Knit Meter

Monday, May 23, 2016

One Down

After my assessment of WIPs and my plan to finish them, I am happy to show a finished project. I hope there will be more by tomorrow but just in case I am posting about the one item now because I have a photo.

But a quick update on the status of the other items. The seaming of the cardigan is finished and just needs the buttons sewn on - which I did purchase this week. The socks are nearly finished; I am working on the cuff which is worked sideways and, unlike the shawl, I can see the stitches disappearing.

The shawl is my finished item so the next project I picked up was the toy which I really should have finished last night apart from the embroidery. Except I made a mistake which was hard to undo. Last night I wanted to sew the front feet on the animal. I'd had trouble working out where they went, worked it out, sewed one on and immediately could see it was wrong. Problem was I couldn't see the stitches to pull it out. That's good for a finished object but not so good for correcting a mistake. I might have been able to fix it in daylight but instead of waiting I cut the knitted part. The foot was knitted in different yarn from the body of the toy so I knew I wouldn't be cutting that. Basically I cut the middle out close to the edge stitches and then worked all the extra yarn out. Once I had done this I had another good look at the body and worked out where the leg was and thus the foot. What I had been doing before was making the foot fit and as it turned out to be bigger than needed I had been fitting it into the wrong place. I will say in my defense that it is not obvious from the shape of the knitting how the front legs were formed.

I finished one of the shawls. I finished the sideways knitted border, soaked and blocked the shawl. I lay the main part flat, pinning the top edge and then stretched the border to show off the design. I am really happy with it, although it is DK weight 80% merino so I do not think I will be wearing it much until the winter months.

The yarn is Black Cat DK by Dye Cauldron, a Canadian dyer who does not seem to be dying anymore. This is the same dyer as the yarn used in this project. I had bought some of the yarn and some was a gift. Once I moved, I had no idea what I was going to make with the yarn. Then I saw a mystery Knit Along starting in March for a shawl using DK weight yarn. I looked at the projects after the fist clue, liked what I saw and decided that it would be an ideal project to take away with me. I wanted to use up all the yarn, I had two skeins in orange and one in brown, and ended up knitting the border 2 1/2 times.

I am really happy with how it came out.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Too Many WIPs

Back in 2013 I explained my ideal number of projects on the go at any one time and how this number can gradually creep up. Also earlier this year I was lamenting that although I was knitting away I was not finishing anything. (This has not been helped by my ripping out the edging on two shawls and completely restarting a cardigan.)

Before vacation I decided to take stock and come up with a better plan to finish things. This was prompted by having two different socks on the go and knowing that I would want to cast on more for future challenges.

So what's the number? Ten - I have 10 unfinished projects. That's it I have admitted my problem and this doesn't include the sewing projects. Although I am pleased to say that they are currently at one cross stitch project and one sewing project, as I don't work on them often I don't let them get out of hand.

Let's look at these ten and see if that is a true number of projects actually being worked on. One of them is the project that has become what I work on at the outdoor concerts, another is a project that requires attention and time spent on it. The longer I leave between working on it the harder it is to get started again and another is the charity project that stays in my handbag. This brings the number down to seven, not so bad but still too many.

I have two shawls, two socks, two cardigans and one toy on the go. Both the shawls need sideways knitted edgings, one cardigan is at the seaming stage and the toy is at the fiddly putting together stage. I had already decided to finish one shawl before starting the other so I applied this to my plan. Choose two projects to work on - one easy, one complicated. When a project is finished, pick up another WIP. Don't start socks for the May challenge; the category is lace which will be repeated every year and I want to knit socks for the June category, which may not be repeated. The two exceptions to the two project "rule" - I can work on the handbag project if I am out of the house; if I have a block of time during the day I can seam the cardigan.

The first two projects I chose were the sideways edging on one of the shawls and the easier of the socks on the go. Why did I choose these two projects to start? The shawl is a newer project started on a recent trip; I had already decided to finish it before the other shawl; it would be nice to finish a newer project; the socks are the only easy project (apart from charity knitting) I have on the go plus there is a chance I can finish them within the challenge deadline.

I am pleased to say that this plan is working. I have very nearly finished the shawl edging (and have not run out of yarn) and I have found time in daylight to seam the cardigan so that is gradually being finished. I can really see a few projects being finished by the end of the month. The problem is going to be when I finish the socks as that is the only easy project I have on the go. I want to finish them by the end of this month and I hope that one of the patterns I want to cast on for the June challenge will count as an easy project.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vacation Knitting

Yes another vacation. This time a trip to the other side of the country with my husband. As I still have plenty of WIPs I decided to take one of those - a complicated looking but not hard sock that I cast on in April for that month's challenge. While away I finished the first sock and started the second one.

I did start a new project. It is a long flight from California to Washington D.C. and I took a new knitting project. I don't know when I last knitted on an airplane; I have always been worried about knitting needles being taken. Yes, I know my crochet hooks were taken in Mexico but that leaves one loose loop, knitting needles being taken would result in many loose loops. Anyway it was one flight within the continental US and I'd heard that knitting needles were acceptable. I needed a new hat for charity so I cast one on just before we left and worked on it on the outward flight.

There's always a bonus on vacation if I can check out a yarn shop and I was happy to do that this trip as I met up with a very good friend who had moved to Virginia a year ago. She had told me that the yarn shops now local to her had a very different selection to the ones local to us so we spent a day together, yarn shopping and chatting.

We went to Fibre Space in Alexandria Virginia and I saw yarn that I had heard about but never seen in person. I was actually quite restrained and did not buy just because. Luckily for my wallet there was some lovely yarn in thicker weights which I knew would not be suitable for my current climate. The yarns I remember seeing were, Hedgehog Fibers but not sock weight; Neighborhood Fiber Company, I was drawn to a red but they only had it in worsted weight; Miss Babs, very hard to make a choice; Hazel Knits, yummy sock yarn. There was other yarn but these are the ones I remember probably because I either bought some or seriously thought about it.

I ended up with one skein of Hazel Knits socks which will become a Christmas pair of socks for hubby.

And two skeins of Miss Babs 3 ply which will become a shawl but no idea of pattern yet.

I also came away with a ball of Juniper Moon Farm Findley that my friend gave me. She had purchased it on the first San Diego yarn crawl because she was branching out from her usual colours but realized this was not her thing but was totally mine. This will go very nicely with the yarn left over from the cardigan I finished recently. If only I could find the pattern I came across on Ravelry recently.