Monday, January 21, 2008

The slope is just as steep as it ever was!

Remember how I claim to be a "one-project-at-a-time" kind of knitter? And how much I whine and complain about having four projects on the needles and the fifth one on its way? How I profess that it makes me uncomfortable and all that?

Well, I can hold my head up high. I finished the Sublime cabled shell. In all its finished glory, here it is!
I used 8 balls of Sublime #59 and the pattern from Pure Silk by Debbie Bliss. All in all, this was a purely delightful project. The directions were accurately written and the yarn was a joy. I do wish that there had been a chart provided in addition to the written directions, but hey--I won't complain. All my customers have been waiting with bated breath for the finished shell, and it is here!

Of course, having finished a store project, I immediately cast on another. (Leaving me with four -- count 'em -- FOUR projects on needles!)

This is the beginning of the Arabesque from Fiddlesticks Knitting, in Malabrigo Baby Lace Merino. Today was my day off and the shop was closed. Where was I? Back at the store, fondling -- er petting -- I mean knitting on the lace. Yeah, that's it. I was knitting!

The Saffron Cables was given much love and attention this weekend as well. I'm now 13 rows into the final pattern repeat, and in the home stretch. This is a good thing since it was so blasted cold this weekend -- I know I was hoping for a bit more winter so that I could do some more cross-country skiing, but really now. -20 was a bit extreme! It was really nice to sit under an afghan and knit merrily away.

Project number 5 soon to be on the needles -- we are doing the Great American Aran Afghan as a group project at the store. I'll be casting on soon for that one as well. Sheesh! Whatever happened to that one-project-at-a-time knitter?

And Irene? There was only a gap of 9 days between updates this time! I have been paying attention!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Slippery Slope

I have been knitting since I was 8 years old, or there-abouts. It's been a while. For most of this time, I have been a very consistent, one-project-at-a-time knitter. I would decide what I wanted to knit, purchase the yarn, and make the project. Whatever was left over would go into a box, to rest there until winter and I needed to make mittens. Even when a yarn store went out of business I still only purchased yarn for the next project. (I know many of you are shaking your heads over this. But it is true--I purchased only yarn for the very next project on my mental list.) One project at a time, from start to finish. And life was good.

Then a bit of misfortune occurred. My friend Randi died. She wasn't quite as monogamous a knitter as I, and she had stash. She had rather a lot, in fact. But that was OK. I started knitting my way through her stash, one project at a time. And life was good.

From there, I discovered charity knitting. There are lots and lots of places that need hand-knit items, and I love knitting enough to want to assist those folks less fortunate than myself. So I adapted my strategy to accommodate this desire. One project for Dulaan, one project for the Durham Crisis Pregnancy Centre, and one for myself. Three projects at the same time. I'd knit for a designated period of time on one project, switch to the second for an equal amount of time, and then knit on my personal project for the same amount of time. Items were finished, and they were beautiful. And life was good.

Do you realize how big a knitting bag one needs to carry around three projects at a time? And enough wool to keep going on each of the projects? I decided that the concept was good and all, but one project at a time was just fine for me. And life was better.

I discovered the Knitter's Frolic. I discovered the Kitchener-Waterloo Spinners & Knitters Fair. I remembered how nice it was to be able to finish a project at midnight on a Saturday night, and be able to walk over to the Stash and immediately start a new project. I bought. And bought some more. I had Stash. And life was tremendous!

Next in my knitting adventures, I decided to open a wool shop. Never Enough Wool was born. Every wool shop needs store models, and mine was no exception. So I had to start knitting models from wools in the store.

This caused a conflict in my little psyche--how could I have two, TWO projects on needles at the same time? I resolved to designate one project as "store" knitting and one as "home" knitting. I would knit the "store" project while at the store, and the "home" knitting at home or on the knitting nights at the store. And life continued to be tremendous.

Now, somewhere along the line (and I really am not sure just how it happened), I started more projects than I had finished. I took inventory yesterday, and this is what I found:

This is a store project--a delightful sleeveless shell designed by Debbie Bliss and knit in Sublime. Coincidentally, the shell is just my size although I profess no knowledge as to how this happened. The back is complete, and the front lacks just the right shoulder. So close ...

Designated as a "home" project, there is this lovely afghan from Interweave Knits Fall 2006 issue. I am knitting it in Patons Shetland Chunky even though the design specifies an alpaca blend.
There are four pattern repeats in this afghan and I am currently half-way through the third repeat. I started this afghan on December 10, so I must say that I am really quite pleased with my progress thus far.

But wait! What's this? Another project, that's what!
My daughter wanted to make a wrap for a friend of hers and I suggested the Clapotis from Knitty and this wonderfully soft Atacama, an alpaca wool from Auracania. I had no sooner gotten her started when she changed her mind. Since the wool was already wound into balls and stitches on the needle, it seemed cruel and unusual punishment to consign the wool back into inventory or stash. So I have continued knitting, with the plan to display the wrap at the store as a model. It's a good plan, even if I say so myself.

But wait! There's more! What else do I find in the bottom of my knitting bag? ANOTHER project?!

Yes, indeed, it is another project. This is the Annetrelac Sock from the Holiday 2007 Interweave Knits issue, knit in Regia 4-ply Strato Color. Socks are such a nice LITTLE project, don't you think? One should always have a pair of socks on the go. Right?

That makes 4 projects currently on the needles. Quite enough for someone who likes one project at a time.

But wait! There's more!

Yes, I did say that. The store is hosting a lace knit-along project, beginning January 22. I have to have a project. So I will be casting on ... the Arabesque using Malabrigo lace-weight merino. Of course, I haven't actually cast on yet, so it doesn't count. Sort of.

The slippery slope is getting steeper and steeper. It will be difficult to get back to the "one-project-at-a-time" knitter that I was. But perhaps that is OK, since life is still good.