2015 in fib-review

So, 2015! How is it already almost over? I feel as if the year just started. How can it be over? Oh well, there’s always next year.

Yarn/Fiber/Crafting of any sort

2015 was a big fibery year for me. In January, I purchased my first spinning wheel and started learning how to use it. In August, I purchased another one. After some fits and starts and a spinning lesson gifted to me by my wonderful parents, I’m finally feeling more comfortable using it and my yarn is turning out more consistent.

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{What is probably the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve ever touched}

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of wanting to knit 15 pairs of socks. I only completed 12, four pairs of which were for other people. But hey, that’s eight pairs I didn’t have when I started the year!

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{Only the first and second were for me}

Also in 2015, I completed 49 projects. 14 I gifted for various birthdays and for Christmas. I knit 10 shawls (10?!), 12 pairs of socks, 4 hats, and a few other random projects. My sweater is not done and at the moment, I have, gulp15 projects still in progress. Wow. That’s a lot… To be fair, 7 of them are socks either almost done, still needing the match knit, or I just haven’t picked up in a while. I also have two or three long term projects that aren’t going to be done for a few years…

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{Belated Christmas toddler vest I’m almost done with}

So yeah, 2015 was a productive knitting year.

Oh, and then there’s this.

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I’m…gonna go that way… (And yes, every single skein is fingering weight yarn.)

Books/Media

Blogging: Oh the blogging. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very consistent blogger. You know, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m sporadic at best. Which brings my blog post count this year to a grand total of 63 (after I publish this.) I’ll try to be better at documenting things in 2016, but I really can’t make any promises.

Books: I haven’t done a lot of reading this year. Knowing me, that’s a little scary. I have a hard time finding good books that will keep my interest. The books I did read were all pretty good. I started the Selection series and enjoyed the first one immensely. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are also on my list of ‘this was really, really good’. I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor/English royal novels and, being the history lover I am, pounced on them.

I also started reading manga for the first time! I’ve read a handful of Fairy Tail, the first three volumes of Fruits Basket, and I think that’s about it. The two libraries in my area don’t have the best selection but I was able to find some titles I recognized.

I feel as if I’m turning a bit into this…

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I know a lot of people think anime and manga are stupid, but I personally enjoy them very much. Yes, it’s different but not really if you think about it. It has its own genres just like other books and shows: horror, crime, romcom, drama, fantasy, action/adventure, everything really. It was just in a different language originally. And it’s GREAT! 🙂

Random

Remember this bookshelf? Yes, it is now this:

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but it is a lovely, light purple color. It holds all my handknits with plenty of room for more. Ahem.

(Time to get knitting, darling.)

And the Alice dress! I never showed you a picture!!

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Okay, crummy picture, yes, but oh this dress. I love this dress. After I quit being a baby about it and started sewing, it came together easily, I set my first zipper and it’s the best fitting dress I’ve ever made. Well, I’ve only made one dress before this. But this one I’m in love with.

I’ve also started attending the Knit Night at my LYS on Tuesdays. I’m so glad I do, because it’s nice to go spend time with fibery people. And all the ladies are really nice.

Now for 2016.

I’m not going to go overboard and plan out my entire year. I’ve found if I make smaller goals, I’m more likely of meeting them. But there is one BIG one I’m going to try my very, very hardest to keep.

Knit only from the stash and do not purchase any new yarn.

Oh yes, I’m going cold sheep this year. My yarn stash has gotten a little out of control and it really needs to be pared down. It will be a serious exercise in self control, since as I said, the Knit Night I attend is at my LYS.

Aside from that, in 2016 I’d like to:

  • Read more manga
  • Finish my sweater and possibly start another one
  • Read through all of the new-to-me books I’ve purchased and knock that number down pretty far
  • Knit along with Andi’s Sock Yarn-a-Long, possibly do the mystery bit
  • Finish the three pairs of socks that are missing their match (oops)
  • Sew new project bags with the pretty fabric I purchased
  • Organize my stash and crafting storage so I can actually find things and I’m not scratching my head wondering where my tools have gone…
  • Work on Christmas/birthday presents throughout the year
  • Actually finish projects instead of just casting more on (HA! as if)
  • Knit myself more hats

I think those are all pretty decent goals. Let’s see how I do this coming year!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and you have a wonderful, joy and peace filled New Year. See you in 2016!!

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a day full of fibery goodness

It has been a day of fibery goodness.

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{Before: all curly and full of vegetable matter.}

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{After: So fluffy!}

I sat down and pulled out my hand carders to see if I could figure all that out. With my wheel, I got 4oz of white Ice Leicester Lamb (I don’t know what that actually means other than the breed). I could feel the lanolin in the wool, which was different. It worked pretty well and I’m starting to get the hang of the carders and making rolags.

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{The other two bobbins have some spun fiber that aggravated me, and the yellow is some commercial yarn I used to get a feel for my wheel, not handspun!}

…That led to trying out woolen style spinning. I have another, much older wheel and I spin worsted style on that, so woolen was different. I liked how it works, but my wheel was giving me fits again, so I took a break from that. I’ve learned in all my years of crafting that when I start getting frustrated, it’s best to take a step back and walk away for a little while. Otherwise, I start making mistakes, which upsets me even more, which causes me to make more mistakes… It’s an unpleasant cycle.

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{Drop spindle! Please ignore my messy bed.}

I’ve really gotten better at spinning on a spindle! I love it so much! Hopefully, I can get enough out of the fiber to make a small shawl, so maybe 300 yards or so? I’m not planning on plying it, so it will just be a single ply. I don’t know what the fiber content is, the bag wasn’t labeled, but it feels like wool, possibly merino? No clue.

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And my sock. I got the heel flap knit and the heel turned, so now I just have to pick up the stitches for the gusset, which is my least favorite part of sock knitting. I will put it off for days so I don’t have to pick up stitches. Gag me with a spoon!

So yeah, a day full of fiber. 🙂 It was very lovely.

RKLW {2}

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Reading: The Wild Queen by Carolyn Meyer. It’s about Mary, queen of Scots, one of my favorite historical characters! I’ve read a few books by her before and so far it’s pretty good. I have a biography of Mary and it’s nice to see a slightly different perspective.

Knitting: a pair of worsted weight socks in a pretty green wool. I’m using this pattern for them. I worked ten rounds of 2×2 ribbing and a five inch cuff. I’m really hoping I don’t run out of yarn before I finish them, since I don’t have more! I really like the color. I got the yarn from the thrift store, so I’m not sure what brand it is, since there was no ball band.

And I’ve learned to use a drop spindle! I cleared out the entire spinning/dyeing section of my library and I’ve been working my way through the books. I recently bought a gently used Louet spinning wheel and it came with a huge trash bag full of fiber, a pair of hand carders, and two drop spindles, one a top whorl, one a bottom whorl. The wheel has been giving me fits, so I decided to take a break from that and try the spindles. I’m really enjoying learning something new! 🙂

Listening: {Songs that played while writing this post} Because of You-Kelly Clarkson, Fight Song-Rachel Platten (if you have never heard this song, go listen to it. I hear it all the time at work, but oh, it never gets old. It is just so good!), Aki Love-Juliet (it’s in Japanese or Korean, I’m not sure. I think it’s Japanese.),

Watching: nothing right now.

Linking up with Ginny for YarnAlong!