On the Needles: UFO Edition

I’ve got several (!) works-in-progress going right now.

There are a few pairs of socks that are not only suffering from second-sock-syndrome but from finishing-first-sock-syndrome.  I ran out of knitting mojo when my big girl got so sick last winter and they linger unfinished in my knitting tote.  One day, hopefully soon, they’ll get pulled back out and finished.

Socks are great on-the-go projects because they take up so little room in your purse or tote and are relatively mindless, until you get to the heel, that is.

In addition to the socks, I’ve got a few other projects on the needles.  There’s the lavender tank I started over Spring Break and never got past that week of knitting.  And a cowl I started a few weeks ago (and am actively working on) – I’m not in love with the pattern, but I’m looking forward to the bright pop of pink in my wardrobe in the dreary days of winter next year.

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The finished object looks lovely. The pattern is just, well, not exciting. But it is good mindless knitting to do when you’re watching TV or hanging out with the family. (and frankly, mindless knitting is about all I’m capable of right now)

I’m also working on a vest. Rather ambitious, I know, as I’m not one for finishing big projects (see tank project above) but I’m really excited about the possibility of actually finishing and wearing this one. Vests are all the rage right now and this is one of those with the kimono-style lines that I think are flattering on anyone.  The kids have already been eyeing it… Uh, no. If Mama finishes it, Mama wears it!

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It’s another mindless project (so far) – just knit, knit, knit until what seems like forever.

It’s a two piece project you put together – I THINK I’m working on the back right now.  (checks pattern) Yes, I am.  I’m liking the color changes/striping that is happening.  The yarn is a silk/cotton blend. Not the slippiest yarn around and I’m thankful I have stainless needles as I wrastle with the yarn. I’m using this project to practice my continental knitting. Stretching those muscles and straining the brain cells.

Now, If I could just figure out how to knit and walk I could get my exercise in at the same time! Have you seen people that do that? I’m amazed. And the marathon runners who knit totally boggle my mind. I can barely walk and think at the same time. Adding knitting to the mix would probably cause my brain to seize up and reboot.

Well, that’s what I’ve got going right now – or at least what’s “active” in the knitting bag.  There’s a bunch of other projects I’ve been thinking about but I’m trying to exercise some self-control and limit my UFOs a bit.

Unruly socks and never-ending scarves

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I’ve been doing a lot of knitting lately.
I’ve been doing a lot of knitting, but I haven’t gotten a lot done.

You see, I have this pair of socks.

Well, actually I have a sock and a quarter, truth be told.

This second sock is really giving me fits.  I’ve ripped it out completely once, ripped back 2/3 of it another time and now I’m about to rip out the heel and re-do it as well.

The sock really has an attitude.

Which is surprising to me because the first sock was so malleable and easy going. Quick on the needles, quick to knit and easy off.  Lovely.

It’s sibling, however, has other ideas.  It’s the Mr. Hyde of the pair, I think.’

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Do you see that dratted hole? I had to fix that one, too.

Thank goodness for lifelines.

They have saved this sock’s life a couple of times. *ahem*

And, to be quite, honest, I’m kind of fed up with the sock’s attitude.  All these issues and such.

So, I’ve put it in time out for a couple of days. I mean, when you only have an hour or so to knit a day who wants to be aggravated with an adolescent sock with an attitude?

And so I’ve moved on to prettier, more pleasant things for a while –

This beautiful scarf, to be specific.

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Here’s the Ravelry link if you are interested in looking at the details of the pattern.

It’s an asymmetrical scarf with these neat notches on one side – I am loving the variegated yarn that I chose. It was what the shop sample had been made with and I decided I wanted one just like the sample.  So far, so good.

I fell in love with the shop sample and just had to cast on as soon as I got home with the yarn. And then I was really in love when I read the cute story behind the pattern – it has 42 “points” on the edge, which corresponds to the answer to the universe and everything (read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

Having read that book in high school (or college?) I decided I really had to have the scarf that was the answer to everything. *grin*

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Aren’t the notches pretty?

I’m thinking if I ever make this again, I may add some beads to that end section for some additional interest – especially if the yarn I use is not so interestingly variegated.

But it does seem to be taking for-ev-er to knit.  I am a slow knitter and the back and forth and back and forth of just straight knitting with only something “interesting” at the end of each row gets a little mundane.  However, it’s is a great project to do around people because there’s very little counting involved.

What are you working on?

On the needles

I’ve decided that this is the year to tackle sock knitting.

I’ve been terrified of the whole process – the heel, the toe, the double-pointed needles, etc.

That is, until the nice ladies at Unwind Yarn and Gifts gave me a great start.  They pointed me to the best beginner pattern – Churchmouse Yarns Basic Sock – and helped me select some yarn to use.

I had read this blog post about knitting a sock using a 9” circular needle and that was the “Ah-Ha!” moment for me.  I hate double-pointed needles. Circular needles I can do. Socks suddenly became a possibility.

I ordered the needles on Amazon (here and here and here) and visited the ladies at Unwind.  They helped me with advice and recommendations and I was off and knitting on our ride home from Savannah.

The first sock was actually so very easy – even the heel.  I got some more excellent advice at a local yarn shop (Knitting in the Red) when she told me “just do what the instructions say.”  Oh yeah? I thought.

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But, you know what? It worked! (crazy, I know)

So, I have one sock finished and I’m working on the second.

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The second sock is being a little cranky – dropped stitches and the like – so it’s in time out right now.  I think I’ll pick it up again in a few days when I’m not so annoyed with it.

The yarn is Berroco Sox in “Humberside” colorway. I love the pattern. But I’m not crazy about the yarn. For someone with a wool sensitivity, it’s scratchy and irritates my skin when I knit with it – I feel like I have rope burn where the yarn slides across my skin.  Not sure yet if I will keep the socks when they are done.  I’m not sure I want to give away my first-ever socks, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to wear them, either. Maybe Big Girl will get them. She’s been asking for them for a while.

So, while these are in time out, I’ve decided to start another pair (because who has only one knitting project going at a time?!?)

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The pattern is “Vanilla Latte Socks” and I love the way it looks and can’t wait to see how this Republic of Wool yarn knits up. I love how soft it feels.  It’s 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon.  Happy, happy colors.

Hopefully, these won’t be as cranky as the purple ones.

And, hopefully, I’ll have warm footsies this winter with new socks to wear!

Newly finished

I finished this little gem today in the carpool line.IMG_4641[1]

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been knitting a lot of projects for myself lately and the little one decided I needed to knit something for HER!

She picked out the yarn before Christmas and originally it was going to be a hat, but after seeing how comfy the cowls I’ve been making are, she decided she wanted one for herself instead.

I made it with Cascade Yarns’ Pacific Chunky which is a 60/40 blend of wool and acrylic.  Just enough wool to be warm, just enough acrylic that it’s soft enough for a 9 year old’s neck.

It’s a basic seed stitch (or is it moss? I can’t remember) – K1P1 all the way around.  I cast on 75 and did 3 rows straight knitting to give it a rolled edge and then finished with another rolled edge for symmetry.

I think it turned out really pretty. The color is lovely – very rich looking – and I didn’t want any fancy stitch patterns to compete with the beautiful color.

If you’re a Raveler, I’ve raveled it so you are welcome to add it to your queue if you like, although the pattern’s so simple, you don’t really need one.

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I think she likes it, don’t you?

On the needles

I’ve been so busy this year with work that I haven’t really had much time for any type of crafting – scrapbooking, needlework, nothing.  And, honestly, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really missed it, either.

However, things seem to be slowing down a bit at work (thank the Lord) and I am not quite at the collapse-into-bed stage in the evenings when the kids go to bed.  So, I started getting itchy fingers and looking for something to crochet or knit.  I think the ladies at the dance studio were influencing me because most of them are knitters and bring their projects to work on while our daughters dance.

I found two projects that I fell head over heels in love with  – one is a lacy scarf that I think I’m going to make into a wrap by doubling the project. (I bought double the yarn called for in the project)

The yarn I bought is full of fall colors – reds, mauve, purples – and I think it will be beautiful in this pattern.

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It looks a lot more red in this picture than it really is. There’s a lot of blue-ish purple there in real life.

The second is a beautiful shawl that is inspired by Princess Kate’s shawl that she wore shopping.  I love how feminine it is – that ruffle is just beautiful.  I’m sure the original costs hundreds of dollars, but my version, based on a Ravelry pattern is much cheaper – especially since I found the yarn on sale for $2.50/skein!

The original is a beautiful forest green, but I fell in love with a navy yarn and decided that would go more with my wardrobe. Here’s what I chose:

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Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue

I’m loving the pattern – it is easy enough that I can remember it (mostly) even with the repeats.  It’s got a “spine” down the back with an open line and then the ruffle will be added at the end.

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I am not even finished with the first skein and it calls for four (!) so I will most likely be working on this project for a while.  I have been trying to spend an hour or so a day working on it but some days I haven’t had time to do anything. IMGP4822

I am in no rush, though, and I am really enjoying the project. You can follow along with me on my Ravelry page.  One thing to note is that the pattern on the website is incorrect and the author notes on Ravelry that you can email her and she will send you the corrected pattern. I did that and received a return email within a few hours so I didn’t have to wait to start my project!

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I can’t wait to have it on my shoulders when it’s finished.

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My helper can’t wait, either. I think he thinks I’m making it for him. Winking smile

 

On the needles

I’ve knocked out a few washcloths and now, after a little struggle with a pattern, I’m off and running with the afghan I wanted to make – (this is the pattern on my Pinterest board)

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I’m making it with a chunky yarn – it’s so soft and cuddly. I can’t wait to finish! Maybe I’ll be done in time for next winter! (ha!)

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

What’re you working on?

 

On the Needles: Stash Bustin’

I’m in between big projects right now – not really ready to start on another blanket or something big, so I decided to finish off some cotton yarn I had and make some washcloths. Quick, easy and gives you a sense of accomplishment because you can usually do one in a day…

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So I’m chugging along here – the one above is a single crochet I started this evening while watching Duck Dynasty with the family… probably finish it off tomorrow.

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And this one I made on Sunday afternoon – I think I did a double crochet, but I honestly can’t remember. (I’ve slept twice since then, you know?)

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It’s about 9×8 inches… They shrink quite a bit when they’re dried, so I make them larger to allow for that shrinkage. If you air dry them and stretch them back out while they dry they’ll hold their size and shape pretty well, but I’m lazy and usually just throw them in the dryer with the other towels.

They are extremely durable – they hold up to pot scrubbing, face washing, counter cleaning – you name it – and bleaching.  I have some knitted ones that are close to three years old now and they look just like they did when I first made them. (Especially the ones the girls claimed for Barbie blankets LOL)

Do you crochet or knit household linens?

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