Saturday, April 3, 2010

'Tis the Season (to file taxes)

Yes, this weekend I'm in Drudgeryville, making sure all the receipts and entries are in order for the bookkeeper, the tax accountant, and Revenue Canada. No one ever said having a business was glamorous!

But, it's time for a break from the drudgery, and give you an update... The first two submissions for A Needle Pulling Thread are 'in the can', to use film-speak, and the third needs a few more 'details' to satisfy the editor. This one, scheduled for the Festive, 2010 issue will be done by the end of the Easter Weekend.

Back in January, I posted news of a new baby in the family. She, as yet unnamed, will be along in a few more weeks. I finished the little pink number photographed in progress in my January 2 post. Here's the result:

The yarn is Sunbeam Montego.

She will also receive Baby Surprise Jacket No. 5, a 'grown up' number in my modified version, made with navy blue and white marl yarn by Phildar, with fuzzy navy blue trim in Patons' Venus or Valencia (never could get those two straight), and little pewter buttons.

I also started a baby blanket, but since 'Great Nana' made her a beautiful mauve blanket, and Mom has other blankets from child # 1, this effort will probably be put aside for future consideration - perhaps for an expectant niece (in a few years... The one of child-bearing years is going to be like her dear old aunt, I think, and opt out of motherhood.) This project is being crafted from Phentex Merit, in a variation of Grantmother's Checkerboard, a pattern in Knitters' Best of Shawls and Scarves. I adapted the pattern for knit and purl design, and dubbed it "Nanu's Checkerboard", as Darling's grandson calls me "Nanu". I bought the yarn for 99 cents a ball at a department store that is probably now out of business -- perhaps K-mart? (For our American readers, there are no K-marts in Canada anymore.)

All three of these projects are part of a 'stash busting campaign' started late last Fall. The three project so far have used up 12 balls of stash yarn, and so far this year I have purchased only one ball of yarn. I bought it to finish yet another baby jacket (a Carnival Coat by Cabin Fever in their Top Down for Toddlers book) that I made from leftovers of this project, the Basic Cardigan from the same book. Thus, the ratio is 12 balls used to one ball purchased -- a complete first in my world.
Now, I need to clarify, that I *have* purchased more yarn, but it was yarn for yarn reviews and projects for Canadian Guild of Knitters. Business purchases are exempt from the process.
I started the Basic Cardigan in 2006 for a friend's grandson. The good news is that Owen now has a little brother, and if this doesn't fit him (it's a size 4, so the timing appears good...) it will fit his little brother.
Anyway, in addition to being a stash reduction kick, I've been on a project finishing kick. Over the Christmas Holidays, I found about 6 knitting bags with UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in them.
First, I finished the blue and red cardigan, then I picked up the Shetland cobweb project I started for the yarn review in the August, 2009 issue of Knit Together. It's had only a little progress, because it was relegated to the bedside table, and I find it is a bit fine for working in the dim light of early morning with hands that haven't been 'warmed up' for the day. Still, it made a little progress before morning coffee moved to the love seat in the bedroom to watch the bird action on the bay. For that, I have pulled out my Sleeves in your Pi coat in Briggs & Little Anniversary Twist, and am about 1/2 way down one sleeve (with just the sleeves to go).
I also finished off a pair of socks from last summer, and I've been working yet another pair of socks, the Celtic Cable socks by Cabin Fever in Shelridge Ultra. I think I started them in about 2006.
The next UFO to be tackled is the Fair Isle sweater for Darling... but in the meantime, some of the Florida knitting included a scarf and matching hat for him, to ensure he feels he is getting some attention.
Then there's the Celtic Shawl I'm designing that has had SO much attention on my Ravelry Project page. For that, I'm going back to the drawing board and creating a whole new design from scratch.
There are two other UFOs -- a baby sweater from a Sirdar Pattern that I started for Grandbaby No. 1, and a sweater in Patons' Brilliante for moi, but they're a little way down the list, currently, as is the Faroese Shetland Garden Shawl, which met with an unfortunate mishap when I forgot to purl a row, and did about 10 rows in reverse stocking stitch. AARRGH!! It is in its second lengthy time-out.
That's the plan for the remainder of 2010, and still write pieces for A Needle Pulling Thread, spend time with a new "granddaughter" and keep a full-time job. Stay tuned!
Now, I have to get back to the tax man's goodies... yummy.