Tag Archive | WIPs

Weekend WIPs

With my shawl done, I decided to sit down with my (analog) knitting journal and make an updated list of WIPs on my needles. I was pretty surprised to find that I only had three: the boy’s long gray sock, the Oxbow cardigan, and the scrappy sock yarn blanket. That’s not much at all, and there were some definite gaps in my knitting needs, so I felt justified in casting on a few new projects.

Of course I needed a fun sock for me, so I cast on a basic ribbed sock using my newest sock yarn from last week. And I wanted a delicate lace project in the mix, so I pulled out this gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Mora and cast on a Gris de lin cowl. It’s “100% pure mulberry silk” and I just recently wrote a piece for work about research being done with silkworms, which eat only the leaves of mulberry trees. Even the name, Mora, is connected, as the scientific name for the silkworm is Bombyx mori. It’s not often my work at a research institute overlaps with my knitting! And finally, I cast on the Mad Mini Wrap (Rav link) with the mini kit from Wonderland Yarns & Frabjous Fibers. It’s all garter stitch, knit until the yarn is gone, so that might be my favorite mindless knitting for a while.

The cowl was more of an adventure to get started. The pattern says to cast on 108 with size 4 needles. I chose 16″ circs, thinking that of course a cowl would be at least 16″ around. It was tight, so I knit the first round flat to loosen it up. Still too short for the circs, so I switched to 12″ circs. They were a better length but the metal tips were super slippery with the silk yarn. It was only then that I went and looked at project notes on Ravelry and discovered that the cowl is designed to only be around 14″ in diameter. (Yes, I would have known before if I had read my pattern more carefully. Whatever. Who designs a cowl to be so tiny?) Heck that! I’m not sure that would go around my head anyway. So I frogged, learning that of course the silk is quick to knot and tangle, and cast on again with more stitches. With any luck, that will be the only hiccup with that project. And now I’ve probably jinxed myself. Heck. Oh well. Happy Sunday, friends.

First FO, First Frog

Though I’m not making any resolutions or picking out words or anything like that, I did start the new year wanting to assess the state of things in my life, and that included my WIPs. I didn’t carry over too many, six I think, but one was giving me grief. It was a Round and Round cowl in a skein of black and white Biscotte Yarns sock yarn that I’d cast on in March of last year. It was looking lovely but by January 1, I’d only used 40 of the 100 grams of yarn and I hated working on it. It was just so BORING. The same row over and over, all in black and white. It’s one of those things I know I’d probably wear a lot, if I could just make myself knit it! But rather than let the lovely yarn languish, I frogged the cowl and re-wound the yarn, and I’m hoping to find a better pattern for it, perhaps knit in a large shawl with a fun color?

Hidden in my WIPs was a little project I’d forgotten about, another drawer liner for a wooden pen cabinet I have. It was the last one and I wanted to get it in the drawer, so I made that a knitting focus this week. It’s a simple 9×12 rectangle with ribbed ridges to hold the pens, so it works up very quickly, and now it’s drying after its bath.

My other focus, and my main one now that the liner is done, is my Hope and Feathers shawl. Like most of my WIPs, it was begun a few months ago and then went into hibernation. I was a little over halfway done, and I think I can get it done by the end of the week. January almost always means a case of Finish-itis for me!

I’ve also done a massive book purge, pulling out probably 100 books from my overflowing library that I will take to our local Half Price Books. These are all books that I’ve read and kept just because I liked them, and I decided that if I won’t reread them and don’t have a sentimental attachment to them, they need to find new homes. I think I will be glad I did this the next time we move, even if we do still have about five full bookcases. What can I say, we like books! Also related to books, I’m determined to start dedicating more time in my days to reading. I get so obsessed with knitting that I don’t want to put it down long enough to read! But I miss reading, and I have three full shelves of To-Be-Read books that I want to slowly clear out. I’ve read two already: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, and The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin. Both were marvelous. I highly recommend Fiona Davis’s books, especially if you like a little history in your fiction.

I hope the new year is treating you well so far!

Sock It To Me Monday

The title is a little bit misleading: I have no sock to show you. I have no sock progress to show you, though my Tainted Love sock is growing and I’m halfway through the foot. Instead, I will share with you my sad sock story: my Christmas socks itch my feet!

I wore my newest WYS self-striping socks yesterday and by the time 5 pm came around, I couldn’t keep them on any longer, they just felt so itchy and prickly. And I have three pairs of WYS Christmas socks! Guys, I was so sad I immediately went to Etsy and bought this yarn from Two Sisters Yarn Co. I WILL have Christmas socks, by golly! Now I have to decide whether to gift them to someone else or keep them and just plan on wearing them for short durations.

In better news, I did finish a lingering WIP over the weekend. When my second Oxbow swatch did not give me the desired results, I was discouraged and needed a win, so I pulled out my ripple bralette that only needed straps and binged the last season of Schitt’s Creek while I finished it.

Though this mannequin is a smaller size than I am, I am happy to report that it does fit me. It’s not perfect: the body is about an inch too long and the straps maybe 1/2″ too long. But certainly wearable … assuming I can wear the wool against my skin. It’s Malabrigo, which I can easily wear as scarves and socks, so maybe it will be okay. Anybody have any magic wool wash suggestions to help make itchy things less itchy?

Frog or not?

While my second Oxbow gauge swatch was drying after being blocked (I know! I did a proper gauge swatch!) I pulled out a lace cowl that I’ve had on the needles since mid-August. It is languishing, I must admit. It’s Malabrigo Arroyo in a beautiful purple/pink shade but it grows SO SLOWLY. I think I’m used to worsted and bulky cowls so this sport weight is taking much longer. Plus it’s lace, and it’s a 32-row repeat. And that presents another issue: last night I got to the bottom of the first page of the pattern and thought that was the end of the repeat, so I started again with row 1. I got three rounds in before I realized that I’d only done 24 rows of the 32-row lace pattern. Heck.

Now I’m not even sure I want to keep working on this project. I don’t want to frog back those rounds. I know the error won’t be noticeable when I’m wearing it, but the principle of the thing is annoying me. Plus, I never find myself eager to work on this project; it’s always “Okay, I guess I better do some more of that one.” That’s the biggest red flag, isn’t it? This just might not be the right combination of yarn and pattern. What do you think: frog or not?

WIP Wednesday: Ripple Bralette

My Dissent Cowl is done and blocked, but I need to get proper photos before I share it. Once I finished that, I resisted the urge to cast on something new and instead pulled out a WIP, my Ripple Bralette. I’d gotten most of the body done so I finished the last half-inch of that, then slid the stitches onto waste yarn so I could try it on.

Good news: it fit! This is my second attempt at the bralette, and I didn’t check gauge, so I’m pretty pleased this is working out. I’ve got the right front done and just started the icord strap. I’ll need to try it on again to figure out how long I want the straps, but I can get a good bit of the strap done first.

Yesterday the puppers had an adventure: our neighbor’s dog came over for a play date! They keep their dogs on chains in the yarn, since they don’t have a fence, and the young dog loves our dogs and loves to dig. She started a hole under our fence a few weeks ago, and we told them about it and they filled it up. But ha, guess what? She did it again, and this time she did it deep enough to wiggle under. The first time, on Monday, she wasn’t over very long and the neighbors said they’d put her on the shorter lead. Yesterday, she pulled the stake out of the ground and came back. Thankfully, my dogs were friendly, and they all had a marvelous time running around. I think I might need to invite her back for a sanctioned play date!

The white one is the bonus dog.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Friday Feelings

I have zero FOs this Friday. Not really any that are very close either, though if I have some solid knitting time this weekend, I might get through one of them. I’ve been focusing on a shawl with some new review yarn (early review: it’s scrummy, as Mary Berry would say). It’s aran weight so you’d think it would go quickly, but my brain has been tired at night the last couple of weeks. It’s a good thing, though: I’ve been doing more writing/ content creation stuff at work, and even though it’s taxing my brain, it’s so good. It’s so much more fulfilling than just doing social media stuff. So cross your fingers that this trend carries on!

Anyway, shawl. It’s also a black yarn, and I am old so my eyes need good light for black yarn, especially when it comes to lace. Last night I was zooming along but lost track of which row I was on, and I just didn’t want to deal with trying to read my stitches in black yarn at 9 pm. That’s my goal for today, because I’m on the home stretch with this one and I’d like to be done soon!

You might think I’d like to be done so I can return to current WIPs. Maybe. Or maybe I want to cast on something with some new Malabrigo Rasta??

A cowl with this would be fast! And perfect for the fall weather that’s looming. But yes, I’d also go back to WIPs. I’d like to finish Tubbs so I can move on to new sock yarn. I always have new sock yarn calling my name. And I’ll also spend some time on my new LEGO set. I’ve embraced LEGOs as therapy for when I’m feeling anxious or stressed and I have a big new set waiting for me!

Honestly, I struggle with buying these, as much as I love them. I abhor what JKR has said about trans people, and I worry about doing anything that might support her or make other people think I support the views she espouses. But I have so much love for the HP world itself, the movies are serious comfort movies for me, and I have a lot of great memories with my kids that involve the HP world. So I am conflicted, seriously conflicted. I was talking about it at dinner the other day, and the boy had a great suggestion: donate to a trans rights organization as well.

Today I googled “trans rights charities” and donated to GLSEN: “GLSEN believes that every student has the right to a safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. We are a national network of educators, students, and local GLSEN Chapters working to make this right a reality.”

They’re both small actions in the grand scheme of things, but I do like the balance I feel with the donation.

That’s my weekend sorted: knitting and LEGOs! Fine, and a few chores too. Anyone doing anything fun this weekend?

WIP Wednesday: Mini Shawl

Despite my best efforts to the contrary, apparently I am still a monogamous knitter. I know, I cast on about seventy-five new projects last week, and yet the only one I’ve spent much time with is my Hundred Acre Shawl. I really think it’s because I’m using the mini skeins and just keep wanting to get to the next color. This yarn is from Molly Girl Yarn, and I think the color set is called Jazz.

1E038BF1-18DA-4905-BDF8-DACBD2D36BB1_1_201_aI just started color four of five and it still seems a bit … mini? I’m really hoping it blocks out to a wearable length. If it does, this is a pretty good pattern for minis, because the small size is marked by percentages. Since I have five skeins, I just marked the rows at 20% increments. But when I got to that first 20%, I still had some color A left, so I did a baby fade with alternating two rows of A and B. That meant I had even more of Color B left at 40%, and so on. Basically, it means that if I want to use as much of the last color (the pink) as possible, I’ll probably be adding in a few extra rows, which will mean guesstimating how many rows I can add without running out of yarn. We’ll see what happens. This shawl is very much a “what the heck” shawl. It’s full of mistakes and shrugs and “eh, it’ll be fine” moments. And I’ll never notice once it’s blocked and around my neck!

Today is National Dog Day. I have a few of those, as you know. Grace was up and barking at 5:10 am, wanting to celebrate early. But despite that, and all the worries and annoyances and messiness they bring, I’m pretty happy to have them in my life.

 

Happy Wednesday, friends.

No Alliteration Thursday

I’ve got nothing clever for a title today, friends. Work is kicking my ass emotionally this week and I’m staying afloat by casting on all the things. Here are my four pretty new projects:

Left to right: Sailing, Thoughful Cowl, Manos del Uruguay Alegria sweater swatch, Hundred Acre Wood (Rav link).

I like knitting. Knitting is good. And it is almost Friday, and Fridays are also good, because they are right next to Saturday! Also, we finished season three of The Crown last night and now I need another delightful British show to watch. Any suggestions?

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WIP Wednesday

You know how I mentioned that I wanted to cast on something new because I finished my sock project? I kind of took that to the extreme, and now my WIP Wednesday is a little crazy!

img_8465Yeah, I wound all that yarn yesterday. It will become one gradient wrap, one half-circle shawl, one sweater gauge swatch, two asymmetrical shawls, and one pair of socks. Eventually. It was super fun though, spending the time winding and then deciding patterns and pulling out the right needles, and putting them all in project bags. My knitting cart is now FULL of projects ready for knitting at a moment’s notice, with so much variety that I should always be able to find something I want to knit. Of course, after all that, I was a little tired and didn’t have much knitting time, so I actually only cast on two of those six projects. But I’m looking forward to starting the rest!

The other big project yesterday was a new grill. Our old grill, which has been around pretty much all 23 years of our married life, wouldn’t light on Sunday. Last night, the husband went and picked up an awesome new grill and spent over two hours assembling it. He hooked it up to the propane tank … and it wouldn’t light. After going out to get a new tank, we discovered the problem all along was a faulty valve on the tank, and not the grill at all! I think the husband thought I would be upset that we spent the money “needlessly”, but honestly, we were so due for an upgrade. And if this means he’ll happily continue to cook dinner more often, I’m all for it!

Happy Wednesday, friends.

New project

I cast on a new cowl yesterday. Yes, I know I said I was going to work on my current WIPs. And I kind of am! I pulled out a cowl that had been snoozing for quite a while. It was a worsted weight bandana-style cowl in some yummy Frosting Worsted by Delicious Yarns. I pulled the pattern up and remembered why it had been snoozing: the pattern had a couple of errors. They weren’t huge, but they were in two rows, it was a paid pattern, and I’d messaged the designer, and she’d said she was going to update the pattern within a week. That was three months ago. Again, they weren’t huge errors and I could have kept going by marking the pattern where the errors were, but when I pay $6 for a pattern and the designer is aware of errors and doesn’t fix them, well. I get annoyed and I’m not going to knit that pattern. So there! It got frogged and rewound and I cast on for the Lydian cowl.

A947612E-B6D3-4B7D-AD9A-5DA6923F1451_1_201_aI did try yesterday to get photos of my new sweater, but man, that pink is hard to photograph. I’m going to try again today since it’s overcast. Happy Friday, friends, and Happy Juneteenth.