Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Preparation Continues....

The Year of the Stash begins in just a few short days!

I have been making a list of everything I want to make next year, which is really challenging since if I was at all realistic about how many things I could actually make in one year, I wouldn't have a stash problem. I did allow myself a little yarn indulgence,

some cream worsted weight for the EZ Knitter's Almanac January Aran (and part of me really does believe that I will finish a sweater in one month--explains a lot, doesn't it?) and some cotton blends for cardigans. After the no spending month, I needed a little yarn fling before the year-long ban begins.

My hope is that a year of doing only stash projects will make at least a small dent in the stash, but I may be a bit "reality-challenged" again....

And yet I'm still tempted to make one last run to the fabric store.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Gearing up

In the euphoria of just having survived the month long "can't buy anything new" project, and having a solid wall of stash facing me each day, I have decided that 2008 will be THE YEAR OF THE STASH!

That's right--no new yarn or fabric purchases--just projects made from The Stash.

I am giving myself until January 1 to prepare--finding the matching material to bind the quilt from my class, getting a few things tucked away for "must do" gifts next year, but my "preparation allowance" is limited. Embarking on a "stash year" would lose a little if it was kicked off with a $500 yarn & fabric shopping spree. Might be a good way to end it, though.....:)

Today's acquisitions: black fabric to make more Halloween trick-or-treat bags like the ones I made this year:

I also picked up more felt in case I feel the insane urge to make another puppet kit this year. New way to irritate people: take 7 large bolts of felt up to the cutting table and ask for 12 inches from each one. Pretend not to notice the sales clerk's glare.

And winging it's way to me is some cream-colored worsted wool for my January Aran cardigan for the EZ Knit-a-long. This may be one of the only projects I do from the book this year as it's hard to follow a set of patterns AND not buy new things, but I needed a new sweater at my office. Unfortunately, it probably won't be finished until spring. Ah well--faster hobbies may not be as satisfying. If I ever try one, I'll let you know.

14 days to go!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Rising Under Pressure

The countdown to Christmas is on, and the relative panic of not getting everything made in time has just arrived. So Sunday was Christmas gift day.

For my Grandmother, who once gave me a set of hand-embroidered pillowcases,

Granted, machine embroidery isn't exactly a fair exchange, but in the interests of time and her ever receiving them, they will have to do. Even with the machine, this is the second attempt--the first one had a few "user error" issues and are now buried in our linen closet.

Two sets of Christmas napkins were finished:

Okay, that's one set, but the other looks EXACTLY the same so we'll pretend it shows both.

And a fleece baby blanket for a cousin's new son born just a couple weeks ago.

15 days & 2 gifts to go!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A New Knit-Along

For the uninitiated, a "knit-along" consists of a group of knitters making the same project & helping each other, commiserating, and a few speedsters gloating about how fast they finish each project.

As much as I don't particularly care for the MS3 stole--henceforth known as the Beaded Knitting Abyss--it was fun to be part of a knitting group. My friends locally have other hobbies--usually scrapbooking--but as much as I support their right to have hobbies, I don't really want to hang around them with my knitting while they have dozens of sharp cutting implements laying around. So, rather than convert, I have joined another KAL.

Elizabeth Zimmermann, a revolutionary knitter who would probably not have hesitated to smack someone with a size 11 knitting needle for trying to sell patterns for garter-stitch scarves & plain socks, wrote a book in 1974 called Knitter's Almanac. In it, she provides instructions for a new project every month, but in such a folksy, conversational way that the book is fun to read by itself without any knitting needles involved. The projects may not be at all trendy, but to be honest, I'm not either. Tonight I opened the door for the pizza delivery man while wearing crossword puzzle flannel PJs and slipper socks with cat heads on them, so I'm not one to criticize from a fashion front. The great thing about the book is that it emphasizes learning to knit as a process instead of blindly following charts. After all, the first person to pick up two sticks and a piece of string and decided he/she could make something out of the combination probably didn't find a copy of Vogue Knitting laying beside them.

The only potential problem for this KAL is that it is sponsored by a yarn website called Knitpicks. A yarn site, moreover, with great stuff. You see the problem here, don't you? It's like having an alcoholics-anonymous meeting at a local bar or pub.

Maybe scrapbooking would have been less dangerous after all.......

Sunday, December 2, 2007

How I Spent My Weekend

Fishing the shrug--involving MILES of ribbing:

Finished my homework for quilting class tomorrow night. THANK HEAVENS THERE IS ONLY ONE MORE CLASS!!! Nothing wrong with quilting, but this little baby quilt already represents close to 26 hours of my life. And there is still more to do! *Sigh*

And in time to be this week's Secret Santa gift:

Mr. Flurry. Who would be part of an entire colony if I had spent the same 20+ hours working on him.

Obviously, no one should be expecting quilts for Christmas....ever.