Friday, June 12, 2009

So much to do--so little time

Do you remember that breathless, don't-want-to-ever-be-parted, heart-pounding excitement of new love? Well, that's where I'm at with some of my knitting projects. The ones that I'm not passionately in love with ... well, they're just gonna have to deal. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my active projects.

First, there is the Botanica Medallion Cardigan from Vogue. We started this one Sunday afternoon at 2:00. I've knit the centre medallion, and am one-sixth of the way finished with the outer ring.

Misti International Misti Cotton ... doesn't get much better than this, I tell ya. Soft, supple, rich colour, fascinating pattern. Who wouldn't love it?

Next is the little lace cardigan from Creative Knitting. Back, both fronts, and half a sleeve. What's not to love here? A simple lace pattern that is easy to memorize and difficult to screw up. Nice colour, easy knitting. Again, what's not to love?
And then there's this little beauty. Rusted Root from Zephyr ... being knit in Debbie Bliss Cotton/Angora blend. I'm past the armholes, in case you can't see clearly.
A relatively simple 10-row lace pattern, yarn that absolutely glides over the needles, the absolute lush softness of angora, and a top-down sweater that will require little to no seaming. Life doesn't get any better, does it?

Or does it?
Handmaiden Casbah ... getting ready to be a little pull-over for summer wearing. Handmaiden is the knitter's crack, I swear. If it ain't the colours, it's the textures. They all feel like silk, or butter, or melted chocolate ... Compelling just isn't a strong enough word.

You know what really hurts about today? I have to go wind off yarns to drop into my gift bags for the Knit in Public picnic tomorrow. But I want to knit!!!!

The sooner I go wind off, the sooner I can come back to my knitting, right?

Monday, June 08, 2009

So many requests for pix

So many, many folks have requested pix of the Botanical Medallion in progress, I just had to oblige.

Of course, first you have to see the purely gratuitous cat shot -- Lizzie flaked out on our bed:

Hard to believe the little one is 11 years old this summer.

Also, the Rusted Root WIP, with my hand added for gauge:
Finally, the Botanical Medallion, in its blurry glory:
This is through round 41 ... only a FEW rounds ago. A better shot tomorrow, I promise!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Another month, another list

I have gotten in the habit of doing a count of my projects the first week of every month, and then posting them publicly. Here. The stated goal is to get back down to ... oh, I don't know ... 4 projects sounds reasonable. Two at the store, two at home. That sounds oh-so-reasonable. Doesn't it? Please tell me yes.

I don't even make a list of the projects for which I already have the yarn. That just sounds way too overwhelming for me. And discouraging. The old avoidance technique -- the list is too long, so I'll just avoid it. I do that with housework and stuff, so I think I'd probably do it with my projects as well.

But this, the first-of-the-month list ... It's motivational, in that I keep trying to whittle down the numbers. In that I can see clearly what's on my needles. In that I can see what it is I'm avoiding.

This month, I now number 10. Yes, 10. This is NOT a decrease. In fact ... well, we just won't go there.

There is the bulky cardigan for a customer. I have the back and two fronts completed. Sleeves are next, followed by the button bands. With a good movie, I could probably knock out one sleeve. Should be finished by the end of June.

The Noro hat. Well, I need to get this one finished so that I can display it for Christmas in July. Nothing difficult, just a knit hat with a little fun fur.

Great American Aran Afghan. Yes, well, I knew this would be a long-term project. The square for this month is the Salpekar square on page 24. I've heard lots about this square, ranging from "should be banned" techniques to amazingly difficult. I might just have to take this square home to knit.

There are still two pairs of double-knit mittens in alpaca. Again, I want to have them finished for display in July, so I've gotta get moving on at least one pair of these.

The mock cable baby afghan. The instructions are knit, it's just the knitting that's slowing me down.

The Rusted Root from Zephyr ... ah, yes. Knit in Debbie Bliss cotton and angora blend. Sigh.
I cast on for this one on Wednesday in the car, while Carrie was driving me home. Knit one round, then joined. 5 Rows later, at knit night at the store, I realized that I had been felled by the notorious "join, being careful not to twist." Rip. I started right back up, being careful not to twist, and am now on row 5. The yarn I'm using is thicker than the yarn for which the sweater was designed. I'm going to use the proper needle for the yarn and make the smallest size. The finished result will be a ladies medium, which is exactly what I need. Other than being navy blue (and consequently a little hard to see the stitches), this should be a fairly easy knit.

By the way, it's a top-down raglan, which means little to no finishing! Yippee!

There is a little drop-stitch top made from sock yarn in the spring Knitters. Casbah is SO tempting me ... The yarn is released from its stash hideaway and in the knitting bag, so I count this one as on the needles. Even though it's not.

On Sunday, we're going to start the Botanical Medallion cardigan from the summer Vogue Knitting. It's a knit-along project for the store, and I'm the leader. I probably should start this one ahead of time so that I can answer any and all questions.

Finally, there is a luscious alpaca and silk shawl that only needs the ends run under and blocking. Then it's finished. It seems I'm more of a project knitter than I want to admit, in that I just want to do the knitting and not the finishing. Wonder if there is a market in providing finishing services ... of course, I'd have to find someone to actually DO the finishing.

And finally, the one project that I managed to cross off my list in the last month:

Noro socks for Doug. These are intended as a "thank you" for him watching the store while I attended the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto. The colours of the Noro are delightful. Doug loves the wearing of the socks. I despise the knitting with Noro sock yarn. Twisty, tangled messes which require putting down the knitting and untangling. Grr. The pattern I used was a seed-stitch rib (4 knit stitches and 2 seed stitches), which I stopped two rows above the heels.

So ... there you have it. A more or less complete list of what's on my needles.