Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday: The Return of the Yarn

It’s been forever since I wrote about yarnie goings-on. Mainly that’s because I’ve been in a slump for several weeks — um, months — and have hardly touched any of the pending projects. In fact, I just took a look back and the last time I posted anything yarn-related was in June.


Tunisian Terror squaresThe only project that’s seen any significant progress is the Tunisian Terror. This picture was taken in July. Since then I’ve completed several more squares but haven’t taken any more recent photographs. If I buckle down, it’s possible I might get it completed by Christmas, which would make Mom happy, but part of the trouble I have with this project is the process of making the squares bores me silly. After about the third or fourth square, I’d mastered the Tunisian simple stitch and there’s simply no challenge any longer. Something to look forward to, though: The pattern calls for several squares that require color changes; however, due to some color and yardage Wildflower 8
Wildflower 6limitations, I had decided to wait until all of the solid squares were completed before getting into the mixed colors. I’m regretting that decision. It’s still the right decision, and I won’t change my mind, but I keep looking longingly at the directions for the multi-color squares…

The Wildflower Cardigan has had virtually no progress. The back was completed several months ago, and the left front was started, but once I got into the part where I had to follow the chart for the pocket design, I fizzled out. Again, this photo was taken in July. I have done some work on the first few rows of the pocket chart, but again, no pictures. In the meantime, please admire the scalloped bottom detail. And those little flaps on the stitch holders are the pocket backs. 🙂

Ultra Pima cardi attemptThat turquoise blue cotton lace shrug stalled right at the point the ribbing was done and the lace pattern began. I hated the lace pattern, so I put the poor thing in a bag for a time-out while I rethought the whole thing. Here we are, months later, and over the weekend, I finally did a couple of fresh Ravelry searches, which resulted in a few other lace cardigan or shrug patterns that may work. I just have to grit my teeth and rip this piece back to the beginning. Again.

Spouse's socks 6And the less said about spouse’s socks, the better.

Normally, I’d refer you to Tami’s Amis for the usual WIP Wednesday roundup, but there isn’t one for this week. If you’re on Ravelry, though, you can look in the group The Blog Hub for the WIP Wednesday thread and catch up there.

Posted in Knitting, Project planning, Yarn stash

Cast-on-itis needs its own telethon

I’m fighting a bout of cast-on-itis.

These attacks happen every year right about this time: Autumn has arrived in its full force and glory, the house’s central heat has been switched on to ease the morning chill, and I start studying my pattern books, paging through various Ravelry pattern searches, and fondling all those luscious wools in the stash.

Photo © OnceASheep
So, what started it? Last week, when barely three-quarters of the way down the cuff, I got bored with the first k3p1 sock I’m making for spouse — which, by the way, does not bode well for the second sock of the pair — and cast on for a Rowan scarf pattern I’ve admired for a couple of years.

The Wanderer Scarf by Martin Storey is huge and textured and cushiony and made with enormous yarn on enormous needles. It’s intended as a gift for a friend who lives in a cold climate. Said friend may or may not read this blog, so no further details about the giftee will be forthcoming until it arrives in its intended recipient’s hands. But the scarf will probably make an appearance or two in the WIP Wednesday Round-up, assuming I manage to get any such entries written — difficult when working full-time. As insecure as our financial position was during the recent government shut-down, I did enjoy having all that time at home to read and knit and write about reading and knitting. I’m considering it a preview of retirement.

Schaeffer ChrisSpeaking of gifts, though, that’s the other thing that brings on this annual cast-on-itis struggle. It’s getting to be the gift-giving season, when I remember all the people I put on the gift list earlier in the year and realize I haven’t made a single one. In fact, I’m two years behind. And it’s not just Christmas: in my family, we have multiple Autumn and Winter birthdays. You’d think after all these years I’d have learned to make little things — scarves and hats and mitts and socks and fancy washcloths — all throughout the year to avoid being crushed under the weight of the end-of-year obligations. But no. Lesson still not learned. Maybe next year.

Photo © Interweave LLC
Market Jacket, Photo © Interweave LLC
But, truthfully, I really want to knit something for me. Something big this time, like a cardigan or pullover. I’ve been eyeing my stash of reds, in particular, and that 1500 yards of Schaefer Chris in Pomegranate shown above is screaming at me. I think it wants to become the Market Jacket from Interweave’s November Knits. I even have buttons in stash that might work, but it wouldn’t break my heart if I had to buy new buttons. Because, well, buttons! (Have I mentioned I stash buttons as well as yarn? No? Consider it mentioned, then.)

There’s also nearly 1500 yards of burgundy alpaca that wants to become a Gathered Pullover.
Indiecita Alpaca 2020

Gathered Pullover, Photo © Interweave LLC
Gathered Pullover, Photo © Interweave LLC

So, that’s where the resistance to cast-on-itis is coming from: the urge to make a new Autumn sweater for me me me, and the simple fact that there are gifts that should require my complete and total attention. Add the guilt that I’ve recently finished three projects just for me me me… wait, one of those projects was the shrug I cast during last year’s cast-on-itis season. Ha! There’s my justification! Now to decide: the pullover or the cardigan?

Posted in Finished object, Knitting

FO Friday: Something to share, at last!

Dolce Shrug 7The knitting and the blocking on my Dolce Shrug has been done for months. It has sat on my craft table, blocked but unseamed, unloved, and ignored since April. The fact that the weather started getting warmer in April had very little to do with not seaming it up right after I blocked it. Not at all.

But Wednesday evening, the seaming bug bit — prompted by a touch of tendonitis courtesy of a marathon crocheting session over the weekend — so I dragged the poor thing downstairs and sewed it together while watching television. Since my elbow and wrist hurt too much to either crochet OR knit, I had to do something with yarn, right? Dolce shrug 14And the fact that the weather has finally turned coolish had nothing to do with the decision to finally finish the fiddly seaming and sewing on of buttons. Not at all.

Pattern: Button Back Shrug by Penny Olman, from Knitters Magazine 101 (Winter 2010)
Yarn: Cascade Dolce in colorway 980, just over 9 skeins (approx 995 yards)
Needle: Size 9 US
Buttons: 1 inch plastic/imitation mother of pearl, purchased from a booth at Stitches South in 2011

Sadly, the Cascade Dolce — an alpaca, wool, silk blend — is discontinued. Stupid Cascade. I’d have bought TONS of this stuff were it still available! It’s soft, and warm, and cuddly, and knits up like a dream, and did I mention heavenly soft?

Dolce shrug 16

Turned out totally gorgeous, as I knew it would once I put this yarn to this pattern. I wore it to work Thursday. Not with this dress, which is actually my “I’m not going anywhere else today” housedress, but with a pair of dark gray slacks and a silky shell. I anticipate getting a lot of wear out of it over the next few months.

Dolce shrug 11

Here’s a closer look at the buttons. This colorway and these buttons were made for each other. Tell me they weren’t. I dare you.

d1010-fofridayWhile you’re working up the nerve for that, take a look at what else is happening with FO Fridays by clicking the badge to the left.

Posted in Knitting, Project planning, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday: The Catching Up Edition

Ooooh, woe is me.

Actually, to be grammatically correct, that sentence should read: “Woe am I”, but this is a knitting and crochet blog, not a grammar blog. My blog, my rules. Nyah.

So, back to the woe bit. Wabbit. “Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit!”

Sheesh. ADHD much, avanta? Focus, woman!

This state of mind brought to you by the fact I have several projects that are just. this. close. to being finished, and I can’t focus on any one of them long enough to make that last half a sock, or those last few stitches or seams. And my craft room is in an even more giant mess than usual, simply because spouse and I purchased the shelving units I wanted and I’ve had to tear the whole room apart before I can put it back together again. See?

Craft Room Reorg 2

Oh, wait, though. There’s more.

Craft Room Reorg 1

All is not lost, however. Because I have made small progress. Some of the yarn has found a home in bins. I just need more bins. And the gumption to tackle the stack of books and arrange them in the shelves in some semblance of order. Not to mention the stamina to go through every single pattern magazine and assign it to a proper magazine file. Speaking of which, I need more magazine files, too. But eventually, all will be organized, and these cubbies will be filled with neatness and order, and I’ll be able to find the damn magazine with the pattern I want when I want it and not six weeks later when I already started to use that yarn with a different pattern.

Craft Room Reorg 3

In yarn news, the cabled shrug is completely blocked, all the ends are woven in, and all it needs is seaming and buttons.Dolce Shrug 7

One sock is complete (and somewhere downstairs at the moment; don’t ask me why; at this point I have no idea) and the other sock has about two or three inches to go before starting the heel flap.

Dusk Socks 1

And the Kindle cozy just needs its button loop attached at one end and a button sewn on.

Kindle Cover 1

*sigh* This is a project which I no longer actually need, because I bought a cover that will actually protect the Kindle rather than keep it warm, but, you know, it’s pretty, so I’ll keep it and maybe put the Kindle with its protective cover inside the cozy anyway. On those really cold days next winter. In Georgia. Then again, maybe I’ll frog this and repurpose the yarn for something else. It’s 100% cotton, I only used about half the skein and I have a whole other skein in the same color…hm. It’s a thought.

WIP WednesdaysThat’s it for this WIP Wednesday. Click the badge to see what’s going on elsewhere in the WIP Wednesday blogosphere.

Posted in Knitting, Life in general, Work in progress

WIP Wednesday: Odds and ends

I told you I wouldn’t post another picture of the Mosaic Afghan until it was completely done with all the ends woven in. But, just so you know progress is still being made, I saved all the excess ends I’ve trimmed after weaving in sufficient length to secure the yarn. See?

I wonder how big this pile will be when I’m finally done.

I attached the third skein last night to my cabled shrug. The work is going fast. The cable pattern is easily memorized which makes this project great for television knitting. I expect to make quite a bit of progress while watching the Presidential debate this evening. That is, if I don’t end up throwing my yarn and project at the screen every time one of the candidates rattles off a platitude or falsehood. (It’s an awful thing, being a political junkie. I both love and loathe politics. It’s a sickness, I swear.)

Moving update: I’ve talked to multiple coordinators involved with our relocation this week, with more scheduled for next week. I can’t keep track of them all. Luckily, I don’t have to because the master coordinator does that for me. I have the best employer in the world.

Click the badge to see what other folks are up to this week.

Posted in Project planning, Technique, Work in progress, Yarn stash

WIP Wednesday: Something new!

WIP WednesdayI’m still plugging away at weaving in those endless endless ends on the afghan. The other day my mother was at the house. She cast her acquisitive eyes upon it and declared I should give it to her because it matches her bedroom. (It does not, by the way. Well, one color matches her color scheme, and that color is not the predominant burgundy.) I’m tempted to hand it to her as is, and say, “If you weave in the rest of the ends, it’s all yours!” I made it for me, though, and now am struggling with daughter-guilt over wanting to keep it for myself.

Moms. What are ya gonna do?

To relieve myself of the guilt, and to celebrate finishing the TARDIS shawl (pictures forthcoming on Friday!), I retrieved from stash a yarn I’ve been dying to use ever since I bought it at Stitches South in 2011.

Dolce by Cascade Yarns, colorway 980

I fell in love with Dolce at first touch. It’s a worsted-weight alpaca/wool/silk blend that feels like heaven. The color I chose is a soft grayish green that reminds me of the deep forest at twilight. As per usual, I had no idea what I would do with it when I bought it, but I bought a sweater quantity anyway. Just in case.

So, now, I had to find just the right pattern. The yarn screams “Cable me!” After scouring Ravelry and my pattern library for days, looking at every pattern with cables that fell into the right weight and yardage categories, I finally found the perfect project.

Button-Back Shrug from Knitter’s Magazine 101

I subscribed to Knitter’s Magazine for only one year. I let the subscription lapse because I wasn’t overly impressed with their patterns, but they had a few gems in that year. This was one of them. I love the casual drapiness and unusual construction. I especially love that button-back detail, which gives me the opportunity to use some spectacular buttons I also bought at Stitches South that year.

Of course, now I have to find those buttons again. They’re here somewhere. Buried. *sigh* It’s probably a good thing we’re moving, because I’ll be forced to reorganize the stash at one end of the move or the other.

Anyway, I cast on Sunday evening. With luck, I’ll have it finished by the time cold weather sets in around Thanksgiving. Well, maybe Christmas.

(Click the badge at the top of this entry to see what other folks are up to this week.)

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Work in progress

Work in progress Wednesday

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while.  Not much, how ’bout you?

*shakes head*  Whoa.  70s moment.

It’s Wednesday, still, barely, but there’s still time to join in on the WWIP meme.  Sadly, most of the WIPs are the same as the last time I participated in this meme.  Sadder still, I’ve added to them. *hangs head in shame*

Let’s get the oldies out of the way first:
Belle Epoque 1
The Belle Epoque socks are in exactly the same state as they were last time.  Not a single new stitch has been added.  Ditto with the Windowpane coat:
Windowpane 1

And the Delphine tank:
Delphine 2

And the baby blanket:
Spare baby blanket 5

The Sweet Nothing shrug needs blocking:
Sweet Nothing 1
As does the other baby blanket which I failed to take a picture of before sitting down and writing this entry.  In the new stuff, there’s another afghan which has been taking up the majority of my time:

And then there’s this hat I’m designing on the fly because I had only two skeins (about 260 yards) of this fabulous bulky wool and couldn’t find a pattern to suit me:


Loose cables at a large gauge.  The hat should take up about 1 skein of the wool.  I’ll make a matching cowl with the other skein.