It has been since I last bought yarn!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sun Blocked

Pardon my little hiatus there... it was the most wonderful time of the year... HAWAII VACATION.

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Needles to say- we are very relaxed now.

I am always loathe to advertise my not being home until AFTER I AM HOME... but yes, life came to stand still there for a bit while we soaked in some much needed vitamin D on Oahu this time.  I had intended to get out a brief blog post prior to our departure, but like all days leading up to a vacation, things got busy.  I had done everything I could to get those Jelly Bean socks done, and it came down to 2 more ends needing to be woven in... which I finished this morning.

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Pattern: Vanilla Bean Striped Socks by Emily O'Grady
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in "Jelly Bean" (huh- KP doesn't currently have any Felici on their site!)
Needles: US 1
Notes: This is such a great pattern for self striping yarn.  Just enough to keep it interesting but still delightfully simple.  I feel like Felici was made for this pattern!  As usual- I cut the yarn in order to allow for a perfect striping sequence, and while it's extra ends to weave in, I NEVER regret the choice.

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Like all good vacations, I do set out to have some projects to work on.  And as always, I always plan for more than I knit.  Progress did occur... but it was slow to potentially non-exsistent.  Meet "Maudie" and "Take Five"- you'll be seeing a lot more of them I'm sure.

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While we were away a good friend's first baby announcement came through- so it appears there will be a baby blanket on the needles soon!  Spring is going to be exciting!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Snow Plowed

Hey.... weren't you grinding away at the knitting and promising progress?  Yes.  Yes I was.  But then the snow in the mountains was apparently "epic" so we got sidetracked with a last minute ski trip....

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(It WAS good snow... and good skiing.. and I'm pretty sure nothing can compete with those views!)

The good news is, despite this little longer than planned blog break, I DO have progress to show you!  A third heart blanket it in the "finished pile" now!

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Pattern: Baby Heart Blanket by Deborah O'Leary
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in "white" and "pastel pink"
Needles: US 9
Notes:  I decided to do all hearts this time and I really like how it turned out.  I. STILL. HAVE. MORE. of this stuff.  I'm not sure it's enough for an entire blanket but I'll try and use that up at some point this year.  Feels good to at least be CLOSE to a finish line on these giant balls of yarn.  I will say this... those balls have yardage for DAYS.

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I also managed to hone in on some sock progress and have even started #2!

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AND... the great news is that the weather is warming up... meaning the snow in the mountains isn't all that great anymore.  Less time devoted to skiing means MORE time devoted to knitting... so things are looking up!  Either way there should be more to show and say soon!  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 17, 2017

☘ Top 'O the Knitting Day to Yah... ☘

I'm not all that Irish.  Can you tell?

In honor of Saint Patrick's day, I made some rainbow cookies.  (Totally unrelated to knitting but it's crafty and I'm proud of these so I have to show 'em off somewhere!)

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March has moved along quickly, and so have my projects.  While I'm not done, I certainly can see some progress being made.

The blanket is creeeeeeeeping towards the finish line.

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 I've sort of reached that "meh" point where I don't really want to be knitting on it anymore.  I'm hoping to just go all out this weekend and get it off the needles so my brain can do something new.

The sock is still delighting me enormously.

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I love the colors (and the pattern for that matter) and they just make me happy to work on.  I've been purposefully getting to Parker's school early just so I have more time to knit on them.  I'd really love to have these finished up by the end of March just to feel like I've gotten some things done.

I'm still considering the sweater.  I still love it- but I need to make sure I'm ready to make a commitment to a sweater.  With spring around the corner my brain tends to start looking fondly at smaller/less warm things and a sweater feels like a big warm thing to be sitting on my lap.  I have also found out that one of the Kindergarten teachers is pregnant and so I think I will squeak out a little teddy bear hat and boots for her, because it's too cute not to share.

Progress has been slower than I've liked, but we find ourselves very busy over here at "Chez Nennie".  There are solar systems to build....

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And big ski trips and achievements to be had.

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(My kid, skiing blue and BLACK runs this last weekend!  So proud!)

Ski season is going to start winding down here... and hopefully I'll find a little more time for "knitting season" again.  In the mean time, I'll just keep grinding out what I can and that will get me to the finish line eventually.

Have a happy St. Pat's everyone!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Swing of Things

New projects seem to have kicked my "must knit everything" mojo back into high gear- because I have been on FIRE this week!

Firstly, I am loving my Vanilla bean sock a lot.  The colors are so cheerful and happy and I take it everywhere with me, adding (sometimes) just one more row, but I'm so excited to see how it's looking I don't want to put it down.

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I'm also deep into my acrylic blanket and even further along now than the picture shows.

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It feels good to get some progress on this... although I'm already worried that it's actually going to be MORE than four blankets worth of acrylic in these balls.  There is so much still to knit!  If you are looking for AMPLE yardage... Pound of Love will not let you down!

And because it feels too normal to be well under way on these projects but I'm already day dreaming about what's next... and then THIS lovely sweater....

mystery sweater

popped up in my Pinterest feed and I was DONE.  I want to make this SO BAD.  Some Ravelry sleuthing (and asking for some help in the forums- {god Ravelry is such an invaluable resource}) I had a name.  I'm sitting on my "itchy" fingers for a week to see if I still feel super keen on this project.  If in a week I'm in "LOVE" still... I'm going to buy the yarn and knit it up.  (I don't have a good DK weight... booo.)

It feels good to be back into the knitting and seeing progress move along.  I missed the routine of it and the cathartic feel of knitting stitch after stitch.  I'm looking forward to all the progress I hope to keep making in March!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Month! New Projects!

While it was fun to work off a different knitting theme each day for February, it's also good to stretch the old fingers and get back into more traditional blogging.  (There is a March challenge on Instagram but I have opted out of participating in favor of more traditional blogging and to give my non-knitting instagram followers a little break from the "ALL THE KNITTING" posts.)

Great news people- there is SO MUCH to tell you!  Let's get started with FINISHED THINGS!

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Pattern: Zig and Zag Sock Yarn Pram and Baby Blanket by Debbie Orr
Yarns: SO many leftovers from other projects... remember this?
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Needles: US 3
Notes: Listen up people... I made changes.  I opted to cast on 220 stitches with a smaller needle size than the pattern calls for.  I also added 6 stitches on each side for a border.  I did 16 rows for the major color repeats and only 8 rows for the cream sections.

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This blanket ate up a large amount of that leftover stash that I had wanted it to... so YAY.  It's more of a "car seat" size but it's soft and pretty and some little one will love it.  I will admit that the inconsistent cream colors (I changed to whatever I had without minding to blend it), does bug me a bit.  BUT, not enough to say I couldn't ever gift the pattern... I accept it for what it was, a way to bust out a bunch of stash and produce something pretty.

Getting that OFF the needles... made way for another project to be added back in.  Say hello to yet ANOTHER Heart Baby Blanket variation blanket.

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I HAD to get that giant "Pound of {never-ending} Love" stuff out of my stash and since these knit up fast I'm hoping to crank out TWO of these this month.  Then I see a generous donation of 4 blankets heading over to WCOBB.

As if I wasn't feeling awesome enough with getting that off the needles I also manged to get the travel socks off the needles too!

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Pattern: Sock Recipe: A Good Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (this is my "go-to" plain sock pattern)
Yarn: OnLine Supersocke 100 Wellness Color colorway 1322
Needles: Good Ole 2.25 mm
Notes: Not much to say except that this pattern never fails me.  I will admit I don't like the blurry stripes this yarn produced... but it's nice to have it knit up and out of the stash pile.  I may donate these also.

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As usual, I took great care in lining up the stripes and I have never regretted that decision.

This meant ANOTHER new project to cast on for travelling to and from various activities and holidays.  I knew it was time to get one of those planned Felici socks out of my stash... so I cast on a really pretty Vanilla Bean Sock in "Jellybean" colorway and I literally LOVE the colors so much these socks will be for me!  (Oh god, just adding that link up there made me look at the website and I want to buy "soft serve" so badly... NO.  NO. NO NO NO NO NO.... yes?  GAH it's on SALE TOO... GAH this is hard.  MiL I need intervention!)

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AND... as if two projects with two NEW projects on the needles to talk about wasn't exciting enough... I also cranked out another dishcloth to stash down on that stash!

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Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth by Peaches and Cream Design Team
Yarn: Various Cottons I've had kicking around forever
Needles: US 7
Notes: Nothing other than to say GOD I LOVE how this turned out.  The colors are so cheerful and happy and make me think of Easter and spring!  BRING. ON. SPRING!

I can't stress enough how helpful it was to review my stash in January.  I've managed to really work on knitting things out of it and it feels good to be whittling away at it.  I need to make it a yearly tradition... it really helps the focus stay on working on what I have.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 4

Tomorrow we discuss progress and new things... today we finish up the challenge!

Day 21- Library


Day 22- Currently Wearing


Day 23- Throwback


Day 24- Favorite Tip


Day 25 - Routine


Day 26- Newest Stash


Day 27- Blocking


Day 28- Favorite Thing I've Made (part 1)


Day 28- Favorite Thing I've Made (part 2)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 3

Aaaaaand the challenge continues!

Day 13: Selfie


Day 14:Yarn Love ♥
A post shared by jajjen (@jajjen) on


Day 15: Family


Day 16: Happy Color


Day 17: Fiber Friends


Day 18: Gratitude


Day 19: On the Go


Day 20: Handmade Home



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 2

The yarn love challenge on Instagram continues and so do my posts... here's what I posted since my last update:

Day 6: Mistakes
"Mistakes"- oh god so many.  I frequently find that I have knit the same hand twice far too late in a mitten.  I knit THREE (thinking I would just knit 2 pairs) of the same hand once and had to rip back a whole mitten. *sobs*. The mistake is obvious to the eye on the grey blanket- but I only discovered it as I was GIFTING to it someone. 🙀 That purple stripe blanket nearly damn well killed me.  After a long hiatus I began knitting furiously on it... only to discover I had knit 10 inches incorrectly in pattern.  I had woven in the ends already!  My mother in law (knowing the mistake would drive me nuts) painstakingly ripped out all the woven ends and frogged the ten inches for me.  It was likely the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.  #yarnlovechallenge #yarnlovechallengeday6 #mistakes #payattentiondammit
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on


Day 7: Stripes




Day 8: Where I Craft


Day 9: Tools


Day 10: Oldest Stash


Day 11: Travel Projects


Day 12: Progress

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge Week 1

Blog posts have been light while I've found myself busy, tired and distracted from knitting again.  We've been going skiing a lot... which isn't a bad thing, but the exhaustion at the end of the day usually means I'm sleeping 10 minutes after my kid is.  It's not a bad thing, and I'm glad we've been capitalizing on "winter fun" but I've been feeling frustrated that there really isn't any time left for knitting at the end of the day.

Enter Instagram.

I noticed early this week that a knitting Instagram challenge had been issued... where you take a picture every day related to the chosen theme.

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Deciding it was a great way to connect with other knitters and get myself back into progressing- I jumped in.  AND BLAMMO- I'm re-invigorated to keep working on my projects again!  It was such a great idea that I thought I'd repost my posts here, so those of you NOT on Instagram can also follow along.

Day 1: "Introductions"



Day 2: "Close-Up"
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Day 3: "Currently Making"



Day 4: "Speed"



Day 5: "Community"
A photo posted by jajjen (@jajjen) on



I'll update the posts every 5 days or so that you can follow along on this challenge.  What a great way to get me knitting AND getting me blogging!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quickie

I thought I'd stop in and spend a moment updating you on the blanket which is nearly double in size from the last time I posted.

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It's looking quite nice- although I've had to start measuring and deciding how long I want this to be.  Thinking 2 more repeats with an extra brown stripe will make the blanket too short at roughly 31 inches.  (Although it would be more esthetically appealing to the eye.)  3 repeats is probably the right length call but I would need to figure the order of the various blues, because I like consistency.

I will also admit I've hit a certain amount of "sigh" when it comes to this project and my brain is counting the minutes until it can focus on more appealing projects.  Hang in there self!  Get it done!!!

In the mean time... back to the grind!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Return of the Mojo

Well... it seems that little undesired knitting sabbatical I was on has come to an end.  I WANT TO KNIT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.  NOW.  My desire to work through the stash has me desiring to keep whipping things off the needles... which bodes well for current projects.

(I try to keep myself to 1, sometimes 2 "in progress" projects at a time.  I find if I have too many unfinished things on the needles I get stressed out.  Since this is technically supposed to be something I enjoy doing {most days} it's best to not stress me out.  Hence you don't often see more than 1 or 2 things going at a time around here.)

I'm loving the latest little scrappy blanket.

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Simple and knits up fast, although I am worried that it might be a bit short in length.  It's always hard to say.  I cast on 220 stitches, but the SK2tog, PSSO might be "scrunching" it up a bit.  Same little rules as always- after a full round of color repeat, I need to weave in the ends, so that I don't feel suicidal at the end of the blanket.  My hate for end weaving in knows no limits.  I will admit I have some concerns about having enough to be consistent in my color changes, but I'll worry about that as it comes.

Getting Parker back into his routine has meant 2 things... his activities allow me more "portable project" time and more time to knit in general while he's at school.  The socks have been seeing this benefit lately...

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Remember I want to knit TWO more simple socks this year... so these need to get done.

This is all well and good- my desire to sit and knit is back and I'm doing just that... but my Knitting ADD has also returned and I find myself with all kinds of desires to knit all kinds of things.  And so, because I always need to remind myself, knitting is FUN, I'm allowed a little "side" project once these two other projects are off the needles... before getting back to the "to do" list.

Okay- must finish this up and take advantage of my child-free knitting hours!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Positive Momentum

I knew it!  I knew it!  Last week's little project in updating myself on the stash situation and setting some specific goals regarding gettting stuff out WORKED.  That seemed to be just the "kick" I needed and this week we have seen KNITTING progress.  YES.  ACTUAL. KNITTING PROGRESS.  Mojo may have returned!

I decided to just get one of those dish cloths out of the way right away...

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Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth by Peaches and Cream Design Team
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton**
Needles: US 7
Notes: I'm not sure anything new could be said about this pattern- it's the bees knees!  I love it.  I'll likely knit 2 more of these.  There are so many colorful options to be had and it always looks smart when it's done.

I also worked on the travel sock for a bit just to keep that going and I ended up actually finishing the first sock.  (I took a picture before that... so this will have to suffice.)

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I even cast on sock #2 just to keep momentum going in a positive way!

AND- I put together a grouping of sock leftovers and even cast on another little leftover sock yarn blanket!

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HOLY PRODUCTIVITY BATMAN!  It feels good to be knitting again!

So now that you're updated about what's on my needles I need to show you what my husband arranged for me for my birthday this last week....

WOLLMEISE CAKE!  And oh people... it was yum.

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(No... none of us understand why they didn't center the picture... but the cake was delicious!)

OH and look at my Christmas gift from my Mother in Law!

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How did I not know about a knitting coloring book!?  Yeesh!  I'm out of touch!  (Can't wait to color in it...  (I love that it has KITTIES and Yarn!)

January is off to a good start...  hoping to continue with positive momentum.


**I'm not even going to link to this yarn because it is terrible!  While cotton in general isn't usually "fun" to knit with, this stuff is scented.  WHO DECIDED THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA!?  I had a headache like 4 rows into this thing!  It is TERRIBLE and I will never buy it again.  UGH.  Scented yarn is such a bad idea.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Let's Talk About My Yarn!

Happy New Year!  As predicted, the flurry of the Christmas season caught up with me and I had a difficult time carving enough space out for blog posts... let alone anything else.  Also, if I'm being really honest here... I am in a pretty nasty knitting slump.

Maybe it's because I'm creating my own pattern and there are just nights "I don't wanna".  Or maybe it's because there have been other stressful factors lately and I just find myself unable to motivate to do anything other than "get thru it", I'm not sure.  I do know that this is probably one of the longest stretches of "knitting slump" I've been in and that I'm not sure I'm entirely past it.  The good news is that I'm tired of being in it.  I actually miss knitting.  I can't bring myself to actually KNIT- but I miss the process and the excitement of starting something new.

I noticed on Ravelry this am that people were "flashing their stash" to start the new year.  I haven't  participated in that in quite awhile and I decided to take advantage of a bright morning in my living room and snap some photos of my stash.  I also hoped that it would inspire me a little to be reminded about what's in there and maybe, just maybe, excite me about a new project.

Let's dive in- here is what's in my stash on January 1, 2017.  (I've broken it down into sections- in the effort to get me more organized.)  Maybe we can set some knitting goals here too...

ACRYLIC STASH (OF SHAME):

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This is actually quite a bit smaller than it has been in other years.  The truth is for a non-knitter, sometimes an acylic blanket is soft and just what they want.  I'm not going to feel badly about that.  My goal here is to get those "Pound of Love" skeins (large pink & white skeins) out of my stash.  I'd like to knit other variations on the "Baby Heart Blanket" that I've knit twice already.  The other skeins can be for the oddball group if I feel so inspired... but for now- those big skeins need to go.

COTTON STASH

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This is where this exercise comes in handy... because I was all "WHAT- WHY DO I HAVE SO MUCH COTTON!?"  This stash is made up of so many leftovers and it's time to whittle it down.  And so, with that in mind- the goal is to knit 3- yes THREE dish clothes this year.  Doesn't matter what I make... I just have to make 'em.

WORSTED WEIGHT STASH

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This actually isn't that bad.  The only goal here is remember I have this stash in case I need to knit a baby blanket.  (Looking at you GREY ROWAN YARN.)  Someday I'd like to knit a large afghan with that purple stuff, but I'm not ready to commit to that this year... so as long as this stash doesn't GROW... I'm happy.)

DK/SPORT WEIGHT STASH

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GAH... this is out of control and I don't know even where to start here.  That giant yarn skein was a sweater I had started... and then abandoned.  I might pick it back up again, but I feel my commitment waning on that idea.  I need to remember the Red/Navy Mission Hill yarns in here when it comes time to knit blankets.  The only goal I can wrap my head around here is to knit SOMETHING by June out of this stash.  Something.  Anything.  JUST GET IT OUT OF HERE.

FINGERING WEIGHT STASH

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Oh Lord.  WHAT HAVE I DONE!?  I didn't know I had gotten so carried away on Knit Picks Felici until I did this project.

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Goal #1- NO MORE BUYING FELICI until at least FOUR BALLS are knit up.  (This will be hard- Phyllis I expect you to be very strict with me on this.)  Goal #2- KNIT 2 PLAIN/RELATIVELY PLAIN socks from the Felici this year.  Beyond that, I love that purple gradiant kit a WHOLE bunch... and I need to devise a plan, at some point that maximizes the beauty of that.  Plus the Wollmeise... which is languishing.... and needs some love.  But I try to set realistic goals.... 2 Felici socks this year... OR ELSE.

LACE WEIGHT STASH


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Okay- this isn't bad, like at all.  But the fact that I have started/stopped/restarted/restopped/restarted/stopped various lace projects with this one skein... I'm a disaster.  I need to knit a lace shawl.  If I ever want to win a "First overall" at Stampede, I need to be able to knit a kick ass shawl.  I need to learn this.  I need to do this... but I'm going to let this languish a little bit for at least another year...

LEFTOVERS.... Which I have broken down into 2 additional categories...

FINGERING WEIGHT LEFTOVERS

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So. MUCH. STUFF.  The problem here is mittens.  Mittens rarely take up a whole skein and leave me with a bunch of leftovers.  The good news is that Parker is likely going to pass Kindergarten and therefore I will need to knit at least ONE pair of mittens for a new teacher for Christmas this new year.  I vow to knit those using something from here.  I also need to get around to making a "leftover blanket" from this... and so let's add that to the goals too.

DK/SPORT/WORSTED WEIGHT LEFTOVERS

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This isn't ugly.  This is actually manageable.  Dear little stash, don't expand in size.  That is your only job this year!  Don't get bigger.

So that's where I'm at.  I did find going through this stash VERY helpful and cathartic.  In fact I did derive some inspiration and will hopefully be casting on very soon for something NEW! AND! EXCITING!

So.... let's review the goals here:

1) "Pound of Love" acrylic Blanket(s) - skeins need to be gone.
2) 3 Dishcloths
3) Knit something, ANYTHING from the DK/Sport Weight stash
4) Knit 2 Pairs of Felici Socks.  TWO.
5) Knit 1 pair of mittens from "leftovers" box
6) Fingering leftover blanket

I'll be checking in on these throughout the year, but hopefully this will keep me on track, get the stash down further and BONUS- bring back the knitting mojo with some new challenges.

There is more to say about what is currently on the needles- but it is far from interesting.  I'll report back on that soon, hopefully with something interesting.  In the mean time, with the holidays winding down, lets enjoy getting back into the routine and, god willing, more regular blog posts.

Let's do this 2017!