WIPs march of shame (part one)

Over the next few posts I plan to show you all (nine!) WIPs that I’m currently “working” on. Hopefully getting they all out in the open will shame me into to finishing some of them. I have told myself that I cannot cast on for a new project until I finish two WIPs… we’ll see if it ends up being productive.

I figured I should start with the oldest WIPs first and just get all the shame out on the table from the beginning.

These socks were started November 4th, 2008. This means that I have been working on these for over a year and a half.

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The patter in Charlene Schurch’s Small Capitals from the book Sensational Knitted Socks. The yarn is Noro Kureyon Sock, it is 100% wool so I won’t be able to wash them in the washing machine… maybe not the best choice for socks. I don’t have any idea how I managed to pair this pattern with this yarn. Normally I would never pair a highly textured pattern with a variegated yarn, but I love the way this looks. It reminds me of scales. As you can see, one sock is complete. I’m still on the foot on the other one (they are knit toe-up), I have about three more pattern repeats before I can turn the heel then six repeats before the ribbing. That doesn’t sound like that much, but the repeats go so slowly. I love the way the pattern looks, but it’s not super fun to execute.

The yarn is everything that you would expect of full size Noro… It’s not super soft, it’s got vegetable matter in it, there was at least one knot in the ball that lead to a dramatic color change, and it’s as thin as lace in some place and almost sport-weight in others… but the colors are amazing and the yarn has a fabulous “rustic” feeling.

I hope I can get these done before two years go by, but I can’t really work the pattern and concentrate on other things so I’ll have to steel myself against the boredom and crank out these socks.

I’m Cursed

So last post was all about how I’m finally starting to get some energy back after adjusting to my big new workload and am finally starting to feel like I want to knit again… Well, says the Universe, We’ll see about that. Last post I showed you my Mojo socks:

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If you look at the picture you can see the sock is on one circular needle. It’s only a 24″ needle which means that it’s impossible to work magic loop on. It’s arranged that way because the Yarn Destroyers, aka

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decided that they didn’t like the two-circs method of sock knitting and plotted to relieve me of one of the needles I was using by chewing through it. I transferred all the stitches to the one remaining needle, but I can’t actually work on the sock now…

That’s OK, I say to myself, I’ve got a lot of other WIPs that I could give some attention to. So I pulled out my Climbing Vines pullover that’s been languishing in a box of “needs to be sorted through” stuff from the move. Back in Wisconsin I had completed the back and one sleeve, but once I moved to New Mexico working with aran-weight angora in the blazing summer didn’t seem very attractive. Once I got to Oregon it wasn’t as hot outside, but I have no air conditioner so until it cooled off here I had the same heat-induced adversity to working on the project. Now it’s become pleasantly cool and the sweater became a very attractive project. So I blazed through the second arm and was working away on the front. Then, I decided to put my knitting in my purse, just in case an opportunity to work on it while running errands presented itself. Apparently, one of the needles was sticking out a bit because as I walked up to the check out counter at the grocery store I must have clipped one of the displays because the next thing I hear is a snapping noise. Bye-bye number 7. Now, I don’t know if you remember, but I already broke my number 7s while working on this project and had to order a new set. I don’t know if this particular project is cursed or if it’s just me…

Now I do have two other projects that really do deserve attention, but come on universe! I was really on a roll with both projects and I want to work on THEM dang it! By the time the replacements arrive I’ll have lost all the momentum I built up and I’ll have to start getting enthusiastic all over again.

The truely problematic question is, be good and work on WIPs? or comfort myself by starting and exciting new project?

Dead Dead Dead

is how I have felt for the past three weeks. I’ve been meaning to blog, really I have, no really… On the other hand I’ve been feeling so exhausted from school that when I do have free time all I can handle is sitting and staring at the apartment. Seriously! I spent two hours one day after my classes feeling like I wanted to watch something on TV but ended up just sitting because I couldn’t make myself move. I never thought that hard school work could make your body physically exhausted but, turns out, it sure can. I have done a depressingly small amount of knitting since my energy has been drained. I tried a few times but it really felt like the knitting was WORK instead of the wonderful relaxing calming fantastic activity that it actually is. I think the workload change from my summer of doing nothing (well moving across the country, but that wasn’t draining and I could work at my own pace) to the jump-in-head-first atmosphere of law school was a major shock to the system. Now that I’ve been at it for 3+ weeks I’m adjusting a lot more to the energy expenditure needed to get though day and I’m even starting to have a bit of left over energy… a bit.

Look what I finally managed to finish:

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The market bag kit I got from Knit Picks–Montavilla Market Tote. They released the bag pattern plus one ball of each of the colors of their worsted weight undyed organic cotton yarn called Simply Cotton as a kit. It’s a very soft yarn but it does shed while you work with it. I followed the pattern as it’s written but I think if I made it again I would knit the body in blocks of the color from dark to light instead of striping the yarns. The stripes take away from the lace pattern. I don’t really care that much though since it’s just a market bag. I took it to the grocery store the other day and it held up fine to a pretty heavy load of groceries. There is enough yarn to make a second one but I’m not sure if I’ll make another bag or maybe something else… Like all cotton yarn there’s little give, so I think I’ll do a few projects with wool before I pick up cotton again–my hands were pretty cramped by the time I finished casting off 200 stitches.

I also am about half way done with one Mojo sock.

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I’m making these for Andrew so that he has some good-luck-teaching-mojo since he’s working on his student teaching this semester. (Side note: it’s so weird that he’ll have a career in 4ish months… jobs are way too grown-up.) The yarn is Regia Silk which is the softest sock yarn I’ve ever touched but the ball is already looking pretty ragged just from being carried around in my purse for the past few weeks. If it’s pilling in the ball it’s probably not going to hold up that well to man-type wear and tear… but for now it’s soft and pretty. I had to change it from 64 stitches to 72 stitches to accommodate Andrew’s giant feet, and I did a short row heel instead of an afterthought heel because for this pattern they have the same effect and I don’t have to go back later or weave in extra ends. That’s really all I’ve accomplished since my last post but hopefully now that I’m feeling like I have more energy I’ll get more done.
Hopefully I have more to post in a week or two.

Some Actual Knitting

Alright, so now that you’ve been apprised of my new house and my major yarn-related outing it’s probably about time for me to tell you about so actual knitting that I’ve done. First, though I know it doesn’t look like it, I’ve made some progress on my Op Art blanket.

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The last time I showed this to you there was a giant tail of circular needle sticking out because I was magic-looping it on a 60″ needle. Now the entire needle has stitches around it and it’s not even half the total number of stitches. I’ll probably not show you any more pictures of it until I get it off the needle since it will just look like a bigger and bigger wad of knitting. If you really care a lot you can keep up with the progress on the side bar.

Next are a couple of FOs. The first was actually finished in time for me to wear to sock summit, which was very lucky because they’re probably my “funnest” pair of socks yet.

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They are just a basic sock with a short-row heal. I decided to try the short-row heal because it is supposed to be the best kind of heal for striped yarn because it doesn’t screw-up your stripe length like a heal with a gusset does. I don’t much like it but at least I learned a new skill. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in colorway Coney Island.

Finally, I finished my Ishbel shawl two days ago and it finally finished blocking this morning. It’s made from yarn that someone handspun and sent to me as part of a swap. I managed to make the full large size with the yarn and still have about 15% of the skein left. It’s not made from very soft wool but I can wear it with no problem.

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I never know exactly how to wear shawls but I enjoy making them and they make good gifts so I guess my lack of fashion sense isn’t really a problem. Next post I’ll tell you all about the new house guests.

Startitis

So even though I’ve got three very good projects on the needles right now, in the past couple of days I’ve started two more and I know that I’ll be starting a sixth (and maybe a seventh and eighth…) before anything comes off the needles. I blame the fact that I just recently went through my entire stash and cataloged everything. Normally I keep my stash secreted away in various hiding places (and various states) so that I’m never actually confronted with everything that I have. (This is probably the reason I have so much…) The yarn was calling me in so many directions that I had to begin just a few more things… The first is a pair of basic socks. I decided that I needed to have some car-ride knitting since when I’m in New Mexico I do quite a bit of ridding and almost no driving and every car ride is at least twenty minutes long. All of this has been done away from home, riding in the car or in spare minutes waiting for various errands.

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I’m just following the Sock Recipe pattern from the Yarn Harlot’s book Knitting Rules. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in Coney Island which is a colorway they no longer make. I love how bright and happy the socks are and every three to four rows I get to knit with a new bright happy color.

The other thing I started is a blanket. This may sound weird since the temperature has been in the 90s for most of the time that I’ve been down here in New Mexico, but the fact that in two short weeks I’ll be hunting for my first apartment has me majorly home-oriented right now. I keep thinking of how I’m always cold in the winter and how I’ll have to keep the heat low because of my poor-law-student budget so I have recently been attracted to a lot of blanket patterns. I resisted the urge to cast on a wool blanket (barely) and settled on acrylic. Not exactly luxury, I know, but it pretty “good” acrylic (it will definitely serve the purpose of wrapping around my legs in the winter anyway.) I’m following the pattern Op Art from Knitty. The pattern makes a largish baby blanket, but I’m hoping that by knitting it with bigger yarn and bigger needles I’ll get a smallish adult sized blanket. It’s knit from the center out, so right now it feels like I’m flying along. (I only have about 130 stitches.)

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In the end there will be 888 stitches (I know that sounds like a number I just pulled out thin air but it’s not a exaggeration!) The yarn is Carron One Pound in Rose and Off White (creative huh?). I had these two balls in my stash from way way back. I think one of the big box store had it on sale for $3 a ball so I bought these two on impulse and they’ve been sitting around ever since. I love this patter because it’s mindless; long rows of knit or purl with four increases thrown in per round. I’m using it to catch up on all the TV and movie watching I missed during the school year.

Two Long-Term Projects Off the Needles

So I told myself that I would not buy any more yarn until I got all my current WIPs off the needles. The projects I have to finish are the Halloween socks, the Swallowtail Shawl, and Andrew’s sweater. In the past two weeks two of them have been finished. The socks were finished first. I had them almost completely finished before spring break and I cast off in the middle of the flight from Wisconsin to Oregon. Of course that mean that I had nothing to do for the rest of the flight but I got to wear my new socks all around Portland and I got SO many compliments from random strangers. They were knit from a knitpicks sock blank dyed for me by UPBarnGoddess on Ravelry. Here’s the original blank and the very beginning of the toes.


And here are the finished socks. I really love the way the colors worked up on the blank. Until the calf, the the colors were comming up pretty randomly but as I increased more and more it started to pool a bit. One of the beautiful things about knitting with a sock blank is that both socks are knit at the same time and the colors are identical so even when it pools the two socks still look exactly the same. I wanted to see just how long I could make the socks so I kept going until I only had a few inches left. I was about 3.5 inches short of knee-highs which means they’re fat-part-of-calf-highs so they tend to fall down arround my ankles. I kinda like it because they end up serving as socks and leg warmers.


The other thing I finished last night is my Swallowtail Shawl. I ended up working on this all day yesterday because it was comming along so beautifully! (Honors Project-Shmoners Project) I was up till 3:30 am when I finally cast off, and when I looked at the clock I was shocked. I thought it was maybe midnight… Time flies when you’re knitting lace… This morning I work up and blocked it and it was dry after about 2 hours so I took it outside for some pretty pictures. Here it is.




I don’t know that I’ll ever have an occasion to wear this, because it’s much more fancy that my day-to-day style but it’s so beautiful! I figure if I haven’t found a use for it by December I can gift it to someone for Christmas. It took less that one skein of Malabrigo lace to make the shawl and the pattern was free so total cost was less than $9. Pretty perfect I think.