A Nice Round Number

There’s something about the number ‘2015’ that I really like. It’s not technically a round number, not even an even number, but it feels like a nice, round number to me. I’ve been inspired by all the list-making and year-reviewing happening in blogland and I’d like to jump in with my own. In the past, I’ve made some pretty geeky year-end project charts. This year, my knitting production was way way less. I suspect there are a few reasons for this:

  1. a wrist injury that prevented knitting for most of 2 months
  2. the planning and execution of my wedding
  3. the opening of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe
  4. more time spent spinning (52 oz of finished yarn!)
  5. and very few gifts knit this year (only 2)

All of these events means that my knitting production was so dismal, I’m not even making a graph of it. Compared to last year’s 50 project finished in 2013, during 2014 I completed a grand total of 18 projects–many of them hats. Shockingly, I have 44 WIPs from the last few years floating around my house somewhere… a situation which sorely needs to be remedied.


Although I couldn’t resist making a table…

Somewhat more disappointing is the complete lack of disregard I showed for the goals I made last January. They were to knit myself a sweater, knit entirely from stash, and finish or frog all of my socks in progress. In fairness, I did knit about 70% of a vest (that I intend to finish by January 24th!), except for one hat I did knit entirely from older stash (but I still stashed over 60 skeins of yarn), and the sock status remains a disaster. I finished a grand total of two pairs of socks in 2014, with 17 pairs (actually, I just cast on a new one, so make that 18 pairs) still in some kind of progress.

Woolen Diversions

But isn’t the new sock delightful?!

Thus, I’ve concluded that I really needed some more concrete goals, with an associated plan of attack. Constructing such a plan of attack will be my WIP this week, I’m sure…

I believe I first encountered the idea of embracing a particular word for the new year instead of making concrete resolutions on Sarah’s blog (although you can also read about the idea here). I love the concept and think that approaching a year with intention is more doable than aiming for a particular outcome (clearly, based on my lack of goal-stick-to-it-iveness). Circumstances are so unpredictable and the only thing you can really control is the way that you approach it all, so framing your approach with mindfulness makes a lot of sense to me.

Woolen Diversions

Sunbeam of mindfulness.

I have two words this year. The first is Bravery. There’s a great line in a Jason Mraz song that goes “But my thoughts are all I got, so I try to make ’em brave” which has become a bit of a mantra for me. Even before I heard the song, I promised in one of my wedding vows to approach our life together with a sense of adventure and joy. I think part of what I meant was that I will try to be brave — to worry less, to enjoy more, to retain a sense of perspective, and to keep our life together fun, because it is a good life and we are lucky to have it. It takes a lot of courage for me to face uncertain futures and make decisions with a light heart, and I intend to do my best to cultivate such an attitude of bravery in 2015.

Woolen Diversions

Irrelevant to this post, just wanted to show off the awesome shirt I gave the Fiasco (my muppet-y man) for xmas.

My second word, partially inspired by this post, is Enough. While this word has negative connotations, I think it can be incredibly freeing, as well. Everything really is ok, in moderation, and learning when I’ve had/done enough and accepting that I am/do enough is key. I tend to throw myself into projects/ideas/plans with 150% of my being, whole-hog, guns-blazing, and all that jazz. And while that can be a productive approach, it can also lead to burn out, a lack of direction, unproductive backslides, and guilt. (Nobody needs that guilt.) So this year I intend to get ok with gradual amounts of progress, with spending moderate amounts of time in a variety of pursuits, and with realistically outlining my goals and priorities so that they aren’t quite so ‘all or nothing’. I am coming to the understanding that everything in my life cannot be top priority at all times, that some things must slide back while others come forward, and as long as the backburner doesn’t turn into a place where dreams go to die, it will all be just fine.

How do you greet the new year? Do you reflect on the past, look forward to the future? Do you make any goals? If so, what are you focusing on for 2015? And since I likely won’t make it back to this space before Friday, have a very Happy New Year!


This Way Madness Lies

I hope all are enjoying their long weekends! I spent most of mine working on a revision of my master’s thesis work that we are submitting to a journal (so close to publication). But I also found some time for a different sort of analysis… a serious, in-depth, face-the-music stash analysis. (Gasp! I KNOW.)


Sneaky Fiasco…

Ravelry has a button you can press to export your stash to Excel. It is amazing and wonderful for us data nerdy types. And also horrible, because there is just no escaping cold, hard facts. Those facts are what prompted me to attempt the reorganizing and destash deciding pictured above.


What this table shows is that I currently have over 200 skeins (33 miles!) of yarn in my stash. Those skeins are in various stages of use, which we’ll discuss later. Interestingly, I’ve sold and traded more skeins of yarn than are currently in my stash (223, 34 miles). Even more interestingly, in the past 4 years I’ve knitted up a smaller number of skeins than I currently have in stash (146, 19 miles). While I should probably be ashamed that I have more yarn stashed than I will likely knit in the next few years, I’m still kind of impressed that I’ve knitted my way through 19 miles of yarn… which isn’t even counting WIPs! It’s also kind of amazing that a grand total of 653 skeins of yarn have passed through my life in one way or another. Wow. (Yes, I do identify as a yarnaholic.)

stashpieNow I’ve broken it down to show what percentage of the “In Stash” category falls into different states of being. The green wedges show us that a total of 12% of the stash is specifically for non-selfish purposes (gift knitting and designing). The pink/red wedges indicate that over half the stash (57%) is not particularly for anything. Granted, I have solid plans for a vast majority of those skeins, but there are some that are still waiting for me to find the perfect project. What’s kind of amazing is that over a third of my stash (blue wedges, 31%) is in some sort of project-in-progress.  That means 73 skeins and 10 miles of yarn are on their way to becoming a big purple blanket or socks or shawls or mittens or scarves, etc. etc. I haven’t decided yet whether that is hopeful, crazy, or impressive… And none of this involves fiber or handspun yarn (siiiiigh).

Have you taken a good hard look at your stash? No? Good! Feel free to help me re-home some of mine. 🙂