Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Leaf Said BLOG!

"Time to turn over a new leaf," I thought, so I did.  The leaf said "BLOG!" and I said, "Oh, yeah, I have one of those.  I should, uh, do that."  So here I am, hopefully to keep up with regular (daily?) posting for at least a while.  What's with the leaves?  Well look at the date: it's January 1st.

Happy New Year!  It is currently about 2pm on New Year's Day here just north of Dallas, Texas, where the weather is frightful.  It's been gloomy outside, to be sure, wet and rainy since last night (it seems to have cleared up now).  The chill and the damp don't seem to have chilled or dampened anyone's spirits -- although their bodies are a whole 'nother story, as we say around here -- and there has been much celebrating and running around.

I, for one, am quite exhausted.  Not because of the partying, but because of the work!  Yes!  About 48 hours ago I walked out of a coffee shop with a job I had applied to the night before.  It's been so surreal.  I applied on Monday, got the job Tuesday, and had my first day of training Wednesday -- which became about 50% working when a rush hit and a coworker said "Hey, Lissa, stir and lid these and put 'em up on the bar" and suddenly I was running drinks to the drive-thru and grabbing milk from the fridge in back.  Even though I knew only the barest minimum of what to do and how to help, I felt the flow.  It was magical.

It was also terribly painful and tiring.  As soon as I got back I had to soak my feet in a sinkful of water with a handful of Epsom Salts, which must have been pretty funny-looking considering I was eating lunch at the time.  I was also so tired I went to bed just past midnight, so I could get up this morning to do another shift (I worked the drive-thru register toward the end and my goodness were we a smooth team).

Before I got to sleep though, I cast on for my first project of 2015, the Kick Off The New Year socks!  These are for three different knitting... things.  Two are knit-a-longs and one is a personal challenge, so I'm not sure how to categorize them all together, but there you go.  Here is a picture, and then we'll talk about the "knitting... things".

First, we have the project type: It's socks!  I'm doing a 12 Socks In 12 Months challenge, in which I try really hard to make 12 pairs of fingering-weight socks before the end of the year, so that's a pair a month.  This is going to be the first pair: toe-up ankle socks in KnitPicks Palette, colorway Lingonberry Heather (link goes to a Ravelry stash search; you'll need to be logged in to follow it).

Second, the recipient: These are for me.  As such, they qualify to be part of the knit-a-long going on at my home group, Resolutions Monthly.  One of our members astutely noted that December is full of gift-knitting, so we should all take January to make something for ourselves.  Interested Ravelers are welcome to join us on our stickied discussion thread, or simply check out our projects using the tag #kfyal15 (Knit-For-Yourself-a-long 2015).

Third, the pattern: It's actually an MKAL, or Mystery Knit-A-Long, which I've never done before.  The pattern is New Year Socks MKAL by Maria Rosa Spighetti.  Now the way this works is you buy the pattern (I got it free during her pre-Christmas promotion, but it's $5 now) but you actually only get the information sheet that gives yarn requirements, supplies, the gauge, and a schedule.  There are no pictures of the socks, there's only a vague description of what you're going to get, and it's basically a surprise.  So right now I'm working on my swatch because I don't have any directions yet.  For this particular MKAL the "clues" will be released on Wednesdays through January, so on Wednesday the 7th I'll get the first set of instructions and cast on for the actual socks.  It's really cool, and I invite anyone who's curious to come join the discussion at the designer's Ravelry group, Maria Rosa Knits Away.

I'm really excited about these socks.  Last year at New Year I made my first pair of socks ever, the New Year's Serenity Socks.  They're obviously a little short in the foot, but I had no idea what I was doing so the fact that they're sort of wearable at all is a shocker.  It's so cool to be making a much more professional pair of socks one year later.

So that's my New Year knitting!  That's not all I have to talk about, not by a long shot.  I need to get started on my resolutions for January as well as 2015 as a whole, the Flash Your Stash pictures need to be taken, my 2015 reading list needs to be set -- as you can see, there's a lot to do!  So tune in tomorrow for some more chatter.

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