Summertime, and the knitting’s easy…

I’ve joined another KAL – this one for the Summertime Tunic from the summer Interweave Knits. I’m really looking forward to this one, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish it before leaving for Italy. Fortunately, I will still have a bit of summer when I return, so I’ll get to enjoy it.

I’m actually ordering two colors of yarn for the Summertime Tunic, and I’m planning to choose between them when they get here. The other will probably become some other summery top, depending on how bright it is in person. Perhaps I’m getting overly predictable in my color choices…

I’m waiting to see what the colors look like to order my ribbon, but at this point I’m seriously into these floral jacquard ribbons from M&J Trimming. I particularly love the grey/rust/khaki version, and I’m already picturing how it will look against tan skin. They also have lovely contrast-edged grosgrain ribbons, so it will be a tough decision.

Because I am an absolute sucker for free shipping, I also bought yarn and supplies for some other projects, to be discussed eventually. I had a heck of a time ordering it all, as the site kept timing out and then not recognizing my shipping code. I had to reenter my order at least four or five times – talk about frustrating! Eventually I succeeded, and a box of wonderful is now on its way.

I color-coded my handy-dandy spreadsheet, and it’s a bit dismaying. The light green denotes projects which I’ve finished. Yes, there is only one. No, it doesn’t include things like coasters, scarves, or things I’d finished prior to setting this up. But still. The light blue indicates projects for which I’ve bought the yarn and supplies, but not yet started. The yellow, well, those are my WIPs. At current count, that’s 16, and I already know I have a real finishing problem. Perhaps at some point I should regain my sanity, stop buying or casting on, and get to the actual knitting and finishing of things.

It’s discouraging because I have an increasing list of items I really want to finish in the next month: the baby sweater, my shrug, the Lippitt halter, and another top I haven’t shown yet… it’s getting a bit tight. I may table the Lippitt because I can’t imagine learning to seam well enough to really love it right now. It is a shame, though, as it’s nearly all knit. I guess that’s just more incentive to learn (and practice) finishing techniques as soon as I can.

When Knitting and Nerdistry Collide

I have several obsessive-compulsive tendencies which seem especially prone to arise when there is some other task I should be attending to (i.e. schoolwork).

In this case, the fruits of my insomniac labor come as a spreadsheet to organize knitting projects present and future.

I had started out with a Word document listing some (but not all) of the important details about projects. From there I expanded my system to include the following categories:

  • Link to Pattern (if online)
  • Source of Pattern
  • Pattern Name
  • Garment Type
  • Yarn Weight
  • Yardage
  • Size
  • Yarn Used
  • Needles
  • Notions
  • Date Started
  • Date Finished
  • Notes

The beauty of Excel is that I can then sort by any of those categories at several sub-levels. For example, if I have a few hundred yards of worsted weight yarn, I can sort by yarn weight, then yardage, then garment type and see what my options are for using it.

I can also do other things like sort for a project that doesn’t require any notions, or I can find the pattern for some cardigan by Berroco whose name I don’t remember.

Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I have to say, it’s truly a beautiful thing.

I joined a KAL

One of the reasons I was so excited to start a knitting blog was that I could join knit-a-longs, and in particular I was stoked to join the Cable-Down Raglan KAL.

The pattern by Stefanie Japel is from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits, and from the moment I saw it I was in love.

Like so many well-designed things, the beauty truly is in the details. The shaping looks really flattering, and I can’t get enough of the gorgeous cables.

I’m doing mine in a cream color, and I’ve already cast on and knit the first few rows of the neckline.

Since I’m not terribly experienced with cables, or top-down knitting in the round… or really even sweater knitting, I know I have to be incredibly careful.

It’s tempting to wait until the errata are published on the IK site, but I want to try as much as I can to figure it out and make some progress.