Happy New Year all! :)
I hope the first few days of the new year have brought nothing but joy for you, and many relaxing, happy moments.
I, for my part, cancelled each and every single weekend plan – I found it irresponsible to spread more germs around than necessary. Thus, I have neither been at knitting group (grrr) nor at my grandparents’ today, which was a real bummer – but, as you might recall, my grandparents are over 80, and even if they were younger, I wouldn’t want them to catch that.
So … Resolutions! This will be a pretty standard “start of the year” post, and lots of others are doing it, too – but please bear with mine, I have lots of pictures! Promise. :)
Since I have started this blog, my plans revolved mostly around “knit more for myself” (which never happened anyway). Last December, however, I spent quite some time on my plans for the upcoming year, and I have come up with at least eight (yes!) resolutions that can actually be ticked off as soon as they are done. They can all be summarised under one big headline:
Use. Up. Stash.
This is the most important thing in 2016. Above, you see all the yarn that isn’t currently linked to an immediate WIP (I have plans for some yarns, but not for all). I haven’t flashed my stash yet – I will do that later, probably next weekend, when we have gotten rid of the Christmas Tree. But let me tell you this: Converting my stash page into a spreadsheet made me realise that not only did I acquire additional 2,471 kg(!) of yarn (mostly because of the Supermassive Stash Haul and the adoption of a big part of my gran’s stash), but that I have reached the whopping amount of 9,202kg.
This, my dear friends, is too much. I cannot buy yarn in peace anymore, because my conscience will be having a tantrum in the back of my head as soon as I make my way up to the register. Opal will release the third update to the “Sweet and Spicy” collection mid-January, but I won’t be able to buy some of this beautiful yarn guilt-free.
Also, I already have lots of lovely yarn, I just have to knit it up.
Another reason for using up stash is the simple fact that, despite being a little packrat, I like things to be tidy, and having three big plastic bags crammed on top of my yarn box is not tidy. It doesn’t look good. And if you need further proof:
Yes. If you look closely in the middle of that picture, you see a little scratch … Which isn’t a scratch. I broke the damn stash box. It must have happend when I tried to cram as much yarn as possible into it and the put too much pressure on the lid.
On to the fibre box:
On top of the 9,202kg, I have accumulated 1kg of fibre. There is gorgeous stuff in that box, mostly Merino, but also BFL (generously gifted to me by Anna, and I am very ashamed to show it here, since I wanted to have it spun up last year), Norwegian Wool, Jacob and Coburger Fuchs. Also Southdown. Lovely, lovely fibre, and it only sits in that box (I come to this in a moment).
All this adds up to 10kg of material for spinning and knitting, and maybe crocheting, too. It’s time I get to it.
- Knit up the yarn I don’t want for me and give it to charity (or someone else). (You can tell that this is a good resolution because it rhymes – in a hip-hoppish-style. Yo.) There will be many opportunities for that.
- Make an EARLY list of WHO gets WHAT. I have done that already. The spreadsheet is quite simple, it lists the months, the folks I (have) knit for, their birthdays and special occasions (E. is moving this month, for example). The projects go under the people section, so I can spread out projects, see where it will get busy, and can link knitting plans and real life. Very convenient.
- Get rid of (i.e. finish) old WIPs and UFOs (except for the Stashbuster Blanket).
To be fair, I haven’t got that many. The picture above shows six WIPs and UFOs, but I hope that at least three or four of them will leave within the first three months of the year. The blanket will stay longer, as I knit on it in spurts, as you know. I definitely want to finish the Amiga Cardigan (second on the right) this year! It’s not that much to do anymore anyway: One sleeve, the garter stitch band, and buttons. It’s a drag, but I want to have it done. (Plus, I will be able to log in the 650 grams of fibre this cardigan took up.)
- Crochet two sets of dishcloths for E. I am halfway here. The first one were presented in this post, and the second pair will be done by the end of the month (that’s the plan).
- Knit at least two scarves or shawls. This will be quite easy to do, I hope. I was a bit surprised to see that I have eleven entries for lace yarn now on my stash page, but there are lots of beautiful shawls in lace and fingering weight, and I’m optimistic that I will find something that suits me.
- Knit at least two(!) sweaters or shirts for me. This is a big goal, and one I am a bit intimidated by, to be honest. I know that this is stupid: I have knit socks, I have knit lace shawls, and both of them can be very complicated. Still, knitting a sweater is scary in so far as there is always the gauge swatch before you can begin knitting, and swatches lie. They are also boring (you won’t be using them any time soon, except you’re knitting so many of them that you can start sewing them up as a blanket, which then will have to be washed carefully as it will contain all sorts of yarns … Bah.) and you never come up with just the right amount of stitches (maybe that’s just me).Be that as it may – I have four sweater quantities in my stash, and they make up a lot the weight (I just did the math and it’s 1,5kg. Plus 375grams of the yarn from the Amiga cardigan; maybe another ball will get into that. So 325grams, makes 1,825kg.). Also, it’s high time.I have cast on the Sandhurst Jumper as an OWL project yesterday and have started with the cable band:
and while there are still a couple of tiny holes, which I do hope will close up, and while both my stitch and my row gauge aren’t quite spot-on, I hope that this will work out. More about this later.
- Finish old spinning WIPs.
There are quite a few of them.
I love spinning, and I will buy myself a wheel this year (stop laughing!) and a turkish spindle, I am really, really slow. I also never finish anything, which has a quite stupid reason: I’m scared to ply.You see, I have spun quite thin thread from the start:
And because it takes me so long to spin all of this, I am always afraid that I will ruin the yarn that took me so long to spin. I know that I have to learn it eventually (and that I should try to spin less so that it won’t be so intimidating), but … Somehow, I haven’t quite managed that yet. It’s not that I haven’t tried it, but the last time I tried to ply yarn on the wheel, this happened:
The twist went way too far into the thread, and now I overplied it a ton, and I can’t go backwards far enough to sort this out, and the bobbin is probably too full and I am too much of a coward to have asked for help. :/
This isn’t a yarn turd (although it looks like one), but my try on making a plying cake on the ballwinder. (don’t try). I haven’t had the heart to try and untangle this mess yet (I am such a coward …)
- Spin at least 200grams of fibre this year. Despite my miserable effords to produce acceptable yarn (if you have advice on the problems above or simply want to laugh at me or whack me over the head, that’s fine!), I want to use up fibre. 200 grams means that I have to spin 17grams per month – this isn’t much (I see the next round of spinners banging their heads against the wall), but I hope that slowly, but surely, I’ll get the hang of that …
- Knit LESS for other people. There. Maybe this one works better. ;)
There is also personal stuff. “Worry less” (really important!), and “Don’t try so hard: The people who matter will like you for who you are, not because you do stuff for them” are the most important ones.
Have a great start into the week, my friends, and please, stay healthy!