Friday, October 25, 2013

FO Friday: Mittens!

It started with pretty fiber.

Fat Cat Knits Variegated BFL in "Let's Go Crazy"

The fiber became lovely squishy yarn.

275 yards of 2-ply

An impatient knitter bored with all her projects combined with an impulsive cast on and a few hours of knitting, and you get...mittens!

Pattern:  Warmest mittens on Raverly

I know I said I would work on WIPs for the next couple of months, but I really think these mittens need a matching hat.

Happy Friday all!  Visit Tami's for more FO Friday!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Trellis and Vine Sweater

I thought that after eagerly finishing socks and mittens I would be on a roll to clear out more works-in-progress projects.  I was determined to finish stuff, and when I came down from my knitter's high of finished socks, I diligently turned to a sweater-in-progress.  My interest in that lasted only about a day.

Then I cast on a new Honey Cowl.

I cast on 240 stitches, very very carefully joined in the round, and started knitting. About six rows in I finally admitted that I had twisted my join.  I had tried to be so careful, but the cowl will have to be ripped out. 1500 wasted stitches. Obviously not tragic, but I'm taking it as a subtle nudge from the knitting gods: "go back to your WIPs".

Okay, done.  Back to my sweater project. 

This is the Trellis and Vine sweater by Carol Feller from an old Interweave Knits issue (Fall 2009, to be exact).  This sweater and I have already been through a lot of ripping and re-knitting. In August I ripped and re-knit about 5-6 inches of the body, and that finished sleeve you see?  Well, that's the second time I knit it. I think I've finally got all the issues fixed now, and with only half a sleeve left, this one is almost wrapped up.

Maybe a finished sweater will earn me new project blessings?  

Visit Tami's for more WIP Wednesdays!  And see you on Friday with mittens!

Friday, October 18, 2013

OppAtt Socks

All week I've been planning to post mittens today.  The mittens have been finished for days, and while I may not be doing back flips over them, they are very nice mittens.  Nice, but at least for today, neglected.


Pattern:  OppAtt by Jeannie Cartmel
Ravelry Project Page
Yarn:  Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Lubber Grasshopper
Needles: 2.5mm
Cast on: Oct 2
Bind off: Oct 18

I finished grafting the toes and weaving in ends during a conference call this morning.  Even though the second sock had been going rather quickly, I didn't expect to finish the pair until this weekend.  I was so excited to wrap them up this morning that the mittens had to take a backseat.

Happy things:
  1. I finished a pair of socks in 16 days.  That's huge for me.  The last time I knit a pair of socks in two weeks was probably 2010.  These were a nice reminder of a time when I used to get super excited about knitting socks.  I doubt I'll jump right back to busting out 10 pairs a year, but still, it's always nice to remember the good old days.
  2. The finished socks are all one color.  Even after the scale confirmed I was being ridiculous about envisioning socks with half the foot in different yarn, I was still convinced I would need to use different yarn for the toes.  Nope. Finished socks, plenty of yarn.
  3. I really never liked the first socks I knit with this yarn, and I hate waste.  Those socks in my drawer were a constant annoyance, and yet if you're a product knitter like yours truly, ripping out perfectly good finished socks is not easy to force yourself to do.  But I did it.  I have way better socks to show for that perseverance. 

Pattern notes:  Very little to say about the pattern.  It's free, clearly written, and straightforward.  I haven't had patience lately for complicated patterns, so this fit my mood pretty well.  There was enough going on to keep things interesting but nothing that required much thought.  The pattern is another one that's been in my Ravelry queue for years.  I'm loving clearing some of these out of there. Almost as satisfying as knitting down stash. Now that the socks are finished, I realize there are a few things I don't love about the design.  Like the way the cables merge together on the side into a tree trunk looking thing.

Or that narrow strip of reverse stockinette on part of the heel flap.  But, whatever.  Teeny tiny quibbles not worth wasting energy on.  Instead, I'm smiling just thinking about finished socks.  Buttery soft finished socks in luscious yarn.

Visit Tami's for more FO Friday!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It turns out that the cure for my personal problems with startitis is posting a pile of half-knit projects to this blog.  One minute all I wanted was to find new projects to start, but the second my last post went public, a light switch flipped somewhere in my head. Now I want to finish stuff.  Finish all the knitting!

With my new found determination, I forced myself to confront what I believed to be impending doom for my sock project.  I was sure I was running short of yarn, knew I didn't want half the foot in a different color, and was starting to warm up to the idea of just ripping the first sock and putting this project out of its misery.

I really should have weighed the sock and remaining yarn before freaking out.  The scale changed everything.

The first sock (about 2 inches away from starting the toe): 33 grams.

The yarn still left on the this first skein: 13 grams.
The second skein of yarn: 34 grams.

Well, hell, that's not so bad. I still expect to need different yarn for the toes, but I can live with that.  I decided to put the first sock aside and start the second so I can get both socks to the same place before dividing up that remaining 13 grams of yarn.  I expected slow knitting and slogging through little by little. In fact, the whole idea of my finish-by-the-end-of-the-month goal seemed ridiculously optimistic.

I was wrong.  Really wrong. I cast on the second sock Monday afternoon.  It's, uh, going pretty well.

Two days = three-quarters of a sock.  I can't explain that at all.  All I know is that I can't put the sock down. Must. Finish. Socks.

The important lesson for the day--blogging keeps my knitting on track.  It would be good for me to remember this lesson.  But right now I'm going back to my sock.  I've been getting twitchy if I'm away from it for too long.

Visit Tami's for more WIP Wednesday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


I got a flu shot last week so I'm apparently safe from the flu for the next year, but what I really need someone to invent is a cure for startitis (come on brilliant medical researchers, the knitters of the world need YOU).  I've got a wicked case.

One day I was happily knitting away on my new sock project, and then BAM, I hit the gusset decreases (my least favorite part of socks), and everything fell apart.  In two days time, I cast on three new projects.

In my defense, I did finish one of them the same day.

Pattern:  Calorimetry. Yarn is some of my handspun (Ravelry linky)

I'm not thrilled with it. It's a little big, the fit is awkward, and I'm fairly certain I will never use it.  It's probably only a day or so away from disappearing into a drawer for years.

Despite the finished headband, my flurry of new projects is still not a good trend.  Yesterday, I cast on a new cowl in the morning. I was unhappy about it almost instantly.

Yarn is a recent handspun skein.

Those few rows have already been ripped, the yarn is back in the closet, and last night, I started new mittens instead. Less than 12 hours later and already decent progress.

Also knit in some recent handspun.

Speedy project to be sure, and believe it or not, but that is actually an adult-size mitten.  Unfortunately, I'm not exactly in love with this project either.  I put it aside before starting the thumb and went back to the original sock.

I managed to finish the gusset decreases, but I'm getting more and more concerned that I'm going to run out of yarn. The skeins from the ripped socks definitely looked small but I figured the leftovers I started the project with would make up the difference, and the plan was to stop knitting before the toe so that if I'm short on yarn, I can knit the toes in a different color.  I'm worried now that I won't even get that far. Impending yarn shortage and the possibility of socks with half the instep in different yarn makes me want to bury this project away and forget about it.  Forever.

So I've worked on four different projects in as many days, and I'm disgruntled with all of them for one reason or another.  I'm seriously considering forgetting them all for the night and cruising Ravelry for patterns because clearly if you hate all your projects, the only solution is to start MORE.

The practical side of me will probably win out and I'll go back to the socks or mittens.  Especially since I just remembered all the other languishing projects.

Uh, ops?  Not feeling proud of myself at the moment....maybe some finished mittens will help that?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Finished Object Friday: Brainless Socks

Trying to get back in the swing of the whole blogging thing.  This time with yarn!

Pattern:  Brainless by Yarnissima
Yarn:  Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight
Needles: 2.5mm

Not the best project to rejuvenate the blog though.  There's very little to say.  The most exciting thing about this project is that I used up yarn I bought in 2009.  That's probably only exciting to me, huh? I'm determined to knit up some of my older stash yarn. But I've been determined for a few years.  Still, progress is progress, and there is one less skein in the sock yarn drawer now.  Not much else to say about this project. They're socks.  I knit them.  The end.

Moving on.

It's October (although I'm not sure Mother Nature got the memo) which usually means that I'm in full "knit down the all the WIPs" mode. I do really really want to finish up the half-knit projects lingering in the knitting drawers, but I suspect this year will not be as productive as last year.  After finishing the Brainless socks, I did not pick up other socks that are half done.  Or one of the sweaters stuffed in project bags.  Instead, I cast on a new sock.

I can't even claim to be using up stash with this project.  Although I'm not using new yarn either. I started the sock with a small ball of leftover yarn from these.

I really never liked these socks and the yarn is just way too yummy to waste on socks that didn't leave the sock drawer all year.  I've been thinking I should rip them out for months.  Yesterday I finally did.  It's amazing how fast a finished sock can turn into a heap of curls.

Even more amazing is what a little water will do.

I'm off to soak the second skein and wind up the first so I can continue on with my new project.

Visit Tami's for more FO Friday!