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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #1 (Introduce ALL THE THINGS!)

Hello and happy Sunday!

Welcome to the beginning of my seventh installment of my Self-Imposed Year of Projects, a project in itself wherein I try to give myself some sort of direction in my fibery endeavors. I often fail spectacularly at this; just an FYI.

The Year of Projects is not my brainchild. It actually started six months before I started (really truly; it was six months to the day) but it may have been the brainchild of someone even before that, quite possibly the Yarn Harlot. What I can claim is that I decided it didn't make sense to work on a "school schedule" (July-June) and my birthday is right at the beginning of the year (today, in fact, as it was seven years ago when I started) I started at the beginning of the year. It just made sense to me.

So, if you happen to go over to the Ravelry Group, you'll notice that some people are on the "school schedule" and others have adopted my schedule. It all comes out in the wash. We post links to our blog in the weekly thread (the actual blog posts, not just a link to the blog in general), we wander to other blogs, we comment, we admire, and we try to stay focused.

With that said, it's time to take a look at what I've been pondering for my 2018 Self-Imposed Year of Projects...

FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018

There wasn't supposed to be anything here. Buuuuuuuuut, I brought a few things with me on our trip and, well, a cast on for a hat turned into a finished project a week later. Oops.

WIPs (Works-in-Progress) These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016
3. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016
4. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
5. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
6. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017
7. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
8. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
9. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017
10. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
11. Luck 'o the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2018

I did a little bit of reorganization from last year's WIP list, removed a few things, adjusted, and, of course, added the newest project....I just couldn't help myself, apparently.

And lastly, the real reason why you're here: OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists

I've tried several ways to do things over the years and I'm finding that categories with far too many items is helpful for direction but it also allows for some flexibility because I need some of that. I'm also coming to understand the size of my enviable stash. It's rather large (okay, let's be honest: my stash is well beyond SABLE at this point) and I have lovely yarns and, really, I should knit from my stash. Now, am I going to always knit from my stash? No. That's impossible with some of the ideas I'm having for this year. But I'm going to try. So, some items in my list will have a yarn listed as well.

Anyway, let's see the lists already!

Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Little Man
3. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
4. Mittens for Stormageddon
5. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - needs 3 colors, would need to buy)
6. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
7. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Returning (fingering weight x3 colors- AFVKW Annapurna, brown Bleating Haven Corriedale and Sundara Silk Merino)
2. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
3. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
4. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
5. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
6. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
7. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
8. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
9. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
10. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
11. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
12. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
13. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
14. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
15. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
16. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)
6. Granny Square Blanket (which means I need to learn to crochet)

1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

1. Malabrigo Nube fiber
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)

My list of things for the kids (mine and others) was expanded from last year's list. I still need to make mittens for Stormageddon and they're both due for hats of their own (again). I still owe my niece a toy. I've made toys for all the nieces/nephews as well as the little Devil Niece is the last one and as she's just over a year old, it can wait until November or December. But I do need to do it. I've also added a couple of sweaters for the boys.

My selfish knitting appears to to be ALL THE SHAWLS and a few other things. Eight of the projects are shawls. Five are sweaters. The remaining few are hats or fingerless mitts or socks. Yeah, year of the shawl.....we'll see how that goes. If last year's mantra of knit all the sweaters is any indication, I won't finish squat this year. 

Then there's a section of "random things" which are things I want to make, have kits for, or don't necessarily fall in selfish knitting. I've had some Wisconsin kits for a couple of years and I do need to learn stranded knitting.......soooo, they're back on the list. I've got some yarn for a Pop Blanket (I'll need either white or black for the background colors...maybe both...maybe some grey, also). I have a feeling I'm going to use the Knit Picks Mighty Stitch yarn I ordered (and order more of white & black and any other colors I need). I have a full rainbow, two skeins of each color, which should get me at least four blocks per color, maybe more (probably more). But I will definitely need more of the background colors. I'm also pondering learning how to crochet. I mean, I know basics but what I keep thinking about are granny square blankets so I think I'm going to learn how to make a good granny square and then make all the squares. Or maybe just a huge one that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and.....yeah.

Outside of knitting, but still within the purview of fibery endeavors, I have a section for design work, spinning, and dyeing but I also have a section for things like making sure my vintage patterns are in the Ravelry database (as I suspect so many of them are not). The design work may or may not be tied to current WIPs or FOs over the years. For spinning, I just went through my fiber stash page and took the first ten listed. Some of them are 4 oz bits of fluff while others are less than an ounce and I know one of them is over 3 lbs. Soooooo, it's actually a lot of spinning. I also added yarn dyeing because I have a bag of unddyed fibery goodness that wants to be dyed. I probably won't work on dyeing until it's a bit warmer, however. Working with wet yarn when it's 50ºF does not sound appealing. So, that part will probably wait a bit. Spinning may have to wait, also, as my hands are like sandpaper right now. ::sigh:: But there's always knitting. And maybe crochet, if I find something worthy.

Now, this is the point in which I'd have photos and talk about the last week or so of life here in California. The last week or so of life was not spent in California....well, mostly not in California. We arrived back from our cruise just last night (walked in the door at 5pm).

We've not gone on a cruise for the last couple of years so it was time for another one. We drove down to Los Angeles/Long Beach last Saturday (not yesterday), which is about a six hour drive (depending on traffic). We left just before 7am and made good time, even with our couple of food/gas stops along the way. We could have taken a puddle jumper flight but it would have taken the same amount of time and cost about five times as much money. So, we drove it.

We arrived on our ship just after 1:30pm.

One of the things that happens after you check in and get your keys and such, you take photos in front of a backdrop. This was ours (as taken by the professional on-board photographers).

Stormageddon was ready to go, wearing a Señor Frogs shirt from Cabo San Lucas (which used to belong to Little Man).

He also discovered one of the porthole things on Deck 3. This was before we had to go to our muster station. They've changed how they do muster station drills (again). The first cruise Little Man went on, we had to take him to the muster station drill, out on the deck, where we're crammed like sardines. He was extremely unhappy. Then things changed and if you had small children or were in a wheelchair or something like that, you met in one of the theaters for instructions, which was much nicer to deal with.....but now we're back to the "everyone on the decks" deal. I had two unhappy children. On top of that, they now scan everyone's room key to make sure everyone shows up...and you get called out if you're not there. The family directly behind us were also from the Bay Area and her two kids (ages 7 and 9) both sat down, leaned against the wall, and fell asleep (they hopped a plane about the time we were leaving in the car - which means they were there and awake at least two hours before that - suckers).

The rest of the week was......well, Little Man loved going to Camp Ocean, which is the on-board childcare. They had tons of activities and he loved going. We had a hard time getting him to leave a couple times. Stormageddon, on the other hand, was less cooperative. He could handle 2-4 hours and then he'd lose it and one of us would have to go get him. It was okay, though. Husband and I took turns at night for which one of us would stay with the boys while the other went out. It worked for us. We also did a few things on our own along the way.

For example, I went to Harry Potter Trivia.

Yes, that's my trophy. Yes, I won. I tied for first with a boy of about 7 or 8 years old. I had 19/20 questions correct (the one I got "wrong" was because I didn't have "pink umbrella" for where were Hagrid's wand pieces hidden....I had "umbrella handle" even though I know it's his pink umbrella...everyone knows that, right?). Anyway, I got a trophy this time. Four years ago, I won a medal for 2nd place at Harry Potter Trivia. So, I've redeemed myself.

New Years' Eve was one of the "elegant" nights on the ship. The boys dressed up in their suits and it was adorable.

I suspect they liked the noise makers. A lot.

See? We clean up pretty well, right? Okay, to be fair, these photos were taken prior to dinner. The noise makers came during dinner.

New Years' Day was spent in Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico. The first day, Husband and I went out on our own (the boys were at Camp Ocean). We spent money on shiny things (earrings, two bracelets, and a chain for my Christmas present) and ate lunch at a place called Cabo Wabo, which was made famous by Sammy Hagar.

I downed two of these margaritas and had a Waburrito, which looked like barf on a plate but it was sooooo good. Husband had the same. It seriously looked like barf on a plate, though....chicken, tomatoes, a cream sauce (akin to sour cream but runnier).

Our second day in Cabo, we took the boys swimming in the ocean. We took a little water taxi to the resort beach area (our boat was named "Sex Machine Too" and the captain grew up in San Francisco).

Husband and Stormageddon in the water.

Little Man attempted to make a sand castle but the water kept washing it away. He was pretty determined and figured out if he made it tall enough, the water would only wash out some of it.

Stormageddon was quite happy to be rinsed of all the sand and have his shoes and socks back on. He did not like the sand in his diaper (I can't say I blame him). He also wasn't a fan of the sand that stuck to his feet. Poor kiddo.

After our trip to the beach, we ate at Señor Frog.

One of my nights out, I spent some time in the casino. The cruse we went on four years ago with my bestie in tow, we spent time on the quarter machines, lamenting the fact that we didn't win shit. This time, I made that quarter machine pay out. I won two chips: one for a free hat and one for a free drink. The hat is from the casino (obviously). I picked it up in the cage. The drink was also acquired in the casino bar but I could get it elsewhere on the ship. They called it a Miami Vice, which is half piña colada and half strawberry daiquiri. 'Twas quite good (and dangerous).

We also had a stop in Puerto Vallarta. We didn't get off the ship for very long and didn't go into town but we did drink a very expensive bottle of wine out on our balcony.

I believe that was pirate night.

The boys were very into the pirate set-up. I think Stormageddon would have taken his little red hat home if he could have gotten away with it.

We also got an individual shot of Little Man. The night before, Little Man was being a little stubborn and didn't want to take photos. We got one of the two of them and then one of just Stormageddon (it's why we have the individual shot of Little Man - equality is important, yo!).

One of the things Carnival has done is they've teamed up with the Dr. Seuss.....not estate but the brand, I guess is the best way to put it. So, they have events on the ship around a Dr. Seuss theme. There's a Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast (which we did on Friday), they do a story reading (this year it was Horton Hears a Who; the last cruise we went on they read Cat in the Hat), there's a Dr. Seuss parade, and there are characters and the whole thing. We also purchased a Dr. Seuss theme for our room. The boys got towels, Little Man got the Cat in the Hat toy (Stormageddon got it last time), Stormageddon got the lunchbox, backpack, and water bottle (Little Man got those last time). It's really cute.

Obviously, those three photos are from the Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast on Friday. We got to see Thing1 and Thing 2, the Cat in the Hat, and Sam (as in Sam-I-Am). Little Man had a waffle (with blue & red butter), I also had a waffle (without the butter), Stormageddon had cereal and Truncula Tree pancakes, and I can't remember what Husband had....possibly green eggs & ham.

We arrived back in Long Beach yesterday morning and we were off the ship by around 9:30am. By 10:15am, we were here:

It might be difficult to read but we took a stop at Paramount Studios. One of Husband's friends from high school now works at Paramount for the Dr. Phil show.

So, Paul took us around the set and his office and such.

I think this was inside one of the waiting rooms.

Little Man took a seat in the green room (which is actually kind of painted a minty green color). He had no idea what a green room was for.

Stormageddon actually smiled for a photo outside of Paul's office. After that, we wandered around Paramount Studios for a bit. They actually do have the building facades that are just the outside.

I'm interested to see what the one below is for. They were working on it while we were out and about. There's a sign in the window for an autograph signing for Alanis Morissette.

The next one was near the Lucille Ball building.

And on our way out, I managed to get a photo of the Hollywood sign.

Little Man wanted a sombrero while we were in Mexico so we picked this one up for him. It's HUGE and he actually had to wear it off the ship because we couldn't pack it (he also got a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hat and a captain's hat like the one Stormageddon is wearing in the photos above). 

As I said above, we arrived home at 5pm last night. Of course, unpacking commenced...and laundry....and food..........yeah. 

And with that, happy birthday to me! I hope you've had a lovely week :) 


  1. Well you celebrated your birthday much better than I did! What a great trip and Happy Birthday! Loved the cute of the kids and the family shots were great too. Congrats on getting a hat're off to great start of your year!

  2. Seems like a lovely aunt goes on a lot of cruises and always loves them...

  3. What a lot of fun you had! I loved all the pictures.

  4. Your lists for this year are super cool. Hopefully some of those WIPs will get done for you. Your cruise looks fabulous. Everyone looks like they really enjoyed themselves. Great photos of everything.