Sunday, August 17, 2014

Let Us Observe a Moment of Silence

... for the Watergarden fair isle sweater.  Alas, poor knit, we hardly knew ye.

The Watergarden sweater is a men's fair isle sweater from Interweave Knits.  I cast it on back in 2008 out of Knit Picks Palette and got maybe, I dunno, 4-5" done.  And then I set it down and never, ever came back to it.

Long-time friends of the show will note that it has appeared in every single February is for Finishing post since.  And even as recently as this past February I was still protesting that I was gonna knit it someday.

Yeah, no.

There comes a time in every knitter's life when she needs to get a frickin' grip, and y'all that time has come and come again.

What with my new-found resolutions to knit things I'll really wear and a healthy dose of reality checking I realized that EVEN.  EVEN IF. I should ever actually finish the entire mostrosity of a sweater, I would never. ever. wear it.

So, after 6 years of protestation and hand-wringing I ripped that sucker out.

Now I just need to figure out what the heck to do with eleventeen tons of Palette.   A variation on Funky Grandpa perhaps?

Meanwhile, Alice carries on.  I'm a good 4" into the stockinette and am at the stage where the end is both in sight and so very, very far away.

Maybe a beer will help.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Go Ask Alice

Since I had that knitting epiphany I was talking about last week, I've started choosing my projects differently (which only follows after all, otherwise what's the point?)  I guess what I mean is that I am thinking about projects differently.   Time was I'd see a sweater and think "that looks like it would be awesome to knit" -- and don't get me wrong, that's definitely still a consideration.  But now I'm trying to stop and think "would that be awesome to wear?"

A subtle and important difference, methinks.

My current project is (I hope!) going to be both. I'm making Alice in Wonderland by Justyna Lorkowska. The construction is wicked clever. It's a fitted sleeve that's knit top-down. I feel confident that the designer is cleverer than I, but the pattern is well enough written that I'm doing alright.

This is my first stab at knitting an adult garment in fingering weight yarn.  I'm using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in "Canopy" (it's much more variegated than I was hoping it would be.  I'm trying to be at peace with the occasional bit of pooling-weirdness.)  It's going a lot faster than I was expecting, but I'm still about to the point where I'm longing for a spot of worsted weight.

Project Specs

Needles: Knit Picks Options, size 6
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, Canopy
Pattern:  Alice in Wonderland by Justyna Lorkowska
Started: July 22, 2014

Monday, August 04, 2014

A Knitting Epiphany

I've had a bit of an epiphany about my knitting.  I know you're dying to hear about it, so I'll tell you.

I've been a process knitter for pretty much my entire knitting "career" -- I'll pick a project based on how fun it would be to knit, whether I'd learn a new technique, or (and let's do be honest here) if all the cool kids were knitting it.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that.  I've learned a ton from this approach, and I'm sure I'm a better knitter today because of it.

But what have I got to show for it?

Let me give you an example -- we had an "along" in one of my Ravelry groups.  Everyone cast on and knit Zuzu's Petals by Carina Spencer, and I am SUCH A JOINER, so of course I'm all in.  Knitting along is fun! Plus, the pattern looks interesting!

Yeah but...

I pretty much hate it.  It was a waste of good Chroma, and looks weird on me to boot (I look like the world's most rainbowdy gila monster in this picture).  (I should note -- this is not intended to be a slight on the pattern itself.  The pattern is fine, it just wasn't a good match for me and certainly not in that yarn.  What was I thinking?)


Here's a counter example.  Hitchhiker by Martina Behm (and to be fair, also an "along" but a better chosen one for me.)

Much more my style. I love this pattern and I've knit it twice.

I wore the heck out of this last winter.  It's my colors, and I have a tee-shirt and sweater that match it perfectly.  It's not just some weird thing I's actually part of my wardrobe.

And therein lies my epiphany.  What if I knit things I want to wear?  What if I considered what I was making in terms of how it would fit into my wardrobe and lifestyle?  What if I remembered that I could be knitting actual clothes.

Y'all, I'm becoming a product knitter.

Meet Harvest and Ardys.  (Ardys isn't blocked yet in this photo, so imagine it slightly more smoothed down and tidy).   I am looking forward to wearing them (as clothes!) this fall and winter.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

February is Finished and Olympic Pride

From a strict "February is for Finishing" standpoint, I didn't do so well.  The Oregon Socks are the only things I finished that had been on the needles prior to February.   Ah well, I knew that my finishing would be sparse when I decided to cast on socks for the Olympics.

I finished my Olympic Pride socks on February 15, meaning they took just over a week to knit.  I'm not sure if it was the stripes, the concentration, the Olympic Magic in the air or what, but damn they went fast.

I left on a business trip on the 16th -- the day after I finished Olympic Pride, so I decided what the hell and cast on another pair to knit on the plane.  (Also, it was weird not to have any socks on the needles.)

Meet Olympic Pride II.   I didn't finish them during the Olympics (though I came pretty close -- I was on the heel flap of the second sock).   I did, however, wrap them up on February 28, which means that I knit 4.5 socks during the month of February.  I'd feel a little more badass, but I know that the plane trips contributed significantly to that number.

And then, because it was March 1 and I could (not that it being February had stopped me from casting socks on), I cast on a wee little sweater for my besties' daughter.  It didn't count against my total number of projects on the needles for long though, because I wrapped it up the next day.   Worsted weight baby sweaters are fast, yo.

I'm going out of town again tomorrow, so of course I cast some more socks on.  These are going to be Hermione's Everyday Socks when they grow up.

And lest you think I've forgotten all my old WIPs entirely, I spent the morning working on Multnomah.  I'm into 7 of 10 lace repeats and it's done.

So, that's what I've been up to.  Tons of Finishing ... just not much that "counts" if you're counting February...which I'm obviously not.

(Having just re-read all of that ... and having fixed some egregious mis-used homophone errors,  I realize this post sounds really choppy.   If you've actually read this far, thank you and I'm sorry.  I have been such a sporadic blogger for so long, I figure any post is better than none.   From my perspective, anyway.  I totally get why others might not agree.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Knitting is Definitely Happening

As I mentioned before, I'm not following my normal "thou shalt not cast on in February" rules.  I really wanted to get in on knitting rainbows during the Olympic Games, so I decided to go for it.  It's my dumb arbitrary rule, and I can break it if I want to.

So!  I finished up my Oregon Socks (they deserve a post of their own.  They traveled all over Idaho and Oregon last summer).

And I promptly cast on my Olympic Pride socks.   I had a couple of balls of Felici Rainbow in my old-growth stash that I dug out for the occasion.

Please note:  I cast these on last Friday

They are practically knitting themselves, holy crap.  The pattern is Traffic Island Socks (a riff off of the ubiquitous Jaywalkers), and it's pretty much perfect.  I've modded them a bit to add afterthought heels, because a classic heel and gusset arrangement jacks up the stripes.

They are pleasing me greatly, and I'm hoping to have them finished before I leave for Connecticut on Sunday.  I'll need something else to knit on the plane, so I guess I'd better plan to cast on another pair of socks....

Saturday, February 01, 2014

It's that time of year again

It's February 1st, and that means it is time to knuckle down and start doing some serious heavy duty finishing.  (As inconstant a blogger as I am, you can check the archives and find posts in most years from February.)

This year I am starting the month with 10 projects on the go.  Interestingly, four of them are crochet projects.  I used to be crochet-curious, but now I think you can actually call me bi-craftual.

I'm not entirely sure what my strategy is for the month -- I know I want to finish my Oregon Socks before the Olympics start.  I'm not playing by my usual rules this year, since the Winter Olympics are in Sochi this time.  I'm planning to cast on and knit a pair of rainbow socks, "BECAUSE OF THE GAY," as my dear friend Jess so eloquently put it.


Here's the list:

1. Watergarden Cardigan.  Yeah.  Again.  I know.

2.  Knitting in Red.   This bad boy's been in hibernation since before last February.

3. Ripple Afghan!  I started this handsome fellow December of 2012.  I plan to finish it soon.

4. Sarah's Gnomes.   This will be a (overdue!) gift for my niece Sarah.

5. Emelie.  This is meant to be a short sleeved cardigan.  I'm not sure if it's really destined to be or not.

6.  Circles to Squares Afghan.  When I saw the (then new) Lion Brand Heartland yarn, I fell in love with the colors.

7. Oregon Socks.   My sister and my husband and I went "home" to Oregon last August.  It was lovely and awesome, and so good to go back and reacquaint myself with the land.  These were my travel socks.  I need to finish up sock number 2.

8. Multnomah.   I brought this with me to Oregon too.  And then we went to Multnomah Falls.  I tried to pass it off like I was an awesome planner.  Nope, just lucky.

9.  African Flower Bag.  This is me messing around and trying to use up old stash.

10.  Happypotamus.  Because there is nothing about a crocheted, multi-colored, funky, hippopotamus that is not awesome.  This is the back legs and the octo-butt.  I promise that there is a hippo in there.  Really.

Well, there you have it.  This is what I have on the go as of this morning.   Last year I only had 8, in 2011 I had 25, so I'm calling this year a solid B+/A- going in.  

More to come as I begin to kick finishing ass.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Socks on the Go

I went to San Antonio for a conference last week and took my socks with (as well as two extra projects for "just in case" -- and a good thing too, because I finished the socks the day after I got there, and then managed almost all of the first of a new pair while I was there.)

I knit on the plane.

I knit at lunch.

I took them to the Alamo for a bit of sightseeing.

And when I had a free moment during Day Two, I finished them up.

I'm ridiculously pleased with how well they match up.

Before I left last week, I also finished up my Asymmetry Cowl.

Since I did cast on some new socks in San Antonio, I'm at 7 projects total in the works, but only three pre-date this past February.  Boom!