Sunday, January 28

Projects in Progress (Or, things I need to finish.)

I took some time this weekend to find all of the projects I have sitting around in various stages of completion. In no particular order:

1) Christmas ornaments - mini hats and mittens. These were supposed to be for this past year. Whoops. At least if I finish them soon I will have a head start on next Christmas! 50% complete.

2) Dale Svale Diamonique top. It would be nice to have the finished before summer. 35% complete.

3) Helmet ear cover thingies from (I can't seem to find this pattern online anymore. Maybe I am just missing it?) For my Dad's motorcycle helmet; so his ears don't freeze when he is so anxious to ride he can't wait for it to warm up outside! The straps are not the same size/shape as the bicycle helmet straps the pattern is written for. The first cover I knit up was not quite right so I need to try again. So, that would be 0% complete I guess.

4) A Surprise. Originally supposed to be a Christmas surprise, but I was realistic enough to see that it might have caused a nervous breakdown if I rushed to finish in time. Probably the most complicated pattern I have ever attempted. 10% complete.

5) Unbiased - recycled silk purse from Knitty. This is complete; I just want to sew in a lining before I use it.

6) Fabric strip knit purse. This is a kit I picked up on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $5 a number of years ago. Not started yet - but it would be nice to have for the spring.

7) Bead Soup bracelet kit from Earth Faire. I made one of these for my Mom last year and it was very easy and lots of fun. 0% complete.

8) MaryElla bracelet from Knitty. Kit purchased from Earth Faire. 0% complete.

9) Chic Knits Ribby Cardi. I have two colors of Plymouth Encore to use for this and started a sleeve about a year ago. I am probably going to finish, but am half thinking of other uses for the yarn. 5% complete.

10) Felted Flower kits. I have three of these from Stitches Midwest last year. 0% complete.

11) Shedir hat from Knitty. Rowan Calmer, also purchased at Stitches. 0% complete.

This list isn’t as outrageously long as I was expecting. I am not saying that I am going to finish all of these before I start something else; but I do want to finish all of them before I buy any new yarn! I look forward to crossing a few of these off soon.

Wednesday, January 24


I am more than halfway finished with the second sleeve of my sweater. (I'm not sure what to call it - Debbie Bliss sweater? Ribbed sweater? FCEK sweater?) My plan is to finish the sleeve by the end of the week, then sew it up and knit the collar this weekend. It already feels good to have one of my older projects near completion.

Sleeve in progress

You can see my notes in the photo above. I have sort of a strange way of keeping track of patterns, but it makes perfect sense in my head. I have to write out the pattern as a series of lines or circles to be crossed off as I complete each row. Any shaping is abbreviated and placed where it falls in the pattern. This allows me to both visualize what I am doing and make sure I understand the instructions before I start. OK, maybe that is not so strange, but what definitely qualifies is that I knit two rows (ie a knit row and a purl row) before I cross of two of the lines. I can't knit a row and cross off a row one at a time. It just doesn't feel right!

Work is starting to slow down to a more normal pace where I am not thinking that driving my car off a bridge is a suitable alternative to showing up for work in the morning. In fact, I left at 4:45pm today (15 minutes early). My boss and a few co-workers had already left, but I still felt so incredibly guilty about it that I had to talk myself out of driving back there to answer some emails, even when it had become way past 5:00. Why do I always have to play the responsible one?!

Tuesday, January 23

We didn't come here looking for trouble.

I don't want to jinx anything, but is it possible that two of my favorite teams could win a championship in the same decade? Within two years of each other? Although it is true the White Sox sweep of the World Series in 2005 seemed a little more solid than the Bears hot and cold QB, I can't help but hope. Plus, we’ve had lots of fun reminiscing about the “Super Bowl Shuffle”, Jim McMahon, Sweetness and the Fridge. Ah, good times.

Anyone who watched the game Sunday afternoon saw that winter has finally hit Chicagoland. I guess I don't really mind, as long as the roads are clear when I have to drive somewhere. All of this cold does make me wish I had knit (well, finished) more winter things.

One idea I had was to make leg warmer type things to wear in the car before it warms up, maybe with buttons so they are easy to remove, to keep my ankles from freezing. This is the first place I get cold, and thick socks are not always an option. I should work on these soon, instead of waiting until next winter and then forgetting again.

Wednesday, January 17

Unfinished project #1

In keeping with my promise to finish a few projects before starting anything new, I decided to work on a sweater while it is still winter. But now that I think about it, would it make more sense to finish the lacey summer top I have going first? So, you know, they actually will be done in time for summer? Hmmmm...

Anyways, I am making this sweater from Family Circle Easy Knitting Fall 2004:

sweater pattern photo
(Is it just me, or is the model's head way too big for her body?)

The yarn (Debbie Bliss Merino Aran) has already been knit once a few years ago, into a less than flattering top down seamless raglan that was a "good learning experience". I'd include a link to an old post, but Blogger is being stubborn and will not let me transfer my archives to Wordpress.

I completed the front, back, and sleeve ribbing last September and then put it all aside for an unknown reason. Probably something more interesting caught my eye! One big change I am making to the pattern is to have the knit side of the fabric face out. I'm not a fan of the reverse stockingette look.

sweater in progress

You can see that the yarn looks a little raggedy after being ripped out of the first sweater, but it blocks out nicely once washed. Hopefully I can have this finished in the next week and be able to wear it this winter still. (Not that I want it to stay frigid cold - an unseasonable heat wave works for me too.)

Tuesday, January 16

First FO of 2007

Opal socks

I finished these socks Sunday night, washed them Monday, and wore them to work today. (I think most super-wash sock yarn becomes softer after it is washed.) So even though it is 20°F outside right now, my feet are toasty warm.

Opal Socks

Opal Southwest (color #3702 )

This is the first pair of socks I have knit with shorter cuffs. Not sure what took me so long, as I usually only wear shorter-cuffed purchased socks. I think I am going to make more like this in the future – I haven’t felt the need to push the tops down my legs further all day!

Now I get to choose which unfinished project to finish next. It is probably going to be a sweater that has been knit and ripped apart once already. Since we finally are having cold weather and snow here in Chicago (not that I like it) I feel compelled to knit more winter things.

Friday, January 12

Sock and a Half

I am going to promise myself not to start any more socks until I finish at least one of the large projects I have going right now. (Could barely even describe one of those to you - it's been so long since they've seen the light of day!) The only problem is I'm afraid I will give in and start another pair of socks anyways since they are the (my) perfect project: small, easy, with zero to little thought necessary, and a rainbow of colors in my sock yarn stash.

I also promise not to start any other new large projects until I finish one already underway. Does anyone else have that problem? It's like I get a high from picking a new pattern - especially on that is unusual in any way - and starting with a fresh ball of yarn, but once I know the stitch pattern and understand how the whole thing comes together I lose interest and begin daydreaming about what could be next.

Here is the only project I am actively working on, originally started as lunch-time knitting before it was too cold to go out and "picnic" in my car at a park by work. (Hey - it wasn't that long ago, we've had a warm winter!)

Opal Southwest socks in progress

Unfortunately, I am not to be capable of leaving them in my car/at work as planned. I keep thinking "I should be working on those socks." I am so determined to finish them this weekend. Because then I can move on to the stack of other unfinished projects...

Wednesday, January 10

Baby Bear

I mentioned a week or so ago that I had drastically cut my holiday knitting plans down to a more managable list. Which ended up being one thing. Which I finished in August before I even made the list, so I'm not actually sure it counts. Here it is - a Baby Bobbi Bear for my mom:

Baby Bobbi Bear

I bought the pattern last August at Stitches Midwest and completed the bear soon after. I was so pleased at how it turned out I almost couldn't give him up. I also had to fight the urge to give it to Mom every time I saw her.

I used Lion Brand Cotton yarn, since I loved the sample at Stitches knit out of Blue Sky Alpaca cotton. The only reason I haven't made an exact copy for myself is because the cotton yarn on size 4 dpns just about killed my hands.

I added the little scarf because I thought he needed "something" before I stuck him in tissue paper and a gift bag. I almost just used a ribbon but the scarf took no time at all to knit and makes him super adorable.

So as for all those forgotten holiday projects, at least one will definitely see the light of day again. And I probably should start working on it soon - so I don't have to put it off for another holiday again!

Sunday, January 7

Welcome to my new and improved blog!

After finally running out of patience with Blogger, I have switched over to Wordpress. The learning curve was steeper than I expected, having never used php or css or any newfangled coding like that before. Much credit goes to my husband, who finally got everything working!

I'm going to try and import all of my old Blogger posts within the next few days, since I'd hate to lose all that history. Meanwhile, please let me know what you think and if anything looks funky in your browser.

I look forward to posting here on my “new” blog and hope you come back and read a little sometime!