Finish it February
A few years ago Elizabeth read a story about a mother and daughter who were both knitters. As she described it to me, in the story they packed up all of their unfinished projects and went away to a cabin for a weekend together with the aim to sort them all out and finish them off. Of course they don't get through everything, but they enjoy themselves immensely and resolve to do it again the next year.
With that story in mind, Elizabeth proposed that we make the month of February each year "Finish it February": a time to pull all of our unfinished objects (UFOs in knitter slang) out of the closet or from under the bed and dust them off.
Some projects from my current collection of UFOs
This is the third year we've done this, and I still have quite a number of projects to pull out and deal with each year, but I've noticed that although I still have many very old ones (which I keep swearing I'll finish one day), I've been much better about not accumulating new ones since we started.
And this year, I happened to plan a vacation for the first week of February at a cottage just north of Montreal - perfect timing! I packed a small suitcase of clothes to bring with me, and a giant bag of projects, needles, notions, and other paraphernalia.
I like to start out my Finish it February proceedings by choosing the projects that require the least effort to finish off. Usually that means the most recent ones, and this year it was two pairs of mittens that I'd started in December. For the green ones I used the Woodstack Mittens pattern by Jane Richmond, the red ones were a "make-it-up-as-you-go" kind of project. They looked super long and narrow as I was knitting them, but a good blocking helped to sort that out.
You can see in this photo that I used cardboard blocking forms for these (cut out of a cereal box), much easier than pinning for blocking this kind of project. But speaking of pinning out, I had another project that was completely finished except for the blocking/pinning process: my Narnia shawl.
I had finished knitting this way back in November, and I finally had the time to do the blocking. I discovered however, that the one thing I forgot to pack was blocking pins! I ended up finding a packet of safety pins and used those. It made the whole process a bit longer, but the results were worth it. There's something magical about seeing those lace patterns appear out of a scrumpled-looking piece of knitting.
The last project that I managed to finish off during my time away was this little set of woven coasters. I started them as a practice project for my Zoom Loom, experimenting with using two different colours in weaving the little squares. I ended up with a zillion yarn ends to deal with but I crocheted over the edges to finish them off, and I'm happy to have finally made something with this tool! Since it's more or less limited to making squares I'm thinking I'll probably do a baby blanket or maybe a pillow cover next.
It was a great experience to take the time to do this on my little winter retreat - I would highly recommend it for anyone who's looking for an alternative to flying south for time away to de-stress. And don't worry, I didn't spend the whole week inside with my yarny projects. There was plenty of snowshoeing around the frozen lake and tobogganing as well - a great Canadian winter vacation!
We've still got one week of February left, and I'm aiming to get another one or two things off the needles. Do you have any projects lying around that need a little extra motivation to finish off? We've started a thread in our Ravelry group to cheer each other on, please join us there!
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This year we're celebrating Sweet Paprika's 15th anniversary, and it's honestly been a bit hard to get my head around where the time has gone! We've been looking back through some of our old photos, and thought it would be fun to share a little retrospective here. Our little business has come a long way in the past 15 years!
Most of the images I'm including are not our polished product photos (although those have also come a long way since the early days), but more of a behind-the-scenes look at some of the memorable stepping stones along our journey.