Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 knitting plans/goals

Once upon a time, I decided to essentially quit making New Year's resolutions, and make plans instead.  This applies to the various aspects of my life ... personal, professional and crafty.  So I thought I'd write down my current knitting and spinning plans for the coming year.

  • Knit 12 sweaters
  • Start the Sheep Heid tam on 1/1/12
  • Spin all of the Gomez fiber (the wool which is English Leicester x Border Leicester is from a sheep named Gomez)
  • Knit the Gomez yarn into a sweater -- not sure which one yet
  • Finish that "Block O" blanket for my new niece or nephew, who's due to arrive at the end of July.
Quite an ambitious list, actually.  12 sweaters will be a challenge in itself, for sure.  But first, it's time to pull my husband's sweater out of "time out" and see what needs to be done to fix the gauge problem.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12 sweaters redux

I've updated my queue of possibilities for the 12 sweaters in 2012 challenge.  This updated queue (Rav link!) includes at least one sweater for every letter of the alphabet.  Come join us!  Sweaters of any size count (adult, children, babies, even pets!) and so do works in progress.  The idea is to *finish* 12 sweaters.  If they're already started, then all the better!  Some of the group members are challenging themselves to start AND finish 12 sweaters in the year.

As of now I'm still working on my husband's pullover, and recently had a bright idea.  The sweater is knitted in the round from the bottom hem up to the armholes, and then the front and back are knitted flat and seamed at the shoulders.  The sleeves are to be knitted up from the cuff to the armholes, then attached to the body of the sweater.  My idea is ... why not pick up the stitches around the armholes then knit, in the round, down to the cuffs?  Since this appears to be a regular drop-shoulder sweater, I think it should work fine, and allow me to finish my beloved's sweater faster :-)

But first, I'm lengthening the sleeves -- just a bit -- on  my Shalom cardigan.   I wore it a couple of times last week and felt the sleeves were just a wee bit too short for my taste.  I noticed the first time that I wore it that I had dropped a stitch on the cuff  of the right sleeve (which I secured with a stitch marker so it didn't unravel), so since I had to fix that anyway, it made sense to lengthen the sleeves too.  So last night I took apart the cuff and ripped back to where I started the twisted rib and knitted 1.5" in stockinette.  Now to finish up the twisted rib and garter stitch edging on the cuff, try it on, and then do the other sleeve.  Easy peasy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweater update

Thought maybe it's time to post an update on my husband's sweater.  The sweater is knitted in the round from the bottom hem up to the armholes, and at that point I decided I should steam the sweater nice and flat in order to get a more accurate measurement:

Look at how that colorwork just POPS!  My current dilemma is whether to go down a needle size because now that I'm knitting the front and back separately, I am noticing that my gauge is different.  I'm not sure yet how to fix the problem aside from changing needle size and then, how far down do I go?  Not sure that going from 9 down to 8 will work but as soon as I finish my Shalom Cardigan, I'll sit down with this one and decide what to do.  The pattern looks pretty straightforward from here on out but I do worry about the size of the armholes and the sleeves... some folks have said the sleeves are too big for the armholes.  I think in a couple of weeks (during winter break) I'll be able to put some serious time into this sweater and finish it before I start on the insane 12 sweaters in 2012 challenge (see the post below for more on that).

Since Shalom only needs one sleeve (which is easy to do!) I will concentrate on finishing that SOON so that I can focus on this sweater for hubs.  One of my knitting goals -- which I'll post later this month -- involves focusing on one project at a time, and eventually getting down to only 3 projects in progress at once.  One knitting project, one crochet project and one spinning project.  Of course. that also means I need to finish or "frog" many items that are in danger of never getting finished.  But that's a post for another day.  For now, good night!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

2012 is the year of the sweater


I currently have 2 sweaters on my needles.  One for my husband which I wrote about in my last post (and have made significant progress on) and one for myself (which needs a left sleeve before I can call it done).  While stalking Ravelry recently -- in my constant quest for new patterns to use up some of my kind of ridiculous stash -- I got hip to a group called 12 Sweaters in 2012.  The group is exactly what it sounds like -- a group of people who are challenging themselves to knit 12 sweaters next year.  You don't have to be a math wiz to figure out that that is 1 sweater per month.  Insanity.  In-san-i-ty.  And guess what else?  I have enthusiastically joined the group.  Not only that, I've made a queue of all of the yarn and patterns that I've paired up over the past year which have just been sitting around waiting to be knitted up.

True story.  I couldn't make this up.  

Currently my list has 17 potential sweaters and vests on it.  Have a look for yourself but keep in mind that most of the links below are Ravelry links.  They're listed in alphabetical order.

I know this sounds ridiculous and over-ambitious, but there are methods to my madness, really.  First of all, even if I don't get all 12 sweaters finished, I will have more hand-knit sweaters in my wardrobe than I do now, which is only two!  Secondly, These will stretch my knitting skills because most of them require me to learn new skills, such as steeking, colorwork in an entire garment, installing zippers, clever construction, etc. Some, like February Lady, are just grown-up sizes of the same sweaters that I've knitted for babies and therefore won't require me to learn anything new but will be satisfying nonetheless. Most of the patterns I've chosen use worsted or aran weight yarn, with the exception of the Corrie Fair Isle Vest, which is made with fingering weight.  Skinny yarn AND all-over colorwork ... yay!  

If my husband's sweater isn't finished by January then it will be my first finished sweater of the year but aside from that 2012 will also be the year of selfish knitting.  No doubt that a gift item or two might also get finished during the year.  After all I'm knitting the never-ending socks for my brother and a cable-intense scarf for one of my BFFs.  

There may also be some other knitting-related "resolutions" on my list for next year but this 12 sweaters thing is really the biggest and most ambitious.  

And since I haven't knitted a stitch today, maybe I'll step away from the computer and knit for a while before I zonk out for the night.

Ciao for now!


... this has been a QuietStorm production, dahling ...