Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Upcoming Knit-a-longs

The next month or so is going to be knitting heavy in my world. There are two KALs I am participating in and some double dipping between the two.

This comes along with a change in the shift I'm working, so who knows how my productivity will be. Back when I was going to school, the early morning hours were ideal for getting things done.
I thought I would share my goals for knitting through the end of may and tell you about the KALs in case you want to join in.

The first is the Spring Tanks, Tops, and Tees KAL hosted by Shannon of luvinthemommyhood. Basically any top without long sleeves. I have three (!) projects planned. Don't worry too much about my sanity. Two of them qualify for the other KAL as well.

The KAL runs from April 24th to May 22nd. The project I am casting on first, and hope to finish in a week, is the Gemini tee. I am knitting it out of a single ply made from merino wool, alpaca, and silk from The Woolen Rabbit. It feels like heaven to touch. The colorway is called Plum Island.

Yarn for Gemini

Before talking about the other garments, I will tell you about the madness that is Mad May. This is a KAL that runs in the MadelineTosh Lovers group on Ravelry. It runs for all of May and projects have to use MadelineTosh yarn.

I have ten projects planned, with another possible one. Those ten would be two garments, four (maybe five) hats, three cowls, and a pair of fingerless gloves. Completely nuts? Yes... but I'm going for it. I will probably have to not knit for a few days after the madness is over.

This winey purple will be a cardigan called Low Tide.

Yarn for Low Tide

This brown/blue/black combo is going to be a sweater called Window to My Soul.

Yarn for Window for My Soul

The next photo has the yarn for the hats I have planned. From left to right they will become Drizzle, For Good Hat, Chelsea Market Hat, and Rosebud.

Yarn for hats

Finally, this photograph shows the yarn for the cowls and mittens. From left to right they wll become a Honey Cowl (pink and green), Heart on a String, Cowboy Cowl, and Goldilocks Mittens (two on the right, held together as one).

Yarn for cowls and mittens

I don't have the yarn yet for the other hat I'm considering knitting. I traded the second skein of the bright blue above for an iris (blue-violet) skein and it's currently on its way to me.

Care to join in? No need to go as crazy as I am. There are seperate categories for whatever you would want to knit or crochet for Mad May.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday and a UFO Plan

I realized it's been a few weeks since I posted about my WIPs. I only have a couple to share as the other things I've been working on are finished. However, it is still snowing here so FO photos are going to be delayed.

I've made a little progress on my Woodland Sampler.

April WIP

My most exciting WIP is this sock. It's my first ever and was easier than I thought it would be. Just a lesson in following the pattern and working each stitch as I come to them. I'm taking a hiatis from casting on the second sock to finish up a couple other things but should have it done by the end of the month.

One Finished Sock

Over this upcoming weekend my goal is to catalog all of my UFOs (WIPs are included). Judy of Patchwork Times is hosting a UFO Parade through the end of the year. It's a goal of mine (and many others it seems) to cut down on the number of projects in limbo. I've been setting rules for myself, like having to finish two projects in order to start a new one. That hasn't worked longer than the first finish.

So I've been wondering to myself why I don't finish everything I start. And how can I change that? I spent some time at the end of last year throwing some UFOs into my scrap bin for use in other projects. With those fabric based projects, it was simply that I fell out of love with the idea. It was easy to move on. The ones I have more trouble with is my knitting projects. I still love all of the unfinished projects. I just only have the two hands so I can only work on one at a time.

All of this boils down to my ideas. When I am on a roll with ideas, it just spurts out, usually to the point of being out of control. I also think I have more time to do things than I actually do, so there is that factor of not taking into account reality. I desperately need a plan. Some way to have my cake and eat it too. My life is full with work, Chad, friends, my dogs, taking care of a home, and the other activities I enjoy outside of creating with fabric and yarn. Sometimes there is a lack of balance.

While I don't have a complete plan, I know I need to focus, find balance, and follow through. An ambitious goal would be to end 2013 with no unfinished projects. I'm not sticking to that (yet). We'll see once I list all of those lingering items.

How about you? Do you have a plan to finish your UFOs? Or, do you not have any at all? (If so, please share your tips for keeping them under control.)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finish-a-Long Quarter Two

Quarter one was a complete failure as far as finishing any of my goals went. I've been trying to be conservative with the projects I pick for this and think I need to widen my scope of what I include. This might not work as May is looking to be full of new starts, but I'm always game to take a stab at something.

Without further adieu, here are my goals (and current state of said projects) for this quarter.

1. Handstitched mini

Hand Pieced QAL
2. Sourwood Mountain

Sourwood Mountain WIP
3. Cora

Cora WIP
4. Driftwood

Driftwood WIP
5. Nesting Place

Nesting Place
6. Temptress

Temptress WIP
7. Hand quilting practice mini

Ready to Hand Quilt
8. Notebook cover

Embroidery WIP
9. Ranrike

Shawl in Progress
10. Canyonlands

Canyonlands WIP

I decided this quarter to leave off the quilt tops that need to be quilted and bound. I have so much fabric set aside for different quilts that I would rather accumulate tops to clear some of the clutter. Another rule I have set for myself is to not have any knitting WIPs older than a year. Eventually, I would like that to be six months.

Linking up Leanne for the FAL goals linky party.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Year of Lovely Finishes: April

Let's try this again, shall we? I didn't get very far in my March goal. In fact, my fabric is still intact and I haven't settled on a design. YES, I realize this is an item for my dogs. That it will get wet and dirty, but that doesn't mean I can't have something appealing, right? Can you tell I've been tossing all of this back and forth in my head?
Fabrics for a dog dish mat

As a refresher, here is my stack of dog fabrics. Since this is a project that I've been meaning to get to for awhile, I really want to finish it this month.

Linking up with Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts (just under the wire too).

Monday, April 1, 2013

To Do First: April

Seriously, how is it April already? On one hand, time is moving way too fast and on the other, I am happy to see March gone. It's my least favorite month and historically a difficult one for me.

Before getting to my lists, I have to admit my goal of fitting sewing in every day wasn't met. I started experiencing severe back pain a little over a week ago and with no cause or solution for it, kneeling on the floor to cut or lay out fabrics isn't in the cards. Hopefully this will pass and I can get back to working on all of my projects.

First, my March recap.


1. Joji Mystery - still haven't started.
2. The Sermon - didn't touch.
3. New Beginnings - didn't touch.
4. Cora - stuck on the damn sleeves.
5. Itasca - didn't touch.
6. Mystery Sock - didn't start.
7. Driftwood - didn't touch.
8. May Day Shawl - finished. Will post more about it in April.
9. Madison - finished. Another one I will post about in April.
10. Boo Knits Mystery - didn't touch.
11. Sourwood Mountain - didn't touch.
12. Olympic National Park - finished. Yet another post to come.
13. Canyonlands - started on Saturday and have the rest of the edging to finish.
14. Cowboy Cowl - didn't start.
15. Abalone - didn't start.
16. Age of Brass and Steam - didn't start.
17. 28's Big Sister 77 - didn't start.
18. Business Casual - didn't start.
19. Tank top test - I have started and have to finish by April 15th. I can't share any photos until after then either.
20. East Gable Shawl - started.

March Knitting FOs


1. Project Quilting - well, I skipped one challenge because I didn't feel it posed a challenge and didn't get back into the rest. The season is over so this will come off my list.
2. Row QAL - didn't start.
3. Handstitched mini - haven't touched.
4. Kaleidoscope back - didn't start.
5. Baste and quilt Drunkard's Path - didn't do. Will explain more in my FAL post.
6. Emerald Challenge - started but didn't finish in time for the challenge deadline. In other words, it still isn't done.
7. Sugar Block Club - caught up.
8. Weekender - didn't start.
9. Low Volume top - didn't start.
10. Dogwood Blossom - didn't start.
11. Honeycomb SAL - I changed my mind on fabrics and haven't started.
12. Road to Round Rock QAL - I've started but my back issues have stalled me.
13. Dog dish mat - didn't start.
14. Curved tree mini - didn't start.
15. Zig Zag top - didn't start.

Sugar Block Club: January-March


1. Nesting Place - didn't touch.
2. Garden Tote - didn't touch.
3. Dessert of the Month - didn't start.
4. Gorey SAL - the SAL for this one is over so I'm taking it off. I do like the idea of stitching one of Gorey's illustrations so it may make its way back here.
5. White on White - didn't start.
6. Woodland Sampler - caught up.
7. Reindeer banner - didn't start.
8. Sampler from school - didn't touch.
9. Cloth from EEC class - didn't touch.

Woodland Sampler WIP

Now for April. I'm not adding too many new things as I'm really trying to finish up WIPs first.


1. Patina socks - the March club package from Tanis Fiber Arts
2. Juego - a MKAL on Ravelry.
3. Love Letters socks - another KAL on Ravelry.
4. Pooling Socks Challenge - hosted by Judy.
5. Second Quarter Challenge - for The Loopy Ewe. It hasn't been announced as of yet so I'm not sure what I will be knitting up.


1. Forest QAL - I posted about this earlier this month.
2. Quilted Block Holder - as seen here. I love the idea of having something pretty to rangle those rouge blocks.

Nothing new in the embroidery category.

What do you have on your to do list for April?