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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #2

Hello and happy Sunday!

Last week's post was rather long and photo-y. Sorry about that. Originally, it didn't have that many photos because I honestly didn't think I was going to have the energy to sit and work on the post after our cruise. Hahaha. I'm cute.

So, last week was rather photo-y. This week probably won't have as many...we'll see.

Anyway, onwards!



FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018

I hadn't even had a chance to wash the hat until Friday. I've been wearing it to school in the mornings. Stormageddon has stolen it at least twice. He seems to think I'm going to give up. Silly child. So, right now, it's hanging up, attempting to dry out. But at least it's been washed.



WIPs (Works-in-Progress)
 These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016
3. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016
4. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
5. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
6. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017
7. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
8. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
9. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017
10. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
11. Luck o' the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2018

Honestly, the only thing I really worked on this week was the Luck o' the Irish Cowl. I think I'm going to throw it onto a holder of some sort and try it on, to see how it sits. I may or may not be finished with it very soon (like today, if I get a chance to knit). I also need to look into a stretchy bind-off so it really will fit over my head. I mean, I can do my normal bind-off but it may not be stretchy enough. With that said, I also don't want it so stretchy that it doesn't sit normally. Sooooo.....there's that.



OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists

Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Little Man
3. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
4. Mittens for Stormageddon
5. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - needs 3 colors, would need to buy...maybe do it with 2)
6. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
7. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Returning (fingering weight x3 colors- AFVKW Annapurna, brown Bleating Haven Corriedale and Sundara Silk Merino)
2. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
3. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
4. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
5. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
6. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
7. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
8. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
9. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
10. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
11. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
12. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
13. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
14. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
15. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
16. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)
6. Granny Square Blanket (which means I need to learn to crochet)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

Spinning
1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

Dyeing
1. Malabrigo Nube fiber
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)



It's been a whirlwind week around here. We arrived home from our cruise last Saturday, Sunday was spent trying to get caught up on a bunch of things (mostly laundry), and I feel like I've been trying to play catch-up all week long. Honestly, it's a week later and I'm still not caught up on laundry...I mean, it's done but it's not put away. Currently, I have two baskets filled with clean laundry that needs to be put away. I also have a dryer with clean towels and a basket of dirty laundry.

As such, photos are kind of limited this week. Like really limited.

We've had some rain around here so the snails have been coming out. We like the snails in our house. If we find them on the sidewalk or other unsafe place, we move them (well, Little Man and I will - Stormageddon is still a little scared of them). I found one swimming in some standing water. I moved it out of the water and I found it back in there a half hour later. Apparently I was disrupting lap time? I don't know.

Here are some of the snails we've found this week:








They seem to like my (dead) potted plants on the front steps. We had four tomato cages, a couple of sweet pepper plants in another pot, and another pot with jalapeños. They're all dead(ish) and I've just been far too lazy to deal with them.

One of the reasons this week has been so off is this man:


This is Arno (and the stolen commandeered Rasta Ski Cap I had finished on Christmas Eve). He passed away on Friday morning. He was our friend's father, 82 years old, and a stubborn Swiss German Jew (in many ways, he reminded me of my grandfather except my grandpa was Catholic). When he was diagnosed with stomach cancer, he was pissed that it messed up the rest of his ski season (last winter) and his biking endeavors (in the spring/summer). When he was in remission, he was back to doing all the things (swimming and biking mostly but he also loved to run around in his cars). Unfortunately, the cancer came back and he wasn't able to have chemo because he couldn't keep food down. He and his wife only had one child, who is, understandably, a mess. His wife also has Alzheimer's. She's still pretty good, honestly (my maternal grandmother had Alzheimer's and it was bad). She can make food, get herself dressed/undressed, bathed, and walk the dog without getting lost but she misplaced her wallet a few weeks ago and has no idea where it's hiding (it's in the house somewhere). Both her son and husband hid the car keys from her so she wouldn't attempt driving. She'll ask you the same question ten times in an hour, which may or may not be related (it may also be because she's 79 years old and is trying to be a good hostess). But she's still very sweet and drives her son bonkers.

We knew Arno was going to pass on soon. He was bad at Christmas and then we left for our cruise. We kept in contact while we were gone, hoping that he'd make it so we could see him again. Husband did get to see him again. Actually, he saw him a couple of times this past week: Monday night, Tuesday night, and Thursday night. The last time I had seen him was Christmas Eve. Honestly, I only met him a handful of times, though Husband knew him much better.

Either way, our week has just been really off. Between trying to get back into our routine and Arno's passing, we're all over the place. I feel like I've hardly seen Husband this week, the boys have been owly beyond measure, and this flu season is starting to take people down like flies (hopefully we've avoided the sickies...).

So, I'm short, confused, and a bit all over right now.

Let's hope next week is better! I hope you've had a lovely weekend :)




Have a bonus photo of a doberman wearing the Rastarmulke that I made for his owner (our friend & Arno's son).


Biggest. Baby. EVER!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #1 (Introduce ALL THE THINGS!)

Hello and happy Sunday!

Welcome to the beginning of my seventh installment of my Self-Imposed Year of Projects, a project in itself wherein I try to give myself some sort of direction in my fibery endeavors. I often fail spectacularly at this; just an FYI.

The Year of Projects is not my brainchild. It actually started six months before I started (really truly; it was six months to the day) but it may have been the brainchild of someone even before that, quite possibly the Yarn Harlot. What I can claim is that I decided it didn't make sense to work on a "school schedule" (July-June) and my birthday is right at the beginning of the year (today, in fact, as it was seven years ago when I started)...so I started at the beginning of the year. It just made sense to me.

So, if you happen to go over to the Ravelry Group, you'll notice that some people are on the "school schedule" and others have adopted my schedule. It all comes out in the wash. We post links to our blog in the weekly thread (the actual blog posts, not just a link to the blog in general), we wander to other blogs, we comment, we admire, and we try to stay focused.

With that said, it's time to take a look at what I've been pondering for my 2018 Self-Imposed Year of Projects...



FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018

There wasn't supposed to be anything here. Buuuuuuuuut, I brought a few things with me on our trip and, well, a cast on for a hat turned into a finished project a week later. Oops.


WIPs (Works-in-Progress) These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016
3. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016
4. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
5. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
6. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017
7. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
8. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
9. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017
10. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
11. Luck 'o the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2018

I did a little bit of reorganization from last year's WIP list, removed a few things, adjusted, and, of course, added the newest project....I just couldn't help myself, apparently.



And lastly, the real reason why you're here: OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists

I've tried several ways to do things over the years and I'm finding that categories with far too many items is helpful for direction but it also allows for some flexibility because I need some of that. I'm also coming to understand the size of my enviable stash. It's rather large (okay, let's be honest: my stash is well beyond SABLE at this point) and I have lovely yarns and, really, I should knit from my stash. Now, am I going to always knit from my stash? No. That's impossible with some of the ideas I'm having for this year. But I'm going to try. So, some items in my list will have a yarn listed as well.

Anyway, let's see the lists already!


Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Little Man
3. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
4. Mittens for Stormageddon
5. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - needs 3 colors, would need to buy)
6. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
7. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Returning (fingering weight x3 colors- AFVKW Annapurna, brown Bleating Haven Corriedale and Sundara Silk Merino)
2. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
3. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
4. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
5. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
6. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
7. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
8. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
9. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
10. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
11. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
12. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
13. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
14. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
15. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
16. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)
6. Granny Square Blanket (which means I need to learn to crochet)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

Spinning
1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

Dyeing
1. Malabrigo Nube fiber
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)


My list of things for the kids (mine and others) was expanded from last year's list. I still need to make mittens for Stormageddon and they're both due for hats of their own (again). I still owe my niece a toy. I've made toys for all the nieces/nephews as well as the boys...my little Devil Niece is the last one and as she's just over a year old, it can wait until November or December. But I do need to do it. I've also added a couple of sweaters for the boys.

My selfish knitting appears to to be ALL THE SHAWLS and a few other things. Eight of the projects are shawls. Five are sweaters. The remaining few are hats or fingerless mitts or socks. Yeah, year of the shawl.....we'll see how that goes. If last year's mantra of knit all the sweaters is any indication, I won't finish squat this year. 

Then there's a section of "random things" which are things I want to make, have kits for, or don't necessarily fall in selfish knitting. I've had some Wisconsin kits for a couple of years and I do need to learn stranded knitting.......soooo, they're back on the list. I've got some yarn for a Pop Blanket (I'll need either white or black for the background colors...maybe both...maybe some grey, also). I have a feeling I'm going to use the Knit Picks Mighty Stitch yarn I ordered (and order more of white & black and any other colors I need). I have a full rainbow, two skeins of each color, which should get me at least four blocks per color, maybe more (probably more). But I will definitely need more of the background colors. I'm also pondering learning how to crochet. I mean, I know basics but what I keep thinking about are granny square blankets so I think I'm going to learn how to make a good granny square and then make all the squares. Or maybe just a huge one that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and.....yeah.

Outside of knitting, but still within the purview of fibery endeavors, I have a section for design work, spinning, and dyeing but I also have a section for things like making sure my vintage patterns are in the Ravelry database (as I suspect so many of them are not). The design work may or may not be tied to current WIPs or FOs over the years. For spinning, I just went through my fiber stash page and took the first ten listed. Some of them are 4 oz bits of fluff while others are less than an ounce and I know one of them is over 3 lbs. Soooooo, it's actually a lot of spinning. I also added yarn dyeing because I have a bag of unddyed fibery goodness that wants to be dyed. I probably won't work on dyeing until it's a bit warmer, however. Working with wet yarn when it's 50ºF does not sound appealing. So, that part will probably wait a bit. Spinning may have to wait, also, as my hands are like sandpaper right now. ::sigh:: But there's always knitting. And maybe crochet, if I find something worthy.




Now, this is the point in which I'd have photos and talk about the last week or so of life here in California. The last week or so of life was not spent in California....well, mostly not in California. We arrived back from our cruise just last night (walked in the door at 5pm).

We've not gone on a cruise for the last couple of years so it was time for another one. We drove down to Los Angeles/Long Beach last Saturday (not yesterday), which is about a six hour drive (depending on traffic). We left just before 7am and made good time, even with our couple of food/gas stops along the way. We could have taken a puddle jumper flight but it would have taken the same amount of time and cost about five times as much money. So, we drove it.

We arrived on our ship just after 1:30pm.


One of the things that happens after you check in and get your keys and such, you take photos in front of a backdrop. This was ours (as taken by the professional on-board photographers).




Stormageddon was ready to go, wearing a Señor Frogs shirt from Cabo San Lucas (which used to belong to Little Man).



He also discovered one of the porthole things on Deck 3. This was before we had to go to our muster station. They've changed how they do muster station drills (again). The first cruise Little Man went on, we had to take him to the muster station drill, out on the deck, where we're crammed like sardines. He was extremely unhappy. Then things changed and if you had small children or were in a wheelchair or something like that, you met in one of the theaters for instructions, which was much nicer to deal with.....but now we're back to the "everyone on the decks" deal. I had two unhappy children. On top of that, they now scan everyone's room key to make sure everyone shows up...and you get called out if you're not there. The family directly behind us were also from the Bay Area and her two kids (ages 7 and 9) both sat down, leaned against the wall, and fell asleep (they hopped a plane about the time we were leaving in the car - which means they were there and awake at least two hours before that - suckers).

The rest of the week was......well, Little Man loved going to Camp Ocean, which is the on-board childcare. They had tons of activities and he loved going. We had a hard time getting him to leave a couple times. Stormageddon, on the other hand, was less cooperative. He could handle 2-4 hours and then he'd lose it and one of us would have to go get him. It was okay, though. Husband and I took turns at night for which one of us would stay with the boys while the other went out. It worked for us. We also did a few things on our own along the way.

For example, I went to Harry Potter Trivia.



Yes, that's my trophy. Yes, I won. I tied for first with a boy of about 7 or 8 years old. I had 19/20 questions correct (the one I got "wrong" was because I didn't have "pink umbrella" for where were Hagrid's wand pieces hidden....I had "umbrella handle" even though I know it's his pink umbrella...everyone knows that, right?). Anyway, I got a trophy this time. Four years ago, I won a medal for 2nd place at Harry Potter Trivia. So, I've redeemed myself.

New Years' Eve was one of the "elegant" nights on the ship. The boys dressed up in their suits and it was adorable.






I suspect they liked the noise makers. A lot.



See? We clean up pretty well, right? Okay, to be fair, these photos were taken prior to dinner. The noise makers came during dinner.

New Years' Day was spent in Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico. The first day, Husband and I went out on our own (the boys were at Camp Ocean). We spent money on shiny things (earrings, two bracelets, and a chain for my Christmas present) and ate lunch at a place called Cabo Wabo, which was made famous by Sammy Hagar.


I downed two of these margaritas and had a Waburrito, which looked like barf on a plate but it was sooooo good. Husband had the same. It seriously looked like barf on a plate, though....chicken, tomatoes, a cream sauce (akin to sour cream but runnier).

Our second day in Cabo, we took the boys swimming in the ocean. We took a little water taxi to the resort beach area (our boat was named "Sex Machine Too" and the captain grew up in San Francisco).



Husband and Stormageddon in the water.




Little Man attempted to make a sand castle but the water kept washing it away. He was pretty determined and figured out if he made it tall enough, the water would only wash out some of it.



Stormageddon was quite happy to be rinsed of all the sand and have his shoes and socks back on. He did not like the sand in his diaper (I can't say I blame him). He also wasn't a fan of the sand that stuck to his feet. Poor kiddo.

After our trip to the beach, we ate at Señor Frog.






One of my nights out, I spent some time in the casino. The cruse we went on four years ago with my bestie in tow, we spent time on the quarter machines, lamenting the fact that we didn't win shit. This time, I made that quarter machine pay out. I won two chips: one for a free hat and one for a free drink. The hat is from the casino (obviously). I picked it up in the cage. The drink was also acquired in the casino bar but I could get it elsewhere on the ship. They called it a Miami Vice, which is half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri. 'Twas quite good (and dangerous).


We also had a stop in Puerto Vallarta. We didn't get off the ship for very long and didn't go into town but we did drink a very expensive bottle of wine out on our balcony.

I believe that was pirate night.


The boys were very into the pirate set-up. I think Stormageddon would have taken his little red hat home if he could have gotten away with it.


We also got an individual shot of Little Man. The night before, Little Man was being a little stubborn and didn't want to take photos. We got one of the two of them and then one of just Stormageddon (it's why we have the individual shot of Little Man - equality is important, yo!).




One of the things Carnival has done is they've teamed up with the Dr. Seuss.....not estate but the brand, I guess is the best way to put it. So, they have events on the ship around a Dr. Seuss theme. There's a Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast (which we did on Friday), they do a story reading (this year it was Horton Hears a Who; the last cruise we went on they read Cat in the Hat), there's a Dr. Seuss parade, and there are characters and the whole thing. We also purchased a Dr. Seuss theme for our room. The boys got towels, Little Man got the Cat in the Hat toy (Stormageddon got it last time), Stormageddon got the lunchbox, backpack, and water bottle (Little Man got those last time). It's really cute.





Obviously, those three photos are from the Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast on Friday. We got to see Thing1 and Thing 2, the Cat in the Hat, and Sam (as in Sam-I-Am). Little Man had a waffle (with blue & red butter), I also had a waffle (without the butter), Stormageddon had cereal and Truncula Tree pancakes, and I can't remember what Husband had....possibly green eggs & ham.

We arrived back in Long Beach yesterday morning and we were off the ship by around 9:30am. By 10:15am, we were here:


It might be difficult to read but we took a stop at Paramount Studios. One of Husband's friends from high school now works at Paramount for the Dr. Phil show.


So, Paul took us around the set and his office and such.


I think this was inside one of the waiting rooms.


Little Man took a seat in the green room (which is actually kind of painted a minty green color). He had no idea what a green room was for.



Stormageddon actually smiled for a photo outside of Paul's office. After that, we wandered around Paramount Studios for a bit. They actually do have the building facades that are just the outside.


I'm interested to see what the one below is for. They were working on it while we were out and about. There's a sign in the window for an autograph signing for Alanis Morissette.



The next one was near the Lucille Ball building.






And on our way out, I managed to get a photo of the Hollywood sign.


Little Man wanted a sombrero while we were in Mexico so we picked this one up for him. It's HUGE and he actually had to wear it off the ship because we couldn't pack it (he also got a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hat and a captain's hat like the one Stormageddon is wearing in the photos above). 

As I said above, we arrived home at 5pm last night. Of course, unpacking commenced...and laundry....and food..........yeah. 



And with that, happy birthday to me! I hope you've had a lovely week :) 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year SIX: THAT'S A WRAP!

Happy December 31st!

Today, we take a look back at all the lovely things I've done this past year....or haven't done.....or ripped out.....or......well, let's just get going.

**WARNING**: this is going to be a photo-heavy post and for that, I apologize...but all the photos!

My year started out......I'd say modestly but, really, I was beyond crazy (as I usually am). You can see my first post here. It appeared I had planned to knit all the sweaters and not knit all the socks (but really, I was still going to knit all the socks). Based on last week's post, we all know how well that worked out (I knit all the socks and did not knit all the sweaters...but I didn't even knit all the socks!).

Shall we discuss?


Over the first few months of the year, I made a flurry of Pussy Hats. You know the ones. Pink. Made to look like cat ears. Yeah, I made a total of eleven of those hats, including a baby bulky one that ended up with my Devil Niece.

#1: finished January 15, 2017

The next six hats: finished the last of this pile on May 13, 2017

#8: finished May 23, 2017

#9: finished May 26, 2017

#10 (the baby version): finished May 26, 2017
Yes, that's my niece and yes, that's my little brother.

#11: finished May 26, 2017

All of the Pussy Hats went to someone else. The first went to a friend of mine, the baby one went to my Devil Niece, and the rest went to our gaggle of gay friends. I'm debating whether I should make one for myself. But, that's a discussion for a different day.


But, I didn't just knit Pussy Hats, though it certainly seems like it at first glance.

In the midst of the Pussy Hats, I finished the following knitting projects:

Hermione's Everyday Socks: finished January 28, 2017

Pikachu Hat: finished February 10, 2017

Trusty Hat: finished February 24, 2017

Messed Up Moss: finished May 17, 2017

After all the Pussy Hats, it was back to business as usual. Or something.....

Vanilla Socks: finished June 8, 2017

Stormageddon's Vest: finished June 9, 2017

Bonbon for Miss C: finished July 6, 2017

Unnamed Hat: finished August 24, 2017

Veggie Socks: finished September 8, 2017

Wasabi for Mr. K: finished September 25, 2017

Baby Hat Prototype: finished October 31, 2017

Vanillaish Rainbow Socks: finished November 17, 2017

Rastarmulke: finished November 21, 2017

Mittens for Little Man: finished December 2, 2017

Bugle for Miss E: finished December 8, 2017

BooYah: finished December 10, 2017

Rasta Ski Cap: finished December 24, 2017



But, lest you think all I did was knit this year.......there was spinning!

Frene Creek Farm Corriedale

BMFA Handpainted Roving

Sandy's Palette Silk/Merino Roving (1)

Sandy's Palette Silk/Merino Roving (2)



Miss Babs BFL (2 skeins)


But wait, that's not all! So, I did knitting, I did spinning......and then I did some DYEING!


It all started here:

Holiday Yarns FlockSock 

This first skein is from Stitches West in February. I took a yarn dyeing class from Jennifer of Holiday Yarns. After class, I immediately went to her booth and bought the yarn dyeing kit, which came with two bare skeins of her FlockSock yarn and some basic dyes. The next two came from that.


Holiday Yarns FlockSock

Holiday Yarns FlockSock

I also knew I had a few skeins hanging around that could be dyed so I pulled those out and I maybe did some more yarn dyeing....


Knit Picks Bare Palette Fingering (became Vanillaish Rainbow Socks above)

Malabrigo Rios

Nashua Creative Focus Superwash





Four skeins of Sanguine Gryphon Bugga Bare ends (less than full skeins)


Two skeins of Malabrigo Twist



Two skeins of Malabrigo Sock



Four skeins of Sanguine Gryphon Traveller Bare ends

In addition to those, there were a few skeins that never even made it to a project/yarn page (but were listed in my FO section):


I dyed my first sock blank. I have no idea what kind of clown barf it's going to look like when I knit it up but, you know, I probably don't care :) It's about 463 yds.




These are massive skeins of sock yarn - approx 760 yds......each. The top one is a deep orange/red and black/grey while the bottom is a purple tonal thing.



I *tried* to exhaust the black after the sock blank and the red/black one above....I still have black leftover yet. But this one came out a lovely grey.


I also used up the rest of the red, yellow, orange, and purple (and a little grey) on this skein. This one and the one above are massive skeins of worsted, approx 560 yds each.



I also, sadly, had some frogging happen...but only to a couple projects:

Twilight Socks: frogged September 26, 2017

Neck-Down Base Shawl: frogged November 16, 2017

Morvarch: frogged December 19, 2017


Here's the thing with these projects: they're going to be redone, maybe slightly differently, but they're still intended to be socks (the sock blank), a shawl (the purple), and Morvarch (the blue). I just need to figure out how I'm going to go about them (the first two are design projects of sorts) and fix silly mistakes/issues (Morvarch).

My final FO list looked like this:

Finished Objects (FOs):
1. Pussy Hat: started January 10, 2017; finished January 16, 2017
2. Hermione's Everyday Socks (v2): started November 14, 2016; finished January 28, 2017
3. Frene Creek Farm Corriedale (spinning): started October 12, 2016; finished January 16, 2017
4. Pikachu Hat: started February 3, 2017; finished February 10, 2017
5. Trusty (v2): started December 22, 2016; finished February 24, 2017
6. Pussy Hat: started February 13, 2017; finished February 27, 2017
7. Pussy Hat: started March 2, 2017; finished March 8, 2017
8. Pussy Hat: started March 9, 2017; finished March 21, 2017
9. Pussy Hat: started March 21, 2017; finished March 30, 2017
10. FlockSock Yarn #1: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
11. FlockSock Yarn #2: started April 5, 2017; finished April 5, 2017
12. #initiateknitdesign challenge from ArohaKnits: started April 3, 2017; finished April 11, 2017
13. Knit Picks Bare Palette Fingering: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
14. Malabrigo Rios: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
15. Nashua Creative Focus Superwash: started April 9, 2017; finished April 9, 2017
16. Pussy Hat: started April 13, 2017; finished April 30, 2017
17. Pussy Hat: started April 30, 2017; finished May 13, 2017
18. Messed Up Moss: started January 4, 2017; finished May 17, 2017
19. Pussy Hat: started May 19. 2017; finished May 23, 2017
20. Pussy Hat: started May 24, 2017; finished May 26, 2017
21. Baby Pussy Hat: started May 26, 2017; finished May 26, 2017
22. Pussy Hat: started May 26, 2017; finished May 26, 2017
23. Bugga Bare (2 matching): started June 3, 2017; finished June 4, 2017
24. Bugga Bare: started June 3, 2017; finished June 4, 2017
25. Bugga Bare: started June 3, 2017; finished June 4, 2017
26. Malabrigo Twist: started June 3, 2017; finished June 4, 2017
27. Malabrigo Twist: started June 3, 2017; finished June 4, 2017
23. Vanilla Socks: started March 30, 2017; finished June 8, 2017
24. Stormageddon's Vest: started October 17 2016; finished June 9, 2017
25. BMFA Handpainted Roving: started March 23, 2017; finished June 23, 2017
26: Malabrigo Sock: started July 3, 2017; finished July 4, 2017
27. Malabrigo Sock: started July 3, 2017; finished July 4, 2017
28. Sanguine Gryphon Traveller: started July 3, 2017; finished July 4, 2017
29. Sanguine Gryphon Traveller: started July 3, 2017; finished July 4, 2017
30. Bonbon for Miss C: started June 24, 2017; finished July 6, 2017
31. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk Roving: started July 1, 2017; finished July 7, 2017
32. Sandy's Palette Merino/Silk Roving: started July 2, 2017; finished July 10, 2017
33. Miss Babs BFL: started July 11, 2017; finished July 21, 2017
34. Yarn Dyeing Adventures: started August 6, 2017; finished August 6, 2017
35. Unnamed Hat: started August 14, 2017; finished August 24, 2017
36. Veggie Socks: started July 6, 2017; finished September 8, 2017
37. Wasabi for Mr. K: started September 17, 2017; finished September 25, 2017
*38. Twilight Socks (from blanks): started June 8, 2017; frogged September 26, 2017
39. Baby Hat Prototype: started October 23, 2017; finished October 31, 2017
*40. Neck-Down Base Shawl: started September 10, 2017; frogged November 16, 2017
41. Vanillaish Rainbow Socks: started June 1, 2017; finished November 17, 2017
42. Rastarmulke: started November 20, 2017; finished November 21, 2017
43. Mittens for Little Man: started November 25, 2017; finished December 2, 2017
44. Bugle for Miss E: started December 3, 2017; finished December 8, 2017
45. Boo-Yah: started September 25, 2017; finished December 10, 2017
*46. Morvarch Aardvark: started January 1, 2017; frogged December 19, 2017
47. Rasta Ski Cap: started November 25, 2017; finished December 24, 2017




After all those lovely FOs (and frogged projects), I was still left with a pretty substantial WIP list.

Works-in-Progress (WIPs):
1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
3. Fall in San Francisco (prototype 3): started October 4, 2016
4. Smooth Operator Socks: started October 13, 2016
5. Stomping Grounds collection: started February 26, 2017 (no project page)
6. Hat Design: started March 20, 2017
7. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started July 6, 2017
8. New Hat Design (for the unnamed hat in the FO section): started August 14, 2016
9. Shetland Neck Wool on Support Spindle: started September 8, 2017
10. Gamer Bag: started September 28, 2017
11. Paradiddle Prototype: started October 19, 2017


Wink has been on the needles for almost three years now. It is a top-down raglan cardigan. Do you know how far I am? I've not even reached the part where I put stitches on holders to separate the arms. In three years. In my defense, there are several charts and directions and papers I need to keep track of at the same time and I've finished a lot of other things in between. I also have had smaller children these last three years, who would not let me work from said charts and papers. Now that Stormageddon is a bit older, I might be able to work on this one with him around. Maybe. Little Man is to the point where I could work on it without issue but Stormageddon is still questionable.

Wink: started January 5, 2015
This is not a new photo. This was taken a few months ago. I've just not been assed enough to take a new one. I'm lazy and classy like that. Or not.


My Bad Nut Shawl is still on time-out while I figure out the stitch counts between stitch markers. That's what has it stalled. I'd probably have finished it months ago if I hadn't dropped that stitch marker. ::sigh::

Oh, She IS a Bad Nut: started August 11, 2016
This, too, is not a new photo. In fact, this was the last photo I took before I lost the stitch marker...so, it's still about this size. ::sigh::


We could talk about my Fall in San Francisco prototype hat but, it appears that I frogged it and never restarted it. So it's been sitting in my WIP list and I had every intention of restarting it but I'm kind of like a squirrel with ADHD and, well, one sheep, two sheep, cow, turtle duck, Old Macdonald had a farm, hey Macarena! What were we talking about again?


Yeah, moving along..

My Smooth Operator Socks are going at a snail's pace but they are going. I brought them out the last week of school before break for a few rounds and I pull them out here and there, just for a few rounds. They're good, mindless knitting right now. I've just split for the heel so I'm working on the foot and then I'll go back to the heel in a little while.

Smooth Operator Socks: stared October 13, 2016
This is the finished first sock. The color placement is different on the second sock, I started somewhere in the light blue section that this sock ended with, so the bright green/pink/light blue section is just after the cuff. It's not a big deal to me.


And now we've reached the point where we start talking about WIPs that I actually started in this past year, 2017. All the ones I just talked about? They were all started prior to 2017. Yeah. I'm classy with my WIPs.

2017 actually started with Morvarch, which was unceremoniously frogged less than two weeks ago (see above). Now that I've acquired needles, I can restart it properly, hopefully, and not screw it up. We'll see. But that's how the year started. After that, more things started coming.

My Stomping Grounds Collection is a long-term WIP because it's going to involve knitting several pairs of socks (or other foot/leg-related items), learning a few new things (like two-color knitting and increasing while doing a cable pattern), pattern writing, swatching, and will probably take me years to get off the ground, if I ever do. I took a break from it, however, over the last few months, though thoughts have been creeping back in again. I might have to just start a project or two from the idea bit to see what happens. After I find appropriate yarn, of course.

Then, of course, is another design: a hat design. This one is still very much in the "design" phase. I have some charts written with some doodles but I've not swatched or anything. I might just have to dive into this one.

In between the listed hat design (↑ that one) and the Garter Stitch Baby Blanket, I had also participated in the #initiateknitdesign challenge from Aroha Knits. I may or may not go back to that. It's not listed as a WIP but it's in the design notebook (along with a fingerless mitts pattern and a few others that are also not listed as a WIP).

The Gamer Bag and the Garter Stitch Baby Blanket are still going when I take a moment to sit and work on them. The bag is a design WIP of it's own and the baby blanket is good TV knitting since I don't have to pay all that much attention (except to remember to do my decreases and YOs in the right spots). I'm in no big rush to finish either one of them, honestly.

Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started July 6, 2017
Again, I'm far too lazy to take a new photo. This was when I was just finishing up the first ball of yarn. I'm currently on the third ball of yarn and have started decreasing back down. It's nothing exciting: it's just Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth made blanket-sized.


The new hat design in the list is for the Unnamed Hat and the Baby Hat Prototype in the FO section above. It's the same stitch pattern on different yarn weights. I have it in my design notebook and I think I've tentatively named it the Rain Showers Hat. We'll see if that sticks. I need to putz with the math again. I have the basic pattern ready, including all the various crown decreases (depending on where you end up in the pattern) but people don't like having a recipe; they would rather have an explicit pattern with gauge and all of that.

I also started another design project: the Paradiddle Prototype. I could write the pattern and have it released before I even finish the first sock (except for gauge) but I feel like I should have, at least, the first sock finished before I go doing that. I'm weird that way.

I also have a spindle spinning project, which I just need to work on....yeah.

That sums up the WIP section in a nutshell.



In addition to all the things I did work on, there was the list(s) of things I didn't work on or didn't get to or changed my mind about or..........my "OMGWTFLSGBBQ" lists



Children's Items:
1. Stuffed toy for TAZ (brother's daughter)
2. Undetermined hat for Little Man
3. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
4. Mittens for Stormageddon

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!):
1. Park Slope (fingering, specifically Mountain Colors Crazy Foot)
2. Worsted weight house socks (worsted, of course - maybe something like Lumberjack)
4. Evangeline (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. Lichen (Aran or Sport/DK; solid or semi-solid)
6. Moyen Age (fingering; one of my Vice Yarns? Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20?)
7. Ginny's Cardigan (DK; solid or semi-solid)
8. Drip Drip Drop (sock; solid or semi-solid)
9. Celtic Myths (worsted; solid)
10. Jag in Garter Stitch (DK; 2 colors)
11. Cobh (fingering; 2 colors)
12. Offhand Lace (bulky; solid or semi-solid)
13. Whitman (DK; any color)
14. Flax (worsted; any color - Misti Alpaca Harry Potter-esque one?)
15. Hoar Frost (Wollmeise that's wound in the bag)

Christmas/Charity Bin:

1. 198 Yds of Heaven (worsted; solid)
2. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
3. Tombreck (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
4. Premie Spiral Hat (DK; any color)
5. Pumpkins & a Pattern (any weight, any color - gauge doesn't matter)

Designs:

1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch, grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection (everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.) *started*
2. Something from the stash...(lord knows I have plenty)


Other: 
1. Stitch Markers
2. Make sure my vintage patterns are in the Ravelry database (Workbasket magazine, leaflets, etc.)




Some of these things were started, particularly in the "design" section, others were just shifted aside for other things. It's really not a big deal. I've learned over the years that I need some flexibility while giving myself focus. I can't be too rigid or I get resentful and wind up with a serious case of Startitis....or I get so depressed about what I "have to" start that I freeze up and don't start anything at all. I prefer the Startitis but it's a crap shoot. So, flexibility it is :) Besides, these are all self-imposed and, quite frankly, I can give it up anytime I want. Anytime. You just watch.

Okay, I sound like an addict....nevermind.


So, that's where I ended up. That's not too bad, actually. Of course, there were so many things I wanted to knit for myself and I didn't. And things that I just wanted to knit but for which I didn't necessarily have a use (see "charity bin"). And other things. Yeah. Oops.




This last week has been busy around here. With Christmas being Monday, I spent time making food on Christmas Eve, we had friends over on Christmas Eve, we went to see other friends on Christmas Day, we had people over on Boxing Day and it just never seemed to end. We just were busy busy busy all week long, packing, cleaning, taking care of decorations before we left, and it just kept going.

But, here are some new photos:


Stormageddon never took a binky when he was a baby. We tried but he just.....didn't. Little Man, on the other hand, had to have them pried from his hiding spots. This binky was found in my car (don't judge me, dammit!)......and Stormageddon somehow knew what to do with it. I don't know. That boy makes me shake his head.


He is also not afraid of selfies.


Little Man made an ornament out of borax and something at school. So the photo is a bit blurry but he was showing off his ornament.

And lastly:


This is my grandmother's pie. Well, it's her recipe (by way of her mother-in-law). I've been putzing with it for several years because we always had an issue with the custard developing a layer of liquid, which would make the crust ooey-gooey and it was great. But it was also a pain in the ass. This is proof that we finally got it right: no ooey-gooey. And it's perfect and awesome.

With that, I hope you've had a lovely weekend and enjoyed my wrap-up post. Next week, I will have my first post for my 7th Self-Imposed Year of Projects :)