31 December, 2010

2010 Wrap-up

Last yardage tally for the year, kittens! Woot!

Yardage Totals 2010

January: 1884 yds
February: 2850 yds
March: 2893 yds
April: 777 yds
May: 856 yds
June: 643 yds
July: 751yds
August: 1716yds
September: 3046 yds
October: 1337 yds
November: 1366yds
December: 2698yds

Year to date: 20,817 yds or 11.83 miles

OOOH. I was pretty close to the mile-per-month mark I was aiming for, but didn't quite get there. It's about 3.25 more miles' worth of yarn then I knit in 2009. (And a lot less frogging as well. :] )

I plan to continue tracking my yardage in 2011 and maybe at the end of it, I'll do a 3 year comparison and see if there are any trends to my knitting. I'm pretty sure my numbers will not be quite so high in 2011, and when I share my knitting intentions, that will make more sense. But I have to save something for tomorrow, right?

Now I'm off to watch Voyager with The Mister, work on a sock, and eat some snackies.

Goodbye, 2010

Kittens, at first, I wanted to do one of those spiffy photo collages of my FOs like all the cool kids are doing, but then I realized that I finished 37 projects this year. 37. The lazy in me does not feel up to resizing and cropping 37 photos to fit into a rectangle.

So instead, let's break them down a bit:

♥ 2 Blankets
♥ 1 Potholder
♥ 1 Cowl
♥ 1 Hoodlet
♥ 9 toys
♥ 6 pairs of socks
♥ 4 hats
♥ 1 shawlette
♥ 10 sweaters
♥ 1 pair of Swiffer covers
♥ 1 pair of fingerless mitts

Of these 37 projects, 2 were frogged and will be remade . 2 were tossed because the yarn was wrecked in my attempts to fix them in unconventional ways to avoid frogging.

My first FO of the year was Liesl.

And my last FO is yet unphotographed as an FO: Woodland Hoodlet.

All in all, it has been a seriously productive year and most of my projects turned out well. Hopefully, 2011 will be even better!

Happy New Year, kittens!

2010 Stashdown: Final Post

2010 Q1 Stashdown

Yardage in: 6,681
Yardage out: 9,766
Net stash change: -3,085
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.462

2010 Q2 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,014
Yardage out: 7,498
Net stash change: -484
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.069

2010 Q3 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,591
Yardage out: 10,588
Net stash change: -2,997
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.395

2010 Q4 Stashdown

Yardage in: 19,553
Yardage out: 11,095
Net Stash change: +8,457
Ratio (yds out/in): .567

2010 Totals so far:

Yardage in: 40,838
Yardage out: 38,947
Net Stash Change: +1,891
Ratio (yds out/in): .954

And there you have it, Kittens. After 3 quarters in the green and slowly chipping away at my stash, I had to make some large purchases --and reclaim a large chunk of that yardage via frogging (think the year's net stash change minus about 200yds)--this quarter. As a result, I'm in the red for the year. Boo. Totals have been edited 18 May 2011 after deciding to go ahead and use an item that was in the frog pile to be reclaimed.

While I'm sad about this, I'm also trying to be positive: my rate of acquirance in 2010 was much slower then 2009. I didn't technically have a StashWIN! sort of year, but I did take the first steps in slowing down the thoughtless buying and became more deliberate in my purchases.

You better believe you'll be seeing more stash tracking in 2011. I'm actually pretty pumped about it. In 2011, that net stash change will be green.


Kittens, I'm going to do my best to do some 2010 wrap-up posts before it ends tomorrow tonight. However, my in-laws are in town and I've been attempting to avoid being rude and hide from them. I might try to make an exception for a short time tomorrow, though, just for you. ♥

You should be seeing at least one post from me but in case I can not get to more, Happy New Year!

28 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

OK, kittens. It's technically still Tuesday here for another 2 hours, but my in-laws are in town and that means little-to-no computer time during the day. (And by tomorrow, these may both be off needles, and I'd have nothing to share.)

Crochet project. Something small. Still on the fence about it; it's ruffling when it shouldn't be.

Mmmm. Dense cables in bulky weight. Will have quite the yarn write-up for this later on.

25 December, 2010

Merry Giftmas!

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday surrounded by loved ones and some yummy treats! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

20 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 13

Kittens, today I will ask that you use your imaginations. I will not be providing a picture. Visualize yesterday's doll, but with two legs. Now you know what I did last night.

In my last post, I forgot to mention the time involved to stuff the body and knit that one leg down to the boot: 2.5 hours. Last night, it took 2 hours to knit the other leg and stuff it. These are a time intensive knit, to be sure. (If anyone is wondering why I'm keeping track, well...I like numbers, and I'm genuinely curious how many hours go into a project like this. People will ask and I want to have a number on hand to quote.)

Based on how long these are taking, working only 2-3 hours a night for the next 4 is not going to cut it. I still have to knit:

* 2 legs for the girl doll and stuff her: ~4.5 hours labor
* 4 horns for the helmets: ~1 hour to knit/ 1 hour to stuff and seam on
* 2 belt ends: ~ 1 hour to knit/ 15 minutes to seam on
* 2 swords: ~2 hours to knit/ 2 hours to stuff/seam/embroider/attach

This list does not include embroidering on the details like the face and shirt laces, nor does it include embroidering on the hair. Off the top of my head, I'm going to guess those tasks will take me another 3-4 hours.

So, let's do the math. I have an estimated 15 hours and 45 minutes worth of labor to do in 4 days. 2 hours a night will not cut it, and I came to this realization last night as I was packing up and stowing the dolls away.

My children are too old to work in front of anymore...so what will I do? The husband should be home every day from now until the end of the year, so I'm going to lock myself in my bedroom for 20-30 minutes at a time and try to steal an extra 2 hours a day to finish the dolls up.

19 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 12

They're finally starting to take shape. I'm still seriously nervous about if I can finish in time or not: 5 nights left...including tonight. Eep.

18 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 11

Viking underpants! Err...leggings, I suppose would be more correct. Last night, I could have done more knitting. However, someone went to the store specifically for Polyfil and then managed to forget to purchase said Polyfil. Before I can knit any further, these two need to be stuffed. Some of those openings are pretty small....

I have 6 more evenings to work on these, kittens. I'm starting to get nervous and wonder if I was perhaps too optimistic thinking these could be done in the time.

17 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 10

If you take Day 9's picture, and imagine that the color stripe in the belt is blue rather then purple, you will know exactly what I worked on last night. ;) It seemed a bit silly to take a photo of the same thing I photographed before. But fear not, kittens! I'll be back with a photo tomorrow.

16 December, 2010

A Couple Realizations...

Kittens, two things have come to my attention today.

1) This blog will be 4 in July. It and I share the same birth month and birth week. I will try to do something special for that time. It's not every year your blog turns 4 and you get to celebrate the last year of your 20s.

2) The scarf I was blogging about yesterday? I just noticed that I twisted the stitches. I think I'm going to let it be and it will become a mobius cowl instead. Whoops? (This is the first time I've managed to do that. I can not believe it took me three days to notice it!)

So what about you, kittens? Have you had any realizations today, either pleasant or unpleasant?

Vikings, Day 9

Another hour, another arm. The second one is a bit funny looking, especially the thumb. Oh well, they're Vikings and I'm sure they break bones and improperly set them all the time.

One Viking down, another to go while I try to figure out the instructions for the legs...I'm having a really rough time visualizing how those are going to knit up.

15 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Kittens, it is ~11pm CST. So I made it before Wednesday is over! Last night, I took a break from the Vikings; my hands were due the kindness. So instead I'll leave you with a picture of my new daytime WIP...

An infinity scarf has been cast-on!

14 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 7

Little hands are so fiddly. One arm took about 55 minutes to knit. Three more to go.

13 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 6

I took it "easy" last night and spent about 65 minutes finishing up the viking girl's tunic. Tonight, I'll start working on the putzy, but fairly quick, limbs. I'll be very glad when this knit is done; my joints are bothering me a bit between the cold and the tightly knit cotton.

12 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 5

I put in another 2.5 hours last night, give or take a few minutes. You can finally see a difference in the vikings: the blue one is for The Boy, while the viking for The Girl has a heathered berry colored belt. The belt colors will be seen again in the leggings, which I believe is next up on the pattern. I really dislike knitting limbs, but at least they go quickly.

11 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 4

They have upper bodies! This took about 2.5 hours last night, but the end is in sight. Next they need belts and their lower tunics. Then it's onto arms, legs, weapons, and horns for their helms. Then I have to stuff and attach it all. After that, it's the putzy but creative detailing: embroidery for the faces and adding the hair.

I'm pretty confident that I'll finish these with time to spare. Knock on wood, kittens.

10 December, 2010

Vikings, Day 3

So I did not get quite as much time to work on these last night as I would have liked: an hour vs. two to three, as I had hoped. No worries though! Now, they both have faces and tonight, I will start their tunics.

09 December, 2010

2 for 1

In a couple of ways, actually. I would like to keep the Viking WIP posts separate from my others, so you get two blog posts from me today, kittens!

The other way, and the subject of this blog, is 2 FOs from 1 pattern. I've been quite busy this month and already have finished 3 objects; 2 of them are fingering weight hats. So without further delay, I bring you...

Pattern: Sockhead Hat (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 2.5
Yarn: Yarntini Self-Striping Merino/Nylon sock - Sunshine Stripe

Yes, the hat I knit for trade with my sister is finished and ready to be sent her way. I'm debating if I have enough yarn left over to knit her a coordinating pair of wrist warmers as well. (I'm thinking the best way to figure it out would be to cast on provisionally, work the hand portion, then unravel the cast on and knit up the wrist/arm.)

I mostly followed the pattern for this. I actually cast on with smaller needles then called for, but I wanted the fabric to be a little on the thicker side rather then overly thin and floppy. My sister lives in WI after all, and even if this isn't a winter hat for her, I'd like it to work for warmer winter days and the spring and fall days when it's still chilly. I used the given numbers for cast-on, knit 4" of the 2x2 ribbing, then increased by 6 stitches for the body--this was an error on my part, as a full repeat is 8 stitches. I didn't knit the body of the hat to 9" like the pattern asks, instead I knit about 7.5" and then began the decreases. I had to fudge the first decrease row and then after that, it matched up as it should. With blocking, this became drapey and slouchy as it aught to.

The Boy is modeling the hat for me in this picture, but it also fits my 22.5" head, though the ribbing is stretched about as far as it will go.

Here he is working on his modeling pout: I find his version amusing. He's a great sport about modeling knits for me and is always excited to do so. He takes posing directions very well for a 4 year old.

Upon finishing my sister's hat, I decided that I needed one...with some modifications, of course.

Needle: US size 2.5
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock- Negro and Gothsocks Asphodel - The Goblin King

...and I needed it to coordinate with my Goblin Gauntlets, as well! So here is my modified sockhead hat. First, I cast on the number given + 8 stitches. Malabrigo sock is on the thin side for fingering, so I knew that if I wanted this to fit well I'd need the extra stitches in the ribbing section. I then knit just a smidge over 2.5" of 2 x 2 ribbing. At this point, I cut my yarn and attached the Asphodel. I had no desire to fold over the brim of the hat, so I knit just a bit less then 6" in length before going to the decrease rounds. From there, everything was easy because I had the correct numbers this time.

The resulting hat looks quite a bit like a beret with snugger ribbing, non?

The hat coordinates beautifully with the mitts without being matchy-matchy. I'm out to buck the stereotype that one will know a knitter by the fact that none of her accessories match. If I had enough yarn to make a cowl, I very likely would. Though now that I give it more thought...I think having one that is all black rather then striped will coordinate just fine.

Vikings, Day 2

Since I rather miss daily blogging but not having to think of a topic every day, I decided to daily blog the progress on my viking toys. This way, I will keep on track and will hopefully finish well before my 24 December deadline. With 2 hours per night, I have about 32 work hours left to get these little guys finished.

So day 1 finished with a single viking helmet. After about 2.5-ish hours worth of knitting last night, I have two helmets and one viking face. That may not seem like much, but these are very large, I'm discovering. I'll have to post a picture with something for size reference.

So far, the pattern is super easy to follow and other then the bobbles, it's been smooth knitting. Just a bit putzy since I'm working worsted weight yarn on US size 4 needles--taking my gauge into consideration, that's like a more "normal" tensioned knitter working on 2.5s. So yeah, this is some dense fabric, even if it doesn't look it. The pattern was written for non-washable wool, but I think it's working up very well in a 100% cotton.

We'll have to see what tomorrow brings!

08 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

Ah, kittens! A full week off from blogging. After doing it daily for November, it feels a bit strange not to post daily in December.

I have a couple of WIPs on needles that I can share this week.

First is my Citron. The theme for December is using up leftovers, and I have been busy at it! While this yarn looks very orange in my photo--no sun today so I couldn't get natural light pictures...this is better then it was before I worked on toning it!--it's really the same yarn as my Abalone. So in truth, it's an orange-y pink. So far, this pattern is super easy, but it is starting to get tedious on the ruffled sections where the stitches double for awhile before coming back down in count.

Next up is a project I cast on last night; the yarn finally arrived yesterday so I could get to work. I'm making Viking Dolls for The Boy and The Girl for Giftmas, so I need to work fast and after they go to bed. They're difficult to see--again, due to lack of natural lighting and needing to use the flash--but there are bobbles all around the rim of the helm. Knitting these at such a tight gauge in cotton, my hands were killing me last night by the time I was done. I get to do it again tonight, since I'm working on both dolls at the same time.

I'm hoping to have an FO post for you here in the coming days: I already have a few for the month. Yes kittens, I said a FEW!

01 December, 2010

WIP it Wednesday

It just so happens that Wednesday is the first day of the month, so after blogging every day in November, I do not get to take a break until tomorrow. Thankfully, I have WIPs to share, and both are rounding the corner to becoming FOs.

The first is my Garter Yoke cardigan, which I had been hoping to call an FO before November was out.

It didn't quite work out that way, as I have this serious dislike of knitting sleeves. I shocked myself when I made the decision to make them proper, full length ones.

This cardigan is turning out OK so far; I have to wait and see what the yarn does upon blocking. It's coming out a bit smaller then expected--but at proper gauge, so I'm hoping that it will bloom when it hits the water. It fits great across the back, but the sleeves and the front are more snug then I'd like. If I had understood how the construction worked before finishing up the yoke, I would have altered it to have more stitches in the front panels and on the sleeves. The next time I try something like this, I'll definitely keep it in mind. I'm one of those people who can not visualize what I'm doing from reading. I have to jump in, make a mess, and then I learn my lesson and have a light bulb moment. So it may not help me now, but the next time I encounter a yoke like this, I'll have an idea of what to do and how to go backwards to make it fit better for me.

Regardless, it's wearable. Just not as intended. (Not that I put buttons all the way down the placket anyway...I just have 03 on top and decided to stop there.)

And then there's the hat for my sister; it's coming along nicely. You're looking at 4" of ribbing and about 4" of body there, kittens. I have up to 5" more to go before I start the decreases and call it finished.

Hopefully, you'll be seeing a lot of productivity out of me this month: I have lofty goals for yardage output.