Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Nemesis

I finally finished them.

These socks have pretty much been the bane of my ... okay, that's a little melodramatic, "bane" is probably over the top, but dang y'all, these socks have been a bitch to knit.

I started them back in May of 2011.   They were going along really nicely -- in fact I was feeling pretty smug about them at first.  "Oh the yarn is so pretty, oh it takes the patterning so well!" I cooed.  But I cast on the smaller size (64 sts), and I wasn't more than, say FOUR INCHES in before I realized that they would be too small.

Well, dangit, I says.  And I ripped them back and started over.  In late June (this is still 2011, mind you).

Sometime during that Fall I realized that I had carpet beetles.  (Can we talk about how much I hate carpet beetles?)   The yarn and the sock both had holes.  There was much violent cursing, and maybe a wee spot of fit throwing.

The socks got a VERY long time-out in my freezer.  V. v. long time-out.

Last February I decided to haul them back out and finish the durned things (February being for Finishing and all).  So, out comes the recently defrosted Sock #1.  I repaired the holes, and started knitting with some seriously damaged yarn.   Every few feet I'd have to skip a section anywhere from 8" to 10" long, to avoid the holes and have enough room to weave in the ends.

The first sock had a LOT of ends to weave in.  (The saving grace of this story is that the second skein of yarn was undamaged.  Shwew.)

So, I finished the first sock last February and set it aside because March is for Making Mates.  After all of the work to produce the one sock, I was just... not in love.  It was meh.  Okay.  This stupid sock was way too much work for just "meh."

Turns out March is also for Faffing Off when one is angry at the socks, because I never got any farther than this:

Until about two weeks ago.  Because damned if I was going to walk into another February with these bastards still on the needles.

I seriously considered setting the whole thing on fire, but Koren talked me out of it.

The second sock did come together MUCH more smoothly.  The only real problem I had with this one was the inch and a half that I ripped back due to inattentive patterning.  (Turns out that I wasn't able to read fan-fiction and follow this pattern at the same time.  Whoops.)

I do want to say that the problems (which were legion) that I had with these socks were NOT because it is a poorly written or designed pattern.  The designer did not summon carpet beetles into my home, nor is it her fault that I took leave of my senses, and lost my grip on the reality that is the size of my ankles.  The pattern's swell, I just had a rough time.

That said though, it might behoove me to pay more attention to what things are named.  If there are socks out there called "Kryptonite," well, let's just say I won't be knitting them.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Progress to Report

I'm down to nine projects now, a slight change from last week's eleven.  (I think there must be a crumb or something under the keyboard at the "v" letter.  I have to poke it extra hard to make it show up.  Hermph.)

Anyway, I decided one of the scarves wasn't pretty enough for the amount of work it was bound to be, so off the needles it came.

Doomed Scarf - Frogged
I also finished the wee Gryffindor Cardigan that I started for Jess' eldest sprogling.  It was a quick knit that managed to linger on the needles for nearly four months (mind you the entire thing couldn't have taken more than 6 hours to knit and sew up all told.)  In any case, it's done now and ready to go to it's new home.

Wee Cardigan - Finished
I spent part of Saturday going through everything and making sure I know exactly where to start if I want to pick something up (it was during this process I decided that I wasn't feeling the scarf).  So everything now has a post it note that says "Start here!" with an arrow and a date.  No excuses!

My other major accomplishment for the week (you thought that was it, didn't you?  I'm so on FIRE you can call me Katniss.  Actually, I'd rather that you didn't) was to kick serious ass on my Aptly Named (Nemesis) socks.  I've turned the heel on the second sock, and it's just foot from here on out.  I am pushing to finish them before February, because I am angry at them.  (I should watch what I say where they can hear me.  I have suffered enough at the hands of these... Do socks have hands?  Anyway, I've suffered enough that there is no wisdom in courting further punishment.)

After that is Doctor Who city. 

We all know that I'm going to cast on, like a thousand things in March, right?

Oh, and before I forget, I also finished up Jess' Lumberjack socks last Sunday, the 13th.  (On. Fire.)

I'm a Lumberjack and I'm Okay

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dream the Impossible Dream

After the bags, baskets, and buckets were all turned out, the corners swept, and the dust settled, I have eleven projects currently on my needles.

It is worthy of noting, I think, that on Friday I had fifteen, but I frogged two and finished two, and so eleven.

Last year I ended February with five projects on my needles:

Nemesis -- 50 %
Dr. Who Scarf -- 40%
Amelia -- 20%
The Lotus Blossom Tank -- 5%
Watergarden Cardigan -- 5%

And this year, there those projects sat, at very nearly the exact same state of completion (or, uncompletion, rather).  Well, I did cast on the second Aptly Named (Nemesis) sock, so there's that.  And I had more than 20% of Amelia on the needles, but I don't actually remember putting any of it there.  But no.  Didn't really touch 'em.  Knit a whack of other stuff, but none of those.

So now is the time when we are asking ourselves, "Do we actually want to knit/wear/own any of these things?"   And Lo, we looked our hand knits deep in their beady little eyes, and this is what we discovered.

Nemesis:  I am in blood so far stepped.  (My bestie Koren convinced me not to set them on fire.)
Dr. Who Scarf:  Hell yeah.  All your nerd cred are belong to us.
Amelia:  Eh.  Not really.
The Lotus Blossom Tank:  Mmm.  Not so much.
Watergarden Cardigan:  I think so, but fair isle steeking is intimidating

So, I screwed my courage to the sticking place and frogged Amelia and The Lotus Blossom Tank.  They are now both ex-parrots.   (We watch a lot of Monty Python here at chez woolly.  Please excuse me.)   I've started working on Aptly Named (Nemesis) again, and if I play my cards right I might have that little bastard of a second sock knocked out before February.

I've decided that my major push for this year is the Dr. Who Scarf.  It's been too damn long on the needles, and the Yarn Harlot has recently shamed me.

All of which means, if I finish the Dr. Who scarf and the Aptly Named socks, then I will only have one item on the needles that's more than a year old come March 1st.


(Okay, sure there will still be a whack of new stuff, but those of you who have witnessed Februaries past will surely realize what a coup this will be.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Getting Ready for February

February is for Finishing is looming on the horizon, so its about time to start counting the WIPs, UFOs, Abandoned Projects, and Things that Just Need Kitchenered.

I've done a preliminary search, just in Ravelry, and found ten projects.

Five of which were unfinished at the end of LAST February.  This should be indicative of something, methinks.  At least one of those is outta here (The Lotus Tank).  I'll need to give the rest the hairy eyeball and make some decisions.

I didn't actually quit knitting entirely after March of last year, but I can see that it might look like I did for all the activity around here.  I'm not sure what happened, but blogging stopped being a Thing that I Do.

(The observant amongst you will have no doubt noticed that not blogging is a Thing that I Do fairly frequently.)

Anyways, I have it on my calendar to find all of my projects, and make sure they're all in Ravelry (I know they aren't).   I can think of three more that aren't counted in that 10 I mentioned.   While I'm at it, I'll take some pictures and be back with a proper pre-February is for Finishing update.