Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Am I Doing?

Remember at the beginning of the year, I actually made a few New Year's resolutions...what was I thinking?

Half Year Status Update

Just like the good corporate citizen I am, where I review my annual work goals with my boss at the mid-year period, I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for my New Year's resolutions.  Here's where we are:
  1. Read The Hunger Games Trilogy
    1. Status - Complete
  2. Watch The Hunger Games
    1. Status - Complete
  3. Finish the Blanket/Coffin Cover project
    1. Status - Made minimal that the blogathon is over, I can pick it up again
  4. Travel overseas
    1. Status - No progress on this yet and nothing in the foreseeable future
  5. Get down to 190 pounds and stay below 195 all year
    1. Status - went the wrong way on this one and just hit 200 for the first time in years
  6. Grow at least one kind of vegetable
    1. Status - this was a bad idea, because it required Thaddeus to participate...he won't
  7. Blog an average of at least twice a week (and yes, this one counts!)
    1. Status - With the successful blogathon, I think I'll meet this goal handily
  8. Thank someone daily
    1. Status - either in person or via e-mail or phone call, this has definitely been happening
Honestly, I'm still glad I set some goals for myself this year, even though I won't meet them all.  And it's even nice to have a chance to publicly assess them.  With the most recent Supreme Court ruling, I may soon be adding marriage as a goal.

The blogathon has also prompted me to do a bit more fiber work than I might have without it.  A pretty impressive month, no?

Current Reading

I think I've discussed here my feelings about The Hunger Games was okay...I thought it had a compelling plot that make me want to keep reading, but I also thought it was either not extremely good writing, or it was dumbed down for a younger audience (which I always think is a bad idea).

Lately, I've been reading Pearl S. Buck...her Good Earth trilogy .  I just finished the second book and if you've never read this, it's well worth reading.  Can't wait to read the third book now.

Readers' Comments/Questions

Thanks to those of you who added me to your various social networks.  I've added a number of new Facebook Friends, RavKnitFriends, Google+ Knitting Circle Friends, Twitter Followers and Pinners on Pinterest.  I'm no Franklin Habit, but I can aspire.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Goal Almost Accomplished

Having decided to participate in the WordCount Blogathon again this year, I made a few decisions about how I wanted to participate.

Blogathon Goals

First and foremost, my over-arching goal was to re-energize the blog a bit and expand the readership.  I think the blog has definitely had more energy and interaction and comments from readers and the readership has definitely expanded, even if it's only for the period of the Blogathon.

Some other goals I had associated with the Blogathon:
  1. Make sure the content had some meat to it...that I didn't just throw out a blog entry to comply with a daily blog post requirement.
  2. Make sure the majority of blog posts had fiber content (not the digestive type).
  3. Make sure the blog posts included as wide a variety of interest, while still sticking with the basic premise of queer life, personal thoughts and fiber crafting.
  4. And make sure there were at least a couple of photos in each post.
I would dare say that each of these goals was completed successfully, and I will most probably do this Blogathon again next year.

Thank you to all who kept up with the frantic pace of daily blog entries and for all those who participated either here in comments, on various social networks or via e-mail.

Current Knitting

I'm halfway through the Koigu Picot Bias scarf (in that I've used up the first two of four hanks of Koigu).

I've just realized that my second hank of brighter Koigu is a different colorway than the first, so I'm hopeful the two halves of the scarf don't look completely odd when the scarf is finished.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Top-10 List of Knitting Tools

The following list of items are must-haves if you're a serious knitter.  There are obviously other tools, but I wanted to make sure and include as many necessary tools that some folks might not have thought of.

QueerJoe's Top-10 List

Knitting all the time, there are certain tools that I couldn't do without, that most knitters also have in their toolkit, such as:

Point Protectors (I don't use them often and regret it)

Double Point Needles in different sizes (even if you don't knit socks) used for cabling, stitch holders, i-cord, etc.

Sturdy Yarn Swift and Ball Winder

There are also a number of tools that many knitters DON'T have in their stash that can be very useful:

Blocking Wires for "basting" pieces together

Susan Bates Weaving Needle, 5 inch Steel for darning in ends (Tom turned me on to these!)

Coiless Safety Pins for stitch marker (Thank Ted for this one!)

Digital Caliper for measuring needles (most accurately...and they're CHEAP...I just got mine for US$14)

Slider Pencil Cases for holding notions (thanks to John for this idea)

Tape Measures and Folding Scissors (and reading glasses if you're of a certain age) everywhere I knit

Latch Hook needles or crochet hooks in different sizes for fixing mistakes

I'm curious if there are other knitters/crocheters/spinners who roam around craft stores or dollar stores looking for ideas for inexpensive items that will round out their toolbox of crafting items?  Having a creative eye for re-purposing some item is always a useful skill.

Current Crochet and Spinning

I've added a couple more rows to the Koigu Interlocking Crochet Scarf and it's looking quite colorful and fine.

I've also measured the British Romney/Merino yarn and at 520 yards and 6.4 ounces (or 1,300 yards a pound), it's considered DK weight yarn.

I can't wait to come up with something I will use this yarn for, I just love everything about it.