Saturday, March 31, 2007

Slip Sliding Away...

…My resolution to finish two old projects before starting something new, that is. But I have a good reason, at least I think so. I started a pair of vintage style potholders this week, and they will be a very quick project, so I can almost pretend they didn’t happen. I think I mentioned before that I sell a few handmade things at a local place called The Craft Barn. It’s a nice place out in the country, where there are cats running around outside and you can buy farm fresh eggs. Well, last year I was asked to make some vintage style potholders for a regular customer. I made one pair, they were purchased, and I’ve been meaning to make some more ever since. This customer should be making one of her annual visits soon, so I wanted to get at least one new pair made before she shows up again.

As soon as these are done I plan to get cracking on those old projects. I put quite a few inches on the baby blanket last week, but was still over a foot short of the suggested 42 inch length. And last night I finally unearthed the pattern I was using to make another pair of Norwegian style mittens. Not that anyone is going to need mittens this time of year, but this project is ¾ done, and it will be nice to see it completed. And there’s a little bear that I started making on my birthday last November, who is just waiting for a head, some stuffing, and a personality!

I still have the cleaning bug, and managed to catalog and store two boxes of needlework magazines last weekend. That hardly made a dent in the piles, but it’s a start. And when I was looking for crochet cord for the potholders, I realized that I need to reorganize that stash. I have several boxes of cord, but each box was a combination of weights, so that I had to rummage through all of them to pull out what I needed.

My brother, the enabler, brought me more yarn from Goodwill this week. The cones of blue are cotton, and the others are odd balls of wool and acrylic. I showed him how to do burn tests to determine fiber content, but he didn’t think they’d let him start any fires at the Goodwill store. Probably not. Finally, the cats are loving the fact that I brought the scrap afghan out to work on. I piled it on the coffee table, which makes it really easy to move the bulk of it around while I add to it. But try getting the cats off it first! They all seem to thinks it’s their own private nest!

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I know you’re all waiting patiently for the glorious details of my spring cleaning weekend. I had such high hopes. Dashed, all dashed! Aside from doing the dishes and a little bit of tidying up, the only thing I managed to accomplish was that I soaked the shower head in vinegar, and now it’s like new again. Big woop.

What did I do all that time? Well, knit, of course! Here are two projects I finished last week. The first is a pair of baby booties in some Cervinia sock yarn. This is my standby pattern, and I’ll be trying to sell these on Etsy. The second project is my pair of socks for the Sock-a-Month 3 knitalong. They are the Friday Harbor socks from “Knitting on the Road” by Nancy Bush. I was concerned that they would be too big, but they fit my feet just fine. The yarn is Softee from Kimmet Croft Fibers, over in Wisconsin Rapids. It’s a blend of Rambouillet wool and Angora rabbit. Very soft indeed. I’m finding it very difficult to keep to my “finish two old projects before starting a new one” rule. I’ve stuck to it, but I’ve been paging through craft magazines and pattern books and seeing a lot of different projects that I want to make. The two finished projects shown here have allowed me to start my socks for April, so now I’m up against it to get other things done. My neighbor is having a baby, so I really should start another blanket. I’m almost finished with a knit blanket in baby boy blue, but I need to make a pink one so I’ve got my bases covered. I say pink because my brother brought me some pink yarn this week from Goodwill that should work just fine. He also brought some cream yarn, that I think I’m going to combine with a cotton coned yarn for another boy’s blanket.

Yes, this new yarn added to the stash. But, one of my rules was that I could get second hand yarn, so I’m covered. It actually hasn’t been too hard not buying any new yarn, but I haven’t really been able to peruse the knitting catalogs much. Too tempting.

Ok, enough for now. I’m actually getting more cleaning type work done this weekend, so I better get back to it. There’s a kitchen table full of plastic containers that need to be put away. Oh joy…

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mission Impossible?

Much as I would love to spend the entire upcoming weekend nestled on the couch, watching old movies and knitting, I don’t think I’d better. The Spring Cleaning bug is really biting, and I can think of dozens of chores that need doing.

Do you think anyone ever reads one of those books on getting organized, and then actually does it? Completely? I have my doubts. I’ve started organizing my house time and time again, only to hit some kind of stumbling block that stalls the project. Sometimes it’s lack of space. Sometimes I just run out of steam.

For me, organizing is an ongoing process. I’ve used this analogy before: I picture my house, or just a given room in my house, as one of those plastic number puzzles where you slide the tiles around in the frame, with only one blank space, and the object is to get all the numbers in order, moving them around one square at a time. That’s how I feel when I try to clean. Stuff just keeps shifting from space to space, in a different order, but I never seem to complete the puzzle.

I don’t mean for this to sound disheartening. I realized earlier this year that one of my favorite hobbies is organizing! I love the process of sorting and categorizing and making room for all my treasures. And I actually do have some systems in place that make sense and help me find certain things when I need them. It’s just that the chaos seems to outweigh the order.

So it’s time to sort, scrub, and purge if possible. Late next month I’ll be having a garage sale, so this will be the perfect weekend to start getting ready for that event. So although I’ll still put in the requisite time on the sofa with the pointy sticks, the name of the game this weekend will be “Mission Organization”. And if you’d like to see what I’m purging, click here to link to my eBay seller page. There are some needlework goodies there already, some brand new, with more to be added as the days go on…remember…one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! Gee, not that any of MY stuff is trash…to me, it’s all treasure!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Stash Busting Report for February, 2007

Ok, I didn't bust as much stash in February as I'd hoped, but it's a short month! I completed the following projects: 1 catnip toy, 1 tote bag, 1 ski hat, 1 pair of baby booties, and 2 pair of socks. This effort used up 13 balls of yarn, a total of 46 balls for the year so far. Not bad. I do have some larger projects in the works, which should help with the totals when they're completed. That's the key - complete the projects!!

I've managed to keep my other resolution to only start a new project after I've finished two old ones. In fact, I had to finish the green bedsocks just so I could start another pair of socks and keep up with the "Sock-a-Month" Knitalong. That rule is a little tough right now, though, because I don't have a good project for treadmill knitting, or for carrying along. But I'm going to try to stcik with it. I keep unearthing projects that have been set aside for years, and it's so sad. They need to be finished!

Finally, here is a photo of the shawl I started a few weeks ago. This yarn is so soft, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy wearing this as much as I'm enjoying knitting it.

Friday, March 02, 2007


We have had a week of snow here in Wisconsin. It started last Friday night, and on Saturday morning I woke up to see 18 inches of the white stuff. Just a few days before, I had been contemplating getting out the rake and starting on the front lawn. Ha!

I have a very powerful snow blower, and yet it took me two hours to clear away what usually only takes 30 minutes. Several times the chute clogged because I was trying to blow the snow over drifts already up to my shoulders. Sunday was more of the same, with six inches of new snow. Monday it tapered back to three inches. Then we had a few clear days, and last night it started up again, with six inches of new snow this morning.

Actually, I love it. This is how I remember winter. This is what we should have been dealing with since December.

The photo of the house is from Monday, and it really doesn't show the snow depth very well. But look how pretty the snow makes the house look! The trees are three of the spruces I have growing on the west side yard. I went out on Thursday and knocked the snow off, because we were forecast to get freezing rain, and I was afraid they would snap.
All these snow days mean one thing - more time for knitting! Well, that's what's on tap for this afternoon anyway. I'm going to work at my desk until noontime, then at 2 pm "Sense and Sensibility" is on TCM, so I'll take a break and do some knitting. I finished my tote for the Tote Exchange, but I still have plenty of projects to work on. Tomorrow I'll give a summary of February's stash busting efforts. Knit on!