Crafty New Year!

So, I’m a little bit behind. I’ve spent the last few days trying to get things organized for 2008. I think I’m finally there. If not, I’ll sort it out as I go.

I’m not really the type to make resolutions, because I know I inevitably break them in an embarrassingly short period of time. This year, though, I’m going to do thing a little bit differently. To that end, I’m going to try to keep the following three things in mind:

1. There’s absolutely no point whatsoever in spending your fun time on something that sucks. In life, there’s a lot of things you are obligated to do for a number of reasons. To stay healthy, you should probably go see a doctor once in a while, to get a shiny new car, you’ve got to figure out loan paperwork, etc. But in your spare time, in the time you set aside to do something for your own enjoyment, there is no reason why you should work on something that doesn’t make you happy. Start knitting something and discover you hate the pattern or the yarn? Stop working on it! Pick out a new pattern! Rip out the yarn and use it for something else! But don’t slog through doing something out of a sense of obligation when you really should be using this precious time that you have on making something that you actually enjoy.

2. Use what you have. I know I have a lot of craft-related crap. This year, I intend on using a lot of it. If I’m not using something after a while, I need to get rid of it, because otherwise, it’s just taking up space.

3. And going along with number 2, less is, actually, in most cases, more. The more you have to deal with, the less likely it is that things will receive the proper amount of attention. An analogy? Gardening. Travis and I always loved the idea of having a garden, but the last few years that we had one, it was completely out of control and wretched. So I was thinking about when we had the best garden of our lives, and it turned out to be the first year we tried having one. It was smallish, but in an area of our yard that we were in all of the time. It was manageable. And when we moved to our current house with our much bigger yard, we tried going a lot bigger for our garden – we had the space, so why not use it?

Well, I’ll tell you why. The garden was placed in a poor location. It needed a lot of watering, due to the fact that it got direct sunlight all day. The garden was placed away from a hose, so it was a complete pain in the butt to water. I planted a ton of different seeds, didn’t mark locations for anything, and had no idea what was coming up where. Lettuce bolted before I was even able to identify that they were lettuce plants, things like there. It was too much in too crappy of a spot.

So, this year, after a multi-year garden hiatus, I think Travis and I are going to give it another go. A smaller, more precise, better located go. Instead of getting 14 varieties of tomato seeds, we’ll probably go out and buy 1 tomato plant this spring. I want to grow only what I know we’ll eat (2 kohlrabis a week? Perfect!), and what we really enjoy growing (sunflowers and sorghum!). Hopefully, in severely scaling things back, we’ll have a lot better result.

Besides the above 3 rules that I hope will be constantly hovering around my head in the coming year, there’s another big new thing I’m going to try doing. I started a new blog, an annex to this one, called Craft! Bang! Boom!. Basically, I have very specific crafting goals that I want to accomplish this year, and I’m going to use Craft! Bang! Boom! as a way of keeping track of what I’ve done. It will have mainly pictures of FOs there, and not much commentary (at least, that’s the plan, but we’ll see how it evolves). After thinking about what I wanted to do this year, it just seemed to make sense for me to keep track of all of it in a separate place than this blog, mainly because Yarnzombie would get all cluttered up with daily sketchings of mice. So, if you’re interested, you can check out the Craft Annex and see, in frightening detail, what I’ve been doing.

Hop below the fold with me for the other half of this post, which unlike the first, has shiny pictures!

Hey! It’s below the fold-land!

Besides sorting through the tattered remains of my crafting life, I’ve actually gotten the following done in the past few days. First, I combed up some roving balls. I used primarily some gorgeous roving from Sockaholic Katie, and combined it with a touch of berry-colored mohair and a dab of gray Lincoln wool.

DSC_6971

Then I spun an uber fat and bouncy yarn from them, called High Plains Drifter.

High Plains Drifter Handspun

This is a seriously thick yarn. The skein is 8 3/8 ounces, and 140 yards. It would like to take over the world now, please.

Also combed up these roving balls yesterday:

berryballs

I spun them up, but apparently the yarn wants to be plied, so I’m going to spin up a thin strand of berry-colored tussah silk for plying purposes. This yarn is total gorgeousness so far, though!

I also got another skein of yarn spun up, but have neither blocked it nor photographed it. Mystery yarn of Taunting +2!

Travis and I put our colossal brain and muscle power (snicker) together yesterday, and worked as a team to finally, after two years of intense speculation and waiting, get our Yarn Display Unit mounted to a wall. Are you ready for this? I don’t think you are. Here’s a teaser:

Level?!

Holy mother of god, we actually got it up level!!

Okay, here’s the grand unveiling:

YDU - Yarn Display Unit

Ta-da! Now we can fondle and love our handspun every time we walk down the hall!

Let’s see, what else? Oh, yeah, I wound up buying another Archer Farms product at Target during our Boxing Day shopping trip, so in the interest of becoming Archer Farm’s biggest shill, here’s another product review:

Chocolate Drizzle

Yes, Chocolate Drizzle Indulgent Snack Mix. The bones of this is a version of Chex Party Mix, but then they covered it all with white and milk chocolate. Interestingly, they also seemed to keep the Chex Party Mix spices intact – Worchestershire Sauce is one of the ingredients. This is an indulgent snack mix, if by indulgent, you mean mind-blowingly sweet. I like it, but can only eat a small amount at a time (which is good, because it’s 140 calories per 1/4 cup serving). I’d rate this about a 6.5 out of 10 – I’m definitely plowing through the bag, but the taste can be, every once in a while, either too sweet, or just kind of weird (due to the Chex Mix spices and chocolate combo). Would I buy this again? Maybe, if I happened to be in the Target snack aisle and was having a period-induced heavy chocolate craving. Which could definitely happen.

And finally, here’s the last FO of 2007…

pointyslouch

Yes, there are two socks (knit out of ass-kicking Amysbabies Electric Sheep sock yarn!). Details will be forthcoming, as will be a free pattern. These are some seriously quick and easy socks to knit, with an added SCROONCH factor of about 30. I love them.

Anyway, here’s to keeping new year’s resolutions, making lots of crafty things in the new year, and eating lots of good food (Archer Farms or otherwise)! Happy new year, everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Crafty New Year!”

  1. you have some mighty fine socks there. I love the rack and I might be stealing that idea. I showed my husband and he liked the idea and is thinking of doing it next paycheck 🙂

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