Monday, January 16, 2017

Odds 'n Ends January 2017

I'll be using this space each month to talk a little bit about pop culture and other non-crafty things that have been on my radar recently. Since I only podcast once a month, this segment doesn't really seem to be a good fit anymore for the recorded show. I'd still like to give you my thoughts and recommendations in case you are interested.

LISTENING

  • Presidential podcast: I may have mentioned this one before, but I took a break from it late summer into fall because presidential politics just got too tough for me to stomach. I'm back to listening now and I just finished the Warren Harding episode. I'm really enjoying it again.
  • How Did This Get Made? podcast: I found this podcast pretty recently. it tickles all my funny bones. basically it's 3 comedians + one guest recording a live show where they make fun of terrible movies--kind of like MST3K for podcasts.

WATCHING

  • Fleabag (on Amazon prime): A lot of people won't like this show. it has unapologetically frank explicit humor that is out of the mainstream, especially for a female comedian. However, if you aren't easily offended, you will love it. It's hilarious and also devastatingly sad. It has one of the better depictions I've ever seen on the complexity of sibling relationships and of female friendships. It's also only six episodes long.
  • Broadchurch S2 (on Netflix): Dear god, this was compellingly terrible. I liked Season 1, although it was hard to watch at times. Season 2 is just a mess. I know nothing of British law, but the courtroom scenes were dramatic, over-the-top drivel and the outcome of that entire plot line was beyond awful. The new mystery was a little bit better but good grief, does every story have to be about child murder? I like the two main characters but I'm not sure I'll tune in for the third season.

ASSORTED

  • Make America Kittens Again: This is a Chrome extension that blocks pictures of Donald Trump and replaces them with pictures of kittens. It doesn't always work and I wish there were an even more diverse library of kittens but it mostly gets the job done and keeps my stomach from churning every moment of every day. It's great to have if you subscribe to the Washington Post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Goals for 2017

I'm dusting off the ol' blog to talk a little bit about my goals for 2017. I have several things I'd like to accomplish, both crafty and life-related. Since I don't really have time to talk about my goals on the podcast since I'm only posting one episode a month, I will talk about them here and revisit the subject periodically.

Crafty/Business Goals

  1. Do what I feel like doing: I'm listing this #1 because it's probably the most important. It also perhaps contradicts many of the following goals. I have things I'd like to accomplish but I'm keeping in mind that this is supposed to be fun. I shouldn't let myself be bound by artificial constraints. I want the freedom to work on what I want to work on.
  2. Make at least one project per month for the Kindnessalong: I talked a little bit about it during my post-election podcast, but I've been thinking a lot about being kinder to others and just generally trying to be a better person. I'd like to express some of that through doing what I love (making things) and giving to others.
  3. Knit 26 pairs of socks: Last year I knit 36 pairs. I'm not under any illusion that I can repeat that feat, but I think a finished pair every 2 weeks is an attainable goal for me. I recently counted up all my sock yarn stash and I have enough sock yarn (not including fingering weight skeins reserved for shawls/sweaters) to last me for a very long time. If I knit 26 pairs of socks through 2020 and not stash any more sock yarn, I'll be completely through the stash in just five years. (ha!)
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  5. Knit 12 Personal Sock Club socks: I have all of my skeins bagged and my first pair is finished. I tried to do this in 2015 and it was a huge fail, but this time I've chosen 12 yarns that I absolutely love and am excited to knit. There's 4 self-striping, 4 variegated, and 4 handspun. lots of happy skeins.
  6. Knit 12 Desert Vista Dyeworks socks: I'm doing her annual KAL this year. I only have 11 skeins in stash but I'm sure I can acquire one more before the year is up.
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  8. Knit 1 square a day on my sock yarn blanket: My newest mitered square project only takes me about 25 minutes to knit + weave in the ends. It's way more likely that I can actually knit one square every day with these time constraints.
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  10. Finish Granny Rectangle Blanket: I don't know how large I will make the blanket, and so I don't know how much further I have to go. I think it's an achievable goal though.
  11. Spin 8oz per month: I tried to do this last year and failed. This year I'm concentrating on spinning thicker yarns since I do not need more sock yarn (see Goal #3 above) and that should help me to spin faster.
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  13. Knit 3 sweaters: I knit 4 sweaters in 2016, so I should be able to do it. I don't need a whole lot of new sweaters in my wardrobe but a few staple items would be really helpful. I'm planning to stick to kind-of boring everyday wear types of clothing that I will get a ton of use from.
  14. Make more neutral neckwear items: I will be talking about this more on the next podcast, but I've realized that I tend to only wear solid fairly neutral unfussy shawls and scarves. I could use a few more, but nothing of the crazy colors or super lacy variety, which just don't get worn. sadly, find your fade types aren't for me.
  15. Reduce my stash: I'll talk about this more in life goals, but I need to cut down my stash. I did a decent job last year--I knit through about 8 pounds of yarn and 2.5 pounds of fiber. I'd like to do even better this year.
  16. Limit crafty stash/pattern purchases to immediate cast-ons: I know better than to make a pledge not to buy anything. that's not reasonable. however, I do think it makes sense to limit myself to buying yarn for things I'm going to make right away. I have a big problem with buying quantities to make things later and then I either forget or no longer want to knit the original project and then I'm scrambling to find something to do with the yarn.
  17. Podcast once a month: I have a fairly small but loyal viewership. This is my little way to be a part of the community and to not be so closed off to the world.
  18. Publish 4 designs: I didn't publish any new patterns in 2016. *sad face* I actually worked on quite a number of designs but didn't get to the publishing stage on any of them. I think 4 designs is a reasonable amount that I should be able to do.
  19. Keep up with business bookkeeping: I hate doing this. I always wait until tax time (so right now, actually) to figure out what I did in the past year. not a good plan. I'd like to start keeping up with it as I go.

Life Goals

  1. Do Capsule Wardrobe challenge once a quarter: I will talk about this in more detail in future blog posts, but for now I will just say that I've been wanting to try a capsule wardrobe for awhile. I think doing one month for every season is doable.
  2. Cook/bake more: Spicy very kindly has been doing most of the cooking for awhile. I actually miss cooking and baking as I've found that not using those skills has made me lose them. I want to get back to making things I enjoy regularly.
  3. Be more frugal: Without getting into specifics, Spicy and I have some future life plans that involve us relocating and my being self-employed within the next decade. In order to do that I need to save as much as I can while I'm still working full-time. Using what I have and buying less will be incredibly helpful in both being able to save money and eventually having less stuff to move.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Podcast Ep 42: Technical Difficulties



I sincerely apologize for the choppiness of this episode. I had planned to talk about more things but my phone kept randomly stopping the recording. I also had to cut out quite a bit of the mitered square blanket section, as the audio went haywire and all you could hear was static.

Please join our Ravelry Group. I will talk about the two 2017 KALs, the Kindnessalong and the Sockalong, extensively over there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Halloween Giveaway!

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Crystal and I put together a little giveaway for you guys: one of the 2-skein Project Clutches from our Halloween kit, a set of 10g Halloween mini-skeins dyed by Sonnet of the Moon, and a cute Halloween postcard. Anyone in the world is eligible to enter. Please use Rafflecopter below for entries.

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The giveaway is open through Friday night and will close at 12AM Eastern time on Saturday, October (EDIT: Whoops, I meant SEPTEMBER 24). Simply leave a blog post comment letting us know what kits you'd like to see in the future. You can earn lots of bonus entries by signing up for my mailing list, visiting the shop website (can enter once a day), following Crystal and I on Instagram, and reposting the giveaway image on Instagram (found at my account, @knottygnome).

Good luck and thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out our Halloween kits in the shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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