Tag Archives: francis revisited

Independence Yay!

OK, this is it. Time to declare myself free of that weird crafting guilt you get when too many unfinished things pile up for too long. This is going to feel good. Let’s do this thing. I give you the Official List of Allowable Knitting for the Foreseeable Future, in Approximate Order of On-the-Needles Time:

 

1 Life-Long Blanket

No, I don’t expect to finish this, but I am giving myself a milestone to reach; I want to fill in the pretty jagged top so that’s squared off again and fill in all the side triangles (I have the bottom done & one side complete up as far as I’ve knit rows of squares, so the triangle part of the goal is pretty doable).

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2 Secret Project #1

Almost exactly 6 years old, more than half done (though I need to recheck my gauge and see if I even can continue from where I left off or if I have to start over).

 

3 Giant Oceania Shawl

This one was still in progress when I started typing up this list last night, but honestly once I pulled it out to take pictures I just had that oh god so sick of this feeling I’ve been getting lately, and, well, here:

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It’s really hard to get accurate colors in the spare room. Why those walls? Why?

Pattern: Triangular Shawl Recipe #2: Increasing Triangular Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Oceania, color Java
Needles: 5.5 mm/US 9 KP Harmony interchangeables for the body of the shawl, then it sat on the cord with stoppers for at least the last 3 years, judging by the date on my last Ravelry notes, and then yesterday I just grabbed 2 tips that looked big enough to bind off with but I honestly don’t know what size
Started: 8/18/10
Finished: 7/3/16

When I started this, the plan was to have a giant blanket-sized shawl to keep me warm at work. It took longer to knit than it took that job to lay me off, though, and it’s just kind of been languishing forever since then. Seeing that this only took 130 g out of 400 and it was this big has me convinced I made the right decision and I never would have knit a giant shawl out of this. Also I just knit the giant shawl of my dreams and I don’t feel the need for another one. I found a friend who will give it a good home and I think we shall all be happier for it.

 

4 Francis Revisited Revised

LOOK AT HER NOW SHE JUST NEEDS LONGER SLEEVES!

And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.

And Buddy just needs to play with her ends.

 

5 Conference Call Socks

Started September 2011; have been nothing but trouble since. The first sock was too small. Then I reknit it and it fit perfectly. Yesterday:

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Maybe I’m done with these? Maybe I give them one more chance? Maybe I try to get the same size on the second one and find someone who’s like half a shoe-size smaller than me? Maybe I don’t have to knit this list in order so I have some time to decide.

 

6 Secret project #2

Started in 2013; high chance this won’t get done; best not to get into too much detail.

 

7

(There should be a pair of mittens here but I remember some horrible yarn tangles and I’m not sure if I know where one of the yarns that I need even is right now and also the hat & scarf they were supposed to match have had some stain misfortune befall them, so I’m gonna keep a place for them but not get my hopes up.)

 

8 Scrappy Scarf

Fingering weight leftovers from the sock yarn blanket. I like this but I don’t know how much, really. This one might get ripped out.

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9 Ugly Knee Socks

When last we saw them:

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I tried this one on yesterday to see how the fit was, and everything but the heel was great. I think my recent short-row-heel revelation extends to afterthought heels. Since I didn’t love the yarn anyway, I haven’t decided what to do with these. If I decide to finish, I’ll probably cut the foot off just above the heel and add a contrasting heel flap and then redo the foot. I just have to decide how much I care or how much I would wear these. My original plan was to wear them in my boots on the farm but that’s less useful to me right now. Idunno. But I’ll report back.

 

10 Secret project # 2

I can finish this. I CAN finish this. I can FINISH THIS!!!! And then you can see it.

 

11 Muriwai the Third

Big blob of green cotton. Nothing to see here.

 

12 Worsted Weight Scrap Blanket

I don’t think I ever showed you this! It’s fun.

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I’m just sort of taking leftovers and knitting 20-stitch-wide garter stitch strips. For one strip, I’m alternating 2 colors and changing one of them out every 20 ridges. For the other, I’m splitting it down the middleand knitting until each color runs out. Not sure what I’ll do with the next ones. I think this will be like a 24″x36″ lap blanket maybe?

 

13 & 14 Mismatched 2-at-a-time Socks

Haven’t started the second socks yet, but you can see that I intend to, since I actually know where both the yarns are.

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When they’re done, they’ll look just like this but on the other feet:

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Also then they won’t have to be mismatched anymore if I don’t want them to be.

 

15 Kiemurakukkaset

These don’t need much! Just the thumbs (with conductive thread) and a good blocking. Watch this take the longest of everything on the list.

 

16 NETHER GARMEEEEEEEEENTSSSSSSSSSS

Holy dang these are fun, you guys.

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So…that takes care of everything with a Ravelry project page. But that doesn’t take care of everything.

In less of any kind of order, here is what remains:

 

17 This is a sweater. I swear.

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18 This used to be a sweater.

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Back before the blog, I knit a Buttony.

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While I was super excited to knit an actual garment, I think that face I’m making there pretty accurately sums up how I have tended to feel about the thing since. Like, sure, I’m kinda smiling but I’m not like smiling smiling. It’s nice. It’s OK. It’s lived in a box for 8.5 years.

It’s gonna be a pillow now. Probably a pillow with buttons tho ’cause dang I love those buttons.

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19 Gray & Yellow Shawl in unphotographable yarn

 

20 Myrtle, which I am finally ready to swatch after like 5 years of thinking about it–in unphotographable yarn

 

21 Gray & Teal Scarf in yarn I am too lazy to photograph right now but would probably look fine if I did

 

22 Big Pile of Socks With Problems That I Should Really Fix

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23 Mending

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Not much in this category, thankfully.

 

24 & 25 Mystery Projects 3 & 4

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26 My Current Year-of-Socks Socks

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Hey, so if anybody’s having trouble getting in the right mood to knit short socks, let me recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Let me also note that is the ONLY situation for which I can recommend Iowa in July with no air conditioning. Any time I think about socks lately all I can think is well there’s no point covering up too much of my legs, given that they’re about to melt off anyways.

27 Wild Card

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This meets neither of my “on the needles or significantly along in the planning stage” criteria and I don’t even care. I bought this on WWKIP day to celebrate my local store’s 20% off sale. I have no idea what it’s going to be yet but I’m putting it on this list in case something comes to me.

 

OK, folks, I…think that’s it? Like, I really really believe this is everything. I don’t see how there could be more.

 

Onward!

The Best Way Out is Always Through

The fallout from last week’s attempt at organizing the next-to-the-couch yarn basket has been staring at me from the coffee table, and this weekend I finally had to do something about it.

The big problem — from both a yarn storage and a project finishing standpoint —  is that when you throw a bunch of half-knit yarn into a basket, eventually it just becomes a yarn tribble. Two solutions to this: don’t half-knit things, and/or don’t store half-knit yarn in a giant basket with no separation strategy.

Neither of these is a likely long-term solution for me, let’s be honest. Still, I felt motivated in one particular direction — which was NOT the “store your yarn neatly like a reasonable person, Aoife” direction — and I’m gonna stick with that for a bit and see what it gets me.

I pulled out my in-progress third Muriwai, freed its half-ball from the horrors of the basket, and worked on the border to the end of the ball. Honestly, how damn quick is it to knit a couple rounds with super bulky yarn? What excuse do I even have for putting this down halfway through a ball? Anyways, this took about 20 minutes and now there’s no mile-long end to tangle in the basket. I think I should get a little credit for finding the rest of the yarn — still neatly in its plastic bag! — and putting all of it together so next time I want to work on this I don’t have to search.

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These things take really boring pictures.

 

I was looking through all the yarn bins over the weekend and doing a quick reshuffle to get things that need attention nearer to the top of the heap, and I figured it was finally time to turn Francis Revisited into something wearable.

Zoe helped.

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This one will take a bit of knitting, since I need to work on the body and the sleeves. It’s just stockinette in the round for the most part, though, so it shouldn’t take too much time. She says almost 5 years to the day after starting this mostly-stockinette-in-the-round sweater.

The greatest accomplishment of my weekend, though, was stumbling upon the old Noro striped blanket that I worked on for about 5 minutes in 2013 and haven’t looked at since.

My first thought was, “Fuck it. This is more square than I want it to be and I am never going to finish it.”

I took it off the needles, and my second thought was, “Fuck! This is way bigger than I thought it was.”

 

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My third thought was, “If I fold the corners back like a note in 3rd grade, this might could be a pillow.”

And might it could, my friends.

And might it could, my friends.

THIS THING IS GREAT!!!!!

We have a marble coffee table, and I have a weird maybe arthritic heel, so a pillow is a real necessity. I have thankfully had the loan of Dan’s Spider-Man pillow for the last year, but oh my people let me tell you. THIS PILLOW! IS! FANTASTIC! It has half a small bag of stuffing in it AND half a large bag of stuffing in it! I just kept stuffing until I couldn’t stuff anymore, and I regret NOTHING. I am sure the cats will try to pull the stuffing out, but such is life. Plus I figure if I give it a hot water wash from time to time and treat it roughly it should felt up a bit and keep its inside where they belong.

Pattern: Um…I started with maybe a circular cast on and did yo increases to make the corners? And then did like garter stitch but with 2 knit rounds for every purl ridge?
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, colorway 215; Patons Classic Wool in Aran & Natural Mix
Needles: US 9 KP interchangeables that have somehow avoided the Great KP Needle Plague of Aught-leven to Present, probably partly because they were stuck in this project for the last 2 years
Started: 10/12/13
Finished: 2/29/16

 

Alterations Needed

Yesterday I looked like this:

Today, I – and Francis Revisited – look like this:

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I needed a big change.The sweater just needs a few small changes.

The sleeves need to be longer and a bit more flared. When I sat down to finish them over the weekend, I decided to just knit them straight to the end, thinking they would end up a bit larger around than my arm at the cuff but not annoyingly flared (also thinking I was too lazy to get the pattern and figure out where I was and measure and blah blah blah). I tried them on as I knit and started the seed stitch edge once the stockinette reached my elbow. Since this yarn is a 50/50 wool/acrylic blend, I washed the finished sweater to see how it would hold up to how I’m most likely to treat it. It didn’t felt, but it definitely got plumper and squishier. The sleeves lost some length, and I  can see now that they will need a little flare. I’m going to rip these back to a few inches above the elbow and redo them.

The body needs to be a bit longer too. It was fine when I finished it, but the washing made it shorten a bit like the sleeves did. I think I’ll work some more increases so it flares a bit more at the bottom as well as making it a few inches longer.

Other than that, this is a perfect fit. I wore it yesterday as a sort of test run to be sure about what I wanted to alter. I actually don’t mind the length at all when I’m wearing it. It’s more a matter of aesthetics. This sweater wants to be bell-shaped and drapey and a little bit long, and so it shall be.

Motivation, Thy Name is Aidez

So, Francis Revisited will get sleeves eventually, I promise you. Friday night, I thought about it a little and decided the reason I wasn’t too motivated to finish it was because it will be so long before I can wear it. It has a cowl neck and it’s 50% wool, it’s really hot here right now, and we only have a/c in the bedroom (which stays closed at all times), where I don’t usually knit. Clearly it just wasn’t the right time of year for that project. Time to find something a bit more seasonal.  So I started another sweater, this time in bulky 100% wool. Clearly that was the better choice.

Actually, it’s been a good idea so far. I’m tearing through this.


I originally planned on knitting the Drops 103 jacket that you’ve all seen a million places as my next sweater. I had 3 skeins of Cascade Eco+ set aside for it, but I was a little worried that all that stockinette and seed stitch and the cowl neck would be too like Francis Revisited and I’d end up in a rut again. I was ready to go ahead anyway, then Saturday morning I was checking out the latest finished projects on Ravelry and saw a little tiny thumbnail of a cushy looking, cabley cardigan and I thought, “Oh, OK, that is what I must knit. I must knit that right now,” before I’d even clicked through to see what the pattern was. Within a few hours I had printed the pattern, written out how I planned to convert it to one-piece construction, and was on my way.

Watch this space, folks. I think I’m about to make up for all the time I lost on sweater #3.

On Arbitrary Rules

I have some serious process-knitter tendencies. I love love love to buy yarn, pick out patterns, and start projects. I do also love to have knitted items to wear and enjoy, but that love has never pushed me into productknitterdom. It’s in the sticking to things and finishing them where the whole thing kinda breaks down. So, I set rules for myself. They usually don’t have any real substance backing them up, and there are almost never any consequences if I break them. I just have to give myself deadlines and parameters so that I will not drown in a sea of 6-rows-of-this and 3-repeats-of-that. It’s about getting myself to focus.

Last year it was a pair of socks a month. I was buying a skein of sock yarn a week and not knitting it with nearly as much frequency. So, I set a goal for myself. And I totally didn’t meet it, but it gave me something to focus on and brought a few new favorite pairs of socks into my life. No consequences for failing, but even in failing there was some reward. This year it’s a sweater every two months. First it was owls, then it was the surprise squishy raglan, and now it’s Francis Revisited (I also started a Plain & Simple Pullover in there) to be knit in May-June.

It’s June 30, you may have noticed. You may also have noticed that so far this post does not seem to be about a finished Francis Revisited.

Anyway, my point is it’s a good thing that arbitrary, self-imposed rules have no consequences, or I’d be in trouble right about now.

Here, have a picture of CSA week 4:


We have 1 bunch each of kohlrabi, turnips, and beets; one head of red-leaf lettuce; scallions; new potatoes (NEW POTATOES! THEY WERE PURPLE! OHMYGOD!); peas; and collard greens. There was also escarole but I passed it by this week, as last week’s came out sort of bitter and terrible and I think it caused my cast-iron skillet to rust and I sort of hate and fear it now.

And that’s Thursday, folks.

I’m on my seventh episode of Farscape…

…and my 4th row of the Francis Revisited cowl. But at least I’m working on it. In true easily-distracted-procrastinator fashion (I seriously haven’t felt it this bad since about 7th grade), I have decided that my sock yarn blanket is the most important thing on the planet and keep putting the sweater down to knit a few more squares or even weave in ends (of all things!) on the blanket.

Lest you remember too much about all the promises I’ve been making to myself and posting for the world to see lately regarding that sweater, let me try to distract you with something shiny and new:

I paused both Farscape and all knitting progress a few times to make sure I ate some fresh vegetables today. I have a weekend to myself and need to cook a little more than I have been the last few weeks to make sure nothing from the farm share goes bad. This week’s share brought in some escarole, kohlrabi, scallions, broccoli, beets (it was supposed to be broccoli or beets, but there was another woman picking up her share at the same time who didn’t want either, so even though I’d chosen broccoli – sacrificing my desires to make my husband happy, I should point out! – she said I could have “her” beets; maybe thinking of others really is the right thing to do – who knew?), kale, garlic scapes, spring onions, lettuce, radishes, and turnips.

Truly, I want to go on at length about the wonders of the sock yarn blanket (and the turnips!) but I allowed myself a rather lazy day off and I can feel this post turning into nothing but parentheses and exclamation points if I keep writing, so I’m-a sign off a bit early.

Promises, Promises

“I will – I WILL! – put [my new socks] down this weekend to knit the cowl on Francis Revisited.” –Me, last Friday.

See, what happens is sometimes I say these things that just turn out to be completely untrue. Or, almost completely untrue, because I did put the socks down, it’s just that I didn’t exactly pick Francis Revisited back up again. It’s OK. It’s a quick knit and I have all the way to next Thursday to knit the cowl and sleeves and still make my deadline. Really, it’s fine. Nothing ever goes wrong when I leave things to the last minute – it got me passing grades through 10 years of school, and I see no reason to change courses now. (Actually, my secret weapon is a plan to do nothing but knit, cook, and watch Farscape this weekend. I have Friday off. By Sunday night, there will – THERE WILL! – be an extra piece sticking off my sweater in at least one direction.)

I was distracted by some green and pink stripey business over the weekend, then by my FOODOHMYGODIAMLOVINGTHISCSATHING the past few nights. This week’s turnips and beets had very tasty looking greens that I didn’t want to waste and I’m trying to use as much as possible and save a little bit out of every week’s share, so the last few nights I’ve been working in the kitchen after dinner. I’ve blanched and frozen the turnip and beet greens as well as the kale and broccoli stems. I also used the blanching water to make a green-veg-heavy vegetable broth that’s now in the freezer. I don’t think it will work for just any old soup, but it smelled and tasted wonderful so I’m sure I’ll find a use for it. This is on top of what I’ve made for immediate consumption this week – swiss chard with garlic and currants served over polenta (both recipes from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian; neither of us was crazy about the currants with the greens – the rest of the dish was too savory for the currants to really fit in), lentil kohlrabi salad from Chocolate & Zucchini (awesome, but I subbed olive for sesame oil after a particularly traumatizing over-glug in the salad dressing a few weeks ago that left the kitchen smelling like sesame for DAYS), and last night’s buffet-style offering of jasmine rice, braised and glazed turnips, kale sauteed with garlic and olive oil and dressed with lemon juice, and steamed broccoli florets.

Actually, just writing all that made me more tired than doing it did, so I shall bid you farewell for now. Be back soon with sweater progress – I swear.

A Bit of Progress

Here in the Randipants corner of the living room, we have some progress, finally.

I have finished the body for Francis Revisited. I was very happy to find out it fit after having knit it all on a 16″ circ with really no idea if I was on the right track at all. I vow to knit the cowl this weekend, but right now I’m seriously distracted by some awfully pretty green and brown wool-Seacell blend sock yarn from Mad Color Fiber Arts and a stitch count that makes a pair of Leyburns a viable option for me at last.

Sadly, we also have some regress. In my quest to find teensy tiny needles that won’t bend before I can knit a whole pair of socks with them, I bought some Brittany 2.25 mm dpn’s. My gauge tends to be pretty loose, but I thought I could squeeze by with just an extra quarter millimeter. I cast on with the Crazy Zauberball and it looked so pretty I quickly knit a whole cuff and started the leg.


The whole thing was just too flimsy, though. These socks would not have lasted.

(That's the Asscat Can behind the sock. It's full of bottle caps and I shake it at Zoe when she tries to get on my end table and launch herself onto my yarn drawers. Those are my yarn drawers behind the Asscat Can.)

I really should have known ahead of time, as the Zauberball feels a little thinner and more loosely plied than the plumper and/or twistier yarns I prefer, like CTH Supersock Select. Perhaps I did know and let the siren song of marled, stripey socks lure me astray. Yes. That’s it. I blame the sirens. Also, these needles are already bending but I probably can’t blame the sirens for that.

I’m using the Brittany needles for the Leyburns as I know that this particular yarn knits up a little too tight even for my liking on 2 mm needles (I think it’s the Seacell – the yarn doesn’t have much bounce to it, but oh, is it gorgeous). After the Leyburns I think I’ll just have to invest in some more KP Harmonies. Yes, they break after a few years, but at least they last a few years before they break.

Decidedly Not Exciting

I will tell you the reason I haven’t posted in almost a week. Usually it’s just because things are too busy or engaging in my life at the time, but this week there’s no other excuse but snore-inducing knitting progress. I mean seriously, look at this:

The drink is not hindering my progress at all. It's really just there for a little distraction from all that blue.

Does any of this look exciting?  You may be thinking (clockwise from just right of the martini glass), “Yawn, a sixth of a Citron? A sock toe? A thus-far-shapeless Francis Revisited and something stripey that doesn’t look like much yet?” and I may agree. That picture doesn’t look like much and you would be forgiven for thinking I’ve been slacking (and drinking). But honestly? I’ve been knitting every night for at least an hour, and still this is the general state of the Randipants corner of the living room:

However. I am feeling a strong – STRONG, I tell you – urge to start Farscape over these days (we have the whole series on DVD and the movie and the comic books, so I can always get my Aeryn fix when I need it). If the Dan is feeling the same way, I suspect you may see serious progress on at least one of those items by next weekend.