Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Jordan

Last month I did what I considered to have been a very sensible knitting decision:  I put aside a wool sweater and cast on a lacey linen top.  Part of me felt a little guilty about this since I'm trying to avoid accumulating another pile of 14 half-finished projects, but with all of the unseasonably warm days this spring, I was reminded that summer is quickly approaching.  My summer wardrobe frankly sucks, and I seem to keep forgetting that finding time to go shopping is much more efficient than attempting to expand my wardrobe through knitting. 

Knitting becomes even more inefficient when you get halfway through the top and put it aside, which is what I did as soon as I finished the body of Jordan.

So for this week's WIPW, I decided I needed to resurrect Jordan from the knitting bag.  With a little focused knitting time, I should be able to finish the first sleeve today.

The trick will be not waiting until July to start the second one.

Visit Tami's Amis for more WIPW!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Diagonal Top

Earlier today I stumbled across Tami's Amis and her work-in-progress Wednesday (WIPW) posts.  Not only does she post her own WIPs, but she links to others who participate along with their own WIPW.  Convenient that I discovered this on a Wednesday, so as of today, I'm in!  It was fun browsing through everyone's WIPs, and since my own WIP pile is starting to grow again, I'm thinking that if I post the projects and acknowledge their existence, I might be able to get my startitis under control?  Maybe?  Probably not.  At the very least, I will devote each Wednesday to working on only the one WIP that is posted.  And maybe, just maybe, one day I'll consider attempting Tami's "finished object Fridays", but that seems a little too daunting right now.

My inaugural WIPW project is the Diagonal Pattern Top I started last week.  This is what I consider a "risky" project--meaning there's probably only a 50/50 shot that I'm going to like the finished top.

Problem #1:  I didn't swatch, and I'm using a fingering weight handspun merino single instead of the worsted weight rayon/milk yarn specified in the pattern.  You'd think the big difference might have pushed me to suck it up and knit a gauge swatch, but no, the desire to cast on a project with this yarn RIGHT NOW means I'm winging it. 

Problem #2:  I'm still not sure that I'm going to like the stripes.  This is the problem with fiber dyed as a slowly transitioning color gradient--tons of fun to spin, but then what?  Shawls are good options, but I wasn't in a shawl mood so I decided to experiment with what I hope will be a lightweight summery top.  A wool short-sleeve summer top?  And not nearly as lacy as I imagined.  See, already some serious red flags.

Problem #3:  The pattern has no shaping.  At all.  I'm switching needles sizes to try to give it a little waist/bust shaping, but since I did no swatching, I really have no idea how this is going to work.

Oh, and there is a good chance I'll run out of yarn.  Or I'll have way too much and never get to the pretty purple.  And yet despite all these issues and doubts, I'm happily knitting away.  Something about ending the  suspense is making me work away furiously.  Well that and because it is just so addicting to get to the next color.

 Visit Tami's Amis for more WIPs!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2012, Day 1

There was yarn.

And fiber.

And fabric that made me wish I knew how to sew.

I heart cute alpaca.

And sort of love these brooms.

I found welsh springer spaniel boxer shorts. Awesome, but why are these at every fiber festival?  And why only ever in size XL?

I almost tried to smuggle this guy out in my tote bag.

But I got distracted by more yarn.

I was a little worried I was getting out of control as I found myself with a full bag and needing to head out the car after only 90 minutes to unload.

I wandered happily for the next couple of hours, and thankfully, the credit card did not make another appearance.

But there's always tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Perfect Storm

What happens if you're a knitter/spinner and your husband goes out of town the same weekend as the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival?  I can't say for certain, although I assume no good can come of it for my bank account or closet space.  Full report after tomorrow!

Meanwhile, I started the fiber-y goodness celebration a bit early by taking the day off work today to take a spinning class at Dragonfly Fibers: "Playing with Color in Spinning with Lauren Haiken".  The fruits of my labor:

I can't wait to put some of what I learned to use on a few (or 20) of the handpainted braids I have stashed away.  I think I'd break into a new one tonight, but I need to keep the bobbins clear for another spinning class on Sunday.  Two spinning classes in three days time combined with shopping at the festival and no one at home to witness my purchases?  Could be very dangerous.  I just hope I don't come home with a sheep.