WIP Wednesday: I Swear It Looks Nicer

https://instagram.com/p/9-NbhVjqN3/Yesterday I started a new project, instead of working on something that was unfinished. There was a little bit of guilt involved, but not too much, because the project I started will be fairly quick and really ought to have been done much sooner. My little sister really liked the Dragon Watcher’s Hood I made for myself, and requested one in a different colour. I agreed to do so if she purchased the yarn. This happened in April and I’ve just been the slowest of slowpokes.

250px-079Slowpoke

This is me, the slowest of all Slowpokes. Crown Princess of keeping yarn for a while and letting other things distract her.

I knew it wouldn’t take me all that long, so I started thinking about it when the weather started to gradually cool off. We’ve had a very long warm season. Even when it was October it really wasn’t chilly enough for hats or mittens, so the demand for a hood didn’t quite pop up. Eventually it started to fluctuate and cool down–at that point a few subtle reminders about the things I promised to make started to flutter my way. I wanted to work on a few other things first, mostly because I had so many things on the needles in various stages of completion, but I knew that I needed to start working on this hood. I considered starting it a few weeks ago, but I realized that my size 15 circular needle tips were on loan to a friend. I could have started it on straights, but that didn’t seem worth it.

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In the Nick of Time

https://instagram.com/p/8_XUAijqBO/I continued working on the over-ambitious baby dress… and I finished it at the last possible moment that I could do so. I was that person at the birthday party with an unfinished project in her tote bag, sitting at the table and sewing nonstop.

There was a significant amount of “knitting black hole” for the skirt portion of the dress. I could see that I was knitting a round and then another, but the progress didn’t actually appear to exist when I measured it. I finished the body of the dress the day before the party and crocheted on the trim. Then I washed it and laid it out to dry while crocheting the flowers it is embellished with. My original plan was to have the darker colour at the center of the flowers and the lighter colour at the outer edge. I reversed the order when assembling the flowers and didn’t have time to go back. I stayed up extremely late working on the flowers.

Rose and Lace Toddler DressI thought I could sew them on in the morning before the party, but I didn’t have time to weave in the ends. My flowers are spaced with a greater density on the front than on the back. I only made 24, as the pattern mentioned, because I just didn’t have time to make any more. I wanted them to be very close on the front portion. I opted for buttons with little ducks on them because the birthday girl likes duckies. It took me basically the whole party to weave the ends in. But at last, it was done! ♥

WIP Wednesday: Deadline Pressure

project_3I am not the only knitter with unrealistic goals, but that doesn’t necessarily make the experience of being trapped in a yarn vortex of my own design any less stressful. I attended Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2015 during the first weekend of October, and had the opportunity to see the yarn kit YarnHarlot made this darling baby dress from–including the dress design on display–at the StevenBe booth. This planted an idea in my mind to knit this dress, but with different colours. I looked up the materials and pattern online, and eventually decided to place my order. Shortly after doing so, I realized that I had to have the dress finished by October 18th. The yarn arrived October 9th.

project_1This is not a reasonable goal. I’m not a slow knitter, but there’s a difference between “knitting with some aptitude regarding speed” and “knitting nonstop at a breakneck pace”. The dress is knit with fingering weight wool on 2.5mm (US size 1) needles. The skirt portion has over 300 stitches per round.

For some reason, the thought of deciding to finish on this project later and going out to buy a present of some kind is totally unacceptable to me. I’ve reached that point of “knitter’s delusion and stubbornness” that is very difficult to rationalize with.

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State of the Stash

I’m musing on the yarn that I own and the projects I want to make, particularly with my upcoming weekend at Vogue Knitting Live! Chicago 2015.

I decided to make a list to keep myself on track and remind myself why I’m not buying yarn at the moment. I have quite enough things to keep me busy at the moment. (In fact, quite enough things to keep me busy for many weeks.)

My current list:
big woolleaf muff (on hold) (in stash)
alpacaflower muff (on hold) (in stash)
yarn from yarn tosslace scarf (in progress) (in stash)
neon mini skeins packlegwarmers (in progress) (in stash)
sock yarn → socks for husband (not started) (in stash)
hooded cape kithooded cape (not started) (in stash)
baby acrylicbaby blanket (in progress) (mom’s stash)
baby acrylicbaby blanket (in progress) (mom’s stash)
big woolhood (not started) (yarn from sister)
alpaca → fingerless gloves (not started) (yarn from sister)
palette mini-skeinscharm bracelet (not started)

So Many WIPs…

Generally speaking, I try to avoid having too many projects in-progress. I don’t like thinking about all those things that I’ve started but haven’t finished yet. Unfortunately, right now I have quite a few WIPs–many more than I would prefer to have ongoing. It might not be very many for others knitters and crocheters who live for the thrill of a new project, but it’s too many for me. Unfortunately, I’m not at a good point to finish any of them up!

My oldest WIP is from July 2014–the tiny wild rose hand puff. It’s a Tiny Owl Knits pattern: tiny violet hand puff. I haven’t made any progress on this since April of this year… because I ran out of yarn and haven’t bought more. It’s easy for me to stall when I have a project that needs more yarn, since I’ve been trying to work down my stash of yarn. I know that it probably would be a good idea to buy more yarn and finish this, but every time I start to buy the yarn I need I can’t go through with it.

That’s the same problem I’ve had with this other muff: forest leaf muff. It dates from the same period as the other hand-cozy, although it’s been on hiatus longer. I also ran out of yarn and haven’t had the motivation to buy more.

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WIP Wednesday: Eternal Scarf

This scarf project originated at the yarn toss for last year’s Vogue Knitting LIVE event. It bounced near my feet in its little organza bag, and a woman standing near me motioned for me to pick it up. At first, I planned to use the yarn included for some other pattern, but then I started to feel a little bit bad for neglecting the free pattern in the bag. Instead, about a month later, I cast on the Robin Scarf.

Now, I’m not sure if that was such a good idea. I have been working on this scarf off-and-on for nearly a year. It is knit on size 0/2mm needles. The yarn is a light fingering. The lace pattern is fairly simple, but it starts to really make my hands hurt after a few hours of it. I’ve made very little progress, always sneaking along a bit at a time, sometimes barely completing a full repeat in one session. I don’t want to pull it out now, but I sometimes wish I had opted for socks instead of this lace scarf. It’s not something I plan to keep for myself; hopefully whoever gets it in the end will love it. They’ll get a lot of my time and effort, that’s for sure.

I finished two pattern repeats for Wednesday. That was all I could stand before I needed to move on to something else. (I also crocheted some coasters and started a hair ribbon.)

Muted Rainbow Seaforth Hat

I first spotted the Seaforth hat pattern on the LoveKnitting Twitter, back in November of 2014. I downloaded the free pattern right away, knowing I’d save it for some future hat. I love making hats, and this hat had the kind of simple repeat that I often opt for. I didn’t have a yarn in mind, but considering what it was originally knit with, I didn’t think there would be a problem substituting something in.

In spring 2015 I bought a single skein of Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in a muted rainbow colorway called “Milky Spite.” I intended it as a spring hat for myself, although I didn’t start on it during the spring of this year. I had my eye on the Tiny Owl Knits pattern Orchids & Fairylights, but I didn’t acquire the pattern until later in the year. (A very, very kind Ravelry user gave it to me as a gift!)

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A Beautiful Shells Blanket

I took a brief hiatus on my projects for a few reasons. The weather over here spiked to fairly high temperatures and some unpleasant humidity. This absolutely kills my desire to knit or have yarn touching me, especially because I don’t have air conditioning in my home. My schedule involved a number of events and activities that made getting some knitting or crocheting time more difficult–including an amazing overseas vacation that I did not want to bring yarn with for. I like packing light, and a blanket like this is not light. I had also never traveled internationally before, and I was very worried about getting things confiscated at the airport. To have peace of mind, I left all the yarn at home.

Before I left I did some intermittent work on the blanket. (It reached the “yarn black hole” stage where I could physically see that I was doing things, but it didn’t appear to actually use up any yarn. This of course meant that when the stage ended I was suddenly very low on yarn and realized it would be wrapping up soon.)

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WIP Wednesday: Crochet Blanket

It’s been very warm lately–even though it’s a much milder summer than previous years. Somehow, on these incredibly warm days (they feel even warmer than they otherwise might; I don’t have air conditioning) all I can think about is making a blanket. I’ve been fixated on making a blanket since the temperature spiked. (Maybe all the weird weather stuff has broken me.) I wanted to start a blanket so much that I contemplated buying yarn for such a project, even though that goes completely against my plan to use my stash.

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WIP Wednesday: Mitten Lining

These aren’t necessarily one of my “longest” projects, but I’ve been working on these mittens off-and-on for a few months now. I’ve taken a number of breaks to work on things such as Mother’s Day gifts, etc. Now that the weather is generally warmer (although it keeps taking a few dips into chillyness, brr!❄️) I’m not as motivated to work on warm hand coverings like mittens… but I also don’t dislike this project, so it’s not torture.

The mittens themselves were finished at the end of April for the first and the end of May for the second. After seeing the Northman Mittens with their cozy alpaca lining, I knew I wanted mittens for myself with cozy alpaca lining. (And it just so happened that I had some appropriate alpaca yarn that I bought from another Ravelry user in the fall of last year!) I’ve never knit lined mittens, but it was easier than I thought–or so I think, I guess, until it’s time to turn the lining into the mitten. That will really be the “moment of truth”!

I decided to knit the thumb of the lining before finishing the rest. I thought it would be easier to weave the ends in. (And I’m glad I did, because it was!) I fiddled some weird increases and decreases for the thumb–they’re not pretty, but it impacts the fit in a good way. I’m not really a fan of thumbs without gussets, so even though the outer mitten lacks a gusset, I tried to insert a small gusset to the lining to avoid too much stretch and wear around the thumb area. I’m really curious to see how it works out~! ♥