17 December 2008

"Where my stitches at?"

Another semester is winding down, and I just finished entering in my end-of-year financials. I can't believe 2009 is just two weeks away! I suppose y'all have been wondering where I've been this year; my blog has been conspicuously dormant throughout 2008. Rather than provide you with excuses, I thought I'd give a recap of the year, and let you decide.

2008 ushered in the toddlerhood of my daughter, which has made crafting, er, interesting. Gabby loves to play with my ball winder, is fascinated with unspun roving, and things center-pull balls of yarn are hours of entertainment that end with Mami pulling out her hair and attempting to extricate Gabby from a hundred-yard pile of tangled $25/skein mohair blend. Not to be outwitted, I taught Gabs how to actually use the ball winder and swift, and put a crochet hook in her hand. She can't chain yet, but she'll get there soon.

I've been blessed that my mother-in-law has taken up spinning again full-force. She's a fiber gal, born and bred (her daddy invented the CVM breed of sheep - renowned for both its fleece quality and its yumminess). She even put herself through college breeding and showing sheep! But I digress. She's taken up the wheel and I get a steady stream of handspun yumminess. Of course, this yarn, for the most part, has languished in my stash, but I have it nonetheless.

That isn't to say that I haven't been productive. Between law school and finishing my masters degree, I've found time to make my hooks happy. I've actually busted through quite a bit of my stash with my new favorite project: arm warmers. I love them. They're cute. They're fast. They're versatile. They make great gifts. Yay Arm Warmers! I've made lots of them to date - Ravelry lists 10, but I've made several more.

A few of my arm warmers, as taken on my iSight camera (hence the cruddy quality):

And speaking of Ravelry, I'm addicted. The number one reason why I haven't blogged that much here is because I'm doing my project synopses on Ravelry. I love it. I love the linking and the sharing and the rating and seeing all the other cool things people are doing. BUT - I just found out that only Ravelers can view you on Ravelry, which means that the great big Internet (including you, faithful blog reader) can't read my "Lessons Learned" from my projects. I think I've come up with a happy medium: post all the yarnie detail on Ravelry, and display finished items and general overviews here on my regular blog. That way, if you want the Knitty Gritty detail, you can check out my Ravelry crochet project notebook.

I've also been churning out lots of scarves. I've had a ton of yarn that's just been languishing in my stash. Orphans from bargain bins. Mismatched lots. Pretty yarns I just couldn't resist buying but didn't have a use for. I busted out about 20 scarves, and I sold most of them at Handmade Militia this past weekend.

Hats are another big thing. I've been working on expanding my line to be more unisex. I made several male-centric hats that have been very popular with the guys in my life. I figure I'll make a few more before I call it quits (for awhile). Unfortunately, guys are boring to crochet for. Dull colors, simple designs... they hate fringe and curliques and can't understand why it matters if I use a slip stitch or crab stitch on the edge of the beanie.

I haven't felted much lately, mainly because we don't have our own washer. I have to go to my mother-in-law's to complete felting. Although we get along, this just isn't something I have a lot of time for. Felting in her ancient machine takes a long time (like, 6 cycles). So I've avoided it. Unfortunately, I found out at Handmade Militia that my felted baby booties are still wildly popular, so it looks like I'll be busting my feltable wool stash on more booties. Le sigh...

Teaching and designing have also picked up a bit. I'm still teaching over at TACTile, but I've expanded to private lessons. I love that. I've also started designing, and some of my designs are available either on Ravelry or in my Etsy Shop. I'm submitting a few designs to Interweave Press for next year's Fall edition - keep your fingers crossed for me!

And finally, life in general. I'm still in the Navy - I was selected to the JAG Corps this November, and now I'm hoping and praying my actual commissioning goes through. I'm still in law school and still working towards a Masters. With luck, I"ll be done in May. I'm still a full-time Mommy, and I still do my best to make time for my dear husband. So life has been hectic. But I'm still here, still hookin', and still loving this thing called fiber art.

My resolution for the new year (well, the one related to Kastroll Kreations) is to blog at least once a week. To keep in touch with you, Dear Reader, for it's you that this blog really exists for.

'Til next blog,

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