Thursday On My Needles

A candy cane scarf for a local missionary. I need to get it finished before Dec 1 and I need to be working on Danica’s present for her 30th birthday a few days later.

I am close to the end of this semester and I need to get busy with math before the next one starts. Time to get a little inspiration from Elle Woods and hit the books.

Thursday on my needles

I’m not sure I like this new WordPress format. I’m not sure that I don’t. If I blogged more, I would be used to it by now 😉

The semester is winding down. I had to drop a hard class so, I have one easy class and more time for knitting.

Red Heart Stripes in colors I adore. I had just enough left over in this skein to make this 2×2 stretchy hat. Pattern found here. I used a different cast off method to keep the ribbing intact.

Next up: A baby blanket for David’s cousin.

Lion Brand Baby Soft held double so that I get a really pretty color effect and more importantly, the blanket will be finished faster. Standard granny square.

Stash management and the WIP pile

It seems counter intuitive that these two things should go together.  To manage my stash, I need to shop from the stash and cast on new projects. I’ve been saying this for the last three years.  In fact, I started this post about that long ago. I can’t say that I’ve exactly been faithful to my cold sheep promise, but I’ve been better. Stitches West is coming to Salt Lake City in a few weeks and I’m sure to come home with more fabulous things. I should make a plan of one thing I want to make and stick to purchasing for that one thing. This means more Internet surfing and magazine browsing at Barnes and Noble to find the project I want. There’s nothing quite like getting a magazine, a chai tea, and settling down with friends at knit night.

Since I’m not a monogamous knitter, this would add to the WIP pile that I also need to manage. However, I do need to get started on Christmas projects and if I have them kitted up and ready to go right where I can see them (in the WIP pile) I’m more likely to grab them and work on them.

Can I share the picture of the WIP pile again? Here it is when the craft room was downstairs.  I was going to call this The WIP Pile of Shame, but I changed my mind. I have a lot of WIPs.  It’s who I am, I’m not ashamed. It seems to be an ADHD thing that I have a lot of projects going at once to stay interested.  Right now, I’m in school, so the WIP pile doesn’t take precedence. Full disclosure: The pile is a lot bigger than this.

Since I moved everything from the dining room craft room to the new craft room, my WIPs are closer at hand now that I spend a lot of time at my desk doing homework. Or writing, surfing the web for more yarn and patterns.  Tomato, ToMAHto.

UPDATE:  I wrote some of this in September and then school got in the way.  In a good way but still crafting has slowed down a little.  *snork* Like I ever craft quickly.

I needed to stay on a budget so I stomped down feelings of regret and didn’t go to Stitches West. I’m glad it was a great success and hopefully it will keep coming back to Salt Lake. More later on what is on the needles.

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.