On Finishing Things

wpid-img_20150530_094637.jpgWow, two weeks goes by fast! Hope you’re enjoying a good start to your summer.  It may only be June, but summer has definitely hit the RVA.  We’ve been dealing with 90-95 degree temperatures and that lovely Virginia humidity over the past week… yuck!  But it’s not all bad.  School is out and you can feel the slight change in attitude of everyone that comes with summer vacation.  Things are a little more relaxed, people are dressing slightly more casually at the office, Friday afternoons begin a little earlier, and weekends have plenty of time to just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

For the first time in a couple of years, I have a blissfully open schedule this summer and I’m really looking forward to making the most of the downtime.  My husband and I have some long overdue house projects in the works.  We have a couple of long weekend vacations planned, but mostly we’ll be sticking close to home and relaxing a little bit.  Which fits in perfectly with my knitting plans of Stash Dash and Camp Loopy!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, I’m sure you’ve heard about Stash Dash on almost every knitting podcast and a few blogs, but here’s the brief recap.  Stash Dash is a KAL organized by The Knit Girllls.  It starts on May 22 and ends August 14.  The goal is to knit either a 3k, 5k or 10k in this time period.  More details are available in The Knit Girllls’ group on Ravelry.  Since I didn’t really start listening to podcasts until last fall, I only heard about Stash Dash once it was over last year.  So this year, I’m taking advantage and participating.

As I’ve mentioned (I think) in previous posts, I’m not the best at finishing my knitting projects unless I have a specific purpose and deadline.  Although with Loopy Academy and the DVD Sock Challenge this year, I’ve been much better about this recently.  Stash Dash will give me another kick in the butt to get things done.  The great thing about Stash Dash is that you don’t have to knit the entire item during the KAL – as long as you do some knitting and finish the item within the time frame, it counts.  So even further incentive to finish those languishing UFOs!

I’m not sure yet whether I’m going to go for the 3k or 5k (the 10k just seems unrealistic for me), I’m just going to see how it goes.  So far I’m at 935 yards or 855 meters, which I think is a pretty good start for not even a month into the KAL.  Here’s what I’ve finished that counts toward Stash Dash so far:

May DVD socks = 279.3 yards (255.4 meters) wpid-img_20150531_095635.jpg

Oatmeal bonnet for my Loopy Academy Semester 2 felting project = 228.9 yards (209.3 meters) wpid-20150531_125839.jpg

Baby vertebrae for my Loopy Academy Semester 2 striping project = 428 yards (391.4 meters) wpid-20150531_223522.jpg

Below are the projects I have on the needles right now or are planned for the rest of Stash Dash and a general idea of the yardage they’ll add:

– DVD socks for each month of June and July.  I could also frontload my knitting on my August socks and maybe finish by the deadline. So this would add around 560 yards (510 meters) at least, or 840 yards (765 meters) if I finish all 3 months in time

Honey Cowl (~275 yards, depending on how big I make it).  I’m making this for an American Cancer Society auction event that one of my friends is helping organize.

Meisi gloves (~ 400 yards).  I’m also making these for the American Cancer Society event that the Honey Cowl is going to.

Not So Itty Bitty Giraffe (~450-500 yards).  I’m making this as my June Camp Loopy project and as a baby gift for a friend.

Sleeves (~1000-1100 yards). I’m planning on this for my July Camp Loopy project.

These projects will add around 2700 yards to my Stash Dash total, which combined with my current 935 yards, puts me at 3620.  There are some other UFOs I have that I could finish up and add to this, so I definitely think I’m good for the 3k and might be able to hit 5k if I put my mind to it.

Now here’s the kicker… if only I had waited one week to finish binding off my Rock the Kasbah shawl for Loopy Academy, I could have included around 900 additional yards.  Gah!! Oh well, that’s what I get for finishing things early 🙂wpid-2015-05-31-14.24.55.jpg.jpeg

I’ll keep you posted throughout the summer on my progress.  Are you doing Stash Dash too?  What goal are you working towards?

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October Goals

Right now, I’m a little overwhelmed with all of the projects that I have going at the moment, so it’s time to focus and put a plan in place for actually getting things finished.  The good news is that I’m a list person – always have been, probably always will be.  I’m one of those crazy people who will write something I’ve already done on my to-do list for the day just so I can cross it off.  Now that I have this fancy new blog, I decided this was the perfect place to make a list and set some knitting goals for each month.   Then I’ll have something to come back to at the end of the month to measure how much I actually got done.

So here are the goals for October:

1. Finish second fair isle fingerless mitt.  I finished the first mitt during Fall Fling in one day, so this isn’t too much of a stretch to get done over the course of a month.  Just requires some focused knitting time, definitely not the kind of knitting I can do while watching TV or reading a book.

Hitchhiker2. Finish Hitchhiker.  Again a fairly easy goal because I’m almost at the finish line and I’m making it with the magic yarn.  Have I told you about the magic yarn?  I’m knitting this out of Peppino by The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze.  I discovered this yarn earlier this year when The Loopy Ewe added it to their shop and have fallen madly in love.  The  colors are gorgeously rich and saturated and the twist on the yarn is nice and tight.  I made a Piewhacket with it earlier this year and finished the project in two weeks!  That is crazytown fast, especially for me as I tend to get distracted by other projects.  But for some reason projects made with this yarn move very fast, seem to knit themselves really, and hold my attention even in the face of a myriad of shiny objects.  So since I have 36 “teeth” done already on the Hitchhiker and don’t have much yarn left, I’m expecting this will be done in short order.  Hoping that I can make it to the full 42 teeth, but I’ll have to wait and see how long the yarn holds out.

yarnster3. Finish Yarnster hat for Loopy Academy.  I’m making Yarnster for my hat assignment for Loopy Academy.  Again another quick moving project and I’m already more than halfway done.  Fable Fibers may be another magic yarn because the colors are so beautiful I don’t want to stop knitting it.  This is a great pattern as well – easily memorized and with just enough variety to keep you interested.

Becky sock4. Re-start socks.  I had started this pair of socks with Biscotte & Cie Felix self-striping in preparation for Fall Fling to have something to work on that didn’t require any attention.  I actually got quite a bit done during The Yarn Harlot’s talk on Thursday evening.  But then I showed her my sock during class on Saturday and she suggested that I needed to “springload” my stitches on the left needle and keep my fingers closer to the tips of the needles which would help tighten up the spaces between stitches and give me a better gauge and fabric for long-wearing socks.  She did of course caution me to finish this sock with my normal knitting method so that it wouldn’t change the gauge halfway through.  But since it’s the first sock of this pair and I wasn’t even to the heel yet, I think it’s best to rip and repeat.  Besides better fitting socks has been my goal for a while now, so if this will help then I want to put it into practice as soon as possible.

wpid-20140912_131909.jpg5. Cast on My Dolphin Cowl for Loopy Academy.  I’m planning to make this with Colinette Jitterbug in the Madder colorway.  Such a beautiful pattern, I’m excited to see what it looks like knit up with this yarn.

6. Begin organizing the stash.  My husband and I began the process of cleaning out our “guest” bedroom last weekend.  The majority of my stash was buried in there behind the other various boxes and bags of junk that hasn’t had a home since we moved into our house last year.  But now that it is accessible again, I’m looking forward to organizing and de-stashing a little bit.  More than that, I want to put together project kits matching yarn to projects and putting them in ziploc bags.  This way I can just grab and go for my next project – once I clean up my backlog of WIPs that is.  I think this will be a good way for me to knit in 2015 and help me focus on doing the projects I really love with yarn I love rather than following each whim that crosses my path.

So I think that’s enough for one month.  Of course I’ll be working on my other ongoing projects here and there throughout the month, but these are my primary goals.  I’ll report back in at the end of October with how I did.