Monday, October 26, 2009

Down to 15!

Well, I have no FOs to show from this weekend. We were very busy around the house instead. I was determined to get some housework done, since next Saturday is my birthday and I am not doing housework on my birthday! We also got the house ready for winter - air conditioners out, storm windows down, patio furniture put away. And on top of that, I got my hands on the new Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, last week, so I had reading to do as well.

I have continued to work on whittling down the WIP pile, however. Thanks to the help of one of the ladies in crochet guild, I found a Girl Scout troop willing to take 3 bags of afghan squares off my hands. I'm not entirely sure how many afghans the squares will make, but for the purposes of my WIP list, I was counting them as 3 projects. Then, yesterday, I pulled out a preemie blanket that I was knitting, and I decided that I just didn't like it. The stitch pattern, rows of garter stitch alternating with rows of stockinette, wasn't reversible, and that really bothered me. So I frogged it. I have another idea for a knitted preemie blanket, so maybe next year I will try again. And that brought me down to 15 WIPs! Even though I know I still have work ahead of me, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I also seem to be enjoying working on the remaining WIPs more, knowing that so many old projects have been dealt with.

Finally, it occurred to me that I never posted a picture of this year's ripple afghan, so here it is.
Working on the ripple afghan is like eating comfort food. It is just soul satisfying and perfect for those times when I am a little tired or distracted by TV (like yesterday afternoon, when I got completely caught up in "Stephen King's Rose Red" on the syfy channel, even though I had seen it when it first aired years ago).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Number Eleven!

It seems like all of my projects reach a point where they are so close to being done that I just can't stop working on them until they are finished. This scarf reached that point on Monday evening, and last night I sat down and finished it up.
I used 2 skeins of Cotton Fine from the Brown Sheep Company. The yarn has been in my stash for years because I didn't know what to do with it. I used the bushy stitch (2 dc, ch 2, 1 sc), which made for a nice built-in edging all around the scarf. The scarf measures almost 5" wide by 70" long, and took 377 yards out of the stash.

Unfortunately, most of my other projects are not this close to being done. I'm going to continue to try and focus on one or two projects until they are finished, and work on some of the thornier issues on the weekends. Actually, for all the work I have done this month, I am still so concerned about what I have left to do that I sat down Sunday night and rewrote my list of WIPs again. I sorted the list into 2 columns - hard and easy. I was pleased to find that I only have 6 projects on the "hard" list, and one of those is felting my Lucy bag, which isn't going to be hard so much as a little fussy. So I keep telling myself that I am in good shape, and most of the time I actually believe it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

And Then There Were 10

I had set several goals for myself this weekend. I had to finish reading The Perfect Storm and prep for the book discussion that I am leading this evening and again next Wednesday morning. I was barely 100 pages in when I hunkered down on Saturday to finish the book. It turned out to be a riveting read, so I had no problem finishing the book by dinnertime Saturday.

I also decided that I wanted to finish the afghan I have been working on this weekend. That seemed like an ambitious goal, but I decided to try anyway. And here is the result:
I finished the afghan last evening. I am pleased to say that this afghan took 3 skeins of yarn and 1,177 yards of yarn out of the stash. I used the Rectangular Granny Afghan pattern, and I am very pleased with the result. I like that the edging almost, but not quite, ruffles. So that makes #10 out of 30 WIPs dealt with this month.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This and That

First, it occurred to me after I posted yesterday that 21-5=16, not 15. So I need to finish or get rid of 6 projects by the end of the month to be halfway to my goal. It's still doable, unlike math, which is apparently not my strong suit.

Second, I am happy to report that all this finishing gave me enough space in the craft room that I was able to spend Monday morning up there cleaning and straightening up. I put a lot of yarn away, and it was nice to find that there was room in the storage bins for it. I guess the stash down efforts are paying off, at least a little bit. It is also nice to have floor space and breathing room where the yarn lives.

I gathered all the WIPs in one place, and this chair is now the center of my crafting life for the next 2 and a half months.
This is where I spend most of my time at home, watching TV and working on projects.

I also gathered up all the projects where I have yarn and patterns matched up, but I haven't actually started yet, and here they are, ready and waiting for me upstairs in the craft room.
The black Lion Brand bag is chock full of small projects, mostly scarves and shawls. The other bags are sweaters waiting to be made. You can also see some of the stash yarn behind the bags. (Unfortunately, there's more yarn in other parts of the room.)

So, as you can see, I have my work cut out for me. I have also decided that I would like to work through my stash by the time I retire, which will hopefully happen in about 10 years. To accomplish this, I will need to continue to buy yarn sparingly, and I will need to use up about 10 miles of yarn a year. But I think I will be happier in retirement without the overwhelming stash, just buying yarn for particular projects.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

#6-9 of 30 WIPs

Yes, I am down 9 WIPs on my list of 30! Two more are finished and two more are frogged. First, the FOs.
I finished the Watermelon Afghan last Friday. It took 4 evenings of work last week, but I am very pleased with the final product. It is approximately 40" X 60". It seems like it is a little long for the width, but it is nice and warm and colorful. Actually, I am so pleased with it that I am going to keep it. I can't bear to part with it!

And then on Sunday, I sat down and crocheted more squares together to make this lapghan.
My mom had made the 20 squares years ago. (Even she isn't sure when she had made them.) I had more than enough of the white yarn to put the squares together. So I took it over to her yesterday, and she was thrilled to see it finally finished. It now has a home at the foot of her bed, and she says she will be able to use it on cold winter nights. That definitely makes the time spent finishing these projects worthwhile!

I have frogged the Rocky Road Shrug that I started in September of 2007. I had to frog back anyway to finish the shrug properly, and I decided that I just didn't want to make this shrug right now. I may try again in the future. I also frogged some and got rid of the bulk of an afghan that I had started back in the 1990s. It was not going to work out, and it had gotten dirty over the years, which is why I didn't bother to frog the whole thing. (That, and it was mohair type yarn that was horrible to try to frog anyway.)

So the good news is that it isn't even halfway through October and I am down 9 projects. The bad news is that I have added almost 19 skeins of yarn to my stash that I didn't bother to count originally, since I was sure I would finish the projects. But at least I haven't spent any money on this stash enhancement.

Now, if I can finish another 5 projects (one way or another) by the end of October, I will be halfway to my goal, with another 2 months to finish everything up. I might just have everything finished by New Year's!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Afghan of Many Colors or...

...#5 of 30 WIPs. Let me give some back story here. About 2 years ago, some of you might remember I hosted Summer of Squares. I was also in a group called Fiber Freaks (no longer online except for a group on Ravelry). Some of the members of Fiber Freaks made 12" afghan squares and sent them to me, and I was supposed to sew then into an afghan. Somehow, that never happened until this past weekend.
It took some wrestling, but I finally managed to get all the squares put together. We all used Caron Simply Soft and either knitted or crocheted the squares. However, gauge varied square to square, as did the interpretation of 12". So putting the squares together was a bit of a challenge, so say the least. I ended up edging all of the squares in off white first, so that the seams wouldn't look so noticeable. However, I used up 289 yards of yarn putting it together, so that was a nice surprise.

Our original idea was to donate the blanket to Blankets for the Gulf, but I'm not sure they are still accepting blankets. The blanket ended up 36" by 48", so I think it would be a nice size for a child. So I am going to donate it to Project Linus. I have a few more to give them, so I will try to make a donation later this month.

And I am not resting on my laurels by any means. I am already working on WIP #6 - the Watermelon Afghan. (I didn't realize until I just looked up the URL that this one has been hanging around since 2007, too!)