Knitterly Confessional: WIP and UFO Counts

I have to level with you guys…until this afternoon, I couldn’t accurately tell you how many WIPs and UFOs I had. I knew there were a good amount but that’s about it. I’ve been in the habit of starting a bunch of different things in a couple day period, then only sticking with working on one or two of them. Instead of pulling out progress on anything I didn’t want to work, it just got put in a bag or shoved not-so-nicely into my yarn storage cubbies. In the spirit of Spring Cleaning, I decided it was about time I get honest with myself about all that I wasn’t actually working on.

What I Remembered

Rainbow Socks

I bought this yarn a few weeks ago at MD S&W and promptly finished the first sock. Then, they sort of lagged because I was in the mood for a larger project. I’d say these are a WIP, not a UFO, because I really do intend to finish them by the end of June. (Pattern: Charybdis by Fiona Bennett / Yarn: Knittyandcolor Acoustic Sock in Milky Way)

Black and Blue Brickless

This was started around the time of MD S&W, about when I started to feel guilty for not having used up yarn I got around the same time last year. I love the pattern but the yarn is rather dark so was annoying me to knit with it. There were also some really warm days about then and the last thing I wanted was worsted weight knitting on my lap. (Pattern: Brickless by Martina Behm / Yarn: Neighborhood Fibre Company Studio Worsted in OOAK colorway)

The Itchy (But Very Lovely) Sweater

Oh, this sweater. I knit the entire body then tried it on to realize it makes me itch. I pushed myself before to make the sleeves and picked up on side of the edging but it stalled. Certainly a UFO but I would like to finish this and pass it off to someone by the end of the summer. (Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig / Yarn: BC Garn Semilla Fino in Ox)

The Blue and Gray Blanket

We have one family member and two sets of friends expecting this fall, so I’ve got lots of baby knitting in my future. I started a blanket a few weeks ago but just got bored with it. I let myself get bored because I’ve still got months to knit. (Pattern: Made up but inspired by a pattern whose name I can’t remember / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool in dark gray, lighter turquoise, and – once I add it – darker turquoise)

The Active WIP

I just started this last night, so it would be rather hard to forget about it. After finishing up a sweater for Lizzie – future post coming! – I still have an entire ball and then some of the yarn left. One of Lizzie’s teachers lost everything in a house fire. Her most important needs being taken care of, I wanted to knit her something to bring her comfort, but replacing the scarf of the same pattern I’d made for her earlier this year. (Pattern: Riparian Entertainment by Heather R. Robinson / Yarn; Neighborhood Fibre Company Studio Sock in Olde Town East)

What I Forgot

The Bat S**t Crazy Cowl

Started who knows when but, like many other things, abandoned because it’s boring. I pulled out my progress on this. (Pattern: Uhhh? / Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Bat S**t Crazy)

The Other Riparian Entertainment

No clue on this one, just recognize the pattern. Maybe started in February? Another one where I frogged the very little progress I’d made, so far. (Pattern: Riparian Entertainment / Yarn: Regia? Something I got in Germany, for sure.)

The Leftover Honey Cowl

In April (?), I bought a lot of Socks that Rock Heavyweight off of someone who was selling it via Instagram. I’m a big fan of DK for heavier things so jumped at the very good deal. After making two different cowls from the partial skeins she sold me, I started this one. (Yeah, those are a future post topic, too.) I like how the colors are blending, so far, so this one is in a bag, waiting for me to work on it again. I often get really into heavier-weight cowls so it will be nice to have this one already going. (Pattern: Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland / Yarn: Socks That Rock Heavyweight in, well, I have no idea what colorway)

The Blanket Made in Pieces

Soon as I saw the Tin Can Knits collection this is in, I had to make this blanket. I quickly whipped up as many of the motifs as I could make from a single ball of the yarn,…then fizzled out. I held onto the motifs I’ve made as I really would like to make Lizzie a small lap blanket with them and a dark gray. (Pattern: Polygon from Tin Cat Knits / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool)

The Other, Other Baby Blanket

I started this right after my post about baby knits. Yep, got bored with it. I pulled this out today, in favor of making a different pattern. (Pattern: Four Corners Blanket by Rina Shaikh-Lesko / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool)

The Too-Dark Socks

I have a coworker who saw me working on the toe of these and instantly claimed them (don’t worry, she’s knit-worthy). But the yarn is just too dark for me to knit into socks. I pulled out my progress and will probably use the yarn to make a shawl or something on bigger needles. (Pattern: I have no idea… / Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply)

The Adorable Sweater Dress

After Lizzie really loved her dress I made for her birthday, I decided to make her another. I remember putting this aside in favor of something with more of a deadline but I have no idea what that was now. (Pattern: Kelsey by Kelly Menzies / Yarn: Louisa Harding Yarns Cassia Prints)

 

When did you last get honest with yourself about how many WIPs and UFOs you have? Are you as forgetful as me?

Knitterly Confessional: WIP and UFO Counts

Circle, Circle, Circle-Skirt!

After months of trying to talk myself up to it, I finally got out my machine and actually sewed tonight. A few weeks ago, I purchased not only a pattern for a basic a-line skirt, but some lovely dark teal chambray to make it in. (And neglected to buy both the zipper and the fusible interfacing the pattern also requires.) And then I proceeded to do lots of thinking about said skirt, but being too chicken to make it until I made some simpler things.

Thursday, I stopped at on my way home at our local Joanns. I know, I have an amazing local fabric store, but I was looking for something I wouldn’t be afraid to ruin. I picked up a couple yards of basic cotton from the sale bin. (I also picked up some canvas yardage to make a tote bag from, the interfacing and zipper I need to make that pattern skirt, and some other sale cotton for who knows what.)

Matt worked on grilling our dinner, Lizzie played on her tablet, and I did all of the prep to make the basic circle skirt tutorial (over here) from Dana at Made Every Day. After dinner, I brought my machine out into the screened porch – the cord *just* reaches from the plug to the machine, when it’s on the very edge of the table. They ate popsicles, I sewed.

The skirt has lots of problems, sure, but I am pretty proud of myself. Most importantly, Lizzie LOVES it.

Circle, Circle, Circle-Skirt!

10 Tips for Habit Trackers

If you’ve ever checked out Pinterest or Instagram for BuJo inspiration, you’ve seen lots of examples of habit trackers folks have created for themselves. But, with all of that inspiration comes a bit of decision-paralysis. How do you choose what to track? How much is too much? Here’s ten things to keep in mind when setting up your own habit tracker.

  1. Track positive steps over negative ones. You’re more likely to be motivated by “Veggies as main dinner side.” rather than “No carbs at dinner.”
  2. Don’t track too many items. You’ll find yourself totally overwhelmed, trying to keep up with everything. Your tracker will also wind up being so large you’re likely to go crazy drawing it out.
  3. Include easy wins. Ever made a to do list with things you already did on it, just to make yourself feel like you’d accomplished something? Include something you’re likely to do, anyway, even if you didn’t have the tracker. It’s not fair to include “Made bed” if you already do it 90% of the time, but include things you do most, but not all days.
  4. …and stretch goals. No use tracking all of the habits you already have! Track some things which will need to remind yourself of on a daily basis.
  5. Consider tracking things which are not habits, per say, but things like “Low anxiety day” or “Migraine” or your cycle. You could also track your mood, helping you to figure out how you figure out how your habits impact your mood.
  6. Resist the urge to change the habits you track each month. This may sound appealing, but most of us needs to focus on habits month after month to make them stay. If you feel you’ve mastered a habit, pull it from the tracker, but don’t remove things you only did only some of the time, assuming they’re still important to you.
  7. Review your list every morning (or, if you’re not a morning person, before you go to bed). Every day. It’ll help remind you what’s important and keep your habits in the forefront.
  8. Make your tracker pretty. I know, I know. The habit tracker is really about the tracking part, not the aesthetics, but having a pretty tracker will help you to use it more. Because don’t we all want to look at something that’s visually appealing?
  9. Ensure each item on your list is measurable. Yep, goal-making 101. Record 30 minutes of cardio rather than simply exercising.
  10. Resist the urge to wait until the beginning of the month or week or you get a new notebook. You can start on a random Thursday afternoon. Think of it as a dry-run for a time you feel important enough to get started.

 

In case you need some inspiration or ideas:

10 Tips for Habit Trackers

MD S&W 2017 Recap

It became a sort of joke that I was never going to make it to Maryland Sheep and Wool again. I last went in 2009, back when I was a baby knitter and didn’t have much money at all to spend on yarn as I was still in school. (I spent that year walking around with Olga Buraya-Kefelian, a friend who also happens to be a knitwear designer who was just starting her ascent into knitting fame back then.) Every year after that, something would come up to keep me from going: we’d be out of town, be going to a party, I’d be sick, etc.

This year, though, I was determined to make it. Despite still not quite being over my cold, I went to the festival with my neighbor, Sara. We went on Sunday afternoon which, of course, is after all of the most popular items are gone but the crowds are far, far less than on Saturday or even right at opening on Sunday. We took our time and walked through each of the barns, the exhibition hall (which we missed the first time around, somehow), and the outdoor vendors.

I had gone with a rather laughable goal: buy two sweater quantities of animal-free yarn, one in sport weight and another in worsted. Yep, I went to a sheep and wool festival to not buy wool. Unsurprisingly, I did not meet my goal.

We did get to see an alpaca, though. Sara wanted to kidnap him and bring him home to meet her girls.

I couldn’t resist a few wooly things, however. I have quite a stash of worsted yarn right now, so went for sock and fingering-weight yarns, both of which I’m running rather low on.

Knittyandcolor Sock Yarn in the coloway Milky Way [to become socks for Sara]

I couldn’t resist winding it to see how the colors showed up.

Two gradients from Fiber Optic Yarns – Foot Notes Yarn (colorway: Thunder – Lightning) and Kasmir Yarn (colorway: Onyx – Crimson)

I took some time to wind the whole set of 15 little skeins up. (Then started on a shawl with it, right away.)

Any of you go to MD S&W? Get anything really fun?

MD S&W 2017 Recap

First I was sick, then saw a waterfall

I had all sorts of plans for last week. I was going to write up a whole bunch of posts about my recent knitting and what’s been going on in my life that’s not knitting-related. Then, Tuesday morning, I woke up with an extremely sore throat. But, after several Sudafed-loopy days, I am feeling quite a bit better and back to bring you fresh! creative! posts!

Ok, probably nothing all that interesting, just what you’ve come to expect: self-deprecating humor, knitting project summaries, and some words-only list posts.

But, first, some photos of a little excursion we took yesterday, the first day I was really feeling like myself. After a quick check of the SunsetWx set, Matt recommended we switched out our normal evening routine for dinner out followed by a trip to Great Falls for sunset. The forecast was correct, it was a nice sunset and not too warm/not too cold outside. I knit and entertained Lizzie, he did his photography. All of the photos below are mine from my phone; he takes way too long to post his.

First I was sick, then saw a waterfall

10 Shows I’ve Binged On

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me in real life that I watch a lot of TV. It’s how I decompress from a crazy day and what I usually have on in the background when I knit at home. Now that we’re in the age of streaming everything, I tend to only watch shows once they have mutliple seasons avaialble via one of the big streaming services. I just can’t be bothered to remember to DVR and then watch something that’s currently on (though that’s not an issue now, since we only have basic cable).

In no particular order, the last 10 shows I’ve binged on, some you may already know but a few others will probably be new to you, unless you and I hit the Netflix algorithms the exact same way:

  1. Allie McBeal: You know those shows you were aware of when they were first one but were too young to see? I’ll fully admit I started watching this to see what all of the late-90s fuss was about. See Allie date, with at least one court case being worked but her way-too-close, morally ambiguous law firm. Excellent reminders of pop culture things you only sort of remember if you’re in your early 30s.
  2. Lark Rise to Candleford: If there’s a BBC-produced period show out there, I’ve probably seen it. This one went off the air a few years ago and I didn’t even hear about it until it came up in my recommendations. Laura leaves the country for the prestigious job as the primary assistant to the town’s postmistress in the late 1800s (I think). Ignore the anachronisms and you’ll be fine. If you saw Downtown, you’ll recognize Bates and a few others.
  3. Archer: Okay, the show is really raunchy and inappropriate, but it’s also hilarious. Archer is a spy whose really quite horrible at his job but always manages to make it out of his missions alive, thanks to his sometimes-girlfriend, Lana, and not thanks to his misfit coworkers. Did I mention it’s a cartoon and he works for his mother?
  4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Netflix kept recommending this to me but I saw it was a musical comedy and ignored the recommendation. Then it was put on in our ski cabin and I fell in love. The main character needs a change in scenery/work/life and follows her camp boyfriend to his hometown (Sunny West Covina, California!). Lots of random singing/dancing in a variety of styles. Is very silly but they don’t tend to take jokes too far.
  5. Dance Academy: I found this when I was at home sick one day and felt like watching something about dance but had watched Center Stage too recently. Tara is a farmer’s daughter lacking in ballet technique but whose emotions – which tend towards fairy tales – show when she dances. Lots of stereotypes in her friends/classmates but they’re endearing. Teenage drama ensues often.
  6. Lovesick: I liked it’s old name, Scrotal Recall, but I think Netflix got hate mail over it, so it changed titles between seasons one and two. Dillon finds out he has an STD and has to tell each of his former partners. Being the sweet guy he is, he does this in person, rather than via the NHS-provided postcards. You find yourself wondering just who “Abigail” is after her name flashes on the screen.
  7. West Wing: Okay, so you probably heard about this before, but it’s always good to re-watch. When I get aggravated at our current political climate, I go back and re-watch seasons 1 to 4 to be comforted by Jud Bartlett. You’ll get a great taste for the show in the very first episode. Unlike many shows, it’s great from the first scene. (Features Rob Lowe in a very swoon-worthy performance.)
  8. Offspring: Okay, so I’ve got two British shows and this is my second Australian one. Main character is an OB/GYN with a crazy family and demanding job. She attempts to date but everything gets in her way. Not much medicine, as she really is the focus of the show, not the nuts and bolts of her job. Equally opportunity eye candy.
  9. Burn Notice: Great for those who always stop when they see A-Team re-runs when scrolling through channels at a relatives house. (I’m probably the only one who does that, I now realize. Lots of explosions but also great characters, beautiful scenery, and a different Big Bad most weeks, with occasional long arcs.) Michael is a “burned” spy – meaning they basically fired him and ruined his life. At least he’s still got a few friends (tiny woman who is into explosives, Bruce Campbell being himself) and his mom/brother around to help him out. Narrated by Michael, with lots of tradecraft explanations. Don’t worry, Phe’s horrible accent goes away by the end of episode 1.
  10. Better Off Ted: Okay, it’s only a single season and got cancelled years ago, but I think it’s still worthy of a binge. Ted is a marketing manager for a company who, well, is really bad at scientific research and could well be evil. His boss is played by a very serious Portia de Rossi. You’ll really start to pull for the scientists, Phil and Lem, who just want to do the right thing.
10 Shows I’ve Binged On