I haven’t done a lot of knitting (or spinning, and certainly not crochet) lately. And by lately, I mean… the last 18 months. Or thereabouts. But in the last week or two I’ve picked up a couple of projects that’ve been languishing and started work on them again.
First of all there’s a hat for Miss RA. Whether or not she’ll wear it is another matter. She doesn’t seem too keen on keeping hats on! Anyway, this is it so far:
And the other thing I’ve picked up again are the mittens for Mum’s shoebox project. I didn’t finish them for last year’s box, so I figure if I do them now then I can be ahead of the curve for this autumn.
I’ve been thinking I should also get at least one of the jumpers that are laying around in bits finally sewn up. Yeahhh. I’ll get right on that.
Since I’m extremely tired today (I have new medication which is making me drowsy, hopefully just for the adjustment period, and every time I sit down somewhere relaxing I drop off!), I’m not going to say much again. I haven’t managed to finish the shawl yet, but just have the cast off edge to go. I’ve been setting the twist of some of my handspun:
(excuse the rubbish photo), and also marvelling over how the Xandermog can go from FULL ON PESTER mode to fast asleep, you-can’t-wake-me in under five minutes flat. Still when the result is this little face:
I need an editor to stop me from making horrible puns, don’t I? But it’s true, today I have been applying myself to plying two bobbins of handspun together. I haven’t done the whole lot yet, and there won’t be pictures because this is for the Limegreenjelly Christmas swap. Which means I don’t want my partner to see what I’ve been working on for her, mwahahah… eek, hope she likes it!
Other than that, I’ve also been (still) working on the “Gap Year Travels” Travelling Woman shawl… and I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but I’ve called my particular version of it Gap Year Travels because the colourway of the yarn I’m knitting it in is called Byron Bay. Which is somewhere I visited while travelling in Australia on my gap year. Anyway, I’ve nearly finished the shawl – ten rows or so to go, and I don’t think I’m going to have enough of the yarn left. Fortunately, I do have some solid blue that goes with it well enough that I can use it to finish off. I hope! If that doesn’t work, well, I put in that lifeline, so it’ll be easy to rip back without dropping any stitches. If a bit of a nuisance. But then I’ll definitely have enough yarn to finish off the edging chart.
In other news, marmite rice cakes are delicious. That is all.
When I’ve not been out (Tuesdays is the day I volunteer at the library) or on the computer today, I’ve been industriously knitting away on my Travelling Woman shawl. I’m determined to finish it soon! I am a little worried that I won’t have quite enough yarn, but I put a lifeline in so that I can rip back to the middle of the previous patten repeat (if you know the pattern, this is the logical place) if need be. No pictures yet, but there will be once I’ve finished. Go go go!
The last, oh, while, I’ve been feeling quite determined to finish off all the knitting projects I have sitting around partly done. Which is good! Right? Right. It feels like I’ve done more knitting this year than I actually have in terms of finished projects (though the Knitting Meter in the side bar tells me that I’ve knit 2023 yards in the last year… and I’m only putting entries into that when I either finish a ball of yarn, or a project). But maybe that’s because I still have seven projects on the go.
I had planned not to start any new ones until I’d finished several of those I had lurking. But well, best laid plans and all that. Mum asked me to make a couple of things for her, and then I finished my basic “portable project” socks, so I just had to start another pair for that purpose, didn’t I? And now Christmas is fast approaching… eek! Still, I am feeling more organised and purposeful about the whole thing. My knitting, I mean, not just Christmas. And bizarrely, I think a lot of that is because I finally made the decision to (temporarily) frog my Ishbel and restart it – probably after Christmas – on larger needles. I checked my gauge again, and I had 23½ sts / 4″ where I should have had 20sts. No wonder it’d come up so small, and the knit fabric was probably a bit too dense. I shall swatch again with 4.5mm and 5mm needles and see how it goes. Whether I’ll end up running out of yarn again I don’t know, but I’ll give it a try, anyway. I’ve weighed the re-wound ball, and it’s as it should be, so I assume the yardage is correct too. But the best thing is, I feel much better – obviously that one had been hanging over me without me even realising it!
Now, I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m going to knuckle down and sew up my two “UFOs” – the jumper and the cardigan. I’ve decided that the pieces of the mohair jumper really do need blocking before I sew them, since mohair is so floaty, but at least now I have the table sorted out and ready to sew on.
So my plan is to finish my Gap Year Travels shawlette / scarf (which frees up the needles for whichever cardigan I go for, I believe), and also my Menace jumper (block, sew, crochet, block again). Then to start my Christmas knitting and… just keep knitting until I have finished stuff! I reckon that’ll work.
Even though I haven’t started sewing up the Menace jumper [Ravlink] yet, I’ve been thinking about the other Unfinished Object that’s been sitting around for ages and ages, and that’s my Chunky Zipped Jacket [Ravlink] which is knit from Sirdar Bigga yarn. The main thing that’s keeping me from finishing this is the zip, although I’m also not quite sure whether to sew the seams with the Bigga yarn (which is “Super Bulky” weight), or with a thinner yarn of the same colour. I do have a thinner yarn, and that would make the seams less bulky, I think. But would it show up or be less stable, too? I don’t know! Help! I also suspect that this might not be the best project to try attaching a zip to, when it’s the first time I’ve ever done that. Again, the bulkiness is an issue. What do I sew the zip on with? Thread or yarn? This stuff is hard. Time to get advice from wiser heads, I think. I’ll cart it along to KnitJam next week.
Otherwise, today has been more of a knitting day than a tidying up one, though I have got some of that done. But good news! I’ve finished my Clapotis[Ravlink] at long last. I still have to weave in the ends, and block it (probably… I might leave it, I haven’t decided yet) but otherwise I’m done. Woohoo! Pictures will be coming soon.
I’ll be starting some voluntary work at a local library soon, helping people on the computers and internet. I’ve got to go in for a sort of induction day and an interview, but as I understand it, they’re trialling a tutorial programme to help people who aren’t used to computers, and my role would be to support them using that, and then provide refresher info and help afterwards. Sounds like fun! (No, I’m not being sarcastic, it does.) I’m looking forward to it, and it’ll be good to have something else regular in my schedule.
This evening I’ve been working on my Clapotis [Ravlink] while watching the Glastonbury coverage, and I’ve now tinked back so that I have one repeat of the straight section less, and therefore hopefully enough yarn left now to finish the project. I’d better have, because I’ve started on the decrease section again! Actually, I haven’t got very far into that… maybe I should pop a lifeline in just in case? Better safe than sorry.
I spent most of today on the beach, which was marvellous – the weather is warm and sunny, but with enough of a breeze to keep it comfortable. I sat and knitted, listened to music for some of the time, the sounds of the seaside for the rest of it, and generally enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine. I went and got one of those folding chairs that come in the carry bags, but I actually only ended up using it (still in the bag!) as a lower back rest.
It was really nice being down there. I really must go more often while the weather is good. I don’t have a garden, but with the beach only 5-10 mins away… well. Silly not to go.
I was working on my Clapotis [Ravlink] and got very near to the end… when I realised that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn after all. Argh! So I’ve ripped back again and I’ll start the decrease rows one repeat earlier. That is, I’ll have one repeat less of the “straight” section. It’ll still be a good length. I should still have it finished this week, too, since the decrease section obviously gets faster as you go.
One thing that had completely passed me by until I got into town and heard all the people in the pubs was that it was the England v (er, someone) World Cup match. We won, didn’t get sent home, and there was much rejoicing. Including a group of blokes parading along the seafront singing the national anthem and then other assorted songs (Mysterious Girl? What?).
Oh, and although I was in the sun all day long, I’m still not tanned at all. Or not enough to notice. Being v pale, I slapped on the Factor 25 – I forgot once last year and got really bad sunburn, so I’m not going there again. Still, if I keep going out to the beach, and the weather obliges, I expect I’ll gain some colour before the end of summer. Even if it will only be noticeable by comparison with my watch mark!
I had a sudden bout of startitis today (the urge to cast on new knitting projects) but I’ve managed to restrain myself! Why did I do that? Well, for the last… oh, good while, I’ve been resolved to finish the projects I currently have on the needles before I start anything new. I’ve got a lot of things that have been meandering along for a long time – I have started and completed other projects in the mean time, but I haven’t finished these others. So I’m making an effort to do that now.
The thing that’s helped me the most with doing that is that I decided to pick a “WIP of the Week” every Friday, and concentrate on that project for the next seven days. I’m not forbidding myself from knitting on my other WIPs if I feel like it, but I’ll be focussing on the one that I’ve picked and hopefully be doing the most work on that. I haven’t kept that up completely all the time, but it’s certainly helped before so I’m going to try it again.
When I first started it, it worked like a dream – I finished my first three picks very quickly that way. At the moment, I have two – the Menace jumper, which is a UFO (I count something as a UFO rather than a WIP if it’s been hibernating and not worked on for ages) and now only needs seaming, and the Clapotis scarf which is somewhat more portable. By the end of this week, I intend to have finished the straight portion of the scarf, and made a start on the jumper seaming. Although if I haven’t managed that, it doesn’t matter – I’m not aiming to finish the projects within each week, just to get as much work done on them as possible.
So, the current WIP(s) of the Week will be at the top of the “Currently” section of my sidebar. Below them are my Ravelry-powered progress bars for my In Progress and Hibernating projects. The hibernating ones are greyed out and italicised (and if you want to know how I got it to do that, drop me a line – it involved some code wrangling that I’d be happy to share with anyone interested). The links go to the Ravelry project pages, so I’m afraid if you’re not a member you won’t be able to get in unless I remember to set them as ‘open’. Or at least I think that’s how it works. Although if you’re not a member and are a knitting/crochet/spinning fan, I’d definitely recommend you go and sign up – it’s a fabulous site :-)
Anyway, I thought I’d do a round-up (with pictures) of my current lot of WIPs and UFOs. And project details for those I haven’t mentioned on here before.
So, today was World Wide Knit in Public Day (or at least, the start of WWKIP week) for 2010. We had a little meet up and knit in Princes Park in Eastbourne to mark the event – there were just four of us there in the end, but we had a good time. Or I did, anyway. I hope everyone else did!
We were there from 11am to 3pm, and as well as getting on with knitting and crochet of our own, the heel section of BigSock was cast on! A mere 500 stitches at its narrowest point, should be a doddle. Hah!
Of course, I didn’t get any of my jumper done… and what I did get knitted of my clapotis is probably going to have to be ripped back because I seem to have gained (or lost) a stitch somewhere! I’m out one, anyway. Oh well.
I’m not very good at knitting jumpers and cardigans. Or at least, I’ve knitted them, but them completely failed to sew them up in two cases, and in other cases I’ve just not got very far on the knitting itself. I do keep seeing patterns I like, but frequently they’re in the American ‘worsted’ weight, which is half way between the DK and aran weights more commonly available here… which leads to so much indecision on what would be best to know them in that I never get started at all! I don’t know, it’s all terribly stressful ;-)
What I do want to finally finally do (although I’ve been saying this for some time) is get those two that I’ve got all the knitted pieces for, sewn up and finished. Those are my “Menace Jumper” and a big chunky cardigan from a Sirdar pattern. That one’s going to be cosy come winter, assuming it still fits me! It has been a while since I started knitting it, after all. Like, what, four years? Whoops! Maybe I should take one of them with me tomorrow to World Wide Knit In Public Day – if it’s going to be fine, I’ll have space to spread out more. It could be a plan! I’ll let you know how it goes in tomorrow’s post.
I’ve decided that a good way to keep myself going with the daily posting is to do the meme / exercise that I’ve seen on some other blogs, and do a letter of the alphabet each day. Obviously that leaves four days, so I’ll do a week of alphabet then a day of either something random, or doubling up on a letter. I’ll decide that part when I get there!
So, A is for “Ambition”. Which can be broken down into both short and long term goals:
Maintaining the daily blogging through this month, and also doing IComLeavWe at the end of the month.
Finish at least one knitting project – try sewing up the Menace jumper, for example. And keep working on the Clapotis.
Make some blog posts updating my knitting progress – what I’ve been doing over the last few months as well as what I’m doing now, since I haven’t posted for so long.
Write up the patterns I’ve designed. Finally!
“Ambition” also works pretty well for the NaBloPoMo prompt for today – I may or may not do these every day, it depends what appeals to me. But the one for today is:
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. Boring, I know! Specifically, I think I wanted to be an English teacher, because I loved reading and writing. On slightly more mature reflection, I decided that the idea of dealing with a classroom full of teenagers was an appalling one, so I changed my mind to librarian. Needless to say, I’m in neither profession now, although I have done some one-to-one music tuition and enjoyed that.
Oh dear, I haven’t posted for far too long! A billionty years!! Or to be more precise, just over five months. Whoops! I don’t know where the time’s gone to. I’ve obviously been busy doing… stuff. Yeah, that’ll be it.
One of the things I have been doing is knitting. I’ve actually got a bit of decision-itis at the moment. An inflammation of the decisions, oh noes! I’ve been feeling impatient to finish things, but having trouble choosing which one to pick up. For now, I’m mostly knitting on my Clapotis [Ravlink] and planning to sew up my Menace jumper… but not actually doing it.
Anyway, I’m going to try to blog more often, and to that end I’m going to try NaBloPoMo for June. I think I actually have some possibility of finishing it, because I have actually been writing regularly on 750words.com, and if I can manage that for a long streak, then I can do a daily blog post. My problem might actually be not going on for too long, in fact. Now, I shall go to bed so that I can get started properly tomorrow.
I haven’t blogged much recently because I’ve been knitting. Which means I don’t have enough hands to type at the same time! I should at least be mostly done with the things I’m knitting as Christmas presents. Ahem. I might be completely done, who knows? I probably would have been fine, but Mum asked me for mittens which I then had to factor in… and it all went a little bit wonky. Not too much though.
Other than present knitting, I’ve finished my gloves (pictures soon), done a bit of spinning at the 1066 Spinners group, and of course have been Christmas shopping. There’s an open air ice rink in town for the festive season, so Jo and I are hoping to go down there at some point. Although it’s just started snowing today, so I spose it depends how bad that gets. I also did an hour of carolling at the local hospital last night with choir. I really love singing carols, so that was lots of fun. Even though I did have to stand in the front row where people can – oh no!!! – see me! Happily for my ridiculous stage fright, most people didn’t stop and stare: we were in the foyer, so the majority of the people just passed through.
Anyway, I’d better go and have dinner before KnitJam tonight. I’m sure there was something else I was planning to blog about, but I’m sure it’ll come back to me. If not, it probably wasn’t important!