3/4 Finished

Three months left in 2015 (and only 86 days to Christmas. Not to induce panic in anyone who may be ill-prepared for the “making season”…I should start some things), so it’s a good time for me to start panicking taking stock of where I am sitting with my goals for the year.*

You can read all about the original list here, but I’m just going to jump into the ones I have actually done something about.

Videos

IN nine months I have filmed and uploaded a grand total of…one video. Not looking very good for hitting my goal of ten videos this year. The videos I am wanting to make are going to take time and thus keep getting pushed aside for my other projects that keep coming up and take priority.

Projects

I am doing much better on this goal because the quicker projects average out nicely with the longer ones. Official count is 51:

  • 10 Sewing repairs of clothes/toys
  • 8 Baked goods
  • 7 Knitting projects
  • 6 Newly sewn items
  • 5 Beading projects
  • 4 Cross-stitch pieces
  • 2 Rubberband loom guys
  • 2 Paper projects
  • 2 Crochet projects
  • 2 Painted shirts
  • 2 “Building” (as in furniture-putting-together) projects
  • and

  • 1 Set of Woven coasters

I think next year I will break that category into its sub-categories. It’s obviously a lot quicker to patch a shirt (most of the time) than it is to make a new one.

Posting

This is the easiest one to keep track of, especially with the handy new chart on the stats page:

I’ve done well for a couple months at a time, then basically not posted for a month at a time.

All this reflecting brings up the question: How do you stay motivated to try to finish a project as the deadline approaches? Specifically when you are pretty sure there is no way you will meet the deadline?

*In case you haven’t noticed, these posts are my way of putting something up when I can’t really be bothered to write something. Or when I don’t have pictures for what I wanted to write. Because they are stuck in the computer that is currently unplugged and my laptop doesn’t have the right program to use that library.

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I Love Yarn Day

Though it might be every day for me, tomorrow is apparently “I Love Yarn Day”. According to the Craft Yarn Council, this day happens on the second Friday of October. They even have a website where you can find local celebrations. Most of these seem to come in the form of a flash mob. I have no idea what a yarn flash mob would be, but it does sound interesting.

They also suggest ways to celebrate on your own, such as knitting/crocheting in public, wearing something knit, gifting yarn, making things for charity, etc. Basically, do something yarny. And pretend that was a real word.

I will probably celebrate by looking at my current project

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as I walk past when getting up in the morning because I am spending my weekend up to my elbows in small children. But maybe I will get into the spirit by wearing a headband or barrette. Because, you know, it’s still 90° here like it’s not the second Friday of October.

Impromptu, Uneccessary Gloves

I picked up a lovely (now discontinued) skein of Chroma in Buttermint with my last Knitpicks order and was looking for something to make. Then I found these puff stitch gloves.

They call for an 8-ply yarn, but Chroma just so happened to be a 4-ply yarn. For the math-challenged, that means I could hold the yarn doubled to make it exactly the right weight. The pattern also includes the puff-stitch, which was a new-to-me stitch, so it made it a learning opportunity as well.

The Chroma yarn is really soft and fluffy, which made it nice to work with. It also bloomed nicely when I blocked it so the gloves themselves are extra soft.

They are really comfy, except not exactly wearable. Don’t get me wrong, I will probably be wearing them all fall long. But it is nowhere near fall temperatures here. That’s right, I just made a pair of fuzzy, wool gloves right before an over-100° heat wave. It’s so hot they had baseball practice with water balloons on Saturday and cancelled soccer practice today to keep the kids from melting in the park. So these will stay in my drawer for a bit longer before they actually get used.

You can find slightly more technical details on these on their Ravelry project page.

Clothespin Mess

That’s what I had on my hands after using my new clothespins for the first time. They had been packed so nice and neatly in their plastic tray, and then I just didn’t feel like trying to stack them all back up.

Easiest solution? Throw them in a bag. Only problem was, I didn’t have a bag like that lying around. So I made one.

Basic instructions (I didn’t write down anything as I was doing it, so very minimal instructions) are on the Ravelry project page. It has a drawstring closure

and sits pretty well when it is full.

It was actually a pretty easy project to figure out in an afternoon, so hopefully my vague instructions aren’t too confusing.

Light and Breezy

I love layering. So much so that I have a drawer’s worth of plain colored t-shirts and tank tops that exist solely to be worn underneath other shirts or vests. I mean, I could wear them by themselves, but that would be boring.

One thing my dresser has been missing for a while in the layering department is what I like to call a “mesh shirt.” I’m sure it has another name, but I am too lazy to actually look it up. I had one for a long time that was pastel tie-dye, but it had a few holes that were bigger than they should be because they got snagged or torn in the wash.

Browsing for projects (because I never have enough projects lined up, right?) I came across the Breezy T pattern by Brenda Bourg on the Red Heart website. It was so perfect I even matched the color of the sample.

It turned out extremely well. This was my first attempt at crocheting a garment. Many hats before, and a couple of arm bands, but never a shirt. That kind of thing I tend to reserve for knitting. Because (for those who don’t know) knitted fabric tends to have more drape and be more suited for clothing than stiffer, crocheted fabric.

Because of the mesh structure, though, this shirt is quite nice and soft. The one thing I changed from the pattern was the sleeve edging. What was written does not seem like the edging in the sample picture, plus it was way too wavy. Instead I used a simple edging that would give me a similar shape to the picture (details here if you want to know, along with all details for the project).

This may become my favorite layering piece of the summer if the temperatures stay where they are. Turn a tank top into a work-appropriate look without making me feel like I’m boiling in my skin when we are outside.

Warming Up For Christmas: A Hat Project

It may seem a little early for a Christmas-related post, seeing how December is still about five-and-a-half months away, but really there are only about 23 weeks. I know, I just said the same thing twice. When you are knitting or crocheting for the holidays, 23-ish weeks isn’t much time.

About a week or two ago I came across the Miranda Hat by Evelyn of Project: Stash. She even started a charity knit-along to go with her new free pattern. The idea of her knit-along is that everyone knit as many Mirandas as they can between June 25 and September 30 and either donate them to a local shelter or program or send them to her to give to the group her family volunteers with. For more information on the Project:Stash knit-along, click here.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. But I’ve modified it a bit.

I love the Miranda and have knit a few of those (which you will see toward the end of the week), but I wanted to branch out. I’m going to donate all the hats I knit to Elizabeth House in Pasadena to distribute at their annual Christmas party in December. It’s a pregnancy shelter for homeless or in-crisis women. My goal is to knit 75 hats (in a variety of adult, child, and toddler/baby sizes) by December 1.

One problem with that is there are over 200 women in the program (residents and alumni), a sizable number of whom come back every year for the Christmas party. Most of these women have at least one child with them, making that a bit over 200 children involved. 25 hats in each size isn’t going to cut it.

That’s why I’m asking fellow knitters and crocheters to help me. The details of the project are found on the project page (click here), but the summary of the process is:

1. Make a hat (or 2, or 12)

2. Include on a piece of paper the fiber content, special washing instructions, your name (optional) and your preferred public online profile (Twitter, a blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.) (optional)

3. Drop off or mail in your finished hat(s) by December 2, 2012. (Drop-off location, hours, and mailing address can be found on the project page here) (LA-area, or otherwise located and willing to ship, business who would like to be a designated drop-off location? Contact me through the form here.)

It’s that simple. If this works out well, I will make this a year-round project next year.

The contributed hats will be displayed and linked to the original knitter (when possible) in a gallery here.

If you are a knitter or crocheter looking to brighten someone else’s holiday season this year, please join me in the Warming Up for Christmas Project.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer usually within the day.