What is my next oldest WIP?

Because I finished this one!  *cough* I finished in July, but let’s ignore that for right now.

Bonus: I won at yarn chicken.

I’ve probably had this yarn for over 20 years and I started the blanket almost 10 years ago. It feels great to have this one done.

The yarn had Sprouse Reitz stickers on it, and the last time I shopped at one was at least 35 years ago in Ft. Bragg. I vaguely remember purchasing this yarn at a Fred Meyers or K-Mart and it was in a clearance bin. The clearance sticker says .84! Which means I obtained the yarn after I moved to Utah and before the Fred Meyers closed.

So, the yarn was nigh unto ‘vintage’ by the time I started the blanket. I bought the yarn for the color and it was pretty nice to crochet with. It is Lion Brand Jiffy and had a fuzzy halo to it, but it wasn’t splitty and the work went fast. Well, fast while I was working on it, not so much when my ADHD had me wandering off to do something else.

I wonder what my next oldest project is. I know for sure that I have older yarn but it’s sitting safely in a bin waiting for inspiration to strike.

A Granny Stripe Or Two

I started a granny stripe afghan. Okay, I started two.

I first saw one of these on a podcast (Workshop Girls, sadly gone), and I wondered how I had missed such a fabulous thing. I knew I needed to have one. I have a deep and abiding love for a granny square and I know I will love the granny stripe just as much.

I have many afghan WIPs but Granny Startitis would not be denied.

Besides, I had this yarn in my stash and I didn’t really know what to do with it.  The blanket on the bottom is made with Red Heart in Gray Heather and Blacklight. I loved the Blacklight colorway on the skein, but every time I tried to make something it never looked right.  Mixed in with rows of gray makes it fabulous.

The one on the top is Vanna’s Choice leftover from other projects with new skeins of gray to balance out the colors that don’t look so great together. I’m determined to use it all up.

I try to keep one of these projects under my desk so that I’ll put in a shell or two during any homework breaks I want to take.

Sock Mania Update

I’ve added to the Sock Mania pile. If “Sock Mania” is trademarked or copyrighted or something, we’ll just call this “In Which Kimberly Has Cold Feet And Wants To Get Over Her Fear of Knitting Sock Heels.”

Why, yes, that IS seven sock projects, plus one that is about to be started. I like to get socks to the heel sections and then knit all the heels because heels freak me out. Knowing me, I have another one stashed, lost among the WIPs that I’ve forgotten about.

By the way, I’m supposed to be doing homework, so naturally I’m goofing off.  I’m looking at the Internet. I’m organizing fabric. I’m making labels for the craft room.

Because, look! A purple label maker! I’m looking at more fabric, beads, nail stamping stuff and I really, seriously need to not be shopping and doing homework.

But… socks.

A Recurring Theme

Failing at yarn chicken is a recurring theme in my world.

I love the colors of this yarn for baby blankets.  My visiting minster’s baby was due very soon and I needed something I could finish quickly. I could achieve that by using two strands of yarn and still get the color I loved. Instead of trying to keep the colors the same, I thought it would be fun to get a marled(?) effect. The two skeins of yarn started at the same color, so I wound up several lengths of one skein so I could start the colors at different places.  I put this bit of yarn aside, because yarn.  I keep yarn scraps. I may have even been thinking that I would need that extra bit.

As usual I got to the end of the blanket just a few shells short of finishing the row.

I sighed with resignation, but not surprise, and went through my supplies looking for the leftover bits of this yarn that I was positive I must have. I love this yarn and I’ve made more than one baby blanket with it. I looked in all my usual scrap yarn spots for the bit I saved when I started the blanket, couldn’t find it, and concluded that I had thrown away the scrap.

I purchased another skein and finished the blanket. What the heck, I use this yarn all the time. It’s my favorite for baby blankets and will always get used.

I

So, of course, today I find the scrap yarn. It’s not enough to fail at yarn chicken, the fiber universe has to rub salt in the wound.

 

Sock Mania

I want more hand knit socks for fall.  My feet get cold on campus and wool socks are almost a necessity.  I purchased some before school started last fall and while they are nice and warm, they are thick and don’t fit great. The socks that fit and feel the best are the ones I’ve made.  Which means I need to make more. After my pattern paralysis, I finally chose a few patterns and spent some time with my swift and ball winder.  I wound up some of the new yarn from the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair,

picked a few patterns, and cast on a few pairs.

Pattern Paralysis

Startitis Paralysis: A condition in which one is burning to start a new project but is paralyzed with indecision on which pattern/yarn combo to use.

I have a literal floor-to-ceiling tower of sock yarn.

I have a shelf full of sock pattern books, thousands of patterns available on the Internet, my hard drive, and Ravelry.

I frequently browse through the books and the pattern databases. I flag patterns I like. I like several patterns. Why do I have such a hard time deciding on which sock pattern to start next?

In case you think I’m kidding about the tower:

That entire second column is fingering weight yarn. The first column of that style of tubs is Knit Picks yarn, some of which is also sock yarn. I have a lot of sock yarn.

Clearly, I need professional help.

 

Travel knitting

We were sealed in the temple on a Thursday and then left for Las Vegas for a long overdue weekend away. David still ended up working but we had a nice time and I got a lot of yarn crafting done.

This baby blanket will be going to my visiting minister, Jennifer.  I need to hurry, she’s due soon.

I bought those awesome needles at Sin City Knit Shop in Las Vegas, so this picture was taken on the way home.

Socks for me.  I need more pairs, the CS building at UVU gets really cold.

I think I was distracted.

School didn’t leave me a lot of time for anything other than school. It was glorious, but my knitting suffered. I managed a few stitches here and there, usually while I was having a lunch or waiting for a ride.  Nothing earth shattering fell off my needles. My shawl got larger.

Well, other than stitches. It was a common occurrence for me to pull a project out of the bag and lose a needle somewhere.  My knitting and I didn’t get along as well as I would have liked. One day it attacked me and I ended up with a DPN embedded in my thigh.  I didn’t think those could really pierce skin.  Not the larger ones with rounded tips.  Nope, they pierce skin quite easily.

One tetanus shot later and my knitting and I are still not quite on speaking terms.

Take this small project for example:

It’s supposed to be straightforward boot cuffs. I’ve made dozens of projects that start like this. I must have been very distracted because it took a couple of days for me to get the thing to connect in the round without the stitches being twisted.  Then a couple more days to cast on the right number of stitches on the needles.  My first attempt left me with half the size I needed but double the number of stitches was too big.

Swatches lie like like dogs on rugs. FIVE retries later, I finally got one done finished.  I finished the other one late on Christmas Day.

I did well on my finals, by the way.  I know you were all just dying to know.

November’s needles

Hello, December and Happy Birthday to Mom!

Novembers needles had socks and boots cuffs on them.  I suspect the same will be true in December.

The cats and chickens are enjoying their staring contests.

This is what binding off in pattern

and not binding off in pattern looks like:

I was curious and so I had to try it for myself.  There isn’t a right or wrong, it just depends on what you want the finished edge to look like.  In this case, I wanted the finished edge to match the cast on edge, so I need to bind off in pattern.  Meaning, instead of just knitting and slipping the stitch over, I need to knit or purl, matching the stitch below.