Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WIP Status Wednesday

Not as much progress to report as Saturday, but there is progress nontheless.

Eerie has been holding my attention lately, and by all rights should be my next FO. I am almost done with the sleeve increases, and am about to start on the neck shaping for the front. Unless some other project takes my fancy this could be finished up by Friday. I certainly hope so, as I bought some great striped fabric for a skirt and I think this will go great with it.

The Moorish Stripe sock just about did me in last night. I worked an eye of partridge heel flap, and turned the heel. Next came the sole pattern and gusset decreases. The way this pattern is written just makes it so confusing to follow. Or, maybe it's just me. Anyway, I screwed it up at least 4 times before finally getting the pattern set. So all I have to show for an evening's worth of knitting is 3 rounds of sole pattern LOL. Now that the pattern is set, I'll hopefully be able to finish this sock stress free.

My craft room has become too full of knitting patterns, yarn, supplies, etc., and wasn't very conducive to sewing anymore. Hence, all the patterns and fabric I purchased many months ago have just been sitting neglected and ignored. Saturday afternoon I took the table apart, dragged it upstairs, and set myself up a sewing area in our familyroom/office. Hopefully this weekend Paul can install a light fixture above the table for me. A bit difficult to sew with the poor lighting in that room. I like my area so much, I actually finished an outfit. I put the final touches on the 2 pieces tonight.

The blouse is a bit too low cut for my body type, so a cami is a necessity. I'm not super happy with the neckline. I played with the rolled hem on my serger and probably should have done some more adjusting on the differential feed. It's a tad bit wavy, but will have to do.

I had some problems with both the sewing machine and serger making this outfit, and got it in my head that I wanted to replace both. The sewing machine is 20 years old, and the serger is 15 years old. Both are pretty basic machines and I received them as Xmas gifts. I don't know the price paid, but knowing my ex neither cost more than $300. I had quite the rude awakening when I was pricing new machines. Nobody can say that I don't have champagne taste, since the serger and sewing machine I am drooling over currently cost $2500 and $8100 respectively!! Holy cow! I'd have to take out a second mortgage to replace what I have. The serger is a no brainer even with the hefty pricetag. 90% of my sewing is done on the serger and I really want the features the new one offers. That will be replaced first. The sewing machine on the other hand will probably just be a dream.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Spreading the love (or why I have too many WIPs)

I've been told I knit fast. If that is true, tell me please, why my WIP list seems to keep growing and nothing ever gets finished. I do suffer from a terrible case of startitis. I know this. It's something I've learned to live with (and so has Paul). But, my friends, you would think that the newly cast on project would gain quite a bit of progress before something new catches my attention. Not so! I have several WIPs that only made it to the 10 row or less point, and most were cast on at least 6 months ago.

Startitis isn't my only problem however. Very few of my WIPs really lose my interest. My problem is that I want to work on all of my WIPs. I rarely start something new and work on it exclusively. So, what happens is I get to do less on each WIP as new ones get added to the pile.

To combat this issue, I've tried putting all the WIPs in the craftroom and only allowing myself a few next to the bed to be worked on each evening. That will work fine for a day or so, then I find myself searching for something in the craftroom and spy one of those WIPs down there. The urge to spread the love to that WIP is strong and I think that adding it to what I already am working on couldn't possibly slow down progress on anything, so I haul it upstairs. Next thing you know, I can barely get into bed and poor Doppler gives me sad looks because I've taken up all his space and he can't lie next to me on the floor.

Lest you think I'm exaggerating:

This is the state of my bedroom. Mind you, I spied this as I was carrying yet another project bag up to be added to the pile. I immediately grabbed several of the bags already there that contained projects that could wait, all of the books and magazines squished between bags that didn't have patterns I was working on, and anything else that was just cluttering up the space, and hauled them all back to the craftroom. Hopefully, they will all stay down there until something in the bags left upstairs is finished.


is what is left next to the bed. There are 4 WIPs and one project that is finished save for the weaving in of ends and sewing on of a button.

Now let's hope that I can resist starting the crocheted dress that I purchased this for yesterday. I was laughing with the owner of my LYS yesterday as I paid for this haul. I told her that I had no intention of starting a project with this in the near future, but I couldn't resist buying the yarn because it just made me feel better knowing it was downstairs waiting for its turn to be loved.

As for those projects left in the bedroom? I decided to keep track of how many rows, etc. I have completed on each of them since my last post to see if I only give the impression of knitting fast because I have so many things being worked on, or if I do really knit fast and give myself the impression that I don't because I spread the love too widely.

Since my last post I have:

Roped Shell
  • finished the last 6 repeats of the cabled hem
  • knit 17 rows of the pattern


  • knit 51 rows finishing the back and casting on the front

Moorish Stripe Socks

  • knit 31 rounds finishing the leg of sock 1


  • knit 37 rows completing the second sleeve
  • knit the collar
  • sewed the 3 final seams

Feather & Fan Throw

  • knit 16 rows

All told that is a grand total of 152 rows , 1 collar, 3 seams, and 84 rows of cabled hem in 3 days. I guess I do knit fast. An average of 51 rows per day, considering I work full time, like to eat, need to clean house, and recently pulled out my sewing again, isn't too shabby!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WIP Status Wednesday

Lately the "events" I've seen in the online knitting world have centered on WIPs. UFOlympics is right around the corner, and there's a new contest over at A Little Yarn On The Side.

Sadly, I think my final official declaration for UFOlympics is more than I can actually accomplish. Finishing the Flickering Flames Skirt shouldn't be a problem. Only about 16 rounds and the picot bindoff to do. But, even coming close to finishing the Lowry Pullover will be a miracle! For some reason, it seems to be taking me forever to finish a 12 row repeat of the pattern. At least working on it for 16 days should get it into a condition where I can actually have it done by its recipient's birthday!

The contest at A Little Yarn On The Side is to see who can finish the most WIPs before casting on a new project. I really wanted to join in on that one, but I know I need to cast on another gift before the contest would be over, and didn't want to set myself up to fail LOL.

I do need to get my WIPs under control though. I currently have 19 of them! Well, 19 unless I find some other poor neglected project that I've completely forgotten about in the craft room. Maybe giving a status on them every Wednesday will shame me into finishing something before casting on a new project.

Although still considered a WIP in my book (since I haven't woven in all of the ends), the knitting is done on the Ab Fab Throw. It is super soft and reminds me of rainbow sherbet.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I had purchased yarn to do another of the patterns that came with the Ab Fab Kit. As soon as the knitting was done on the above, I cast on this:

Manlier colors so Paul doesn't feel neglected. Casting it on kind of defeats that whole "get the WIP count down" motto though doesn't it? Hopefully I can be better in the future.

I haven't done much work on the Roped Shell, but since it's actually on the needles and started, I must count it as a WIP. I love the GGH silk yarn I am knitting it in. So luxurious! I really should put this towards the top of my "to complete" list since it's a sleeveless top and finishing it in December won't do me one lick of good.

Eerie is progressing nicely. The back should be completed tonight and hopefully the front will be cast on by this weekend.

No new photo of Granite, but it will probably be my next FO. One sleeve is finished and already seamed, the other is about 30 rows from completion. After that it's just a matter of doing a few seams, knitting the neck band, and sewing on a button!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New Knitting Bag!!

This morning with my coffee I finished up the Mid Month Dishcloth. I stocked up on some Bernat Organic Cotton at the beginning of the year to make some face cloths for the bathroom, and I think I'm going to have to get more of this stuff. It is so soft and knits up like a dream.

Yesterday morning I finished up the seaming of the Haekelbeutel bag. I crocheted handles as the pattern called for, but just didn't care for them. So, off to JoAnn's I went in search of just the right handles and fabric to line the bag with.

I wound up with some bamboo handles, which I think work great with this bag.

And some green grass printed fabric for lining.

The handles are just heavy enough that they fold down along the sides when the bag is on the floor, allowing access to all the goodies stored inside.

And, boy does this bag hold a lot! I added pockets to both sides to hold pattern books and/or magazines, a long narrow pocket which can hold needles, and a cell phone pocket. The main part of the bag is currently storage for 10 balls of Jamieson's DK and the first 8 or so inches of the Lowry sweater. I'm now prepared for the UFOlympics!

I love love love this bag!! Someone on Ravelry mentioned possibly adding squares on each side between the points where the handles attach and making a single strap for the bag to turn it into a hobo bag. I enjoyed making this so much, I might have to try that with a lighter weight yarn. Not so sure an 18"+ tall hobo bag is quite my style.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A couple FOs, a couple almost FOs, and progress on a new project

I fell a bit behind in the Monthly Dishcloth KAL with vacation and that spurt of casting on too many new projects (yet again!), but I'm happy to say that I have now caught up and finished the first dishcloth for July.

Last night I put the finishing touches on the La Mer scarf. Not sure the beads I bought are the right shade of blue, but they'll work. I really enjoyed getting back into crocheting and think I need to subscribe to Interweave Crochet and make more of the projects I like in it.

Speaking of crochet projects I like, I made a bit more progress on the Santa Fe Shawl. Now I just need to weave in all the ends from the new motifs added. I can't imagine waiting til it's all done to do all that weaving! Since I'm planning to connect the ends to make more of an asymetrical capelet instead of shawl, I'm trying to get most of the motifs done on the top edge first so I can judge if I need to leave some off to make it fit right. This might prove to be a bit tricky.

Granite is well on it's way to being a FO. The front and back are done and seamed at the shoulders. The first sleeve is over 1/2 done. I'm looking at this being done sometime next week if I keep working on it at my current rate.

Not pictured tonight is the Ab Fab Throw. One more diamond and it will be done except for the weaving of ends and possibly the tassels. I say possibly since tassels always seem to get tangled and look nasty if you have to launder a throw. Haven't made up my mind yet if the afghan really needs the tassels.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lately it's been about the crochet

When Paul and I went to Atlanta, I taught my niece *J* to crochet. Since then, I've been a bit compulsive about starting crochet projects. I currently have 3 going, and several more are on my list of projects to complete.

*J* got herself a Ravelry account while I was there and last week she started a group for crocheted purses. How could I not join? All I had to do was find a purse or bag that was crocheted, I liked, and I had the yarn for. I found a great bag using Ravelry's pattern finder that I felt would look great in some Bernat Handicrafter cotton I had in the stash for dishcloths. Once finished, I plan to put a nice lining in it and use it to tote my projects around in. The construction for the bag is unique. I'm half done with the granny squares and it looks like a giant L right now.

The next crochet project I started is the Santa Fe Shawl from Interweave Crochet Summer 2008. I love the construction of this shawl! Each motif is simple to construct and attaching them together is a breeze. Although this is a shawl, the photo in the magazine made it look more like an asymetrical poncho. I think I may connect the ends together to achieve the same look when I'm done.

Of course, crocheting isn't all I've been doing. I've done a fair amount of knitting this past week too. As if I didn't have enough going on, I decided to cast on yet another project. Below is Eerie from Rowan 43. The pattern is very easy to memorize and it's done in only 2 pieces. Stitches are cast on to construct the sleeves so there will only be 2 seams once complete. I can't wait to get this sweater done. The Kidsilk Haze is a dream to work with.

I've just about completed the front for Granite too. Just have to do the neck and shoulder shaping on the left side.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More vacation knitting goodness

As promised, a photo of the Ab Fab Throw. I'm just slightly over 1/2 done with it and it looks like there will be plenty of yarn left to make the tassels. I've enjoyed knitting this so much I bought more yarn to make another. The next one won't be the diamond pattern though. It will be the scallops pattern, which at first glance looks to be feather and fan. I didn't invest in Colinette yarns for the next one. Picked up similar weight and texture yarns that were on sale at JoAnns when I went to get the tunisian crochet hook I needed to make the La Mer Scarf.

I'm really getting antsy to have the Flickering Flames Skirt finished. It seems to take forever to complete a round though. I'm beginning to think it won't be done in time to wear this year. But, I do love the way the pattern is looking!

Sure doesn't look like another 32 rounds is going to make it long enough does it? I may try blocking a portion of this before binding off to see if I need more length.

Another repeat completed on the Moorish Stripe socks today. I love fair isle socks. I seem to knit them so much faster than any other pattern.

As I mentioned in last night's post, I did rip out the La Mer Scarf and start over, leaving out the chain one at the beginning of each row. The pattern goes so quickly I reworked what I ripped out and completed another repeat before putting it away.

Leaving out the chain one seems to have solved the wonky loose ruffly edge on the right, and blocking will resolve any residual wonkiness. Still haven't gotten my beads, which is a shame since I was 2 doors down from the store where I'll get them this afternoon. I'm still thinking blue, and may go get them tomorrow when I'm out. If I remember to bring the scarf with me that is.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Vacations are good for my knitting mojo

I had hoped to make quite a bit of progress on the Flickering Flames Skirt during our drive to Atlanta and back, but it didn't work out that way. On the drive down I made it to the next increase round, but the resulting 640 stitches were just too much for the needle I was using. I had to abandon the skirt in favor of the socks.

I put the finishing touches on them on the ride back from Atlanta. Please ignore the "nipple toe" effect. They don't look like that on my feet thank goodness. I'll remember not to decrease so many times on my next star toe lol.

Another project that got some attention in Atlana was Granite. I finished up the back and have started on the front. I love this yarn! Must buy more.

Yesterday I met some of my knitting buds at a local yarn store for some knitting goodness before we all headed off to lunch. While there, I spied some Claudia Hand Paint Fingering 55 Silk/Merino blend that I thought would work perfect for the La Mer Scarf in the Summer 08 issue of Interweave Crochet. I was right. I love the way the stitch pattern is playing with the colors in this yarn. The project I am not so happy with right now. I think I will rip it out tomorrow morning so I can start over. There is a chain 1 at the beginning of each forward pass (this is tunisian lace crochet, how fun!) that is making the right side of the scarf all wonky. I'm going to leave that out and see if it helps any. All in all though, I think I will really like the scarf once it's finished. I still need to get the beads for the edging though. I'm leaning toward blue to pick up the hint of blue in the yarn.

Never one to think I have enough projects going (15 isn't too many is it?), I cast on a pair of socks for my stepdad. I had some Trekking Pro Natura in variegated browns, but I always use a tad more than one skein for Ron's socks. Off to the Merc I went to get another skein in a coordinating color. I fell in love with some lovely green and happily went home to pick out a fair isle pattern for the socks. After the first repeat I realized that once again I had done what I always manage to do. The green was too similar to the brown in a knitted project. The pattern was completely lost, and since I was going to all the trouble of following a fair isle pattern for socks, I darn sure wanted it to show up. The sock was frogged back to the ribbing, and I went down to the craft room and dug around in the sock yarn baskets for something suitable. I wound up with a skein of Cider Moon Haiku silk in a brilliant blue. That did the trick. The pattern shows up beautifully now, and I'm a happy knitter.

I am officially half way done with the Ab Fab Throw. Forgot to get a photo of it tonight, but tomorrow for sure. This is knitting up so quickly, I can't believe it!

Hope everyone had a happy fourth and didn't wind up stuck with a terrified dog like I did. Poor Doppler is traumatized by the fireworks :o(