twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

How do they do it? October 20, 2015

Beautiful Madelintosh Merino Light in Byzantine colorway. Sigh.

Beautiful Madelintosh Merino Light in Byzantine colorway. Sigh.

Seriously–how does a person knit a long, lacy sweater in just a couple of weeks?

C’mon, I know I’m not the only one who notices a fellow Ravelry knitter’s gorgeous project, and then trolls through all of their projects, flabbergasted to find that many of this person’s complicated sweater projects are done in a mere 2 or 3 weeks. Wha–?

Now I’m not going to call anyone out on that. But if you’re on Ravelry, you’ve surely seen folks who knit that fast and have hundreds of projects.

Actually I have to chuckle. Whenever I see something like “437 projects” in someone’s profile, they usually fit into one of four categories: Knits Like The Wind, Can’t Resist Casting On Another Project, Knits Accessories/Toys, and, Local Yarn Store Owner.

I could certainly put myself into that “Can’t Resist…Project” category (although I only have 150ish projects). I admit to having a short attention span when knitting a cardigan. I rationalize that a quick little shawl or pair of hand warmers will be easy to cart around and will make a little dent into the sock yarn stash (Oh that prodigious sock yarn stash). It doesn’t help that I enjoy making sweaters in one piece, top down or bottom up. At some point the thing is impossible to take around with me because it’s just too large. Though that in itself should be a good reason for me to stick to my diet, haha. So I cast on something new, something small fairly often.

I also can’t resist knitting gifts–some which don’t even make it into my Projects List because I finish it and give it before I remember to take a photo.

Still, this category always manages to make me smile, especially when the knitter has nearly as many WIPs (works in progress) as finished objects.

The “Knits Accessories/Toys” category is an interesting one. Even though I myself knit lots of accessories (mitts, shawls, and hats, mainly), I also knit many sweaters. But then there’s toy knitting. Don’t get me wrong–I love knitted toys! They’re adorable. But now that Bug’s nearly old enough to go to college, I don’t bother much with them, though frankly I have quite a few “I’ll knit these someday” toy patterns. Still, there are many knitters who mainly knit toys. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that they have many little ones–kids or grandkids–who’ll enjoy them.

The LYS owner with their dozens of WIPs always makes me wonder if these poor folks ever have time to enjoy finishing a project. Of course I see lots of these projects around their shops, so they must finish them. Guess they’re just too busy to update their Project pages, which is, IMO a good thing. If my LYS is too busy, that means business is good, and that means I’ll have someplace to lurk and pet yarn. 😉

It’s those who Knit Like The Wind that make me feel both in awe and inadequate.

This is "Darling Emma" by a favorite designer, Joji Locatelli. Love this so much. So pretty on and well worth the wait and hard work.

This is “Darling Emma” by a favorite designer, Joji Locatelli. Love this so much. So pretty on and well worth the wait and hard work.

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I decided to pick up an old WIP that I really loved and “finish the dang thing already.” There wasn’t anything wrong with it; I loved the pattern, adored the yarn, and had been steadily working on it–for about 2 years! I just couldn’t seem to find a chunk of uninterrupted time to make substantial progress. Seriously, sometimes slow and steady doesn’t win the race. You’re just slow. I think it requires steady focus to finish the race.

And because I wanted to wear the sweater to a wedding (two and a half weeks from then), and it was only 30 percent finished, I certainly had a reason to focus.

What I really needed was uninterrupted time. Ha. Ha.

I worked on that puppy every single chance I got, mostly ignoring the housework and barely feeding my family. And though at times I wondered if it actually would be possible to finish, I did it!

Which lead me to the very unscientific conclusion that someone who can knit a huge, and/or complicated sweater or shawl in just a couple of weeks has either a housekeeper and cook, or is just plain fast as hell. Mad Skills!

This little cutie shawl's been climbing up the list in my Queue, and finally just popped into my knitting bag...;)

This little cutie shawl’s been climbing up the list in my Queue, and finally just popped into my knitting bag…;)

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On the knitting front… June 18, 2014

Hello darling fiber-lovers and other dear friends!

So last time, I showed off my little veggie garden, and this time, I’d like to show you what knitterly things kept me from blogging the last month.

Finished!

Finished!

First, I decided to tackle a couple of UFOs (unfinished objects), starting with my “Little Leafies” socks. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like feeling the bottoms of my current socks grow a bit thin to inspire me to finish the pair languishing on the needles (not to mention, remind me to darn any that are sitting in the mending basket). Once I determined to finish these and I focused on them alone, it took all of a week and a half to finish the first, then start and finish the second, which really makes me a little crazy. I mean, I am in no way a speed knitter, but look what happens when I focus on a single project. Makes me reconsider the “benefits” of multitasking, something I’ve been wondering about over the last year or so, but that’s another subject entirely.

Crazy Zauberball in "Rare Jewels"

Crazy Zauberball in “Rare Jewels”

So, those done, I decided I’d make the next pair plain old vanilla, but pulled out a wildly colored skein of Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball that Momma kindly bought for me last summer to make it more fun . Up until a week ago, it was sitting as a lovely decoration in my yarn bowl. I thought, however, it deserved a little more recognition than that, so I cast on for another pair of socks right away. Yowza. You may or may not know I like to put a panel of lace or cables down the fronts of my socks, but this time, I just wanted straightforward stockinette stitches. Bang, zoom! Seven inches and a heel turn in just 2.5 days of knitting while dinner was cooking and afterwards before bed. I may be jinxing myself by mentioning it, but it makes me very happy to see progress like that. Plus, there’s the added benefit that it’s very socially compatible knitting–no pattern to concentrate on.

The yarn, though…well let’s just say I have very mixed feelings about the stuff. I love the color changes which will ultimately yield some truly crazy fraternal (not matching) socks, however, this stuff is splitty as all get out. Further, the way the ball is wound by the manufacturer–cool, because it shows off the yarn colors–is insane to knit from since huge wraps of it fall off and tangle as you work, yarn bowl or not. And I don’t think it’s wise to pull it from the center. In fact a review of it on Ravelry warned against this very thing because it tangles so dreadfully. I believe that because the fiber is pretty fuzzy, it really clings together and nearly felts itself  into a knotty mess.

And then just a few days ago while cruising through my queue on Rav, I remembered I wanted to start Lichen to get a jump on my Christmas knitting. This is a delightfully fun and clever project I first saw made up in Elgin last summer when my Darling Cuz and I were on our annual Summer Yarn Crawl. So pretty it just took my breath away. The only problem is, as I make this, I think I should’ve gotten 3 skeins, instead of the 2 the nice lady at the yarn shop told me to get. Sigh.

Magnolia Yarn by Classic Elite--so squishy and pretty!

Magnolia Yarn by Classic Elite–so squishy and pretty!

Oh well, just another reason to by more yarn. 😉

What have you guys been knitting? I’d love to know!

 

Reconnecting With Lost Loves June 24, 2013

Where have you been hiding...?

Where have you been hiding…?

That’s right…the lost loves I’m talking about are all UFOs. UnFinished Objects, for those few non-knitters who are reading this blog.

For the last few days, I’ve felt this overwhelming urge to get in touch with some of my previous fibery liaisons.

Sometimes I start a project and because the yarn, the styling, or the pattern stitch aren’t working, I grit my teeth and rip it out. Well honestly, sometimes I have to have a cooling off period before I frog stuff so I can come to terms with ripping out (throwing away) all those hours of work.

But a UFO?

In this case, I can’t imagine what happened to make me abandon these knitted affaire de coeurs. When I first started each of these projects, I was deeply in love. Whether it was the pattern, the yarn, or what I call a match made in heaven—being in love with both—I was inspired to start and get a good bit into the piece. These weren’t intended to be mere flings. What made me love them and leave them?

Looking back over the projects I’ve listed on Ravelry, I have to conclude that more often than not, I’m side-tracked by making presents. I do love to make and give handknit gifts. Especially for the 2 guys in my life: Captain Romance and Pops. They’re tough to buy gifts for—they usually just go and buy the stuff they want—and they actually appreciate and use what I make for them. Bliss for a knitter.

So after I finished those 2 Purl Soho Bandana Cowls and the Windschief Hat, I went through my WIP (Work In Progress) basket and looked through my individual project bags. It was kinda like Christmas with yarn. Lookie what I found:

This "Orchid Thief Shawl" by Ysolda is such a gorgeous shawl!

This “Orchid Thief Shawl” by Ysolda is such a gorgeous shawl!

It’s my “Punkinhead Thief Shawl.” It features the most delectable yarn I’ve ever slid between my fingers: Handmaiden Swiss Mountain Cashmere and Silk. Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe this amazing yarn. How can I have started it nearly, ahem, 2 years ago, and just set it aside half finished? I know there were some errata issues with the charts, but I got those worked out. Touching this yarn, I can’t imagine. Again, it appears that a variety of gifts, and then that really interesting Swirl Cardigan pushed my heart in another direction. Oh yeah, and then there was that “Global Cable Coat.”

I must tell you I smiled when I pulled the little project bag from the WIP basket and took a peek inside. That did it. I rescued it this past Thursday, and at this moment, I have just about 24 more rows to go. Thats about 4000 to 6500 stitches left before I can block and wear this gorgeous shawl. 🙂

With any luck, I’ll be on a roll to reconnect with the rest of my lost loves, and bring each love story to a happy ending.

 

 
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