Pixel rainbow quilt layout

Honestly, this is mostly a test of the Mastodon posting thing which apparently only works if I start a post from the web and not the app. (Unlike the Dreamwidth posting tool, which is clearly superior)

But here’s a picture of my new quilt in progress so that this is kind of a real post too.

A set of 5 inch quilt squares laid out in a rainbow-ish gradient.

This is squares from 5 (or maybe 6?) different “charm packs” of 5 inch squares from Craft Emporium PDX. The packs are relatively cheap so I kind of accumulated a few before I had a plan for them.

Kicking off the GSoC 2023 season

Yesterday was my favourite of all US holidays, MLK Day. I won’t pretend to have a deep connection to it (I’m not American after all) but it’s a day off exactly when I need some volunteer time every year and that’s a wonderful gift of a day.

I’m once again spearheading the Google Summer of Code effort for the Python Software Foundation. The website is updated as of yesterday so you can read about it there and I’m not gonna write any more blurbs: https://python-gsoc.org/

I took over coordinating Python in 2013 (though I did Mailman and Systers before that) and now that I’ve noticed last year was my 10th year with Python I’m kind of sad I didn’t throw a party for myself. Oh well! But my fellow coordinators got community awards last year so that’s pretty celebratory!

PS – We’re always open to taking on new projects who want to mentor new contributors. If you’re interested, see the link above for details. We’ll be opening signups later in the week after the admin team meets and makes sure the signup system is ready to go.

Fiber goals 2023

For the past many years I’ve done fiber goals in lieu of new year’s resolutions. They’re a kind of fun way to direct my crafting for the year. I usually focus on some skill building, some “use the supplies you already have” type planning, and some things that I wouldn’t naturally do without a goal that I revisit every few months. Links to previous years are at the bottom of the post, but let’s start with this year’s goals!

1. Toys. my kid loves the gnomes and I should binge on making him stuff while he’s still into that. Probably some cute veggies and stuff for pretend play since he’s been loving making fake foods, and also some uber-cute amigurumi stuff because he’s been leaning in to cuteness lately. Maybe another Susan B Anderson pattern since I really enjoyed the giraffe? Or more video game stuff? Plus if you’ve seen any cute dog patterns, let me know!

2. Hand-dyed, hand-spun. I’ve got a nice stash of yarns dyed by my kid and myself, as well as some handspun yarns I’ve made that are currently just sitting around. Let’s try to make something with at least one of each this year, but hopefully more?

3. Complicated cables. Using the motifs from the Japanese stitch dictionary my brother gave me has me itching to do more fancy stuff. I’ve long admired Lucy Hague’s Celtic Cables and more recently I’ve been interested in Paola Albergamo’s designs (have you seen Lightbeams?) and I just queued this cool Entwined Queen’s shawl, so I’m sure I can find at least a few patterns to try.

4. Patterns I own. I own a lot of patterns that I’ve never knit. Some I even bought yarn for, but a lot are because I wanted something else in the magazine/collection, they were free for a limited time/with purchase, or sometimes I buy patterns as a tipping mechanism for designers whose work I admire. I recently made mitts for my mom from a pattern I don’t even remember buying and they’re really great, so I want to poke around my collection a bit and see what else I’m missing. Let’s try to do at least 2 from patterns bought before 2023. (I’ll also count the last few years of knitty patterns in here, at least since I joined the Patreon.) Since I knit about 12-20 things per year, that definitely won’t stop me from buying new patterns but hopefully will encourage me to look through my list!

Other ideas/brainstorming:

I always start this list around when I do my mid-year checkin and generate a lot of ideas before I settle on 4. Here’s the ones that didn’t make the cut — they’re still good ideas, just maybe I’m not ready to commit to working on them right now.

Stash related goals: Actually calculating in/out to see how things are going. More knitting machine experiments to use yarn faster? More organization (there’s still a few boxes that haven’t been properly integrated into the new box sorting system). Someone was talking about using 2023g of yarn in 2023 and maybe I could try that?

Two-colour projects / Perfect pairings: I have a nice stash of pairs of yarn, but I need to use more of them because I’m acquiring pairs faster than I use them (and the box where I keep them is a bit on the over-full side). I do the big Romi mystery shawl once per year and sometimes also do the rose city yarn crawl one (though this year they upped it to 3 skeins so no help there), but I think i need to plan for some non-mystery uses. Also, I haven’t done double-knitting in a while and maybe I should? Or brioche?

Sweater stash: I currently have a few sweater quantities of yarn: a Golden Poppy kit from Black Squirrel Berkley, a fade set from Space Cadet that I’ve got a few pattern ideas for, and a Knit Picks Barnsdall Cardi kit with blue and white yarns that I honestly don’t even know if it’s worth doing now. Plus I’ve got a few big mini sets that could reasonably become sweaters but don’t have patterns selected yet: a set of summer solstice minis from Teal Torch Knits, and a Kitty Pride Fibers summertime minis set that could be something else but I kind of have my heart set on a stripey sweater, and I’ve got a smaller set from Alwan Sultan Fibers that I really want as the bottom to a sweater. 6 sweaters-in-waiting is a lot if I only knit one per year (though some could and maybe should be switched to non-sweater use), so maybe try for two (or more!) in 2023.

Embroidery. I had fun with the big year-long constellations project, maybe there’s something else I could set up for myself with quarterly kits or something? I have some kiriki press dolls, and a lot of kits left over from my Fireside Textiles patreon subscription that I really do want to do, plus a few tiny necklaces and stuff.

Sewing: make pants. Try that spiral-rainbow skirt mentioned on epbot (apparently the pattern is peppermint swirl). Do something fun with my fireside textiles stash (try contrast triangle panels & pockets in the act of sewing skirt?)

Quilting: Maybe a monthly block project? Plus I’ve got the Adventureland kit to finish and a half baked plan of putting my charm packs into something gradient-ish.

Kits: I still have kits to use. They’re not out of control or anything, but it’s always good to go through them and make sure I actually get to make them or consider gifting them to someone else if I don’t. As well as the knitting ones, I even have a felting kit that I haven’t finished.

Prune the queue: My ravelry queue has over 100 things in it, some of which are just not going to happen: some were added when my kid was little before I knew what he would and wouldn’t like, some of which were added when I actually wore worsted weight sweaters, etc. It’s time to move more things to favourites if I don’t actually have plans to knit them.

Smaller Shawls: Is it time to revisit this much-delayed goal from 2020? I still love wearing smaller shawls, but I’ve been focusing on bigger knits because I don’t need to carry them to work and because honestly I need sweaters more now that I’m walking the dog after dark. So maybe not this year.

Knitty patterns. I’ve sponsored the Knitty magazine for a while now through their Patreon, and not only do they have regular new patterns but they also have a pretty intriguing back catalogue. I’ve knit a few knitty patterns and they tend to be pretty great, but I don’t always think to look there for stuff.

Organize the books/magazines. I’ve got a few books and magazines full of patterns, and some of them don’t much use because it’s not ready to search them. I’d like to spend time getting those books up on a single shelf in our library downstairs so they’re easy to search, maybe list them in my ravelry library so they’ll show up in searches better, and of course actually knit some designs!

Weaving. I’ve really wanted to do a class at Craft Emporium PDX for weaving but it felt not viable as covid numbers surged. But I still want to do it and at this point they’re one of few places still requiring masks.

Tunisian crochet. I thought after my one shawl took a year that I probably was done with this, but now that I have the hook I kind of want to try a sampler scarf or something just to try some stitches. Could even do this as a year long 12 months of stitches to try?

Spinning. Do more spinning year-round, somehow, because blitzing for Tour de Fleece hurts my hands and I need to keep the muscles in shape. I thought the swatch-a-long might work for that but it hasn’t so far, so I may need a new spinning goal. Monthly minis or some sort of year-round rainbow thing? Trying more bulky yarns? Maybe having something like a shawl or blanket that I’m adding to year round? I was pretty happy with how the different weight yarns worked in my Steggie so maybe that would be an idea?

e-spinning: try to really get to know my new eew nano 2. I love the idea of an e-spinner but mostly I actually like treadling so given the choice I turn to the big wheel. But I need to spin more to build the muscles I need so maybe a portable setup is the way to go? (Also one my kid is less interested in sticking papers in…)

Previous Years