Summer Slump

For the past couple of years I’ve found myself slowing down with my fiber habits and this year is no exception.  In the past I’ve associated it with different things, like a new job, always being on the trail, or just starting up with new hobbies, but I think after a third year of this I think I just don’t have mojo in the summer.

Work has been crazy and the last two weeks particularly so and while the heat from last week has broken, I’ve been totally listless in my fiber doings.

The one bright spot, is that I’m making some serious headway on Carla’s shawl.  I was hoping to have it done by August 1st, but that’s unlikely considering the week I have ahead of me, however I do expect it to be done in the next couple of weeks.

IMG_1087

 

Also, my Dropcloth samplers have arrived, and I’ve been playing around with embroidery, which has been lots of fun.

Four new samplers

Four new samplers

Just starting out

Just starting out

Getting the hang of the stitches

Getting the hang of the stitches

Doodling on my own

Doodling on my own

 

I’ve been sorta spinning.  I got a new coffee table (and a television) two weeks ago and I haven’t figured out the best spot to spin with the new furniture. But I’m making some headway on spinning Angel.  I want to have it done before our first guild meeting in September so I can show it off to Heather (the shepherd).  I don’t think I’m going to make it back to the Rosseau Market this year, so I may have to email her to see if she has fluff for any other of her sheep because they are an AMAZING spin.  Also, there are little bits of VM (vegetable matter, mostly grass) in the fluff which reminds me of where yarn come from and makes me smile.

 

Angel on the wheelI also tried to distract myself with a bit of crochet and for some reason I wanted to make the African Flower hexagons.  They are fun to make but my heart just wasn’t in it, so now I have some motifs with nothing to do, I might make a couple more and sew them together and give them to my friend Kristen’s two-year old daughter Taylor who can use them for a doll/stuffed animal blanket.

Crocheted Hexagons

I’m hoping to get Carla’s shawl/veil done soon because I still need to knit myself a shawl as well as I haven’t made a pair of socks in ages.  I’ve put most of my other knitting on hold to get this shawl done and I have a few things that have been taunting me for ages and stash that is just dying to be knit up.  However, my stash acquisition hasn’t been too bad this year (and I’ve been destashing slowly) so I’m not feeling the relentless push to keep up with my stash this year, which is probably good for my mental health.

Why craft when you can procrastinate?

So, through the month of May I had some big fun stuff going on of late, like deadlines for volunteer projects and job interviews, and projects I have to finish from my last job (I volunteered to finish because I wanted it done right).  During  that time I have been spending quite a bit of time at my desk, and instead of actually working I have been doing all sorts of useful things, like figuring out how much excess yarn I have, and how much each year since 2009.  Not because I’m embarassed, or think I need to buy less yarn, but because I’m crazy and love a good excel table, and I want to know how close my purchases match my use.

I managed to destash a bunch of yarn I was never going to use back in February and it felt great and it has put me on a stash kick, because by using up stash I can buy more of it, and much my yarn tastes have changed since I started knitting, so I want to use up what I have so I can get more of what I want!

So it seems that I’m doing really well this year, based on a ratio of yarn in to yarn out, in the form of knitting/crocheting/weaving/destashing (including handspun, which I only count once, as in just the handspun and not the fluff, I did my fluff/yarn calculations separately and based on weight not yardage).

Initially, I did these calculations in May, however I have been diligent in updating them as I have stashed yarn and fluff , and spun and finished projects.  As of July 1st, 2012 I have 46,038 yds (26mi) of yarn and 5.248 kg (11.5 lbs) of fluff.

Beyond the simple volume issue, there is the matter of the fact that if I knit a whole bunch I can stash a whole bunch, so the ratio between yarn in and out is more important on the side of things.

Now, it is important to note that a ratio of 1.0 means that I have acquired the exact same amount of yarn that I used.  Greater than 1 means I stashed more than I used and less than 1 means that I used more than I stashed.  Ideally, I’d like to keep my lifetime ratio to about 1.0, however that would require more destash and knitting than is feasible, so I plow on, being mindful of the ratio as I pick yarns to stash and projects to make.

As of July 1st, 2012, my lifetime ratio for yarn is 2.32 but for 2012 it is 1.37.

This is the lowest year yet with the closest being 1.85, from 2007-2009, when I was just in the early days of my knitting life. The hightest by contrast is 3.93, from 2010 when I discovered first KnitPicks and then Eat.Sleep.Knit and handdyed yarns other than Malabrigo like madelinetosh. I think my low 2012 is due to destashing almost as much yarn as I have knit.

For fluff it is lifetime, 2.64 but for 2012, 0.78.

My fluff is a bit better on the issue of scale but not in ratio, my fluff to handspun ratio is more like 3.26. In late 2010 I started spinning so I bought a bunch of fluff that I didn’t really spin much of till I got my wheel at Christmas 2010, so for 2011 I bought a whole bunch and spun a whole bunch, but mostly discovered all the goodies to be had out there, and hit it hard!

So what I am aiming for is for the next year or so, getting that number below 1, because then I am using more than I am buying, but to get the overall number to between 1 and 1.25.  Then I can have a nice sustainable yarn stash, full of things I love.

WIP Wednesday: December 14th

The blanket is growing and finally nearing completion, the ripples are soothing, but I want to make other crocheted things and I don’t want hibernate the blanket because I don’t think I would want to come back to it anytime soon, and I want to get all my 2011 WIPs done in 2011.

Also, the Burnham Mittens are moving along, they took a short nap while I started and finished a pair of mittens for my Dad for Christmas and a hat for me.  My second hat of the winter is started, I had to frog and cast on a second time because I managed to twist it while magic looping, oops.

WIP Wednesday: November 30th

Hint, there used to be stripes.

While I have been doing some fibery things, the real WIP this week has been the upstairs rooms.  I will take more photos (the sun is out for the first time in days, but I don’t think I will be home in time to get pictures in the daylight), but here is a sneak peek at some of the work we have been doing to the house.

Also, I am getting some work on done on my blanket and finally got started on my Burnham Mittens.  Also my wheel has been for a spin recently, I’m working on a wild colored batt I got from bohoknitterchic this fall, as part of her club.

On The One, The Many and Projects

I admit it, I really don’t do well working on multiple projects at once.

This didn't work for me ... I had to prioritize one project after another in order to get them done.

As much as I like to think that I am capable of juggling all sorts of projects at once, I really am a one (or maybe two)-at-a-time girl.  Case in point was the trio of projects I was working on for the past few months, the Stardust Neckwarmer, the Groovy Big Kid Socks and the First Crochet Blanket.

Although started last, I finished the socks first, mostly because they excited me the most.

With these three projects, I didn’t feel liberated by the options of different projects, but rather frustrated because I never seemed to make any head way on any of them.  I know often times people have many different projects for different conditions, like socks for your purse, a challenging weekend knit.  For me, I don’t find I don’t do much sneak knitting.  It’s not that I don’t like knitting in public, I just can’t be bothered to pull something out knit a bit and then put it away.  I’m also not one to knit at restaurants, movies or concerts, so I  have no need for a purse project.

I managed the finish the cowl second, mostly because I needed to get it done, it had been a WIP for more than 2 months.

For the past few weeks I have been alternating between projects, spending a week crocheting or a week knitting socks.

While I do currently have two projects on the go, by Double Helix Socks and my Crochet Blanket, I am currently reorganizing my queue to make sure I have a nice mix of projects so I can stay on track and not overwhelm myself with so many different projects at once.

My Queue, as of July 29th.