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

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Year Eight: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Let's Talk About New Things (Update #1)

Hello and happy Sunday! If you're just tuning in, today is the beginning of my eighth (yes, that's 8th) Self-Imposed Year of Projects. If you're not familiar, the Year of Projects started in July 2011 as a small group of bloggers set themselves challenges over the course of a year. It has since grown to 244 members currently in the Ravelry group and I'm sure there are bloggers participating that are not in the Ravelry group (just as I'm sure there are people in the Ravelry group that have fallen off the wagon). 

With that said, I started the party about six months in, so while most people are hitting the middle of their 8th year, I'm just starting mine. I'm okay with this. It generally coincides with my birthday, which is tomorrow. 

So, without further ado.......let's get started. 

FO's (Finished Objects):

There is nothing here. The year just started......maybe next/ week, if I get myself together properly (and then she laughed and can laugh, too; it's okay).

WIPs (Works-in-Progress) (These are carried over year to year):
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Stomping Grounds Collection (design): started 26 February 2017
3. Unnamed Hat Design (based on that project): started 14 August 2017
4. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
5. Returning: started 14 January 2018
6. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt (EEW Mini Spinner): started 13 April 2018
7. Granny Square Blanket: started 28 April 2018
8. Clapotis: started 29 June 2018
9. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat: started 28 July 2018 
10. Abracadabra Socks: started 7 August 2018
11. Age of Brass & Steam: started 10 August 2018
12. Purl & Loop Weaving Project: started 28 August 2018
13. Campfire Socks: started 17 October 2018
14. Herbivore: started 15 November 2018
15. Ewetopia Stripey Socks: started 15 November 2018
16. Sockhead for Little Man: started 29 November 2018

I ended last year with seventeen projects in my WIP list. I've actually removed one of them because the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it wasn't truly a WIP as much as it was a series of doodles and numbers. It was a design project for a hat and it is very much still in the design/doodle phase. The designs that are listed have a bit more flesh to them and I feel that I can call them actual WIPs (even if I haven't actually done any knitting on the Stomping Grounds collection - there are so many designs rolling around that I'll get around to knitting someday). As an aside about designs....down below, I have a section specifically for design work. Both the Stomping Grounds Collection and the Unnamed Hat Design listed above are not listed in that section below....but in the same breath, I have several designs in the section below that have something started (usually an actual FO of some kind, though some have notes/math as well as a project). I should probably move them to the WIP list but then my WIP list just gets ridiculously long.....maybe I should remove the Stomping Grounds Collection and Unnamed Hat Design to the Design section and just leave them there......maybe not. Any thoughts? Part of me feels like I should have a section specifically for design WIPs, because they're a bit more involved....I think that's what I may wind up doing. I'll have to look into it for next week.

As for progress over the last week, since my Self-Imposed Year of Projects wrap up post last week, I've worked on a couple of items in my WIP list. I've got a good chunk done on the Sockhead for Little Man. It's turning out to be a self-stripe yarn (kind of - more like a spiral that mimics stripes). He seems pretty happy about it so I'm going to call that good. I also worked on granny squares. I actually finished two this past week and started a third. I didn't do much else....however, right before we left, the one skein of Berroco Comfort DK that I ordered to finish up the Age of Brass & Steam showed up at my house. I might need to pull that one out and finish it. I'm soooooo clooooooose! 

Mooooving along.....

And, here it is......the real reason why you're here. It's time! This is the big reveal! You want to know what kind of craziness I've come up with this year. I shan't disappoint. Well, maybe I will......whatever, let's just take a look, alright? I call the following my "OMGLSGWTFBBQ" lists because, well, yeah......WTF am I thinking?!


Challenges (this is new for 2019)
1. Knit 2 granny squares a month (average) until I'm out of yarn (for the Granny Square Blanket in my WIP list above - I started with four cakes, I've finished one and started the second...I may buy a fifth, however)
2. Knit 1 dishcloth a month (average)
3. Submit and/or publish 4 designs this year

With the two granny squares I finished this week, it means I'm right on track to average two squares a month (go me!). 

Children's Items
1. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - Stunning String Studio from Stitches West 2018)
2. Minecraft Socks for Little Man (fingering weight - Tosh Sock in Plaid Blanket?)
3. Mittens for Stormageddon (probably worsted weight of some sort)
4. Tardis Beanie (worsted weight - Cascade Yarns Venezia in Blue Velvet Grey)
5. Holiday Countdown Stockings (worsted weight - might need to buy yarn for this one...) x2 sets (because 2 children)
6. Smaug Hat (worsted weight - Malabrigo Rios in Archangel)
7. Mirkwood (bulky weight - MadTosh Chunky in either Charcoal or Lowland)

Items for Me (Selfish Knitting FTW!)
1. Fornicating Deer Hat / Basic Lined Hat (worsted weight - Barrett Wool Co. Worsted Weight in Huron & Stationery from Stitches West 2018)
2. Pembroke Scarf (fingering weight - pick anything 400+ yds, it should work)
3. Brickless (worsted weight - Miss Babs Yowza in Celebration)
4. Nightlock (fingering weight - Sun Valley Fibers Merino/Nylon Fingering in Onyx & Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock in May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor)
5. Honey Badger (fingering weight - one of the BMFA STR that I got from Carrie)
6. Park Slope (fingering weight - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot in Shamrock)
7. Irisa Cowl (aran weight - pick something 200+ yds and it'll be fine)
8. Flax (worsted weight - Misty Alpaca in the Harry Potter colors)
9. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (as a hat; fingering weight - G. Sheller Merino/Silk Fingering in Natural & YOTH Little Brother in Caviar)
10. Spider Slouch (worsted weight - Plucky Scholar in One Hit Wonder)*
11. Moyen Age (fingering weight - Vice Yarns special order)
12. Pop Blanket (worsted weight - box of Knit Picks...may need to order more)
15. Morvarch (fingering weight - Wollmeise that I used the first time)
16. Down the Rabbit Hole (self-stripe fingering weight - White Birch Fiber Arts Merino/Nylon Self-Stripe in Rainbow Ash)
17. Tombreck (Aran weight - hand-dyed Malabrigo Twist or handspun Purple BFL)
18. Stormont (worsted weight - MadTosh 80/10/10 in Molly Ringwald)
19. Rose's Wrist Warmers (DK weight - using Aran instead; hand-dyed Malabrigo Twist?)
20. Northeasterly (Sock or DK weight - but really, I can use whatever as long as I have enough)* 

Dishcloth Patterns (for Challenges - these are just ideas!)
2. Kitchen Towel (as a washcloth - leave off the top/mirror bottom)
3. Tribble

1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - write pattern; maybe make another prototype in a not-discontinued yarn (Anzula Cloud in 1 Red Shoe?)
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)

5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)

1. Sock Blanks (10) from Vice Yarns
2. Anything else I find in the stash...

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers and/or stitch marker kits
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database & my Rav Library
3. Update inventory of loose patterns & books (spreadsheet & Rav Library)
4. Update inventory of PDF patterns (Rav Library)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)
7. Get the Etsy Shop up and running with all the things!

So, there you have it. 

You might say that I am crazy. This is probably true (who am I kidding? We all know I'm nuts). I've you've been reading for awhile, you know that this is how I roll. This is how I've rolled for several years. When I first starred the Year of Projects, I was a bit.....too focused? Let's just say I didn't give myself a whole lot of wiggle room. I wanted to knit twelve hats that year, as well as four pairs of socks (two were WIPs at the beginning), nine children's items (toys, hats, blankets, etc.), and a "big project" which turned out to be the Freeport Vest (which was not part of that first year and has since been frogged and the yarn reclaimed - it just didn't look good on me, though the pattern was fantastic). By the end of that year, I had finished 32 projects and had 3 WIPs left......but how those focused lists went? Hahahahaha! Let's all laugh. I went off the rails hard, fast, and far. That's not to say that I didn't do things on my original list but there were many things that I just made for whatever reason. Also, the first Year of Projects was also the year that Husband, Little Man, Puppy, and I moved 2500 miles westward to California. I suppose that move was fitting for my first Year of Projects.

My second Year of Projects was a bit more practical. I made lists similar to what you see above and I didn't give definitive numbers because there was a certain amount of ambiguity ("various Doctor Who dishcloths" or "newborn socks"), which gave me a little more of that wiggle room that I've discovered that I need. Whether my lack of definitive numbers was intentional....ehhhhh, probably slightly intentional. I was trying to find a way to have some wiggle room. But that second year was also fraught with changes. We moved to California during my first Year of Projects...but toward the beginning of my second Year of Projects, we moved into our house, which wasn't as big or as far of a move but it was still a move that required a lot of work and time. I went on a dishcloth kick because of unpacking and not knowing where everything was for quite awhile. To be fair, I still don't know where everything is located. I find things at random moments when I'm cleaning or looking for something else. The move meant I couldn't concentrate on bigger or more intricate things....but I did finish a couple big items later that year. 

My third Year of Projects.....that's where I landed (mostly) on the format I still use: categories with lots of choices with the understanding that I don't have to finish everything or even start everything, that I can deviate from my lists...but I have some sort of wiggly focus. I also declared 2014 the Year of the STASH. I should maybe think about doing that again.....though, to be fair, I've been pretty good about not buying a ton of yarn in the last couple years (okay, Stitches West, Lambtown, and Vogue Knitting Live don't count) and a lot of what I've been knitting has come from stash that I've had longer than a hot minute...maybe not the deep, dark stash of my early knitting days, but it's still stash that was moved from Wisconsin to California, which was almost seven years ago now.  By the time my fifth Year of Projects rolled around, the format was the same(ish) but I started adding in yarn weights & stash options for the projects in my list, which I've found helpful in that I haven't been buying nearly as much yarn.

But now, I'm heading into my eighth Year of Projects....certain things are just old hat for me (FOs and WIPs, which makes sense) and I'm still trying to settle on the categories that truly work for me. I've got the format down but I feel like some of the categories are still a I know I need a section for selfish knitting and a section for design work and a section for spinning and a section for non-knitting/crochet-yet-fibery-related-things...but sometimes, I add sections or find challenges or....yeah. I'm also still tossed about whether I should make a separate WIP section specifically geared toward designs, and then there are nuances about how that would work, particularly when I'm working on an actual project, as opposed to pattern writing or numbers/doodles. I'll have to mull it over. If you have any thoughts, let me know. I know I mentioned that above but I'm all for input on this one. 

So, that's where I'm sitting now. 

Moving along to the proper "life" update.....

We went to Wisconsin, which I mentioned last week in my wrap-up post. The weather was less than pleasant for part of our stay, fine for other parts, and I remembered what cold actually is.....or, rather, my hands remembered. One week back in the Midwest and my hands are dry and cracked in places. Lotion, bandaids, Neosporin, and water are my jam right now. 

We spent some time with various friends while we were back home. We also discovered the truth in what I had suspected all along: Little Man is a Kitty Whispurrer.

Little Man is holding Lizzie. Lizzie doesn't really like anyone...but Little Man just plucked her up and she eventually started to snuggle with him. 

The boys also got their wish for snow. On New Years' Eve, it started raining, then snowing. We took them to my in-laws house for the night and they got to build snowmen in the yard and play in the snow. 

Meanwhile, Husband and I went out with friends for dinner and drinks and a balloon drop and the whole thing.

I won a whole dollar in the balloon drop. There was something like $250 in the balloons. I got a whole dollar. An acquaintance of mine wound up with $13 or something like that. Whatever, it was fun. But the snow sucked. The roads were crap. Also, the car we were brush/scraper. ::sigh:: Used hands and wind and interior heat. Not my idea of fun, even though it worked. 

The next day, January 1st, we drove to get the boys and we stayed with my in-laws that night. The boys had so much fun at grandma & grandpa's house. We got everything packed up and drove...the roads were pretty good, for as much rain and snow as we had the night before. The highways were fine; the side roads/city streets were pretty good but you still had to be careful, just in case.

On January 2nd, we were supposed to fly out of Chicago in the afternoon so our plan was to return our borrowed car and get to the airport by 2pm, which wasn't an issue....except when we started looking at our flight status. We flew as standby passengers, meaning we may or may not get a seat, depending on who shows up when and if another flight got cancelled and so on and so forth. It went from having 12 open seats and 6 people on standby to having all 12 of those seats sold, plus a couple other seats sold (meaning the flight was oversold), we changed our plans but it meant a night in Chicago. We got a hotel room near the airport that had an airport shuttle, that had a pool, and that had a hot tub. So, we went swimming/hot tubbing at the hotel and we had the shuttle take us to the airport that night and we took the El into Chicago for dinner. 

These were from our adventures in the car on our way to Chicago on Wednesday. The boys were being silly and at this point, we weren't sure if we were going to be heading to the airport or not. 

We went into downtown Chicago that night for dinner. It was 28ºF and even colder as we got closer to the Chicago River (yes, the one they dye green for St. Patrick's Day). And we, of course, don't have any proper winter we were all a bit cold in our sweatshirts, long sleeves, and hats. Stormageddon was quite vocal about it but we warmed up in the hot tub (again) after we got back from dinner. 

We had dinner at Uno's, which is famous for the Deep Dish Pizza (sometimes called Chicago-Style Pizza)'s just something you eat when you're in Chicago. We met up with a friend of Husband's from high school, who works downtown. It was lovely and cold and good pizza. 

Thursday, things got a little crazy yet again. We got our flights figured out the night before. Our first flight was a 7am (CDT) to Portland, Oregon followed by a 10:30am (PDT) to San Francisco. There was a slight chance we might not get on the Portland flight. There were 12 open seats and 11 on standby, including us...but we made that one just fine, though we were delayed from the start (we made up the time in-flight). Husband, Stormageddon, and I were all in first class and Little Man was in the row right behind us. He slept the first leg of the trip. I tried to get Stormageddon to sleep but no dice.  

Our second leg of the trip, from Portland to San Francisco, there were 50 open seats and only a handful of people on standby. No problem, right?

Laugh with me. 

We landed and our next plane was at the gate next to ours, which was fine....except there was a HUGE throng of people there, and not just because that plane was also delayed. No, a flight heading from Portland to Las Vegas was cancelled so a bunch of people were rebooking through San Francisco, meaning those empty 50 seats disappeared. We were 6th or 7th in line for standby, and we had four people. We were not going to be getting on this flight. Luckily, there were three more flights to San Francisco that day so we figured we'd go get lunch and catch the next flight. But somehow, someway, we managed to get the last four seats on that flight. We actually made it home when we planned....ish. Not quite how we originally planned it but at least it didn't go balls up while we were in the middle of it. We made it home on Thursday and proceeded to find out how much damage our dumb dog did while we were gone.....

I got a text from a friend of ours that stayed at our house for a couple nights, saying that she cleaned up (as best she could) the mess Puppy had made...she then sent me a photo (not either of the ones above - those were taken by our roommate). Yeah, Puppy had clawed and chewed a hole in the wall next to our fridge. He's been fixated on that spot for awhile and we thought it was due to a mouse. No, he's just an idiot. And the first chance he got, he attacked the spot, got drywall and plaster all over the house (and then danced around and through the house in it) mouse, and a hole in an inconvenient place. ::sigh:: We pulled out the fridge and took down the board after we got home on Thursday. We are working on a patch job and then we will put the board back and get everything back in order. Dumb dog. Thankfully, the damage wasn't as bad as we thought after we pulled out the fridge and took the board down. It still sucks that we need to do it in the first place but it could have been a lot worse. 

Friday was kind of a "let's get back to reality" kind of day. Husband ran some errands before we dropped him off at the BART station, I worked on our Amazon Fresh order (love that I don't really have to go grocery shopping anymore), I worked on getting laundry taken care of, I did some knitting and crocheting and some catching up on Podcasts and audiobooks and.......yeah, it was one of those days :) Because we had been out of town, Husband wound up working late and then I went to the airport to pick up friends of ours (in their van, which had been parked out front of our house for....maybe two weeks or so). 

Yesterday was supposed to be a lazy Saturday but that didn't happen quite as planned. Rain and gusty winds meant we had to put the gazebo and wind wall up around Husband's car, as the windshield was replaced (again)....I'm surprised the damn thing didn't go flying away somewhere. I thought for sure it was going to happen. In addition to that, I took a trip to the Lego Store for a birthday present, went to an Indian grocery store for some provisions for something Husband ate in India, and took the boys to a birthday party (hence the Lego Store). By the time we got home, about 7:15pm, the boys were tired. They both went to bed early (score!). 

Today, uh....yeah. Today. Stuff will happen, I'm sure. Maybe nothing exciting but there are things to be done. 

I hope you've all had a lovely week and weekend. I might be back this week with a WIP Wednesday post (hahaha!) or a Stash Enhancement post (hahahaha!)...we'll see. If not, I'll be back next week! 


  1. You are so ambitious! I think you could spend more time on the design side of things, where it appears your real interest lies, once the boys are just a little older. I knit a total of 52 items (a pair of socks counted as one) last year, much of it for charity or gifts, but I'm retired and widowed, so...nothing else to do. I'm awed by what you accomplish.

    1. Sure, you can call it ambitious....I call it a form of ADHD :)

  2. exhausted after reading your post! It was very interesting to read how your YOP posts have grown and changed over the years....and puppy! Yeah we have inherited a dumb dog....

  3. You have reminded me I need to update my Ravelry stash and library. You seem to do so well on having an enormous list and such a busy life, that must be what keeps you motivated. Some great ideas and projects in your line up. I was in Chicago with my mum in March 1992 and we saw the dyed river and even the fountains were also dyed green. Boy was it chilly wind there!

    1. I need to update my Rav Stash & Library (I need to do it on a yearly basis, me thinks). And Chicago can be really cold in the winter, particularly because of the lake. The last time we were home as a family, in 2017, we were by the lake and it was rainy/windy. Not nearly as cold but it was also October, not December.

  4. I love it! I'd have been really disappointed if you hadn't had such a great WTF list! lol. Love the addition of the new challenges and think the design section can work for you. Looks like you had a fun on your visit but your dog lol, omg he takes the biscuit. I'd have thought a mouse too but I'm snorting at it being him just being an idiot lol.

    1. We're not entirely sure if he's an idiot or not....we may have animals in the crawlspace under our house. So, he is dumb, don't get me wrong...but he might know there's something under the house. ::sigh::

  5. You are super brave to fly stand by with 2 youngins. I would assume going to WI was a breeze from SF. I mean, it's COLD there. I can see where coming back was tough with it being the end of the holidays.

    You lists always amaze me. You do manage to finish quite a few items each year. I am sure this year will be no different.

    Happy Birthday!

    1. Standby isn't a big deal as long as we check the status of the flights before we go.

  6. Well, first of all - I hope you have a happy birthday!

    Secondly, it has never occurred to me that there are people out there doing A Year of Projects (that are/were inspired by the Ravelry group?) who aren't in the Ravelry group. Huh.

    Reading on... Just as I'm finally feeling relieved that you actually made it home, there are those pictures!!! =^o But I guess, I'm relieved again to find out that that mess is just drywall mixed with spittle? then smeared everywhere. :^/

    I, too, am exhausted after reading your post, but I am reminded that you are much younger than me - with more energy. Bless you, young friend. You are creating memories and lots of stories to tell in your old age. :)

    I enjoyed reading your YOP history. I wasn't around in those early years so catching up with you was fun.

  7. I have one you ever sleep? Lol.busy lady. I love your updates. Ilive vicariously through them. Btw..Happy Birthday!