Tag Archives: wip

What If?

Sometimes when I’m working on a particularly slog-y project, I start playing “What If” with my knitting.  (When I was an office drone I also played “What If” with my job.  What if I was a barista?  What if I started working for the postal service?  What if I went back to school?)

I’ve been thinking “What If” I didn’t have to finish the Vampire project?  What would I be doing instead?

And, since my calculations tell me that I’ve got a little over a week left before I finish (assuming I haven’t made any major mistakes/don’t have to rip back the whole thing/am able to stay on schedule), it’s just about time to start thinking about the next thing I’m going to do.

First, I think I’m going to finish up my Papaya Sweater.  It’s been sitting, abandoned, on an end table in my studio for more than a month now.  Poor thing.  I’m really looking forward to getting it finished.  (And I’m really looking forward to a simple project that doesn’t involve any cables.)I’ll probably work up a handful more Christmas Balls, or at least take some time away from actual knitting to finish up the ones I’ve already knit.  I’ve got a stack that still need to be stuffed, and almost all of them need their tails woven in and their hangers added.  (I feel like “hangers” isn’t quite right, but I can’t think of the right word.  I mean the dangly loop they’ll hang on the tree from.)I also need to spend a weekend finishing up my Mother Bears before the end of the year.  I’ve got 4.5 bears that need to be stuffed and assembled, plus another 6 more that need their faces sewn on.  Maybe that’ll be a Christmas Vacation project?And, I think I want to do something new, something fun, and something that uses up some of the yarn I’ve already got in my stash.  Maybe a new pair of socks, or some sort of shawl that uses the last few mini-skeins of fancy yarn I got last year for Christmas.  Options!What are you working on now?

Vampire Knitting

I’ve been attacked by a knitted vampire.

(Vampire Doll by Tatyana Korobkova)

No, my vampire is nothing so cute or sweet or quick to knit up.  My knitting vampire is a monster.  It’s gray and massive and covered in cables.  (Yes, I know I love cables, but everyone has their limit. And I might be reaching mine. Y’all, it’s so many cables.)

It’s a pattern I’m working on that’s going to be published next fall… so, sorry, you’ll have to stick around until next year before I’m allowed to show it to you.  Such a bummer!

This project is taking up all my time- I have to work on it at least three hours every day to stay on schedule to get the finished project sent out by the due date.  It’s taking all my knitting energy- at best, after I finish my day’s worth of vampire knitting, I can add a few rows to one of my Christmas Balls, or maybe an inch or two to my next Mother Bear, before I give in, lay down on the couch and zone out in front of the TV.  And, it’s eaten up all my knitting imagination.  Usually I break out my sketch book or a favorite stitch dictionary every few days, and come up with a plan for a new shawl or sweater.  These ideas usually don’t go anywhere, but it’s nice to be able to kind of constantly brainstorm.  This vampire project has sucked up all my creative juices.  I am now only a husk- a husk that only thinks about gray cables.

Now, of course, I’ll be done soon enough, one way or the other (it’s got to be done by the beginning of November).  And after that I’ll be back to normal, flitting from project to project like usual.   But, right now, I’ve got no choice but to slog through the last quarter of my pattern.

Ugh.

Have you ever had to deal with vampire knitting?  How did it go?

Papaya Sweater Update- Shoulders

I’ve been making steady progress on my Papaya Sweater.  I took it on vacation with me- if I’m remembering correctly, I actually cast on in the SeaTac Airport.  I got a good chunk of knitting done while I was traveling, but I didn’t get much done while I was actually in Georgia.  After all, who wants to work on a wool sweater in 90-degree heat with near-100% humidity?  (Not me, that’s who.)

Despite the weather (the humidity and the hurricane), I managed to get a good chunk of knitting done.  The Loana Cardigan is a top-down, seamless raglan, so I started at the neck, did a handful of short rows (for the shoulders), and managed to make it almost to the armpit split by the time I got home.  (Unfortunately for the sake of pictures, my circular needle is a little too short to let me lay out the sweater nicely just yet, so you’ll have to believe me that I’ve made the progress I said I made.)I usually tweak a few things, but I really like the simple design of this sweater.  So I only changed one thing. (Ha!)  The pattern calls for vertical ribbing along the front edges of the sweater.  I decided to do a few stitches of garter stitch instead (since garter stitch kind of looks like ribbing, just pointing the other direction).   I think it’s looking pretty good, and should lay nice and flat, when I’ve finished the sweater.There’s nothing more satisfying than a lovely, well executed raglan increase, if you ask me.  You just pick four spots, and increase 2 stitches at each point on every RS row, then BAM, you’ve got a sweater!  It seems too simple to work, but here I am, making another awesome raglan sweater.  The neat little rows of increases are so pretty (and functional), and make me so happy.  (OK, maybe I get little too sentimental about shoulder shaping.  So sue me!)Have you ever made a top-down seamless sweater before?  How did it turn out?  What was your favorite part of your project?

The Island of Forgotten Projects

I’m proud of my little stash of finished projects.  It’s satisfying to see them all folded neatly, ready to be gifted at the next holiday.

But, I have a second stash.  A secret stash.  A shameful stash. A stash that lives in the bookcase next to my desk (I started keeping everything there in the hopes that having to look at it every day would spur myself into doing something to take care of it…  It has not worked yet).

It’s my stash of unfinished projects.

I’m not even going to show you everything, because it’s that embarrassing.

There are several pairs of socks- I decided halfway down the brown sock’s cuff that I didn’t love knitting the pattern.  (I actually really like how the pattern’s turning out, it’s just a pain in the butt to do), and the black/pink socks were being knit at an insanely tight gauge… I don’t know why I decided to start a pair of socks on 0’s!  I never knit with anything smaller than 2s! Not my smartest moment.

Then there’s the box overflowing with my Mama Bears.  Which are in turn overflowing with stuffing because I realized that I don’t have any of the right colors of yarn to finish sewing them up!  (I’ll probably just use some other scraps I have laying around, but there’s a part of my brain that thinks that if I just let the bears hang out in the corner for a little longer, they’ll magically grow extra yarn.  Yeah… that’s how that works.)There are even some projects that are so old, I’m pretty sure I started them before I moved to the new house… almost four years ago.  This scarf, for instance.  I started it as a way to use some pretty fun-fetti-colored yarn I spun.  But, then I decided the scarf was turning out too narrow.  So now it lives in a project bag on a shelf among the other half-forgotten projects.Look!  I even stole the needles from this project… that’s how little confidence I had in myself to finish this project.  Sigh…I know I’m not the only one with a shameful WIP stash.  Make me feel better!  Tell me what you’re totally going to finish… (some day)

On YOUR Needles

We’ve got some crafty folks up in here!

You guys sent me your current WIPS, and I’ve got to say I’m impressed!

My mom (who’s always got something fun in the works), sent me a picture of her newest knitted doll from Arne and Carlos’s book.  We took the doll class together last year at the Nordic Knitting Conference, which was super fun!  Mom says that this doll is going to be the brother of the doll she made in the fall.A reader, Yhenny, is making this pair of adorable lace gloves.  She made the Poison Ivy Wrap from Rilana Riley-Munson.  And, since she had a little yarn left over, she adapted the lace pattern to make matching mitts.  How clever (and beautiful)!And, one of my old friends, Jenny, is working on a little “Nevertheless, She Persisted” embroidery.  She’s a great embroiderer (is that a word… it doesn’t look right)- last Christmas she stitched a really adorable portrait of a family member’s cat.  So far, she’s done the outline of her letters, and then she’s going to fill in the lines with satin stitch.  I think it’s going to be really great.Thanks for sharing your projects!  I love seeing what you’re all working on!

Are you working on anything else?

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!

On ALL my needles

When I really started getting serious with knitting, back in college, I scoffed at knitters that I thought had “poor self control.”  (As a straight-A’s, honor roll over achiever-type, I scoffed at anyone who I thought had poor self control.  Not one of my more endearing character traits.)  I would never have more yarn in my stash than I could use.  I would never start a project and not finish it.  And, I would never have more than one project going on at once.

Never!

Well.

Maybe not never…

18-year-old me would be horrified with 30-year-old me.  I’ve got a room half-filled with boxes of yarn that “I will definitely use… some day.” I think I’ve got 4 or 5 projects on the needles right now, and about half of those are somewhere between hibernating and I-just-need-to-frog-this-but-I-can’t-be-bothered.

In fact, I now carefully plan my multiple projects.  I always have a big knitting project (sometimes it’s for work, sometimes it’s a gift) that I work on at home.  This is usually something awkward or complicated, something that’s just easier to keep by the couch and not worry about dragging all over town.img_3860I have a simple project- something that’s just a lot of stockinette or other mindless knitting.  I use this project for keeping my hands busy when my mind is doing something else- playing a game with friends, watching a tense movie, or something with subtitles.  (My bears are great for this!)img_3934And, I always have something small in the works, a project that I can keep in my purse and work on when I have a few minutes.  Waiting in line to get into a museum? Knit.  Got to work a little early? Knit.  Barber running a bit late? Knit.  In my opinion, there’s nothing better for purse knitting than a pair of socks (one at a time, of course, to leave more room in my purse for chocolate and a sketchbook).img_4679Do you work on multiple projects at the same time, or are you a one-and-done kind of knitter?

Ugh!

I have a problem.

I think it’s a problem that a lot of knitters have.

I think I might hate my current project.

I loved it at first, and I’m sure one day I will love it again.  But, right now- no.

f00da97b-15f5-418a-ba13-aad234ccaf23I can’t talk about it in detail, or really, in anything other than the broadest, most vague terms (it’s a design I’m working on, so it’s all Top Secret, hence the very un-illuminating photos).  But, let’s just say there’s a lot of stockinette.

Like a lot.

Like, I’ve been knitting plain, purple stockinette for a couple weeks now, and other than a couple Pussyhats, I haven’t been able to do anything to break up the monotony.

When I started this project, I was super jazzed- I love simple, clean designs- there’s something so elegant about simple projects. And, I know I’ll wear the heck out of this project when it’s finished.

But… oofda. It’s a lot of stockinette.

I got to do a little bit of 1×1 ribbing the other day, and I just about got up and danced a jig.  I’m in a sorry state.6e96ba2c-468a-4b0a-b19a-f42b4ab60fe3My deadline is fast approaching, so one way or the other, I’ll finish up this project soon.  And boy, am I ready.

Have you ever taken on a project that was a little too much?  A little too much stockinette?  A few too many cables?  A bit too fiddly?

Cable Sweater: Back with a vengeance

Now that I’ve finished my EPIC SECRET PROJECT, I can go back to my lovely purple sweater!  Time for more cables!

(Apparently I really like cables-  I’m still really enjoying them after more than a month of cabling.  I should make more cabled projects!)

I finished off both fronts, which are both generous 10″ by 30″ rectangles of thickly cabled loveliness.  Then I did something else that I really enjoy, but don’t do nearly enough- a three-needle bind-off.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tops of the front panels are joined together at the spine with a beautifully neat row of three-needle bind off.  The cables come together perfectly, and it just looks so professional.  It’s a technique I don’t use much, but one that always gets me excited.  It reminds me of a zipper, carefully mushing two separate pieces together so that they fit perfectly together.  It’s just so satisfying.

Then, I picked up a bunch of stitches across the back and now I’m chugging along on a big ol’ panel of stockinette for the body back.  If I were to do it again, I think I’d add another big cable running down the spine.  But I don’t feel like ripping out all my work, so I’ll just leave it as is.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m still unsure how wearable this sweater will be- it’s kind of an odd shape.  But I’m absolutely loving working on it.  If it ends up being unwearable, I can at least rip out the back and sleeves and be left with a pretty scarf.

I’m Stricken

Stricken with that dreaded Second Sock Syndrome!

I’ve managed to avoid it for years.  All my pairs of socks have been either completed finished or completely frogged (except for those socks in Mardi Gras colors that I stopped working on because I realized I would never wear socks in Mardi Gras colors, and really, who would dye yarn in those colors.  Honestly.)

But, I can no longer say that I am unaffected by Second Sock Syndrome.  Observe:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne sock, perfectly completed (in less than a week, mind you). Bound off, ends woven in, ready for blocking.  Look at that lovely shade of hand-dyed blue.   The yarn is beautiful and squishy.   It’s delightful!  And I’ve already done the toe on the second sock.  The fiddly part is done.  Now I just need to knit.

Unfortunately, I started the second sock almost a month ago.  While it’s been sitting in my WIP pile, instead of working on the sock, I have completed:

What has to happen to make me finish these socks?  I want to wear them… I want them to be finished… I just don’t want to pick up the needles and work on them.  Ugh!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you do when you’ve got a wicked case of Second Sock Syndrome?