FIFO, FIFO, it’s off to knit we go

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So, if someone were to look at my workspace, kitchen, dresser, car, hard drive you would make an educated (and accurate) guess that I’m not an overly orderly person.  On the whole whole, my life has taken the “long way ’round”, totally without order or plan.  Which is why my obsession with FIFO (First In, First Out) is so deeply odd.  Although, I do eat the frosting (my favorite part) last when I get cake, so maybe not that odd.

For some reason when I get a new awesome yarn, I can’t just ball it and knit it, I feel the need to keep going with the oldest yarns in my stash.  I’ve been working on this issue, I managed to knit some TFA Red Label in Dove within 2 months of getting it, and it didn’t kill me.

So I’m stating it here, I’m not throwing away my goals for the year, but I’m taking them with a grain of salt.  My tendency would be to attack the list in order (and use the oldest yarns in my stash) and then see what I get to do for fun after the “work” is done.

I have finished, or released myself from, all my obligation crafting (knitting/crochet mostly) and I’m going to do what I want, when I want to.  For the rest of tonight, I think I’m going to sit down at my wheel for the first time in months, and maybe do some reading in my new copy of The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Design. Maybe later this week I will re-warp my loom, or not.  I’m going off script, and the adventure awaits.

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Sister Stay-cation

This weekend I had a real treat, my sister Carla showed up and we had an awesome sister-staycation at my apartment.  We watched my selection of animated Disney-ish movies (Brother Bear, Anastasia, Lilo and Stitch), worked on our knitting, made my first batch of truffles, went shopping for Martha Stewart Office Supplies at Staples.

We also ate out at the Griffin Gastropub (an amazing 20 seat pub in Bracebridge) where I had an awesome lentil burger and Carla had some really excellent looking beef stew.

Not only was it a fun weekend it was a productive weekend. Carla finished a sweater and a pair of mittens, and I managed to get all my mystery leftover skeins tagged and niddy-noddied some of the yarns I won’t be knitting anytime soon (RIP Color Affection, the yarns are nice but after two months I have to admit I’m not all that interested in knitting it).  I also finished and blocked the two baby sweaters, finished an illusion knit dishcloth that I started at the Huntsville Spinners and Weavers guild last Thursday, and also finished crocheting and stuffing an amigurumi Raccoon for Toshie, started a pair of socks on my new 9in circulars (still figuring out whether I like it or not), and planned out two shawlettes for the moms of the two babies getting sweaters, and made plans to participate in the Slug-A-Long at Fresh Stitches.

So, overall a very fun, productive weekend, hopefully Carla will be able to come back again soon.

FO: Sleep Tech Dressy

Sleep Tech 2

I had been holding this post back in hopes of getting better pictures of the socks, but now I’m back in Bracebridge and the socks have already been worn several times, so we go forward with the pictures I was able to take in my dark apartment.

For me knitting fits well into the old adage “if I like you, I’ll do it for free and if I don’t, not for all the money in the world”.  So giving Jim, Carla’s boyfriend of about 6ish months, a pair of socks for Christmas shows that I’m happy he is dating my sister.

This was another project I completed during the November TFA KAL along with the Winter Bloom and Moonset shawls. And these make 13th pair of socks for the year, which is quite impressive if I say so myself.

Christmas Miracle Yarn

Now, these socks were half of a “Gift of the Magi” like scenario.  I gave these socks to Jim made from an exclusive OOAK Tanis club color way and Jim got me a skein of TFA Blue Label in Cranberry.  If you are a TFA fan and wondering why you aren’t familiar with Cranberry, thats because it was the November 2011 club skein.  I used it this spring to make Staked, however, after many months I had to admit I had made them way too small and gave them to Carla.

Staked Socks

 But I loved the skein and wished I could get another, but I know they are few and far between and I didn’t want to make the effort to hunt down a skein.  However, Jim (and Carla by proxy) was able to get a skein from Tanis.  I’m not sure where she conjured it up from, but she helped make for a very special Christmas surprise for me.

I know Jim likes his socks and I hope that it is the first of many pairs I make for him, as he seems to be a really great guy and he seems to make my sister happy, which in turn makes me happy.

– Details –

Project Name: Sleep Tech Dressy

Pattern: Business Casual Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Recipient: Jim

Yarn: TFA Blue Label in Truffle (January 2012 Year in Colour Club)

Modifications:

  • One less leg repeat, which is good because I would have run out of yarn

New Skills:

  • None, I’m really starting to get a handle on sock knitting

Feedback:

  • Yarn – Blue Label is fast becoming my favorite sock yarn, and was perfect for this pattern and recipient.
  • Pattern – Clean and simple.  I am getting to a point with socks where I use the designers pattern as a jumping off point that I can tinker with to make them fit well.

Re-Knit?: Just maybe, because the choices for man socks are few and far between and this is a nice pair.

Meet the Stragglers

Going into 2012 I had a clean slate of projects, this year is a bit different, I have a few stragglers that I wasn’t able to get done before midnight on December 31st.  They will be either finished or frogged by the end of the year, and probably sooner than that.  Here they are, from earliest cast-date to latest cast on date.

First up, we have the Rockberry Triangle.

Rockberry Triangle

Cast on: September 18th
Percent Complete: Probably about 50%, I am just starting chart D (which is the other design on the body before the edging)
Deadline: I don’t really want to start another big shawl till I get this one done, so it is at the top of the WIP pile.

Next, we have, Opal Bud Crochet Shawl,

Opal Heather Shawl

Cast on: September 30th
Percent Complete: 5% – I’ve barely scratched the surface on this one, as I have 1,200 yds of laceweight earmarked for this project
Deadline: None in mind, I just want to get it done before the end of the year.

Then, soon after I cast on Too Cool for My Socks

Very cool toes

Cast on: October 4th
Percent Complete: 10% – the toes are done and when I actually get to them in my purse they should get finished reasonably quickly
Deadline: I hope to have these done before the snow melts, I have heard rumors that Felici Sport is being discontinued, so I stocked up during the Black Friday sale and will have lots of socks to keep me happy for a few years, so I have no real desire to rush through this pair.

Then after a bit of a gap, I have my Canaries, Castles and Bunnies, Oh My!

Color Affection

Cast on: November 3rd (sorta)
Percent Complete: 0% – I have knit and ripped out the first section about 10 times since I cast on 2 months ago
Deadline: Like two months ago, I need to focus in and get working on this, or find another three-color shawl, cause this one is really hanging over my head.

Then we have one last thing cast on in 2012, Ottawa Baby Sweater

Ottawa Baby Sweater

Cast on: December 26th
Percent Complete: 60% –
Deadline: Right away, I need to finish three more baby sweaters before a shower that I have heard rumors will be in February …

Actually, there was one more in 2012, Pointelle, but I decided to hibernate it after screwing up the first two rows of the cuff too many times.

Then with 2013 starting I have some a new kid on the block, a Raccoon for Toshie

The Start of Rocky Raccoon

 

So I have my work cut out for me, but all projects finished in 2013 count towards this year’s goals.

2013 and Looking Forward

Not actually today but a close likeness

So, here we are at the end of the the first day of the year and I guess it is time to let all of you know what to expect from me this year, although if last year is any indication my results and my goals bear very little resemblance to one another.

This year instead of classifying by craft, I have set my goals by type.

In 2013, I want to …

Quantities

  • Spin 5lbs of fluff
  • Use up 10 miles of yarn
  • Create 40 items (knit, crocheted or woven)
  • Knit 15 pairs of socks
  • Knit an adult sweater for myself

Techniques

  • Complete a project in Tunisian Crochet
  • Learn and complete a project that uses Broomstick Lace
  • Learn and complete a project in Brioche Stitch
  • Learn and complete a project in double knitting
  • Complete a tatting project
  • Give stranded colorwork another try
  • Complete the sampler in The Weavers Idea Book by Jane Patrick
  • Complete a weaving project using overshot techniques
  • Compete a weaving project for something OTHER than a scarf or cowl
  • Spin a semi-woolen yarn (long draw from a combed top)
  • Spin an “art yarn”
  • Spin a laceweight yarn
  • Give needle felting another try
  • Give DPNs another try

Yarn and Stash

  • Use my handspun yarns in knitting, crochet and weaving projects
  • Use more yarn than I stash — More specifically get my stash ratio to less than 1.0 for 2013 and try to get my lifetime ratio to less than 2.0 by the end of the year (as the end of 2012 it was 2.43)
  • Destash yarns I don’t absolutely love and probably won’t ever use

So, it looks like I have a few awesomely cool challenges ahead of me this year, and I’m sure I will dream up a few more in the next 12 months.