Monday, May 26, 2008

SWIPs, WIPs, QUIPs and why there's no such thing as a UFO

I decided earlier in the week that it was past time to sort out some goals for my knitting time in the future. I have projects I want to finish, some I want to start, and some that I want to design. And I spend too much time thrashing about among them all. So, I decided to make myself a list. I do have a Ravelry Queue and a projects page there as well but that doesn't cover everything. Unfortunately.

One of the things it does kind of cover better for me is the sort of thing that other people call a UFO. I don't have UFOs. I only have WIPs that have been waiting years to see the light of day again. They might be hibernating. Which is just one of the many things I like about the project choices on Ravelry - somehow Hibernating doesn't sound as abandoned as UFO does it? But I don't have UFOs. I was going to say that I am incapable of giving up on a project but then I realized that socks may have actually taught me to do that. At least for socks. I have a pair I started that must be ripped back because as designed (by me which is why they don't work I am sure) they don't go on my foot at all. Tons of little cables without the necessary extra stitch count. Dumb huh? Of course, they haven't actually been ripped back yet. They will be once I figure out the gauge and can add the necessary stitches because I'm not giving up on the concept. So maybe I was right the first time and I really am incapable of giving up for good. That would explain a lot about my younger days.

I hope I am finally learning to cut my losses one tiny step at a time. I think knitting is trying to teach me that. I think I might be learning because a few months ago, I threw out the first pair of socks I had finished for myself. They weren't as comfortable as others I made later (duh - first pair of socks) and the color wasn't really all that me. I felt inordinately proud of myself for actually throwing them away instead of trying to keep them for sentimental or frugal reasons. Trust me, it was a big step for me.

And yet, I have yet to completely frog anything that I started with intention. Most of the things I started to play around with are also, as yet, unfrogged, but might be something I can bring myself to frog completely without necessarily starting right over again the same way only with fewer mistakes. If that makes sense.

So here, listed for the first time in all their glory (for length of list at least) to my embarrassment, are all my SWIPs (Sleeping Works In Progress), WIPs, QUIPs (Queued Up Impatiently Projects), and WWIPs (Wishful Works In Progress: The items that I know I want but I haven't actually got both yarn and pattern together for yet. Let alone time to knit.)


Meg Swanson's Spiral Shawl This one is waiting for me to find the strength to rip back the rest of the edging that was begun wrong and start over on the edging of a circular shawl with eighty bazillion stitches around. Moreover, one knit in black, somewhat scratchy, Icelandic singles. Now do you see what I mean about incapable of giving up?

Non-Cobblestone for the FoUI This project stalled when I decided I didn't actually like the way Cobblestone - the original intended knit would look on him. The FoUI is the wrong shape for all that garter. It would look weird. Moss might be alright there though. But now it's not a Cobblestone anymore and besides, I'm using different yarn and have to recalculate with the new gauge so it'll be a Sweater in 4 Parts (Meg Swanson's updated EZPS from Knitters in 1999/2000 which I've knit for him once already and fits him well) instead. Once I find all four issues of the magazine.

Patchouli Twists Socks These need to be measured and new stitch counts worked out and then frogged and reknit.

Chevron Scarf This needs to be recalculated for the different gauge of the yarns I want to use now that the fingering set is confirmed as not working.

Summer of Love lace anklets I had to stop working these in order to work on holiday gifts and haven't yet gotten back to them.

Mystery Stole 3 I was way behind and had started the first clue when I found out what the theme was and then I went off the yarn I had been using and while I think I have found the yarn and decided what to do about the very very asymmetrical pattern it has fallen far enough down the "I want it now" meter that it will be a while before I pick it up again I think.

Nona's Sidewinders Socks I really want to finish these but the dog chewed up the needles with the sock partly worked on it so I have a nasty job ahead of me cleaning up wise. Plus I tried to get too smart and tried to resize for a perfect fit so I really need to start over anyway. Without trying to be that clever. Probably I should just cut off the chewed up start and start over with fresh yarn. Maybe for Summer of Socks I will go back to this one.


Seely Socks for Seely But actually, while these are mentally on my needles, I haven't got squat done because I have to rip back the cuff I started and start over with the right number of stitches. Doh!

Loopy Swap Gift Part way done but I can't say anything about it just in case. But since otherwise this is going to be a picture empty post, here is a little peek that Superman got using his X-Ray vision (I think I am having way too much fun with photo booth):

Cuaranach I haven't worked on this in a while, but it is resting, not sleeping - yes, the distinction is a tad arbitrary. Basically it amounts to if I am crabby that I am not spending time knitting on it (resting) or not (sleeping).

Zazzlejeans I don't think I am going to make the KAL deadline of June 1 with this. Bummer.

Seely Socks Mark II for the FoUI Plain stockinette and not all that far along yet.

Puck's Mischief sportweight socks for me Same as above only not worked on in much longer.

Lucky Leaflings This is the March RSC sock kit and so far I have part of one leg done and that is all that I will get done until the deadline knitting gets finished up. Unfortunately I think the next kit will be here this week sometime.

QUIPs (not necessarily in priority order - partly because it is too hard to pin that down)

Fairy Tale Sock Club Sock Kit 1
Oriental Flower cardigan for the Remembrall
Irtfa'a Shawl
Reversai leftovers socks for the Remembrall
Sock Madness 2 round 4 socks
Sock Madness 2 round 5 socks
Sock Madness 2 round 5.5 socks
Sock Madness 2 round 6 socks
Sock Madness 2 round 7 socks (pattern not released yet)
Lenore (RSC Oct 2007 socks)
Sock Hop Aurora Borealis
Sock Hop High Bush Cranberry
Bramble scarf
Gust scarf
Gale stole
Arabian Nights stole
Star of Evening shawl

I think I am leaving lots of things out here. But I'm running out of juice

Monkey Socks
every other one of Cookie A's socks
Honeybee Stole
almost every other Knitspot pattern
the rest of my sock kits
several pink lemon twist patterns
several sivia harding patterns
icarus shawl
seraphim shawl
pretty as a peacock shawl
L's Christmas Present (my own design - interchangeable with Birthday whichever is done first)
L's Birthday Present (someone else's design - interchangeable with Christmas whichever is done first)
my shawl design for the other ceyeber fiber laceweight
my Firefly sock designs (one for each character)
Vintage socks in Pinot (once I get my courage up)

There's actually another set of projects. The "I've Lost That Loving Feeling" Projects only ILTLFPs looks too much like a rude noise. Appropriate in a way but also too long to type. So use the comments to suggest some better (shorter) names for those kits one buys or creates for oneself and then finds that the kitting it up seems to have drained the urge to actually make. The name I like best out of any suggestions ya'll might make will win the commenter a skein of yarny goodness.

Currently in the ILTLFPs bin (they don't always stay long, since when I see them again, or think about them again, I tend to remember why I liked something in the first place too often to actually destash them) are:

a color change capelet It'll be pretty but I started doubting if I was really a capelet sort of person.

the March Seasons of Change club kit The yarn color didn't look springy to me so I've not been as driven as I might have been otherwise.

the March Year of Lace club kit The yarn color was not me and there were issues with the yarn having an awful lot of knots. I do like the pattern so will get there eventually but maybe with a different yarn.

The spiral shawl may more properly belong here except that it is actually on the needles and this is a catchall for those that are not.

Whew, that is just pathetic. Too many lists and all of them too long. It's enough to give a gal a bad case of startitis in an effort to forget. If only I could finish or give up on stuff. Finishing is easier to fix, I just need to spend more time knitting. I have no idea how to correct my abysmal give-up record though. This complete inability to frog and move on means I have way too long of mental lists.

Although, now that I think about it, I have indeed frogged more than one thing for good sometime in the last couple of years. I frogged the socks I had started 7 or 8 years ago for a relative. I kept the yarn though and suspect I might try them again now that I am a bit more clever in the ways of sock knitting despite the fact they call for both corrugated ribbing and duplicate stitch or intarsia. I also frogged (and gave away the yarn for - woo hoo go me!) the socks I started as a sophmore in college for my then boyfriend. That was a large enough number of years ago that I am pretty embarrassed that I hadn't frogged them before then. My stubborn streak really is the width of the Mississippi isn't it?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's Too Darn Hot!

I'd like to knit on my cardi tonight
and turn the heel on my Leaflings tonight
I'd like to knit on my cardi tonight
and turn the heel on my Leaflings tonight
but I ain't up to my knittin' tonight
cause it's too darn hot
It's too darn hot
It's too darn hot

With profound apologies to Cole Porter who I adore, that pretty much sums up the last week in terms of knitting. Our daytime highs have been in the unseasonable 97-99 range and once or twice possibly even in the low 100's since indoors in my properly insulated studio it was 98 FPS. Sheri is rubbing off on me, FPS= For Pete's Sake for the confused.

So what have I done in the time span since my last post? Have I accomplished anything at all? Well, kinda. The Zazzlejeans got a bit further on. Just to the point where the next row is the one that splits the sleeves off. At which point it promptly stalled while I tried to work out the right thing to do for a couple of stealth-ish projects. No pictures since they won't look much different.

I got a little ways on my March RSC Leafling Socks while waiting for yarns to arrive.
I like this pattern. It looks cool and I learned a new increase off of it so I'm happy but these socks aren't going to get much further than this for a bit since I have to get the secret deadline knitting out of the way. And now that the yarns have arrived at last, I can get to the secret knitting. But, I can't talk about it. I have to be stealthy here. (And because I have a small child, I heard that last sentence in Thomas Hayden Church's voice.)

My three other major accomplishments of the last week are that I managed to clear my floor again in my studio, I have also - thus far - managed to avoid melting into a puddle of goo despite the unusually warm weather, and I have worked out what the two stealth projects need to be. Despite the hot weather which makes knitting even socks (or other small things) somewhat problematical. But, socks (or something) I must knit. I think it might be safe to show you the yarns.

One project is going to be using this yarn combo and I think it is safe to say the recipient isn't reading this blog so it's safe enough to show the yarns in full color and tell you they will be socks with stripes eventually.

The other will be (or maybe is - gotta keep 'em guessing just in case) using this yarn here which just in case that recipient is reading along, is grey-scaled so therefore tells you nothin' right?

Our weather is supposed to return to normal in a couple of days so I hope to have something done on all three of my current high priority deadline projects to show off mid-week next week. Maybe. If it ever cools down.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Binge Weekend

Ha bet that got ya wondering. It sure has taken me a long time to recover from this last weekend. Much fun was had.

Sat May 3rd I went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo and finally got to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak. Proof:
I think my favorite bit (after the knitters aren't patient people, knitting creates an artificial patience zone around them bit) was when she enacted the "what do they expect" reaction of a sock knitter to being told one can buy them for a dollar a pair. If I thought I was a tenth the actress I would so totally do that if someone ever said that to me. Oddly, they don't. Possibly I look armed and dangerous?

Somehow I managed to completely miss that there was yarn to buy at the Maker Faire. Can you even imagine how dumb I feel about that?

Sunday May 4th I drove up to Sacramento to spend the day at the CNCH market. I didn't make it to the galleries because as usual I was having too much fun at the market. Next year I really do have to have my act together enough to attend the full conference. Since I didn't know there was yarn to buy at the Maker Faire I let myself go a bit wilder at CNCH than I otherwise might have.

Some of my goodies from shopping the CNCH market this year. Clockwise from upper left.

Tactile Fiber Arts bag.
Polworth roving from Rovings in Canada a lovely silver grey. Unfortunately I don't get to keep the whole bag. I have to split it with my friend.
Polworth/silk 80/20 fingering yarn (800+ yards of it!) also from Rovings with which I am going to make myself a lovely lovely shawl someday (soon I hope).
A book full of cool charted motifs. I haven't done color-work but I was incapable of resisting the title.
A Kumihimo plate which I will share with my daughter if we are both good.
Tactile Fiber Arts Carbonized Bamboo roving - who could resist?
Tactile Fiber Arts Merino/Bamboo/Nylon blend Sock yarn

I may have gotten a little more spinning fiber and another book or two and maybe another skein or so of yarn, but I'm taking the fifth on that for now. Brooke of Tactile Fiber Arts also let me try out the little Victoria wheel they had in the booth and I'm sorely tempted. It looks like it might almost fold up small enough to be carry on luggage. One could spin on the plane. (swoons with delight - imagine the reactions) I wouldn't really care if they told me I had to put my knitting away so that my needles didn't accidentally fly out of my hands and impale someone if I could pull out the wheel instead. (Trust me, if someone is impaled with one of my needles it's unlikely to be an accident. But just try to take my artificial patience generator (or my chocolate) away and see what happens.)

And in addition to all the loveliness (admitted and stealth) I also ended up with this:
Tactile Fiber Arts naturally dyed Merino/Tencel roving

I gave Yarnivorous (a fellow Ravelry member with a great blog title/rav-name) a ride up to CNCH and was rewarded all out of proportion. After all, the car was going whether she was in it or not. But as I dropped her off at the end of the day she gave me this lovely Tactile Fiber Arts merino/tencel roving and since I hate that thing where you stand there for 20 minutes, one of you pressing something on the other one, and the other demurring, I gave in after a couple of attempts at dissuading her from rewarding me so out of proportion to what I had done. I still feel guilty about it though. So I haven't given up hope yet of evening the scales eventually. She got a gorgeous gorgeous fleece there which I hope she'll blog about soon. She gave me quite a nice sample of it too and really that would have been more than ample reward for driving. It might just be the closest I've seen to my ideal for my fantasy sweater project. Which I'm not ready to buy yet but having a sample that is close will help immensely when I am ready to buy.

Oh, and lest ye think it is all buy and no use here (and you could be forgiven for thinking so) here's the latest bit of the Zazzlejeans cardigan.
Uh, I started playing with the toys in my new iPhoto. I'm so easy to amuse...

No, it's not a puff sleeve, I was just too lazy to figure out how to smooth it to look nice all by my lonesome since my first try knocked three stitches off the needle.

Oh yeah, and I finally finished the Slippin' Slidin' socks from round three of Sock Madness 2.
Those are my feet but they also fit the Remembrall so she's already wheedled them out of me. On the plus side she should be able to wear them for a while since our feet are not much more than an inch apart in length. (She's 9 should I worry that I'll be knitting socks for skis by the time she's a teenager or is that normal?) They are very stretchy socks and very nice in that yarn so I am going to have to make myself another pair.

I signed up for the 52 pair plunge (also the summer of socks and who knows what) after looking, really looking at the size of my sock yarn stash. Plus, you know, I want the socks durn it.