Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Prepare Yourselves For A Shock.......

I am down to 16 WIPS.

For some, that might be overwhelming.  For me, having once been around the 40-WIP mark, this is almost knitting monogamy.  One project was actually started yesterday, so I was down to 15.  Without trying.  Remember when I worked for months just to get DOWN to 14?  Having these crazy finished project goals for the year might not be so crazy after all...........

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Uh Oh

I just finished the Rosemary and Thyme scarf, which gives me 67 projects for the year.  In order to get to 111 projects by the end of the year, I should be averaging 9.25 projects each month, which would mean that I would be ending August with 74 projects--7 more than I have now.  Oops.

Thursday kicks off the next Ravelry "stash dash" challenge:  FILLING a basket with finished objects between September 1 and December 31.  I think I'd better go find a REALLY big basket..................

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rosemary and Thyme Scarf

This scarf was inspired by the wonderful smell of herbs in the summer (in spite of the fact that I can't seem to keep thyme alive).  It is worked with a seed stitch border at the bottom and on the sides to prevent rolling, which will be listed as "ss" in the pattern.  Stitch markers are highly encouraged

This can be done with any yarn/needle combination.  For my scarf, I used a DK weight mohair blend with size 8 needles.

Cast on 31 stitches.

Work 4 rows of seeds stitch border as follows:
Border row 1:  K1, [p1,k1] to end
Border row 2:  slip stitch as if to knit, [p1, k1] to end
Border row 3:  slip stitch as if to knit, [p1, k1] to end
 On the last row, work 3 stitches as established, place marker (pm), work 5, pm, work 15, pm, work 5, pm, work remaining stitches

NOTE: The number of stitches in the center panel will vary slightly as you work.  No need to panic, unless perhaps it has doubled in size--then feel free to panic slightly.  It should be back to 15 stitches at the start of every 12-row pattern.  

Pattern row 1 (and all odd rows):  slip 1 stitch, seed stitch 2, purl to last 3 stitches, seed stitch 3

Pattern row 2:  slip 1, ss 2, slip marker, [k2tog, YO]twice, K1,  slip marker, k1, yo, k2tog, k3tog, [yo,k1] 3 times, yo, k3 together through back of loop, ssk, yo, k1, slip marker, k1, [yo, ssk] twice, slip marker, ss 3

Pattern row 4: slip 1, ss 2, slip marker, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, slip marker, k1, yo, k3tog, yo, k7, yo, knit 3 through back of loop, yo, k1, slip marker, k2, yo, ssk, k1, slip marker, ss 3

Pattern row 6:  slip 1, ss 2, slip marker, [k2tog, YO]twice, K1,  slip marker, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, k2, slip 2 knitwise--k1--pass 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch, k2, yo, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k1, slip marker, k1, [yo, ssk] twice, slip marker, ss 3

Pattern row 8: slip 1, ss 2, slip marker, k1, k2tog, yo, k2, slip marker, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k1, slip 2 knitwise--k1--pass 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch, k1, yo, k3, yo, ssk, yo, k1, slip marker, k2, yo, ssk, k1, slip marker, ss 3

Pattern row 10:  slip 1, ss 2, slip marker, [k2tog, YO]twice, K1,  slip marker, k1, YO, [k2tog) twice, k3, YO, sl 2 knitwise--k1--pass 2 slipped stitches over the knit stitch, yo, k3, [ssk] twice, yo, k1, slip marker, k1, [yo, ssk] twice, slip marker, ss 3

Paatern row 12: slip 1, ss 2, slip marker,  k1, k2tog, yo, k2, slip marker, k1, yo, [k2tog] 3 times, [k1, yo] twice, k1, [ssk] 3 times, yo, k1, slip marker, k2, yo, ssk, k1, slip marker, ss 3

Repeat rows 1-12 until desired length.  Work 4 rows of seed stitch as established for beginning border, then bind off and weave in ends.

Additional notes that might help:

*  When you're doing the slip 2 knitwise, you're slipping the stitches together and treating them as one stitch.  When you pass the 2 loops over the knit stitch, you will create a 2-stitch decrease that has one center stitch.  To make the leaves look like leaves, it is important to NOT substitute a slip 1, knit 2, slip stitch over in its place.

*  To knit 3 through back of loop, insert right hand needle into the next stitch as if to knit, but instead of picking up the yarn, just let the loop slip from the left needle to the right one.  Repeat twice, so you now have 3 unworked stitches on the right hand needle.  Gently work the tip of the left needle through all 3 stitches, and now loop the yarn over your right needle and draw it through all three loops exactly as if you were knitting a really wide stitch.  This creates a left-leaning 2-stitch decrease.

If you have any questions, you can reach me as ToniS on Ravelry, or leave a message in comments with a link to your blog in case Blogger, in its wisdom, doesn't give me a return address to reply to your questions.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

6 Days To Go!!!!!

6 (okay, 6 1/2 counting today) days left in the "dead heat" stashdash, and my basket is not so much empty...........
 
Not so much even close.  All the fun fur is pretty much used up:
for 3 niece scarves and one doll scarf.

Two scarves are getting close to the half-way mark,

(or already half-way if I only had some pygmy friends).

6 days--do I accept reality and try to get ONE of them done, or keep deluding myself that I could finish both of them even with the pesky wonderful bounty from the garden to deal with?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Things I Have Learned From Knitting

*  When one gets desperate enough for finished objects, Fun Fur stops looking so silly

*  Putting velcro anywhere on the inside of a purse is evil

*  The more you hate the very sight of a finished project, the more people will complement you on it.

*  I'm apparently never going to learn that trying to knit with wool in August is miserable

*  Buying yarn on a regular basis made me feel like I was knitting faster than I actually was.

*  Knitting is pretty darn slow at times--like when one is playing on Ravelry instead of knitting......

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Real Finishing Friday

I didn't garden today.
I didn't can anything today.
We didn't have company today.
I didn't even make coffee today. 

I CRAFTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To be fair, I did start with a little mending.  Andy had ripped 3 holes in some pant he uses for camping, and my sewing machine actually has a mending stitch, which is really just short rows of stitching side-by-side, which sounds simple but until I saw it, I actually would never have thought about this being a good way to mend anything.  With small holes, it can blend pretty well, but with three big tears,
it's noticeable--though perhaps not as noticeable as Andy flashing everyone at a campsite.  

Then I decided to tackle some of the quicker projects in my "dead-heat" basket, so meet Niece Fun Fur Scarf #1:
and Niece Fun Fur Scarf #2:
which has to be a little bit longer than the first one as the niece in question is older and taller, and while I had 3 skeins of Fun Fur in the colorway "confetti," no two were even close to the same color, so I'm using two balls on this scarf and alternating balls for every two rows, which slows down the garter stitch rows almost as much as the colossal knots I keep having to drag the two balls out of.  (Note to self:  stop snickering at yarn "bras")

When I needed breaks from the weird sheered-Muppet yarn, I worked on the latest scarf,
though I wouldn't want anyone to think that I had finished any of the other THREE scarves in the "dead heat" stashdash basket or anything responsible like that.  Nope--I just keep casting on.  Thank heavens at least the purple hat is finished:
Finish one, cast on two.  Finish one, cast on two---hey, I think I might be knitting a waltz!!!!

Note to self:  next time, update the blog BEFORE finishing the white chocolate martini................

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not Time To Panic JUST Yet.........

It's August 17 and I have 49 projects to finish to meet my goal.  Which was starting to kick me into high "everyone-gets-Fun-Fur-scarves-for-Christmas" panic mode until I had the sense (obviously borrowed from somewhere) to check to see where I was last year at this time. 

Last year on August 16 I needed 46 more projects, but needed only (I love that, "only") 100 projects last year, not 111.  SO, even with my current lack of interest in sewing, I am ahead of where I was last year.  And just because there's a real possibility that canning season will be MUCH more time consuming than last year is no reason to panic...........yet.............

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Successful Crafting Weekend!

I'd like to say I avoided the garden all weekend long, but I'd also like to be taller and able to knit 35,000 yards of yarn a year AND buy unlimited amounts of yarn AND have unlimited storage space for yarn, so I try not to pay too much attention to such wishes.  As promised, the finished socks:
It's my standard toe-up sock with a very simple K2, p2 rib that shifts one stitch after every 4 rows, and I really like how it wears, as well as how it looks with the striped yarn:
Of course, MOSTLY I like that it used up 460 yards from my stashdash basket.  YAY!

The new hat got lots of attention,
and is almost ready for top shaping.  The pattern calls for 5 inches on the sides, but I have one of these and it's just a bit too short to go over my ears for when it's REALLY cold, which is actually the only time I wear hats, so while I love how my hat looks, my ears are freezing which makes me cold and the hat completely pointless.  Which is the longest way I could find to say that I'm making the sides 6-inches tall instead of 5.

The new scarf is making some progress as well,
and I'm loving the results.   Of course, I suppose the center doesn't really look like thyme--not that I would know as I keep killing it in the garden, probably because everyone tells me it grows like weeds and can be used as a ground cover.  Only calling it "impossible to kill" would seal its fate in my hands faster.  It probably looks a bit more like basil, which I am happy to report that I CAN grow, but there isn't a song about basil and rosemary, so.............Rosemary and Thyme it is.

Really, I think it's actually a good day when it's the NAME of the knitting I have to explain and not the knitting itself--far easier on the crafting ego...............

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Crossed 10,000 Last Night!

As it turns out, actually crafting on Finishing Friday makes a BIG difference on stash progress.  I finished the grey socks last night (picture to come), which used up a 460-yard ball of yarn and pushed my total-yarn-used for the year tally over 10,000.  The first year of the yarn tally I crossed that mark in July, but since then it has been late August or September, so I'm having a decent knitting year I suppose.  It does create a problem with that 25,000 yard goal however.  Not that I'm ready to concede yet--I prefer to ignore reality until at least November.  Besides, I still have tonight free.............

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm Weak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Down to the second sock, almost to the heel, and...............

 
not one, but TWO new projects.  Restraint?  What?

The first is a scarf I'm calling Rosemary and Thyme.  I'm hoping it will be easier to see in future pictures, but there's sort of a leaf and spiky-thing motif going on......and we've been listening to lots of folk music recently.  As there was a white chocolate martini involved, I'm just happy that we weren't listening to anything stranger, as I don't want to have to continually explain why I'm knitting a scarf called "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Bamboo Stick." 

The second one is another slip-a-color hat, which is my current favorite hat pattern.  Both of these involve bigger needles than the socks or Foreign Correspondent scarf, so I'm hoping to get both of them done fairly quickly.  But then again, I think I said that about Andy's birthday sweater as well, and that took 11 months......................

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amazingly......

......I made a lot more progress on the grey sock without Calisto's help,
so I'm pretty sure I'll get them done for the "dead heat" stashdash.  Unless, of course, I am lured away by this:
which is also in my "dead heat" basket and could either become a hat or mittens or both.  Part of me wants to try EZ's mitered mittens again since I have not successfully made a mitten and this time I know that I need to go DOWN a needle size to get gauge, not up.  BUT part of me is thinking that I might prefer to do a hat as a hat is a finished project after one thing is done, not two.  The responsible part of me--which isn't a very big part, unfortunately--is trying to keep myself focused on the socks or the blue scarf, but I'm not sure it's a battle that part is going to win.  Would I have over 50,000 yards of lace yarn if I were a responsible person??????

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This Weekend's Lesson Learned

One CAN take knitting camping, but neither you nor your knitting are likely to come home very clean.......................

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Stash Was Holding Me Hostage!!!!

Okay--perhaps not, but it sounded better than "I've been so busy that I haven't been near the blog in almost a week." 

There has, at least, been some crafting, though not always by me....
I wouldn't mind so much, but her gauge is all over the place.  I did manage to wrest the knitting away from Calisto long enough to finish the first sock,

and get the second one cast on.  Theo is a different story, but Calisto can always be bribed with gardening or "kitty salon."  This little girl is a fiend for brushing. 

The table runner has been finished, washed, pressed,
and delivered to the recipients, who were thrilled.  I ended up drawing some simple shapes and just satin-stitching them in red and yellow. 
 
Believe me, it was faster than embroidering them as I actually have no idea how to create simple shapes on the software.  It has been so long since Jeeves worked that I'm having to relearn just the basics all over again--much less things I didn't know how to do in the first place.

 The oddest thing in my "dead heat" stash dash basket is completed:
The first ball of yarn for the 2012 Christmas vests for our friends has been knit up.  I thought it might be easier to add them in small increments, and so far it seems to be working.  Just the idea of moving something OUT of my basket was very motivating.

The second Foreign Correspondent scarf--this time in lace weight--is making progress:
though it's much slower than the first one.  I'm not sure if it's because of the switch from fingering to lace weight, or if it's because it was new or I was excited about getting to add each of the 3 balls of fingering to the tally, but this is going slower.  Possibly because I got side tracked with this:
which WAS going to be a little scarf made with the leftover yarn from the green scarf (I'll be posting the pattern soon, I promise), but I made it this far before discovering (with the aid of the kitchen scale) that I had used up more than half of the remaining yarn and the scarf was nowhere NEAR half long enough, so it has already been frogged.  Now I'm thinking of making some lace edging for ivory satin Christmas ornaments--you know, once things slow down enough to find the ivory satin, which will probably not be until the garden dies or is murdered by yours truly.  I'd be okay if it was tomatoes taking up my crafting time, but zucchini???????  Please--I'd rather knit Fun Fur! 

Which has got to be the first time I've ever uttered such a sentence.  It just goes to show, nothing is impossible in the knitting world.  Not even 111 projects in one year, no matter HOW far behind I am...........................