Tag Archives: bucket list

2016 #2 Knitting Bucket List

I couldn’t sleep last night. 

So while lying in bed, instead of reliving what we watched on tv, I thought about my knitting bucket list from the beginning of this year. I was tempted to get up and check the list. Instead, decided to think about what I want to accomplish for the last few months if the year.

Mentally inventoring your stash & dreaming up projects to knit actually kept me awake. For some reason, I focused on the problem yarns. 

(Just checked the old list. Everything is done or scratched. So satisfying.) 

Now on to the problem children. 

Problem Yarns:

  1. Buffalo Wool Company Sexy – It’s too precious to knit. Can’t find a worthy project. I’ve carry this skein around to fiber festivals & shops for three years.
  2. Habu linen tape – broke too fast when sampling. Do I just trash it? Zig machine stitch over it? Experiments needed. 
  3. Too many lace & cobweb weight yarns – can/should I combo ply them now that I have a spinning wheel and just read about combo plying? 
  4. Overdyed Knitpicks Swish – Originally bought for first cardigan. Should I risk overdying again? Or Make a dozen hats. Hats sounds good. 
  5. Too many gradients – Fiber Optic, Infinite Twist & Gales Arts

    Maybe I’ll focus on one or two of these problem yarns for the rest of this year. 

    Knitting Project Criteria:

    • Something I really want to wear
    • Something that works with existing summer and/or winter wardrobe
    • Knit from stash or my handspun (Patreon support is my whole yarn-fiber budget.)
    • SSK 2017 instructors list for new patterns to queue (I was one of the lucky raffle winners to bypass the lottery system. So nice since I was wait listed till the last minute a few times.)
    • Always a pair of socks on the needles
    • Always a few matching winter hats, cowls & maybe mittens. 
    • Alternating with using old/new in stash

    What I have worn a lot in the last year:

    • Viajante (big warm hug)
    • Bermuda (color & size)
    • Artisian (great neutrals & big warm hug)
    • Romi cowl (color & easy wear)
    • Little Arrows cowl (easiest for summer)

    Now to meld the lists and develop a plan. 

    • Problem 1: Buffalo Wool Company. I was thinking the yarn I just finished spinning would be a good companion to the bison. But the bison would recede into the backdrop. Paid too much for it to be the supporting actor. I saw a friend knit Mixed No. 3 by Kristen Ford. I really like the simplicity but luxury. A light blue silk yarn that could work with the bison.  I’ll just do it in an oversized cowl/poncho. 
    • Problem 3: too much lace & cobweb yarns. I like the idea of plying a few of these into something fingering weight. Fingering is my favorite weight to knit. This will probably be an ongoing project since I have lots and lots.

      3 plying cobweb weight yarns together

    • Problem 4: Overdyed Swish. Most definitely one hat, cowl, & mitten set for me. The rest will be charity hats for SSK2017 KAL.
    • Problem 5: too many gradients. Currently enjoying my On The Spice Market shawl by Melanie Berg. Very subtle colors. This one is going to be very wearable. I might use the Fiber Optics gradient in the same pattern or Solaris also by Melanie Berg. 

    This feels like a good plan that will carry me through the next six months. This list only leaves the Habu linen tape. I’m good. 

    Other things I want to knit right now:

    • Ketterdam by Laura Linneman in Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliliquy Director’s Choice. Or maybe in that 3 ply I just finished. This one is next in line. 
    • Meridian cardigan by Shellie Anderson in fibra natura flax
    • Maude tunic by Julie Weisenberger in linen
    • Either the Boo Knits or Joji Locatelli shawl from the Sight Is For Life book. Book proceeds went to a charity. Handspun experiments?
    • My best friend from Dallas is about to have her second grandchild and first granddaughter. 
    • Two more baby projects for friends’ grandkids. Next in line. 

      Harvey Kimono by Louis Harding

    Time to edit my ravelry queue

    Or take a nap. 


    Spinning Novice Thinking Process

    So I told you I joined the Wool n’ Spinning Patreon sponsorship last month. 

    I am gaining so much in knowledge through the workshop and conversation among the other supporters. I have found another tribe. For research resources, my normal resource the local library has only one very old book on spinning and weaving. Of course, there are plenty of YouTube videos of varying quality. Craftsy classes are definitely more thorough with great visuals. magazines. And my great enabler, Laura, has a full library for this deep dive of spinning books, and Ply magazines. 

    I am in full on learning mode. 

    Borrowed spinning books & magazines

    The books by Judith McKenzie McCuin, Maggie Casey & others were wonderful background information on fleeces, fiber perpetration, and spinning techniques. Will have to refer to them again when I start playing with different sheep breeds.  Right now, I’m an still digging into the Color in Spinning book by Deb Menz and all the Ply magazines. 

    The Craftsy classes I’ve been through are Know Your Wool by Deborah Robson and Spindling by Dru Pettibone. I am just now going through Ply To Knit by Jillian Merono. And must catch up on Yarn Substitution Made Easy by Kellie Nuss. 

    The Wool n’ Spinning conversation has been wonderful and very interesting. At one point, we were discussing the ‘stages’ in our knitting journey. 

    I assume spinning will follow similar stages as knitting. 

    Stage 1: Try Everything

    • The first two projects were just to get use to the wheel and gain some control over my consistency. Really, they were just for the fun of spinning. I managed without difficulty to spin fine and medium singles. Still more to learn and develop that muscle memory. 

    Stage 2: Souvenir Buying

    • At SSK this last summer, I went crazy and bought all the soft fibers, BFL, Polwarth and Polwarth-silk. Yep, just because they were soft or a bit shiny. I didn’t have a project in mind. Definitely souvenir buying. 

      Gale’s Arts and Ross Farms fibers from SSK market

    • And in Dallas, I bought some cotton. 
    • Understand, I bought all of these thinking I’d be spinning on a spindle…meaning smaller projects. I’m sure you noticed no colors. Definitely color dyeing play time. 

    Stage 3: Reality & The Realistic 

    • Discovered an instant gratification project. Practiced 3 ply by plying 2 strands unraveling men’s merino thrift shop sweater sleeves with a Shoppel Wolle lace ball both from deep stash. (FYI, each men’s sleeve was about 800 meters.) Win Win with this. Using deep yarn stash, practice managing three strands and have new yarn I like a lot. 

      800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight finished

    • 800 m merino 3 ply light fingering weight waiting for its bath

    • Breed studies is a topic in Wool n’ Spinning. I will watch & learn from the sidelines. 

    The list below is still developing as there is so much still to learn. And some project supplies to get. 


    • Need 8 more bobbins (600 yds each)
    • Fingering to Sport weight
    • 1800-2400 yards
    • Fiber: ? 24-28 oz
    • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb yarns
    • Woolen spun Singles at low twist:?
    • Plys:3 at balanced twist or 2 ply at high twist
    • Color: goes with everything 


    • Fingering
    • At least 350 yards
    • Fibers: 4 oz Cheviot or Suffolk
    • Singles at medium twist
    • 3-4 ply with a medium to high twist
    • Color: experimental 


    • Fingering or sport weight
    • 600-800 yards
    • Fiber stash: 8 oz, Polwarth & Polwarth/silk
    • Deep Stash: Ply cobweb & lace weight yarns
    • Singles at medium-high twist
    • 2-3 ply with a low- medium twist
    • Color: gradients, semi-solids

    Hats & cowl:

    • worsted to Aran weight
    • At least 400 yards
    • Fibers: 8-12 oz, soft against the neck
    • Fiber stash: silk hankies, Hedgehog fibers BFL
    • Singles at medium to low twist
    • 3 ply with medium twist 
    • Color: wild & crazy art yarns

    2016 Knitting Bucket List: SSK KALs

    As mentioned in last week’s post, SSK is Super Summer Knitogether.  An annual knitters/spinners retreat in Nashville that I have been fortunate enough to attend for the last two years. And for 2016, I made it through the first lottery held in September 2015. (Yeah, it’s a bit crazy. Space is limited to 150 people.)

    This bucket list started as soon as Laura announces the dates and rules for the Knitalongs (KALs) in October.

    The first KAL running November 2015-January 2016 is any designs by Romi Hill. Already finished 2 Artesian shawls, 2 hats from the Oddments book, & 1 Chiklat cowl in the current Romi Hill KAL. 

    Artesian 1 is Wollemeise sock yarn (new stash & a gift) using chart A. I used every inch of that yarn and wish I had another 50 yards to knit another repeat. I would have liked this one bigger. It was a very fast to knit. I was planning to gift it but Eloise reminded me that be superwash wool is not the only qualification for gifting to non-knitters. The receiver must also be willing and able to clean and block the gift properly. So, of course, I wanted to do it again with some changes. 

    Artesian 2 is in Miss Babs Yowza (new stash & a door prize from SSK2015) using chart B with some modifications. It’s a heavy worsted weight yarn…very different than the previous project. Since it’s multicolored, I assumed the eyelets wouldn’t be seen. I wear this shawl ALL THE TIME. No longer in the gift pile. 

    I am in love with the shaping and ease of the process. This will be my go-to shawl pattern. 

    2015 finished shawls, cowl & hats designed by Romi Hill

    The third project finished is the Chilkat cowl. I discovered that I no longer have a large stash of lace weight yarns and don’t plan to increase it. I DID have a lot of leftover lace weight and a large stash of thrift shop men’s sweaters (old stash).  It’s pretty, though not very warm in 20 degree F. In the gift pile, but only for the most knit worthy person. 

    Fourth & fifth projects are hats from the Great Oddments Knitdown ebook in acrylic (old stash). I wanted to knit something quick, easy, my version of a palette cleanser. These are going to the SSK charity.

    Working on Swoop shawl now & what will probably be the last for this KAL in Cascade & Painted Desert. I plan to knit another Swoop later for two reasons.  

    Swoop by Romi Hill in Painted Desert & Cascade

    1. I had a brain blip and increased the count in the second repeat. I’m on the fifth repeat and STILL can’t fix it. Too late to frog it and start again. Messing up just bugs me. This one definitely doesn’t do the pattern justice. So I want to do another one.  The picture is from her pattern. 

      Swoop, by Romi Hill

    2. To keep it interesting, I want to use two higher contrast yarns and BOTH in a gradient, like the zebra scarf I knitted last summer.  

      detail of zebra scarf


    The next KAL is Mercedes Tarasovich

    Up until now, I wasn’t too interested in brioche. I live in the south. Do I need something extra warm?  Yeah, I do. I’m freezing right now in my house. I NEED warm hats and cowls to wear every single day in the winter. 

    I’m not sure I have the mental capacity to tackle a sweater within a time limit. This Girl Friday sweater has been in my queue for a few years. Maybe it’s time. 

    Girl Friday by Mercededs Tarasovich

    There will be as many hats and cowls as I can finish within the KAL time limits. 

    The third KAL is Thea Coleman, Baby Cocktails. Most of her patterns are sweaters. I might be running out of steam by this time, so no high expectations. One or two cowls will be good in linen. 

    I am basically front loading as many projects at the beginning. Knowing that by summer, I will be close to burnt out if I keep up a fast pace. 

    Instead, I want to enjoy this process. 

    Chat with you next week. 

      Changes to the 2015 Knitting Bucket List

      Link to original bucket list.

      The change all starts with Dark Matter Knits podcast, episode 23. She shows a new hat design for men called ‘Aftershave.’ 

       I had to show it to my hubby. He LIKED IT! (four years of watching me knit and hubby has not wanted ANY knit wear.  I had to jump on this.)

      I now have a whole new category of knitting projects. Hats for hubby! 

       Of course, we went immediately to the Local Yarn Shop to pick up this last winter’s hats worth of soft wool!


      Now four lovely hats are swished in the center console of his car.  Worn once or twice.  They are too hot and itchy. They are not super wash, so forget about donating them. Maybe I’ll let them shrink a bit for my use. Hmmmm….

      Dashed hope for a new knitting category…scratch THAT off my bucket list. 

      Second change, scratching off one of the big projects, the Debbie McIver Swirl jacket. 

      I have to book. I have the yarn. I have narrowed it down to two but couldn’t make that final decision. Couldn’t make that commitment leap.  

      Than I see that Bliss Yarns in Brentwood Tennessee will have a trunk show at the same time I’m in the area. Woo Hoo! Thank you Bliss Yarns!  Hubby took pictures so I could pick out the one I wanted. Instead, I was the frumpiest old lady you’ve ever seen.  Hope and dreams of a long hours of knitting AND a beautiful flattering jacket dashed. Tragedy and disappointment averted. But even so my heart sank. Reality is no fun. 

      Evidence: two of the five jackets. 


      As a consolation and encouraged by hubby, I did some stash enhancement at the shop. I was caught off guard by hubby’s enabling. He’s way more dangerous than knitting friends!

      My bucket list summer knitting is self-restricted to cotton, linen, socks. I got all three categories. Snagged the current rage, Regia’s Arne & Carlos for self-patterned socks.  Euroflax has a new lace weight linen (on the spool). Juniper Moon Zooey is a cotton-linen blend in natural. Plus something purple.  

      blurry image, still learning to use the camera: newly acquired at Bliss Yarns

      So my bucket list expanded, contracted, deflated, and has settled into something reasonable. 

      Chat with you next week.