Thursday, March 05, 2015

How Did She Do? February is For Finishing 2015 Round-up

So, I finished three of my twelve projects   Which, on the outset, does not seem all that inspiring.   But I beg, before you pass judgment on my industry or its lack, consider these factors:

  • The three objects I finished were each barely started at the beginning of the month.
  • Great labor and toil was spent ripping out and re-knitting at a larger size the body of a top-down raglan sweater.
  • I finished three other projects at the end of January.
  • Being judgmental is bad for you, and doesn't win you any friends.

I finished the Mullspice Hat, the first link of my BFF Cowl, and Maurice, the Hippopatomas of Love. Since I already blogged about all three of them earlier this month, I won't tired you with more here.

I also frogged Emelie.

So that's where all of my stitch-markers went!
 So where I did have 12 projects, I now have 9.

What's that?  You say that 12 - 3 - 1 does not equal 9?

You didn't really think I'd be five days into March without casting something new on, did you?

I mean, come on, how long have you known me?
And lest you were concerned that you'd be doomed to read about the same sorry eight remaining projects over again next year, fear me not.  I'm still working on them too.

Some of them.

I make no promises about the red shawl.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

FO: Maurice the Hippopampatus of Love

May I present to you, finished after two years of lingering in a plastic box, Maurice, the Hippopampatus of Love.


I started this little buddy because... well because all the cool kids were doing it, frankly.  This was one hundred percent, unabashedly, product crafting.  Putting him together was essentially constructing a 3-D puzzle where I was building the pieces as I added them in.  Once I got a groove on, it was ridiculously fun.

The main reason I didn't finish this back in 2013 (other than my innate propensity for getting bored and wandering off) was that I was worried I would run out of the Knit Picks Shine Sport I was using to crochet him up.  (Remember the Granny Halter I did?  The one inspired by my buddy Erin?  This was an attempt to use up the scraps from that stash-busting project.)  


Anyway, I was right, I wouldn't have had enough.  So I stopped right there at two back legs and an octo-butt (you've seen that picture like three times, so I won't re-post it here) and I ordered some more colors.  I tried to find things from the current color line that would look good with the colors I already had.  If you know anything about how colors change from season to season, you'll know that was more challenging than it should have been.

Anyway, I packed the Hippo Hind-quarters up and waited impatiently for Knit Picks to send my new colors.   Mind you that was back in 2013.  

Hippopampatus of Love
It will shock no one who knows me to hear that by the time the new yarn came in, I'd moved on to greener pastures and turned my attention to other projects.

Fickle, thy name is crafter!

Long story... still pretty long, I read back through the instructions about a week into February, and started really busting it out.

Dat Booty, Though!
On a purely stash-busting front, this project wasn't that successful, as I think I have as much or more Shine Sport in my stash now as I did when I started -- despite using up over 700 yards.  How does that even work?

Project Notes

Pattern:  Happypotamus by Heidi Bears
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport, in a variety of colors
Hook: 3.75 mm (F)
Yardage: 743 yards
Started: August 3, 2013
Finished: February 28, 2015

See my Ravelry project page here for more pictures.

The minute I finished the kids started arguing
over who got to cuddle him first.
I'll do a February is for Finishing wrap-up post later this week, but I really thought that Maurice needed his own post.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Icepocalypse Wasn't as Good for My Production as You Might Think

We had a spot of weather here in Middle Tennessee this past week.  If by "spot of weather" you mean "state of emergency, schools closed for a week, no bread to be found in the entire state, and thank G-d I have a laptop so I can work from home"... and I do.


Folks who move to Tennessee from more northern climes scoff at the way that Tennesseans panic, close schools, buy all the toilet paper, and run off the roads at the prospect of half an inch of snow.  And rightly so, because for the love of Pete, has anyone checked on Boston lately?  I mean, is it still there?  How can we be sure under all that snow?

But what the carpetbaggers folks from out of town don't understand is that it's not the snow that gets you.

It's the ice.


Things were shut down all over the mid-state (even Famous Dave's BBQ sent out an email saying they were closed).   By Wednesday I was starting to get a little wild-eyed, so for the safety and well-being of all those with whom I cohabitate, I drove into the office, about 20 miles to the west.   The drive didn't get dicey until I was almost there, but the 4 hours of blessed quiet and giant monitors was totally worth it.   It was a bit of a ghost town, since anyone who could do was working from home.

But then on Thursdays the temps plummeted, and on Friday we had yet MORE weather, so home again I stayed.


You'd think that all of these snow days would have given me plenty of time to knit and crochet, but it turns out that while it is a great benefit to be able to work from home during bad weather...it means you have to actually work from home during bad weather.  So away I slaved in the kitchen, while Carl, Morgan, and Rowan played video games on the couch not 15 feet away, alas and woe, etc.

Which is not to say that I haven't gotten anything done, of course.   Jess' BFF Cowl Link (not to be confused with a cowlick, as that's different) is done.  I've yet to make my link, but March is for Making Mates and all that, so I'm calling this done for purposes of February is for Finishing.


Rowan's Sweater is to the ribbing.  Another 12-15 rows and the body will be done.


My Happypotamus is much further along than the last time you saw it.  I took these pictures this morning, but I'm farther still now (the light is too crummy to show you.  So, like this but more so).


And I even hauled out my Cosy Stripes Blanket one night, when everything else was on my nerves.  My magic spreadsheet tells me I am now 21% done.


Okay, so I maybe I did knit while I was "at work" but only a little...and in my defense I was watching a webinar.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Beige and Blue...Knitting Ennui Ensues

It's mid-February and we all know what that means here at chez woolly.   That's right, I'm tired of everything I'm already knitting and I'm longing to cast on something new.

Right on schedule.  This happens every year like clockwork.  I start the month strong, knock something off the needles that's been hanging around 95% done, then turn my attention and focus to the next things on the list...only to rediscover why they weren't done to begin with.

Jess' Cowl is coming along -- I'm about 9 of (probably) 15 repeats in. (I say 'probably' because Jess, who is considerably ahead of me on this endeavor, made it to 15 before running out of yarn.  Gauge being what it is, my mileage may vary.)

Carl's socks aren't much further along than they were -- which is only to be expected as they were only meant to be purse knitting anyway.


Rowan's sweater, you'll be relieved to hear, is not only back to where I started before the Great Frogging last weekend, but actually a bit beyond.

If it doesn't fit him this time, I may make him eat it.
I spent most of last week plugging along on these three projects feeling terribly ho-hum about all of it.  There was so much sighing you'd swear I was a teenager suddenly cut off from cell-phone privileges.   Then it hit me.

Take a close look at those three projects.  Notice anything?

Like how they are all blue.  Or beige.  Or blue and beige?  Like how they are all three gift knits? 

Yep.

Now, mind you, I'm happy to be making all three, and willingly undertook to do so.  I love the people I'm knitting for and will be pleased as punch to hand over the completed goods.

But I'm an inherently selfish knitter at heart.  I don't mean to be, but I am.  Once I realized the cause of all my knitting malaise I realized there was only one thing to do.

You can't see, but there's a hippo in there.
Much better.

Monday, February 09, 2015

A Wiser Knitter

It's been a kind of a weird week here at chez woolly.  We are mostly back in our bedroom -- in fact I made it a point to get the boots out of the bathtub yesterday. (Still not a euphemism).

The light isn't great, but take my word for it,
that's one handsome floor.
My February is for Finishing is moving along, but I'm at the place where you can't see it.  This is what I get for finishing three projects in the last week of January.   The Mullspice hat was a doggle.  Everything else is going to be a bit of a slog.

I've been working on my best Jess' BFF Cowl.  Shown modeled here with the only thing that makes "purl 5 together" seem like a good idea.

TGIF, y'all
It was barely begun when February started, so it is going to be a while yet before we start seeing real progress.

I've also picked Rowan's sweater back up.  Now, I really did understand that when I agreed to knit a sweater for a 13 year old boy that I was risking a lot.  I mean, I get it. He could be fickle, he could wipe chocolate sauce all over it, he could leave it on his bedroom floor and affix a wad of gum to it.

Anything can happen when you're 13.

Like, you could grow for example.

Yeah.  That happened.
So, yesterday afternoon I pulled back more sweater than I care to admit to.

This is an example of anti-progress.
That was an unfortunate happenstance.  A wiser knitter would have tried it on the child before knitting the bulk of the body of the sweater.  A wiser knitter would have chosen a larger size for the sweater in the first place.   A wiser knitter would have married a tiny man, and borne tiny offspring.

Alas, I am not that knitter.

I am, however, a knitter who has properly em-biggened the sweater by adding several more increases before separating for the sleeves.  I've re-separated them and knit about another inch beyond that of straight body.

And yes, he's already tried it on.

It fits.

This week.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

FO: Mullspice

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single hat in possession of a good cable, but lacking suitable decreases, must be in want of finishing.

Or put another way, it's funny how fast things finish up when you pick them up and knit them, idnit?

This was the Mullspice Hat on January 31.

Coincidentally, this was also Mullspice on Oct 28, when the picture was taken.
And here is the Mullspice hat on February 3.

I have no idea why my hat is suddenly this color.
During the four months that I have been "working on this" I physically laid hands on the hat on six days.  Serious knitting occurred on three.  I can't even with myself sometimes.

As a side note, it's hard to get decent photographs of knitting during the week in the winter when you work an 8-5 gig in another city.  I should have just brought the hat to my office and taken a picture of it there.  

Project Notes

Pattern:  Mullspice by Alicia Plummer
Yarn:  Verdant Gryphon Traveller (DK weight) in the "The Bamboo Grove" colorway
Needles:  US 4 (3.5 mm) 16" circular, for the ribbing and US 6 (4.0 mm) 16" circular for the rest
Special Tools:  Brittany cable needle
Size: 22"
Started: October 27, 2014
Finished: February 3, 2014

See my Ravelry project page here for more (also mostly terrible) pictures.

So that's one down!  I've picked up Jess' Bestie cowl next, and this weekend I plan to gird my loins and rip back Rowan's sweater.  There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.  And possibly some liquid fortification.  We'll see.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Annual Airing of the WIP Pile: February is for Finishing 2015

February is all about finishing here at chez woolly.  I started doing this years and years ago -- in fact, a quick search in the archives would seem to indicate that I first started posting about it in 2006.

You will all be proud and relieved to learn that none of the projects on that first list are still hanging out and waiting to get finished.  Though I will confess that the Absolutely Fabulous afghan didn't get finished until 2012.  But let's not dwell on that!  Instead, let us turn our focus to what I'll be turning my needles (and hooks) towards this month.

Being an accounting of all projects currently extant and in progressio.

1. Knitting in Red. March 17, 2012. Long time friends of the show will remember that I started this shawl as an Intentional project with a lot of meaning attached.  I think the fact that I set up the project with such meaning and then walked away from it hasn't entirely been good for me.  Sometimes you need a rest, and sometimes you let things linger and stagnate.  This is not on my radar to finish this February, but I will be finishing it this year.  I pulled it out on January 1, during our cast off/cast on knitting and life planning party and did exactly two rows.   So it has some fresh energy in it, and I'll be adding more as the year progresses.



2. Emelie.  June 23, 2013. This was meant to be a sweater for me, but it just never gelled.  The gauge isn't quite right, and after everything I learned last summer knitting sweaters, this particular iteration of Emelie is doomed to the frog pond.  I may knit it later, but likely not with this yarn (nor in the size I cast on).

Yes, this is the same picture I used last year.
Yes, this is still exactly where I am on this sweater.

3. Circles to Squares Afghan. July 9, 2013. You'd've thought that my success with my Neat Ripple Afghan would have inspired me to pull this fellow out and finish it.  But you'd've failed to take into account my love affair with Lucy of Attic24, and not counted on the Cosy Stripe Blanket (more on that below).


4. But Not the Hippopotamus.  August 3, 2013. Crocheted, modular, adorable.  What's not to love?



And let me break here a moment and point out that these are the only projects left that were also on last year's list.  Once Emelie is frogged that leaves me with only three projects older than a year.

Normal people would probably not be impressed with this revelation, but those of you who were here for the February of 2011 and it's 25 projects, or who held my hand while I frogged the Watergarden Cardigan after 6 or more years of inactivity... those of you who know these things, you should rejoice with me.

5. Besties. September 5, 2014.  Jess and I are doing the BFF cowl by Ysolda Teague and Stephanie Dosen from Knitty Deep Fall 2012.  I'm farther along that this picture implies...but not much.


6. Little Pumpkins Socks.  September 7, 2014. I've got these hibernating because I can't even with pumpkins right now.  I'll pull them back out in June or July and finish them in time for next fall.


7. Striped Hoodie for Rowan (Emilien --  not to be confused with Emelie). September 28, 2014. I was cruising right along on this, and had most of the body done when I got Rowan to try it on. Dude grew.  Of course he did.  I got more yarn, and I'll be ripping back to where I separated the arms to embiggen it.  There were great lamentations when I realized this was going to be necessary.

So. Much. Frogging.

8. Mullspice.  October 27, 2014.Just a wee, cabled hat.  I got the yarn at SAFF last year.


9. Warren Creek Cowl.  November 2014. I've barely started this.  I basically just cast it on and then set it down.  No idea what that was about.  I didn't even start a Ravelry project page, so I'm ball-parking the cast on date.

I haven't even taken a picture of it yet.

10. Cosy Stripe Blanket. January 1, 2015. I adore everything about this.  I got 18% done and then set it aside to finish up some socks and my Denver  Cowl.   I won't finish this in February, but I may put a dent in it, depending on how things go with Rowan's sweater.

So cosy!

11. Carl's Big Dude Socks. January 22, 2014. It must be love, that's all I'm saying.



12. Stargazer Lily Hitchhiker. January 31, 2014. I may or may not have cast this on yesterday so I could work on it during February.  I admit nothing.


So there you have it.  Twelve projects, eight of which are from this past year.  I know I'm frogging one, so that puts me at eleven.

First up are the Mullspice hat and the BFF Cowl.