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?

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WIPWed #62: Anti-Progress

I think there must be some force in the universe that is actively preventing me from making any knitting project progress. (I suspect that force is Time, or The Lack Thereof… perhaps with a healthy dose of Indecision.) Here’s what I accomplished (ha!) this week.

Spindling:

Turkish Spindles

Three little spindles L to R: Capar Large, Jenkins Aegean, Enid Ashcroft Mini

I’m enjoying playing around with my three little Turkish spindles. On the Capar to the left is some Louet Merino/silk, on the Jenkins Aegean in the middle is a BMFA yak/silk blend, and on the mini Enid Ashcroft is Miss Babs Merino/silk. I’m amazed at how differently they each spin! The Capar feels slow and steady. The Jenkins is flighty and needs lots of attention (i.e., multiple flicks per make). The EA is easygoing and a real pleasure to use. I pick them up here and there throughout the day. I have not yet made a habit of spindling for long, productive lengths of time nor have I gotten comfortable spinning out and about (like, say, waiting in a doctor’s office) which is when most of my crafting time occurs. Do you spin in any unusual places?

Simply Royal:

Picture2

BMFA BFL superwash, colorway Royal. Click for project page.

You’ll have to pretend like that’s a current, decent picture of my sock project… because it’s not. The purple area is meant to represent the length it is at the moment. Some progress, yay!

The Project That Isn’t:

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller | Woolen Diversions

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, colorway Hobart, IN.

Just before we left for Costa Rica (like the night before), I went crazy (“I won’t have enough knitting, OMG!!!” ha) and wound up two skeins of CY Traveller for an emergency airplane project. I had decided I wanted to knit a Brickless shawl, but then I noticed how different my two skeins were. The top skein has a much bluer/greener cast and the bottom skein is more on the orangey-brown end of this colorway’s spectrum. (In case you’re wondering, the skeins were split in half so I could force them to fit into my bursting carry-on. See: crazy.)  I tried alternating skeins while knitting and it just didn’t look tidy with the way this pattern incorporates bound off edges into the design. I knit the tip of this shawl about 4 times, each time second-guessing myself and wondering if it wouldn’t be better in a thicker yarn with some silk in it (my original plan) or at least some better-matched skeins. Then I remembered the other projects I had wanted to knit with the Traveller yarn:

Photo copyright Hunter Hammersen. Click for pattern page.

Like the Chrysanthemum frutescens hat…

Photo copyright madelinetosh. Click for pattern page.

Or the Honey Cowl. I think if I use half of each skein for each project and alternate for a bit in the middle, the color differences shouldn’t be too noticeable, more like a gentle fade in tone. I should have enough yarn for the hat and a small version of the cowl. A fun and easy fall accessory set should be just the thing to get my knitting mojo back. Have you ever had a project that just did not want to be?

Check out Tamis Amis for more WIPs!

Winner, Winner

Congratulations to Jordyn, the winner of the Eucalan wool wash giveaway! You should be contacted shortly regarding your prize.

woolwash#We had over 40 entries in the giveaway, which is really exciting! It was fun to read everybody’s comments on the scents they like best and whether or not they’ve tried Eucalan before. And thanks to all who shared the giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, or Ravelry. It earned you an extra entry and made this little blog feel quite loved. We’ll certainly be doing more giveaways soon!

In other news, I (temporarily) couldn’t find the old sock I was working on, so I started a new one:

BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight, colorway Blue Moonstone. Click for project page.

This is the start of Hunter Hammersen’s Loasa lateritia pattern for the Socks That Rawk! group’s 2nd quarter KAL. I’m super excited because I nominated this pattern for the KAL and it actually got chosen! It’s rare that a pattern I already wanted to knit gets picked so I’m pumped to get this one done. This pattern involves some of my favorite sock features: a little bit of simple lace at the beginning, a turned-down cuff, and then easy-peasy ribbing for the rest of the sock so it can fill two distinct roles of interesting couch knitting AND easy travel knitting throughout its lifetime. Call it a knitting-related ontogenetic niche shift, if you will. (That’s eco-dork jargon, don’t worry about it.)

Anyway, all you really need to know is that I love this colorway (which I rescued via frogging a long-abandoned sock), I’m thoroughly enjoying this pattern, and I hope that these factors combine to mean that I’ll finish the socks in record time for the KAL (which goes through June). What new project are you excited about? What are your favorite sock pattern features?