all, I have to say this was a pretty successful month as far as progress goes... just look at the yarn meters on the left column! No, I didn't achieve the goals I had set for myself, but I didn't give up either. I kept going, kept trying, kept making progress. Since last night was knit night, I will do my February goals post tomorrow. I will also need to do a progress/ FO photo post in the next couple of days. I have linked to my Ravelry project pages for those of you that are interested and taking a look at the details. I have them shared publicly, so you don't need a Ravelry account or to sign in to view them. 

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