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.
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.
The hot weather is continuing, and now it’s got to the point where it’s really too hot to sleep at night. Not so much fun. Especially with a cat who’s determined to plaster himself against you! Ugh. I didn’t even go out today, but stayed inside knitting (my Clapotis is very very nearly done, yay!) and doing housework, all while listening to podcasts.
I was really quite productive though, which is good. I’m tired now, yes, but the house is clean, and I’ve managed to file away (or recycle) a whole load of paperwork that had been lurking. I can even use the dining room table again – it had been covered in said piles of paperwork. I have every intention of covering it up again, as I want to finally sew up my Menace jumper. Now that I’ve got started with the filing, I’m planning to carry on tomorrow. Because yes, there is more. I need to go through my files, too, and shred all the older stuff. I should ask Mum to bring her shredder up when she comes over to help me consign stuff to charity donations. My filing cupboard definitely needs some paring down. Hah, so much for spending more time on the beach – I’m thinking up excuses to stay in out of the heat. I get a lovely breeze blowing through my flat most days. But I really must get out as well. Maybe later in the week. Too tired to think about it now. Zzzzzzzzz.
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.
My “Damson Gloves” [Ravlink] are my current main knitting work in progress. I have no gloves, you see! I lost mine a couple of years ago, and it seemed silly to buy new ones when I could make some, so I started on these. And, um… I finished one plus just past the cuff of the second! It wasn’t even like knitting the fingers were as fiddly as I’d been afraid they might be. I think I got distracted with gift knitting and things with deadlines, and just lost the momentum on them. And of course, every time I remembered them again since, it was already cold weather. I do have nice warm fingerless gloves, although that’s not quite the same.
This year, however, I’ve picked them up again. Or picked up glove no.2, to be more accurate. I’d actually knitted up to part of the thumb gusset, but I didn’t actually know exactly how far up. So I ripped it out (it was only a few inches, after all) and started again. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t do so sooner. Well, I do – I had lots of other knitting that I was concentrating on, and these didn’t have a deadline. But now I want gloves, and the weather is getting colder! So this is how I’m doing:
Actually, I’ve now got a little further than that – those photos are from a couple of days ago, and I’ve now knit the little finger and started on the ring finger. If I concentrate on them for another couple of days, I should be finished. Hoorah!
I don’t think I ever did a project info post for these gloves, so here it is now:
Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern (from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns) by Ann Budd [Ravlink] using a 1×1 rib cuff, Wavy Rib up the thumb and Claw Pattern Cable with Bobbles on the back of the hand (both from The Harmony Guides Vol.2, pp.70 & 76). Yarn:Yarn Yard Hug in ‘Damson’. Needles: 3.25mm Addi Turbo bamboo circular (80cm) Ravelry Project Page:Damson Gloves
With a bit of luck, my next post about these will be to show off the finished versions!
I was knitting on those socks I posted about earlier, but it’s just occurred to me that I could knit my February Lady Sweater instead… it’s been languishing for ages, and I’m sure it won’t take long once I sit down and work on it. Plus, larger needles might work better with tired, unfocused eyes!
I’ve been doing a bit of knitting… although I need to go and cook soon. Anyway, these are what I’m working on right now:
I’m a little worried I won’t have enough yarn for two whole socks, which is why I’ve stopped just short of the toe decreases (yes, my feet are that small) on the first one and started the second. I’m going to see how well the yarn seems to be doing on the way down the leg of sock 2, then decide whether I’ll need to rip back the first one and only have 3 pattern repeats for the leg instead of 4. Hopefully I won’t need to…