So I’m only like 3 weeks late for an anniversary wrap-up on my Independence Yay project. It’s fine.
1 Life-long Blanket: I made it to my goal of squaring it off & filling in all side triangles! And I’ve gone a bit past that. Still not a complete blanket, but the goal was reached, so this one gets checked off.
17 Stripey Sweater: No more progress since last time. I don’t have quite enough of one color of the Noro to make a full stripe repeat on the body and also I haven’t figured out what to do with the sleeves. Also it’s like 90 here lately.
18 Former Sweater, Future Pillow: Another one for the “someday I’ll get the urge and just tear thru this, but it is not this day” pile.
19 Gray & Yellow Shawl: I abandoned my original plan for this when I came upon an old ball of KPPPM that had both the exact yellow and the exact gray in it. That all became Jewel and I lurve it.
24 & 25 Mystery Projects 4 & 5: Yeah, we’ll get around to these eventually.
26 ’15-16:17 #9: Done & previously discussed.
27 Wild Card: I have been so into my need to knit up all my scraps and not have this mess of yarn everywhere that I still haven’t felt tempted.
OK, so that’s 12 out of an original 27 done or moved to the next stage or officially given up on, which isn’t bad. Averaging one item cleared out of the backlog per month is decent enough. Looking over the list again today, I think I’m comfortable calling the rest of the list happily hibernating. I do have some fun new things in progress, so I think I’m ready to move on from my year of old unfinished things.
Here is yet still another sock yarn leftovers project (I have A LOT of sock yarn leftovers, you guys) but also with a bit of a twist: unlike my mitered square blanket, I’m not setting rules for this one aside from alternating the solid white & black squares in the center. I don’t want this to languish forever but also it’s going to be pretty small and I don’t want the same yarns over and over again, so I’ve been buying new yarn for it or breaking into skeins I haven’t used for socks yet. And remember how I said I dumped out my bag of problem socks? Since most of those are due to be converted into two-at-a-time toe-up ankle socks, I figured I was safe to call them into service for this project as well. I don’t want to say anything too loud in case it hears me, but I feel like I might be back with a finished blanket project very soon.
Well, it’s been just about exactly 3 months since I decided to try to climb out from under my pile of unfinished things. Let’s see how I’m doing so far:
1 Life-long Blanket: Progress! Yay! Read about it here. I need about 25 more squares and maybe 6 or 8 triangles to reach my next goal of squaring it all off. Hit me up if you wanna swap some minis.
2 Secret Project #1: DONE! BOOM! Yay me. Details to come.
(3 was done between starting the list and writing the post, so I don’t get any additional credit, but I’d like to just take a minute and enjoy that “I finished a thing!” feeling.)
4 Francis Revisited Revised: Have not touched. Will soon. Maybe.
5 Conference Call Socks: The too small/just right/too small/do I knit these again? pair. Still undecided but not feeling too excited about getting back to them.
6 Secret Project # 2: No progress. I have another thing I have to do first before I can work on this, so who knows if/when this will make an appearance.
(7 Mittens maybe? Maybe not? Sitting in a giant tangle somewhere.)
8 Scrappy Scarf: No progress, but looking at it again when I was organizing all my current projects to store in my NEW OTTOMAN YOU GUYS I GOT A NEW COUCH IT’S SO GREAT AND LURVE IT!!!! I looked at this again and realized I really really really love it, so it might still come to be someday.
9 Ugly Knee Socks: Think I’m gonna rip these and use the yarn for blanket/scarf/trading purposes.
10 Secret Project #3: Got over the hurdle that’s had this on hold for like a year. Still haven’t reached the finish line, but I can see it now.
11 Muriwai the Third: Gotten a few more rounds done, but nothing worth photographing.
12 Worsted Weight Scrap Blanket: No progress. I haven’t been knitting any worsted weight projects, hence no new worsted weight scraps.
13 & 14 Mismatched 2-at-a-time Socks: I see 2 options for these. Give up and call them a pair finally, or knit the 2nd ones toe-up so there’s something different about them and maybe that will be excitement enough to make me want to do it?
15 Kiemurakukkaset: No progress. But it’s getting cold, so I should get on that. And make a matching hat.
16 Nether Garments: No progress, but again, it’s getting cold, so…
17 Stripey Sweater: I need to finish breaking up all that Noro into its component stripes, and I just haven’t felt like it yet. If anybody wants to come over and cut up yarn for an evening, lemme know.
18 Former Sweater, Future Pillow: PROGRESS! Got about half the back done. Yay! I’m using this as counter-knitting when my hands get tired of socks.
19 Gray & Yellow Shawl: Progress! Partway through the first (of I’m thinking 4) section.
20 Myrtle: Nothing. No swatch. Not even thinking about it.
21 Gray & Teal Scarf: Was only in the planning stages. I’ve swatched a bit and can’t get my idea clear between my brain and my hands. This one might just get crossed off.
22 Problem Socks: I have them all in the same place, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.
24 & 25 Mystery Projects 4 & 5: One started, measured, ripped, and restarted. One thought about but that’s about it.
26 Then-current Year of Socks Socks: Very close to done but then I had a lot of school reading and a short sock that would necessitate paying attention to the cast on, heel, decreases, and toe all in such close succession just didn’t work. I set them aside for the next pair and am almost done with them. Really I need one good evening off from homework and they’d both be done.
27 Wild Card: It’s in the ottoman. But leaving that space open for knitting something else and then you’re online one night with a friend who’s sending you all these shawl kit links and you’re kind of like wouldn’t it be great to do a knit-along together on the same shawl and then next thing you know you’re poking around Jimmy Beans’s Madelintosh stock, and, well,
NEW COUCH IN THE BACKGROUND!!!!!
The blue & brown are already on their way to being Loop for the knit-along. The speckles & pink are probably gonna be Double Dutch. Also Jimmy Beans winds up to 3 skeins of yarn for free and whatever part of my brain is like “yes, I will buy $45 more in yarn to avoid a $4 shipping charge” somehow couldn’t get me that extra $3 to wind the fourth one. I don’t even know, you guys.
Anyway, Loop and I are very happy together so far, but I’ll get back to the list soon.
Actually a little past halfway. I looked at my spreadsheet the other day (do you keep a spreadsheet for your blanket? I find it very helpful for knowing how many hundreds of thousands of stitches are in your blanket, if that’s the kind of information you find SUPER COOL and not INSURMOUNTABLY DAUNTING) and saw that I was at about 46% and thought it would be fun to gather up some notes to post here when I hit 50%. In the midst of all that I recounted and realized I had somehow missed recording something like 70 squares and was now overdue for the halfway-mark celebration post I had only just decided to write.
So, let’s talk about the blanket.
I’m doing the Shelly Kang one, with the centered double decrease and the squares arranged like diamonds and the jagged instead of squared-off edges.
It took me 11 days from when I queued it to when I had to cast it on.
This is the first picture I took of it:
LOOK. HOW. TINY!
I’m filling in the sides with triangles made roughly according to this post.
I love them.
I’m slipping the first stitch of every row and knitting the last stitch through the back loop. I had a question about how that all works a while back and decided to make a video rather than trying to use my words. The question got answered before I got the video posted, but lately I’m really fascinated by all the different ways people knit — how they hold the yarn, what their fingers are doing, etc. — so I figured I’d post it here in case that sort of thing interests you as well.
I’m writing this on Sunday 8/28; it has been 2,352 days since I cast on.
That’s an average of 87 stitches, or not even 3 full rows of a square, per day.
If I had knit 1 square a day until all the squares were done, and then 2 triangles a day until all the triangles were done, and then the 4 corner squares in 1 day, I would have finished on February 9, 2012.
It takes me between 20 minutes and a half-hour to knit a square, which means I could have knit at least a few rows of a square just now while doing all this unnecessary math.
Here is, I think, every picture I have posted specifically of the blanket on the blog since then.
I have posted lots more pictures of it in the background of other things and lots of pictures of swaps I’ve made to feed it and also all the endless yarn-end tangles I have dealt with lo these 2,354 (it’s Tuesday now) days.
It weighs 830 grams, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to weigh it much longer without buying a bigger scale.
It is 54.5″ wide by 41.5″ at its shortest point and 48″ at its longest.
It’s so big now that it takes my husband and the actual outdoors to capture it all.
Yesterday morning I went to grab a shirt for work off the drying rack and noticed my husband had hung up these socks too. I was a little “aw dang, I must’ve tossed those in with the regular wash” and figured they were probably shrunk but didn’t think much of it. All my shirts were all still pretty damp (WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME THE MIDWEST WAS SO HUMID?????) and that was the much more urgent issue. I grabbed the purple shirt I wasn’t overly excited about from my last Stitch Fix box and put it in the dryer on low for about 10 minutes.
The shirt’s a polyester/rayon blend. Now, I know. I know that rayon isn’t meant for the dryer. But most of my work stuff is of the hang/lay flat to dry variety, and I’ve gone years and years before with most of my clothes being of that same variety, and I’ve found that most of it can stand a little dryer time here and there, especially after several wearings and washes. And this was on low. For barely 10 minutes. Basically, this was the safest risk I could take. Also I have another polyester/rayon blend shirt that recently accidentally went through an entire dryer cycle on high and came out just fine.
Here is an artist’s rendering of how not-fine this thing came out of the dryer:
It lost an entire foot of length. The width is still fine, and I can’t explain that, but now I have a super comfy crop top to sleep in. I had to wear a damp shirt to work and let the car a/c dry it on the way, but at least I avoided a lower belly sunburn and some weird looks around the office.
After all that, I was pretty convinced my laundry luck was just bad right now and I was for sure going to find those socks were ruined once I got home and could finally try them on. And once I had that thought, I realized it was kind of a welcome thought. My sock project has not been going very well, despite what I assure you are pure intentions, and I’ve had a hard time getting moving on my finish-all-the-things project too. The thought of these socks falling off the list due to an accident that was beyond my control (well, I mean, yes, I could have actually put them where they belonged instead of in the regular laundry basket, but let’s not dwell on particulars) felt like…absolution.
No such bad luck, though.
The thing about ruining socks in the washing machine is it doesn’t work if the yarn is superwash, even if you entirely forget that the yarn is superwash while you are fantasizing about how great it would be if they got ruined in the washing machine. They came out a little fuzzier than after a normal hand-wash, but they still very much fit and they still very much need mates. I could, I suppose, just let it go and say they are an intentionally mis-matched pair, but the thing is I don’t really like the orange and gray yarn knit up all that much and wouldn’t so much miss having a pair of them, while I love love love the brighter, fruity colored one and definitely want a full pair. I could just knit another fruity one and call it a day, but then I’ll have this one sock I don’t even like kicking around and making me feel weird.
So, I know what I have to do. You know what I have to do. Two more ankle socks, knit at the same time, just like the first ones. This shouldn’t feel daunting; they are ankle socks! They should only take me a couple evenings! I can do this! I know I can do this! You know I can do this!
I bet we both also know I’m gonna work on the sock blanket for a while first, though.
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 thisfeeling 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 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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
I took a little break from the sock plan after my last post. Clearly something wasn’t working and I felt the need for some space. I got a couple Etsy commissions and then seriously sidetracked with job searching, so it’s just the last week or so that I’ve been able to go back to the socks and try to sort out what’s wrong.
My first thought was that two-at-a-time really isn’t the worst plan. I don’t really enjoy knitting that way, but if my goal with this project is less to enjoy knitting and more to get useful pairs of socks out of it, then enjoyment was what needed to be sacrificed. I was not in the mood to either knit from both ends of the ball or try to weigh the yarn and divide it evenly, so I just went with knitting with two different yarns at once.
Next I figured that ankle socks might help ease my frustration as well. Less length means less to go wrong, and it’s not like I walk around in shorts all the time — or ever, really — so my feet are really the only place I need my socks to keep warm. I did these top-down and they’re the same size and they both fit and I didn’t have to cut the yarn or swear at anybody while I made them. They’re still technically not a pair according to my goal, but one of them is actually not a yarn that I had included in my goal in the first place, so…that mitigates…something, in my mind. Ahem.
After I finished these I decided to revisit the tragic heel-nipple socks. I needed a completely different heel, because these socks really felt tight through the instep, so a short-row or other heel that didn’t give me a little extra fabric to play with was out. I’ve done a bunch of toe-up pairs with gussets but I”ve been wanting to try one with more of a gusset/heel flap style heel for a while and seeing these in the new Knitty had me extra-motivated to give it a go. (I totally want to knit the whole pattern, too. I might need to rethink a couple of the yarns from the sock plan.)
I measured out where I’d need to start the heel.
I PICKED UP ALL THE STITCHES PERFECTLY THE FIRST TIME LIKE SOME SORT OF MIRACLE!
I was expecting this type of heel to be some sort of magic, but it wasn’t. I mean, I kind of think all sock heels are magic to some extent, but I had never read how to do this before and it seemed like a very mysterious thing to me going in, but it was really straightforward to knit.
And then I went the ankle socks route again.
I like having this heel option for toe-up socks but I think the flap section it was a little shorter than it would have been if I’d knit these top-down with a traditional flap. I went right into the cuff after the heel, basically the reverse of what I did with the first socks above, and they’re a bit shallower. They stay on just fine and there has been exactly no heel weirdness, though, so I am calling these a raging success and seriously considering picking my year of socks project back up.
Pattern: None in particular. 64 stitches, 3*1 rib on the insole, 1*1 rib on the cuff Yarn: Chewy Spaghetti Spaghetti, color Pragmatic, 43.5 g (so I guess a little less than half a skein? Ravelry doesn’t have the weight listed) Needles: 2mm Karbonz 40″ circular Started: 11/4/15 Finished: 1/18/16
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
To match the Moonlight Lady hat and scarf. Yds down/yds to go: not sure, things are a bit too tangly to weigh and measure right now
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 is not the most exciting pattern to photograph.
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.
I’m working on a few different ways to combat the problem with mismatched sock lengths and gauges I talked about in this post. After finishing up those socks I decided to revisit an old mistake and I restarted some knee socks in KP Risata I attempted and abandoned a few years ago. I was going to just knit one sock and then the other like I usually do, but partway through the ribbing on the first one I thought about how long knee socks are and my problems with socks matching and the prospect of getting all the way through one very, very, very long sock and then not only starting another very, very, very long sock but trying to make it the same as the first very, very, very long sock — which means remembering everything I did, which means keeping accurate notes on Ravelry, which means the two socks would not be the same really because I’m terrible at keeping accurate notes on Ravelry…. Anyway, I decided to try out something a little different.
The easiest way, of course, to make sure your two socks are the same size is to knit them both at the same time. I’ve done that before on one long circular needle and while I don’t really mind, it is very fiddly and I always get confused when it comes to the heels. Also I have no long circs right now, because every stupid sock-sized one I’ve owned has broken at this point.
Another 2-at-a-time technique I’ve seen in a few places but never tried is knitting each sock on a separate set of dpn’s and moving through both of them at roughly the same speed. Before I decided to try it out on these socks, this technique never really appealed to me. I thought it would make the whole process feel longer, always putting one partial sock down to pick up another and do the exact same thing over again, rather than just putting a finished sock down only once to knit a second one. But in addition to my concerns about my socks being different sizes, I was kind of enjoying knitting the ribbing and thought it might be fun to keep knitting it a little longer, so I tried it out. Got through the ribbing of both socks, then moved on to the stockinette portion before the calf decreases and knit both of those. Still fun. Calf decreases next. Wait, this was loads of fun! I was tearing through these socks.
Next came the heels and, well, we hit a little snag. First, I just sailed right past the first heel and forgot to switch socks. Not such a huge problem, until I saw this:
Calf on one side, heel on the other. Not much like my actual legs. And look how far I got before I realized it! I didn’t actually notice this until I tried it on to make sure I was good to start the toe. Of course, it’s still a wearable sock, it would just have the calf shaping on the shin. But I just couldn’t finish it like this.
I also couldn’t stand to rip this out yet (HATE ripping stripes like this), so I switched to the other and was very, very careful when I got to the heel.
Success! After that it was no big thing to finish this sock.
I’ve since gone back and done the tedious work of ripping out the foot and heel on the other one. The heel’s been reknit and we expect a foot and toe, oh, just any day now.
But I said I was working on two solutions to my sock-mismatch problem. Knitting two-at-a-time like this is a good solution I’m finding, but it’s not a solution that will work all the time. If I’m doing all my knitting at home on the couch, it works just fine. But as soon as I have to go out for something I’m going to want knitting with me. And carrying around two separate knitting projects is a little tricky. Not that my purse isn’t big enough to hold them, but 10 dpn’s and 2 balls of yarn is a bit more trouble than I need to be reaching into every time I want my lip balm. Carrying around either 2 balls of yarn or a center-pull ball and a 40″ circular with 2 socks on it is likewise purse-unfriendly. So basically I’m using these socks to explore all my options for getting perfectly matched socks every time.
The technique I chose to knit these socks helps with both the gauge and length issues I’m trying to combat. The reason I chose these socks in the first place, though, addresses just the length issue. This second solution still needs a little planning, so it’s a secret for now. More detail to come in the nearish future!