Since I am so close to completing Otto the Turtle, I checked Ravelry to see what the next most recently started project is (not counting the Lottie Doll I just started). It is the Octopus Bag I started on Christmas morning. I hadn't gotten very far before setting this aside because it was a bit too fiddly for my comfort at the time. The pattern stated that stitches should be cast on for the bag instead of picking them up all around the bottom to avoid this issue, but did I heed that advice? Of course not. Who wants to sew a seam when you can just pick up stitches and knit away? Well, I had this on a tiny circular needle, but switched over to dpns yesterday and worked about an inch of the bag body. Much better now. Once Otto is complete, this should only take a few days to be added to the "completed" list. This is a good thing since I have two gifts I need to get started on. I know I said that I didn't have to finish 2 projects before being allowed to start a gift, but I still would prefer to get that wip count down instead of filling it up with gifts.
I did wind up spending some time yesterday sorting beads out, but not as much time as I had before. This ornament is ready to have the pointy bits added to the tops and bottoms, then I can move on to beading the second one. This is going much faster than I originally gave it credit for, so I may have this completed in February. I was originally going to pick up a different project at the beginning of the month, but since this should be completed soon (and I don't want to set it aside and lose all this momentum), I've changed my mind and will finish this up first, then start on the next one. Not sure yet what that will be. I keep bouncing back and forth between the bead woven purse and the embroidered pillowcases. Leaning a bit more towards the pillowcases now since I don't want to get burned out on the beading.
Otto is just about finished! I got all his pieces, with the exception of the back shell, sewn on last night. His back shell just seemed a bit too big, so I am going to re-crochet it today a bit smaller and try again. Once that is done, all that is left is to add some embroidered embellishments for nose and mouth, and accents and laces on the shoes. I really like how this guy turned out and will make more items from this book, Zoomigurumi 2.
This morning I listened to a few chapters of The Secret Garden and worked up 2 puffs. Checked my skein count for this and found that I have 35 skeins. I don't think that is going to be enough to complete this to the size I'm wanting, so I'll be on the lookout for good prices on Koigu in the coming months.