Day 7: Looking Forward


One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?

This could be anything from mastering a technique (broomstick lace, entrelac, etc), trying a new yarn or skill, or a long term wish to crochet only from your stash, or knit every stitch in one of the Harmony Guides. Maybe you have no desire or plans for your craft at all, no new element of knitting or crochet that you dream of mastering, in which case write about why that might be. In a year's time participants will be asked to look back to see if they achieved any goals, no matter how general, and see which house conquered the art of looking forward.

Looking forward has always been a big part of the new year on my blog.  For the past few years I've been setting goals, for 2013 my goals are ...


  • 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


  • 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

I've already accomplished a few of these goals, well I've knit a brioche scarf, woven a pickup stick sampler scarf, and I've finished 3 (nearly 4) pairs of socks.

A few others I've already tried and discarded, like giving needle felting a try.  I tried again and ended up giving away my needle felting supplies. Also, double knitting, unless I find a project I love I didn't really like the technique.

So for the purpose of KCBW, my goal for the year is to make sure that I enjoy my crafting and that I didn't push aside my enjoyment of fiber to meet some artificial goals.  Also, to make the Mascot Projects that I  wrote about on Day 2.

And as another successful Knitting & Crochet Blog Week draws to a close I have to give a big shoutout to Eskimimi for putting together a fantastic blogging event, here's to year 5!

Six Months From Now

Toshie This little puppy, Toshie, is going to have married parents.  My sister Carla and her ... Jim ...  (I find the word fiancee a bit overwhelming and betrothed is just pretentious) are getting hitched on October 5th, and I'm so excited and happy for them.

So I have a big project ahead of me, I'm knitting her a wedding shawl. It is 100% silk lace custom dyed by Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns and it showed up late last week.  I'm not sure of all the logistics from the dyeing, I'm just the knitter, but her shawl is a gorgeous gold color.  As a gift to me as her Knitter of Honor (and also I'm signing for her) she got me some silk lace yarn to make a shawl for myself in the other wedding color, aubergine.

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So I'm still finalizing the pattern I'll be knitting both these yarns into, but there are so many choices and I really want it to suit the dress (which is super pretty but a secret until the big day). So I will be spending a few more hours trolling Ravelry and deciding what I want the gorgeous yarns to become, but I will be casting on soon because I need this to be done by the mid-summer so I can finish up my own shawl and whatever wedding knitting comes my way.

FIFO, FIFO, it's off to knit we go


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.

On 2011 and Goals So back on January 1st, I set out some personal and fibery goals, I checked in on them again in July, and now I get to see how I stacked up.  I will be setting some new goals for 2012, which I will announce on January 1st, 2012.

So here I have reframed my goals as things I have (or haven't done) in 2011.

In 2011, I:

Personal Life-

Fibery -

  • I bought less yarn than last year, but still bought a bunch of yarn.
  • Spun fairly regularly and tried a few different techniques.
  • Didn't manage to dye any yarn (although I did a cheap Old Navy pashmina during an unfortunate washing incident)
  • Worked on some old techniques like stranded colorwork, lace, and cables, although not all that much as I would have liked.
  • Tried out some new techniques like duplicate stitch andI-Cords, although that doesn't cover half of the cool techniques out there.
  • Crocheted two blankets, and am now working on a cowl.
  • Didn't make a mitten of the month club, although I did finish five pairs of mittens, including one pair of the Woodlands Mitten Kit from Knit Picks.
  • Updated the blog regularly, including FO posts as well as other posts, fibery and otherwise.

So overall, I did well to meet my goals and there are a few things I wasn't planning on when I set my goals in December that came up through the year, like socks.   I am excited to set my goals for 2012.

On Autumn and Knitting Plans

The weather is starting to change here, and while I know we will have at least two more blasts of summer, you can tell that Winter is Coming (and no I haven't read A Song of Fire and Ice, yet) by the chill in the air.  After getting practically nothing knit this summer (okay I did get some knitting done, but I miss how much knitting I was getting done when I was marginally employed, although I couldn't afford yarn), I went through and reordered my queue, because my knitting bug is back with a vengence.

Unlike my sister, who plans her knitting projects around the seasons, I am a bit more random (we are a perfect examples of a product knitter and a process knitter).  However, now that fall is on our doorstep I am starting focus a bit more on getting through my queue and turning my closet of wool into wearable objects, because right now it is only giving me a mental warm fuzzy feeling not a physical one.

So here is what we have next, however this is subject to change pending the release of jaw dropping new patterns, like the ones in the Fall 2011 Brooklyn Tweed LookBook (which just about knocked my socks off when it came out a couple of weeks ago.

Seeing as how I have been slacking at WIP Wednesdays, I do have a project on the needles, it is the Thundercloud Cowl by Snowden Becker, however since I only have one skein of KnitPicks Aloft, it will be shorter than the pattern describes.

Also on my needles, just barely, is the first half of the October Pair of the Woodland Winter Mittens.  This kit contains enough KnitPicks Palette to make six pairs of mittens, themed for the months of October to March.  They are fun colorwork mittens and they have been sitting in my stash since last January. I am planning on keeping on adding the next months pair to my queue till I get them all done.  I know many people find Palette to be evil, scratchy and felty, I however find it warm, lofty, soft and felty. For me the felty nature of palette helps make the mittens warmer and more windproof, something you need here year round, but most critically in the winter.

So, here is my list.  You all can keep me honest now that I have confessed my fall knitting plans.

After that, I am going to try and finish off the KnitPick Comfy Sport stash I picked up and turned about half into My First Crocheted Blanket.  I am going to make a baby sweater and possibly (depending on what is left) matching hat and baby socks/booties.  I am going to use the Playtime Colors Pattern, because it was designed for KP Shine (Cotton/Modal) Sport, which is quite similar to KP Comfy (although the Modal will give more shine and drape than Acrylic will).  Also, it uses multiple colors, which is good, because I need to get this moved out of my stash.  The Comfy is a nice yarn, but I do prefer wools and future baby things will probably be made out of superwash wool, rather than cotton.  The other reason for doing this pattern is that it uses a more complex sweater construction than the top-down seamless cardigan I made last fall.  I may want to start knitting garments at some point (because I will reach a point where I have enough mitts, hats, cowls and socks to keep me happy for a good long while), and making small garments is a good way to try out some new skills.

After that, another pair of Palette Mittens.  This time Strago by Jared Flood.  I have had this pattern in my queue for a while, but there is something about fall that makes me want to have an obscene number of mittens, and again Palette because it is versatile, cheap (or was when I bought it) and warm. I think this color work will be a nice change from the more involved Woodland Winter Mittens, that will be dotting up all winter.

So, after warming my hands (and some mystery, yet to be born child) I think it will be time for a hat.  Capucine has been in my queue since I first saw it being knit by Phat Fiber folks. It seems like an ideal hat for me in the winter, because I prefer earflaps on my hats, but I look insane if I wear an earflap hat, so hopefully this cap, along with the Lara pattern from the Twist Collective last winter will fit well  and look good on me.  The yarn for this comes from a local fiber producer.  I used the same stuff on a Mobeus Cowl for my Mom last winter, and while it is scratchy (it is farm fresh wool), I think the pattern will leave room for lining if needed.

Guess it is time for the November's Woodland Winter Mittens.  Not much to say here, but I sure hope I like these patterns, because there are another four pairs after this one.

Finally, some crochet.  I loved making the Baby Blanket and watching Carla make her hexagons, so I thought I need to crochet more often.  Initially I had bought the tosh DK I am using for this to make a large triangle shawl, however, I don't wear triangle shawls, at all., I love crescent shawls and stoles, but traditional triangle shawls aren't for me.  So instead I found the pattern for this Calm Cowl (cowls being one of my favorite things to knit or wear). I am excited to crochet with a nice yarn and make something larger than a hexagon.

So those are my next five projects (not including the two already on the needles), hopefully I will have some finished objects to start showing off soon.

P.S.  If you are on Ravelry, feel free to come check out my live Queue, it is always changing, but I do have some awesome stuff planned (and for most of them I already have yarn, yikes).