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Treasure

Ssh…

I’m going to let you in on a secret!

In the corner of my studio, behind a small bookshelf (that is currently holding a half-dozen half finished projects instead of books), there is a small wooden chest.If you pull that chest out, and open it up, you’ll find something amazing.All the homeless projects I’ve made over the years!I’ve got prototypes, and one-off projects.  Socks  that turned out too small or to big.  Hats that are too warm for Seattle.  I’ve got scarves that I really wanted to knit, but don’t really want to wear and more dishcloths than I could ever use.

(I’d show you everything, but I know I have friends and family who read this blog and might just receive some of these items as gifts in the future…and I’d like to preserve the surprise at least a little bit.)

I don’t usually think about what I’ve got stashed in my secret chest, but it is satisfying to open it up from time to time to see the result of all my hard work.  And, it’s particularly handy when I get invited to a baby shower/birthday party/whatever at the last minute- I can pull out a pair of socks I knit in 2012 and look like I did a heck of a lot more planning than I really did.

Do you have a finished object stash?  Or, is this a symptom of my hoarding tendencies?

WaHoo!!!

You guys!

Hey!

Guess what!

Blocking is the best thing ever invented!

Remember my Cursed Sweater?  (I really wish I could show you real pictures of it…  Some day.)  Well,  I think I finally got the curse to lift!  Woo hoo!

So, last you heard, I had finished the sweater, but it fit me… not great.  In fact, it fit me so poorly that I thought I had messed up my math.  I spent the week worried, going over the math again and again.  What had I done wrong?  Did I misplace a parenthesis or a plus sign in my spreadsheet?  Did I accidentally cast on the wrong number of stitches?  WHAT DID I DO?

It didn’t help that the sweater made me feel distinctly like a plump sausage in too-tight casing.

(I can’t show you pictures, but I can show you poorly-Photoshopped representations of the sweater in question.)

The collar choked me, the sleeves were a good 6 inches too short, the body rolled up on itself.  It was awful!Awful!

Well, I went ahead and blocked it-  I didn’t have much hope, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

But, holy knitwear, Batman!  It blocked out perfectly!  It fits like a glove, the sleeves are the perfect length, and I can swallow while wearing it.  It’s the best!It turns out, I had blocked my gauge swatch before I measured.   So, all my math was based on a blocked gauge (THE WAY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT!), but for some reason, my brain had completely forgotten how pattern designing works and assumed that I had just really, really messed up again.

Come on brain, don’t stress me out like that!

This sweater is DONE!  It was a slog, but I survived, and I have a pretty killer new sweater in my closet (where it will stay for the next six months, because summer just started here… sigh).

Have you finished any big projects recently?

Also, if you are interested in having your project featured on On the Needles, send a photo with a short description to knittingontheneedles@gmail.com!  (Any project is welcome- not just knitting!)

What’s On YOUR Needles?

I’m always sharing everything that’s on my needles (or in the case of the Cursed Sweater, I’m sharing what’s on my needles, then off my needles, then on my needles, then off my needles…).  It’s something that I like doing, obviously, or I wouldn’t keep writing this blog.  I love sharing my ideas, and my projects.  I love commiserating with you guys when something goes horribly wrong, and I love celebrating when something turns out better than I expected.But, I never get to see what you’re all are working on!

So, I was thinking it would be fun to start a monthly (or so) post series, about what you guys are working on!  I’d love to see your WIPs and FOs, and I bet you’d like to see each other’s projects, too!Interested?  Awesome!  Send me an email (knittingontheneedles@gmail.com) with a picture and description of something you’re working on, or something you’ve just finished and you’re particularly proud of!  (Or, you can tweet at me @on_the_needles, or leave a message in the comments section, if email isn’t your jam.)  And, of course, your project doesn’t have to be knitting- Are you halfway through a big cross stitch project?  Have you just started a crochet afghan?  Did you just put the finishing touches on a particularly elaborate sewing project?I’m sure you’re all crazy-creative, and I can’t wait to see your creations!

Finished: Sockhead Slouch Hat

It’s done!  (OK, I actually finished it a little bit ago, but I got distracted and forgot to show you guys.)

And, I couldn’t be more pleased with my brand new Sockhead Slouch Hat.

I will admit, that while knitting it up, I got a little concerned.  A 4-inch brim, plus 9 inches of stockinette?  That’s almost enough knitting to make two regular caps.  I didn’t love how it looked as I worked it up.  I mean, look at it.  It’s so long and awkward.But I’m glad I followed the instructions and worked through to the end.  It goes to show that people who write patterns sometimes know what they’re talking about.

Ta-da!But you can’t really see the lovely floppiness from this angle.  Let me take a picture of the back of my head for you.(It turns out that it’s really hard to take a picture of the back of your own head.  I ended up with about two dozen pictures like this one.)  Here’s a real picture of the the side/back view of the hat:Totally cute, right!?  It’s the perfect level of slouchy.  The Tosh Merino Light is so stinking soft, I never want to take it off.  And, it’s a lovely mid-weight hat; it’s perfect for the damp 50’s weather that Seattle is so famous for.

This pattern definitely gets my seal of approval!  The Sockhead Slouch Hat is one of my new favorite patterns!

(And, if you thought I could get out the camera without taking a picture of Ollie, you were mistaken.)Do you have any new favorite projects?

Finished!

And just in time, too!

Phew!  I made it just in the nick of time!  Grandma’s sweater is done!  And it’s awesome!  (And that’s a lot of exclamation points!)

I finished the sweater with exactly 52 inches of blue yarn left.  It was a nail-biter, let me tell you.  (I’m all about reducing waste, but this was ridiculous.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut all’s well that ends well, right?  The sweater has turned out beautifully!  The Biggo yarn I used blocked up wonderfully.  And, I’m so glad I made the change from dark gray to light.  It turned out so much better than it would have otherwise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI even found the perfect buttons!  They’re bright pink, to match the snowflakes, and just a tiny bit sparkly (the photos don’t do them justice).  I drove all over Seattle looking for them, and, when I found them, I thoroughly freaked out the clerk who helped me find them by doing a little happy dance.  It was exciting, what can I say?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I just have to wait and see if it fits!  Cross your fingers for me!