Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just close your eyes and JUMP!

I have finished my MIL Christmas gift, which was a Luna Moth Shawl knit in BMFA Woobu. You might recall that I ran out of yarn while binding off and needed to get more yarn. The yarn came and I added another repeat of the pattern, just because I could, and hd the knitting all finished about 10 days ago. Since then I have been dreading "The Blocking". I've never blocked something like this before so I was nervous about it.
I didn't have anywhere I needed to go today so I decided there was no better time to do it. I should just hold my breath, close my eyes, and jump. I gathered up the foam squares and blocking wires I bought for this specific project and took over the dining room.
Into a tepid bath it went.....
and out onto some towels to soak up the excess water.
And here it is on the wires drying.
It took me about an hour start to finish. I'm not sure how long I expected it to take, but I was so nervous about this first time that I wouldn't even start unless I had at least 4 uninterrupted hours to spend on it. I'm not sure I did it right in terms of where to run the wires through, but it's done now. And I figure that if it's wrong, and it shows, I can wet it again and give it another try.

Now I'm going to go pat myself on the back and celebrate. I did something new today :-) And I have now completed the 2, yes 2, UFO's that I hoped to finish in January!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Through the Loops Connection

I'm overdue in showing you this hat. I love to make a hat for Chandler each winter, mostly because he likes them and will wear them. He picked this yarn out in September when I dragged him into a yarn store while we were killing time between two of his hockey games. The yarn is Dream in Color Groovy and the pattern is Thorpe by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops. The pattern calls for a crocheted edge and braided ties, but he preferred it plain. Bonus for me as my crochet skills are a bit lacking.
I also finished the first of my UFO Smackdown projects! Coincidentally it is another pattern by Kirsten Kapur. This pattern is Ampersand and I used STR mediumweight that I dyed myself at Sock Camp last spring.

Now I'm plugging away on the shawl I want to finish and another pair of socks, trying to convince myself NOT to cast on anything new quite yet. The goal is to have fewer UFO's, not just different ones!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Whole Truth and nothing but....

Last time I posted I showed you everything that I finished in 2009. Now that it's 2010 I thought it would be a good time to re-evaluate all the projects that I have going and play Finish or Frog. Now I will admit that once I started looking I found stuff that I had frankly forgotten about! The grand total of UFO's is 18!

Let's start with Socks. I have 8 pairs of socks on the needles! With the exception of the sock on the far right, these are all first socks too.
I also have 3 single socks who need mates. The sock on the far right does have it's mate started so that sock will be priority one so that I have a new pair fairly quickly. The sock in the middle here is languishing because I'm not thrilled with the finished product. I'm going to knit it's mate with a smaller needle and see if that makes me happier.

This one I'm going to frog. It's the December shipment for the Hazel Knits sock club and I love the color. My first thought when it arrived was that it would make awesome Monkey's, but I already have two pairs of Monkey's so I should make something different.I picked a pattern from the Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson that I got for Christmas, but I think the yarn's too busy for the pattern so I'm going to rip it out and probably go with my first instinct and make more Monkey's. You can't have too many of them, right?
These 2 are getting frogged too. The Leyburns in Incredible Shrinking Violet? Ugh! I'm not sure why I stuck with them this long, other than it was a knit-a-long and I wanted to play. The Zoom Zoom's in Peaseblossum? Love the pattern, love the colorway, just not loving them together. I've tried resizing the pattern and changing needle sizes, but these two are just not working together for me, so rip away!

This is a head scratcher. Fritzy's Sock by Mountain Colors in Bearfoot. I would really like to finish these. Problem is I have misplaced the pattern, somewhere in this house, and can't find it anywhere :-( I either have to try to read the knitting and try rewriting it for myself, or cave and buy the pattern again. Hmmm....
Moving on to other things, this is a pair of Fetching fingerless gloves. I got, literally, about 8 rows done before I became distracted by other things. Must finish these because I really want and need some new mittens!
This is pure loveliness. It is a Luna Moth Shawl that was a Christmas gift for my MIL. I got about 1/3 of the bind off row done and ran out of yarn. Drat! After much worrying about what to do, I finally gave it to MIL and together we decided that it really would fit her better with another pattern repeat anyways, so I ordered more yarn. Murphy being the tricky little son of a gun that he is, I ordered 2 skeins of Woobu, in case the dye lots are way off and I need to start anew. It shipped yesterday and should arrive tomorrow, and by ordering 2 I have guaranteed they will be a perfect match to the original skein :-)

Now the sweaters. There are 6. Which honestly surprised the dickens out of me.

First up, is a Central Park Hoodie in an Cascade 220 color "dyed exclusively for the Elegant Ewe". It's Hunter Green and I bought the whole lot in a clearance bin. Great color and I scored a great buy. I've been working on this off and on for over a year. Should be finished soonish.
This is from a pamphlet by Artyarns. It wll be a raglan v-neck with randomly placed cables separated by a garter row every 20 rows. I'm using Malabrigo worsted in Stonechat. This is staying in the finish pile.

This is a Lopi Diagonal Rib Cardigan. It just needs to be blocked, seamed, and a button band added. Should be a quick finish and I'll probably do it soon so that I can wear it while it's still cold! It's been in this state since sometime in 2006.

This was going to be a baby sweater. While knitting the back I lost the second skein of yarn. The expected baby I was knitting it for will be 3 next month and I still haven't found the rogue skein! It's probably with my Fritzy's socks pattern :-) Definitely frogging this one.
This? There are no words. I think it's Plymouth Encore and the pattern is a waffle stitch. It was suposed to be a cardigan. I went to what is now my least favorite LYS and said...."I can knit and purl, I'm bored with scarves, and I want to try a sweater." This is what I left with. Definitely frogging.
This was going to be Aranmor. Half a cuff was as far as I've gotten. The pattern is puublished in Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting, which has been out of print for a while. I borrowed a copy through inter-library loan so I only have a working copy that I made. Dover publishing will be re-releasing the book in the Fall of 2010 "with additional content". This is going to stay a UFO for now, but I think I'll ultimately frog it and do something else with the yarn. Almost forgot, it's Cascade 220 in Navy blue.

So that's all of it. Literally the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've joined the UFO Smackdown on Facebook and the goal is to get all of these cleaned up by the end of 2010. With the 6 projects I've already decided to rip out, that leaves me 12 projects to finish by year's end. One a month? I can do that!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Review

I was browsing through my Ravelry project page today and realized that I actually finished quite a few projects during 2009. A quick tally shows that I knit 14 pairs of socks, 4 hats, 1 fingerless mittens, and a sweater. Wow! That was more than I thought! One hat is missing from the collage, only because I haven't photographed it yet, but I'll show it to you later.

Now for 2010, one of my goals is to reduce the number of UFO's (unfinished objects) I have. Quick inventory tells me that I currently have at least 15! Nathania, one of my Sock Camp friends, has set up a UFO Smackdown, as an encouragement to finish up some of the projects that we all have lingering in our knitting bags. It should be fun! I always love seeing what other people are working on and with the large group we have there should be lots of yarny goodness!

What did you finish in 2009?
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