Sunday, January 02, 2011

year long projects anyone? (not resolutions!)

I'm not a fan of making New Year's Resolutions....buuuuut there are a few things I would like to accomplish this year that need to start in early January in order to feel like they "count", and now they seem to carry the "ResolutionVibe". I am fast relabeling them "Year Long Projects".

The resolution coaster. About all a resolution is good for, in my world LOL

My first Year Long Project is blogging. It's decided. I'm blogging again for another 365 Days. (So cheer. Or run.) With two years already under my belt, it's ingrained behavior for me to post every day, so that's no biggey---but the real goal for me is to play with the way I write. I would like to organize the way I put content together so that the blog is more fun for me to keep up, and hopefully for you, too (should you decide to come along for the ride). I am making it a priority to set aside more time for writing each day, because it is actually something I enjoy doing. But the real "Project" part of this is for me to write more about the people I meet while volunteering in convalescent hospitals. I have always felt that I lack the skills to do character writing any justice, but this is my year to be brave and just take a crack at it. I plan to do some research and homework and learn some writing techniques that might help me capture personalities and moments with people better.

Here's my second "Year Long Project". A few weeks ago, my buddy MissyB asked me if I wanted to join her in a little goal setting to do more spinning this year, and I agreed. Her idea is that we do something similar to the YarnHarlot's "Self-Imposed Sock Club" at the beginning of the year, we begin by bagging up 12 spinning projects, one for each month, and each month pull out a bag and DO IT. I'm aiming to spin an average of about 4oz a month. This might be chump change for some of you, but for me, it feels like something I can reasonably pull off and still have time to knit and play with the new loom. It's certainly more that I am currently spinning.

Last night I set my 12 months of fiber aside in a box. I haven't determined any particular order (I think each month I will just grab the color that is most inspiring...although when you see the photo below, you will see that I have a lot of the same colors, so I might run out of options pretty quickly LOL). I am completely reserving the right to take something out of the box and throw in a substitution, and I am also reserving the right to adjust my goal of how many ounces I can spin in a month (up or down) once we have a few months under our belts. In other words, I don't want to get all cuckoo regimented about this, I'm just using this as inspiration to spin more regularly.

Edited to add: Brooke commented that her inspiration/invitation was actually inspired by Janel, over on her blog. Check it out! You can go there, join in the fun, and there are prizes!

Below is a list of what's in the box, and it is for me so that I have something to refer back to. The details, for most of you, will be boring. Sorry about that. I just felt like it might be handy for me to blog about this so I can refer back to it over 2011 ;-)

It's a craptastic photo, and it does not at all show the more subtle color variations, but we don't seem to get sun here anymore in "Sunny California", so I'm not sure what to do about that. Even if the subtle variations did show up, you'd still be seeing lots of pinks, plums, purples, turquoises, and then several deep-dark-muddy-ish braids that have colors blended together with blacks and browns (ohh, how I love them so). Clearly I my have preferences. They are all colors I love to wear, though...and apparently I shop in a way that has me being quite the selfish spinner. No real surprise there though, because I'm quite the selfish knitter, too.

Alrighty, here we go! Accountability! My 12 little bundles of joy:

left column, back to front:

1) 4oz Organic Merino in "GaGa!", Funky Carolina, Oct 2010 Fiber Club
2) Un-labelled fiber, but I think it is 4oz Falkland in "Chamber", Funky Carolina, regular purchase in Sep 2010.
3) 4oz BFL in "Painful", Funky Carolina via the TheSweetSheep
4) second braid, same as above
5) 4oz SW BFL in "Ooh-La-La-Tropical", Spunky Eclectic, Feb 2010 Club

down the center:

6) 6oz BFL/Tussah 75/25 in "Princess Plumy", Blue Moon Fiber Arts, purchased 7/2010 at Knot Hysteria Retreat

right column, back to front:

7) 4oz SW Merino/Cashmere/Silk 75/15/10 in "Waits" (ie Tom Waits), Funky Carolina, Sep 2010 Fiber Club
8) second braid, same as above (I loved it so much I asked for second braid).
9) 4oz SW Merino/Cashmere/Silk 70/20/10 in "Dragonskin", Funky Carolina, regular purchase in Nov 2010
10) 4oz 21.5 micron Merino Wool Roving (although I bet it's top--I need to open the braid) in "Vampire Holiday", Black Trillium Fibre Studio, purchased 11/2009
11) 4 oz Baby Camel/Tussah 50/50 in "Corvid", Blue Moon Fiber Arts, purchased 7/2010 at Knot Hysteria Retreat
12) 3oz BFL/Silk 80/20 in "Electric Jam", Spunky Eclectic, August 2010 Club

I'm starting with this one:

Last but not least, this year I'd like to improve my photo taking skills. I do not believe you will see me jumping on any Photo-A-Day bandwagons this year (although it's very tempting), but I would like to at least try keeping the camera handy every day. I would also like to try to learn how to use more of the features on my camera, and I would like to try to learn how to use photoshop (did you know that every single photo you ever see on my blog that is taken by me is shown exactly as it was taken??? ha!).

So here's my first feeble little attempt today. I cropped my very first photo! Woot!!

That's a closeup of Charlie the blind chihuahua. Charlie came for a visit today and brought along his friend, "TeenyTiny".

TeenyTiny is not her permanent name because she was just rescued about a month or so ago by TheMostImportantGuy's bandmates. They are trying to help get TeenyTiny into her new "forever home" and keep her out of the dog pound.

Guess who they came to first.
I must have sucker written all over my face.
She went home.

I'm sleeping on it.


Brooke said...

Woo hoo! I can't wait to see the fiber in person!

As for the dog - I say : go for it! If she is a good fit, that is, considering you threaten to steal my dog every time you come over!

xo -B

Brooke said...

Oh and in the interest of giving credit where credit is due...

The spinning stash busting was originally Janel Laidman's idea. She's even doing a give away. See here:

Natalie Servant said...

With the amount of time I've spent spinning since my spindle arrived in November, perhaps I should resolve to spin less! I've got a few year long projects planned, and a general goal of knitting from what I have on hand.

Julie R. said...

Beautiful fiber!! Can't wait to see what you make out of it!

I've sort of set a blogging/writing resolution or two, myself. First of all, I'm going to be reading more blogs; secondly, I'm renewing my effort on mine, but in a new location. I hope you stop by!!

Brooke said...

In the interest of giving credit where credit is due the idea of the 12 month spinning stash down is Janel Laidman's. She's even having a give away. You can read more here:

P.S. - I tried to post this comment last night but I must have been too tired to hit the publish button!

Brooke said...

I blogged what I chose for the year here:

~Donna~ said...

Happy that I'll have something good to read every day again this year - and yes, that would be your blog Ms AmpuT).

I'm better at ignoring resolutions than making them so I make small commitments throughout the year.

I think my first one will go along with your spinning thing - only mine will be with knitting/sewing/jewelry projects.

I have to think about it a bit more and then post on my blog at some point before 12/31/11.

hee hee hee