However I am still here knitting away and dreaming up new challenges for myself to keep life interesting.
One of the things I have challenged myself to I have been thinking about for a number of years and now I have finally figured out how to take it forward and continue with my main passion. Way back in 2003 the BBC commissioned a year long survey to find the nation's favourite books, full list of the top 200 can be found here, I have often thought about trying to read as many as I can but was foiled by the fact you cannot turn pages or read words and read patterns and knit at the same time. The bingo! a solution came to me. I have an Audible subscription, why not have the books read to me whilst I relax with my sticks and string thus combining two of my favourite things.
I took the plunge and started at No 1. The Lord of the Rings. I have now finished the first of the 6 books and am a way through the second. You may find it hard to believe, especially with all the hype there has been in the last few years, but this is a book I have never read nor have I seen any of the films. I will admit that at times I am struggling to stay focused with the story but I will persevere and I am sure I shall enjoy it.
Another challenge to myself is to knit 24 pairs of socks this year. To many folk that will sound a lot but in my mind it is 2 pairs a month, not so bad. So far I have 7 pairs completed so am bang on schedule.
To keep things interesting I am trying to use a different pattern for every pair. My Ravelry queue has expanded madly as I have added nearly 500 of the free sock patterns available. In my mind this equates to roughly 20 years of socks. Hey, we can but dream.
I am not just knitting socks though, I have a few other projects on the go and one of my Ravelry groups has a basket challenge about to begin. This involves filling a basket, real or imaginary with yarn, or wip's and trying to do as much as you can from that basket within a set period of time. It is a great way to stay focused and work your way through the stash.
Speaking of stash, mine has taken a bit of a giant leap in the wrong direction twice already this year. Firstly when a dear friend was de-stashing and I got some gorgeous yarn and a very good discount and secondly when I took myself along to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. What a wonderful day out that was. Over a hundred stalls packed with yarnie goodies of all descriptions. It was heavenly. However being me I was like a deer caught in the headlights and there was simply way too much to choose from. I ended up just buying yarn from my favourite hand dyer and a beautiful basket for my basket challenges.
Other than that I have no major planned yarn purchases this year so it is time to climb back on the sheep and work my stash down. I will however have one skein of yarn arriving each month as my wonderful hubby gave me the most amazing gift this past Christmas. He has signed me up for the Yarn Notes from Assynt yarn club which includes a skein of hand dyed sock yarn, a beautiful picture card and some very well researched and written information about the area around the picture. The first 4 months of this club have been a joy to receive and I look forward to each and every parcel arriving.
That is all I can think of for now.
Stay safe and happy crafting