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.

 

It was a beautiful day.

David and I were sealed in the Mount Timpanogas Temple.  None of my family are members but my dearest friend, Wendy, made sure I was properly escorted and not alone. She held my hand, dabbed my tears, and dutifully took a lot of lovely photographs.

Except for this one, I hope it’s okay to take a selfie at the temple!

Thanks, Wend, it meant so much to me that you were there.

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.

 

 

School and Knitting

I started week 12 of school today and I see that I haven’t mentioned a thing here.  I made a big deal of choosing a new project to work on during breaks and at school and then didn’t really work on it.  I have been working on my shawl, but my knitting time has been so limited.

I finished a pair of Halloween socks.  The only bit left to do was the Kitchener stitch.  I really don’t like Kitchener stitch and it was this that put the sock back into the WIP pile. I had tried a few times, had to pick out the mess I made, and re-knit part of the toe. This is why I like top-up socks.  I did these socks top down because that’s the way it had to be done because of the yarn I chose. Since I adore this yarn and I have several others like it, I’m just going to have to suck it up and get better at Kitchener stitch.

I pulled out another pair of Halloween socks and will be working on those, but knowing how seldom I knit, I don’t see these getting done before the end of the month.  It’s just a project to keep me interested during the Halloween season. They are adorable though!  This pattern is a mash up of toe up sock patterns from some books, and Nancy Bush’s Fox Face socks.  The yarn is Salvia. My feet are cold on campus, so I have a lot of incentive to finish a pair or three of wool socks. From there, I’ll move on to a more Fall themed sock projects. Being in school tends to cut into one’s knitting and blogging time.

Halloween on campus was a blast. My costume even got a few nods of recognition. One fellow student commented “Sick Doctor Who costume!”.  I was pleased.  The dancing T-Rex and the Darth Vader with theme music were among the best things I saw that day.

CookAndCleanGiving is coming up and I think we’ll do ours early so we can get most if not all the kids there.  I would be looking forward to the break if holidays were really a break for homemakers. Whoa, negativity, did I say that out loud?

Look! Pretty fall campus!

School has been going well.  So well, in fact, I might not have to retake a class I thought I was going to have to retake. I was pretty excited and relieved. My brain isn’t as old and crusty as I thought and here’s to all oldies going back to school! We’ve got this!

 

 

 

Generational crocheting

Who taught my great grandmother to crochet and embroider? I wish I had thought to ask while my Grandma was still alive. She’s the one who taught me to crochet and I have evidence that her mother crocheted.  I am the proud owner of a doily that my great grandmother made. I need to remember to record that somewhere.

This was made by my great grandmother, Mary Ella Algood Collier.  She passed in 1960.

Cheating on a yarn diet

I think it’s safe to say you’re allowed a cheat day on most diets.  Otherwise you go kinda crazy and eat buy All. The. Things.

In June, my cheat was some lovely yarn from Sin City Knits in Las Vegas.

 

This week it was Knit Picks and Knit Circus. My break is over and I’m working on getting back into WIP and stash management. My Ravelry queue and WIP pile is really helpful for this.  I will be kitting up Christmas projects soon so I can always have a project ready to do. They will be small so I can also take them to school with me so I can knit a few stitches when my brain needs a break from physics.

Update:  My friend Janalee assures me that it’s not cheating on a yarn diet. The yarn was obviously always mine, I just need to wait until it was old enough to bring it home from the yarn foster care home.  I like her.