It’s on Random: 6 Miscellaneous Goals for 2023

1. Continue Bullet Journaling

I started bullet journaling in October, and it has made a huge difference in my anxiety. If I write everything down, I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. It also helps me organize my thoughts and activities by topic. This morning, I set up my January pages while listening to Not Just the Tudors: Birth of the Gregorian Calendar.

2. Try Brioche Stitch

This is one knitting stitch I’ve never tried, and I would like to learn it. I’m thinking brioche socks.

3. Knit Myself some Slippers

I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years. My last attempt was unsuccessful. Here is a list of the patterns I’m considering:

4. Read 1 Book each Month

It may seem like I’m lowballing, but I rarely slow down enough to read. And if I stay up watching movies, there’s no way I’ll get my bedtime reading in. So that’s my plan: go to bed weeknights in time to get at least one chapter read. Right now I’m reading: Keeper of the Queen’s Jewels, Midwinter of the Spirit, and Threads of Life.

5. Bake More

I’m doing well on sourdough scones, flat bread, and pizza dough. Above is my latest scone: cinnamon and crystallized ginger. But I’d like to bake more cakes and pies. So that’s my goal. One per month, I think.

6. Garden Plans

I’ve got my seeds, and this year I’m planning to grow a kimchi garden for Bob, as he makes really great kimchi. There will also be vegetables and herbs of course, but no new dye plants. Whatever survives. I’ll probably draw a schematic in my journal and share it. I’ve also got a galvanized shelf that I think will be perfect to hold seedlings in the south facing bay window. If only I knew someone who could send me a rooting of pondweed for my little frog pond. Any takers?

Happy New Year! Year of Projects (YOP) 2023

I’m ready to start the New Year right with an impossible list of items I will never accomplish. At the same time, having a list ensures I will be somewhat productive. I do love the feeling of checking items off a list. Perhaps I will start adding gold stars next to completed projects. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog weekly when I can’t think of anything else to say.

I’m grateful the Year of Projects group is loosely organized, and I was able to take a break last year. My approach this year is to divide and conquer. I’ve divided my full list of knitting projects into separate lists for 2023 and 2024. 2023 (below) includes works in progress (WIPs), and new cast ons I hope to complete this year. Add to this list socks, since my plan is to knit a pair of socks every month this year. That’s not realistic, but that’s never stopped me from trying. Some of these WIPs probably won’t make it this year. There’s a reason I’ve set them aside, but I’m not ready to rip them out yet.

Knitting To Do List

Peaceful Lodge Sweater
  1. Arrowhead Cardigan in Lettlopi
  2. Powdermill (New Year’s cast on)
  3. Who Ya Gonna Shawl? KAL
  4. Willow in Moonstone Arcadia
  5. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  6. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  7. Summer Solstice Wrap
  8. Knitter’s Dude in Knitpicks Comfy for Bob
  9. Auchnaha in Schiehallion in Mooring
  10. Fall Favorites Sweater in La Bien Aimee Merino Sport (short-sleeved purple cats version)
  11. Cozy Autumn Socks
  12. That Old Christmas Moon Shawl in In Betwixt Yarn Advent (I want to be wrapped up in this by December 1.)
  13. Christmas Pudding Socks
  14. Streely Maid Trigger Mitts in Holiday Doodle Cowl colors
  15. Stash Aurealis
  16. Alaska Hat in Knit Circus kit
  17. Spisa Oven Mitts from stash (gift for Freya)
  18. Advent Scarf

Completed Knitting

Sewing To Do List

I’ve noticed my approach to sewing is to make a pattern to see if I like it. If I do, I make multiples so I don’t have to learn something new every time I sew. It’s more enjoyable for me if I can skip the instructions. So my plan for 2023 is to mostly make multiples. I recently acquired Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Patterns book. There are a couple of garments I really love, the Rui shirt and Pym pants. I have plenty of fabric in my stash for these.

  1. Rui Shirt in apricot linen
  2. Rui Shirt in Liberty blue paisley lawn
  3. Rui Shirtdress in yellow or red linen
  4. Pym Pants in Virginia cotton canvas
  5. Ophelia Overall shorts in Virginia cotton canvas with black walnut ecoprint accents
  6. Audrey Pants in black brushed cotton twill
  7. Martina Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Weaving List

I wove this scarf!

Spinning List

I’ll finish spinning my Pumpkins for Sale BFL and maybe participate in Tour de Fleece. I think I would also like to dye my natural rovings and spin skeins for gift giving this year.

Happy New Year! We’ve had a lovely weekend, with a gathering at a friend’s in Canton, then an overnight stay with kids in Cuyahoga Falls. New Year’s Eve was spent eating pizza and watching Bloody New Year and Terror Train. Neither of us had ever seen these, but they were an enjoyable diversion. I impressed even myself with my facial recognition gift by pointing out John from Shaun of the Dead in Bloody New Year. (I have a gift for pattern recognition. I am currently using this gift in my role as part-time Remote Bookkeeping Elf — title my own. I log in to computers remotely early in the morning and work on other people’s bookkeeping while they are still asleep. They wake up and their bookkeeping is all done for them! I would love to have an afternoon job that is more creative, and I’m thinking about knitting pattern tech editing.) Today we’re going for a New Year’s hike. Bob will make black eyed peas and collards for dinner.

I usually choose a word for the year, although I don’t think I chose a word for 2022. I spent most of the year focusing on my mental and physical health, and made some progress. I was able to stop taking medications. I was able to get off social media except Facebook. I think about closing my Facebook account, but there are connections with family and friends there I would miss. In fact, a friend recently shared this article that plays into my word for 2023. My word is Voice. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm my own voice, and share it if I want to. No pressure, though, if I don’t feel like it. My resolutions for the year are to knit from stash and have more fun. We’re also having a “no buy” year, as we have a new furnace and electrical system to pay off. This means we can buy food and necessities, but not anything else. Bob pretty much lives like this, so I think we all know who is going to be struggling the most. This was my idea, by the way.

Also from the Wool and Fiber Arts group on Facebook. I’m in it for the memes.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Boxing Day Round Up

I can now share my other gift make. This is yarn I knit into Rose City Rollers and a shirt we picked up while in Pittsburgh for Nova Scotia Nana who is a Steelers fan. Hi Nana! Yarn is Fibernymph Dyeworks Inversibles in black and gold.

Rather than list all my makes for 2022 — since I shared most of them on my Year of Projects Finale post — I thought instead I would share my totals and favorites.

I knit 15 projects and 8 miles of yarn in 2022. This is down from around 24 projects in previous years. It was a rocky year. My favorites are, below, Ocean Moon Shawl, Pumqueen Cardigan, Ghost Knitter’s Shawl, and Holiday Doodle Cowl.

I completed around 30 sewing projects in 2023, if you count multiples of the same pattern. This number includes project bags and shopping bags made as gifts or for sale in the shop. My favorites are, below, Plaid Flannel Shacket, Clare Coat, Spoopy Project Bag, Zero Waste Gather Dress, and Felix Dress.

I dyed fabric and yarn this year — some naturally, and some with low impact dyes. My favorites are the colorways for Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, the black walnut fabric with iron mordant, and the wool and cotton yarn dyed with tansy that is complemented by the Hi Summer colorway. (I’m going to knit a Visser or Halvis out of these, as they look so good together.)

I did manage to improve my spinning this year, and just started with weaving. Not much to show right now, though.

Hand spun local Blue Faced Leicester (BFL)

I will blog about 2023 plans in another post. I miss Year of Projects and am considering rejoining, even though I needed the break. If you are still with me — either on this post or as a subscriber — thanks for reading and sticking with me this year.

We had a lovely low-key Christmas Day with all the kids and Granddog Cannoli. I hope you enjoyed your day!

Merry Christmas!

I finished knitting Henry’s Cthulu for Christmas hat. Pattern: Lovecraft’s Bane. Yarn: Banshee Fiber Arts, Yeti base. It’s wrapped up and under the tree.

I sewed new gift bags this year from quilting cotton I had in stash. The young’uns never really liked these, since they don’t get the full experience of ripping paper. But Bob and I prefer them since they can be reused. No pattern. I sew them the way my Grandma did, which is basically a pillowcase with a gusset, plus a casing with buttonholes for the drawstring closure.

I also sewed myself what I’m calling a “Christmas Lounge Suit” out of some green velour from stash. Tried and true PJ pant pattern from Ottobre. Top is Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. Rookie error: I cut the back of the pants with the nap reversed, which gives it a harlequin effect. Now I wish I’d done it intentionally on the top, too.

Merry Christmas Day. Happy eighth night of Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa tomorrow. And Glad Yule! 2022 completed Holiday watchlist below. We didn’t watch Elf?! 🤷🏻

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Black Adder’s Christmas Carol
  • Christmas at SCTV
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1968 animated)
  • Violent Night (new favorite)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Pottersville
  • A Christmas Story
  • Bad Santa
  • Elves (Nisser, Danish 2021)
  • Die Hard
  • Becoming Santa (2011 documentary)
  • Batman Returns
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
  • Bob’s Burger’s —The Bleakening
  • Bob’s Burgers – The Plight Before Christmas
  • Ghosts Christmas Special
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete
  • A Christmas Horror Story
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Holidays
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Hjem til Jul 1 & 2
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas Movie

Winter Solstice WIPs

Happy Winter Solstice! The shortest day of the year has ended, and the longest night is upon us. It’s my favorite night of the year. I’ve started a fire, mulled some apple cider, and am settling in for an evening of knitting. Bob made chili and cornbread for dinner. For dessert I made mince pies!

My WIPs (works in progress) are coming along well.

I am meeting my goal of five rounds per day on Lovecraft’s Bane. I should be finished on Christmas Eve.

I’ve also picked my Peaceful Lodge Sweater back up, for mindless evening knitting. I’ve divided for the armholes and am working on the back right now. I hope to be finished and wearing it on New Year’s Day.

I wish for you good food, great company, and a long cozy night of knitting tonight, or whatever you love to do!

Cthulu for Christmas

Last year I knit hats for my kids, and Henry’s Unbearable Hat was too large. I’m a loose knitter, and I should have known better than to knit the pattern in DK wool superwash. It looks like he’s wearing a tea cosy on his head.

I asked if I could make it up to him with a Cthulu hat. He looked at me like, “I wouldn’t say no.” I started a Lovecraft’s Bane in Banshee Fiber Arts Yeti sport weight. Five rounds per day. I’ve got time for that.

Here’s the Holiday Watch List Update. We lost a little time because we got sucked into Yellowjackets.

  • Batman Returns
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
  • Bob’s Burgers – The Plight Before Christmas
  • Ghosts Christmas Special
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete
  • A Christmas Horror Story
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Holidays
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Hjem til Jul
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

Advent Scarf

A few years ago I really wanted to knit this scarf:

📸 Tricia Weatherston

I still want to knit it! (That’s a tried and true test for spending my knitting time in a quality way.)

I’m late to start an Advent scarf. I have a cone of sport weight Frangipani gansey yarn (worsted spun with great stitch definition) in off white that I think would be perfect, though. Should I cast on? (I think the answer to that question is always YES.) Or I could add it to next year’s December knitting list, which is more rational and realistic, especially since I have a couple of gift knits to finish.

Are you a December Advent knitter? I like it as a way to count down the holidays. I didn’t put anything in my Advent chest this year. I was disappointed when I created my own yarn Advent with leftovers. I thought I was really clever, tricking myself. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll purchase some new little things and fill in with chocolate.

Here is my updated Holiday Watch List of titles I’ve seen so far:

  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports
  • Hjem til Jul
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

Have you any new holiday movies or shows you are watching this year?

Holiday Doodle Cowl

I finished knitting my Holiday Doodle Cowl! I was worried I made it too snug, but I love that I can cover my nose with it and it stays up. (And ears!)

Pattern is Holiday Doodle Cowl by Pacific Knit Co. She has different versions of the pattern, so you have to make sure you get the charts you want. Yarn is Rauma Strikkegarn in 123 mid green, 100 white, 155 light blue, 144 red, and 198 light green. I ended up finding the red at Wool & Company, but I purchased the rest of my yarn from The Woolly Thistle.

I like this yarn a lot. It’s woolly, so not for someone who wants their wool super soft. But to me it’s warm and cozy. I have enough left to make some mittens, so I think I’ll do that. I’ve been wanting to make some trigger mittens from Saltwater Classics since our trip to Nova Scotia. They would be fun in these colors.

I also really enjoyed knitting the pattern. It’s fun, straightforward colorwork. I think this may be my favorite type of knitting, after stockinette. I’m also proud of my grafting, which you can see here. Or can you?

I’ve wanted to knit this since 2020, when I purchased the pattern on Ravelry. I’m glad I will have it to wear this holiday season!

Sock it to Me Krampus

Krampus was sure to get his licks in today. I had four fillings replaced. The good news is I stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home to pick up a rosemary tree so I can make gluten-free rosemary shortbread, and they had gluten-free Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s in stock! I bought two boxes. I guess I’ve been good this year after all.

We are watching Rare Exports with our Krampus gingerbread to take a bite every time a character does. I’m knitting on my Merry Krampus socks. We might watch Krampus after or A Christmas Horror Story.

Happy Krampusnacht!

A Major Award Weekend

This weekend we went to Cleveland to visit A Christmas Story House! We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, and finally made it happen. We brought kids and stayed with kids in their new house, so it was a wonderful kid-filled weekend!

The kids (including Bob) enjoyed getting into character. It was a lot of fun!

We also enjoyed the museum, which included a room filled with some of the costumes.

I was disappointed there was only one sweater.

Remember when I waxed rhapsodic about the handknits in the movie? I can’t find this old post, or I would link to it.

They have a fan art room, and I’m tempted to recreate Esther Jean’s stockings and donate them to the museum.

The gift shop was also a lot of fun. I picked up a few small things, including this charm I’ll use as a progress keeper!

I also got to meet a new family member on this trip, Cannoli. ❤️

Do you watch A Christmas Story every year, like we do?