The Seamless Pledge

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I, Ebony Robinson, am taking the #seamlesspledge until December 31, 2014.  I will abstain from buying any new clothes until the end of my pledge with the exception of the bridesmaid dress I will have to buy. I will find ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank. I will use stash materials for sewn and knit items unless supplies are needed to finish a garment.

 

I plan on posting regularly (at least once a week) while completing this pledge.  There will be sewing, knitting, exercise, and cooking posted both here and through my Instagram account.  I’m trying to be just a little more well-rounded in my use of this blog.  I do much more than knitting as a hobby nowadays, so the blog will reflect that.

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Spring 2013

I’m jumping back into the blogging world. I’m planning to document more than just knitting projects, and Ravelry alone just won’t do. I have been dipping my toe into the world of sewing lately and I’d like to document that as well. Plus, I’ve been experimenting with sweater design and I would like to record the process.

My first three sewing projects will be documented over the coming days. They come from independent designers found via the internets and I think every one is pretty fab.

The Love of 1s

I’m participating in the Knit.Sock.Love KAL over on Ravelry that began this January and the socks in progress were shown last week.  I am happy to report that I am right on time with my knitting and they were begun on 1/1/11 and finished on 1/11/11.

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Sticking to this project monogamy thing is hard.  I’d love to pull out 2 different things to work on but I’m limiting myself to one.  I intend to finish my niece’s Not So Tiny Tea Leaves sweater knit in Berocco Weekend as my second project of the year.  Then I will decide if more socks are in my future, or if I’m going to finish my Still.

Move More, Eat Less 2010 #1: In the Beginning

Actually, the beginning was November 22, 2010.  Yep, I started a weight loss plan during Thanksgiving week.  Luckily for me, I was in charge of the food and my brother and sister are as uninterested in turkey as I am.  Instead, we had cornish hens.

I have been struggling with regular exercise since I left the military.  Army PT is not exactly exciting or conducive to one’s sleep, especially when done at 5:30 AM daily.  As soon as I was able to, I quit that absolutely boring stuff.  Besides being boring, I had sustained multiple exercise related injuries in the military.  These included having to spend 3 months on crutches because of bilateral stress fractures in my lower legs.  I hated it.

On the eating front, all of that exercise gave me the false impression that I could eat what I wanted.  I was like a college athlete who stops playing sports.  I gained 30 lbs in about 6 months and kept it there for a year.

This past November I started a new training program with Floyd Seymour, a former boxer.  He has a gym here in Maryland that specializes in weight loss using boxing methods.  Wow, what a difference!  It’s actually fun!  I don’t mind going there.  The music is always pumping and everybody’s happy to be working out.  I have managed to lose 15 lbs since the end of November and there’s no going back.*

The Lean Mean Sweater Queens(Ravelry) of 11 Sweaters in 2011(Ravelry) will be documenting their weight loss progress on a weekly basis. The idea is that if we lose weight we can fit into smaller sweaters that require less yarn and less knitting.  That’ll be the added bonus to this weight loss, anyway.

I plan to post pictures on a monthly basis and show you a few of the recipes that help me make it through this ongoing challenge.

*Positive thinking here.

WIP it Up #1

One of my 2011 Resolutions is to become a monogamous knitter.  That does not, however, preclude me from starting new projects.  It just means that I can only work on that project until it is done.  Thank goodness for that, because I know now that I could not work on just my current WIPs and be happy.  Those I plan to intersperse between new projects until they are complete.

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My first WIP of the new year is a pair of Hederas using Cookie A.‘s new book Knit.Sock.Love. I am participating in the Knit.Sock.Love group KAL on Ravelry and hope to finish all of the socks this time around, with a few replacements (we’re allowed four).   I already know I won’t be making Gothic Spire (Ravelry link) socks because I tried that before and it did not end well, lol.  All of those wrapped stitches using DPNs were a disaster.  I’m leaning toward making some Rhiannon socks (Ravelry link), but I will know for sure when that month begins.

In addition, for all of the socks except ones that I don’t have enough yarn for (i.e. knee socks) the yarn has to come from stash.  Not surprisingly, I have enough yarn to make every pair of socks in this KAL except for one.  I think this will work out well.  Less yarn, more socks.  It’s a win-win.

2010 Wrap-Up

2010 Mosaic

1. DSC_0175, 2. DSC_0160, 3. serendipity-socks-complete, 4. Lipstick-Lava-Socks, 5. lace-and-cable-socks-finish, 6. Vortex-Socks, 7. serendipity-socks-complete, 8. sundara-fsm-shawl, 9. self-striping-regia-socks

2010 was a very slow year for me. I expected much more to be happening knit-wise, but life got in the way.

I am missing two finished objects from this mosaic: My first top-down sweater, and a hat that I knit for the holidays. Otherwise these 9 things are all that got accomplished this past year.

I hope to have much more going on next year and have a plan that I hope will give me a more consistent crafting experience in 2011. It will involve socks (of course), sweaters, sewing, and weight loss. I am planning on dedicating one post per week to my knitting, one to sewing, and one to weight loss and overall life.

See you in 2011!

New Challenge

My best, longest-running friend in the world has been through a rough year.  Her father was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia this time last year and has been in treatment since.  He is now so weak that he is unable to continue the chemotherapy and has become bedridden.  They are having to consider a move to hospice care if things do not improve soon.

This has prompted me to consider finally doing something I haven’t been willing to work up the nerve for in the past.  Joining Team in Training.  I’m not afraid of training for a race, but I am totally uncomfortable with the fundraising aspect of things.  I am, after all, a serious introvert at heart.  My time in the military did at least help me to overcome those tendencies a little bit.  This would be taking it to a whole new level though.  I’m thinking that I may be able to work knitting, yarn, and quilting into my fundraising efforts.

I have until August 21st to decide if I can commit to this, but I’m thinking that the answer will be yes.

Knitting Hiatus

Wow, I haven’t spent and significant time knitting since my last post. I’ve been busy doing things with my dog Freya. This includes a few canine freestyle dance classes on top of her regular obedience training.

The other part of that is that she is still trying to chew through my yarn stash. It’s not safe even inmy lap. This means that I’m still working on the same pair of socks. I’m going to try for more frequent knitting sessions in the coming weeks. Hopefully at least the socks will get finished.

Watch this space.

Making Progress

I’ve been very good with my stash-down goals. I have been to my LYS, but haven’t purchased any yarn. I went in to get some smaller Addi Turbo Lace needles and found that I had a credit available for their frequent shopper program. I ended up getting 3 sets of needles and only paying about 10 dollars. Definitely a bargain! I have the hardest time with online vendors, though, so my LYS will still be getting business in the form of books and magazines.

I managed to finish another pair of socks. They are the Lace and Cable socks in Knitting from the Toe Up. I love the density of the Plymouth Happy Feet that I knit them out of, and look forward to knitting up the four other skeins of this yarn that I have in my stash (two per pair of socks). It’s so cushy. It reminds me of Socks that Rock, only cheaper since I bought this at closeout prices

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Pattern: Lace and Cable Socks

Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet, colorway #3

Needles: 2.5mm Addi Turbo Circulars for Magic Loop

Start: March 27, 2010

Finish: April 13, 2010

 

I finished these socks for the Sock Knitters Anonymous March Challenge (lace). I started another pair for the April Cookie A Challenge. Along with a sock yarn stash, I have a pattern stash that includes several of her patterns. I opted to try knitting up Thelonious. Every time I looked at this pattern I thought it was too complicated to bother with, having to make sure that you followed the lace chart as well as the basic pattern chart with its increases and decreases. I figured now was as good a time as any to take on the challenge. It hasn’t been as bad as I expected, even though I do have to pay close attention to the pattern to make sure it is coming out correctly. I am aiming to have these finished by the end of the month so that I can focus on the May challenge.

 

 

Next post will be all about my April Coast-to-Coast Bee blocks.

Going Cold Sheep

I’ve been part of the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry since 2007.

Last year they began a Cold Sheep group whose goal was to not add to the yarn stash with purchases for however long the member designated for him/herself.  The moderator of that group has been knitting from stash for 3 years now, with a few small exceptions.  The first year  considered joining, and did in fact participate for all of 2 months.  I then swiftly fell off the wagon and decided this wasn’t for me, even though my stash is out of control.

This year I tried again, only to succumb to the call of Knitpicks and the Webs closeout deals.  I had given myself two exceptions.  The first, the Homespun Yarn Party, occured on the 21st of March.  I got some good stuff, including some Sanguine Gryphon yarns and a skein of beautiful yellow Wool/Silk fingering weight  from Ashton Studio Arts.  My second exception is the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show.  I’m actually not too worried about this one, as I go there much more for the fiber than for any yarn that is on sale at the show.

I’ve decided to try again to go Cold Sheep, with some modification.

1.  I will not buy any fingering weight yarns for socks until I have completely knit up my current stash. I’ve pre-funded my PayPal account to cover my Yarntini club subscription for the year, and am including that in my stash starting total.

2. I will not buy any lace weight yarns for shawls until I have completely knit up at least 75% of my stash.  Stash does not include any cobweb weight yarns, or I would never accomplish this goal.

3.  I will finish or frog all of my current UFOs by the end of 2010.  Right now that stands at 15 projects, not including some that are long-term Shetland lace knitting or have not been started yet.

I have a spreadsheet of all of my projects with start and finish date, yarn, yardage, mileage, and how many skeins of yarn that project used.  So far this year I have completed 8 projects totaling 14 skeins of yarn, 3900 yards, and 2.22 miles.  I will be documenting my progress here on a monthly basis until this project is complete.  I’m expecting it to take me at least 2 years to knit up all of my sock yarn.  It may be even longer if I don’t manage to complete at least two pair per month.

I think this is a do-able challenge and can’t wait to start documenting it all.