Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

More Spring Cleaning in the WIP list this week. The super duper spreadsheet picked out a sweater I haven't touched in a year, and I just wasn't feeling it. After taking a good look at the photo of the sweater, I decided that it wouldn't look right on me and frogged it. The yarn is destined to become something else, and my WIP list is a bit shorter now.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going out of town last week to help move my grandmother to Ohio to live with my mother. She's all moved in now and settling in well. Since my mother's house is fully furnished, and I wasn't about to let my grandmother's nice antiques go to auction and be sold for next to nothing, I brought a few of them back with me. Her buffet and china cabinet are now in my dining room, and one of the dressers is now being used by my stepson. Hopefully some photos of those later this week.

Since we were going to be working most of the day, and I didn't want to drag any big projects with me, I started a couple of small, quick to knit projects for the trip.

The first night we were there I finished up a scarf using Prism Wild Stuff.

And the night we got back, I finished up all but the felting on a pair of clog slippers. I had plenty of the mulberry color left, so I picked up another contrasting color and plan to make a pair for my Gramma.

I picked a bit at a Ruca Multy scarf, and will work on this during my lunch hours this week.

After I frogged the sweater last night, the spreadsheet picked out a crochet bag I had started last summer. This afternoon, while watching a movie, I finished all the pieces. Tomorrow night I will sew them together and felt it. Finished photos later this week.

Remember the cute as a button kittens we found in our garage? We thought mama cat had run off with them, but I think she just found a spot behind some things stored in the garage to hid them, because Paul spied them on Friday.

Any time I peek through the garage window they scurry behind boxes, but a couple of them are getting used to me.

I was able to snap a quick photo of a couple of them tonight. They are all fluffy as can be and I am dying to get my hands on them.

Of the 6 that were cuddled up on the chair cushion, I've spied 5 of them. The black one with the white belly hasn't been seen yet. Hopefully, as I do some decluttering of the garage I find him. All of them are scared of humans, drat it all. I was hoping to get them used to us when they were still young, so it wouldn't be so difficult to get them to a shelter. If I can't get them to tolerate me being around, a shelter won't take them, so I'll definitely be like my mom and have neutered wild cats wandering around my yard.

There should be a lot of knitting progress the next few weeks. Paul had to go on a 3 week business trip, so my evenings are free to knit to my heart's content.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WIP Spring Cleaning

Friday evening I finished up the base needlefelting on the Ravenna Satchel, then misted it with water and ironed it to set the roving. Since it was still damp, I couldn't move on to the embellishments, but I think I got quite a bit done for a week's worth of work. It is now dry and sitting back down in the craft room awaiting its next turn to be worked on.

Also on Friday evening I finished up the knitting on the Silky Wool Vest. Now all it needs is some buttons. Still haven't found the right ones, but once I do, I'll probably finish this up and not make it wait until next rotation.

Only having 2 projects upstairs made for much more progress than I usually think I get for a week's worth of crafting. I think I'm going to like this new process.

I did a bit of Spring Cleaning this weekend. Spring Cleaning the WIP list that is. I took a good look at what I had on the list of projects, and found several that I really wasn't interested in completing anymore. Those 4 have been removed and frogged. The yarn is now awaiting new projects that it wants to become. I'm now down to 16 projects on the list.

The spreadsheet chose 2 new projects for me to work on Friday night. One of them was the Turnberry Cardigan (one of the projects I found when freezing yarn). The pattern wasn't quite turning out the way the photo looked and I found I wasn't that crazy about it, so found something else in my queue for it to become.

It decided it wanted to be granny squares, attached together on the last round. This is the Gladiolus Vest from Interweave Crochet Summer 2008.

I'd say I finished up about 1/3 of it this weekend, so it very well may be finished up before it needs to be put back in the craft room.

The Koigu Kimono Jacket was also chosen, and there has been a fair amount of progress on it so far. I finished the first strip last night, and began the second tonight. I'm hoping that I can have the second finished and attached by the end of the week.

Next weekend we go to St. Louis to help move my Gramma back to Columbus to live with my Mom. Not sure I'm going to let the spreadsheet pick out projects for that trip. With my luck, it will choose something like the Mary Tudor Cardigan, which requires reading a chart and a gazillion balls of yarn LOL. I picked up some yarn to make myself some felted slippers, and may cast those on and knit them up on the trip.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Questions answered, and this week's projects

A couple of readers asked what pattern I used for the orange Cap Sleeve Top. It is called Cap Sleeve Top, by Robin Melanson, and can be found in "Nashua Handknits: Creative Focus Silk". There are a couple of other really cute patterns in the booklet that I want to try too. The Creative Focus Silk yarn was really nice to work with, but I would definitely suggest blunt tip needles instead of the pointy ones I used. I had to pay attention so I didn't split the yarn.

The two projects I am working on this week will be very close to being finished, if not actually finished, by the end of the week.

The Silky Wool Vest is such a quick knit, and it's fairly mindless so perfect for watching TV. I need a total of 16 inches after the division before casting off, and I managed to add 4 1/2 inches last night. Finding enough buttons in the right size and color might prove to be difficult though. I've already discovered that the fabric stores around me no longer carry the button loop tape I'm supposed to use (the kind used for all those teeny tiny pearl buttons down the back of wedding dresses), so I decided to skip that and just sew the buttons through both layers of knitting to finish the vest. Problem is I need about 28 teeny tiny buttons (about the size used for baby clothing) and I can't seem to find more than about 16 at the fabric stores. I may need to ask them if they can order them for me.

I got a bit disheartened last Fall with the Ravenna Satchel. I had a bit of a felting issue. Not too long ago, I decided to try using roving to needlefelt over the motifs on the intarsia piece to see if that would fill in all the icky parts.

So far, so good.

A close up photo of the area that I've done the needle felting on. I still need to go back over it again to make sure that any fuzzies at the edges get felted into the center, but I think it looks a heck of a lot better than before needle felting.


Part of the felting problem I had is that the yarn I used, while gorgeous just knit up, left really long fuzzies that wound up felting themselves into portions of the project where they didn't belong. Although sometimes a tweedy look is what you're looking for, background color in blobs in the center of the flowers just wasn't cutting it for me.

I could not find roving in the exact colors I used, but I came fairly close on most of them, and will use the leftover yarn from knitting the project to do the outlining and other embellishments on the bag. So far the needlefelting is going pretty quickly. I might have to wait until this project gets another turn to get it all sewn together and add the handles and hardware, but at least some pretty good progress is happening to a Basket O Shame project :o)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Changing the plan of attack

Attack of the never ending (and ever growing) WIP list that is. While stuffing stash yarn into freezer bags for their "time out" in the freezer, I came across 2 more crochet projects that I forgot about and had to add them to the list. On top of that, I got a bit bored with Paul's sweater, and bought a kit from a friend who is doing some destashing, and cast that project on Saturday. Ugggggggg - at this rate, I'll never get to the bottom of that list!

At least I've discovered that whatever project the spreadsheet picks out for me keeps my attention for about a week before I get bored with it. And, sometimes bringing up a different project from the craftroom appeases my urge to start something new. (Quit laughing, I said sometimes.) For instance, Friday night I was really wanting to dig around in the stash for some yummy yarn and cast on something bright and shiny and new. Instead, I spied the Sipalu bag that I lost interest in last Fall, and decided to bring it up. Yesterday, when I put it away again, I had knit all but the top border and handles. Another weekend and the knitting will be done and it will be ready to block and line.

So, I've decided to change my plan of attack. Instead of making myself finish the project the spreadsheet picks out for me, I will let it pick 2 projects for me to work on for a week. Unless I am completely enchanted by a project, I won't work on the same thing 2 weeks in a row. I'm going to try very hard not to cast something new on until I've finished at least 2, but preferrably 3 projects from my current WIP list. Hopefully, this new tact will have me completing some projects and not casting on so many new ones.

I took a break from the knitting for awhile this weekend and finished up a dress I had cut out last weekend. I'm fairly pleased with it, and will make another. I will change the pattern some though. The photo did not in any way, shape, or form show the cartoon model's boobs sticking out. The neckline on this thing falls just below my nipples, so I had to wear a cami under it. Next time, I will raise the neckline and probably bring the shoulders in some so bra straps don't show.

Although I have been casting on new projects regularly, I have been finishing some of them. This one was knit up in record time. 6 days from cast on to worn to work. I also wore it when I met my friend at our LYS to buy that kit from her, and while there wound up selling the last pattern book for this top to one customer, and the yarn to knit it to another. I absolutely adore this top. It's not too casual to wear to work, but casual enough to be paired with jeans and tennies for the weekend.

That kit I purchased? If you read Vogue Knitting, you may remember the Koigu jacket from the anniversary issue. 'A' bought it, then let it sit for over a year. Her hubby really wanted her to sell it and pay off some of the credit card lol. I started it while sitting at the LYS with her for some knitting and socializing time. Worked on it a bit Saturday night, but it is somewhat fiddly with all those little triangles. Not bored with the project by any stretch, but 37 skeins of Koigu in my bedroom along with the other 6 or 7 projects I had once again dragged upstairs was a bit much. The spreadsheet did not pick this project for me to work on this week, so I put it away to await its turn.

Friday night I finished up the felted pond turtle I started in September or October. Another project off the WIP list! She turned out rather cute once I needlefelted some outlining on her shell.

A photo of side 2 of the Sipalu bag. Already picked up all the stitches for the top border band, so when the spreadsheet picks this out, it will be all ready for some fair isle goodness.

No photos of this week's projects yet, but in a few days I will post some. The spreadsheet picked out the Silky Wool Vest and Ravenna Satchel 1.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Wrap Up, May Wind Up

April was a pretty productive month for me. I finished 5 projects, 4 of which were Basket O' Shame projects! Never mind that I started several new projects lol.

I got a little carried away and had about 6 projects out of the craft room to work on, but this past weekend I rectified that. I now have only 3 projects available to work on while I watch TV.

One of the 3 that made its way back to the craft room is Salvia. I did make some progress on it, and it will be the next projects I work on when I finish something.

I pulled out the Pond Turtle that I started last year and have finished all except the final piece. Pretty sure I'll have this one finished up this week.

Progress has been made on Paul's Islander pullover too. This is one of those projects that just doesn't photograph well indoors with flash. Hopefully we'll have some sunshine this weekend so I can get better photos of the beautiful color of this yarn.

Confession time: I was a bad girl and cast on a new project. I saw this top in my LYS' window and couldn't resist buying the pattern and yarn for it. In my defense, I did wait a full week before giving in to the temptation of starting it. I cast on Friday night and last night I started on the 4th of 5 balls of yarn. This thing is practically knitting itself!!

I'm down to 20 projects on the needles now. Still sounds ridiculous, and I'd like to be under 10 by the end of the year. As long as I can resist all those tempting new projects that are begging to be cast on I just might make my goal.

Basket O' Shame ProjectsNon Basket O' Shame Projects
Flying Carpet SocksYesterday Once More
Mermaid JacketFilet Dragon Throw
Merging Colors BoleroEmily's Gloves
Felted Pond TurtleJenn's Gloves
Sipalu BagRose Wrap Shell
Moorish Stripe SocksSweetie Pie Cami
Roped ShellSanta Fe Shawl
Mary Tudor CardiganBellydance Halter
Lace Knee HighsSolo
Asymetrical JacketSackboy
Ravenna Satchel 1Salvia
Ravenna Satchel 2Silky Wool Vest
Islander PulloverCap Sleeve Top
Zarah Pullover
Bamboo Socks
Scheherazade Shawl

Kitten update: Mama cat must have gotten spooked because she moved her little brood elsewhere. We've seen her a couple of times roaming around the neighborhood, but no sign of the little ones yet. I'm still going to try to catch them and take them to a shelter if I see them. Last thing we need is 6 more strays running around!