WIP it Out

I think that show and tell is probably the best course of action to describe what I’ve been up to lately. (Isn’t it always?)

First, I’ve taken appraisal of the yarn situation in my apartment and determined there is entirely too much. I posted this photo to Ravelry, but neglected to post it here – this is my entire sock yarn stash:

Yikes. I have another labeled version of it all as well. My boyfriend did take a few photos of my entire stash covering our bed, but the colors are grossly inaccurate. If you can stand an HDR, here it is. Seeing it sprawled out reaffirms my decision not to buy any more yarn for a good long while.

A recent day serving jury duty provided ample knitting opportunity, where predictably I worked on green socks. I am well past the heel and up the cuff on my first Eleanor sock, which is good, as I am trying to finish them by the end of June.

I also worked on a design-your-own sock challenge for Sock Knitters Anonymous, and it has involved a little math and a lot of frogging.

I got pretty far along when I realized a minor (and mostly undetectable error) that I knew would drive me crazy. I was so frustrated that I ripped all the way back to the beginning. I think I’ve got the pattern sorted out completely now, so once I cast back on these should be pretty fast-moving.

I also have socks in other colors currently going – Spiral Boot Socks for the Knitting 19th Century Novels KAL for Around the World in 80 Days.

I’ve loved reading the book when I have a spare moment (or can’t sleep), but I have not made any real time for these socks yet, and it’s unlikely I will finish them by June with everything else I’m attempting.

My green fixation has combined with my need for practicality in a One-Tone Ribbed Shrug from Fitted Knits.

This shrug is an enjoyable knit, and it’s moving quickly. The latter point is crucial because I really should be using those needles to finish this other little sweater, whose recipient is visiting my parents in less than two weeks.

This is the Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand, and I’ve knit one for myself, so I know I love the pattern.

The one that I knit last summer was all acrylic, and this is in Knit Picks Shine Worsted (a cotton/modal blend), so the drape and feel are completely different. At first I didn’t think I liked it, and I worried about the color, but now that I’ve had some time away from it, I think it has the potential to be a really lovely gift.

On some weird compulsion, I forced myself to cast on the Lace Ribbon Scarf even though I already had too many projects going. I messed up not once, twice, or even three times, but more than four times, resulting in complete froggings. Of course then it became a vendetta. I had to make this scarf.

I think I’ve got it now.

This is a red cotton yarn, and I really love the way it feels. The color and the texture remind me so much of Kabbalah strings it’s uncanny.

As this post probably makes perfectly clear, I’ve got a lot of projects going on and have failed miserably at my three-projects-at-a-time goal. I think this is an accurate reflection of the rest of my life at the moment as well. I hope to knock out some FOs quickly so that I can get it all back under control.

Oh, and I’ve also got this to deal with.

Sigh. We’ll talk more about that soon.

FO – Hope’s Jellyfish Shrug

Two Christmas gifts had to fly under the radar around here. While I’m not sure that my best friend Hope reads this blog, I do know she sees my Flickr photos, and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.

I also finished this one with almost no time to spare before rushing it to the post office in an express envelope and crossing my fingers that it got to Boston on time (it did!).

Pattern: Jellyfish by Iris G in the July 2007 MagKnits
Size: Small
Yarn: Patons Brilliant 69% Acrylic 19% Nylon 12% Polyester, color 3008 Crystal Cream; I used a little less than 2 balls, each 1.75 oz/50 g and 166 yards, for approximately 332 yards total.
Needles: aluminum 9-inch size 10.5 (my mom’s) and Knit Picks Options size 9.
Modifications: Changed yarn and needle size, accidentally changed lacy rib pattern.

Started: December 7, 2007
Finished: December 22, 2007

Hope is a sparkly, fun girl, a musician who works in IT by day, a classically glamorous style mixed with a punk-rock sensibility. She’s recently lost a lot of weight and has many weddings to attend this year, so I thought a sparkly new shrug would complement all her pretty dresses in an exciting but relaxed way.

This project actually started with the yarn, a delicious cream color with gold metallic flecks running through it. It reminds me very much of champagne and shouted “I am for Hope!” from the shelf a year ago.

I consulted a Ravelry forum for suggestions, and everyone was taken with the Jellyfish in a solid color. I didn’t know if I’d have enough yarn, since I was subbing a stretchy DK for worsted weight mohair, but I ended up with plenty, even some leftover.

I loved the fabric it created – nice structural stitch definition but very delicate drape.

I have adored this pattern since it came out, and it was an absolute pleasure to knit. The vine lace stitch pattern is beautiful, easy and simply flies by. I memorized it within the first few rows, which really helped me keep knitting through the very stressful last two weeks of the semester. The shaping is elegant and entertaining without becoming cumbersome, which I think is a mark of a brilliant pattern. I knew exactly what to do on every single row, but it didn’t feel like I had my hand held – the instructions were clear and well-written and this project was a pleasure, through and through. I can’t say enough good things about it.

This was the shrug while blocking, an interesting shape. I was very pleased that the lace opened up at this point, as I’d worried about using a synthetic.

I had a few accidental modifications when I got to finishing. When I picked up stitches for the ribbing, I ended up with spaces. Because they were regular, I decided it’d be a little lacy detail, and I didn’t let it bother me.

I also misread the pattern while doing the lacy rib, so the order is a little off, but I kind of fudged it and think it came out alright. This project had such an all-over serendipitous quality that I really felt that anything I did was okay – it looked great no matter what!

I’m really happy with the outcome, and my friend absolutely loves it. She called me on Christmas Eve saying it fit perfectly and she would wear it to a New Year’s Eve wedding – woohoo! I will ask her permission to post photos of it modeled soon. This was a really fun knit, a great gift, and a remarkably pleasant experience.

More shrug pics (also, I’m home)

I am home at last from Italy, and I had an absolutely amazing time. I’ll be writing a lot and posting photos on my regular blog soon, though I am still adjusting to the time and getting back into my life here.

I will say, I got a lot of use out of my cropped raglan shrug in Italy (in the above photo, I was on the Lido in Venice). We had to cover our shoulders to go into churches, which we did quite frequently for classes. I also found my shrug to be perfect over dresses in the evenings, and because it washed so wonderfully, I wore it all the time.

These two were at the botanical garden in Padua, which I just loved.

I didn’t bring any knitting with me to Italy, nor did I find any yarn shops. I was honestly too busy painting and studying to get around to it. Since returning, I’ve knit on my Summertime Tunic a bit, but I had better get back to work on the baby set before the baby grows out of it!

I hope you all have had a lovely summer thus far, and I look forward to getting back in touch!

FO Cropped Raglan Shrug

With days to spare before I leave for Italy, I finished my cropped raglan shrug!

I just love it.

(click photos to enlarge)

Pattern: Lion Brand Cropped Raglan Sweater, free pattern #70111
Size: L, 41″ bust
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love 100% acrylic, 4-ply worsted, color 099, Antique White, dye lot 34787
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights, KnitPicks Options size 8 & size 7 24″ circular, KnitPicks size 7 DPNs
I picked up 120 stitches instead of the called-for 94 when knitting the front bands. I also knit the arm ribbing in the round on DPNs to diminish the amount of seaming.

Started: April 23, 2007*
Finished: May 31, 2007

* – Project was put on hold for quite some time in attempt to make the cursed baby sweater. Actual knitting time was much shorter.

I loved this pattern. It was easy, moved quickly, and was enjoyable to knit. I love the eyelet detail on the raglan increases. I thought it was exceptionally well proportioned and easy on the assembly.

The yarn was really nice in my hands and it feels wonderfully soft and comfortable to wear. The openness of the fabric makes it nice and breathable.

I am intensely happy with this shrug and think I will get a lot of use out of it abroad and upon my return. It just now occurred to me that this is officially my first wearable FO, and considering how easy and pleasant it was, I am inspired to start cranking out more!

Previous Entries on this Project: Indecisive Shrugs, Shrug On

Shrug On

After your suggestions and the lovely new patterns (thank you!), I have significantly lengthened my list of future shrug projects. In the meantime, however, I’ve gone with the Cropped Raglan Sweater from Lion Brand.

Pattern: Cropped Raglan Sweater, Lion Brand free pattern #70111, size Large
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love 100% acrylic, 4-ply worsted, color 099, Antique White, dye lot 34787
Needles: Susan Bates size 7 straights, KnitPicks Options size 8 circulars
Modifications: none planned
Started: April 23, 2007

I may try to make another before I leave (probably the Fiery Bolero), but in the meantime I think this pattern is the one I’m most likely to successfully complete, and it fits all of my requirements. It’s also simple enough that I can knit and read, which is essential in these final crazy busy weeks of the semester.

I’m a few inches in already, at 9 of the 28 initial raglan repeats, and I really like it. I think that it will be really versatile, as it will probably be large enough to wear pinned shut as well as open.

I’m using very soft off-white acrylic (I’ll explain why I usually use synthetics in a future post), and I absolutely love the way it feels against my skin.

It’s almost surprising how much I enjoy the eyelets on the raglan seams.

I am hopeful that this will turn out really nice, and I am excited thinking about wearing it in Italy!