Thursday, August 13, 2015

Decisions, Decisions . . .

The massive list of WIPs prompted me to resurrect Project Zero in the YOSS Group on Ravelry.  I know that's going to help me get these things either finished or frogged.  And another friend mentioned that she remembers exactly why she stopped on all of her WIPs.  I pretty much do, too so I think it's of value to explore that here  . . .

  1. Rock the Kasbah - finished in March during construction.  No blocking possible at that time.
  2. HPKY Stole - finished in March during construction - No blocking possible at that time.  Kinda hoping to get this blocked this weekend.
  3. Hume - finished sometime during construction - No blocking possible at that time.
  4. Upstairs Downstairs Cowl - finished sometime during construction - No blocking possible at that time.  I have a plan to get this one blocked this weekend.
  5. Wild Goose Shawlette - current project - in progress now and about 50% completed - and man, if I wasn't on this kick I would probably let it go because I do NOT like the yarn I'm working with.  It's an older skein of a yarn from an indie dyer who no longer is in operations.  The yarn has a very tight twist, so - theoretically - I should enjoy knitting with it.  I don't.  It's like knitting with cotton.  :-S  Another knitter mentioned to me back in the day that the yarn had no "sproing" to it, and I figured that you would have to choose a pattern where you could build that in - you know, like 2x2 ribbed socks.  The colorway is beautiful, but I remember where and when I got it and the vendor was extremely rude to me - I'm wondering if that colored my opinion.  In any case, I'm soldiering on and will finish this one, block it, and then make a decision on if I want to keep it for myself or not.
  6. A plain vanilla sock in  Fiesta Baby Boom - For a number of reasons this is the first project I decided to tackle.  It's a plain vanilla sock - that makes it ideal for train knitting.  I don't want to have to be futzing around with a pattern and a row counter on the train.  The first sock was halfway through the heel flap.  It's now on to the foot :-) and I plan to have these done by the end of the weekend.  I quit this one because although I love Fiesta Baby Boom (another yarn with a very tight twist), the Mochaccino colorway just wasn't doing it for me.  I will finish these - and they will be gifted.  
  7. One plain vanilla sock in JWrayco Sunflowers on the Beach - I made the cuff and heel in my favorite colorway of theirs - that I shrank - the yarn wasn't superwash.  I learned my lesson and Knitterary got to have the pretty socks - she has weeny feet  :-D  I had a bit left and apparently decided to make cuffs and heels out of it with the yellow yarn.  But I looked last night and it was nowhere to be found.  This particular yellow colorway was not one of my favorites, so I think that probably had something to do with my letting these languish.  I think the odd sock will be tossed and the remaining half skein will go into my leftovers pile..
  8. The Big Easy Gansey - I got sidetracked with something - this one may go with me on vacation - there's really not that much left of it.  Not sure why I let this go as I was very keen to get the pattern and get started.
  9. Fine Sand - cast on in June  2015.  I was crazy for this pattern and I wanted to use the Blue Heron Yarn, and then I got sidetracked by my own pattern month in the YOSS group and this got set aside.
  10. Quick Sand - cast on in July 2015 - desperately wanted to use this for my July YOSS project - so I quickly cast on with a yarn that no one but me likes just to get it going in the month of July.  And then I set it down.
  11. Fly Away Home - cast on and finished the first sock in two weeks, July 2014 - first YOSS sock of the reboot, and then I must have gotten distracted and never cast on the second sock.  These are looking to be vacation knitting to finish them up.
  12. Dear Mam - Mystery KAL - just cast on in July 2015.  Extremely intricate - I really have to pay attention and I had to restart the cuff four times before I got it right and I still missed one YO.  It's a design feature now  ;-)  I haven't really stopped this one - it's resting while I finish the Wild Goose Shawlette.  I plan to pick this up again very soon.
  13. Rhiannon - This is a heartbreaker.  I'm really torn about finishing this one.  I think I must - I wanted to use these for kilt hose, but I gained so much weight again that my kilt does not currently fit me, and I couldn't finish them in time for competition last year, so they have been resting in a project bag ever since.  These are in the Finish or Frog category for me at the moment.
  14. Hello Sweetie Cowl - Cast on in July - Again, very recent and I don't feel like I've let it go too long - I just need to finish the duplicate stitch - I opted for that instead of fair isle.  If I can't finish this before vacation, it's a possibility to come with me.
  15. Elementary Watson -  I was on the fence here - Frog or Finish?  But I've decided to finish these.  They are definitely vacation knitting.
  16. Holidazed - Again, I got sidetracked somehow and these fell by the wayside.  I love the yarn and the pattern - these may come on vacation as auxiliary backup knitting  :-D

Well, let's see, I mentioned at least five of these to go on vacation with me.  That's more than is optimal, but this is a retreat-style of vacation where I'm not going to be racing around a lot.  I should have plenty of knitting and reading and napping time.  Can't even tell you how much I am looking forward to it.

I went through all the loose/single skeins of yarn last night (well, most of them  :-) ) - there was no real change in any of the sweater quantities so I left those as they were.  The good news is that it appears that I'm actually under 100 miles of yarn!!  Woo Hoo!!  OK - I'm at 99 miles of yarn.  Well, 99 and change.  OK:  99.3, but I'm under 100 and that feels pretty damn good to me.  I do, however, have a leftovers box that has all sort of bits and bobs and partials left over from other projects.  I didn't count that yardage.  I'm going to see about grouping them together somehow and seeing if I can make something out of the leftovers.  PrairiePiper's Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl is coming to mind.  She has great instructions on her website about how she did this, and the pattern uses a technique called a Magic Knot that I am quite leery about, but I'm going to look into it, because if it really works and stays together, then I think this could become the perfect project to use up all the leftover bits of sock yarn that I seem to have.

I also did not count the skeins purchased for that Canyon Cowl, since I'm going to knit it and send it off on its merry way shortly

In budgeting news of the day.  I made the decision to to drop my 401(k) contribution down by a very small percentage. After much discussion and calculation, I've decided it's going to be better for me to have more than a $2 surplus each month.  It does not affect my employer match in any way, and the amount is so small that the loss of it won't make much of a difference in the future, but it will make a massive difference for me now, i.e., it means that I can add a line item in the budget for medical expenses.  Yeah - it was that close to the bone.  I'm at peace with this decision.  If I was younger, it would not be a good strategy, but I'm looking at retirement of some form in the relatively near future - a drop in my contribution at this point is not nearly as critical as it would have been if I was still in my 30s or 40s.  And so September will be another month of adjusting and seeing how things go with the new budget.  I forgot my lunch yesterday and could not face the tuna in my drawer so spent some grocery money at the deli downstairs.  I have my lunch today.


Darth Knitter said...

I say kill the Wild Goose - for a lot of reasons. :-) Block your 4 items and that's 5 off the list. Toss the Jwrayco. No comment on the sweaters, because I'm not knitting sweaters at this point. As we talked about, I'm not a fan of MKAL's, so I'd frog Dear Mam on the basis of its name alone, plus, do you want something that challenging right now?

If you do, then finish Rhiannon. You love cables more than lace, and you will lose the weight. These are awesome socks. Sounds like you can wrap up a few things on vacation, so that takes care of your list.

There. I helped. :-)

A :-) said...

LOL :-D I know why you think the Wild Goose should go :-D But I'm more than halfway done. It seems like a serious waste to frog it now. I do not like the yarn, though. No question there. Yeah, I think the JWrayco is going to go. I like all of the sweaters :-D I'm like a magpie with patterns - Oooo!!! Shiny!!!! :-D

Mam is what people call their moms in Ireland and the pattern was written in memory of the designer's mother. I was thinking so much about my mom lately that it just resonated with me. This is probably the most difficult sock (along the lines of a Cookie A pattern) that I have ever attempted - it seemas a badge of honor to finish, even with one missed yarnover :-)

Thanks for the encouragement on Rhiannon - they really are awesome.

You did help. :-)

Anonymous said...


I have found that if I don't enjoy the process of knitting a certain item, I will frog it. I knit for enjoyment without a deadline. But then I'm notorious for not finishing projects for years! :) I finished a quilt after 10 years; a counted cross-stitch picture after 7+ years; and finished a jigsaw puzzle after 5 years. It was my intention when I retired that I would finish all of my works in progress. Well, I'm still waiting!! There always seems to be something new that I'd rather do than what I was working on. I used up a lot of my yarn stash by knitting items for a local charity. I felt good about that in two ways - the stash was gone and someone could use what I knitted. Now I just have to tackle my stash of sock yarn. So if you still really, really like the item you're in the middle of knitting, save it for a later time. The knitting police aren't going to arrest you if the project doesn't get done.

I've been trying to simplify my life as you are doing and I do feel "lighter". It does help to go through your possessions every so many years. I have found so many things that I wonder why I bought it or why I even kept it.

And about your budget --- it will get easier. You really have to be strict with yourself, but in the end it will pay off. I recently retired and having a limited income makes me think twice about what I want and need. I've learned to do without cable TV and a cell phone. I go to the library for books and magazines and even DVD's. I spent a lot of money on things that I thought I would use when I retired. Well, I've decided that I don't have enough time to do everything I thought I would. You'll be surprised at how busy retirement can be.

And as my mother used to say, better days are coming! :)

A :-) said...

Love your comment! Thank you :-) I do like the process of knitting, but I also like the product, and I believe you when you say that there is a lot of things to do once you are retired. I cannot imagine not being busy - there are so many things I would like to do that I can't do while I'm working every day. This one is the first weekend I've had in awhile - I plan to spend some time in the house and I hope I can get a few things accomplished :-)

Anonymous said...

I used to say that working always got in the way of what I really wanted to do :) I guess we have the same attitude of life!

One of my aunts used to say that if she got one thing done in a day, she was making progress. I use that thought often. It helps me in keeping the house clean or tackling a project that I've put off. And it's surprising what you can get cleaned in 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes you don't have to do the whole thing at once. Just what really bugs you and pretty soon you'll see a difference. And remember that old adage of one day at a time. It's hard to stop looking at the big picture. It will overwhelm you. Just look at the snapshots!