Friday, 31 August 2007

Still with the making of stuff

I was off sick yesterday morning, so took advantage of lying in bed to do one of the side seams on the coatigan. I've elected to crochet all of the seams, since the yarn is weird enough that sewing would be problematic. Once I've got the other side seam done, I can sort out the lapels - now that I've got the interfacing! I'm also going to make a start on the collar, since the first row is going to be awkward folding over and knitting through multiple stitches.

I've got three full balls of the yarn left, plus most of a partial. I'll start the collar with the partial, leave it attached, and then use the complete balls for the sleeves. The plan for the sleeves is to do a kind of crazy picked up flap heel worked upside-down from the shoulders, and then just work the rest of the sleeve in the round. Hopefully it'll work, but I'm going to need to work both sleeves at once so that they are symmetrical. And I also have to go buy several sets of 8mm DPNs. Why they don't come in sets of 5 is beyond me, but I'm going to need three sets to work the sleeves.
Hopefully there will be leftovers from the sleeve yarn to make the collar bigger. That's the plan, anyway. I want a really big floppy collar. And if I can finish it by the middle of December, it'll be exactly the right weight to wear in South Carolina at my grandmother's.

Other stuff. The front of the pink jumper is going really well. There are 76 rows of straight back-and-forth before the armhole shaping, and I've done 46. I can probably get the thing finished in the next week or so if I devote the weekend to working on it. I'm going over to a friend's tomorrow afternoon for a session of knitting and sci-fi, so lots of quality knitting time there. Plus today's lunch hour and this evening.

Planned finishes for September are the I-cord hotpad and the pink jumper. I also hope to complete the third column of Dr Who. (The stripe pattern is written out in 4 columns, each roughly a quarter of the whole.) I've also got Thursday and Friday off next week; they are going to be devoted to the secret project. Lots of sewing and charting.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

And still with Dr Who

I shall spend Gamesoc this evening working on the scarf some more, as I plan to show it to the recipient and see what he thinks. Hopefully I'll get most of the 42-row stripe done also and be back in skinny stripe land for a while.

I've also just offered to knit a pair of Christmas stockings for a newlywed friend and her husband. This will mean acquiring some Christmassy yarn, as I don't have any in my stash.

Of course, a lovely friend's lovely mother has recently had to give up knitting for health reasons, and is giving away her entire stash. There may be some appropriate stuff in there.

This acquisition plan means putting more yarn into the flat, which means knitting up as much as I can as quickly as possible. Vexing, really. The knitting I most want to do is laceweight shawls, but what will clear the most space is the neverending acrylic. Fish blanket next, methinks. It looks like a tremendous amount of fun, although I still dislike assembling.

Current WIPs/UFOs:
  1. Dr Who scarf
  2. Pink sweater
  3. stripey scarf
  4. llama handbag
  5. Jitterbug socks
  6. basketweave placemats
  7. coatigan (need to do sleeve maths)
  8. black drop-stitch shawl (needs new needle)
  9. Mystery Stole 3
  10. I-cord hotpad (just needs sewing up)
  11. grey lacy scarf
  12. lace shawlkerchief (decide on shawl or kerchief)
  13. Granny Square blanket (perpetual project)

Planned Projects

  1. Purple tessellating fish
  2. Autumnal eyelash scarf (quickie project)
  3. alpaca wristwarmers
  4. pink three-cornered shawl from VLT
  5. Jitterbug smocked gauntlets (need new dpns)
  6. silk half-hexagon shawl from VLT
  7. Kaalund cap shawl from VLT
  8. Brown mohair fishnet scarf (quickie project; need 15mm needles)
  9. Grey gloves

Lots of projects. I really want to get as many from the first list done as soon as possible. Only two of them are really important, but it would be so great to finish things off. I won't cast on for anything from list 2 until I finish at least three full projects from list 1. Quick! Finish fast! New projects and pretty yarn!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

I think the jag is over

I just spent three days working pretty much full time on Dr Who. 537 of 1040 done - over halfway!

And now I am bored of it. I ended up spending about 3 hours yesterday evening working on other stuff. Another stripe on the burgundy and black scarf, and I've started the heel turn on the first Jitterbug sock! What was I thinking on the gauge? I may finish these wretched socks by next summer. Still, they are comfy and warm, and I still love the colour.

The other skein of Jitterbug is destined to become a pair of armwarmers to keep my fingers from freezing in the office. So is the alpaca. But not until I finish a bunch of other stuff! Although I did break down and cast on for a set of basketweave placemats for a housewarming gift. I think that once I get bored of the socks again these will just be a very quick finish project. Cast on until wide enough, then knit basketweave until the skein is gone. Easy.

I was very good on Saturday too. I had to go to the yarn store to get some embroidery floss and an embroidery hoop for the top secret project, and not only did I not buy any yarn, I picked up some interfacing for the coatigan lapels that I've been meaning to buy! I may get the coatigan finished before Christmas! Woohoo! (Just need to pick some toggles and figure out what I'm going to use as buttonhole loops. Oh, and knit the sleeves. Minor stuff.)

I seem to have a fairly serious case of finishitis. I don't know how this has happened, but I love it. I like clearing the decks of old projects - it's a good feeling. Kinda like the feeling you get after cleaning out the spice cupboard. However, the weather got hot again, so I did none of my mending. Did some work on the hotpad, but it's not finished yet. The centre-bulging is getting on my nerves. Bloody spiral sewing.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Amazing fact

Things get closer to being finished when you work on them. Honest!

I have been doing some sewing on the I-cord hot pad, and I think I shall have a big push this weekend and just finish it so I can put it in a box and never speak of it again. Given how cold the weather has been, I suppose I really ought to spend some time this weekend mending my winter coat and reattaching buttons. Ick. Mending is boring but necessary. I could also get around to sewing the patch onto my backpack, but then I'd have to find my thimble...

The pink jumper is now living in my desk at work for lunchtimes, until such time as I have gotten up to the point of armhole shaping. Then it will have to come home for concentration-style work. Still, I can get 4 or 5 rows a day done, which means I might actually finish it before December 1st. Woohoo!

I dyed more yarn last night, with more Kool-Aid. This time I dyed the lot with 2 sachets of orange, then overdyed with solutions of 2x lemon-lime and 1x ice-blue raspberry lemonade in stripes. I then splashed the lot with 2x mandarin/tangerine. I was expecting to end up with orange yarn with blue and green stripes; what I have is a funky greeny-orange mottled yarn that I have christened "Green Pumpkin". It is much faster dying when you already know what all of the steps are, so I managed to do the lot in about an hour, including 40 mins steaming.

It is drying now, and I shall wind it into balls as soon as it is completely dry. I'm now out of white yarn, so will need to go stock up again. Look out, charity shops!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Dr Who-athon

All I want to do is work on this scarf. Suddenly, rows and rows of mindless garter stitch are appealing and comforting and fun. A row here, a stripe there, and suddenly I feel like I'm back in the initial groove I had when I started it. Definitely taking advantage of this while it lasts.

The fact that I'm thinking about moving and therefore cleaning out as much stuff as possible beforehand may also be contributing. Why spend time and effort packing, moving and unpacking stuff that really doesn't belong there anyway when you could just get rid of it first? Hence lots of stashbusting coming up.

Pink sweater is no longer a priority project, as the appropriate weather I was expecting at the end of next month came and went last week. It is now cold and wet and windy. Snuggly socks and shawls weather, rather than sleeveless sweater weather.

I have also decided that tessellating fish are in my future, made out of the purple acrylic I dug up at mum's. (Yeah, remember the neverending blue stuff? I have about that much again in purple. Oy vey.) And more hot pads. We are short of hot pads.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Pink Socks!

Are all finished and are warming up my feet at this very minute. It's nice that even when it's freezing at work I can have warm snuggly feet.

As a result of finishing off the socks, I spent a large chunk of Saturday working on the grey lacey scarf, and most of Sunday working on Dr Who! I finally made it though the huge 54 row beige stripe, which was encouraging enough that I finished another stripe and a half last night while watching The Silver Chair. The scarf and the requisite yarn for the next couple of stripes are in my bag waiting for tonight's Shire meeting at the pub, where I hope to get lots of it done. I think I'm going to be devoting most of my at-home knitting to Dr Who for a while, because finishing it would clear an entire bag of yarn from my flat.

My knitter's hoarding tendencies are engaged in a battle with my obsessive compulsive need for order, cleanliness and tidiness. One half of me wants lots and lots of pretty yarn for when I need to start something new, the other half looks around and quietly freaks out at the sight of so much unfinished, unused stuff. I'm a big fan of not having stuff unless it's being used.

Rock on with Dr Who!

(Amusingly, I spent Friday evening curled up on the couch with Dr Who watching my first ever episode of Dr Who. It seemed both appropriate and ironic.)

Thursday, 16 August 2007

The foot and the toe

I did in fact get the flap, the heel and the gusset done last night, and started on the foot as well. Not really very happy with the heel - I think that, as written, the centre group of stitches is too narrow. I might play around with resizing the heel and see what happens.

It's a good feeling to be getting to where I can diagnose the cause of the problem as well as figuring out that there is one.

Top secret embroidery project on the forecast. Knitting may slow down, as embroidery has a deadline.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Gettin' my flap on

On Sock #2, that is. Lunch hour heels are in the forecast, and then I shall spend my evening working round and round on the stockinette foot. A finished sock by Friday? I would bloody well hope so. Then I can wear my new snuggly pink socks!

I took sock #1 over to my friends' house on Saturday, where I finished it up. Result of that was that two of said friends are now requesting their own socks. Fortunately, one of them is going to America soon and can pick out a colour of Wool-Ease of his own choosing. I might get him to pick up a ball of yarn for other friend's pair as well, since the yarn is so cheap! And I really do like making worsted socks. They go so quickly!

I am plotting the shawl that I'm going to make with the Cecilia Orchid. It's the three-cornered shawl from Victorian Lace Today, which is just stunning. And it is the very best kind of triangle shawl, because it has you cast on loads of stitches and then gradually decrease until you've got just 1 left to fasten off! Also, it's complicated enough that it'll be interesting. I've discovered that I prefer lace where every row is different.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Nicely Organized

I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out and tidying all of my various needlework supplies. All the stuff except for my handbag socks and MS3 are now neatly tucked away in 4 bags and two tubs, which I think is pretty good. MS3 is too fragile to be dumped into a bag, so it's sitting on my needlework table. One bag is devoted to the current active projects, one to Dr Who (so much yarn for one frickin' scarf!), one bag to the coatigan (a very small bag), and one bag to yarn that has patterns picked out for it. The tub of knitting holds all the yarn that doesn't have a project picked out, or is so far down the queue that there's no point keeping it out. The second tub holds all of the embroidery and sewing stuff, plus two skeins of white yarn I'm planning to dye at some point before the weather gets cold.

I'm now quite merrily knitting away at pink sock #2, which is up to the lace cuff since casting on yesterday. Hopefully I'll get that finished by the end of the week. I actually did some work on Dr Who yesterday too. It's the really wide stripes that get me stuck, because really, is there anything more dull than 54 rows of beige garter stitch? I've done 35 of them,and with any luck I'll get this strip done by Friday so I can devote my weekend to racing through the next few narrow stripes.

The revel on Saturday should be a perfect opportunity to get lots of knitting done. It's so pleasant to be surrounded by lots of people who all 'get' handicrafts and don't think that I'm weird, like most of the people on the train last night...

Friday, 10 August 2007

Also

I have figured out what to do with the horrible eyelash yarn hat that I made back in January. Actually, my brother figured it out. It sheds terribly, so is not much good as a hat. Mum thought it should be a cushion cover, which seemed reasonable to me, but little bro decided it was a hot water bottle cover. And yes, the hat was really big enough to cover a hot water bottle. It was just bad on so many levels.

I shall try to get a photo of it.

Goals

By December 1st I intend to :
  • finish Dr Who
  • finish the llama bag
  • finish the pink jumper
  • finish the bell lace socks
  • start and finish the eyelash scarf
  • buy a longer needle and work at least 4 iterations on the black shawl

The first two goals are Christmas priorities. And the scarf may end up being a Christmas present too. Who knows. This should be helpful. December will be a low-productivity month, I suspect. Lots of work, travelling and Christmas shopping, so not much knitting. Although I may make my mother a set of ironic potholders just because.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Long time no post?

My stash, while not having gotten any bigger, now takes up two more bags of space. Why? Because I brought back all of the yarn that I had at my mother's house with me after my vacation. (Well, except for one WIP which lives at her place permanently.) There are bags of yarn all over my flat.

Result of this is that I need to get on with finishing a bunch of projects, preferably big ones. Yesterday I finished up the Peru wrap. It's huge. Hangs down to my knees huge. I love it, and it'll be incredibly useful when it gets to being winter again. And it means that I've used up another 6 balls of yarn. My next priority is going to be finishing the pink sleeveless sweater, since the weather period for it is coming up soon and is sadly brief. I cast on for the front on Saturday, so with any luck I'll finish it in the next couple of weeks. I'm sooo slow!

I used up an odd skein of eyelash yarn over my vacation on (what else?) a garter stitch scarf. It took about 3 hours on 8mm needles. I've got another skein of the same stuff in an autumnal colourway that's destined for the same fate. It's pretty, it looks good knitted up, but the thought of doing anything more complicated with that kind of yarn is just horrible.

Started a new scarf from Victorian Lace Today to work on on the airplane. Plastic DPNs and Kidsilk Haze, mmmmm! It's going really quickly, since I'm using pretty big needles. And it makes a good handbag project that doesn't require a tape measure. The sock is getting bigger slowly, but it's kinda boring going round and round on such dinky needles.

Speaking of socks, I've got another pair on the go. Bell Lace Wool-Ease socks. Worsted, so they are going really quickly. Will probably finish the pair before I finish the sweater!

After those, I'm planning to get cracking on the llama and Dr Who, since they are both Christmas presents. (Well, Dr Who isn't, but if I don't set a deadline I may never finish it.)

Need to take more pictures for Ravelry!