Thursday, January 31, 2008

Whoops! Lucky Number 13

Dudes! I totally forgot to count Soleil.

Back up to 11!

Screw Your Courage to the Sticking Point

Right, so tomorrow is February 1. Time to gird your loins, screw your courage to the sticking point and start counting.

Here's what I currently have on needles (in no particular order):
  1. The Cambridge Jacket (the Man Sweater) by Ann Budd
  2. Anniversary Socks (1 of 2) from Interweave's Favorite Socks
  3. French Child's Sock (1 of 2) from Knitting Vintage Socks
  4. Green Thing (its a gift, and must therefore be referred to "vaguely")
  5. Mystic Waters Stole
  6. Mystery Stole 3
  7. Ab-Fab Afghan
  8. Blue Kerry Shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls
  9. Peach Scarf
  10. Flamin' Fingerless Gloves
  11. Eyelet Socks (1 of 2 complete)
  12. Gryffindor Scarf
Twelve...well, that ain't a great number, but remember the first year I did this? Glossing over the fact that not one, but two of the above items graced that list as well, let's concentrate on the fact that 2 years ago I opened with 19 objects on needles.

Okay, I hear what you are saying. You are saying, Kade, if you have two things that were UFOs in 2006, and you still haven't finished them, isn't it about time to frog? And I answer... no. One's the Ab-Fab kit (Colinette yarn, all the way, baayyy-bee) and the other is a "shawl" that I'm knitting out of worsted weight acrylic—in other words, its also an afghan. I'm not ready to work on them, but dudes, I'm not giving them up either.

So. 12.

I'm totally frogging the Mystery Stole. Frankly, I like the yarn much better than I like the pattern. So, out it goes. That makes 11.

Gryffindor scarf. Its ugly, clunky, itchy, and... well, its Gryffindor. (No offense to the Gryffindorian amongst you. I mean no disrepect, but these are the people who's idea of a clever plan is "Everybody on Three!"*) So, there's 10.

I'm playing with the Alternate rules of "March is For Making Mates." That said, I have three pairs of socks and one pair of fingerless gloves on needles. The Eyelet socks are of my own design, and I have one completely finished (the other not yet cast on). This one is set aside until March. I'm working on the first of the pair of two different Nancy Bush patterns. I'll be finishing up both of these and then setting them aside. I've got the thumb to do on the first of two fingerless gloves, and then again, setting aside for March.

The Green Thing will probably only take an afternoon to finish.

I can't find the other skein of yarn I need for the peach scarf, so I haven't a clue what I'm doing about that. Maybe looking for the yarn. That would be radical.

Anyway, I won't be entering March with a clean knitterly slate, but I'll be enough closer to feel totally vindicated in casting on scads of new stuff.

*With all due respect to Cassie Claire's Fanon Draco

Monday, January 28, 2008

Crazy? I was crazy once...

I finished up my "Anti-OCD" pink socks yesterday. I was calling them that as something of a joke—I have the slightest of OCD tendencies, you see, so I deliberately made these socks not match each other. The stripe is offset by about three inches.

I decided to do this because I didn't really think it would bother me. It was meant to be funny, yes? started to get on my nerves just about the exact second I hit the "repeat" in the yarn, and I could see where they would have matched up, if only I had...


So, yes. Here they are. My almost-but-not-quite-matching-Anti-OCD-I'm-not-actually-crazy socks.

P.S. They are very comfortable.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I can't help but think...

...that I would get more knitting done, if I spent less time playing with my blog.

Last night I used my google-fu and found this tutorial, where-by I learned how to modify my blog to three columns instead of two. I am inordinately proud of myself, and plan to fiddle with the settings for some time to come.

I am planning to have my Anti-OCD pink stripey socks finished before February, so that they will not be numbered amongst my UFOs. Some pre-February Finishing, as it were. I'm nearly to the toe of the second of the two. These socks have taken me surprisingly forever to knit. I barely picked up my needles during November (remember NaNo?) and then in December things exploded at my work. It was ugly — and I was too stressed out to knit.

So anyway, I'm happy to report that I'm back to knitting, and plan to hit February with a bang (although I do not promise that I will not also whimper.)

And to keep this from being a completely pictureless post, here's a recent acquisition (sock yarn isn't stash, I'm just sayin'.) I bought this to make a pair of socks for my eldest darling. She fell in love with it at, and how could I say no? I'm helpless against children who beg for hand knits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's That Time of Year Again

Here at Chez Woolly, we have a little tradition called "February is For Finishing." The concept is simple — for the entire month you concentrate on finishing whatever you have on the needles. Here are the rules (please feel free to post, alter, or ignore, as best suits your current needs).

3rd Annual February is For Finishing-Palooza

The Rules:
  • List, list, oh list. By February 1st, have an accurate and complete list of ALL of your UFOs. Yes, even that one that you stuffed behind the couch in shame and despair last August.
  • Take Inventory. Now that you have your list, decide which of these projects actually bless you. Did you not finish this UFO because you were led astray by that fancy new sock yarn? Or have you not finished it because its uglier than a really ugly thing, and will not fit man nor beast?
  • Make Decisions. Finish, Frog or Fling. In my little world, UFOs can be sorted into 3 categories. Finish — I totally still want to make this. Frog — in the immortal words of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, "I like yarn better than I like bad hats." And, Fling — Wow. This is so bad that not even the yarn is worth saving. I'll say a passing prayer for the Acryls who gave their lives to make this fugly yarn, and move on with my life.
  • Prioritize. At this point, you have to decide what your end goal is. Are you in this to finish as many items as possible? Or is there one specific UFO that you'd like to push through and finish? Some folks like to have a plan "I'll knit the last sleeve of Auntie Mabel's sweater, and then I'll finish up that scarf I've been knitting since the Carter administration." Others prefer a more holistic approach and simply knit what suits their mood and fancy at the time. Do as best pleases you.
  • Be Strong. Do not, and this is very important, DO NOT cast on anything new during February. We're finishing here, people, not starting. The object of the game is to clear the slate so we can cast on a whole slew of new UFOs in March and April.
  • Take a Button.
As an avid, yet inconstant sock knitter, I also have an optional rule.
  • March is For Making Mates. If you have the first of a pair of socks on the needles, finish 'em up in February, and then set them aside. February is for what's already on the needles. Then in March, make the second sock for all of those first socks (or gloves, or mittens, or whatever) that you finished up in February. Clever, eh?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 Knitting Goals

In January, I like to spend more time than is strictly wise fantasizing about the great feats of knitting prowess that I plan to execute in the coming year.

Come on, admit it. You do it too.

This will be the year that you knit THAT shawl (you know the one. The one that gives you palpitations when you look at the pattern). Or maybe you'll tackle complicated colorwork, or Gods help you, an Alice Starmore pattern (any of them).

So, anyway, January is when I do a lot of my virtual fantasy knitting. Once the heady rush of imaginary accomplishment leaves me, I then take stock of my time, my budget, and my skills — and then I start setting some goals.

This year I am going to knit:
  • A sweater for Morgan
  • The rest of that sweater for me
  • Lots and Lots of Socks
  • I'm going to finish a bunch of things I've got on needles. Or frog them. Or whatever.
  • I want to knit Knitty's Juno Regina out of this great Anne Schaefer I got that looks like peacock feathers... unless it ends up looking weird because it isn't a solid colorway. Lace can look weird in painted yarn. I'll need to swatch.
  • Socks for my husband. He has big feet. I'm just sayin'.
  • I'm going to finish the Mystic Waters Shawl, because I like it, and frog the MS3 Stole, because I don't
  • Other things I haven't thought of yet
So there you have it... a random and ill thought out list of knitterly goals.

This year my REAL goal is to continue to improve my skills, and to start designing my own patterns.

The rest is just gravy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Checking In

Hello All!

Just a quickie note to let you know that I'm still alive. December is a notoriously busy time of year for everyone — particularly those employed in the retail industry. So, after a month of posting daily, I give you a month of posting not at all.

I hope for a more balanced approach to 2008. Twice a week is good, ja?

So, tune in soon for Kade's list of Knitting Goals for 2008.