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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Year One: Wrap-Up!

This post was written well in advance because December is a bit of a crazy month. You're probably aware of this already but we spent a weekend in Wisconsin for a wedding and right now, we're currently on a cruise ship somewhere in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Or maybe we're in a shop somewhere in Mexico. Whatever. It's fine.

Anyway, this is the wrap-up week for my Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Year One!

Way back in the beginning...........

I announced on my 32nd birthday that I was going to partake in a self-imposed year of projects going from that day (January 7, 2012) to a year later...which is actually next Sunday, January 6, 2013. Next week will mark the first update in my Second Self-Imposed Year of Projects.

So that means that this week is the wrap-up. Get it? No? Don't care. Moving on...

Anyway, way back in the beginning......yes, go click on the linky for a new tab and read the insanity that was spewed forth.......

I had some WIPs and some plans. In the beginning, there were six WIPs, twelve hats, four pairs of socks (two of which were WIPs), and a "big" project. During the next few weeks and months, I tweaked the list and reorganized how it presented. Some of the WIPs were finished and some were not and that's okay. Some of my plans changed and some came to fruition and that's okay. And then there were the items that I added along the way.

Looking back at the original list, knowing how much I accomplished during this first year, I still think it looks doable. And then I went and messed with things...

By the time the third update came, I had added a whole new section: baby/kid stuff. It included two baby blankets, toys, hats, and a sweatercoat.

That's about the time I'm pretty sure my sanity left me...if there was any to begin with.

Seriously?! What the hell was I thinking? TWO baby blankets?! It took me 18 months to knit Little Man's baby blanket. Did I really think I could make two baby blankets in a year?

And then.....and then the really big thing happened! Husband got a job in California and we had to pack and move across the country. AHHHHH! Soon after the move, I started to re-think my list a little. I had to, really. There are just some items that would not be useful in big, bulky winter items. By the 39th update, I had become very realistic about what I could finish before the end of the year. 

With that said, it still didn't happen.

By the time December came along, I still had four WIPs, one of which wasn't on any list the week before (though I knew I wanted to make them at some point). I also still needed to make a hat in order to complete my challenge. ::sigh:: I had to admit to myself that I just wasn't going to be able to finish all of it by the end of "my" year.

And it was okay to not finish everything. And I didn't. 

My final lists looked like this:

1. Claudia: started January 3, 2012; finished January 10, 2012
2. Mama's Simple Skyp Socks: started May 22, 2011; finished January 9, 2012
3. Little Man's Cobblestone Baby Blanket: started July 2010; finished February 2, 2012
4. Dalek Dishcloth: started February 6, 2012; finished February 8, 2012
5. Baby Traveling Vines Socks: started September 18, 2010; finished February 17, 2012
6. Snail Hat: started February 18, 2012; finished February 19, 2012
7. Lothlorien Hat: started January 25, 2012; finished March 5, 2012
8. Habitat Hat: started April 10, 2012; finished May 8, 2012
9. Mini Sweet Girl's Pumpkin Hat: started May 31, 2012; finished June 4, 2012
10. Pine Forest Baby Blanket: started February 21, 2012; finished August 4, 2012
11. Sassy Girl's Simple Baby Cap #1: started August 4, 2012; finished August 5, 2012
12. Double Bump Dishcloth: started August 9, 2012; finished August 11, 2012
13. Go Pack, Go!: started August 18, 2012; finished August 22, 2012
14. Woven Rib Dishcloth: started August 25, 2012; finished August 26, 2012
15. Little Granite Dishcloth: started August 27, 2012; finished August 28, 2012
16. Alternate Andalusian Dishcloth: started August 29, 2012; finished August 29, 2012
17. Not-Too-Scruby Dishcloth: started September 7, 2012; finished September 14, 2012
18. Ruffled Feathers Pinwheel Blanket: started September 12, 2012; finished September 24, 2012
19. Plain old boring "normal" dishcloth (no project page): started September 22, 2012; finished September 28, 2012
20. Raglan Hat: started September 28, 2012; finished September 29, 2012
21. Nolan for Nellie: started September 28, 2012; finished October 1, 2012
22. Garter Stitch Scarf: started October 5, 2012; finished October 5, 2012
23. Chunky Scarf: started October 6, 2012; finished October 8, 2012
24. Hypnotic Dream Dishcloth: started October 3, 2012; finished October 11, 2012
25. Matt's U of AL Beanie: started October 11, 2012; finished October 14, 2012
26. Christmas Elf Hat: started October 17, 2012; finished October 22, 2012
27. Sweet Girl's Hippo: started May 10, 2012; finished October 26, 2012
28. Susan's Hat (mini): started October 25, 2012; finished October 26, 2012
29. Little Man's Sweater: started October 23, 2012; finished November 13, 2012
30. Hermione's Everyday Socks: started March 6, 2012; finished November 20, 2012 

31.  Bergen Street Tuque: started December 12, 2012; finished December 19, 2012
32.  Little Man's Giraffe: started May 11, 2011; finished December 21, 2012

1. Icarus Shawl: started March 15, 2010
2. Mama's Vanilla Socks (round 2): started June 29, 2012
3. Eat Your Monkey Socks: started November 29, 2012

Only three projects left on my WIP list and 32 FOs. I think that's pretty good progress for a year :)

If you want to know the truth, my Icarus Shawl is very close to being finished and I imagine that it'll be finished soon enough...blocking is another story. Also, the first of the Vanilla Socks is nearing completion (and the second one may be close to complete before I get a chance to update my blog again). I spent a bit of time on the socks during the last week or so and was able to get the heel and gusset decreases figured out before we left for our holiday cruise. That's helpful as I can just knit along until I get to the toe decreases. The Monkey Socks, of course, were never a part of my Year of Projects lists but I wanted something new and shiny so I started those...oops :)

Throughout my Year of Projects I learned some important things:
1. I can finish a lot of things over the course of a year if I focus and plan and hold myself accountable.
2. I can finish even more things if I don't have a huge case of Startitis and a good case of Finishmeup Syndrome.
3. I can knit with my child awake and active in my space. Sometimes. Lace doesn't work. Stockinette works.
4. Gauge swatches lie. A lot. And often.
5. Plans change. Especially when things are going well. It's Murphy's Law.
6. I need to work more from my stash. I have cool things in my stash. I should use them.
7. Just when I think I have everything I'm going to need to make something, I find out that I do not, in fact, have everything I'm going to need. That requires shopping. And really, what knitter doesn't love buying new things for their craft?
8. The above fact happens quite frequently with socks. Damn socks.
9. My Ravelry queue is extremely helpful with planning projects. And then there are the enablers and instigators that show me pretty things and I wind up adding them to my queue.
10. I can be realistic about my goals. Sometimes.
11. Knitting is as much of a stress reliever as it is a stress inducer.
12. I've met the nicest people as a result of knitting. Also, knitting seems to bring out the best in people.
13. I do so much better with a plan in mind, even if those plans change.
14. I want to do this again. And maybe again. And again.

Overall, I enjoyed my year of projects immensely. Sometimes, I felt a little claustrophobic with my plans but I think it turned out pretty well. When things got really constrained, I would add quick projects (like my dishcloths). That seemed to help.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed my year of projects :) I also hope that you consider doing one yourself, if you're not already participating :)


  1. I hope you are having a wonderful trip! I'm going to join you this year...hope you don't mind...I'm not much of a planner, but I have been trying to use my Rav queue, project and stash functions more...especially the projects section for NW..So I'm hoping this gives me a little bit more organization..

  2. What a wonderful year of fiber projects for you, Renee. You certainly had an interesting tale with each one and this is a great post to look back upon.

  3. You've done an awesome amount. I hope you're having a great time on the cruise RIGHT NOW! With me and socks I adjust the patterns to suit the yarn and needles that I do have. I'll never get a handle on my stash until I use what I've got. Because - like you said - I have some really cool stuff!

  4. Great job! You got a TON of stuff done! Hopefully you'll do another YOP in 2013

  5. Anxious to hear all about your vacation when you return. And yes it's most definitely ok not to complete the list...more of us didn't I think then least thats the way I remember it. Perhaps, because that's the way I want to remember it, lol.

  6. Amazing, and congrats on not only your project lists, but your learning list! Enjoy the cruise..Happy New Year to you and your family!

  7. I think you did awesome on your year of projects. 32 completed projects and only 3 wips two of which are nearing completition is a wonderful achievement. I to have learned I operate better with a plan but it needs to be loose and have room for change and adjustment lol. Its great to look back at a year and see how well we have all done and am so glad you'll be doing it again next year!

  8. What a fun post to read--your sense of humor brings a smile to my face, often! I especially giggled at your plan to knit TWO baby blankets---I hate, hate, hate, knitting blankets, so to plan to knit 2 would pretty much cause me to give up knitting for life--or at the very least, stick a knitting needle in my eye! I hope your cruise is all you hoped it would be--and I just have to say it, "I am jealous!" :) Seriously, congrats on your one year completion--it has been a joy to read along with you. You worked hard, and have the stuff to prove it!
    Happy New Years...

  9. Congrats on completing so many projects!! I'm not cold-sheeping in 2013 but I have some goals so we can compare notes. Hope you and Brian are having a blast on the cruise!!

  10. What a great year and a lovely post. Looking forward to seeing what other lovelies emerge from your stash in 2013! Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2013!

  11. I think you did so amazingly on your year, far more than I did in my first year! There was a point hwere I was looking at your list like this: O.o but then it became really achievable, and you should be very proud of yourself! And Happy New Year!

  12. I like #11 because it is so true. Every time I mention to someone that knitting is relaxing my hubby chuckles. You did a lot in a year! Can't wait to see your new list.