A Year of Projects: 2016, Week 1

I have not yet written crafting goals for 2016.  November and December were pretty crazy around here!  First was my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday on Thanksgiving Day.  Then there was the Weavers of Orlando Annual Sale, followed the next weekend by the Holiday Party.  Then we had Christmas festivities with my family.  On December 28, I flew to Indiana to play matron of honor for Stacy’s wedding on January 2.  Chris flew up on December 31 so we got to spend New Year’s Eve together.  We just flew home this afternoon, to a cooler and wetter Florida than I left last Monday.  Stacy’s reception was held in a building at the same fairgrounds that hosts The Fiber Event.  It was so strange to be in that building without seeing rows of lovely fiber, yarn, and tools for sale!

This past week has been busy as the wedding preparations including baking 680 cookies and a 5-tier wedding cake!  Stacy, her mother, her aunt, her sister-in-law, and I baked the cookies last Wednesday.  Fortunately, we had the use of Stacy’s parents’ church kitchen, which had a commercial oven that could fit 150 cookies at once.  We baked all 680 cookies in only 3.5 hours!

Here I am putting the last batch in the oven!
Here I am putting the last batch in the oven!

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After baking cookies, we started on the cakes.  I was the lead decorator and giver of orders, as I have been decorating cakes since I was 12!  I made the cakes and the lemon curd.  Stacy made the chocolate ganache and all the buttercream and mixed lemon buttercream and raspberry buttercream.

I may have used this cookbook once or twice.
I may have used this cookbook once or twice.

Her mother and aunt cut out fondant Christmas trees and painted them with powdered food coloring.  I showed Stacy’s sister-in-law how to pipe miniature Christmas trees and she cranked out 250 of them, while Stacy’s mother went behind her putting the little stars on top of each tree.

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The army of trees.

Stacy’s brother cut the dowel rods that help support each tier (using a pipe cutter borrowed from a cousin) and her father cut and sharpened the dowel rod that goes from the top to bottom through all the tiers.  When it came time to stack all the cakes, Chris helped me line up my edges correctly.  At every step of the way, Stacy and I discussed colors and placement of pieces.  This is the first time I’ve made a cake in such a collaborative fashion.  It was so much fun, and I love the result!

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Now that the wedding is over and I’m home, it’s time to look ahead and lay out my goals for 2016.

Taking Stock

Before I start making ambitious plans for myself, I wanted to look back at 2015, to see what I finished and what remains unfinished.  I’m working on a slide show of all the projects I finished this year, and I will publish that later this week.  Today, I’m making a list of all my WIPs.  It’s a scary list, even though it only includes projects I’ve actually started, not everything in my mental queue!

Knitting WIPs

Projects started in 2015

  • TKGA Master Knitter, Level 1
    • This week I will start working on addressing my gauge issue
  • Splash Socks (started in April 2015)
  • Tier Scarf (started in June 2015)
  • Miranda Shawl (started in July 2015)
  • Bubbles Baby Blanket (started in July 2015)
  • Morrigan Shawl (started in August 2015)
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl Redux (started in August 2015)
  • Finishing
    • I still have all the sweaters I got from S.  They need to be seamed and blocked.  I believe there’s 10 or 11 projects right there!

Projects started prior to 2015

  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • I need to knit or crochet 18 each of 25 different patterns.  This is a list of the knitted dishcloths I’ve finished.
    • 18 leaves
    • 18 tribble scrubbies
    • 18 waffle stitch
    • 4 brick pattern
    • 16 illusion heart
    • 4 random designs (1 each of 4 different patterns)
  • Traveling Scarf
  • Evenstar
  • Baby Blue Monster

Crochet WIPs

  • Granny Square Blanket (started in 2014)
  • Skulls and Roses Scarves (started in October 2015)
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • I need to knit or crochet 18 each of 25 different patterns.  This is a list of the crochet dishcloths I’ve finished.
    • 18 hyperbolic
    • 9 ladderstitch
    • 4 or 5 diagonal (corner to corner)

Spinning WIPs

  • Camel Down / Silk Blend (started in September 2015)
  • Three Feet of Sheep (started in August 2015)
  • One pound of BFL (started in November 2015)

Weaving WIPs

Since the only loom I’ve been using is my rigid heddle, I only have one weaving project in process!  I started this scarf on December 5, 2015 while at the Weavers of Orlando Annual Sale, so that I could demo weave.  I talked to many people throughout the days of the sale and did a fair bit of weaving.  I haven’t had time to work on it since.

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In addition to this project, I now have the storage unit full of weaving things to sort.  This includes minor repairs to one loom (the 36″ Harrisville) and probably a complete refinish of a second loom (the 48″ Macomber).  I’m hoping to the the storage unit cleaned out by mid-February, though the refinishing job will most likely take longer than that.

Dyeing

Dyeing doesn’t really have WIPs as something is either dyed or it isn’t.  But this is a list of dyeing projects I’ve been meaning to do but haven’t.

  • Dye Maple Leaf Shawls (pending since December 2014)
  • Dye Triangles (pending since August 2014)
  • water source / pH experiment (pending since early 2015)

I’m not sure if this is actually all my WIPs.  It’s everything I could find laying about or listed in my Ravelry project pages, but I’m sure I missed more.

KCBW6, Day 3: Experimental Photography

The prompt for today is to take creative pictures.  On this blog, I usually use straightforward pictures.  However, I often take creative pictures of the pieces for fun or to include in homework submissions for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  Professors often give bonus points for creative pictures!  I decided to pull out some of my favorite pictures and share them with you today.

In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors.  Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model.  I love the look of disdain on his face.
In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors. Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model. I love the look of disdain on his face.
This skein of yarn was a present from my friend, Stacy.  She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower).  Here, I've posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
My friend Stacy gave me this skein of yarn. She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower). Here, I’ve posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
While its not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the  Christmas village.
While it’s not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the Christmas village.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.

The Weasel of Wrath

In the fall of 2013, the Weasel of Wrath became a thing in Ravenclaw Tower.  Every project I turned in that term included a picture of him and told a piece of a continuing story.  The Headmistress Challenge that term was to write your own lyrics for a wrock song, with bonus points for recording it.  I wrote lyrics, another member of Ravenclaw Tower recorded the vocals and instruments for me, and I put together a music video.  The photos below are my favorites from that term.

The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.

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The wrock video included two different sets.  The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The wrock video included two different sets. The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The other set was the Weasel's burrow.  This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The other set was the Weasel’s burrow. This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.

August 2014 Wrap Up

Since I’ve basically been on vacation for the last 3 weeks, I never posted a wrap up post for August!  HPKCHC break months are always a little odd for me.  I push hard to finish projects during term, and am glad to have a bit of a breather during the break month.  At the same time, I want to clean up anything left from the last term and prepare for the upcoming term.  This particular break month skewed more towards the taking a breather and less towards cleaning up and preparing!

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HPKCHC Fall 2014 Term

I did not do in-depth planning for the upcoming term, like I usually do during the break month.  We are two weeks into the term already.  I need a plan!  If you aren’t familiar with the Harry Potter Knit Crochet House Cup, or would like a reminder on how it works, visit my HPKCHC Spring 2014 Term blog post, which describes the game in detail.

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August 2014 Preview

I know we are a week into the month, but there’s still 3 more weeks to go, so I’m still calling this a preview!  August is a HPKCHC break month.  I use break months to finish anything that is lingering from the end of term and get all my plans made for the beginning of the next term.  Chris and I are vacationing the last week of August (heading to New Jersey to visit his mother), so I need to plan for some portable projects that I can bring with me on that trip.

Continue reading “August 2014 Preview”