Saturday, January 1, 2011

A is for Ambition

(This post is long and full of links. For sake of ease and sanity, all the knitting/yarn links are Rav links and TBD means To Be Determined. You don't have to click on every link, obviously, but after all this writing, I timed how long it took to link everything and it was about 45 minutes at which point I decided not to link all the yarn. And so dear friends, let us begin our journey into my 3rd annual Alphabet Soup....)

This year I've got plaaaaans, baby!

I have BIG knitting plans this year! I also have many small knitting plans, like the KAL where you knit a xmas ornament every month, only I'll be doing two every month - one for each boy. But here' s the bulk of the big plans...

On Ravelry, I joined the 10 in 2010 group and it was enormously helpful in setting some knitting goals and actually following through! That group stated that you needed to do 10 different fiber projects using ten different yarns. I like that the group lets you change your list as much as you like - that was a HUGE help in my ability to make my list! It changed several times throughout the year but this post is already too long so I'll post about all that later.

One thing I wasn't crazy about with that group is they didn't count WIP's. Donna's idea for the WIP Cup helped out quite a bit but there's still too many WIP's and UFO's in my life. (For those that don't knit, a WIP is a Work In Progress and a UFO is an UnFinished Object. My personal definition for UFO vs. WIP means that a UFO is something that's been dormant for over a year.) But they've change that this year! The 11 in 2011 group isn't so much a list of 11 projects, they've opened it up to 11 goals. Here's my 11 goals in several different categories...


Vivian - one sleeve and part of another done (WIP)
Thorpe Mittens - wristy parts done (WIP)
Cranberry Throw - 1 of 4 panels half done (this may get frogged if first panel isn’t big enough) (WIP)
Mom’s Vest - 1/3 done (it’s terribly boring but at least the yarn is splitty!) (UFO)
Icarus - 25% done (UFO)
Baudelaire - one foot of one sock done - I'll probably start the other foot, then join the two for 2-at-a-time-toe-up to finish the legs. (UFO)
Blue/Green socks - half of first leg part done (need to switch it from DPN to Magic Loop) (UFO)
Habu Lace Scarf - 25% done
Fix Woodsy Owl - My 2010 Olympic project; finished it, but apparently I’m not as short as I think - need to lengthen
Jitterbug socks - 2-at-a-time toe-up, both feet 1/2 done
Stupid Bath Mat - 14 ever-growing rounds to go - blech

My Designs :

Cat Bed
Mitteny things
Handspun Vest - half done (UFO)
Grace - half done but may start over. Again. (UFO)
Fair Isle - 10% done (UFO)
Yellow Scarf - 80% done
Reunion shrug - restart. Again.

New Sweaters:
Poet Sweater - Yarn: Classic Elite Miracle
#77 - Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky
Pioneer - Yarn: Lorna's Laces Worsted
Isabella - Yarn: Rowan 4ply
Arbor - Yarn: TBD, possibly some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I have
Washington Square Vest - Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid (saving this one for Octobervest)
Aleita - Yarn: Rowan Calmer

Saxon The City - I have all that Malabrigo Worsted in Jaen color that a friend gave me. I've overdyed most of it (leaving some un-overdyed for the contrasting bits) (thigh-high KAL)
Dave’s Diagonal Rib Socks - DIC Smooshy Raining Cats and Dogs
Skew - Black Trillium Coraline
Eleanora - Blank Stare Crater Lake (knee-high)
DK Swirl Socks - mystery pink dk yarn
Gothic Temptress - Casbah (knee-high)
Naniboujou - KnitPicks bag ‘o sock yarn
Anastasia - blind grab into the sock bin
Francie - Dizzy Blonde Studios Queen of Tarts
Lakeside - Fearless Fibers Smoke (knee-high)
Candle Flame Stockings - TBD (knee-high)

2 Shark Hats - Berroco Comfort
Turn a Square - Cascade 220 and Noro Silk Garden
Bounce - TBD but probably Malabrigo
Hannah - TBD
Dorothea - TBD
Miniature Top Hat - Patons Classic Wool
Caulfield - blue tweed stuff I lost the ball band for
Hermione's Hat - Cascade 220
Nottingham - 2 colors of Berroco Jasper (one color for the bottom and top ribbing, a different color for the cable section)
2 Thorpes (one each for the boys) - Berroco Comfort doubled
Claudia - TBD
Marsan Watchcap - TBD
Trilobyte - TBD
Sutro Heights - TBD
Knotty But Nice - Rowan Pure Wool Aran (I actually finished this last night, but as usual with hats, I'm going to have to frog and reknit it. I thought the Aran was thicker then worsted called for in the pattern but with my overly tight knitting and the cables, it's too tight to pull over an adult-sized head. sigh.)

With all these hats, I'm determined to break my hat curse. As you can see with the Knotty But Nice, the hats are still winning.

No-Sweat Pants - Bernat Illusions
Flutter Scarf - Habu laceweight Smoky color

Every year I say I’m going to try/master Fair-isle. This time, hopefully, I will! I'm starting small with wristers and then longish finglerless mitts.
Zombies Need Not Apply - Knitpicks wool
Snowball’s Chance - Knitpicks wool


1. Stash ONLY
(the one exception is the Lamb’s Pride Bulky Charcoal Heather I need for #77) I know I've said this before but I had a bit of a wake-up call when I was doing some xmas knitting. I had my Bin 'O Felting Wool and I dug through it looking for the things I needed. I saw that I would need some dark brown and some black felting wool for my projects. I was going to buy some in a few days but inbetween, I had to dump out all the yarn to temporarily use the bin for something else. When I dumped out the yarn, there was the dark brown AND the black wool I needed! Even digging through the bin from the top, I missed it. My stash is completely out of control and I have to STOP! To that end, I've joined the Ravelry Cold Sheep group which is a support group for those trying to stop yarn purchases cold turkey. Also, all the lists above use yarn I already have and if I complete them all.... that's about 150 skeins of yarn. I feel if it's gotten so bad that I don't even KNOW what I have? That's pretty pathetic. Which leads us to my next goal...

2. Photo and post ALL stash
I have about half of it posted now. (OK, maybe quite a bit less then half.) I suggested to my knitting group that we get together for a stash photo shoot. We are doing this on the 2nd of January and I can't wait! I'm bringing my Ott lites, my tripod, my cameras, my light box and a gaggle of yarn. One of the women in the group was kind enough to offer her house and it should be lots of fun! I've already put all the stuff I want to photo tomorrow into my Ravelry stash - the make/model, the color/dye lot, and the quantity of each. I've still got a LOT that needs to be done but it's a start!

3. Organize/cull queue
I have Q.A.B.L.E. as well as S.A.B.L.E. This may be my downfall. I try to be brutal but I really do want to make EVERYthing in my queue! Plus when I'm working, I can see Ravelry but it's very "look but don't touch". I can click on things, I can type in the search boxes (pattern or yarn or whatever) but I can' talk to people in the group forums or respond to messages. If I try to, it disappears like a popped soap bubble and takes with it any other web pages I had up. So basically, all I can do is read the forums and look stuff up. Looking at patterns leads to a a bigger queue.

4. Assign stash yarn to suggested projects
I think finding projects (from my extensive queue) for the yarn I have will go a long way to keeping me stash oriented.

5. Four squares each of the boys’ blankets.
I’m taking the stitch-pattern-a-day perpetual calendar I bought years ago, using dates that are relevant to our family (birthdays, anniversaries and such) and making each boy a 16 square twin-bed-sized blanket. 14 squares of dates and 2 squares with their initials. I want to be finished by the time they go to college. They are currently 7 and 9.

That's it!
I know this seems like a special kind of crazy; like I'm biting off WAY more then any one person can chew but the 12 hats are small projects, there’s 16 things that are in various states of WIP/UFO/partially finished (that includes the half-finished ones in the “My Designs” category), and the new sweater projects…. all but 2 of them don’t even have sleeves and one of those is bulky yarn! The socks will be the killer challenge - especially all those knee-highs.

In 2010, I designated Sundays as WIP/UFO days which meant I could only work on the older stuff and it seemed to work pretty well for keeping me on board with finishing those items, so I'm going to go with that again this year. Also, my new job is me sitting at my desk at home for 40 hours a week answering customer service calls ( - if you need a job) and I’ve got it down enough now where I can actually do quite a lot of knitting while I work. So that’s like a generous 15-20 hours a week of knitting time!

I've already printed out all the above patterns and put them in their own pretty binder. It's a 1" binder and with all those patterns in there it isn't even that fat, so that's encouraging!

The only thing wrong with all these exciting new projects is that I want to cast on all of them RIGHTNOW!!!!, so I'm trying to be reasonable about that as well.

Casting on some of them, Ruth!


k said...

Good grief. I have five projects in line.

What's the hat curse, anyway? I got looking at hats on Knitty last night, and picked up two from there, and two from other places.

Too bad I don't like wearing hats, eh?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good grief. That is one hell of a list of projects for one year. Some really good ones in there, though -- I faved a couple. Q.A.B.L.E., indeed!