I finished Ella’s B! YES, before she turned 2. That’s big, right? I’ll post pics later. I need to wash and block because seaming really stretched out the cotton squares. I’m hoping a wash and block will bring them to heel. So I don’t see little Ms. Ella dragging this around any time soon since it weighs like a ton thanks to those Biggy Print squares, but hopefully she’ll enjoy it for a long time.
Whew, it feels good to finish that huge project. I would like to finish my crochet stripe blanket this month as well so I’ll only have 1 blanket/throw on the needles (Cavendish). I do want to do the Log Cabin blanket(Rav link) in Mason-Dixon Knitting, but I think I’m going to ask for the book as a present so I don’t know when/if I’ll get it.
So speaking of spending money…I have finally worked up a real budget and I’m trying very hard to stick to it. I have allowed myself to purchase yarn for 1 personal thing, but for the rest of the year I’m going to try to not buy anything else except sock yarn for gifts. If I make it to December and keep to this and can afford to I’ll then reward myself with a skein of Socks That Rock for me, if I like knitting it (I’ll be doing a STR pair of gift socks in September). I will allow myself to buy 1 skein of Noro during my Long Beach trip and 1-3 skeins during my Alaska trip in September (these will be used for that log cabin eventually).
I do find that not thinking ahead with my carefully planned craft spending gets me into trouble sometimes. So last month I bought a lot of yarn for summer knitting and I want to start one of those project now that the blanket is done. But I didn’t think about needles. The pattern is knitted in the round and I don’t have a huge selection of circulars for regular knitting. I did happen to have the recommended size needles but when I tried to knit with them I found them awkward and unwieldy, and thought it might be throwing off my gauge. I also realized I didn’t have the smaller needle called for in a circular at all. So I feel now that I have to get (= buy) needles for this project now, and since my gauge is all screwy I might need to get US 4 & 5′s and US 9 & 10′s. I’ve also determined I’m pretty partial to the Addi Tubo’s, but come on that’s $60+ worth of needles right there and that’s not in the budget. Anyway, I ended up buying the select sizes and a 24″ cable from Knit Picks in their Options interchangeable needles. It’s about $38 for that and I can add to the set as I need or have the money.
This thing with the needles happens a lot more than I’d like to admit for my projects, which is sad since I think I must have at least one pair of needles for every size now. In fact one year with refund money I bought the entire Bryspun straight needle collection (like US 2- US 15) and a selection of their circulars as well. I really do like the smaller straight ones, but the larger ones are too heavy for me and I hate the cable on the circulars. I’m hoping the Knit Picks will be great and I can sell my Bryspun circs and just build up the KP set as I need or can afford it. I really would like to do more of my sweater knitting in the round.
I also forget to consider things like patterns, like if I need a standalone pattern for a project I’m usually so focused on the yarn that I forget to factor in the pattern cost. This is not such a big thing since most standalone patterns are under $10, but I feel like the need to buy a pattern, or more needles leads to more needless spending. Or it has in the past.
I also think another thing I have to look out and plan better for are those swaps and sales I do through Ravelry. I got totally schooled by the USPS this week because I had some stuff for fellow Ravelers to send off and I didn’t have the right mailers and ended up using Priority Mail things. Don’t do it. It’s not CRAZY expensive, but it’s way cheaper to send 1st class and provide your own envelope/box.
Ok, enough of me rambling about budgets and crafting expenses. How about I talk about things I learned this week.
I learned how to do the Figure 8 Cast On last night! I started my first pair of toe up socks and I used that cast on for them. I watched this excellent video on YouTube by fiberfool (Rav name too) and then after I did the initial part I used Knitty’s great article about toe up cast on’s to figure out how to do the increases.
So to recap this totally long and rambling post…
I finished Ella’s blanket.
I started my July xmas socks and learned some new stuff to do it.
I am still swatching for the Ribs and Lace Tank.
I have blown my entire craft budget for July already (except that skein of Noro).
I will have new needles and about 2100 yards of yarn in the next week. Oh wait I didn’t talk about the yarn did I? Next time.