Archive for the ‘unfinished knits’ Category
My blog gets unhappy when I start treating it like an FO parade. And since I’ve recently committed to keeping the blog happy, I’ve decided to take a page from these fine bloggers and do a themed post every Monday, wherein I capture the current state of my projects, whatever the state.
I’ve been planning my life by the week these days anyway (does that even make sense? No. Ok.) so in my head this posting schedule is part of one happy cycle of productivity. Laugh now, I understand. If I didn’t get all starry-eyed at the idea of a new Organizational System I’d be laughing at myself too. But I am nothing if not an eternal giddy optimist when it comes to a System. As long as it is mine, of course, because I am nothing if not stubborn as an ox when it comes to fitting into someone else’s System.
The added bonus is that I am now forced to take bad pictures of my WIPs, instead of being bad at taking pictures of my WIPs. Someday, hopefully soon, I will leave this dim, leaky basement apartment and you will all be amazed at how light and airy my pictures become!
And off we go.
For knitting, I was going to knit two hats for my SIL, who is kind enough to like what I make and may have recently been involved in a felting debacle with the last hat I knit for her. I did what anyone in a similar situation would do: headed off to buy some acrylic! But my grandmother (she of house shoe fame, not the recent sock recipient) is in a nursing home for a bit, and so I am going to try my hand yet again at some crocheted house shoes again. I know, I know! Giddy optimist, remember? So the goal is one hat and at least one shoe.
Sewing-wise, I set out to sew a shirt that has been cut out for almost two years now. Fresh to sewing in the summer of 2008, I made three muslins and many adjustments to the pattern to get the fit I thought I wanted for this shirt. I think in my enthusiasm I maybe over fit it a little bit. And I certainly did a poor job cutting, as I discovered an unintentional center back seam this morning. Grr. Then I ran out of white thread.
Which means back to the drawing board, and my fallback position is…cutting out another pair of Jalie jeans. My sewing friend is coming over on Friday and I’d like to have something well underway for our session.
And oh, what a fine week it shall be! What are your plans?
There have been a lot of cool things that I’ve experienced since becoming a blogger, but this has to be one of the coolest. A little while ago Stella of A Cold Bright Day in April and I discovered that we were born just days apart. That’s pretty cool.
Then, we discovered that not only were we sharing a brain about patterns, we’d even picked the same colors of greens and browns (Project Spectrum appropriate, also by coincidence in my case. You too, CBD?). That’s just downright scary, and so far beyond cool. I was sending her an email describing my plan while she was posting about hers. I think it’s time for another neenerneener.*
A few years ago I knit a tote bag for my mom out of these colors (K’picks WotA in chocolate and asparagus) and had some left over. I had drawn up my own brocade-ish chart and done stranded knitting for the tote–no pictures, sorry!–and when I finally admitted I couldn’t let myself do Venezia, I started toying with the idea of using that chart with these colors for a sweater. I had to order a few skeins of the chocolate, and we’ll see if that will work! I’m not using the same stitch count or needle size as I did for my Road to Golden, just knitting it to the same size.
I started the sleeves tonight. I am always amazed that the “easy” knitting takes forever, but the “hard” stuff goes by before I can really enjoy it.
I’m as jazzed about this project as I could be, and would like to thank my better-knitting-half for the inspiration to get it out of my head and onto the needles. See you on sleeve island, I hope!
*Twilight Zone music again, that’s deedoodeedoo for some of you.
Thwart- verb; passive constuction, to be thwarted
see also balk, baffle, frustrate
March, 2006: This Veronique Avery’s “Shocking” skirt. I began in a white heat over spring break and quickly realized that knitting with this acrylic yarn hurt my hands. So I stopped.
March, 2008: This Veronique Avery’s “Shocking” skirt. I began in a white heat over spring break and quickly realized that knitting with this acrylic yarn hurt my hands. So I stopped.
The difference between these two statements is that this time I’m done for good!
But I did want to show you how great this pattern is before it’s gone forever…
First, something unexpected…a Christmas present I’ve been waiting to share until I had something to show for it. That’s right, a WooLee Winder! This post put the idea in my head a long while ago, and thanks to some good elfing by DH, my MIL caught wind of it, and that woman can put anyone to shame when it comes to buying for her children.
I love it. There it is. My bobbins always used to be awkwardly wound, and I never fit 4 oz. plied onto one bobbin before. Even though I spun this yarn in ten minutes increments over the course of almost 3 months (I am aware how pathetic that is, and I’m ok with it), I feel like I did achieve more consistency both in the spinning and plying
(Here’s the best part of this story: being a handmade product, it takes a little time for the WooLee Winder to arrive, not long as I understand it but long enough for my MIL to forget about it. My FIL happened to be the one to open the box when it finally arrived, and he called MIL at work to ask her why she’d ordered a bunch of miniature dumbbells!!!)
This is a hat.
I’m not going to lie, one of the reasons I love this whole blogging thing is that I can be nice, all the time, if I want to. I’m sure many of you are also in work/school/life situations where, due to a tremendous amount of pressure to take yourself and everyone else seriously, there isn’t a lot of kindness floating around. I really appreciate this opportunity to *not* be taken seriously, but even moreso to be first and foremost kind (or as I just mistyped, knid.)! Thanks to all of you!
Sweet #1: Thanks s’much to More than One Way for always Making my Day, and for even considering that I might make hers! It’s probably against the rules to re-gift the nomination back to her, but man does she ever deserve it.
The rules : “Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”
And even though I just did a link fest, I think I’ll take the excuse to do it again. Please pardon the repeats, but I have to say that you all really do make my day in no small manner (in no particular order, of course).
- West Coast Creative- stunning, stunning pictures!
- Between Stupid & Clever – of course muuuuuch more on the clever side, and fun music too
- Girl Who Knits – make sure to check out the Oreo bon bon recipe
- Knitting Lemonade- ooo, you must go see her today. SO funny!
- Knitspot – Inspiration, thy name is Ann. And she’s from Canton, near where I grew up.
- Pepperknit- creative knits & patterns, plus she actually finished a great Shocking! skirt
- TeamKnit- have I made a “put me in, coach?” joke yet??
- Octopus Knits- check out the Tilted Duster. Best I’ve seen!
- Peacock Chic- what more can I say? She inspired me to redo my office. Again.
- Yarnzombie- currently celebrating my new favorite holiday. Or wait, I mean, the holiday I currently feel the most conflicted about on the inside
Sweet #2: A few days ago as I was walking out of a choir rehearsal an alto I’d not yet met came up to me to say, “Excuse me, but I just have to know where you shop. Your sweaters are just fantastic!” I, having worn my Hourglass, Road to Golden, and Thermal that week, was just stunned enough to squeak out something about how sorry I was that I was a knitter. Day made? Check!
Scary #1: I fell to the lure of JoAnn 40% off coupons. I am weak, and every so often I hoard coupons and stock up on some cheap yarn for really cheap. Usually I’m pretty happy with my purchases. Usually I have a very high acrylic tolerance, in fact I even like it sometimes, but this yarn compelled me go through my stash and put a bunch of old acrylic yarn into a bag for charity (but was it really charity? No, it was a totally selfish action, so I’d appreciate it if you think worse of me for it. Thanks).
So I give you the progress thus far: one skein and FOUR KNOTS down, we have the beginning of Lady Eleanor. The backstory behind this pattern in the Scarf Style book is that one could imagine one’s self wrapped in the luxurious Lady E heading across the moor for a secret tryst or something like that. If I were to apply that analogy to the current situation, I really hate to think where I, with my fifteen dollars of wormy yarn, would be headed. (Fret not: coming soon to a frequently lonely blog near you–the JoAnn coupon success story).
Scary #2: Scene- inside my head as I gather my things for school, wondering why I’m once again packing knitting even though I know I won’t have any time or place to do it. The answer (also in my head) comes easily enough to be downright frightening: I need a project because I could get a lot of knitting time in…just in case I’m ever in a hostage situation. (???!?!? Perhaps I should start a “This is your brain… This is your brain on yarn!” campaign!)
In a land of people already accustomed to defending (or not) their choice of hobby to the rest of the world, I fear this confession will make me an outcast.
But out it comes: I enjoy deadline knitting.
Knitting for me has never really been about relaxation. Distraction, yes, relaxation, no. You see, I don’t handle the whole relaxing bit very well. I am most happy when I have a clear project, a clear time line (both of my own making, of course), and when both are related to knitting it sends the experience to a new level of joy.
Thus when my mother noted at Thanksgiving that most of the socks I’ve made for her have been too thick to wear with her normal shoes, I was delighted to add a pair of SP-McPhee’s “Earl Greys” to my non-existent list of Christmas knitting. They were completed shortly after the DH and Grandpa socks, and I thought, wow, that was easy.
Then when my brother (probably not realizing the gift he was giving me, he being quite accustomed to enjoying relaxation) called last Monday–two weeks before Christmas–and could not stop talking about how much he loved the socks I gave him last January, and gave me the line that he wore them EVERY NIGHT without washing them because they were the ONLY ONES that kept his feet warm, I was thrilled (not with the lack of hygiene I was apparently encouraging, but with the opportunity to knit for my bro. And another funny thing? The other person to use that exact same line on me…was my MIL!!).
I was even further delighted when he oh-so-casually mentioned that his dear girlfriend likes blue. Actually, he thinks the color she likes looks like green, but she insists it is blue–you know, THAT color.
Ah, happiness! Two pairs of socks to make, AND a trip to the yarn store because I was fresh out of sock yarn in the colorway blue-but-looks-green!
My delight was compounded when I realized that with these new additions to the gift list, everyone with whom I’d be spending Christmas would be getting handknit socks from me except for my dad. And you may or may not know this, but my dad is the best person you could ever hope to meet (being in elite company with DH and my mom). He probably wouldn’t even think twice about not getting socks, being delighted with the Alison Kraus/Robert Plant duet CD he’s getting. But of course I would know about the lack, and that would never do.
Moral of the story? Two weeks, three pairs of fingering weight socks…sign me up! Gives a whole new meaning to, “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care”!
(Plus I mentioned the situation to DH and he responded, “I fail to see the problem. You can do that no sweat, right?” I’m afraid my loved ones are sadly misled as to my abilities…and I am more than happy to continue the delusion).
*It’s the Twilight Zone theme song, of course! I am also a firm believer that onomatopoeia enhances every conversation…as long as one is required to spell only the sound and not the term itself.
P.S. The pictures are from my Christmas decorations, providing a bit of playful commentary on the text at times. There are two, um, unique family traditions shown here: L*g* Santa, who is one of those traditions that has no reason for being but having been for so long, and the Christmas pickle, well, enough said, right (actually in my family whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first present. Except I always get to open the present, but that’s another enough said now isn’t it?).
Place: the yarn store
Me: holding a gift certificate
Anticipating: a fall wedding, with a dress begging for a beautiful stole
Then can someone tell me why I came away with varigated fingering weight yarn??? Yarn that recommends dry cleaning, no less?? Why, why, why????
Phew, glad we got that one cleared up!
ETA: What’s on the needles? Still swatching! Any suggestions for a rectangular wrap with c.70o of fingering weight handpainted yarn would be appreciated. In my state of desperation I might just end up doing…clapotis!
It looks exactly like the other one!
I’m here to confess. You all were right on the money with your guesses, and I have nothing to show (besides the aforementioned calorimetry, which I didn’t even take a picture of because it is identical to the other one! Blame the OSU/N’western blowout for that knitting triumph). I think Alpaca Twill will never leave my life. Whereas before it was the collar that dominated my knitting time, now I just keep thinking, “make it longer! Longer!” I’ve stopped twice already–once at jacket length and once at mid thigh–and now I’m headed for just above the knees. Then I have to seam it. This could get ugly.
As always, I hope y’all are aware that it is your responsibility to tell me if I’m crazy!
And because this post is boring and has NO FO and NO pictures, here’s a link to a simply gorgeous FO, redesigned by someone who can obviously make up her mind!!
First and foremost, I feel obligated to clarify something: I’m not really as fast as my Road to Golden makes me sound. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind…
1) my narrowish upper half. I eliminated the underarm gussets entirely (sooo glad knit pants haven’t really made a big splash or I’d be in big trouble)
2) an addicting fair isle pattern
3) really really loose knitting: I don’t even tension my yarn
4) worsted weight yarn
5) the Knitpicks chart keeper I finally broke down and bought (just to get the free shipping, of course). Love it for travel knitting! And have you seen their new needles? I rarely or never knit with wooden needles, but I bet these are good. In any case, I’m always a sucker for ingenuity. And good customer service–when the tip pulled off one of my size 3 fixed circs doing the RTG sleeve, they sent me another one free of charge, no questions asked. In other words, I’m a huge fan. Glad I’m not the only one. MTOW, could you actually convert me to wooden needles??? Maybe if I get the sock set for Christmas (why yes, DH does read this blog. Why do you ask?)
6) the Road to West Virginia!
But before Road to Golden there was Kathy Zimmerman’s Notting Hill Vest. I’ll be perfectly honest, DH and I should probably figure out alternative photo shoot strategies. When we finally get around to them, we usually don’t get down to business but have a little too much fun. That’s what I’m telling myself to justify the fact that I can’t take a decent picture of my beautiful DH or his beautiful sweater vest (that I am going to block an inch longer). Scenery provided by just one of my mom’s gorgeous gardens.
I believe this is what’s called “working it”
I’ve started another pattern, that has found me in various stages of fits and giggles. Here is when I decided not to work on the sleeve anymore.
I think I’ve finally solved a few problems, so hopefully a post will be forthcoming! School starts this week, so maybe look for it around…next June.