Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Thanks for your great ideas and suggestions for bed sets. You guys rock! I've got a good list of new shops to try and am feeling cautiously optimistic. Seriously, that's a good thing.

A couple of notes:

  • I had no idea blanket piling was so common. I feel less freakish! Or, just as freakish, but in good company.
  • No down for us. I loved my down comforter until it wouldn't stop shedding. Like Allouette I (unhappily) plucked myself each morning at work. (Plus, Scott might be allergic to down.)
  • Ginny said, "Blankets make me sneeze!" Dude, what do you use???

Changing gears...

WIP Management

Way back in November I began a campaign to get my WIPs in order. I was swimming in WIPs and it was choking the creative breath out of me. I counted all my projects and was surprised shocked startled dismayed bewildered to find 67. projects. in progress. 67. Going back as far as '95. Too too many.

Thus was born WIP Management. The goal, to weed 67 projects down to 18-24 within 6 months, or by my birthday. Attainable and reasonable, given effort, focus and will.

I laughed (and inwardly cried) when I saw others beginning similar campaigns to get their out of control WIP lists down from 8 or 12 to a manageable 3 or 4. Or 1 or 2. Ha. Ha! You want to see a WIP list? You want to see unmanageable??? That's right, check out my WIP list. Oh yeah. Feel the... fear.

WIP Management posts appeared regularly until the Knitting Olympics squeezed it out of the limelight. Progress continued, however, steadily, surely. I resisted urges to begin projects on a lark. I discovered the wonder of project monogamy and marveled at the resulting finished objects. I examined the WIP list with an impassioned, practical eye, eliminated disasters, projects I had already subconsciously abandoned, projects that no longer suited me. I picked up forgotten projects, finished 10 year old socks, baby cardis that lacked buttons. I started -- and finished -- many projects as well.

Today, only a few hours shy of my birthday, I present the results:

WIP Mgmt Progress

Started with 67
 Missing projects added +3
 Abandoned projects -40
 Finished projects -28
 New projects +25
Final count 24

I made it!!! And I desperately want to start a few new projects, but I'm at the limit. Man.

Things I learned:

  • I get bored easily. (Duh.)
  • When I got bored I started a batch of new projects. Only 1 or 2 in each batch would get finished.
  • When I'm on a WIP Management campaign, I'm MUCH more careful about starting new projects. The projects I do start tend to get finished.
  • Pre-WIP Management, when the going got tough, I got going. Post-WIP Management, I try to make it work.
  • An -along with a deadline not only motivates me to finish a project, but also pushes my creative limits: eg, Knitting Olympics, Sockapaloooza
  • An -along with a deadline wears me out.
  • Spinning is an excellent diversion which allows me to play with many small and varied projects and thus maintain relative knitting monogamy.
  • Knitting takes a long time. Buying yarn does not.
  • I can't knit while spinning. I have a hard time knitting while watching foreign subtitled films.
  • 18-24 projects is still a lot of projects. It feels MUCH lighter than 67, though.
  • There are a handful of people out there juggling many many projects. Most are in the closet.

I put in some yarn room organization time last night. It felt good to clean things up and make some decisions on what needs to go. There's a corner of the room I can see again! And the sewing machine is accessible once more. I know more yarn needs to find new homes. It's so hard to make those decisions; if I think I might use it, I want to keep it. The problem is, when is might? This year? Within 5 years? In this lifetime? Some might yarns are definitely worth keeping, like good quality basic yarns in non-funky colors. High quality luxury yarns in lovely colors. Beautiful sock yarns... Of course, there are limits to how much is worth keeping. How do you decide what to keep?

You know what I love? Being able to see more of my yarns, and having easier access to it. With the new shelves, I don't have to move 3 bins to get to the one I want. Love it.

Slacker Knathlete

The Knitting Olympics (and the actual Olympics, hehe) begins Friday and I don't have a project yet! I swear I've been thinking about it. Obviously, not hard enough... It's just... I have so many things I should knit soon: a couple of baby sweaters, an afghan or three, socks and a sweater for Scott, socks and a vest I promised Gram last week (what, am I crazy?)... and then there are the knitalongs I'm in... and the WIP list is not getting any shorter. In fact, this weekend, while combing through the WIP list to target WIPs to abandon, I found 2 more WIPs that never made it onto the list, so my count is now 2 higher! What's up with that??

You know, my mom was eyeing my Catharina Rose shawl when it was a WIP and I was worried she'd swipe it. She didn't. I was shocked. While still in shock, I offered to knit her a shawl and asked her what she'd like. You know what she'd like? A black one. A black lace shawl that would go with everything. She wants me to go blind, she does. Add lace shawl to the above list.

You know another thing? I've started only 3 projects this year: anonymous socks (product of startitis), Kiri, and Creamsicle T. 3 projects! I used to do that in a day! 3 projects in 5 weeks, it's a record, I say! Not only that, since I started my WIP Management campaign in November, I've started 11 proejcts and completed all but 4: the 3 listed above, plus Curlycue Scarf started Dec 28. Holy whip them WIPs moly. Dare I say, it works! WIP Management works!

Let's bring it up another notch. After reviewing my WIP list this weekend, I targeted 10 WIPs to abandon. This will bring my WIP count down to 36. You newcomers can stop swooning, this is good news! Down from 67 to 36. That's 72% of the way to my goal of 24. It makes me dizzy, it does. Yeehaw!

And don't even think about mentioning a Stash Management campaign, I won't have it.

Orange Julius

Creamsicle T sleeve reshaping went swimmingly well! Here's the before:

Creamsicle T - puffy sleeve

The cap didn't look or feel right. With the tighter body, looser sleeves were out of place. Plus, it looked like the sleeve cap needed to be a few rows longer.

I took out 2 inches of ease above the elbow, added slight bell shaping below the elbow, adjusted the cap decreases, and crossed my fingers. Since I was working with 2 inches less fabric for seaming, I slowed down cap decreases and added in a few extra rows. Once done, I sewed it in and tried it on:

Creamsicle T - sleeve redux

Not bad! It's definitely snug on my upper arm: no room for growth. The cap has a little extra fabric at the top, so I unseamed and took out a couple of rows.

I'm 80% done reknitting the second sleeve. I'm guessing I'll have Creamsicle T done in time for the Olympics. Hurrah! One project complete to balance the new Olympics project.

Which reminds me. I need to decide on a project!

I debated showing it all, since I'd only be documenting my stash enhancing, uh, addiction. (Yes, the first step is admitting your problem.) Then I thought, what the hell. So here it is!

Webs Sale - 501 Tweed
Filatura di Crosa 501 Tweed; only 10 balls so maybe a small sweater

Webs Sale - Debbie Bliss wool/cotton
Debbie Bliss wool/cotton in dark and light blue; one of these will become some kind of cabled sweater from one of her books. I keep buying her books but not her yarns; maybe for once I won't have to make endless calculations and adjustments?? (Please?)

Webs Sale - Rowunspun 4 ply
Rowan Rowanspun 4ply in Pumpkin, I think; it's bright, n'est ce pas? It's also thin, and I don't know if 10 balls x 25g is enough for anything? I was thinking that little cardi from Interweave Knits sometime in the last year or so, but maybe it wasn't 4ply...

Webs Sale - misc
Knit One Crochet Two Creme Brulee: superwash for baby things, hard to go wrong at $20 for 10 balls
Sparkly non-gauge-changing carryalong thread for knitting and spinning fun
Cascade Fixation for the wool-allergic hubby

Webs Sale - silk Webs Sale - silk closeup
Silk for the Sweater Scott Will Wear and Love, Dammit; to be knit with 2 strands

Spinning Wheel thoughts

Based on suggestions on Knitter's Review Forums, I'll try out both wheels again and then decide. Give them each another go, a fair shake, a run for their money, and any other cliche you can think of. I've waited this long, may as well make a decision I feel comfortable with.

Socky progress

Speaking of waiting, while at the doctor's office last week I got through another couple of repeats:

Grey Cabled Sock - sock 2

And a little Drugstore Cowboy (what a classic) last night got me through the last couple of cables:

Grey Cabled Sock - sock 2

Just some toe shaping and ends weaving to go!

New Year's travel

I'm heading to NC for New Year's, family fun and my last week of freedom before starting my new job. I'm looking forward to it! Both seeing them, and starting my job, actually. I've had my fun (knitting! spinning! sleeping in!), I've had my pain (job hunting... no yarn money...), I'm ready to to learn, earn, help, create, and otherwise be a productive member of society again. And family-wise, well, the older I get, the more I cherish what feels like ever more limited time with them. My nephew (6 mo!) is sitting on his own and ready to start crawling; my niece (almost 7!) is reading chapter books and a cool kid besides. They grow so fast, and i'm so far! My plans: introduce my niece to the wonders of dyeing yarn with food coloring; make my nephew giggle and smile; make my sister laugh and feel she can neglect her kids for at least a few hours here and there.

I'll prepare some posts ahead of time, but I probably won't be able to blog regularly until I get back.

And last... WIP Management

I'm officially putting any WIP Management updates on hold until January. Wait, that's next week...

Holiday knitting put me in a jumble and I'm not yet recovered. I did find it interesting that all projects begun post-WIP Management are currently complete. That's a first! I'm down from 67 to 42 projects (to be honest, I still can't see how I can have that many, but Excel spreadsheets do not lie), with 17 completed, 15 abandoned, and 7 new. I'm not feeling the creative soup joy from starting new projects (new project high, so much better than new car smell), but I have been getting some creative joices going designing (Buttercup and Ribbed Wristwarmers (which I'm renaming yet again)), and a good amount of satisfaction when they're done.

It's been a different kind of knitting, more goal oriented and focused. Not very Gemini, but a good learning experience. Balance, beginning and finishing. Letting go of projects that no longer inspire or that I've outgrown. Putting in that extra bit of effort to finish up an almost complete item, transforming it from an idea, good intentions, 22% perspiration, to something that can be used, gifted, warm some heart or spirit. In the last 6 weeks, I've been extra careful to start only necessary holiday gift projects, and that will have to change.

For the record, my original goal of 18-24 projects was set with a 6 month timeline. I think I'm well ahead of schedule. It won't do to coast; WIPs won't knit themselves! But I think it'll be a little more lowkey from here.

Week six:
Started with: 43
Abandoned: -0
Finished: -2
New: +1
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 3)
Current Projects: 42!
WIP list

I tried to make you into something you couldn't be, Wildberry Basket Scarf. I knew you were only 100g, but you were so pretty and soft and I wanted to jump right in! It was folly to think you might be enough for a scarf. I found a great pattern to show off your colors and you were done in no time. But. A two foot scarf. Sigh. It was lovely while it lasted; I'll work on my expectations.

Wildberry Basket Scarf Wildberry Basket Scarf
12/13/04 - 12/20/05

I can't keep doing this, Striped Sweater. You were an experiment in color, an attempt to use up Colinette scraps and stash. I was excited about the mix, the unpredictable way your hint of colors played. But... I think it was just the wrong needles, and then so much time passed and I'm just not sure any more. Is there enough yarn? Would you be better on #9's? Can we make this work? I have to let you go.

Striped Sweater

Striped Sweater Striped Sweater
8/1/02 - 12/20/05

There just isn't a future for us, Spicy Fair Isle Sweater. I tried to be bold and substitute colors using stash. It was a good experience and I learned from it. You're bright and you hurt my eyes. I'm sorry, did I say that out loud??

Spicy Fair Isle Sweater
2/5/05 - 12/20/05

We just don't understand each other, Classic Elite Felted Booties. I followed your pattern to the T, and I just don't get it. You're supposed to be felted. You're supposed to fit me. How can you be smaller than my foot before felting? I can't take the stress, Booties. It's time to move on.

Classic Elite Felted Booties Classic Elite Felted Booties
12/25/03 - 12/20/05

White and Black Merino Sweater, I had a lot of growing up to do. I loved knitting you, even on tiny needles; your merino softness and simple contrast striping were a pleasure. Before long your pieces were done! I was elated! But then... Well... It's just... I didn't know about gauge. It was a long time ago... I tried to make it work. I pinned you to fit and basted, but look at all that extra fabric! I can't do it, can't subject you to the machine and scissors. It's just not right. I'll find a better way. We can start over again, find that loving feeling and make it work.

White and Black Merino Sweater White and Black Merino Sweater

White and Black Merino Sweater White and Black Merino Sweater

White and Black Merino Sweater
1/19/97 - 12/20/05

Week five:
Started with: 48
Abandoned: -5
Finished: -1
New: +1
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 1)
Current Projects: 43!
WIP list


Break-up lines of the philosophers

The advantage of ancient WIPs that are socks:

If the first sock was completed years ago, you can't have second sock syndrome. It's like knitting a first sock all over again.

In the case of Grey Cabled Socks (thanks for the lovely comments!), I kept such detailed notes on the first sock (the extent shocks me) that I didn't have to refer back to the pattern at all. This compared to a blank page for the Brown Sock. (Oh yeah, I never knit the first Brown sock, so no notes...)

The disadvantage: gauge. My knitting has changed in 9 years (duh, really?), and if this sock is any indication, it's gotten tighter. The second sock is even harder to get on my foot than the first one. Once there, it's fine. Hmm... I can't imagine a life-threatening situation involving speed of removing socks. Can you?

Grey Cabled Scarf - in progress

Wait one moment, Monica. I thought that first sock was done. Did you frog it???

Sacre bleu, no mon dieu, and oo la la.

I couldn't stop worrying about the socks matching up so I dug up some 2 3/4 mm circular needles I didn't know I had and started from scratch. That's the larger sock-in-progress. The smaller sock-in-progress will be de-progressized. The new needles are great! They're bamboo and the cord is incredibly flexible. The length of the bamboo portion is a little longer than the typical 16" Addi's, so there's a little more to grip.

Grey Cabled Scarf, Needles Used in

Bloglines back

I'm so glad Bloglines found me again. I sent them an email a couple of days ago; that either did the trick, or it was very coincidental. Several blogs I watch were also 'MIA' for a bit there.

Weekly WIP Update

This week I finished a couple of holiday knits, resurrected and finished an old WIP (Brown Sock), and made some progress on an ancient WIP. I didn't have what it took to make cold hard decisions on abandoning further projects. Must be the holidays. Next week I should be able to axe a few more.

Week four:
Started with: 50
Abandoned: -0
Finished: -3
New: +1
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 5)
Current Projects: 48!
WIP list

Found beautiful handspun yarns and felted art at Spinning on the Edge. I especially liked the tentacle basket, Otto in the Water, the fishies, and this pile of handspun.

Also happened upon Maitri's Dragonfly Cottage Fiber Studio. The page layout had sent me running before, but this time I stopped to make sense of it and looked at the Wabi-Sabi Wooly Wonder Batts. If you scroll down, there are links to past batts that are just beautiful. If you make it all the way to the bottom, the "Word to the Wise" spoke to me. It's advice to follow your vision, your dream, even if it's crazy or unexpected or shocking to anyone else.

As a beginner spinner working in mostly isolation, I have felt the need to get feedback from the outside. Is what I'm doing okay? Does it look good? Is it right? Am I on the right track? What do you think? And it makes sense, to want feedback, especially when you're just starting out. But, I need to start looking from the inside out, to find what my vision is, what I want to make. And it doesn't have to be earth shattering or amazing, like those linked above.

And maybe it's really too soon to get anywhere without getting more experience. Hard to create what you want when you don't know materials, tools and techniques.

At the same time, I have been thinking about what I want to make, and making decisions along the way, even if it's not so "conscious" or "self-conscious". Every time you create, you make decisions, you decide.

Jumbled up thoughts. What do you think? ;)

How now, Brown Socks?

Brown Socks

Brown Socks
Started: 1/1/99
Finished: 12/10/05
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Cynthia Helene merino, just over 2 balls
Needles: #5
Notes: Most notes are in yesterday's post. The heel uses the same short row technique as on the Pom Squad Socks on Magknits. When I got to the toe, because of the foot decreases, I had an odd number of stitches on each needle. I simply decreased as usual and kept 1 stitch between decreases, instead of the usual 2. At the end of the last row, I moved the last (unknit) stitch to the opposite needle and kitchenered in the usual way.

Any tightness I was worried about is not noticeable. They're warm and sturdy, and best of all, done!

WIP count

Can you believe it, this brought my WIP count down to 47! Incredible! It didn't last, of course. I started a pair of wristwarmers, a holiday gift. And I'll soon start another couple of holiday gifts. I think 50 is my new threshold, though. No going above 50!

No goodbyes today. Instead, I present 4 WIPs that were picked up and finished this week!


They were targeted for their cuteness and proximity to completion. Blueberry Fields needed sleeves and finishing; the three Flax Jax's just needed buttons (how lame is that?). This brings me down to 50 projects. I'm thrilled! I still need to halve that to reach my goal... [deep breaths] We'll get there.

Blueberry Fields Blueberry Fields

Blueberry Fields
Finished: 12/4/05
Pattern: "Raglan Sweater" by Debbie Bliss, The Baby Knits Book; size: 3-6 mos
Yarn: Mezzotint by Colinette (1 skein), Patons La Laine superwash merino #6246 (less than 1 skein)
Needles: #8
Notes: This pattern was my opportunity to use up an oddball of Mezzotint and make one of those raglan tops with different color sleeves. Choosing the sleeve color was the toughest part. The pattern is super easy and satisfying. When casting on, leave enough tail to sew sleeve/body the seam; when binding off each piece, leave enough yarn to sew up one raglan seam.

The only mod I made had to do with gauge. La Laine is thinner than the Mezzotint; knit with the same needles, it has the same row gauge but less stitches per inch. I added an extra increase for the sleeves (adding 2 stitches), and kept the rest the same.

Flax Jax notes

The next three are the Flax Jax baby cardi's. The pattern is easy; main mod was to leave out the seed stitch detail from the sides and back. I liked knitting the body in one piece to the armpits, and picking up the sleeve stitches from the armhole: less aggravation later. The top button didn't look quite so good for me; I might change the buttonhole placement on future versions to include a bottom button and lower the top button.

Striped Flax Jax Blueberry Fields

Striped Flax Jax
Finished: 12/5/05
Pattern: "Flax Jax" by Jil Eaton, Minnies; size: 3-6 mos
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in M-72 (teal) and Colinette Prism in Blue Parrot (#16)
Needles: #9
Notes: One of my first attempts to combine a handdyed yarn with something else. I love this little sweater!

Prairie Silks Flax Jax Prairie Silks Flax Jax

Prairie Silks Flax Jax
Finished: 12/5/05
Pattern: "Flax Jax" by Jil Eaton, Minnies; size: 3-6 mos
Yarn: Brown Sheep Prairie Silks in Real Royal (PS600)
Needles: #8
Notes: Simple with a slight sheen from the silk. Soft hand.

Manos Flax Jax Manos Flax Jax

Manos Flax Jax
Finished: 12/5/05
Pattern: "Flax Jax" by Jil Eaton, Minnies; size: 2 years
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay (I forget the color), 3 skeins
Needles: #8
Notes: Love this yarn! Knits up fast. Soft. Beautiful. This cardi I'm stockpiling for when I have my own little bumble of joy.

Only mod: picked up an odd number of stitches for the sleeve, instead of even; I liked the way the seam looked better in seed stitch over an odd number.

Final tally

Week three:
Started with: 54
Abandoned: -0
Finished: -4
New: +0
(Number of projects I wanted to start: 24)
Current Projects: 50!

A lot of knitting can be done while watching The Wizard of Oz and Amadeus. With minimal amounts of frogging, Esther Williams:

Esther Williams - in progress

She's probably 2/3 done! It's snug on my head, so may not work well for the intended recipient...

Blueberry Fields

Here's one from the WIP list that I picked up. The front and back were done, just needed some sleeves:

Blueberry Fields

It didn't take long to figure out why this was in the WIP pile; those colors were HARD to match! I spent a good half hour trying to match up something that didn't clash or mute it or lie limply. In the end, I felt the particular dark blue I chose made the colors pop a bit.

Blueberry Fields

Two sleeves done:

Blueberry Fields - sleeves

Here's its twin, Strawberry Fields, started (and finished!) about the same time but with a much easier time with colors:

Strawberry Fields Strawberry Fields

Pattern is from Debbie Bliss' The Baby Knits Book. The body on both is knit with exactly 1 ball of Colinette mezzotint. I had a few balls and no idea what to do with them. On Strawberry Fields, the sleeves are knit with Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, which made a bit too firm a fabric. Blueberry Fields sleeves are knit with Patons La Laine, knit on needles 2 sizes larger than the recommended size, which makes them very drapey.

No access to a baby so I don't know how they fit, but boy are they cute!

So long, Cat's Paw Shawl. I wasn't ready for your lacy loveliness. You and your JaggerSpun mates are waiting for the perfect project, waiting to be useful. Perhaps one day, we'll meet again.

Cat's Paw Shawl
1/15/96 - 11/28/05

Farewell, Crocheted Shoulder Bag. I ran out of steam before I could finish you, and now I can't find you... I just don't crochet anymore, it's nothing personal. Though your cotton was tough on my fingers, you would have been a good, sturdy bag.

6/24/96 - 11/28/05

Auf Wiedersehen, Beige Moebius Shawl. You just weren't the right color for me. I couldn't find the right reversible pattern to make you sing. And I think I have a moebius curse, I haven't made a successful one yet.

Beige Moebius Shawl
'98 - 11/28/05

Goodbye, Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover. What the hell was I thinking? I wanted to be adventurous with color, to break out of my boring single color garments, to be wild and free. I tried too hard. Ouch.

Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover

Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover

Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover Colorful Checked (Striped) Pullover
11/15/97 - 11/28/05

Goodbye, Purple Rollneck. So long. Farewell. You were one of those ill-fated boyfriend sweaters, and though you're mostly done, you are fated to the frog pond. It's too bad, so many stockinette stitches later... you did keep my lap warm that winter. Goodbye.

Purple Rollneck Purple Rollneck
2/8/01 - 11/28/05

Week two:
Started with: 61
Abandoned: -5
Finished: -4
New: +2
Current Projects: 54!

Okay, I wasn't going to post today, you know, take a post holiday break (no pun intended), but then I remembered I have 2 things to do:

  1. Thank you for the lovely comments about my spun yarn! It's very motivating and, well, makes me feel good.
  2. I mentioned in a previous post that I hadn't heard from Winderwood Farms and was not sure if I would order from them again. Well, I ended up contacting them through an eBay form as a last ditch effort, and heard back immediately. They never got my emails, and they've been swamped the last couple of weeks, which is why my order took longer to go out. Usually they ship out in a day or two. This totally jibes with what Noelle said. So, long story short, I so will order again!

The Hourglass Sweater is all done! The sidebar is updated. I'm down to 60 WIPs! I've got one more that just needs to be blocked and then I will have broken the 60's barrier. Wheeeeeeee!

Goodbye, Wedding Afghan. Any project with "Wedding" in the name that has languished for more than 3 years just isn't meant to be. You were bold, you were beautiful, you would have taken too long to crochet. You were sadly replaced by another afghan; replaced, but never forgotten.

Wedding Afghan
7/6/96 - 11/21/05

Goodbye, Gold Cotton V-neck Sweater. Though you were begun in the late '90s, your name says it all. You were a child of the '80s, and that time has come and gone. You would have been cosy, and comfy, "but I see your true colors shining through".

Gold Cotton V-neck Sweater Gold Cotton V-neck Sweater
7/3/97 - 11/21/05

Farewell, Red Vest. It was a crush, a fancy. I'm just not a vest kinda girl. We didn't spend much time together but you were a luscious red, and so soft. Take care.

Red Vest
'98 - 11/21/05

First Sweater for Scott, it's so hard to say goodbye. You came home with me from Webs before I knew how particular Scott is. You were solid, but so heavy. You unraveled on me more than once. And when I didn't know how to handle you you became so clingy! I stuck through, I'm not a quitter; but no matter how I try, it's just not working out.

First Sweater for Scott
1/04 - 11/21/05

Striped Softy Hat, mea culpa. You were my first hat knit without a pattern, before I realized hats need negative ease. You're so soft and snuggly, without a hint of wool! Your colors are great and your texture so interesting. You will make a lovely scarf some day. Goodbye, Striped Softy Hat.

[Striped Softy Hat is MIA]

edited 11/26/05: found the bugger, he was hiding in the winter accessories bin! Don't let the picture fool you, he's enormous.

Striped Softy Hat
12/12/04 - 11/21/05

WIP Management Update

Week one:
Started with: 67
Abandoned: -5
Finished: -3
New: +2
Current Projects: 61!

I was so pleased to finish the Black Fluffy Thing and the Vintage Unvelvet and cross them off my WIP list! Down to 65! (AND, cross off 2 gifts as well.) But then, I realized that the Multidirectional Silk Scarf I started last week never made it onto my WIP list, so I had to add it in. Up to 66. And then, I started a new project, a scarf for a New Year's gift... So, back to 67. Hahaha. You see how this works? This holiday and gift knitting thing is going to throw a monkey wrench into the whole WIP Management thing.

Vintage Unvelvet

Vintage Unvelvet
Started: 11/3/05
Finished: 11/16/05
Pattern: "Vintage Velvet" by Lisa Daniels, Scarf Style
Yarn: Mini Mills 75% cashmere / 25% merino, one 4 oz skein
Needles: #8
Notes: The Vintage Unvelvet was mostly a joy to knit. The pattern really bothered me for the first, oh, 3 feet. There is just enough difference between the front and the back that I have to look several times each row to make sure I'm putting the knits and purls in the right place. Can't watch TV, can't read blogs. But, the last foot and a third I got over it. Maybe it was the crappy late night TV... I really like the way it looks; this yarn shows off the pattern much better than the Touch Me. The cashmere blend is extremely soft (that's where the "joy to knit" comes in), but might deposit bits of cashmere fluff on unsuspecting fleece... haha, not the sheep kind of fleece, silly. I'm still not crazy about the color, and I hope the recipient doesn't mind it too much... But if so, I'll consider dyeing it. Not with Kool Aid. Not this year.

Black Fluffy Thing

Black Fluffy Thing
Started: 11/10/05
Finished: 11/16/05
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Zegna Baruffa Mousse, tripled
Needles: #10
Notes: The pattern was kept simple because anything more would get lost in the black and boucle. And while the pattern irritated me (mostly because I couldn't see it), the last foot and a half didn't bother me at all. Maybe it was the home stretch. Maybe it was burned onto my brain. Maybe it was the extra light from pulling the floor lamp closer to me. The scarf grew a bit in the wash (almost 6"), and the fringe got a little ratty (gave it a trim). But it did get softer! I wasn't crazy about the yarn, but that could have been the needle size as well. But since it got softer with a wash, I may skein and wash before using next time. May as well try, I have pounds of it left.

First of all, thanks for the nice comments about my spun yarn and Gram! And Danette, no way I will exceed your dyeing skills. :)

WIP Management

I've been heading in this direction lately, but now it's official: I need to get my WIPs under control! Here's what I put together yesterday:

"One of the side effects of blogging and reading other people's blogs is taking a new look at how I knit. I am a Gemini, and it shows. Besides mountains of yarn, I have mountains of WIPs going back years!

I have resolved to get this mountain down to a "manageable" size, and to that end, will keep a list here of all projects and status. Manageable for now means 18-24 projects (!), which I think will effectively half my current WIP list. Sad sad sad. Once I meet this goal, I may reduce even further! (Or not.)

Projects will either be completed, put on the list for completion, or else abandoned. New projects may be started, but not with abandon (haha).

Wish me luck!"

and here's my oh-so-scary project list. 67 projects! 67! How... shocking, and embarassing, and ridiculous, and hysterical! I can already see a few that can be abandoned, and a few that just need buttons. 67 is a lot more than I was expecting, but it's time to clean up the list and the WIP pile. Think I can do it?

I'll try to do an update every week or two, and keep a running balance in the sidebar. Any words of encouragement, or outright laughter, are welcome. You can encourage me or chide me into whipping my WIPs into shape!

11/14/05 One of the side effects of blogging and reading other people's blogs is taking a new look at how I knit. I am a Gemini, and it shows. Besides mountains of yarn, I have mountains of WIPs going back years! I have resolved to get this mountain ...Read More