Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Show Notes for Podcast Ep 54: Lovefool MKAL

Please join our Ravelry Group. We're hosting the Lovefool Socks Mystery Knitalong 2018 starting January 19.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2017 Final Stash Report and Goals

So I was total crap at publicly tracking my stash. I last did one of these in April. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2017 Stash Totals

Project Yardage: +39163 yds

Incoming Stash Yardage: -38533 yds

Difference: +630 yds

Project Weight: +11440 g

Incoming Stash Weight: -10783 g

Difference: +657 g / +1.45 lbs

So I barely ended up in the black for 2017, but I just managed it. I'm going to try to do better in 2018. Also, I can't believe I used nearly 40000 yds.

2017 Handspun Totals

Handspun Weight: +90.67 oz

Incoming Fiber Stash Weight: -81.94 oz

Difference: +8.73 oz / +.55 lbs

I started the year strong with spinning, but tapered off towards the end. I ended up basically removing 2 braids from my stash overall. not great, but better than adding to it.

2017 Project Totals

79 finished objects

  • 35 pairs of socks
  • 22 hats
  • 9 neckwear items
  • 6 handwear items
  • 7 sweaters

For me: 37

For others: 23

For design samples: 19

20 skeins of handspun

2017 Handspun yardage: 5784 yds

Active WIPs: 2 pairs of socks, 2 blankets

Abandoned 2017 WIPs: 4

2017 Goals

Crafty/Business Goals

  1. Do what I feel like doing: I did a pretty decent job of this. I designed what I wanted to design for the most part and took breaks when I felt like it. I did get a little tired of knitting gift hats by the end but i managed it. Check
  2. Knit 26 pairs of socks: I finished 35, so Check
  3. Knit 12 Personal Sock Club socks: I knit all 12 skeins but changed it during the year so I could knit what I wanted/needed (not all were socks) Most of a Check?
  4. Knit 12 Desert Vista Dyeworks socks: Check!
  5. Knit 1 square a day on my sock yarn blanket: nope. i always seem to peter out during the summer. Fail
  6. Finish Granny Rectangle Blanket: I put it away after April and got it out in December. I've added a couple more inches to it recently but it's not done. Fail
  7. Knit 3 sweaters: I can't believe I finished 7 sweaters this year. Check +
  8. Reduce my stash: Ehhhh, I mean, kind of? technically i did but not by much. I'd like to do better in 2018. Weak Check
  9. Limit crafty stash/pattern purchases to immediate cast-ons: I'd say I did better but not great on this. at the end I did buy 2 more sweater quantities, which isn't ideal. Fail
  10. Podcast once a month: i think i did until December. Vlogging killed my mojo. Fail
  11. Publish 4 designs: I published 17 patterns in 2017. definitely my best year ever. Check +
  12. Keep up with business bookkeeping: I got lazy towards the end of the year. better but not perfect. Fail

Life Goals

  1. Do Capsule Wardrobe challenge once a quarter: I actually mostly did this. i've learned that a very loose capsule is what works for me and i don't know that a rigid structure will ever really be my thing. but i have learned a bit about relying on fewer things and it's made me want to make more of my own clothes in 2018. so i would call this a success. 3/4 of a check
  2. Cook/bake more: I really didn't do much of this at all. Fail
  3. Be more frugal: nor this. Fail

I don't know that I'm really in the mood this year to do goals for 2018. I really did not think about my goals at all for 2017 after the first quarter so I don't know that it helps me much with motivation. but hey, it was fun to look back on the year at everything i accomplished. 2017 was a pretty crap year emotionally and life-wise, but at least the crafty part was productive. Perhaps crafting helped keep me sane so that's why there was so much of it.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Show Notes for knottygnome crafts podcast Ep 53.3-4 Vlogvember Weeks 3-4

Please join our Ravelry Group. We're wrapping up our two 2017 KALs, the Kindnessalong and the Sockalong. Final prizes will be awarded in the January episode. We're taking the rest of the year off, so no new episodes until 2018.

This post uses referral/affiliate links. I may receive a small credit or commission if you make a purchase using the links.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Show Notes for Podcast Ep 53.1 Vlogvember Week 1

Please join our Ravelry Group. We have two 2017 KALs, the Kindnessalong and the Sockalong, going on over there. The prize was announced for the September-October Sockalong. Just FYI: I've decided to hold off on giving out any more prizes for the KALs until December has ended (so that I don't have to give out a Kindnessalong prize in November and then again for December). So all remaining prizes will be drawn after 2017 is over.

This post uses referral/affiliate links. I may receive a small credit or commission if you make a purchase using the links.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Trunk Club Review November 2017

It's been quite awhile since I've used Trunk Club. I wasn't happy with my former stylist so I asked for a new one. I was looking to add some winter pieces to my wardrobe. I sent my new stylist Jenna some screenshots of my Nordstrom wishlist and asked her to use it as inspiration for finding items I was eyeing.

Trunk Club is similar to Stitch Fix. When you sign up, you are paired with someone who becomes your permanent stylist. You either fill out a detailed questionnaire via email or talk with your stylist on the phone about your needs, preferences, and sizes. Then your stylist builds a trunk of roughly 10 items. You have a day to preview the items and remove anything you know you don't want before your trunk ships.

Once you receive your trunk you have 5 days to decide what to keep. There is a styling fee, but it's waived if you use your Nordstrom card. You can schedule a trunk whenever you like. Trunk Club is owned by Nordstrom so the merchandise comes from their stock.

One note: This was the first trunk I received where everything came individually wrapped in plastic. My other trunks were nicely bundled and ready to try on without having to deal with the plastic. it was honestly kind of annoying. I'm not sure if this is a regular new practice, or if this was just a mistake.


Gorjana Nora Linear Earrings $55

I had asked for some delicate drop earrings. I did like these but they were way too long. They brushed my shoulders and were pretty uncomfortable to wear.

Verdict: Return


BP Rib Mix Tee Size XS $25

I didn't like the tee other than the color. It was very thin and the shape was unflattering on my body type.

Verdict: Return


BP Check Scarf One Size $24

The scarf had a few loose threads. I found an almost identical scarf on Amazon for only $10. I can vouch that the colors and texture are nearly the same as the BP version. The amazon version also doesn't have a tag, which is a bonus to me b/c the tag always ends up showing when I wear the scarf. Because I was pretty happy with the find, I have my eye on another blanket scarf that I think I'll get in the near future.

Update: Just wanted to say that I wore my amazon scarf and it sheds quite a bit. it also snags incredibly easily. I'm not too upset because I think the BP version would have been the same way and the amazon price is really low, but I just wanted to issue a warning for those interested in the scarf.

Verdict: Return


Caslon Mason Knee High Boot Size 6M $159.94

I really wanted these boots to work. I was happy that they did fit over my calves though it was a pretty tight squeeze with skinny jeans. The boots were just too tall for me. They came up over the knee and the back of the boot is incredibly uncomfortable when I bend my knees.

Verdict: Return


Madewell Medium Leather Transport Tote $158

I really like this bag and I will probably buy it eventually. However, I don't really need it right this minute so I decided to hold off.

Verdict: Reluctantly Return


Halogen Crewneck Cashmere Sweater Size XSP $89

It fit perfectly and was pretty soft and warm. Even though the color is supposedly burgundy, it was definitely a deep purpley plum. I don't wear a lot of purple so I sent this one back.

Verdict: Return


BLANKNYC Suede Miniskirt Size 26 $98

I'm a tiny bit afraid that this will stretch out over time. Unfortunately they didn't have a smaller size in stock. I fell in love with it and am looking forward to wearing it this fall and winter. I don't own anything like this skirt so I was happy to add it to my closet (after brushing it and dosing it with some protective spray).

Verdict: Keep


Madewell Whisper Cotton Stripe Long Sleeve Tee Size XS $32

It was impossible to tell from the preview what color the stripes were. Turns out they are a dark charcoal grey. I like this tee and I actually have one almost identical in navy/white stripes, but I didn't keep it b/c the XS is tight through the shoulders and I think I'd be more comfortable with a size S.

Verdict: Return

I only kept one item, but I'm pretty happy with this trunk. I actually kind of like that they send you fewer pieces now as there are fewer hard decisions to make. I may do another Trunk Club in a couple of months for spring.

This post uses referral/affiliate links. I may receive a small credit or commission if you make a purchase using the links.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2017: Final Thoughts

The fall capsule wardrobe challenge is in the books! The weather was the biggest issue. For the most part it was extraordinarily warm for October and didn't really get cold at all until the final week. I was also dealing with illnesses, for both me and my cat, and had I not been doing this challenge there probably would have been more lounging in my PJs.

Favorite Outfits


What Would I Change?

I don't have a crystal ball so I couldn't have known about the warm weather, but if I had I would have selected fewer outer layers and more short-sleeve tops. I also barely wore my button-down shirts. I might have chosen a few more bottoms as I did get a little fatigued with wearing the same ones every week. My most worn items for the challenge were my grey skinny jeans, my Timberland boots and black sneakers, and my grey floral sweatshirt. My least worn items were the skirt, both of my tall boots, and my olive button-down shirt.

Speaking of olive, I love the color, especially for fall. but there was too much of it in my wardrobe. i was feeling towards the end that I had too many neutrals and not enough color. I think that's why my red jacket made it on the list of favorite outfits both times I wore it.

Things I'm Happy About

I did the challenge for all 31 days. I only got mildly tired of it by the end, which is a pretty big success. I'm mostly content with the variety of items I had chosen and didn't feel like I was constantly wearing the same thing, with a few exceptions. I also didn't make any clothing purchases at all in October, so yay! One of the things I was trying to do with this challenge was to make myself more mindful about new purchases. It also had an unintended side effect, which was to make me appreciate all of the other clothes in my closet. October 31 I was trying to plan what to wear on the first and it was like a kid in a candy store. I have so many non-capsule options that i haven't worn in awhile I think i'll be excited about wearing my other clothes for quite some time.

I also took the plunge and did some clothing alterations that have needed to be done for a long time. I took in the waist of my skirt and tapered many of my jeans at the ankle, which made them fit so much better. it's one of those things i should have done a long time ago but didn't b/c ugh, boring. now i just need to work myself up to fixing the rest of my jeans.

It's hard to explain why this was related to the challenge but because I was constantly wearing the same things I felt like they should look their best. the purchase of a clothes steamer was long overdue and i also bought a leather/suede cleaning and conditioning kit and gave most of my shoes and purses some TLC. like it's better to own fewer high-quality less disposable clothes, but if you're going to do that you should take care of them like a grown-ass person.

The challenge also had an impact on my making. instead of buying new things, I refashioned or am in the process of altering some older items in my closet. I've also identified a few holes and am really going to make a concerted effort to make those things, like a long grey cardigan and mustard cowl.


I still don't really know what to do about unexpected weather, other than perhaps expanding the number of items in a capsule. Perhaps I could designate a set number of rotating pieces that would be a one-in and one-out sort of thing if the weather swings (like short sleeve tees being exchanged for long sleeve tees). I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts. i know that people do the challenge for 3 months and i have no idea how they deal with weather changes over that long of a stretch.

I'm really glad I did this challenge for one month. I don't think I'd be up for doing longer time periods at this point, even though I didn't even scratch the surface of possible outfit combinations. I would consider doing it again, perhaps once a season (along with the no-buy challenge). I am very happy to be wearing non-capsule items now.


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