The Life and Projects of An Avid Hobbyist

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club...

...that will accept people like me as a member. ~Groucho Marx

I hope the new year is going well for everyone.  I've been usually productive on the creative front.  I've gone through my stashes and put together plans that will help me thin the herd, challenge myself creatively and of course be productive/creative.

As I contemplated my craft-related goals for this year, in conjunction with my larger personal goals, I wanted to participate in a yarn club.  Here's the catch, I have more yarn, than any one person should own*, so signing up for a new club at a cost, was out of the question.  Additionally,  I didn't want this club to cost anything more beyond the initial outlay already committed.  I even wanted to store the "club" materials in materials I already had (I can get obsessed pretty easily).

First a confession:

I do not enjoy knitting socks.  I know.  Heresy.  Further heresy, I detest wearing hand knit socks.  I find them horribly uncomfortable, bulky and unpleasant.  Some of this may be because of my options in footwear and my large-ish feet/calves, nonetheless, not my favorites.

As my stash will attest, I do, however,  love sock yarns.  With help from Kristine, I recently culled through my sock-weight yarns bin and selected 7 yarns and corresponding patterns for my stash-busting self-imposed shawl club.

All in a re-purposed hat box.
January's randomly selected yarn was 2 skeins of Malabrigo sock in the Ochre colorway.  This beaut has been marinating in stash since Malabrigo sock came out well over a year ago.

This yarn was paired with the  EZ 100th Anniversary Camping Half-Circle (ravelry link) and size US 6 needles. I'm giving myself 2 months per shawl, I know that some selections will take longer or (pipe dream) shorter.

Club Month One

I'm so excited to have a plan and the energy to commit to it. ~ksp

*Now I know a lot of you out there in the blogosphere are formidable stashers, but let me say this, I produced not one, zero, sip, zilch knitted projects in 2010.  I am less than a good steward when it comes to yarn. 

P.S. Happy Birthday Mommy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11:11 Make a Wish

As part of my my efforts to cut down my quilting stash, I have been collecting free block of the month patterns from here for several years, but I never took the time to set-up and complete them.  Block Central contains a wealth of resources, but I don't think it's maintained anymore.

The first pattern is Somewhere in Time; it's the BOM from 2008.

I chose a rather feminine pallet of pinks and lime-ish greens (I didn't read the selvage edges for manufacturers).  I'm calling the collection pink-fresh...

Here it is in its binder, ready for the machine.


The second pattern is Nine Patch Nirvana and I wanted to go with all batiks.  I saw this great browns/blues batik (far right) at Olde City Quilts that inspired the collection.


I'm getting it together...more to come. ~ksp

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Best-laid Plans of Mice and (Wo)men...

Random and unrelated photo

Last year was a very instructive year for me, I had several plans and goals for the year, yet ended up spending it in much of a haze.  Between my usual shenanigans, a rapid expansion project at work, and cancer caregiver responsibilities I was in a stupor.  But I am a pack mule**. 

I pride myself on getting ridiculously large amounts of production completed in small amounts of time (I know, I know.  I'm working it out in therapy).

Somewhat related, I am a very organized professional but not so much so on the personal front.  I end up discarding more groceries than I consume.  I often eat unplanned meals on the run and have to pry myself away from work to handle personal matters (like my lapsed vehicle registration).  I am endeavoring to bring that into better balance.  This is a long-term life's challenge. I love this blog that gives lots of tips on how to face and address your disorganization.

I realized very late in 2010 that my tendency to work harder does not easily allow for taking vacations, doing less and/or reassessing commitments.  It also leads to poor stewardship of my personal resources.  I currently find myself in a position where I have more "stuff" than I can reasonably manage.

Anywho, how does all of this relate to 2011?  

I now know that I have more stashes (fashion fabric, quilting fabric, yarn and notions) than I can responsibly use.  At least not without a plan.  

So my plan/goal for 2011?  To be a better steward of my personal and community resources.  I have plans to use up/donate stashes to create more time and space to fully enjoy myself....even if that means doing nothing at all.  As I make plans, I'll share them. ~ksp
**This is from a rudimentary personality rubric, a friend of mine shared with me several years ago.  It goes something like this.  There are two types of women in the world: cheerleaders and pack-mules.

Cheerleaders: Women who are generally more concerned with appearances than doing the heavy-lifting.  Often intelligent, these women are not willing to commit to tasks that involve them leaving their comfort zones or getting too dirty.

Pack Mules: These women are the antithesis of cheerleaders.  Pack mules are all about getting it done, no matter the human toll.  Extra hours? Check.  Heavy lifting? Check.  Need me to use my personal resources? No problem.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year to everyone is the blogosphere...I hope a safe and enjoyable holiday season was had by all.

I don't commit to resolutions, but I am an avid planner.  I try to be reflective and set attainable goals for myself at all times, not just at the new year.

I took some time in the last couple of weeks leading to reorganize my stash and take an assessment of UFOs.


Both my stash and unfinished projects fit in these bins.  They will be stored in a dark place so I am not the least bit worried about them being in clear bins.

I am almost embarrassed by the numbers of unfinished projects that I have committed to.  I must confess, I threw one away (it was too far gone).

I am participating in a UFO completion challenge sponsored by Judy Laquidara on her blog here.

Here are my 12 projects, to be pulled monthly at random.  For now, this is just the list, photos and full descriptions to follow...
  1. Baby A's Argyle Throw
  2. Pretty in Pink (jelly roll quilt)
  3. Rainbow Song Quilt II
  4. Jyoti's Chakra Around the World Batik Quilt
  5. Playing with Jacks (jelly roll quilt)
  6. Baby Watts Flying Geese quilt
  7. Nundlal's Sister's Choice (jelly roll quilt)
  8. Washed, Worn and Improv-ed Yellow Throw
  9. Fungly/Burlap Picnic Blanket
  10. Wonky Star Throw
  11. Quilt of Valor (Patchwork Times Memorial Day Challenge)
  12. Baby Clark II quilt (pinks and polka dots)
There are several other goals on the crafting front.  More details to follow. ~ksp
Kwanzaa Day Seven-Imani (Faith): I will strive to believe with all my heart in people, my parents, my teachers, leaders, and the righteousness and victory of struggle.