They’re Like Leprechauns That Way

Any time I tell myself I’m going to do all the finishing work before taking pictures and blogging a finished project, it’s practically a guarantee that project won’t end up on the blog, so I try to just grab at least one picture as soon as something’s done so that I have something to blog about. If I leave it too long, the whole idea of blogging disappears, and then sometime the project itself disappears in one way or another. After I weave in all the ends, wash, block, etc., sometimes the thought of modeling and sorting though pictures for the best ones and editing photos and such is just too much. Sometimes it doesn’t fit in my schedule to even do the proper photo shoot deal in the first place. Sometimes the item is a gift and there just isn’t an appropriate time to get finished photos before it’s given. (Ask me to tell you sometime about the just plan adorable Sophie I knit last year. I don’t think I ever even mentioned it here.) Sometimes I just don’t want to lose the finishing momentum so I just grab a few pictures wherever I happen to be — sometimes I pluck all the cat hair off the knitting, sometimes not — and move on to the next project.

Sometimes I knit socks and they’re socks so I don’t really even care that much about finishing beyond weaving in the ends.

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I’m calling these A Little Something on the Side. Two-by-two ribbing for the cuff with a one-by-one ribbed section running down either side. I continued the one-by-one rib down the heel flap and the toe, as well.

Yarn: Ellen’s Half-Pint Farm Merino Sock, colorway Muddy Waters
Needles: 2 mm Karbonz DPNs
Started: July 1, 2013. These were my “must keep distracted by something purdy during the horrible moving week” project.
Finished: June 17, 2014. This has been the kind of year where taking a year to finish something as quick as a mostly plain pair of socks feels just about right.

But look at that – I finished these over a month ago, took a picture immediately, and they STILL almost didn’t make it onto the blog! These knitted things are tricky little bastards, I tell you.

 

That finishing momentum is an amazing thing when you find it, though. Because, looky here, it’s another actual pair of finished socks! (Photographed a few minutes after I finished them, at the laundromat, and before I bothered pulling any of the cat hair off.)

 

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Pattern: None. Just a pair of basic toe-ups with gusset heel, two-by-two ribbing at the cuff and Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off to finish.Yarn: Kroy Socks Stripes in colorway 55616 Mulberry Stripes
Needles: 2 mm Karbonz DPNs
Started: Um…some time before March 15, which is when I showed you the yarn and said I’d already knit a whole sock with it.
Finished: July 17, 2014

Overall, another lovely Kroy experience, though these two balls did have a few knots in them. You can see one of them right in the middle of the cuff, even. Also you can see how I don’t bother cutting knots out of sock yarn. I’ve never run into knots with Kroy before and I’m never that worried about my socks matching, so I’m not really that bothered by it.

 

Now it’s time to let that finishing momentum propel me through the second sleeve of Common Ground. Some cat whose name I will not mention yanked all the needles out of that sleeve the other day and some stupid knitter whose name also will not be spoken here decided to pick the sweater up by the working yarn for some reason yesterday, so, well, there’s a bit of fixing to do before the finishing can begin. But it’s all too painful. Let’s not speak of it again

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It’s Working! (And a life update.)

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That, my friends? Is proof of button band. And since it goes all the way up, around the hood, and then back down again, it is also proof of a button hole band. And and I have even moved on to the sleeves.

There has been some sock progress. Also longing fondling of some yarn at the bottom of the baskets, but no – I repeat: NO – new projects cast on.

This accountability thing is working. Folks are checking in, most notably my lovely friend Jess, and I am feeling a sufficient amount of obliation/shame – but, for serious, in the most positive way! – knowing that anyone might check in at any time that I am chugging along and have full faith that by the end of the month I could easily have a finished project or two.

Accountability is glorious. Let me know (in comments, or here or here) if you want in.

Also, in personal news, now that I’ve linked to my Ravelry and Twitter pages, you might have noticed that I’ve given up randipants and changed my name. This is an across-the-board, screen name, real name, everything for all time name change. I might write more about it here at some point, but for now I just wanted to let y’all know that if you see an Aoife around your blog and/or happen to wonder where randipants went, that’s what’s going on.

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Accountability

Another semester ends, and the dormant knitter emerges from her cave.

She looks around herself and thinks oh dear.

 

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Oh, deary dear.

 

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Something clearly needed to be done about this. Something also needed to be done about the fact that I have barely knit a single stitch in weeks. Unfortunately, something also needed to be done about the 10-page paper that was due by the end of the week.

Enter the Unfuck Your Habitat 20/10, fixer of almost all problems in life.

One 20/10 later, one basket was emptied, minor progress had been made on the outline, and very minor progress had been made on the cat hair buildup situation.

 

 

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Repeat. Another 20/10, another basket, more outline, less cat hair.

 

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(Also, if anyone can explain exactly how so much cat hair ends up all over my yarn and baskets, please let me know. I am at a loss, honestly.)

 

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I thought it would be just another 20/10 to take care of the next-to-the-couch pile as well as the outline, but there was a shocking number of unwound but half knitted skeins in that basket so I switched to 45/15′s.

I’ve had to employ some new winding techniques since giving up the swift and ball winder.

 

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This one works best when the air conditioner’s running.

Also, if you’re the type of person who likes pigtails and caramels and has unruly bangs, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you clean out your yarn baskets.

 

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Because seriously.

 

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All this stuff was in there.

 

It’s all sorted away neatly now, though. And I checked everything against my Ravelry notebook to make sure  it was listed and photographed and accounted for properly.

Now comes the hard part. Doing something with it. And I need help on that one.

The semester is over and I have 11 days before classes start again and 7 before I start my summer job. I think I can get a good amount of knitting done in that time, but it’s the long-term knitting I’m concerned with. I think I’ll have more time and less stress this summer than I had this semester, and I think that will translate to more knitting, but I need something to keep me honest. I need to be held accountable to my hobby.

So, I’m going to try to post a regular update here on how I’m doing, but of course “a regular update about how I’m doing with this whole knitting deal” is basically the only reason this blog exists, and look how well that’s working out right now. So, what I’d really love is for people to check in on me. And I was thinking that some of you out there could probably use a check-in here and there as well, because I know I’m not the only person with 3 overflowing baskets of unfinished projects sitting next to the couch glaring at them every night. So, maybe we can help each other out. I don’t care how we do it – we can buddy up and promise to visit and comment on each other’s blogs to make sure we’re making progress, or if anyone wants to leave the occasional comment on my projects to see how things are going I’d be happy to do the same for you, or, I dunno, we could all tweet at each other with some regularity and demand progress pics – but I need a little external motivation and I’m happy to provide it for others as well.

And in the interest of accountability, I even made a checklist of what I will consider legitimate progress  on my most urgent projects:

 

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There. Now, somebody – PLEASE – hold me to it.

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Gifts from the Internet

I am just a huge fan of how much stuff I can acquire without having to get off the couch, and often without having to pay real dollars for it. Seriously, the internet has done so much for my yarn stock. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten a few little packages that are increasing the sock:other yarn ratio quite nicely.

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There you have some Patons Kroy I got in a Ravelry trade. The bad light in this apartment does not do justice to how neon that yellow is, but some of the entries in the Ravelry projects gallery give you a better idea. This is a yellow, yellow yarn, and I don’t have anything like it, and I cannot wait to introduce it to Cookie A. There’s only 1 of the stripey Kroy because I kind of couldn’t resist and I already knit a sock out of the other skein. One of those things that just happens before you even realize it sometimes, you know? And all those tiny balls are fuel for the Life-Long Blanket. Stephanie over at woolythyme was working on a sock blankie recently and offered to share her minis with her readers, and there is no way I can resist an offer like that.

Common Ground is coming along nicely, after a few false starts wherein my ability to count and follow simple directions sort of took a vacation. I’m past the lace on the body and just a few rows away from the bottom ribbing. Really this would take about 3 good, solid evenings’ worth of knitting to finish, but with my school/work schedule, it will probably be another week. But it will happen, and it will be beautiful!

In life news, school’s OK, work’s OK, my little business venture is more than OK, and over at the other blog I’m getting very close to the end of Alias season 1 and starting to feel almost OK about the whole series. But the real big life news, the most exciting life news, is this:

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His name is Mix Fleetwood. Isn’t he handsome?

We got a really big tax return, so I got a really big treat. I love him and I use him almost every day even if I’m just making scrambled eggs for 2, and he’s basically the greatest thing. And he’s sooooo purple!

 

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Tuesdays & Thursdays

Class from 8-9:15, class from 2:30-3:45. Considering that class is an hour from home and I can’t afford lunch out every day, this means there’s a 5-hour library break in between to fill. I’m getting most of my homework done on campus, which is nice. Lots of reading time, which means the sleeve do-over on the Green Lantern sweater is coming along nicely.

 

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At home, Common Ground is humming along as well. Not good book knitting, since I’m into the lace section and its one row to pay attention/one to knit plain rhythm.

 

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Other than that, there’s some sock knitting going on, lots of cooking, and very little picture taking. Mostly I just wanted to stop in and say hi, blog, I’m still here and I’ll have pretty pictures for you soon, I promise. I seriously almost have a full pair of socks I think you’re going to like and some new sock yarn I think you’ll be all like WOW over.

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Let’s Do This

It is All Motivation All The Time time chez randipants, you guys. It kind of has to be. I need a job — well, a second job, since I have a part-time one right now — I need to knit, I need to feed myself, and all sorts of other things that MUST happen for life to continue. First, though, I need to do some catching up here.

Where to begin? The semester’s over. I survived! And my grades were decent! Yay me! And I don’t have to go back till late January!! Double yay!!

I started a business! And I’m super pumped about it! It’s an errand service – grocery shopping, doing laundry, house cleaning, that sort of thing. If you know anyone in the seacoast NH are who could use a little help with that stuff, I’m your girl. It’s called A Little Help (because I’m clever like that) and you can find it here: http://www.alittlehelpnh.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/alittlehelpnh

I’ve managed to knit a little! I made some ornaments for my  mother-in-law to sell at craft fairs. Little sweaters, stockings, and, of course, (I mean, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some) balls.

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Then I started making little mitten sets and couldn’t stand the cute so I had to take a break.

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I’m partway through the yoke on Common Ground, which I’m knitting on commission for a friend. A friend who’s just about my size, too, which should make getting this one just right pretty easy. The only snag I’m expecting is that she wants buttons, where the pattern is written as an open cardigan, and I’m not sure yet whether to work extra increases for the front after the raglan shaping is done, or if I should just go with super-wide button bands. (Must decide soon, of course.)

I also have a little list of “pay it forward” crafts that I’ve been sitting on (figuratively) for a while that I’d like to get done in the next few weeks.

I restarted the sleeves for my Green Lantern sweater and the first one is coming along nicely.

Other than that, though, there hasn’t been a ton of knitting progress. Once I’ve got a job (second job) lined up, there will be less time spent job searching, and thus I expect more knitting time. And then I’ll have much more to share here, but for now I just wanted to pop in and say hi.

Hi!

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And Then I Just Did Something Else Instead

OK, so, I think we should all know by now that I’m not great with achieving knitting goals. So, it should be no surprise that, after 2 steady months of trying my best to focus on existing projects, I only got my original list of 16 unfinished items down to 14. For those doing the math along at home, that’s 16+1-1+2-5+1=14.

I started with 16 projects for the knit-along, plus my sock yarn blanket, which I was not counting because that will be done at some point this decade if I’m lucky. I finished my Long & Toasty mitts, then found 2 washcloths I hadn’t finished. I finished the washcloths up. I ripped out 3 sweaters that were just never going to happen as my final entries in the knit-along. Then I cast on a blanket. And here we are.

Do I need a new blanket? Well, I think I do. And it’ll sure clear up some space in the yarn drawers, which has kind of become my entire life’s goal right now. (This new apartment is tiny, so tiny, so very, very tiny, you guys. I need to get rid of some drawers.) If all goes to plan, this thing will clear out 12 balls of Noro Kureyon and 5 of Patons Classic Wool. Plus I had to make up a spreadsheet to keep track of the pattern, and if there’s anything more fun than that, I want to hear about it.

And anyway, even if I don’t need it, exactly, once I could see it in my head, it was so pretty I couldn’t not get started right away.

It’s pretty out of my head, too.

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In other knitting, I’ve taken a break from the Green Lantern sweater because I couldn’t get the sleeve or the neckline quite right and hadn’t decided how to fix them. I think I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to rip out the neckline, sleeve and shoulders, then reknit the sleeve (and, you know, a second one) from the cuff up, join to the body at the shoulders, and finish the whole thing in the round according to EZ’s seamless set-in sleeve instructions. I did the body flat and the sleeves top-down before because I wanted the sleeves to be black all the way to the top. But I’m tired of trying to mess with the numbers and, because I made up the armholes and neckline, they’re not as perfect as they could be, so I think I’ll feel better about the whole thing if I just make the tops of the sleeves green where they join the body. That way I don’t have to make anything up or do any fiddly intarsia-in-the-round tricks. Hopefully I’ll have some progress on that for next time.

In other not-knitting, I’m having so much fun over at the other blog talking about Alias and its various delights and stupidities. If you’re never quite sure whether Alias is the absolute best or the total worst, do please check it out and join the conversation.

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Sort Of A Sleeve, And Other Things I’ve Been Up To Lately

I finished the first sleeve on the Green Lantern sweater, yay! But it doesn’t quite fit right and I changed colors too late for my liking so most of it has to be ripped out, boo.

Also, this is my "why the hell am I in school at my age" face.

Also, this is my “why the hell am I in school at my age” face. It’s my only face now. There are no other faces left.

I’ve knit a bit on a few different socks but overall the knitting has been moving slowly. I’m all sort of tired and weird lately, what with school and looking for a job while very very much not wanting to and trying to adjust to this stupid little apartment I should be grateful to have and all that.

I did find the energy to start up a new blog though! It is over here and it is called Feminism Yes But Also The Robots and it will be for long-winded transcripts of my thoughts on general pop culture, specific depictions of women in film, and whatever Friends episodes happen to be running through my head at a given moment. The first post is all about why Mamma Mia! is way awesomer than you maybe even knew (and I’m assuming you already knew it was way awesome). And if you already knew why it was even way awesomer, well, then, just you wait because I have 2 more Mamma Mia! posts on their way. It probably won’t be a blog just about how much I love Mamma Mia! though. Probably.

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A Little Progress

Well, I didn’t make the deadline for the superhero KAL. But even when I missed the deadline, I didn’t just toss the sweater aside and move right on to something else. This is either a sign of knitting maturity or a side effect of the Finish All The Things-along I’m also participating in. Either way, it’s gotten me here:

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I basted this together  just to make sure I got the arm holes right. This is my first knit-flat-then-seamed sweater and I was a wee bit worried but I think they’ll be just about perfect.

I finished and blocked the front last week. I finished the back this morning and it’s now pinned out and blocking. I squooshed the water out in the sink as hard as I could, then gave it the towel-squeezy twice and I’ve laid it out in front of the a/c because I feel like if I do all of that it will magically be dry by dinner and I can seam it, knit the collar and start on the sleeves tonight (I’m doing the sleeves top-down so I can’t start ‘em until the body’s done). This will not happen. I know it and you know it. But what would we be if we didn’t have dreams?

In other ways I’m out of touch with my own reality, remember my 16 unfinished projects, which I had brought down to 15? I…um…found 2 more. But! These were just washcloths, so it took a total of maybe 20 minutes to finished them. I just had to knit 11 yards and weave in 4 ends, so it’s down to 15 again. Really. That’s it. 15. There cannot possibly be another unfinished project in this apartment. I just won’t stand for it.

Now I’m off to work on one of the 15 while I wait for the sweater back to dry. Or, well, it’s already been a few hours. Maybe I’ll just go check and see if it’s dry already.

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Long & Toasty

The first of my 16 unfinished projects is done and warm and lovely.

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Pattern: toasty by Leslie Friend
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 46
Needles: 4 mm
Started: August 2009
Finished: August 18, 2013

In other knitting, the front of my Green Lantern sweater is so close to done.

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I can see the emblem’s a little wonky now that it’s done. I’m going to try some duplicate stitch to fix my mistakes before I knit any further. If that looks less than awesome, I’ll have to rip back and reknit this section. I’m not exactly looking forward to managing all those strands again but I think any mistakes in the emblem will just bug me too much if I leave them in.

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