Never Made

I was thinking the other day about how I started a bad trend in 2016 (or was it 2015?). I would buy patterns and think about making them…and it would end there. I managed to figure out how to do a Ravelry search of all of the digital knitting patterns I own but have yet to make. (Go here to do the same search for yourself.)

Results: 153

Yeah, 153 patterns I bought and have not made. And that’s ignoring all of the patterns I have in books and magazines.

I gave the list a good scrub, removing all of the projects I’d honestly never make. Then I added them allll to my queue.

Now I’ve got a much more reasonable number facing me: 70.

So, my big plan: I’m not going to buy a single pattern until I get through all of those 70 items (well, except the 13 ones which were free patterns).

 

 

Never Made

Things I Would Tweet

I used to have a Twitter account. Well, I still do, but it’s just used to let you all know when I wrote a blog post. Almost none of my real-life friends were on it and those who were, they post to Facebook more often. And, well, I only have so much time everyday to check social media and can barely keep up with Instagram – where I mostly follow strangers who make pretty things – and Facebook – where I’ve got friends/family plus a random sampling of companies/causes/organizations I follow. I’d get to the end of a day, have time to check Twitter, and have 100s of tweets I’d missed and, despite the short character limit, it was daunting. So, yeah, Twitter isn’t (wasn’t?) for me.

That said, I have had a lot of thoughts lately which would be well-suited for tweets, if I ever were to actually tweet again. I decided to start tracking these throughout the day. (And, before you start reading, I know it’s like I’m channeling Jenny Lawson. It’s because I’m listening to her audiobook right now, so my internal voice sounds like her right now. It happens when I get overexposed to one person’s voice and/or writing. It’ll be over, soon enough, and I’ll be back to writing like me.)

Anyway, here’s what I recorded over a 48 hour period worth of collecting Twitter-style thoughts (well, collected the subjects, just wrote them up into tweet here):

  • I think I just had the adult version of Bagel Bites for lunch. Next time, I’m just going to buy those and skip the fancy organic version.
  • This guy’s hair reminds me of Beiber, but he’s in his 50s so it’s both funny and awesome that he can do that with his hair.
  • Just watched the episode of Ally McBeal where she picks a personal theme song. Couldn’t think of one for myself besides “I’m a little teapot.”
  • My ballet teacher is trying to kill me. New routines each week after I didn’t even learn the ones last week. At least I know it’s a good workout and the new stuff makes the time go by really fast.
  • Gel nail polish is really nice and shiny. But it’s too easy to peel off when you get bored on a conference call. (But does come all the way off in big pieces.)
  • Loving listening to audiobooks on my commute, though it does make me want to stay in the car longer after I arrive somewhere. Wish there was a well to tell where you are in a given chapter in the Overdrive app.
  • Lizzie doesn’t like the cowl I started for her. “No holes.” Searching for a textured pattern now. Any suggestions? Have looked at Rav search far too many times.
  • Why does the rec center have so few drawing/painting classes outside of normal work hours? People with jobs want to be creative, too.
  • May not do ballet next term but try Bollywood or bellydance. Matt laughed more at these possibilities than when I first signed up for ballet at Mason.
  • Work goals for 2017 include mentoring a junior engineer. Harder than you’d think, mostly because I’m about the most junior person in my entire group.
  • Used the word “awesomesauce” with an important customer today. Thankfully, he laughed and didn’t (just) think I’m totally weird.
  • I cannot wave in a way that is not totally awkward. Like a giddy fourth grader who just saw her crush.
  • Where did the names “stockinette” and “garter” come from, anyway?
Things I Would Tweet

One Little Word 2017: Connect

There’s this thing in scrapbooking – a project, I guess you’d call it – called One Little Word. The idea is to pick a single word which will be the focus of your energy in the next year. There’s a whole online course associated with it to guide you in implementing your word and, as it is a scrapbooking thing, in creating an album to record your implementation journey. But, really, it’s about living out your word, not just being introspective and putting together the album.

This year, I chose the word Connect. I took a few days and worked to respond to the prompts for the month, which are much the same as in the two previous years I participated (2013 and 2016).

Why I Chose It: I chose it because 2016 was a year spent trying to learn how to enjoy my life and everything in it after being diagnosed with depression. This year, I need to stop being so inward-looking and pay attention to the world around me. Connect (or, what will be more likely, reconnect) with what I found I enjoy and makes life worth living last year.

Quotes

“Before you can ever inspire, motivate, or influence, you must connect.” – Greg Smith

“Creativity is just connecting things.” – Steve Jobs

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes and they come back to us as effects.” – Hermon Melville

Invitation: I want to connect to the people, causes, and activities I enjoy more fully.

Let Go: I want to let go of connecting to things instead of people. Let go of taking these personally when I’m not connected to something.

Currently: I am connected with Matt, Lizzie, and some parts of our extended family, plus a few friends.

More and Less: More texts and phone calls. Less just liking things on Facebook. More exploring my faith. Less hiding from others in plain site (by being in my own little world).

Fear: I am afraid something I think is an important connection to make/keep will turn out to be not important. I am also afraid I will try to connect with someone who doesn’t want to connect with me.

Excitement: I am excited to make connections with new people and things that I like to do. I am excited to get out of my own head.

Intentions – Physical: Learn the connections between how I feel physically and what I eat, drink, and do. Learn to connect my energy level with what I’m doing.

Intentions – Spiritual: Connect to other people of faith and to God through reading, prayer, and conversations.

Intentions – Emotional: Realize how what I do impacts others, especially negatively. Try not to connect what others do to me immediately – work to become less easily insulted/offended.

Intentions – Relationships: Connect with family members not as close to. Keep an eye on how close I am feeling to Matt and Lizzie, to make sure those connections stay strong.

Intentions – Creative: Find out how I connect happiness with a given type of activity. Be willing to not do something if it doesn’t satisfy me creatively.

One Little Word 2017: Connect

WIP Wednesday 2017.1

One of my goals for 2017 – which, of course, I have yet to blog about at all – is to keep up with semi-regular WIP Wednesday posts, even if all I do is explain why I have nothing to show.

This week, I’ve got three WIPs, none of which I have color photos to share. We’ll pretend it’s to keep an air of mystery, not just because I wasn’t able to get the colors quite right when I took the photos last night, well after sunset.

My first WIP is a pair of socks I’m making for my mom. These aren’t active right this second but will be once I feel like knitting socks again, probably in a few days. I had knit several pairs in a row there and just needed a break.

While the yarn itself is not new to me – Miss Babs 2-Ply – the pattern is. It’s called Jeck and a free pattern from designer Regina Satta. I swear my mom chose the color herself, though I do find it hilarious it’s named Bat S**t Crazy. You can’t tell here, of course, but it’s a mixture of deep blue, green, and brown. Not at all what I would have picked for her, but it was her first pick of the four colors I offered.

The WIP I’m actively working is a hat for a coworker. I’ve made the pattern before (Roku by designer Olga Buraya-Kefelean) but never did take a good FO picture to share with you. Again, no color photo but you it’s a muted, sort of medium blue Ella Rae Classic Superwash.

I’m also working on my perpetual WIP, getting the house organized, but no one needs to see before/after photos of my straightened-up linen closet. (Right?)

What are you all working on this week?

WIP Wednesday 2017.1

Knits of 2016

After a few years of really not knitting very much, 2016 was a really productive year, when it came to my knitting.

Thanks to Ravelry, I can give you the exact statistics:

  • Dresses – 2 (both for children)
  • Socks – 6 (one was only finished, another child-sized)
  • Hats – 7
  • Cowls – 6
  • Scarves – 8
  • Shawls/wraps – 18 (two were for children)
  • Blankets – 2 (both for babies)
  • Dishcloths – estimate is 20, not on Ravelry

Wow. That’s 69 projects!

And, my WIPS and UFOs are very few:

  • Socks for my mom [Current WIP]
  • Shawl/wrap for a coworker [Current WIP]
  • The hat I started but got distracted from (may be one of my FOs this month)
  • The itchy sweater  [UFO but will probably finish]
  • A baby blanket I’ve made about 20% of the motifs for [UFO which will probably never be finished)
  • The sweater I knit for myself a long time ago and found out, during seeming, that it’s not working for me  [UFO which will probably never be finished)

 

Knits of 2016

Year in Review 2016

While many are bemoaning the year that was 2016, it was actually really great for me and my family (*cough until November cough*). I’ll admit, I have a hard time remembering more than a handful of things that happened in the year, so I had to actually look back in my journal, photos, and blog posts to see all that went on. Time just goes to fast!

January: Started on One Little Word project (with the word Enjoy). Decided to send everyone whose address I have a birthday card. Tried watercolors, determined to keep at it (kept up with it until mid-Feb, when I lost interest). Made cowls for a bunch of coworkers. Robotics season started. Had a surprise birthday party for my father-in-law. Went to Denver for work for a week – made it back home less than 24 hours before we got 2″ of snow. Bought a passport sized Midori – used for a bit, decided it was too small, still have it here somewhere.

February: Bought myself a new car (!!). Robotics continued. Made some more items for coworkers (shawls and cowls and hats). Went a little nuts at the Fibre Space Miss Babs open house. Celebrated Valentine’s Day early with pizza (our tradition) and the day-of with BBQ in Baltimore. Got about 6″ of snow. Went skiing with friends in West Virginia (yeah, at that ski resort, the one where the lift broke – we arrived just after that). Started on a blanket for a friend expecting twins.

March: Finished both the blankets for the twins. Robotics regional out in Haymarket (down? out? not far). Matt’s cousin’s daughter’s baptism. Went out to Ohio for my grandfather’s funeral; hard day but go to see family. Had an allergy test done – only allergic to Kentucky Blue Grass and some molds. Told to avoid eating cheese and old buildings; chose to do neither. Matt went to Seattle for work; I hit a parked car in a pretty major way. Did a big purge of my craft stash, gave lots away to neighbors. Spent a few hours at the National Gallery of Art; Matt wandered a special exhibit, I mostly visited my favorite piece. Lizzie wore a very pink dress for Easter. Went into DC after work to admire the near-peak cherry blossoms. (This was the first time Lizzie clearly said what she wanted for dinner – pizza – so we went to get it, despite the fact it was already past her bedtime.)

April:  More shawls made for coworkers. Wrote a letter every day. Got new glasses to help my eyes work together. My parents came for a visit – explored River Bend park (think that’s the name of it). Went on a double-decker bus tour of DC. Started planting our garden. Ballet class at rec center in full swing (think it started in April). Made a new commitment to blogging. Left my job for another one entirely different. Dyed my hair for the first time since Lizzie was born. Visited the Neighborhood Fibre Company studio/shop in Baltimore; got burgers with an old friend of Matt’s (and mine, of course) afterward.

May: Did a Lizzie-free visit to the National Gallery of Art and Portrait Gallery – my mother’s day gift, of sorts. Made a few coasters/swatches using yarn leftovers. Tried out Momofuku CCDC – was really good, as expected. First Shenandoah trip of the year. Lizzie was mostly in the carrier but also did a bit of hiking herself, using an acquired hiking stick. Made a gradient Clapotis for one of her daycare teachers and a Foolproof cowl in a different gradient for her other main teachers. Family reunion at a fancy all-inclusive resort in Williamsburg; Lizzie suddenly in love with the water, would even jump in to us.

June: More coworker knits (really, this was all year, so not sure why I keep mentioning it). Spent lots of time out back with Lizzie, especially blowing bubbles. Celebrated Matt’s cousin’s daughter’s first birthday. Went to a local family festival – train ride a hit, once again. Had wedding ring fixed – somehow managed to bend one of the prongs that holds the diamond in place. Started having really weird and intense eye issues – thought it was pink eye, at first. (Real diagnosis came in late July.)

July: Went to see my parents for 4th of July weekend. Lizzie ate all of the fish she could get her hands on, which was quite a lot at the place we went to eat. Took lots of sunset photos at a park near my parents’ house that I went to as a kid. Got to reconnect with my aunt, uncle, and cousin’s who were also visiting; they live in Ohio. Lizzie spent lots of time in my parents’ pool. Lizzie started her first round of swim lessons which went pretty well, except she doesn’t always like to listen and hates being flat on her back in the water. I started an online class on sketching. Final eye diagnosis – a particular type of dry-eye remedied easily but has to be taken care of constantly the rest of my life (yay – relief! boo – lifelong condition!). Matt and I spent a weekend in Charlottesville and bought all of the Chardonnay. Matt did more sunset photography, this time at a nearby park that has a playground for Lizzie. Lizzie moved to a big girl bed. Went to Shenandoah for a second time. Special this time was a night-sky event where we got to see the Milky Way and, via telescope, the rings of Saturn.

August: Went back to Momofuku and Matt did sunset photography afterwards. Bought myself a much smaller DSLR camera which I then used to take lots of pictures of a cup of Italian ice, for some reason. Lizzie got her first haircut, sitting super still the entire time. I saw a concert with friends of boybands popular when we were in middle school and had a BLAST. Few days later, saw Streisand with another friend, also excellent (though the Shack Shake food we ate beforehand didn’t live up to the hype). Matt went to Seattle again and, of course, Lizzie broke out into hives one day (quick trip to doctor informed us it’s no big deal, to just give her kid’s Benedryl and apply cream if it bugs her). Lizzie went to her first in a long string of friends’ third birthday parties. Went off to Germany.

September: Spent most of the month in Germany. Won’t regurgitate what all we did, but it was a great trip. Once we got back, I signed up for Weight Watchers.

October: Started making wreaths, beginning with a mesh one in fall colors. Made socks for Lizzie after she begged me to make her something. Went out to a fancy dinner then stayed in DC for our anniversary. Took advantage of the next afternoon in the city to go to several used bookstores. Went out our third (and final) Shenandoah trip – Lizzie enjoyed it even more, as she was able to hike back up from one of the waterfalls mostly by herself (more like climbing, as she’s so short). Got a really weird insect bite, complete with lots of swelling – one-two punch of steroids and antibiotics got rid of swelling (but still have a red streak on that cheek). Went to a cousin’s wedding in Indiana; Lizzie bonded with her second cousins, particularly “the boy” whose name she couldn’t pronounce (he’s a little over a year older than her). My parents came to visit so they could Lizzie dressed up as a bee for Halloween. Her costume – which I sewed – was a hit with her and those who saw her in it.

November: Made excellent progress on a sweater for myself. Updated my Rav stash. Found out my sweater I was making is horrible itchy. Finished the pair of socks I’d started for my cousin in early 2015. Explored another local park, this one a wetland area. Made a dress for Lizzie. Had my in-laws down to celebrate Thanksgiving. Participated in NaBloPoMo – and was successful!

December: Had a big party to celebrate Lizzie’s third birthday. Enjoyed an evening out with some of the other moms from Lizzie’s daycare, plus my neighbor who also works and has small kids. Made a pair of socks for my aunt. Got Christmas cards out really early. Did all of the usual Christmas preparations. Lizzie had an eye check-up; usual report of all is good but wouldn’t hurt for her to wear her glasses again (good luck with that, doc!). Bought a ton of sock yarn from Miss Babs. Ended the year totally obsessed with making envelopes (which is a subject for another post).

Year in Review 2016