Friday, November 29, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

I started this pair of socks for my brother in 2010:

I ended up actually hating the yarn and the socks, so I threw them out and started over. Yes, I was THAT frustrated!  The socks I restarted were much better, but given that I'm easily distracted, one project after another stole my attention.  So this sat in the pile of unfinished projects -- kind of like the island of misfit toys.

This week I finally pulled out the bag this was in, and realized that there really isn't all that much more to do.  The first sock is finished, and at this point there is maybe 5 inches worth of knitting left to do on the second sock.  So that's pretty much all I've been working on this weekend.  Is it me, or does it seem like the more you knit on a project, the less progress you seem to make?  So in my finishing frenzy, I'm knitting away, hoping to finish by the end of the weekend at the latest. I'm really looking forward to pulling another unfinished project (or two!) out of the pile, as well as starting another pair of socks so that I can try out a new method for knitting heels (Fish Lips Kiss heel, for you sock knitters!).

I am also looking forward to a good chunk of knitting time tomorrow.  A friend from Pittsburgh will be in town and a few of us are going to meet up at one of the local watering holes for a bit of reunion and a lot of knitting.  I haven't decided what to take with me, but you bet your needles my brother's sock will be in my bag.  I can't wait to get this sock off my needles :-)

And with that, I'm off to curl up in bed with a book and my knitting.  Or maybe I'll switch it up and crochet a bit tonight. Living on the edge!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

And another one's done ...

I went to bed early-ish last night.  However, instead of going right to sleep, I listened to a few chapters of Dracula (via my very favorite podcast, CraftLit). Next thing I knew, the toe of the second sock was finished, all of the stray ends were woven in and I was done!

Next up is to finish the socks I started for my brother in June of 2012 ... 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Warm woolies, part 2

Take a look at this cowl, willya?  It's a lovely handknit, the Honey Cowl, which is knitted in Madelinetosh DK.  This is already queued! Maybe I should go ahead and cast on sooner rather than later ... this would surely keep me cozy and warm during these cold Ohio winters.

I love, love, LOVE the cable patterns in this sweater.  It is not a hand-knit, and I didn't ask if I could check the fiber content.

There are SO many other knitted garments and accessories that I've seen around campus. Unless I've already been acquainted with the wearers, though, I admit to being a little shy about asking them if I can take photos. "Oh hey, yeah, I really like the knitted hat/scarf/mittens/sweater/socks, etc. that you're wearing ... um, d'you mind if I take a picture of it?"  How would you ask someone a question like that?How would you respond if someone asked you a question like that?  Inquiring minds want to know!

In any case, my own knitting adventures are moving along rather slowly.  I'm STILL working on the gray socks for my Mr.  It seems like the more I knit them, the less progress I make!  I'm down past the heel on the second sock, though, so i hope it's not too long until I'm at the toe.  They'll look great on him.  The other project in my purse/knitting bag is a dishcloth that I'm using to practice Tunisian simple stitch.  It's been forEVER since I've done Tunisian crochet and it's neat to see how much it resembles knitting.  See?

I don't have a photo of the reverse side of this fabric but it looks just like the "wrong" side of stockinette stitch fabric.

I'm also knitting a wool sweater for my hot water bottle.  Most of you probably know what a hot water bottle is, but I've recently talked to some people who didn't know.  All I can say is that they are AWESOME for warming up your bed on a cold wintry night, or for easing muscle pain and such.  I used to wrap mine in an old wool sweater until I finally decided to knit a cover for it.  The wool helps keep it warm through the night.  I think it looks great so far and I am very much looking forward to using it once it is finished.

But for now, I'M finished.  It's way past bedtime, so off I go.  


Saturday, November 09, 2013

Score at the thrift shop, or: This is f*cking awesome!

Last night after work, I stopped by the local thrift shop just for fun.  I was looking for sweaters that were 100% wool. Partly, I was looking for a felted one that I could cut into pieces and make coasters (which I did!), but I also wanted some to wear.  Sadly, I can't seem to knit them fast enough!

Here's the one I used for my coasters:

It didn't fit me but was slightly felted so I thought it'd be perfect for cutting.  Turns out I was right!

After I'd made a nice stack of them ...

... I thought about crocheting an edge around ...

... but figured out I really prefer the raw edges better.  

I'm not sure what I will do with the rest of the fabric, so if you have ideas, please let me know!

Next up is a 100% wool sweater that DOES fit:

It has been soaked and is now laying flat to dry on my blocking boards.  It'll be really nice to wear. Maybe a teeny bit itchy but hey, that's what long sleeve t-shirts are for! Next time I soak it I will add hair conditioner to the water.  I forgot about trying that little trick until the sweater was all laid out to dry.

In other knitting related news, I tried to um, organize my WIPs today.  This bin looks a LOT better now than it did this afternoon:

I know, right?  There are, um, close to 20 unfinished knitting projects in there.  TWENTY!  That's not even counting the stuff on needles and hooks right now that I'm actively working on. So that gave me an idea for a new plan, which is basically to work on only one or 2 projects at a time.  As I finish one, I'll pull another one out of the bin.  I have also decided for the time being to quit carrying a knitting bag AND a purse around.  Purse knitting will be smallish projects like socks, hats etc.  I have several socks in the works so I definitely won't lack a project to carry around!  Couch knitting will be larger stuff like sweaters.  The big knitting bag will still be put to good use, particularly when I travel, and ESPECIALLY when I'm hanging out with my knitting friends across the state. Those are times when you can never ever ever have too much knitting ... ask me how I know.  On second case, don't. Because I actually don't know what it's like to have too much knitting :-)

Last thing you'll hear from me tonight:  I'm still collecting photos of for the "warm woolies" series -- that is, photos of OTHER people's warm winter knits.  I hope to have another installment in the few days or so.

Until next time!


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Warm woolies

One of the things I love most about fall and winter is scoping out all of the wonderful warm sweaters, hats, scarves, etc that people wear, whether they are handmade or not.  Here's a sweater that I spotted yesterday:

I love the cable patterns and the toggle buttons. The wearer said it's a store-bought sweater, and he liked it so much that he bought another one in a charcoal gray. Stay tuned for more photos of neat knits throughout the season.

In other knitting news, I am *this close* to finishing the blue sweater, and I imagine I can get that all done this weekend. All that's left is to --
  • bind off the button band
  • make button loops, and sew them on
  • add the buttons
  • graft underarm seams
  • weave in ends

It's also time to shift into high gear on the "finish all the things" project. I decided that I need to make a serious effort to finish many of the WIPs that are piling up. Several pairs of socks, a few sweaters, a couple of hats ... you get the idea.  Just look at that list over there -->.  As a matter of fact, I was looking for some yarn in my stash last night and found a hat project hat isn't even on the list.  Time to whip my WIPs into shape! The plan is to finish as many items as I can by the end of the year and report here. I hope you'll be motivated to plow through your own projects that may be hibernating. And I am counting on you to cheer me on!

But before I settle in for more knitting on this cool, dreary Saturday, there is some housework and other "life maintenance" stuff that has to get done.  Stay warm, guys!


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