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:
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).
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:
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
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.
LOOK AT HER NOW SHE JUST NEEDS LONGER SLEEVES!
5 Conference Call Socks
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.
(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.)
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.
9 Ugly Knee Socks
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.
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.
When they’re done, they’ll look just like this but on the other feet:
Also then they won’t have to be mismatched anymore if I don’t want them to be.
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.
Holy dang these are fun, you guys.
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.
18 This used to be a sweater.
Back before the blog, I knit a Buttony.
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.
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
Not much in this category, thankfully.
24 & 25 Mystery Projects 3 & 4
26 My Current Year-of-Socks Socks
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
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.
That’s my knitting philosophy. Usually I don’t mind, but I find I tend to put it into practice extra hard when I’m knitting for someone else. I try to offset this by only ever choosing to knit for other people I really, really like who I know will really, really want what I’m knitting for them. But then what happens is the more important the knitting becomes, the more other things in my life seem to crop up to keep me from it. So, I end up only knitting for others when it’s important knitting for important others, and then missing my deadline by a good 6 months.
My point is, I finished Common Ground, and it only took me 10 months to knit a bulky-weight sweater on 5.5 mm needles.
There’s really no excuse besides life and school and stuff. But it’s done! Overall, this was a pretty straightforward knit. Mostly, I just followed the instructions except for sort of winging (with a little help from Ravelry notes) how to widen the front to add buttons.
I worry it may be a bit roomy in the shoulders, but that’s sort of standard for a raglan, I guess. And if it is, that just makes it even better for layering. The sleeve length is perfect, though, I think. Long enough to graze the knuckles, and the ribbing is deep enough to fold back and stay put. I had my doubts about the hood while knitting it, because it didn’t really look like a thing, but it turned out just right.
It may have taken way too long, but the finished product is something I feel quite good about. And at least when you knit for grownups you don’t really have to worry about them growing out of things by the time you’re knitting. (Ask me why I’ve decided to only knit blankets or stuffed animals for any future babies I may knit for.)
Pattern: Common Ground by Elizabeth Smith
Yarn: Cascade Eco +, color 0508 Berry, 14.625 oz/793 yds
Needles: US 8 & US 9 bamboo circulars
Started: December 2013
Completed: Except for fixing a weird bindoff error I could not even understand but only notice once I was taking the finished pictures, October 14, 2014
Mods: widened the front by 8 sts/side to add buttons
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:
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.
In all the optimism and excitement that the end of a semester inspires, I’ve joined up with a second KAL. It’s not really adding any new knitting to my plate, though, and in fact it fits in quite nicely with the superhero KAL I’m already in. The idea is to take every project that was on the needles, in need of ripping, or in need of finishing (the weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, etc., type of finishing, that is) before August 15 and get it done by October 15. You get points for every 100 yds you knit/rip and can earn more points depending on how long the project has been on the needles.
When I first read about it I thought, “Meh, sounds like fun but I don’t really have all that much in progress. Well, maybe I’ll just check out my projects page and see.” Turns out I had 11 projects in progress, including 4 sweaters and a shawl. Then I went around to gather them all up, estimate yardage knit and yardage left to knit, and get some pictures (the KAL requires an on-the-needles picture and a finished one), and, well, I found 4 more projects that weren’t on my projects page, some of them dating back to 2009.
So, yes, this is the KAL for me, I think. Here’s my list (so far; I’m not entirely convinced I’ve found all the incomplete projects yet), in no particular order:
1. Handspun-Tho-Not-By-Me Socks
So, spinning just isn’t my thing after all. But yarn-based bartering over the internet totally IS my thing, so I was still able to make arrangements for this Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Top that had been sitting on my spindle since April 2012 to be spun and plied into 295 yds of 3-ply sock yarn. Now it can finally become the socks it was always meant to be! These will be toe-up so I can use every last yd of the yarn. Yds down/yds to go: 62.5/232.5
2. A Little Something on the Side Socks
Yds down/yds to go: 156/134
3. Daughter of the Regiment
When last we saw the first DotR, her skirt had just been cast on amidst much fiddling and she had just broken her second needle. I may need to get a long Karbonz circ to finish these, or I may just finish them on a million Karbonz dpn’s. Regardless, they will be finished on Karbonz and hopefully by October 15. Yds down/Yds to go: really not sure at all
4. Baby Sweater That Just Needs Buttons
Whether I finish this depends on whether I have buttons that will work. This one took a little longer to knit than the baby took to grow, so I’m not totally sure what I’ll do with it now.
5. Too-Big Leyburns
Hoping I can figure out my mods on this but if not I’ll have to rip the first one back to before the heel and just follow the pattern this time. Yds down/yds to go: 152/152
6. Moonlight Lady Mittens
7. Garter-Stitch Scarf
Yds down/yds to go: 108/362 or until I get bored
8. Improvised Fibonacci Stripe Cardigan
Yds down/yds to go: haven’t measured/don’t know what this will take because I’m not working from a pattern
Yds down/yds to go: 195.5/110.5
10. Conference Call Socks
Yds down/yds to go: 122/not sure ’cause I have to rip out the toe and make this one a little longer
11. Striped, Seamless Set-in Sleeve Sweater
Yds down/yds to go: um…I don’t actually know where this one is right now, so I’ll get back to you on that
12. Plain and Simple
Yds to rip: 455
13. Francis Revisited
Yds down/yds to go: don’t know but I will – I swear! – get around to lengthening the body and sleeves so I can wear this one this fall
14. Oceania Shawl
Yds down/yds to go: don’t know/until I can’t stand it anymore
This sad little mitt has been sitting around for 4 years because it fits fine but just isn’t long enough for me and stockinette tubes are apparently so difficult to knit that I’ve never found the time to fix it. Yds down/yds to go: guessing from the pattern specs, around 60/more than 60
16. Green Lantern Sweater
Yds down/yds to go: 59/not sure but I bet it’s a lot
I know I said earlier that I started with 11, then found 4 more, but I just listed 16 projects. That’s ’cause I found another one while I was writing this post.
This is definitely the KAL for me.
One blue sock is almost (re)done! I just need to finish the toe tonight, then decide if I cast on the second one of these or the second Kristi.
After finishing Apocalypta I went into Want All the Sweaters mode. I’ve made some good progress on the body of Plain n Simple. I think I’m maybe 2/3 through but it’s tough to measure all squished up on the needles. I’m really hoping to wear this before next spring.
I started a hat in some mystery yarn. I’m aiming for slouchy but I was too lazy to look up a pattern when I started this, so we’ll see how it goes.
Finally, a scarf. My first completed project with my own handspun. I think it needs an applied cord edge but I’m not sure I have a suitable yarn, so we’ll see about that.
Pattern: 1*1 rib over 20 sts
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Quick in color 9100/Blanco, all but about a yard of one skein, and handspun Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash BFL Top, about 60 out of 75 grams. Not sure about the yardage or weight on the handspun. At first it was just about even with the Peruvia but after the first few stripe repeats it thinned out quite a bit. I might block this out a little to play up the difference between the dense white stripes and the lacier-looking teal stripes. But, then, I also might block it out longer and skinnier as right now it only goes around my neck once. Life is a serious of heart-rending decisions.
Needles: 6.5 mm/US 10.5
Started: October 20, 2012
Finished: October 21, 2012
I swatched. I got gauge. I read the pattern a few times before I started. I understood the concept. I checked and rechecked all the measurements as I knit. Eventually I had the body of Apocalypta all complete and just the way the pattern said it should be. There was just one thing I didn’t count on.
The way the pattern said it should be had very little relationship to how my upper body actually is.
Now, I don’t understand the rules of a set-in sleeve, having never made a seamed sweater before, so I had no idea how to fix this. I knew two things: that the length from the bottom edge to the point where the armhole shaping started was just about right for me, so if I ripped out the whole top piece I’d be ready to approach the shoulders again, and that I owned a copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop. Thus was the seamless set-in sleeve Apocalypta born.
And it was good.
Aside from the sleeves, not much else needed to change. The only other mod I made was to accommodate my waist. I cast on for the 36″ size, worked waist shaping down to the 38″ numbers, then increased back to the 36″ bust. (I am not so hourglassy as all that.)
If I were to knit this again, I would add probably 2″ to the body as well, but because of the sleeve mods it was tough to accurately judge the length until I had the whole thing done. I’m happy enough with the length.
I’m pretty happy with the details, too.
Basically, just everything about this sweater makes me happy, happy, happy.
Sometimes the part of me that wants finished projects and wants to have a little self-discipline fights with the part of me that doesn’t care how many sweaters I currently have in progress, it wants Apocalypta, and it wants it now.
Guess which part won the fight this week.
I also won the Great Yarn Cake Battle of Aught-12 this week. Lesson learned: do not use your ball winder on a skein of Seduce. That cake will just collapse and you will lose 3 evenings of knitting trying to undo it.
It was just the one victory for me, though. Overall, the yarn has won the winding war. After The Untangling I wound the second skein by hand, which we all know just leads to nasty little hand cramps and takes a year and a half. So, now my approach is both the ultimate in laziness and a fine example of efficiency in the skein-to-garment department, if you ask me. I am knitting directly off the swift. With 100-yard skeins, I think it takes less time to knit the skein than to wind the ball. I may, however, just be telling myself that so I don’t have to admit I got into a fight with 100 yards of yarn and gave up almost immediately.
I feel like I’m tearing through this project. I started it a week and a half ago, I haven’t worked on it every night, there were those 3 nights spent untangling, and I’m almost ready to divide the body.
I finished the first Kristi a while back but I still haven’t gotten moving on the redo of the first blue sock. I’ve gotten about half the stitches on the needles, if that counts for anything. I suspect I will have a finished sweater before I have another pair of socks. I think it unlikely I will meet my sock goal this year. In fact, I may make not meeting my sock goal for the year my new sock goal for the year so I can have something to aim for that I stand a good chance of hitting.