Tag Archive | WIPs

Happy Socks

This might be the fastest pair of socks I’ve ever made: a week from start to finish! These were the project I worked on 90% of the time last week, and there were concerts and other things where I could sit and knit while listening. Plus they were totally mindless knitting, which is perfect for me right now.

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I did my usual 64 stitches, a 1″ ribbed cuff, then 3 plain rows before going into a simple slipped-stitch heel. I was using up two scrap balls of sock yarn and the only tricky part was trying to use the variegated (Hedgehog Fibres in Medusa) evenly between the two socks.

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I failed, because I wasn’t clever enough to weigh the ball before I started. Next time I’ll definitely do that. These aren’t evenly balanced; there’s a bigger green (Madtosh in Sea Glass) toe on one than the other. But that doesn’t bother me too much. I think I’ll still love wearing these. I especially like having the bright colored accents, which makes me think I need more solid colors in sock yarn.

Today will be spent on a brand-new lace shawl project and then I’ll pull out a sock WIP that’s been languishing (poor sock monkey socks) for this week’s travel knitting. Happy Sunday, friends!

Working on WIPs

I’m actually knitting things other than socks right now, can you believe it? I mean, yes, I do have two pairs of socks on the needles right now, but I also have two other projects! One is my brainless knitting, and it’s appropriately called Easy, by Martina Behm. I had two skeins of gorgeous Madelinetosh DK and I wanted to be able to appreciate the colors, and enjoy the feel of it as I knit along in garter stitch. I’m maybe halfway through the first skein; this is what I pick up at night when my brain is tired but my fingers want to knit.

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When my brain isn’t tired, I pick up my Arya wrap, which is more complicated with lace color changes and repeats. It’s not difficult, but I do have to concentrate. I love the shape of this one, asymmetrical with pointy ends.

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This yarn is Bamboo Pop and the cotton/bamboo means it will be the perfect wrap for late spring, and cool summer nights. Plus, in black and white, it will be striking and versatile. I’m a little bit concerned that it will be shorter than I want, because the pattern is telling me to start the decrease sections now, but it doesn’t seem long enough. I know blocking will help, but I’d hate to knit the whole thing and then not be happy with it. What do you think: trust the pattern, or try to modify for extra length?

While I ponder the Arya problem, I have a second sock that’s coming right along and is just about ready for a heel flap. These have been my lunch break knitting and I’m eager to have them done for spring.

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Yarn is Madtosh Sock in Seaglass (LOVE!) and pattern is Mapleridge. I think I can get the heel and gusset done this weekend so that they’re ready for easy foot knitting next week.

Happy weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to lots of knitting and laundry! (Okay, no, not looking forward to doing the laundry. But looking forward to an excuse to stay in PJs, and having clean clothes.)

 

 

 

 

Not My WIPs

We recently conquered our attic. The attic is finished, with two rooms up there. One is the girl’s bedroom, and the other had ended up as a storage room/dumping ground. It was a mess and a waste of space. The girl had mentioned wishing it could be a music room, so when the kids and I had a snow day a couple of weeks ago we decided to tackle it. She had important other stuff to do (scholarship apps and homework) so the boy and I started without her.

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He packed up Legos and Star Wars toys while I bagged trash and carried a bunch of pieces of wood down three flights of stairs. Once his part was done, he helped me with some of the stuff going in the trash, and then I was on my own. I sorted, filed, tidied, and organized the space, and by the end of the day, the girl had her music room. She was delighted!

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Anyway, amongst all of the assorted stuff the girl had discarded in that room, I found yarn! And needles! And…knitting?? Yep, back when she was still interested in knitting, she’d cast on five projects, and they’d all been discarded in various stages. I rescued everything yarn-related and relocated it to my craft room where I could keep it safe, and assessed the projects in front of me. One was a lace cowl with just a few rows, and she had no idea what pattern she’d used. That one got frogged and I’ll make something for her out of the yarn. One was a fingerless glove, and the rest were hats. I like knitting hats. I miss knitting hats. So the glove got set aside and the hats came downstairs and added to my own pile of WIPs. Last weekend when I needed a break from my own projects, I picked up and finished two of hers.

This one was a simple striped slouch hat in acrylic. It felt like Red Heart super saver, and if it hadn’t been so far along, I might have just frogged it. But I liked the colors and it was ready for decrease rounds, so I went with it, and it was done in about an hour.

 

I’m pretty sure this yarn is Manos del Uruguay Maxima; I love it. She didn’t know what pattern she’d started, and after the ribbed brim I saw two rows of stockinette, then one row of k2, p2. I could work with that. It ended up as a great beanie with a waffle pattern and if she doesn’t wear it, I might steal it.

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This last hat WIP is a Sockhead, and it was maybe two inches into the 4″ brim, so I’ll save that for when I need truly mindless knitting, like concerts or movies, things like that. Obviously she’s in no rush for any of these! If you look closely, you can see where I picked up. She’s a very tight knitter, and I am not.

Have you ever finished projects for someone else?

WIP Wednesday: Sweater Progress

The sweater WIP is still going, and I’m enjoying it more than my first sweater experience. I love my Harvest cardigan, but so much stockinette is just not my favorite knitting. So this new one, the Textured Pullover, is a 10-row repeat that keeps me going with color changes and alternating stockinette rows with k1, p1 rows. I zipped right through the yoke, discovered my stitch counts were wrong because I’d put my BOR marker in the wrong place, frogged about 10 rows, knit them again, and was finally able to put the sleeve stitches on waste yarn.

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Look at this pretty raglan sleeve detail!

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I’m not convinced it’s coming out big enough to fit me, but if not, I’ve got a girl who might wear it.

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Now I’ve just got about a foot of the body to knit, and it makes for perfect knitting while I watch the Olympics!

A New…Sweater??

Well, apparently I’m crazier than I realized. After knitting my first sweater last year, I said I never wanted to do it again. Getting gauge, determining size, having enough yarn, miles of endless stockinette, the hassle of sleeves…why would I want to do that again?

I still don’t know the answer, but I now have a new sweater on my needles. I was browsing Ravelry the other day and was overwhelmed by the urge to make a pullover. I didn’t want to have to buy yarn for it, though, which limited my options. Since I never committed to being a sweater knitter, I don’t buy sweater quantities of anything. That made my decision easier, because all I had available was some value-pack acrylic from Joann. (I know, I know, I prefer natural fibers too! But this is pretty good acrylic, feels soft and not too plastic-y. And I’ll be able to machine wash and dry without worrying.) I had 2100 yards each of purple and gray, more than enough for a pullover. Once I put all the filters into Ravelry, I started browsing and the only one that caught my eye was this Textured Pullover by Joji Locatelli.

My gauge came out pretty darn close on the first try, close enough that I was willing to take the risk. I decided to do gray with purple stripes, and cast on over the weekend. It was exciting! My first pullover! The short rows, never my favorite, went smoothly and the yarn was pleasant to knit with. The textured pattern is perfect, because it’s not all stockinette so I’m not getting bored out of my mind. The stripes help a lot with that, too. For the last few days, I’ve thought about this project when I wasn’t knitting on it, and it’s the only thing I worked on at home. Last night I was so excited because I got to the point where I was ready to divide for the sleeves, and just to double-check, I counted my stitches. They’d all been right after each previous section, so I felt confident. Wrong. My stitch counts were all wonky.

I went back and re-read the pattern, looked at my sweater, and realized that my BOR marker wasn’t in the right place. Somehow, mine was between the back and the left sleeve, and it was supposed to be between the back and the right sleeve. Nope, I don’t know what I did wrong. And yep, it made a difference, because for the last 10 rows, I’d been increasing the sleeves when I was supposed to be increasing the front and back. ARGH. There was no way I was going to frog back farther than absolutely necessary, so I found a smaller needle and threaded it through the stitches of the row where I wanted to start over, and frogged back all 10 rows that I’d just knit. By then it was after 10 and I was tired and annoyed, so I set it aside. But all day today I’ve been thinking about it, waiting for when I can get home and get it all straightened out. I think this sweater is going to be finished a lot faster than my first sweater, and with any luck, it’ll fit better too. And if it’s happily ever after, then I’ll feel confident enough to buy a sweater quantity of GOOD yarn! (Malabrigo, here I come!)

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Warrior Shawls

I have gone off socks, it would seem. Don’t worry, it’s temporary, I’m sure. I’ve been working on a pair that has not been very fun, not intuitive for me, which means I have to put more mental effort into it and then it’s not good travel/lunch time knitting. And the pattern insisted I cast on more stitches than I usually do, so I’m worried it won’t even fit after going through all the trouble. And even if it does, I’m already dreading the second sock. And now that I’ve verbalized all of that, I’m wondering why I’m not frogging it and picking another pattern. I did use a hot pink contrast yarn, and I cut the yarn after the cuff and heel, but if I reused it for a pattern with fewer stitches, it should be fine, right? Right. Anyway, I needed a break from socks, so I’ll worry about that another day.

In the meantime, I’ve got a mindless cowl on my needles. It’s the Chunky Basketweave Cowl and I’m using gorgeous ivory Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca, which is some of the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve used in a long time. It is very splitty, but I can work with that. I want it to be long enough to wear doubled, and I’m using smaller needles to make a denser fabric, so I started out with a cast-on of 180 stitches. That was too short, so I frogged and started over with 200, and that should be just right. I can’t wait to wear it when the temperatures cool down!


And for fun knitting that makes me think, I’ve been working on my two new shawls. The Rainbow Warrior is addictive. I’m so glad I waited until I could get the beautiful Miss Babs yarn, because I’m in love with how it’s turning out. I’m already planning other color variations! (Gray with purple variegated and black with rainbow are the top two, I think.) I’m on slipped-stitch section four of eight, so it’s coming along nicely.


Then there’s Wonder Woman. I took a short break because it was time to do wrap & turn short rows, which I’d never done before, and I was a little nervous. But last night I decided I didn’t want to wait forever for my wrap and just pushed through and did it, and it looks great, IMHO! It wasn’t hard at all, just fiddly, and I had to really pay attention to where I was in the pattern. I did mess up, because I somehow hecked up my stitch counts (off by three stitches), so the row after my triangle was a little tricky as I fudged to get the counts back to where they were supposed to be. I think it’ll be okay. Thank goodness it’s just garter stitch and not a complicated lace pattern.


So those are my WIPs for the week, but I’m already itching to cast on another new shawl! And as soon as the temps drop a little bit more, it’ll be time to pull out the alpaca for cowls. Fall is the best time for knitters, I think. So much delicious anticipation!

Zuzu’s Petals

I started the week on a high note, finishing my Zuzu’s Petals cowl on Sunday. It was a fast knit, but not quite simple enough for lunchtime knitting. I could definitely see myself making another one. It seemed a little small at first, but then, through the magic of blocking, it became the perfect size, and quite magnificent!


I love the lace, the points, the colors. I love how easy it is to wear, giving you the look of a shawl with the ease of a cowl. This was the perfect way to use this special skein, a souvenir yarn from our first college visit with the girl.

Pattern is Zuzu’s Petals. Yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino DK, in color 206. I used about 3/4 of the skein, and that was adding two rows at the end too. I’m not sure I’d make it any bigger.

Something else fun: when I finished this project, I officially had zero WIPs! It was the craziest feeling. It was satisfaction in a job well-done, plus the exhilaration of knowing I could cast on for whatever I wanted with no guilt. I don’t know if I’ll ever experience it again, and it didn’t last long: I cast on a new sock Sunday night, so I’d have it ready for Monday lunchtime knitting.

Have you ever finished all your WIPs at one time?