Only So Many Days

Happy New Year! 

It’s taken me a while to figure out how to start today. The truth is that between the normal hectic holidays stuff and the addition of Bear to our family, New Year’s kind of snuck up on us and I was even more thankful than I usually am to spend a quiet night at home.

Bear, in case you were wondering, is doing very well.

img_5099

He is a very happy pup who loves to be outside. In fact, when he figured out that he could ring the bell on the door or cry a little at it to go out and that we’d praise him for it, well, he was pretty sure he had hit the new home jackpot. It really didn’t matter that we put the bell there with a certain purpose in mind. He is definitely a pretty smart dog and has selective hearing/learning skills when he wants! We’ll leave out the parts where he routinely trips over his own feet and somersaults or accidentally face-plants instead of making it up that one small step and just stick with the idea that he is pretty smart. In any case, he has really settled in to rhythm of our family in the two weeks since we brought him home.

We’ve been doing our best to teach him manners, something for which Moose has been a huge help…

img_5100

I’ve never had two dogs at the same time before and it’s amazing to watch Moose teach Bear. If Bear gets caught chewing on something he shouldn’t and we redirect him, Moose will run over, toy in mouth, and drop it on Bear as if to say, “Here, chew on this instead. This thing is ok.” If Bear doesn’t take the hint, he picks it up and drops it on him again. And again. Until the pup gets it. He’s been teaching him to play chase nicely as well as where the perimeter of the yard is. I didn’t think I could love Moose more, but I do. I am totally humbled by his kind, thoughtful, patient soul.

img_5105

He is also getting lots of one-on-one love, of course, because no one deserves it more.

We’re also learning all the things that make Bear happy…

img_5131-1

Like chewing sticks on our balcony. He LOVES the cold and LOVES chewing sticks, but occasionally I need to do things like laundry or clip Moose’s nails (that was today’s challenge!), so he gets to go in his “puppy playpen.” He thinks it’s just the bee’s knees and doesn’t even realize that he’s letting us get actual things done.

As you can plainly see, most of my thoughts are on random dog training things or what the latest adorable thing the dogs are doing or — you know — how I’m dying because Bear is sleeping sooooo sweetly with his paws in the air, making little “sleep woofs.” Yeah… it’s kind of all dogs all the time right now. As it should be though. As Mr. Knitting Sarah says, there are only so many days in your life you get to spend with puppies and they are all special. Almost all other plans have flown the coop.

I’d hoped to have my bobbins empty and new yarns to share today. Instead, I have a bin of full bobbins…

img_5169-1

There are actually two more full bobbins than this which I set over by my wheel in a moment of wishful thinking where I thought I’d blow through 2 plying projects last night.

img_5167

I got through one… almost.

I also made a bit of progress on my Kickapoo Socks

img_5168

I am totally in love with this yarn. I wanted to get through the ribbing last night and I managed to do just that.

It’s the new year, though, and I do want to set some goals for myself. I’m a habitual goal-setter, before finishing one project I like to have the next set up, so I’m continually setting new goals, always. I do find the new year, with its clean calendar, is a fun time to set some new ones though, you know?

After years of setting fiber arts goals of all sorts and sizes, I’ve decided not to set any specific project goals for this year. I’m at a place in life where I need flexibility and my hobby needs to respond to whatever else is happening in life. I want my goals to reflect that, to be more general, more organizational, and more about setting priorities than checking boxes on particulars. Maybe it’ll prove too nebulous, or maybe it’ll be just the right fit… we will see!

So here, in no particular order are some of my 2019 fiber arts goals:

  1. Participate in the Three Waters Farm Skill Builder SAL this year
  2. Spin 15 a day with my friends in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Group
  3. Continue to improve how I evaluate and talk about my spinning so I can help others to become better spinners (this folds into #1)
  4. Do a better job of keeping  Ravelry project pages for my knitting & spinning projects
  5. Knit some of my stash’s sweater quantities, preferably into sweaters
  6. Find a way to revive my sock knitting
  7. Tag my handspun yarn as I finish it
  8. Make notes for future blog post ideas to make sitting down to write more efficient
  9. Figure out my loom warping situation and do some weaving
  10. Set-up a yarn winding station somewhere in the house that I can leave up

That all seems reasonable, right?

What are your fiber arts goals this year? 

(Oh, and one more gratuitous Bear photo, because you only get so many days with a puppy!)

img_5155

The 1+1+1 Project: Q3 Wrap-Up & Q4 Plans

If you’ll remember, my Q2 goals for the 1+1+1 project were pretty much a bust. I did get a lot done, but I left my goals on the table. I was pretty committed to make Q3 happen though and I’m happy to share today that I did it!

Goal 1: Fun in the Tour de Fleece.

img_3992Done. And I made some fabulous yarn, too.

Goal 2: Knit up my 3 pairs of socks for the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club.

img_3808One…

img_4104Two…

img_4415Three! What a blast, too!

And Goal 3: Finish the 2 projects from Q2 I totally whiffed on.

Hamlin Peak…

hamlin-peak-detDone.

And Swoop…

swoop-detDone.

I’m going to save most of the photos for next week when I can write a bit more in depth about each project — I hope you don’t mind!

So I did it! I managed all 3 of my third quarter goals! Whew-hoo!

There really is no rest for this crafter, so it’s time to square away what’s what for the fourth quarter, right? I’m trying to take into account that it’s a busy time of year — we got lots of birthdays and holidays happening, so here goes…

Goal 1: Knit a Featherweight Cardi in my Birds in the Holly handspun yarn.

featherweightYou’ll remember I spun the 8oz in late spring and then an additional 4oz during the Tour de Fleece. It is time this yarn becomes a sweater!

Goal 2: Spin some fun yarns for my daughter’s birthday with these fun mini-batts.

delia-battsMy girl is still bonkers for her Wee Weaver and we’re going to surprise her with a Placemat Weaver for her birthday so I’ve got to get her set with her favorite color yarns, right?!

batts-openI can’t wait to spin and then see her weave with these lovely textures!

Goal 3: Try Kool-Aid dyeing.kool-aidThe only dyeing I’ve ever undertaken did not turn out great, so when I got these Kraemer Natural Skeins in the mail I knew it was time to give it another go. I’ve got three different blends and a basic plan for each. A little research and I will be on my way!

I think my goals are mostly reasonable for this time of year. I suppose we shall see! What are your goals for the last 3 months of this year?