Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday 1/23/13

I’ve spend the majority of my knitting time lately working on the Hue Shifts Afghan.  I fell in love with this pattern when Knitpicks first released the kit, and I was able to purchase most of the yarn on sale during their Cyber Monday sale.  I chose to do the jewel tones version of the afghan, which involves shades of green, blue, purple, red, and pink.

I’ve really enjoyed working on this.  It is a very simple pattern (all garter stitch!), but the shifting, changing colors keep my interest.  Almost every square requires that you pick up and knit at least 25 stitches (most of them require you do 49), so I’m becoming a pro at the technique.  The only thing that I really don’t like about the project is that there are approximately one trillion ends that will need to be woven in when I am finished.

The afghan is knit in four sections, then these four sections are seamed together, and a border is knit.  So far, I have finished two whole sections and am working on the third, so I feel like I am making fairly good progress.

(Yes, those blocks are the same size. It's a weird angle. I was busy trying to keep the cat from tugging on the loose ends).

What are you working on this week?  Head on over to Tami’s Amis’ Work In Progress Wednesday to check out what everyone else is doing!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Goals for the New Year

I meant to write a post about goals for the new year a bit earlier than this- but the cat got sick, then the boyfriend got sick, then I got sick, then my grandmother passed away- 2013 has been really awful so far!  

So, it is now belatedly that time of year again- the time to start making plans for the new year.  I generally like to make some goals for the upcoming year (not “resolutions,” goals.  I’m not entirely sure what the difference is, but I like calling them goals and so that’s what I’m sticking with).

Let’s start with the crafty goals, shall we?  In 2013, I would like to accomplish the following:

  • Finish up some UFOs*:
    • Entangled Bag.  I am so very close to being done with it. I almost finished it in May, but I sewed one of the handles on crookedly.  I was so upset (those handles take a long time to sew by hand, especially when you’re carefully shaping vine tendrils!) that I put the whole thing into hibernation.  I’m not cringing when I think about the project anymore, so I think it might be time to take it back out- All I have left to do is re-sew one of the vine/handles, sew on the flowers, and line it.  All of the knitting parts are actually done- I just need to do the boring finishing stuff.
    • Girl Friday: My Girl Friday is mostly knit- I knit the entire body, laid it out to seam it, and realized it looked kind of big.  Since then, I haven’t been able to bring myself to seam it.  It may very well not be too big, or it may shrink some in the wash (it’s Berroco Vintage), but I will never know until I seam it up!  I need to seam it and knit the shawl collar.
    • Tussie Mussie: I’ve finished the lower body and most of one sleeve.  I quit working on it when I realized that there was no way that I was going to finish it for National Sweater Knitting Month, and decided that I should probably focus on my Christmas knitting.  Now that Christmas knitting is done, time to get back to finishing up this sweater.  It feels like it might be a bit small, but once again, I won’t know until I finish.
  • Learn to knit colorwork.  Colorwork looks really intimidating to me, but I figure that if I can manage complicated lace and cables, surely I can pull off a little fair isle.  It’s the next logical step in improving my knitting skills, plus I really want to make some of these stockings.  I probably won’t get a whole family’s worth of stockings done this year, but I can at least start learning the skills that I will need to make them.
  • Knit  and finish at least two more wearable, well-fitting sweaters.  I really want to get better about knitting more sweaters, and making sure that they fit properly.  I think I’m going to work on some top down patterns until I get the hang of this knitting to fit thing (nothing like being able to try them on as you go along!).  I plan on starting with Dark and Stormy or Francis Revisited.
  • Knit the Hue Shift Afghan.  I ordered the yarn and pattern during the Knitpicks Cyber Monday sale.  I’ve chosen to do the jewel tones version.  This is a really simple pattern, but the color changes add enough interest to hold my attention.  You have to knit the blanket in four quarters, then seam them up and knit a border.  Since this didn’t require too much brainpower, it was a great knit while I was sick, and I’ve made a fair amount of progress.  I am almost done with the second quarter.  Keep an eye out for WIP Wednesday for more information on this one.

I also have some non-knitting goals:
  • Exercise at least three to four times a week.  I really did try this year- I joined a gym and everything!  However, with traffic the way it is around here, getting there was incredibly frustrating and not always possible.  I received for the FitDesk for Christmas and am liking it so far- this way, I will be able to work out in the comfort of my home, and can even use my laptop while I exercise.  It will be much more difficult to come up with excuses not to work out with this around, especially now that my cough has gone away and I am actually able to work out!
  • Eat out less.  I have a bad habit of picking up food on my way home, or for lunch at work.  When I get home after work, I’m worn out from work and stressed from my commute, it’s late, and I really don’t want to cook.  This results in me either picking something up on the way home or just snacking for dinner, and also means that I rarely have fixed anything for lunch the next day.  I want to try to cook dinner at home several times a week.
  • Get a job in my hometown and move back there.  This should be good for my mental, physical, and financial health.  Cost of living is way cheaper down there.  Drivers aren’t nearly as crazy, nor is there nearly as much traffic, which means that I will have the time and energy to cook, exercise, and relax more.  Plus, having my parents close by would be great support.  The boyfriend and I both want to end up there eventually, so why wait?  We’re both applying for jobs down there.
  • Post on this blog at least every other week.

*Unfinished objections, for those who don’t know.