Monday, January 19, 2009

Sage advice

Not mine, but Elizabeth Zimmermann's: Knit on through all crises.

I'm not sure the last week qualifies as a crisis, but it's been rough. Fortunately, I've had my knitting to help get me through. Here's a brief survey of what I've been working on.

Patrol socks for Mr. Darcy:

A Noro two-row scarf for my dad:

A gigantic granny square baby blanket that I will probably donate:

These three projects offer a nice variation in yarn weight and technique that's easy on the hands, simple enough to be pretty mindless, but with enough variety to save my sanity. Thank God for yarn.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Out with the old

Today, we bring you continuing coverage in old knitting.

Over the past few months, I've been making some effort to do something about some of my WIPs. The lace will get done (three lace projects at once was a bit much), if somewhat slowly. So they stay. The KIP blanket was never intended to be done quickly (in part because I can't afford that much yarn all at once), so it stays too. The dishcloths are still intended as a gift for my mother (I'd like to make it a complete set, instead of half a set), so they stay too, although I should be able to churn those out pretty quickly. The socks actually are done, just unblogged, and the vest is a new WIP, and one being actively worked on.

There were two projects, though, that when I got to them, I was completely unenthused by their unfinished state. Not that there was anything wrong with either, as far as they went, by my taste and abilities have changed somewhat, and I was no longer excited about them.

First up: the silk corset tanktop

I have nothing against lingerie; in fact, I have plans to knit some. But I am past the point where I will wear lingerie-like things in public as outerwear. As you can see, I never got that far, so the decision to frog this was pretty easy. I think I'm going to use the yarn for this, instead.

Next up: Picovoli

This was a much harder decision, mostly because I was so close to being done. It's a well-written pattern, and it fit me well, but I had two problems with it - I didn't like the sleeves, and I don't know what I was thinking when I decided that picot edges would be a good thing. Not that there's anything wrong with picot edges, but I have a strong preference for clean lines and smooth edges. So in the end, Picovoli got frogged too. I think the yarn's going to become this.

It's remarkably refreshing to have those off my WIP list and off my mind. Plus, I'm really excited about having the needles back and the planned alternative projects!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More loose ends

Incredibly, I haven't blogged about one of my most favoritest finished objects from 2008. I blogged while I was working on it, but I never gave it its moment in the bloglight that it deserves as a beautiful piece of knitting.* So I give you now, in finished form, Miss Darcy!

(It's being modeled by a chair because I'm incapable of taking good pictures of a lace scarf while wearing said scarf.)
Miss Darcy is a scarf of my own invention, pulled together from stitch patterns in Barbara Walker, with the edging (though designed by me) knitted on with some guidance from Victorian Lace Today.

As much as I loved designing this scarf, I love wearing it more. It's not the sort of scarf you need on days when it's miserably cold and winding and you really need something to pull up over your nose while your hat's pulled down almost over your eyes so you have as little skin exposed as possible, but it's a fantastic scarf for the nice days that are still cool enough that a scarf is helpful.

Although blocking opened it up incredibly, the yarn is still soft and wonderful, and super comfortable against the skin. Maybe I this is what I need to knit myself a shrug out of...

*My reason for not blogging about it was that I wanted to wait until I had the pattern written up. I figured I better not keep waiting, since there's no telling when that might be, but if there are requests, I'll do my best to get it written up and posted on Ravelry.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The year that was

Well, so much for 2008. In typical fashion, I still have loose ends to tie up. Well, not literally, since I actually did manage to get everyone's gifts for the past year done, if not on time, in the past year. But I still have finished objects to blog about and patterns to write up. And at the rate that I get things done, it may very well take me until some time in February (although my goal is to finish up with the 2008 stuff by the end of January), so I guess I better get started.

My first step was to get things squared away on Ravelry. I put in all the yarn I've gotten over the past few months, added the books I got for Christmas, and got my project list all up-to-date. Frighteningly, that took most of the day. But since I've joined the 2009 Stash Knit Down, it's a useful move. I'm doing the 24 projects variant, in which the guidelines are that at least half of them should be from stash, and that at least three of them should involve new techniques. My first project for the year is a stealth project and therefore currently unbloggable, but it is a new technique project, which excites me deeply!

My next step is to work on getting all my finished things blogged about. As I said, this may take a while. So finished thing the first: Bayerische Socks!

I'm really pleased with the way they turned out, especially since the second and third socks did come out the same size to make a matched pair. And perhaps best of all, I got them done in time to give to my mom for Christmas!

Yarn: Patons Kroy 4-ply
Needles: Size 1 Inox DPNs (which worked way better than bamboo)

The final step in getting 2008 knitting business taken care of is to write up the patterns for a scarf and socks that I haven't even blogged about yet (did I mention I was behind?). I'm going to do that in parallel with the catch-up blogging, and with a little (okay, a lot) of luck, I'll be caught up by Valentine's Day.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2009, filled with family, friends, and really good yarn!