Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still 6 Rows To Go

And another evening out with truly wonderful, but (alas) non-knitting, friends instead of knitting.

That's it, I'm just going to have to start converting people.

....Come toward the light....there is wool and mohair there....you will be warm.....and have great sweaters.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Only 6 Rows Left On Number 5....

....but we were out with friends tonight and I have had zero time to knit. I know what you're thinking--if I recruited them as knitters I could have done both tonight.

Same thing crossed my mind....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WIP Knitters--Look Away!

If you are participating in the WIP-finishing contest, this post is not going to be helpful at all.

The lovely Hibiscus for Hope pattern is now available. Ramona has designed the luscious sock pattern as a thank-you gift for those who sponsor her in a walk to raise money for breast cancer. To get a copy of the pattern, you can sponsor Ramona here. There's a place on the form where you can specify that you would like the pattern, and give her your email address so she can send you a copy.

If this:
doesn't make it tempting enough for you, consider

According to the CDC, in 2004 (the most recent year numbers are available),
  • 186,772 women and 1,815 men were diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 40,954 women and 362 men died from breast cancer
Supporting research to cure any type of cancer is one of the most heroic deeds humans are capable of achieving. Let's make it a thing of the past--not the future.

Monday, July 28, 2008

13 Rows To Go On Number 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recognize this?MS3 - started over a year ago.

13 rows to go, and this bad boy is done!!!

And do you want to know the best part? WHEN IT'S DONE I GET TO ADD 1000 YARDS TO MY STASH-BUSTING TALLY!!!!!

I knew somewhere in the universe was something that would finally motivate me to finish MS3. Turns out it took the Year of the Stash AND the WIP marathon to force me into it, but it's going to be done!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

WIP Number 4 Done!!!!!

Aside from needing a button (which will have to wait until the spending ban is over), Sitcom Chic is DONE!!!!!!
So, my 4th WIP in a row has been finished! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And even better, I haven't found any more WIPs lurking any where. That's a nice feeling

Callisto seems to be enjoying the huge WIP pile,

but I find it a little intimidating. Still, there's one less of them.

YAY!!!!!!!

So, how is everyone else doing?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh My Goodness! There Are More!!!!!!

So last night I was cleaning the sewing room--obviously not having yet learned that cleaning is never really a good thing--and I found yet another knitting bag, which was holding this:
Besides a giant yarn snarl, I found this:
an ABC sweater from Debbie Bliss's Nursery Knits that I started for a future niece or nephew who was ultimately miscarried and I put away because I didn't have the heart to work on it any longer. Enough time has passed--and the fact that I now have 8 healthy nieces and nephews plus 2 "honoraries"--to make this an acceptable project again.

I also found two green baby sweater pieces, and my first thought was "Wonderful! It's almost done!" Then I noticed:
Not parts of the same sweater. What possessed me to start & abandon 2 sweaters in the exact same yarn is anyone's guess. I just hope I wasn't making them for specific children, as the intended recipients would now be of school age & way too large for either of them.

So, since I'm keeping score now, that is 24 WIPS without casting on a darn thing. Has anyone else noticed I'm not making any progress here???

Friday, July 25, 2008

WIP It! WIP It Good!!!

As I am a bit young for Devo, I'm guessing most people aren't going to even remember that one, but I thought it was fun.

Of course, I've been slogging through rows & rows of stockinette today,so my threshold for humor is really low right now. I did use up another 2 balls of yarn (73--YAY!), but I when I got to the point where I just couldn't continue, I decided to pull out the heavy artillery. This
is just missing the neck ribbing, buttons, and snaps and it will be the fourth WIP in a row that I have finished. I was hoping to hold out a little longer before resorting to this, but

I'm casting off the ribbing now and will add the buttons and snaps tomorrow. Maybe I'll force myself to alternate a few rows of stockinette for every few stitches I cast off. I respond REALLY well to bribery!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Note To Self:

* Rows & rows of stockinette stitch may not actually be the best way to keep myself dedicated to existing WIPs.

* Having a few hats or large-gauge scarves in progress so there would have been some quick-finish WIPs would have been a good idea.

* Working on one project at a time and finishing it before moving on to the next project might actually be fun and I should really try it sometime.

* If I know I'm likely to cheat on a resolution, it's best to line up witnesses.

* Working on existing projects may not be as much fun as randomly casting on new projects whenever I feel like it, but I'm going to be REALLY well dressed this fall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WIP Marathon Continues!!!!!

So far, Jennifer might be our front-runner in the WIP contest, having finished 5 so far. I think I'm going to be making two or three divisions--small projects versus large projects, and maybe a third for crochet. I want to make the contest fair enough to keep everyone motivated. So, no one get discouraged! We're all in this together and all projects will count!

I have spent tonight undoing & redoing last night's work. Smart knitters double-check patterns quite often. Others of us choose to live on the edge and plow ahead blithely in spite of all previous experience with knitting disasters. Last night I noticed that one sleeve looked okay after being attached to the body
but see those increases on this sleeve?
Those are supposed to be on the underside of the sleeve, not the topside. Oops.

So, after tinking several rows while swearing to the Knitting Gods that I would finally this time learn to start double checking, I tried again

and everything is where it should be. Now the question is, if I keep screwing up and ultimately knit a project twice, is that one or two WIPs finished???

Of course, the most important thing is on that side panel--71 balls of stash used up this year!!!! If I use just 4 more, I'll have finally used up the number of balls of yarn I bought in December to "get ready" for the Year of the Stash. Obviously, I couldn't have accumulated a stash the size of a small-ish yarn shop if I was capable of any rational thought when buying yarn, but I thought that was especially telling. I wish I could say that one order was my only yarn purchase for the year, but I think we all know how unbelievable that would be. Still, I have now knit over 6 miles of yarn so far this year--Whoo hoo!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

21 WIPs!!!

I'm still amazed at the sheer number of Works in Progress. It's almost overwhelming.

Makes me want to cast on a new lace shawl.......

!!!!!

Bizarrely enough, I really do. How insane is that????? Wouldn't it make more sense if I had a mad desire to finish something?

Insane! Though, the does help explain the 21 WIPs left, doesn't it?

Luckily, we are the WIP Team, and everyone else is holding strong--I can as well. I can soon be at 4 WIPs finished in a row--a personal record. Heck, two in a row might have been a personal record, but four sounds better.

Tonight I have been working on Sitcom Chic. After a couple failed and very stupid attempts that had the sleeves inside-out, the sleeves are joined and the yoke decreases have begun.

Even better, there are 3 balls of yarn in use right now (I will do anything to avoid weaving in ends), so working on this project will allow me to move the stash-busting tally soonest. Such priorities in life!

I've heard from a couple people--how is everyone else doing?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finish-itis--My List

I keep trying to count my remaining WIPs, and keep coming up with a different number. After the Finish-itis contest, we will be embarking on a "learn to count" campaign. So, let's see if I can list them:

1. Magikal Earth Shawl (photo to come when the camera battery is recharged) - more than halfway through the mind-numbing edging (what is it with edging?????)

2. Plum baby aran: front in progress:3. Poodle mohair: body done to sleeeve join, one sleeve in progress4. Blue toddler sweater - back not quite done. Nothing else finished

5. dem fischer sin fru - still not quite halfway through the first clue. Out of 6.6. Fleur - just missing the edging and the right front7. Toddler sweater: needs seams, edging, and one piece knit

8. sleeveless sweater - back mostly done
9. Alpaca cardigan: back, one side, and most of the second side done
10. Glitterspun sweater - back finished, front half finished11. Pi chemo cap - no picture yet.

12. Fir cone shawl - 40% done--can't buy more yarn to finish it until the spending ban is over
13. Hibiscus for hope; hard to say how far along it is--depends how many times I need to rip back the test knit again

14. Sitcom chic - both sleeves now done, main body almost ready for join15. poncho - 60% finished16. Multicolor baby wrap sweater - just needs ribbing - have a picture, but can't locate it.

17. MS3 - 30 rows left to go. Thank God.18. Toddler sweater - Have a picture, but can't find it. Just the back done. Sized for a two-year-old and being knit for a child who is now over one year old. Oops--better get to working on this one...

19. Gridlock - two inches of sweater knitted on a sweater intended for a 6-foot-tall man. So, let's just say 2% done or less--I don't want to think too hard on what is left on this one.
20. Kimono shawl - about 12 inches done--probably 60 more to go
21. Sweater with ribbed yoke: one sleeve and some seams left to go.
Not forgetting the 3 I just finished. 24 WIPs.....wow, maybe I didn't need a contest....maybe I needed an intervention.....

24 WIPs--I think I need to lay down for a moment......

Good heavens--no wonder I don't have any needles. They're all in use!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

And We're Off!!!!

To the Land of FINISH-ITIS!!!!!

This is a remote land--often not found by knitters--where hours & hours of knitting actually result in a FINISHED OBJECT. Knitters in this land tend to be well dressed, and have MATCHING socks--which is not always seen in other areas of Knit Land.

The Land of Finish-Itis can be difficult to reach, as there are always brand new patterns hoping to snare the knitters, but the brave knitters have banded together to swim straight and avoid the whirlpool on the left called "Knit-A-Longs" and the monster on the right called the "new knitting magazine." It is a treacherous route, but we are determined!!!!

When Toni has NOT been gone for most of the weekend and just arrived home, we will be introducing our team members. For now...

WE SET SAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

10,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you see that????? I have passed the 10,000 yards of yarn mark for the year! There are now 66 (there were those 3 balls of mohair to finish the Lady's Circular Cape, after all) fewer balls of yarn in my stash than when I started the year. YIPPEE!!!!!!

But on to other things...

The Stealth Project is now in the hands of its new owner, and to directly quote from the text messages received:

"OH. MY. GOSH. I LOVE IT!"
"It fits perfect, I love the color, and I love the style!!"
"It's my favorite piece of clothing."
"Ha ha! It's so beautiful, I already had someone comment on it!"

Now THAT is what makes knitted gifts worth doing!

The "finishitis" contest--The rules:
1. Post a list of your WIPs in the comments. Remember, they must already be started.
2. Keep us posted on your progress
3. Any and all projects will count, but size and complexity of the project will be considered.
4. The winner will be the one who finishes the most projects in a row without casting on anything new.
5. Anyone casting on a new project will be disqualified, but should post pictures somewhere to allow for sufficient drooling opportunities.
6. I reserve full right to award additional prizes for "valiant efforts."
7. There is no time limit--if we're all still finishing WIPs in 3 months without having cast on anything new, well I might get that darn dem fischer sin fru done finally.....
8. I am not a competitor, but I hope that this will finally shame/motivate me into finishing these:
And that is after I've already finished 3 projects in a row! Heavens!

Tonight I was zipping along on my current WIP--Cheryl Oberle's Fir Cone Shawl--when I stopped to consult the pattern for once.

2200 yards of yarn.

Now this shawl was started sometime last year, so it's hard to remember what frame of mind I was in. In my yarn arsenal, I had this:
2200 yards of Knitpicks Bare merino fingering. I also had 1320 yards of this:

Knitpicks Bare Peruvian Wool in fingering. Guess which one I used???

Yep--exactly. So, I am 880 yards short of finishing this:
and because we're still in the middle of our 90 day spending ban, I can't purchase more yarn for 29 days (I have 8 extra days because of that darn mohair). Rats. I did finish the ball of yarn I was working on--mostly because it would push me over the 10,000 yard mark (YAY), but it has now been returned to the WIP pile.

While sorting through the WIP file, I encountered this
which is an aran baby sweater for a friend's baby that hasn't actually even been conceived yet, so it's unlikely to get moved to the front of the queue, but did you see that itty bitty ball of yarn there? That's right--I took an easy one. 8-10 rows, and I'm at 69 balls of yarn for the year. When it comes to that tally, I have no scruples at all.

The next WIP (besides Hibiscus for Hope, which is hopefully in the final pattern version & which I forgot to take a picture of) to get attention is going to be Sitcom Chic:
I have changed it to have full length sleeves--the theory being I can always push sleeves up but it's hard to pull them down without permanent sweater damage, and the second sleeve is almost ready for the joining. Of course my real motivation is that the skeins are each 82 yards and I get to add them to the tally faster, but I will get a finished project out of the deal. Could it really be number 4 in a row???????

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm Trying to be Contagious!!!

I am still holding strong and have not cast on anything new. It's possible....just possible...that I could finally get through all this before I cast on something new:
Not very likely, I'll grant you, but possible. Wouldn't that be fabulous! The odds are better than normal as my case of "finishitis" is still going strong. Let's hope it's both contagious and incurable!

To help spread this new condition, I have decided to sponsor a contest for number of WIPs finished in a row WITHOUT casting on anything new. Some consideration will be given for the size and complexity of the project, but they must already be in progress as of this moment. The winner (or winners--I reserve the right to award multiple prizes if it is called for) will receive a knitting bag with his or her name embroidered on it. I'd post a picture, but I haven't made it yet as I just thought of this yesterday. Keep me posted through the comments and let me know how many projects you have completed--I'll be posting a regular tally! I really REALLY hope you catch "finishitis!"

Theo is pretty much immune from all that might be considered "constructive." For a skinny cat, he's looking quite the pudge in this picture. Black might not be so slimming after all.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Known Case of "Finishitis"

I have finished 3 projects in the last two weeks--including tonight's blocking of the plum scarf--
and instead of diving head-long into the stash to start 3 new things, which would generally be my next move, I have apparently contracted a little known disease called "finishitis." This is possibly the first ever documented case in the knitting community. Unlike "starteritis," with "finishitis" the victim is irrationally compelled to finish projects--a very desirable state, of course, but the long-term effects of this condition are as yet unknown.

High on the thought of finishing four or even five projects in a single month, I pulled this out of the WIP pile:
and have knit 3 rows already. This is the start to Fir Cone Square Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book, which was abandoned about 7 months ago when the intended recipient said she didn't actually want a shawl for her birthday (which later led to the music quilt--which she will get far more use out of quite honestly). It isn't the shawl's fault, so I have decided to finish it. To be honest, I think most people are not "shawl people." I wear shawls because I have learned to wear them because I make them, but if I didn't make them and someone just gave me one, I would thank her profusely and shove it into a drawer for the rest of its life--maybe bringing it out to show people my friend's handiwork and generosity, but never ever wearing it. It's the granny image. If I were an old Russian woman fleeing my homeland because of the Cossacks, well yes, then I would wear one--then a shawl seems not only appropriate, but sort of mandatory. As it is......I wear them because I have so much of my time invested in making them. Let's face it, after 6 months and almost 1500 yards of yarn, if it weren't summer I'd probably be sleeping in the Lady's Circular Cape.

So here's the plan--we not only need to recruit more knitters, we need to recruit more lace knitters. Then even if the rest of the world never fully accepts the wearing of shawls, there will at least be more people to give them to, and quite frankly, I'm going to need the closet space...

Monday, July 14, 2008

3 in a Row!

The plum scarf is really just a simple moss-stitch border with a lace pattern from one of Barbara Walker's treasuries,
which you could actually see if I could ever keep Theo off of them. The one I'm using is the one directly under him.

which could explain why this scarf took more than a year to complete.

By best guess left me with just a tiny bit of yarn left over

and a scarf on its way to being blocked.

And now that my cold is all gone, a toast to three finished projects in a row!

And I have not cast on a new project. This is a personal record indeed! Could I perhaps be growing into a responsible knitter?????

Heaven help me, bring on the laceweight!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top Secret is On Its Way!

It's finished,
blocked,furred,the ends are woven in,and it's wrapped and ready to go. Theo is in mourning.This is the second sweater I've made from Elann's Shawl Back Shrug pattern, which can be found for free here. It's definitely one of my favorite patterns, and I used 6 skeins of Elann Peruvian Quechua DK-weight alpaca.

I'm distinctly proud of myself this month. I have finished two projects, and have not yet cast on a new one. I am choosing to view this as personal growth rather than a reflection of having run out of room in knitting bags for any more projects. I cling to what I can.

Instead, I have chosen to continue working on the plum scarf (and Daniele is right--I do seem to be having a purple lace obsession lately),

which is this far from being done:
It will be a decent-sized scarf, I think, but it will definitely be done when this yarn is gone because I don't have any more and don't remember what it actually was. I have narrowed it down to being one of Knitpicks' lace yarns, and am guessing Alpaca Cloud but I could be wrong. (This is what I get for starting projects then abandoning them for several months/years) Luckily for me, it being a bit of a tedious pattern has finally been overshadowed by the impending 440 yards of yarn to be added to the yarn tally when this scarf is done. I am closing in rapidly on 10,000 yards for the year which will be a VERY exciting moment. I'm not sure what I'll do to celebrate--the first (and only) thing that springs to mind would be to celebrate by buying yarn, which is not possible but does explain a lot. Why can't I just want chocolate like other women???