Posted in Current Projects

So Many Projects, Never Enough Time

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic. I spent the first week of April getting ready for a trip to DC (part work related, part fun), then I was in DC all last week, now I’m re-adjusting to being back at work AND getting ready for another trip in May. I still need to go through and upload pictures from my DC trip. I’ve spent a fair amount of time away from the computer while at home, so I just haven’t had time to get to it yet, but I’m hoping to share those soon! I had a fabulous day with Laura while I was in DC. We went to the zoo and yarn shopping. Cute animals and yarn – is there a more perfect day? 🙂

I did take some time to take pictures of all my WIPs yesterday and get them uploaded since I hadn’t photographed almost any in-progress pics of them yet. Here’s everything I’ve got on the needles right now.

Just before leaving to DC, I had a sudden moment of “omg must cast on something new for the trip!!” Suddenly the thought of all the stockinette and garter stitch projects I have going made me feel like I’d be totally bored with them and that I needed something more interesting to work on. I quickly looked through my stash, picked a pattern, and cast these on while Matt drove me to the airport. The yarn in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the Farmhouse colorway and the pattern is Maelstrom. I have knit this pattern before and found it to be quite enjoyable. Just enough patterning to keep it interesting and keep me from getting bored with it. I was able to get the first sock to where all the gusset decreases have been done.

Maelstrom #2
Maelstrom #2

I only knit on this at the airport waiting for my flight to DC, on the plane to DC, on the bus to the hotel, on the bus back to the airport, at the airport waiting for my flight home, and on the plane home (and while stuck on the runway for about 45 mins). The rest of the time while taking the Metro pretty much everywhere I went, I brought my Perfect Day Yarns stripey sock with me to knit. I managed to get the first stripey sock done and get up to where I start the gusset increases on the second one! For some reason these socks seem to be taking me a long time and for no good reason other then they keep getting put on the back burner so I can work on other things. I love the yarn and the colors, so once I finish Elektra, I think I’ll focus on finishing these.

I did try a new-to-me cast off on these: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I think it’s my new favorite! It is, like it’s called, surprisingly stretchy. I like the way it looks and it’s a lot easier then the typical sewn in bind off I have done. Definitely my new go-to for toe-up socks.

PDY Stripey Socks
PDY Stripey Socks

Last post I mentioned that I was waiting for the beads to arrive so I could cast on Elektra. They on April 7th and I cast on for it right away. Yesterday I was 4 rows from finishing Section B when I realized I did two bead rows in a row, skipping an increase row. I had to frog 18 rows, 9 of which had beads. I’ve knit about half of those rows over again and I’m hoping to finish Section B today. I’ve got a week and a half to get it done and blocked. Hopefully I can get it done.

Elektra
Elektra

Last post I also mentioned starting Rook. I did finish the first one, though it’s not finished in this photo.

Rook
Rook – almost finished

Slipped Hours has seen a fair amount of progress, especially this weekend while we were at a Cincinnati Reds game. I’m up to where I’m increasing from the waist shaping and on to the second skein of yarn. Not super interesting to look at right now, but it’s growing pretty quickly. Since I’m focusing all my knitting energy on Elektra, I’ve set this (and all other projects) to the side until it’s done.

Slipped Hours
Slipped Hours

Even with all these projects in the works and knowing I should focus on getting Elektra done, all I want to do is cast on more things! It sure didn’t help that I recently went through my queue to clear out things I’ll never knit, no longer interested in, or can’t remember why I even queued it in the first place. I came across so many things that made me go “… and I want to knit that and that and that… and OH THAT!” I’ve even got two projects set up on Ravelry for the next sweater and shawl I want to cast on.

Projects to Knit Next
L to R: Shibuya, Berroco Vintage DK, Rock Island, and SweetGeorgia Yarns CashSilk Lace

I saw Shibuya at Fibre Space (which you can get to pretty easily on the metro – only a few blocks to walk from the metro station to the shop) where they have a sample of it knit up in Berroco Vintage DK. I saw it and immediately fell in love with it. I needed to make one for myself! I bought the book, yarn, and needles for it on the spot. Normally I wouldn’t buy needles because I have a pretty big collection of them, but it seems that I only own one US 5 needle that is always in use, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have another and it meant I could swatch for it right away. At any rate, I’m itching to cast this on! Trying to hold out until I’ve got some other things (like Slipped Hours) off the needles first.

The other project I want to start soon is Rock Island. I’ve had this SweetGeorgia Yarns CashSilk Lace in my stash for a while and had it set aside for another shawl. I hadn’t cast on for the intended shawl because I really needed 1000 yards and I only had 800 yards. I was planning on just making it shorter then called for, but after a lot of debate, I knew I wanted to knit the whole thing, so this was waiting for the right project to come along. Well, it has! I love a lot of Jared Flood’s patterns and this is no exception. Once I get Elektra finished, I’ll be casting this on right away.

What projects are calling to you lately? I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been bit by the startitis bug. 🙂

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

FO’s, Sweater Knitting, and Projects

I’ve been a bit behind in blogging and I can’t say I have any good reasons why. I’ve been lazy about taking pictures of my current projects and then when I have taken pictures, I forget to edit and upload them. I think I’ve also been side tracked with getting everything in order for two upcoming trips. Ah well. I’ve definitely been knitting despite not blogging about it!

Since I last posted, I’ve finished two projects. The first thing I finished was my third sweater for the year, Cassis.

Cassis (Front)
Cassis – Front

Pattern: Cassis (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 26, 2011
Completed: March 27, 2011
Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin in Whisker, 10 skeins
Needles: US 6 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I added waist shaping at the sides, did long sleeves instead of short sleeves, and shortened the length. Overall I’m still feeling a bit “meh” about this sweater, but it does make a nice, washable house sweater or sweater to keep at work for when it’s a bit chilly.

Cassis (Back)
Cassis – Back

After I finished up Cassis, I focused on finishing High Road since I was already pretty close to being done. A day later I was binding off High Road and blocking it!

High Road (Wrapped)
High Road

Pattern: High Road (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 14, 2011
Completed: March 28, 2011
Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis in Pilgrim, 1 skein
Needles: US 5 Addi Lace circular
Notes: Knit as written, though my gauge may have been a little off (I honestly don’t check for shawls). Very interesting construction and the whole thing seemed to go pretty quickly with first knitting the middle section, then the middle to top, then the bottom ruffle. I enjoyed working with the yarn as well. Squishy and soft and such a pretty colorway!

High Road (Back)
High Road – Back

High Road (Big)
High Road – Full

With both of those projects off the needles, I only had my PDY stripey sock on the needles, which of course meant I needed to cast on more projects. 🙂

First thing I cast on was another sweater. After all, this is The Year of the Sweater for me with my goal of knitting 12 sweaters in 2011. With 3 under my belt, I think I’m doing pretty good and feeling like I can definitely make it. Even with other projects going on, I’ve stayed with my goal of a sweater a month and not casting on a new sweater until the one I’m working on is done. I’ve been itching to use the Vesper Quick Sock in Ivy League ever since my first attempt at Bel Air didn’t work out. After finishing Cassis, I was hesitant to try Bel Air again because of the collar. Turns out I don’t really like the collar on Cassis much and was afraid I wouldn’t like the one on Bel Air (in hindsight, I think it would be fine since it isn’t big like the one on Cassis, so Bel Air is still in my queue). After some swatching and pattern searching, I decided on Slipped Hours.

I downloaded the pattern and immediately noticed something. There is no schematic that comes with this pattern. Now, that may not be an issue for some knitters, but it is for me. When I first started knitting sweaters, I didn’t think a whole lot about the schematic or how the end product would actually fit my body. After I’d knit a few sweaters, I found a few things “wrong” with them – something was too long, too short, or just didn’t fit me well. This is when I learned to read the schematic and really pay attention to it when I knit a sweater so that I would be happier with the end result. I must admit, it has definitely helped. Most importantly, it helps me choose a size that will fit the way I want it to fit rather then going solely by the sizing stated in the pattern like I did those first few sweaters. This is the third sweater pattern in as many months that I’ve purchased that doesn’t have a schematic and I admit I was really irritated and disappointed that I paid for yet another pattern without a schematic. In my opinion (and those of other knitters I have asked), a sweater pattern that you pay for should come with a schematic. I swear, I’m not even that picky about it and if it were a free pattern, I wouldn’t even mention it not having a schematic (after all, it’s free). I don’t expect everyone to be a great artist (I know I’m not!) and I would totally accept something a designer drew in MS Paint with all the appropriate measurements of the finished garment. Just something that I can look at and go “Okay, if I picked ___ size it will be…”. I have never designed a sweater pattern and put it up for sale, but from what I know of sweater construction, designing, and pattern writing, a designer does do the math to figure out sizing and instructions. It seems reasonable that with all that math done for the sizing that it wouldn’t be much to add a small picture of a sweater with measurements for it since those are already known because of the pattern writing for various sizes, right? To me, it seems totally reasonable, but I digress.

With no schematic to look at so I could cast on right away, I took a few days to think it over, draw my own schematic, figure out how to add waist shaping, and figure out which size I wanted to knit. Ultimately I went with the largest size. I decided not to do reverse stockinette on the turned hem and just did regular stockinette on a smaller needle (pattern states to do it on the same needle you use for the body), did a purl row for the turn row, then switched to the needle that I got gauge for the body with. I’ve finished the hem and I’m into the waist decreases for the body.

Slipped Hours
Slipped Hours

One of the trips coming up involves a formal dinner and I’ve cocktail dress dress I like, but it only has one shoulder strap. I’m a bit worried I might get chilly, so I figured I’d knit myself a shawl to go with it. Finally decided on yarn (Wollmeise sock yarn in Fuchsia) and decided to knit Elektra. I was on the fence about the beads, but decided they’d be a fun addition since I don’t often knit things with beads and I thought it would add a little sparkle to the shawl. I looked locally, but was unable to find anything to match the yarn that I liked, so I ordered from Fire Mountain Gems. Hopefully those will arrive this week and I can get started on the shawl soon.

Over the weekend I decided to cast on for another project. I suddenly had the urge to knit up this purple sock yarn that has tried and failed to be a project many times over. Immediately, I thought of the pattern Rook. I’ve been wanting to make these and this yarn was calling for me to knit it, so I cast on. I’ve got half of the first mitt finished and it fits great. I was a little worried about gauge since that had been an issue in previous projects when I’d used this yarn, but it seems to be spot on for this pattern. No pictures yet. Instead I’ll show you the yarn I’m using!

Willy Wonky Sock Club
Big Mouth Yarns Buxom Sock in “You’re Turning Violet, Violet!”

Had a lovely (and busy) weekend and the weather was pretty nice out aside from the crazy winds we’ve had. This morning I woke up to it being 71 degrees outside and windy! Tomorrow I think the high is in the 50’s. Crazy spring time weather! Hehe 🙂