Sock Knitting and a goodbye to Oscar

In anticipation of my goal of 6 pairs or more of socks in 2016, I have armed myself with different sock yarn. I still have some in my stash, but I also have some new. I also have some dark solid colors for those somber moments. I don't work at a bank anymore that required no outlandish socks because it's not professional, so I can get a little wilder in my sock wearing.  This is a sampler of what's to come.

These are the Magic Stripe socks.  I did a german short-row heel in garter stitch and I really like it. The german short-row is my go to heel now. I could say forever but that's a long time. This one is a no-brainer for me. I no longer have to say "oh, it's knit night and I'm at the heel now, so I'll have to do it later when I have peace and quiet".  I can do it and chat and not worry about it.  So I have one sock nearly done and the 2nd one started.  I'm at the heel on another 1st sock too, so I'm moving right along.  I still need to clean out the sock-drawer and remove all the store-bought socks that I will not wear.  This is the year for just hand-knit socks.
I wanted a slouchy hat. I resisted for a while but decided I wanted one and wanted to do it in handspun.  This is falkland fiber that I spun several years ago.  It's more brown and green, which I don't normally wear, but decided to give it a go.  This is the Rikke hat, garter stitch in the round.  

While I'm liking the pattern, the yarn isn't right for the project. I will continue but it's probably not going to slouch, it's too firm for that. So I will continue as it fits nicely. I may end it before it gets too long though and make it more of a somewhat fitted hat.  I will find a more suitable yarn for slouching and cast on again.

 With the advent of sock-knitting and having more than one going at a time, I have a new bag purchased on Etsy.  Love that it has coffee reminders all over it.

 and as for spinning......I haven't been doing any lately. My right shoulder was really irritated and I was going to be in pain. So, I've changed a little of my knitting process which aggravates it less, and I need to work on my spinning arm motion. So, this is next up. merino/bamboo and I'm totally loving the yellow and different variations of blue. I can't wait to start.

and finally, a tribute to my dear sweet Oscar. He had the best personality for an outdoor farm cat. He was so lovable and yet so fierce when it came to mice and moles.  He went quickly. He was only a 2.5 years old but he got sick. I don't know if it was a mouse he ate that had ingested mouse poison, of if it was something hereditary. I just know on Thursday he couldn't move, luckily he was in his little house with a comfy bed. By Saturday morning, he was gone. I'll miss him.

Embrace the stash

5 toes, starting with the big toe.  The 2nd toe has arthritis and likes to sit on top of the edge of the big toe, which irritates the big toe. I've tried all kinds of things to stop that irritation.  The best solution so far had been to wrap the big toe with a used dryer sheet. Hence the desire to make a new sock with a separate big toe.  I have the pattern written down now and my first pair is finished. It's a vanilla pattern and one I won't have to think about. I aspire to make 6 this year, if not more. I want to get rid of the other socks that don't fit the humpy leg so I'm cleaning out the sock drawer. 

In addition to the new big toe, I also found a short-row heel that I have fallen in love with, the german short-row heel.  You can watch videos of it on YouTube, and here is one to start with.

This is my first completed project for 2016.  I have another project that I started in 2014 that I bound off yesterday and I'm making some changes to the sleeves.  The jury is out on whether I like the end result, but it'll be ok, even if I only where it around the house.

Hubby and I took a little trip last weekend in order to stay at a Marriott, otherwise he was going to lose all his points. So I picked a spot to go to and we drove down the Natchez Trace Parkway. We crossed the Tennessee River and it was beautiful.  We stopped at several overlooks but we didn't get out to walk any nature trails.


The first snow happened within one day of the first snow last year.  We got it on Jan 23rd last year and the 24th this year. How funny. It dumped a lot more this year though.  We got our big one last year in mid-February, so we'll see what happens in the next month.  This picture was from Friday.

This is looking out from my knitting corner this morning.


So back to the title of this post.  Embrace the stash.  Yep, embrace what you have and add a little to it from time to time.  There may come a time when you are unable to afford to buy more yarn, so why try to rush through it?  Buy a new ball or two every now and then, there is no police that will come take you or your stash away.  Call it your 401Y retirement plan. (Y obviously stands for yarn)  Granted there is no tax benefit from this plan, other than you buy it now and maybe the sales tax goes up in the future, and alas, look, you've paid less tax on your past purchases. :-)  Being unable to afford more yarn could be due to any reason, could be medical, loss of a job and in my case a looming retirement plan.  If funds get tight, you still have yarn to play with or actually yarn and fiber in my case. So find a place to stash it, consider your house a bank. If you have to hide it cause you are out of room in our craft area, then you may want to create a log in Word or Excel to remind you where you've stashed it.  So embrace your stash today.

On to a new Year and a recap of 2015

All in all, I think 2015 was a good year. Could I have done a little more? Sure, that's always the case, but I don't fret about it and sure don't waste time thinking about it.

I had planned to buy a new car in 2015. Well as it got later in the year, I decided I would wait until Spring 2016 because I don't want to break in a new car in the winter. Well, I hit a deer in mid-November that mad my decision for me. Since I had already decided what car to get I decided to get down to the dealership and order one. Well, it won't be here until early March anyway, so it sort of worked out. Meanwhile, I'm using hubby's car. My car was 9 years old and had 265,000 miles on it and I put a lot of miles on that car daily, so God was telling me to get that car off the road before something more serious happened. It is being donated.

As for reading, I was able to get 82 books either read or listened to this year. I think in past years I had gotten to 75-77 books, so it's an increase. I think part of that is due to eliminating satellite radio. While I'm listening to audio books, I get to thinking about what I was paying for satellite radio and thought I had better to listen to that for awhile. :-)

We have eliminated some things from our lives for several reasons.  Monthly costs and time sucking.  So, we eliminated satellite radio. With USB sticks in cars now and auxiliary ports for mp3 players, do we really need satellite radio? Yes, it was wonderful to listen to, but the cost was a little too high.  Then at the end of July, we turned off Directv.  We live too far away to use an antenna, so we have blissful quiet evenings. I still get knitting done, so it's all good. We were only watching about 2-3 channels anyway, but you can't get a package for what you want. If they would ever come up with a package where you can select 5-10 channels for a certain price, that would be right up my alley.

As for 2016, not too many goals this year, except to knit myself more socks. I went through a period there where I didn't knit many because I always had to make too many modifications. So, over the holidays, I decided to design a vanilla sock pattern to accommodate my nuances with the right foot and leg.  After many (4) iterations, I finally have the final pattern (at least for fingering weight). I wanted to make more of them because of the shoes I wear to work. So, I've got 2 pairs on the needle now. I'm excited!

I also want to sew more. I've got some ideas of what I want and need to make for myself clothing wise, so I will get some of that done. I also have a desire to make some fabric bowls and plan to tackle that soon.

My first finished project in 2016 is a project that I started in October 2015. It's the Howlcat. It's a Cowl/Hat combination and I really like it. It was touch and go there for a while because of the 9.5 inches of 1x1 ribbing. I literally had to force myself to pick up the project and work on it. I could manage 2 rounds of it and would have to put it down. ugh.  but once I got past the ribbing, the stockinette knitting was a breeze and I finished it last night.

A recap of a few of the finished items in 2015.