Nothing to See Here

Thanks for all your well-wishes regarding my back pain! I have to say, I’m highly amused that so many of you thought I was referring to my knitting when I said I ‘popped a rib’. I’m less amused that after working several inches of tubular bind off on the neckline of my Cypress vest, I realized I did, indeed, mess it up: I dropped a stitch. It’s one stitch, and it will be on the back side of the neckline fabric, but it will be right in front of the sweater, so I’m currently debating the horrendous idea of untinking several inches of tubular bind off (which involves undoing kitchener stitch and catching slipped stitches in the right order) with the merits of just leaving it be and sewing it down later.

Then, when I went to work on my MalMarch Sundry shawl, I realized that I had made a mistake in the slipped garter stitch several rows back, so tinking or laddering down will need to happen there, as well.

Finally, I have not yet tried to spin my MalMarch Nube project as the long draw motions would likely irritate my back. I saw an osteopath yesteday, and while he didn’t want to listen to me about the previous treatment I’d received for the problem and he did an awful lot of mansplaining, whatever trigger point therapy and back-cracking he did must have helped because the pain is about 80% better. (Yay!) Instead, I am now entertaining a wicked sore throat that makes me sound like an elderly, life-long smoker. It’s herbal tea and honey and gargling with salt water all day for me.

So there went the last few days of March and with them went any chance of finishing up either of my Malabrigo March goals or one more First Quarter project. I just can’t win this week. I’ll leave you with this photo of Calypso, which purrrfectly captures how I feel.

A strange mix of stoic and defeated.

April happens to be my least favorite month (I’m always so stressed in April, I have no idea why) but I’m determined to remain hopeful that things will look up soon!

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FOFri #38: Bitter Relief

I am filled with a lot of words about these socks, but very few of them are fit for typing. They were, to put it mildly, a major pain in the tuckus.

FOFri#38: Relief | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Tea & Alchemy. Click for project page.

I began them in October as a sneaky Christmas present for the Fiasco. Since they were sneaky, they were difficult to find time to work on, but I managed to finish the first sock by the holiday despite my too-late realization that the needles I was using really hurt my hands. When he tried that sock on, it just barely fit. I mean, it was a struggle. The square needles I had used combined with slipped stitch patterning tightened up my gauge enough that these seriously lacked stretch. He insisted I knit the second one rather than frog and re-knit, and I think I dragged my feet a little because I was so unhappy with the fit.

FOFri #38: Relief | Woolen Diversions

JUST ENOUGH YARN.

Then… the toes. OH the toes. Since this was my own design, it was particularly unhelpful that I had lost my notes. I found some note I had made somewhere, tried it, AND RAN OUT OF YARN. I joined some green yarn I had amidst mumbles of “he’ll just have to deal with a mismatched toe” and finished up. Turns out, the toe was way longer than the toe on the first sock. I ripped back and re-knit with some other notes I found. Ran out of yarn again, rejoined the yarn, knit nearly to the end… and nope, still too long. Then it sat in time out. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and made it up as I went along and ended up with a toe that pretty much matches and (thankfully) didn’t need me to join new yarn in, I had just enough left for the kitchener stitch at the end. So while I’m happy these are finished, I’m not so sure they’ll fit well and I generally am not feeling much love for them. I had intended to write them up as a pattern but that would involve re-knitting them (and taking better notes, obviously) and I just don’t think I love them enough for all that.

Since it’s basically the end of March, now is a good a time as any to review my ridiculously ambitious First Quarter plans. Here’s what I had intended to focus on between January and now, with % complete and new things I had not intended to do marked with asterisks (***):

New Projects:

Sock WIPs:

Other WIPs:

So for those keep tracking, of 5 new projects I had intended to work on, I abandoned 2, never started 1, and made some progress on the other 2. I also began 5 different projects, finishing 2 of them. It appears that this whole ‘predict what I’ll want to knit over the next 3 months’ thing doesn’t work so well for me. As for WIPs, between socks and ‘other’, I had intended to focus on 7 projects, and I finished 2 of them and nearly finished a third. Perhaps I can try to bust out my Cypress vest before the month is up since this rainy, dismal spring weather is perfect for vest-wearing.

I believe my goals for the next quarter will need to be less… stringent, less planned. Perhaps instead of choosing particular projects, I’ll say “1 socks, 1 shawl, 1 garment” or “2 WIPs and 3 new” or “this yarn and 2 other WIPs” something like that. This will take some thinking.

How do you focus your crafting? Do you try to make a plan, or do you just go with what you feel like doing?

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan

I’m pretty sure I went ga-ga over the French Cancan shawl (designed by Mademoiselle C) from the moment I first saw it sometime in 2013.

Photo copyright SusanneS-vV. Click for pattern page.

The simple, semi-circular garter stitch body paired with a gorgeous lace and cable edging is right up my alley, style-wise. Plus, it’s written for DK weight yarn, which will make a moderately quick and quite snuggly shawl. I coveted it fiercely… but I waited. I had other things to knit, and I needed the right yarn anyway.

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan | Woolen Diversions

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi DK, colorway Shoqua.

Then last Christmas (over a year ago?!) my darling Fiasco gave me two skeins of the incredible Yaksi yarn from BMFA. It’s a DK weight blend of 60% Merino wool, 20% yak, and 20% silk, and it really is heavenly. (Yak, by the way, is quickly becoming one of my favorite fibers.) I don’t believe Blue Moon carries the DK weight anymore, but they do have it in fingering and you can still get some of the DK at Eat.Sleep.Knit. I knew the yarn would be perfect for the pattern and still, I waited. So many WIPs, so little time, and all that jazz… but I just couldn’t wait any more.

WIPWed #80: Finally, French Cancan | Woolen Diversions

If this is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Somehow, I’ve interpreted ‘I’m nearly done with my vest’ as ‘I’ve finished a project, I can cast on a new one!’ Clearly, my brain operates with some sort of WIP preservation mechanism in place to prevent me from ever finishing anything and to keep my number of ongoing projects ridiculously high… Oh well. The yarn is making a gorgeous fabric and the garter stitch is nice and soothing so it certainly feels worth it.

How do you justify your startitis? Are you a dedicated knitter or hopelessly distract-able?

2015 First Quarter Plans

Last week we discussed the knits I finished in 2014, and the intention words around which I’ve chosen to focus my year. I also mentioned needing a ‘plan of attack’ for my WIPs and yarn stash. For the stash, I’ve ruthlessly gone through and and either donated or put up for destash all of the skeins that I don’t foresee using anytime soon. (If there’s anything in my regular stash that you’re interested in, feel free to inquire as well, I might be persuaded to let it go.) For the WIPs, I’ve decided to split the year up into quarters (3 month chunks) and have listed a 5 ‘new’ projects (began since Dec 2014), 4 sock WIPs, and 3 other WIPs (projects begun prior to Dec 2014) to work on each quarter.

Woolen Diversions

Knitting plans for Jan – Mar.

 

Let me tell you, when you only allow yourself a certain number of projects to knit at a time, it really forces you to choose wisely! I’ve given careful thought to the yarns I want to work with, the variety of projects I like on my needles, and the finished objects I’m anxious to wear to sort out my lists. I have not planned out every new project through the entire year, but I did assign all my WIPs to each quarter so I will at least be required to either finish them or frog them at some point soon. The above photo represents my first quarter knitting plans (minus 2 sock WIPs that I forgot to pull out).

New Projects:

Sock WIPs:

Other WIPs:

Phew! I bet you guys are sick of lists by now, but I have one more.

Woolen Diversions

Spin the Bin 2015

 

This year’s CTA Spin the Bin Challenge! The idea for this challenge is to pull out 12 ‘types’ of fiber from the depths of your stash, put them in a bin, and commit to spinning the whole shebang this year. This helps a spinner stay focused when the shiny, new, colorful braids are being too tempting. You only need to count 2 oz as one ‘type’ of fiber, so it’s easy enough to spread large bunches of fiber out over several categories, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t spin new fiber, just that you also commit to spinning up some of what you’ve had for a while. Here are my 12 types, many of which have been lingering in stash since 2012.

Spin the Bin 2015:

  1. Loop! Kermit Coordinate Bump – 5 oz
  2. TwoSistersStringworks Gotland in Rime – 4 oz
  3. TwoSistersStringworks Gotland in Canopy – 4oz
  4. BMFA Sheep 2 Shoe Kit in Single Cell Dating Pool – 4 oz
  5. BMFA Sheep 2 Shoe Kit in Single Cell Dating Pool – 4 oz
  6. Woolgatherings Polwarth/Silk – 4 oz
  7. Woolgatherings Polwarth/Silk – 4 oz
  8. Woolgatherings Polwarth/Silk – 4 oz
  9. BFL x Cormo locks – 2 oz
  10. BFL x Cormo locks – 2 oz
  11. BFL x Gotland locks – 2 oz
  12. BFL x Gotland locks – 2 oz

As you can see, I’m taking what are really 7 different fiber stash entries and spreading them out over the 12 ‘types’ for the year. There are plenty of other things I want to spin this year, but these bin spins are on the list because I don’t want to keep putting them off, especially the BFL cross locks. I’ve only committed to the minimum for those fibers, since I’m considering washing and prepping them by hand to be part of the challenge for me. Plus, I have a full pound of each and I’m not yet sure what I want to do with all of it, the goal this year is just to sample them.

And those are all of my lofty plans! If I manage to accomplish all of my first quarter knitting and the first three Spin the Bin goals, I will have used up 20 skeins of yarn and 13 oz of fiber. Not bad, right? Here’s hoping I can make it!