Knitting plans

Hey there, I hope you had a nice weekend and a good beginning of a new week. Christmas is happening next week! Wow how time flies! Soon we will be in 2019! 

It will soon be time to reflect on this past year and make plans for the new one, be they knitting related or not. 

The beginning of a new year can be exciting in terms of new beginnings and exciting things ahead.

Where I’m concerned I have decided to sort of make a few commitments/objectives related to my knitting and my blog.

I haven’t really thought this all through or ordered by order of importance but here are the things I need to work on for 2019:

For the blog I want: 

I want to be more consistent, to absolutely post once a week and sometimes more but to really have a fixed schedule both for me to work on and for you to count on.

I want to maybe organise something with you like maybe a knit-a-long or a game of some sort.

I want to continue interviewing interesting makers and try to offer an interview once a month.

I want to maybe find ways of making my blog better, maybe more interactive, maybe for it to reach more readers.

I would like to finally start writing down patterns I come up with and possibly offer them here on the blog for sale and some as free perks for my readers.

For my knitting I want:

I want to make a dent in my mountain of wips, a dent that can actually be seen by the naked eye!

I want to work more on my creative side and write up patterns.

I want to learn new techniques, I want to learn about different breeds of fibre animals and the yarn available to us.

I want to be more organised – don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to become a monogamous knitter but just try to control the number of wips at any given time and most importantly keep track of them via a knitting journal and this is a project I will share here on my blog too.

I’m thinking also about maybe doing less test knits, at least garment test knits as those take up a lot of time and yarn.

For my knitting related purchases I want:

Now this is a difficult objective and I know I have to be vague here or at least open for changes. I would love to refrain from any yarn buying for a year and only knit from stash but I know that is one objective I will never be able to reach.

So the idea is to come up with a yarn budget, some sort of a reasonable amount a month and IF I don’t use the amount one month I can save up and have double the amount the next month allowing me to maybe buy more yarn for a bigger project (or just buy more yarn). I have not decided on what this amount should be but I will.

I also need to stop buying so many knitting patterns. I have a gazillion knitting patterns in my Ravelry library and I am constantly buying more knowing full well that I will not be knitting them any time soon! I need to come up with some sort of a system. Maybe create a queue or a favorite’s bundle where I can add all the patterns that have me salivating and then when I actually know I have the time and yarn to make that project I can go ahead and buy the pattern.

I might also look over some of my pattern stash and pick maybe 10 patterns (that I already own) and decide to knit all those in 2019. That could be a fun thing to do and an interesting objective.

What about you? Do you take the time to look over your past projects or plan for the future knitting wise? If so I would love to hear how you go about things. Do you maybe set yourself some sort of objective like knit X pairs of socks? Or earmark a certain number of patterns you absolutely want to knit in the new year? Do share 🙂

Now my knitting these days. What’s new? Well, I have finished one test knit out of two. And this might be the reason behind me thinking of taking on fewer garment test knits.

So I just finished test knitting an oversized cardigan. Such projects require a lot of time and money (a lot of yarn) and sometimes I don’t honestly know if the finished item is something I will love to wear.

So I have just finished this big project and it looks a lot different from the designers prototype. I think that is in part due to the yarn (I chose Tuku wool fingering) and also because I may have chosen to big of a size. 

When the body was done I tried it on and it felt cozy and big. Now that the sleeves have been added, they feel awkward, as if they are not quite right. I can’t imagine ripping back to the sleeve placement and start over again so I’m actually contemplating ripping back period! Can you imagine?! 

I’m just lost at this time. I have sent pictures to the designer and I’m just waiting to hear back from her and also to seeing what the other test knitters have but at the moment I am the only one to have finished.

I’m putting this on time out and not weaving in the ends nor blocking. Maybe I will see things clearer in a few days.

But it is very frustrating and disappointing after such a long time and big effort to not be absolutely in love with the finished object.

My other test knit is coming along slowly but surely. This one also has an issue, this time with the neck line and most of the test knitters have had this issue and so the designer is going to rewrite the upper yoke part. In the mean time I continue with the body and when that is done I will do the sleeves. Only when all is done will I come back and redo the upper yoke.

I do really like the design and the colour of my yarn so far.

This colour is way out of my comfort zone but I really look forward to wearing this sweater when it’s done.

Now that I have “finished” one big project I of course have to cast on for new ones. So I cast on for a colourwork cowl in chunky yarn.

The pattern is called Midwinter Cowl and I told you about this last week. I’m knitting this out of my 100% baby alpaca. The yarn is super soft and fluffy and after knitting I am just covered in alpaca fluff!

This will be a Christmas gift I hope and I’m close to being done.

Midwinter cowl

The challenge with this pattern is that it calls for knitting with 3 colours/yarns at a time for most of the patterning. I am not used to working with 3 yarns at a time so that is slowing me down.

I chose two colours that are very close in shade, one is dark blue and the other black and so on the picture above you most likely won’t be able to distinguish between the two. I did wonder about changing one out for a stark contrast but then couldn’t be bothered…

So I have one block of colourwork left and then I will be on the bottom ribbing and cast off.

And last night I cast on for a beanie! I had knit a hat for my dad last year but it has grown in size and so he doesn’t wear it any more so I decided I had to make a new one in a different yarn and I found this pattern for free on Ravelry.

It is a super simple 2 by 2 rib all the way to the crown decreases. And one can decide on the length depending on whether we want a fold up brim or not. I’m going for the fold up. I have a week to finish and I’m hoping that will work.

When those two are done I will return to my red sock that I’m designing on the go. I have one sock done and need to cast on for the other.

And of course I have bought a few more sock patterns since last time with #Sockvent18 and all…so I might cast on for a pair or two during the holidays.

This is all for today. Thank you so much for stopping by today. I will be back later this week and then there might be a break for a week as I will be off work for a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family.

If you don’t have the chance to stop by later this week let me just wish you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays (which ever you celebrate). 

Hugs

Knitting journals and tracking of your knitting projects

Hi there how are you today? Yet again we are coming to the weekend and Christmas is now just behind the corner so to speak.

I’m not doing much of Christmas gift knitting this year but somehow I seem to have managed to concentrate all the gift knitting to the very last few days and in spite of my significant knitting commitments (that is test knits) I’m still being tempted by new patterns on a daily bases and I have to admit that I have cast on for yet another new project just today!

It is a bulky cowl by Laura Aylor called Midwinter. I don’t have a picture of it yet as I just started and only have a few rows done at this time. I’m knitting this with my 100% baby alpaca chunky yarn and I’m using a mix of hand dyed and undyed yarn –  the main colour is just undyed yarn and I think it will look and feel amazing.

So if you are anything like me, you will have a gazillion knitting projects on the go at any time and sometimes you may wish you actually kept track on those projects. I know I do.

I do try to set up Ravelry project pages when I finish an item and for the most part I am successful but sometimes, when I’m finally done I don’t remember all the details and sometimes I have even thrown away the paper pattern where I have written down amendments or other while I was knitting.

This situation has led me to want to keep a knitting journal:

I have seen lots of knitting journals on IG and on knitting podcasts and I think they are all so fun and wonderful. I think that keeping a knitting journal over a few years must be so rewarding and so fun to later go back and look over what we have accomplished.

And over the time I have purchased special knitting journals at different price points, always full of enthusiasm and good intentions only to end up not using them at all.

The last journal I purchased was the Strickeplaner by Martina Behm. The name is German but all the text inside the journal is in English.

This is a small, hard backed journal that is not only like a calendar but also has lots of bits of random knitting related wisdom. You can plan out over a whole month, over a trimester and of course per week. There are also special “project” pages intended to fill out all the important details for each of our projects (though there are not enough pages like that for a prolific knitter  that really takes down the details for all their projects ).

Here is an example of a week overview. So you see that you can dot down maybe goals or special planning for the week asa whole and then you have boxes for each day.

For the little while that I actually used my journal, I would  use the first section to prioritise what I needed  to work on, sort of like goal setting. For the day sections, I would mostly not used those to be honest except to note down when I started a project. Then I would note the name of the pattern, the yarn used and needle size. Later when the project was finished I would use one of the “project” pages to fill out all the details including cast on and off dates.

I do regret not having been more serious about this and keeping with it through out the year. And now that 2019 is just a few days away I am more determined than ever to start and actually stay with a knitting journal for the entire year!

You heard it here first! Would you like to join me?

So I already have 2 journals ready to go. I’m not sure if I will use them simultaneously (maybe too ambitious) or one after the other. They are not quite the same which is why the idea of using both at the same time came to me. But I think I need to be realistic and just do one.

But which one to start with?

Knitting journals for 2019

The grey journal on the left is one I purchased from the Wool Barn.

This journal is similar to the one I had from Martina Behm. It includes some common knitting abbreviations and instructions for those and there is also a needle size conversion chart which is always useful. And there is an index at the front with little numbered boxes from 1 to 20 where one can add the name of each pattern.

This journal is indeed made for 20 projects.

You have 2 pages for each project. On the left page you can fill out all the details like the pattern name, designer, yarn, needle  etc and on the right page you have an empty page where you can include a little picture of your project, maybe a little bit of the yarn, sketches and what ever else you can think of.

I really like this set up and the journal. The price is of course much lower than the Martina Behm one because the material used is less costly and the journal itself much simpler. But I think this will work better for me as it is more to the point and is more “project” based versus it being more of a “journal”.

The second journal I have on had at the moment is the illustrated one on the right.

This is not really a knitting journal per se but rather a notebook with some fun lama images.

How cute is that ?  I also have a nice collection of fun knitting themed stickers I could use to decorate my pages and make this a more fun journal.

So what is the plan then? Well, I think I will start with the Wool Barn journal as it is more structured and if that works well, then I will move over to this more simpler journal for my 21st project and onwards. Maybe I will keep the set up from the Wool Barn journal to always include the same type of info for each project.

I’m actually getting a little excited about this as I sit here and write this. I think this can be a fun and rewarding activity and I really hope I will stick with it.

Do you keep a knitting journal? If you do I would love to hear from you how you organise your journal, if you have any tips or tricks, what brand of journal you use etc.

And if you would like to join me on this knitting journal adventure in 2019 do let me know. I could open a thread in my Ravelry group where we could exchange pictures of our journals and just generally chatter and get inspired by each other.

This is all for today folks. Thank you for stopping by and taking time out of your busy schedule to spend some time with me.  I wish you a relaxing weekend with lots of knitting time and look forward to being back with something new to share with you next week.