Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Make A Deal

At last photos of the Ice Queen I made for my sister for Christmas. I finished it in December but it has taken me awhile to get the photos up and posted. I hoped that she would like it - she e-mailed me the pattern in September and asked if I would make it for her! At first I said no - I really don't like knitting with beads and the lace looked fussy. But then the idea grew on me and I remembered I had yarn and beads left over from my Secret of the Stole so I really had no excuse. This is actually the first time I was able to use leftover yarn to make a "real" project. I was very proud of myself! It looks great on her and I hope she will enjoy wearing it.

My spring cleaning continued this weekend. I really need to clean out my closet but every time I go in there it overwhelms me. So I decided that I will remove 10 pieces of clothing per weekend. That shouldn't be that hard right? Just 10 items? I figure that over time it will get cleaner. The first 10 were easy. I know that it will get harder each time but I have to try something. I also photographed my bag of yarn for eBay and plan to list those items this weekend. I only hope my motivation continues long enough to make a dent!

On the knitting front I promised myself that I will finish one UFO before starting something new and that I will knit from the stash for at least the first few months of the year. However I already find myself making deals with - well - myself! What if I start something new out of the stash? That shouldn't really count should it? Do I have to finish something before knitting from the stash? Also there is a yarn swap at one of the LYS' this weekend. If I swap yarn does that count as not buying new yarn? I mean if it's a net balance it shouldn't count right? What do you think?

I have been working on my scarf. It is now 42" long. Check out Bonnie's. It turned out beautiful!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How I spent my Sunday

The weather on the West Coast has been unseasonably warm. Perhaps that is what lead me to start some spring cleaning. Or perhaps it was because everywhere I turned there were bags, boxes and piles of this, that and the other. I should have felt pretty good. My Christmas tree is down, the ornaments and decorations have been put away. My friend's tree is still up! But the piles are beginning to get me down. This is the first weekend in a long time that we've basically been free and at home. So I decided to put it to good use and try to make some headway on the disaster that is my house.
On Saturday I worked on cleaning the Little Man's room. He is growing like a weed and quickly outgrowing his clothes and toys. We cleaned out 3 garbage bags full of stuffed animals, almost 2 laundry baskets full out out grown clothes, a basket full of toys he no longer plays with and 1-1/2 garbage bags of - well - garbage! His room looks much better although I could probably go through the entire drill again and find more stuff!
Today I decided to take on the stash. I didn't go through the entire thing - but I got a few new storage bins (thanks Mom!) and I wanted to try and put things away in some form of organization. What you see here is only about a third of the stash. I had bags and bags of yarn stuffed in various corners of the house that really needed to be properly stored. I think to properly organize things I would have to pull out everything and that is not something I can face. But at least I made a little progress. I truly have reached SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy) probably for my life and my kids! I did come up with a bag of yarn to sell on eBay and a bag for Goodwill but they are fairly small compared to the volume!
The photo above is a bin or feltable yarn. I really love the tie-dye yarn and need to think of something fabulous to make with it. Next we have a bin of Malibrigo and Jasper. Most of the Malabrigo is single skeins but I have a few colorways where I have 2 skeins. Next we have a bin of cotton. There are lots of fun colors of Sugar n' Cream but those are below the other skeins.
We also have a bin filled with Iceland yarn in fabulous bright colors. 2 skeins each of 4 gorgeous hues. I think I'll make a huge bag with those. Any other ideas? Snuggled next to it are several skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca in multiple colors and sizes. I have no idea what I'll make out of those. A beautiful bin with lots and lots of Socks that Rock and a few skeins of miscellaneous sock yarn. I love all of this yarn even though I don't knit socks. Really makes you want to start doesn't it!

And last but not least the bin of left overs. I actually managed to throw a few bits away. I told myself I could only keep what would fit in a single bin. It was tough. The bin is chocker block full and I could barely close the lid but I managed to stick to one bin!
If I keep this up my house might actually be clean by spring!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Psycho Internet Friend

One of the best parts of the holidays was that I finally got to meet my friend Bonnie in person. Bonnie and I "met" a few years ago after the International Scarf Exchange when we were introduced in cyberspace and we started the International Tote Exchange. We instantly hit it off and became fast friends who had never laid eyes upon one another. We all know how that goes out here in the knitting blogisphere. We had been wanting to meet for awhile and came close about a year ago but finally the opportunity presented itself. Bonnie, who lives in Cincinnati, was coming to the San Francisco area with her daughter for a cheerleading event. I was so excited! We arranged to meet for lunch in San Francisco near a yarn store of course! We had a fabulous Hunan lunch and then went down the street to ImagiKnits. Everything was perfect (except for the parking ticket Bonnie got . . . .) We got along really well and hope to see one another again some day. I feel so lucky that we got to meet each other in person. So why the title? Well my daughters thought it was so weird that I was meeting someone I had "met on the net." I tried to explain why it is different than my continual warnings to them about meeting people on-line. I think they understood but they kept referring to her as my, "psycho Internet friend." Bonnie was a good sport about it and doesn't seem to mind now when I start my e-mails, "Dear PIF"!
At ImaginKnits we decided to both buy the same yarn. It is Azapa by Arunca Yarns and actually the photos on their website do NOT do it justice. It is very soft and sort of rustic. I got an off-white color and Bonnie picked a soft turquoise blue. We are both making scarves and I can't wait to see hers. She is doing 2x2 rib and I am making mine in mistake rib.

I also bought some gorgeous yarn for which I promptly lost the label. They told me it was from the Black Forest in Germany which sounds very exotic. I just fell in love with the vibrant turquoise and white colors and immediately set to work on a hat for Horsey Girl on our car ride up to Oregon. I made up the pattern myself and unfortunately did not take in to account how tight and unstretchy it would be. As you can see I got very far along but have ended up tearing it all out and starting over. I do still really love the colors.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Beginnings

The new year is a time for new beginnings. For new promises to yourself and for renewal. When we were in Oregon for New Year's I brought several scarves with me since I would finally have the weather to wear them. One was this pastel scarf which is one of the first things I ever made. I love the yarn and the colors but the scarf was horrible. It was an undulating scarf that was wide then narrow then wide again. A neat pattern for the right yarn but clearly not a good choice for yarn that is very floppy. So whenever I wore the scarf it just looked like a pile of yarn around my neck. I decided to do the unthinkable. Something I have never, ever done before. I cut the end of the scarf and unraveled the entire thing! I decided the yarn needed a new beginning. It needs to be a gorgeous scarf that I can be happy wearing. It was pretty scary at first but then amazing how those hours of work could so quickly be undone. I've started it's new life and will show you soon.

On the flip side you could say there was an ending. I FINALLY finished the cool market bag I started making for Miss K in the summer of 2007! The entire bag was knit, I just needed to finish the i-cord and assemble it. Then recently I bought one of those i-cord makers so decided to put it to good use. I quickly finished a nice long cord and was able to finish the bag. It is adorable and she loves it. Now we just need summer!

It felt so good to finish my long forgotten project that as part of my renewal for the year 2009 I have decided to keep trying to finish those UFO's that are hanging around. I am making a promise to myself that before I start anything new I will finish at least one UFO. We'll see how long it lasts but I'm really going to try. So now for a CONTEST. Anyone who posts a comment in the month of January mentioning a knitting goal they have set for themselves in 2009 will be entered in a drawing for a wonderful prize filled with yarny goodness. Let the resolutions begin.