Friday, April 13, 2007

blogosphere excitement + new ventures

There's all sorts of excitement brewing in the blogosphere.

- Alicia has posted a free pattern for a very cute crocheted baby blanket. I just love Alicia's blog; she comes across as one of the nicest, most charming, and most interesting people in the world. Plus she has some darling pets, including a Welsh cardigan corgi! No, I'm not a stalker, just a loyal reader.

- Alison is organizing Sockapalooza 4, and sign-ups are open. Yes, I have signed up for this one.

- I can't wait for Alison's Harry Potter knitting book, Charmed Knits, to hit bookstore shelves. There's already a KAL organized, complete with a charity hat knitting project underway. I just downloaded the free pdf, and I need to look through the stash for some suitable yarns.

- The Knitter's Coffee Swap is taking place again. It was great fun last time, but I'm going to pass, what with the whole "saving my pennies" resolution.

There's not too much excitement going on chez Caffeinated Yarn aside from an excessive amount of academic reading and writing. I'm embarking on a couple major ventures, though.

1. Crocheting an afghan
Once again, I'm inspired by Alicia. I picked up a whole bunch of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky at a great discount. I just love the colors. I'm thinking either a ripple afghan or the Vintage Vertical Stripes afghan. Check out the fabulous No-End-In-Sight Ripple-Along and the tutorial over at Bella Dia for inspiration.

This is my last big yarn purchase for a long time, though, my friends.

2. Knitting (and crocheting) from the stash.

Lots of lovely yarns are sitting in my stash, forlorn and just dying to be turned into something beautiful. Like I said, I'm making a concerted effort to save money (car fund / house fund / student loan payments), and cutting out the yarn buying is a great place to start. Here are my guidelines.

- I shall knit and crochet from my stash from now until the end of August. I shall re-evaluate my stash at that point.

- I can buy yarn to finish up a project if I don't have quite enough.

- I have one "get out of jail free" card.

- I can buy yarn as a souvenir when I'm on vacation. Trips to Minneapolis and Milwaukee do NOT count as vacations.

- I can buy yarn for my current swaps and Sockapalooza.

- I can happily accept gifts of yarny goodness.

3. Reorganizing the study/craft room.
Yes, I'm finally doing it. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm posting some before pictures that are actually quite embarrassing. Hopefully the embarrassment will be motivating.
Here is the free space created by getting rid of our guest bed. The dresser is for yarn storage. I may paint it blue, and I need to get new hardware. A craft cupboard is also going in this region. Unfortunately the litter box must stay.
The main workspace. Quite the amalgamation of crappy furniture. This is my parents' kitchen table from the 1970s. The office chair arms are broken and bits of foam fall out from time to time. The cats use it as a scratching post. It needs to be replaced. The antique dresser is actually nice and will move to a different area.
That dinosaur of a desktop computer is a genuine year 2000 Compaq masterwork. It still runs with the help of an external hard drive, additional memory cards, and an external hub for USB cables. It is affectionately known as Frankenputer. It needs to go. So does the blue desk.
A pile of boxes, an extra end table, and just a few of our bookcases. These contain fiction and literature, craft books, law books, and library books. No classics book or non-fiction -- those are all in the living room. They need to be moved and reorganized.

The worst part of all this is that I genuinely feel that I am an organized person. Judging from this room, that seems like a big fat lie. Being in this space makes me CRAZY. So instead I work at the dining room table and close the door to the study when people come over. In a 900 square foot apt. that is ridiculous.


Micki said...

I love the colors you chose for your crocheted blanket! It's going to be beautiful. (Gosh, I haven't crocheted anything in about a year.)

Heh, I generally consider myself to be an organized person too, but I seem to have lots of pockets of disorganization around my house. How does it happen? Someone ought to do a study.

Mia said...

Yeah!!! I am also in sockapooolza. And don't be embarrassed by your craft room, have you noticed that I have never posted a photo of mine?

Sharon said...

Oh, so familiar, the storage struggle. I have taken a firm stand that the books that get to stay must fit in our two bookcases - two deep is within the rules. There is a great online source
that lets me catalog them - why, I feel the need to do that, I can only plead occupational hazard. One bookcase is in the guest room, one is in my fiber workroom. So books, fibers and cats are part of the rules, doncha think?

Obsidian Kitten said...

Frankenputer, hehheh!

i'm familiar with the "pockets of disorganization" (great way to put it) in an otherwise relatively organized house. it seems like i always need somewhere to stash the odd tidbits of stuff that i have no other place for (or don't know where to put them, yet) and they wind up in one of those zones of slight disorder.

it drives me nuts, as i can't concentrate amidst chaos either.

and we have the same computer chair--what's with that self-destruct mode where the seat upholstery unstuffs itself and the arms continually eject bits of foam?

Chris said...

I hear ya about the storage thing. Have you seen the book Apartment Therapy? It has some really clever ideas about recreating your space.

My condo is 637 square feet, one bedroom, me, and 2 very active cats. I could never live here with another person!!

Kelly said...

Ooh, I love the colors you picked out! Your blanket is going to beautiful. Good luck with the craft room reno - it will be so nice for you have all that space organized.

Knitting Bandit said...

The colors for your afghan are great! I have a storage/office room like that where the door gets shut quickly when we have company!

Leah said...

Wow! Those are some great (and might I add attainable) goals!!

Very pretty colors indeed!

Friender said...

YOU are funny. "Trips to Milwaukee or Minneapolis are not vacation." How about trips to Madison? ;)

Mac's niece said...

Hi... Just passing through courtesy of the SP10 participants list. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading the last few entries on your blog. I love that you posted your study room... I look forward to seeing the results of the re-org. My hubby was so kind in letting me do my room first when we moved into our house, and didn't complain that I painted it a vibrant orange called tribal dance! Still, after all that it is a mess and not a room I am proud to show, although I love spending time in there. Keep at it, and enjoy it! Hope you don't mind if I call in again...