Thursday, January 31, 2013

Finish It February

As is my wont when I have a deadline looming, I decided today as the first of the month was an excellent time to start sorting through my stash in order to figure out what to cast on to get through as much of it as I can as quickly as possible. However, every time I opened a box or bag to get to my yarn I kept on pulling out project bag after project bag after project bag. I know I have a bit of a WIP problem - in fact, I have been updating my sidebar to show how many WIPs I have to keep track of them - but I couldn't believe how big a lot of these WIPs were.

Efficiency ever being the watchword at Chez HereIKnit, I decided to enter the details of these projects into an Excel spreadsheet. This is the surprising result:

Over half of my unfinished projects are over 80% finished! That's terrible, but pretty accurately reflects how I work - I like to knit, I like the process but I hate finishing. But still ... this is pretty ridiculous. So, I declare this month Finish It February - I will weave in ends, I will block and I will finish those annoying projects that have been hanging around for too long. As God* is my witness, I will get my WIP pile under control again.

* Disclaimer: I do not believe in God. But I do believe in the Golden Age of Hollywood, Scarlett O'Hara and misrepresenting famous movie quotes for my own personal use.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

2012 in review, dreaming and planning about 2013

On the weekend where we "celebrate" the birth of modern-day Australia, I decided it was the right time for me to evaluate what happened last year and to outline my plans for the rest of this year (I know it's traditional to do this on New Years Day but it always seems so silly to me to do that on a day where I'm hungover, sick to death of people asking me what I did the night before and cranky because I've spent far too much time with other people for my introvert self to cope with, so my resolutions are always 'Drink less. Avoid humanity'. So here we are, summing the year up 27 days after it concluded).

Firstly, the finished objects. I finished 20 19 projects (turns out I struggle to maintain a numbered list over the course of the year! My blog headings are both incorrect and misleading - oh well!) this year including some that I had been working on for over five years, a result that I think is pretty damn amazing:

As always the same colour palettes seem to dominate my knitting. I do need to start knitting more with warm tones, if only to make my mosaic look a little more interesting next year! I completed 12 pairs of socks, three shawls, two blankets, a bookmark and a hat, which is a pretty good achievement for someone who knits as slowly as I do.

I have a few aims for this year:

1. Halve the number of yarns in my stash from 58 to 29.
2. Finish or frog all projects over 12 months old
3. End the year with five or fewer WIPS
4. Donate blood at least three times
5. Have at least half of my thesis completed
6. Finish at least 20 objects
7. Be more social!
8. Write 24 reviews for Here I Read
9. Blog 12 recipes from cookbooks I own
10. Continue to have lots of fun with my blog

There's things I've done this year that I've really enjoyed like Blogtoberfest and posting semi-regular WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays that I'd love to keep doing in 2013. For me, 2102 was about getting back into the swing of writing, photographing and publishing and really starting to enjoy having a blog again. After the massive all-over shite-ness of 2011, 2012 was a lovely year and I hope 2013 is just as good, if not even better :)

Monday, January 14, 2013


In today's edition of 'one of these things is not like the other', my cat adorably pretends to be a bush...

..or a shrub of some type.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Yet Another Henslowe (2012 FO# 20)

My final finished object from 2012 was yet another Henslowe shawl.

I've had some BWM Luxury 4-ply sitting in my stash ever since I finished my second Ishbel in October 2010! Eek! (For anyone who clicks through to this link, it was written after St Kilda lost the grand final. I recovered quickly after that post.) But I didn't like the colour and I just couldn't get enthused about starting a project with it.

I know I could have dyed the yarn but I don't enjoy dyeing yarn very much because although it is fun I always (and I mean always) end up tangling the yarn and spending longer untangling it than I do knitting it. But then I had a brainwave! Why not knit the shawl and then dye it? So I did and thus my very first 2103 KOGO scarf is already done.

Henslowe is a very good pattern and Luxury is 100% wool, so I hope whoever receives my scarf enjoys the prettiness and is kept warm by the woolliness.

Lucy says hi. She's got the sniffles at the moment, the poor little monkey, so she's a bit mopey but never one to miss out on a photo opportunity.  

How much does being back at work suck, honestly? I wish I could be on holidays forever...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy birthday to me!

It was my birthday last week and (surprise surprise) it involved much too much food and lots of (but not too much! I'm old now) wine. Recent family dramas meant the focus was not on me this year but as I get older (and boy, do I feel older right now) I feel less of a need to make the first week of January All About Me. Growth as a person or general all-pervasive laziness? You decide :)

My birthday preset to myself this year was a kettle bbq.

I have never thought of myself as a charcoal grill kind of person but I love it! Cooking on it smells fantastic and it is super easy to use. I just need to figure out how to cook vegies on an open grill rather than a hotplate  (cast iron pan? disposable foil pans? marinated veggie skewers?) and I can do a complete meal without messing up my kitchen at all. Any appliance that produces delicious tasting food *and* encourages my housework sloth is a perfect addition to my house.

 Any bbq recipes or charcoal-cooking tips would be greatly appreciated because I'm sure there's lots of things I can do - I think I'm really going to have a lot of fun with this.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I think I'm melting (2012 FO#19)

Ever since I read an article recently that said that on hot days cats have a tendency of going into places like sheds where they effectively cook (I am not linking to the article because I don't want anyone else to have the horrible experience of reading it!) I've been super paranoid about Lucy being out on hot days. Today is really stinking hot, so I decided to keep her inside with me all day. Unfortunately, my decision led to this situation:

Me being watched by my cat 100% of all of the time. I cracked after only an hour and let her outside. Now, of course, I feel completely awful and worried but Sam says I'm being silly and he's sure she's completely fine. I hope so :(

Because it's Friday and therefore FO time I'd like to share with you the last of the knitted items I gifted for Christmas only, well (and this is pretty stupid for someone who's been blogging as long as I have...) I gave them away without taking a photo.

I guess I can call it FO-esque Friday? The looked just like this but with a toe.  These were knitted with Regia Atlantis and, like all of the other Regia I've used, the skein was drastically underweight (about 88g instead of the advertised 100g) so the cuffs are only 15cm long instead of my preferred 20g. Other than that, they were my standard 72-stitch man sock.

Hope you are all keeping warm or cool, depending on your hemisphere :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years, everyone! 

This is how I rang in the new year:

If it's true that how you start your year is an indication of how the year is going to go,
 then my year is going to be fun, relaxing and full of really nice wine.

And stinky citronella candles...