Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Plan for 2015 - The Year of 3s

2014 was a disappointing crafting year.

I gave up papercrafting and donated all of my supplies to a friend's mother and her crafting cronies.

I did a little bit of English paper piecing, but no major progress and I haven't touched it in 4 months.

I barely cross stitched. I had one finish at the beginning of February and nothing else is even close to being done.

I taught myself to knit in March and got terribly, horribly, irrevocably addicted. :)  My stash went from 0 to 60 in less than 9 months. I have finished 3 wash cloths, a doggie blanket, a cowl, and 2 hitchhiker shawlettes. Okay -- so this area of my crafting wasn't so disappointing after all.

I tried to get back into SALs and blog events this past year to encourage and motivate progress. It didn't work so well.

I've decided to try a new approach. Since I have a billion and one WIPs and am always itching to have even more starts, I need to find a way to concentrate and have a few finishes. So I proclaim 2015 to be


What this means is that I will only have 3 projects on the go in each of my crafty areas (cross stitching, knitting, and English paper piecing). Once I finish a project, then I can add in either a WIP or a new start in that crafty area.

Below are the projects I plan to work on and a pic of where they currently are at progress-wise.

My cross stitch projects for 2015 are:

Elizabeth (Mirabilia)
32 ct Silvery Skies lugana (Enchanting Lair), 2 over 2
DMC thread and Mill Hill beads
Started: Jan 9, 2012
Finished: ?

Stitchin' Pretty Waffles (Pattie Bennett)
18 ct eggshell monocanvas
DMC perle #5 in 311, 472, 3052, and Watercolours by Caron in 244 Olive Grove 
Started: Nov 2014
Finished: ?

Welcome (Kincavel Krosses)
18 ct white aida
Carrie's Creations in Pizzazz (silk) and DMC 3810
Started: Jan 14, 2012
Finished: ?

My knitting projects for 2015 are:

2x2 Ribbed for Pleasure Hat
Cascade Heritage Silk Paints in 9789 (green)
Needles: US size 2.5 (3.00 mm)
Started: September 14, 2014
Finished: ?

Toe-up stockinette sock with afterthought heel (no pattern)
String Theory Colorworks' Continuum (MCN) in Atom
Needles: US size 1 (2.25 mm)
Started: December 27, 2014
Finished: ?

Vortex Shawl
Knit Pick's Stroll Tonal in Summer Blooms
Needles: US size 6 (4.00 mm)
Started: December 12, 2014
Finished: ?

My English paper piecing projects for 2015 are:

Grandma's Garden Throw (variation)
Select fabrics from Batik Paradise collection by and 
random white and white-on-white fabric
Expected blanket size: 63" x 61"
hexie size: 1 1/4"
diamond size: 1 1/4"
triangle size: 1 1/4"
Started: June 14, 2013
Restarted: June 1, 2014
Finished: ?

6-point Stars Blanket
Fusions Mist by Robert Kaufman in Pear, Forest, Sable, & Ivory
Expected star size: 24" x 24"
Expected blanket size: 5' x 5'
 diamond size: 2"
Started: July 29, 2013
Finished: ?

Arrowtail Quilt
Indigo Patchwork collection by
Expected blanket size: 72" x 78"
45 degree diamond size: 4"
Started: (still cutting fabric)
Finished: ?

I'm planning to do a monthly review of Yo3 progress every month on the 20th. If you want to join in, let me know and I'll add a linky thingy on those posts, if not, I'll do it on my own.

I think a narrower focus will allow me to make more significant progress. Honestly though -- I freaking love my crafty time in whatever shape, size, or amount it comes in. Here's to a great crafty year in 2015!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Knitting Skills

I'm a novice knitter. I taught myself from YouTube videos last March, and have been horribly addicted ever since.

I started a lace shawl in September and have been struggling with (and ignoring) it for several months. I gave up, ripped it out, and tried another shawl. That one didn't wow me (it is pretty but it's just plain stockinette and reverse stockinette). I needed something with more ... pizzazz.

I finally decided on the Vortex Shawl. I love it, but it required me to develop a new skill: knitting on double-pointed needles (dpns). Add to that I needed to learn how to make i-cords and figure out the "belly button/umbiblical cord" cast-on.

A few tries very late at night (midnight - 3am), resulted in a decent umbiblical cord to start from:

After a few rounds of the pattern, I switched from 2 dpns to 4 dpns, and I started to really struggle. It was just too much for me to handle. Finally, it occurred to me that I could go back down to 3 dpns, and that was much more successful. More rounds have been done and progress is being made! The pattern is super easy but looks far more complicated when knit.

It is lace (kind of), so looks pretty terrible as it is being knit. It won't look amazing till after it is finished, washed, and blocked.

I love that I'm getting used to knitting with dpns. I'm going to need this skill when I start knitting socks (maybe Christmas Day?) and other little finicky projects.

However, I am very much looking forward to being able to transfer the Vortex Shawl to a circular needle -- progress will be MUCH faster.

I love knitting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December Turtle Trot - The Final One

I can't believe it's Decemeber already. Where did 2014 go? I have been participating in the Turtle Trot all year and managed to post almost every month. (Okay, I missed July and August, but other than that I did pretty good.)

So, let's recap. Below are the ten projects I wanted to make progress on this year. Some I touched, others I didn't, and one even got finished. :)

Turtle Trot 2014

1. Baked Alaska (Glendon Place) - didn't touch

2. Catch a Falling Star (HAED) - got another page done

3. Ciara Blue (Blackwork Journey) - major progress

4. Damask Square (Ink Circles) - a little progress

5. Drama Queen (custom chart by Skitzzzzz)  - didn't touch

6. Elizabeth (Mirabilia) - felt like lots of progress, but doesn't lool like much

7. Home Sweet Home (HAED) - didn't touch

8. Lickle Bit Shy (DMC) - didn't touch

9. Welcome (Kincavel Krosses) - some progress

10. Wise Wisdom (Stoney Creek) - FINISHED!!

Wow -- I didn't even touch four of them, and my progress on the other six wasn't massive. 2014 was definitely a very slow stitching year for me. Here's hoping 2015 sees more stitches!!