Saturday, February 9, 2013


Ever been stuck on one row in a knitting pattern and no matter what you do, it just doesn't make sense? Or it just will not work and no amount of fudging is going to make it better? Yeah....been there. Sigh. It sucks. I don't often spend money on patterns (too much free stuff out there!) but when I do, I really want the dumb thing to work! I don't mind tossing things aside and waiting for the smoke to clear, but when I pick it up again... it had better work! Which makes me think.... somebody needs to step up and help a designer out! Enter me.... into the realm of pattern testing. Yikes.
There is a really cool forum over on Ravelry ~ that anyone can join BUT you better follow the rules~ it's exactly what the name implies... Free Pattern Testing... A designer makes up a pattern and then asks YOU, yeah you... average knitter to 'test' the pattern. 
All you do is sign up in the forum to become a pattern tester and then the fun begins!   A  designer will post a thread with just enough information to pull you in! Usually there is a picture and a little bit of information about the pattern, but... you don't get the pattern UNTIL the designer emails it to you.  Once you get the pattern you have to follow the directions and the rules of the group from start to finish. No fudging & no changing things! ~ I'll admit that this little part has been a bit of a challenge for me because as I'm knitting and I find an error... I want to correct it all on my own and get the thing done, but.... I need to send a message to the designer and let them do it. It's their pattern and their design after all.
 For me, it's not only been a test of a pattern, but a test of my patience and how I read and interpret patterns.  I'm a total direction follower so that helps, but when I can clearly see an error and how to fix it... sighing loudly... I have to put on my patience hat and well... you all might know how that goes.
Eyelet Fingerless Gloves 1/13
So far so good.... I've done three 'tests' so far and the results have been nice! I get to keep the patterns too which is pretty cool. What I'm really hoping for is that this stretches me and my knitting... I've already been working on that whole patience thing :)
Night at Big White ~ 2/9/13

Winter Wind Cowl - 2/13
Don't you just love Boy's face!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mid-Winter Motivation

I don't know about you, but the grey days of midwinter not only have me wishing Spring would return in a hurry, but that my motivation would hurry up and return as well!
I do seem to be knitting, but it seems that not much is really getting accomplished ~ I finish up my projects, but really don't have a whole lot to show for it. Which makes me wonder... what in the heck have I been doing?
Here's a list...
I've organized (partially) my stash and my stuff. Purged a bit here and there so I've  sort of already begun Spring cleaning. I've started AND finished projects completely out of the stash which is directly in-line with my resolution for the year. I've been working on test knitting some projects for designers and making all of my deadlines so how can it seem like I'm not on track and nothing is getting accomplished?  Wow.
Doldrums. Winter blues. Winter blahs? ~ yep. All of those and then some!
 I needed a little motivation to get me back on track! A little pick me-up...
so that's what I did! More than once actually....
I went to the yarn store!
 I didn't buy much, but what I did buy was directly related to how much of the sunshine and Spring I've been missing ~ everything!
Just look at this...
isn't it lovely? The picture doesn't really do it justice.. it has a lot of light and dark greens with some yellow in it and reminds me of Spring and Summer! ~ green grass, sunshine.... mm mm....
It's 'Rustic Fingering' 100% Superwash Merino by Neighborhood Fiber Co. here in D.C.
I think it's going to be some cabled socks for ME!
How's that for a little inspiration? Now I'm off to knit!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Confessions of a Yarn Hoarder - Day 5?

Obviously I skipped a few days between Day 4 post and today... and No! It's not because I was super busy destashing and debunking the yarnstoragesystem.... ha! Just the opposite. I've taken a step back and re-assessed things...
#1 I don't have time to deal with all that yarn right now *sigh* and #2, it really does work for me. It just may need to be revamped a little in the future if it keeps growing but for right now it's okay.
I feel like I was able to accomplish a lot in the four days I pretended to worked on it and I honestly think it works! I was able to really clean up and clean out a lot of the things I have lying around.... the tools, the patterns, the bits and pieces of yarn and yes... my little friend K got herself a good start on her own stash!! I cleaned out some of the stuff I had and gave it to her! It feels good to help someone else begin a hoarding stash collection! Her parents will thank me someday.. I'm sure of it!! Hey! I'm saving them money!  It was a good way to clean out some of my stuff!
I know.  I know... I was going to pull everything out, assess it, sort it, clean it out, but I didn't. Okay? I didn't. Once I looked at the yarn condo I realized that it was a pretty good system right now. Sock yarn is one drawer, cotton in another, funky bits in yet another so I didn't feel I needed to.  Just doing the stuff I did... sorting through the tools and patterns really spiffed things up! I was able to put it all [ more or less] into one (okay..more than one) spot so it's not overtaking the house as much!  Geez. Big hasn't stepped on anything or had to move yarn in several days so it must be a WINNING situation!!  AND he hasn't said anything about yarn that may or not have been purchased within the last week. Shh....
This is an old picture of the "condo" ~ I would like to expand it at some point. Some of the bins have craft supplies and fabric in them *yeah.. that's a separate issue* and I may have to do some sort of system for that stuff first. I still have yarn tucked away in various places throughout my house... in boxes on the bookshelves, in a bowl on the fireplace mantel and even on the back of a closet door! Those over the door shoe pocket thingys are marvelous places to store yarn!
Now that I've managed to organize a bit I can get on to the point of this whole experiment.... Making it all accessible so I can happily knit without being overwhelmed by my stuff!
I'm really trying to shop the stash first ~ rather than heading directly off to the store for a yarn for a project I head to the condo! Wish me luck with that one huh?