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I have officially been gone too long from this space.  I almost forgot my log in password.  What?

KristenMakes and I did a KAL this month using Jo’s pattern, Mazarin (Ravelry Link).  Though I am stupidly not finished with the project on time (it is momentarily laid aside because of a last minute birthday knit), I am loving how it is turning out: 

(As of today I am further along than this photo shows, almost to the decreases)  More on the project to come…

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1. Summer Mystery Shawlette (from WendyKnits, free pattern found here in 5 parts)

2. Chrysanthemum Mittens (have ripped back and rewrote the pattern, but then put them on a time-out and started a shawlette)

3. Giraffe Toy (has not seen the light of day in a month – the skeins of yarn are tucked into a project bag next to the nose and the head – sort of creepy really)

4. Plain and Simple Pullover (Trying to give this one a row or two each night before going to sleep – it’s so boring it’s better than a sleeping pill.  Okay, well, it’s not THAT boring, but isn’t the best thing to knit when tired – each row seems like an eternity)

5. Cast on a wee baby hat in some leftover brown yarn.  I wanted something that didn’t require a chart/pattern and was at least a worsted weight yarn – since none of the above fulfill both of those, I started something new.  So far I have done an inch of ribbing and a few rows of stockinette.  In like 15 minutes.  It was great. 

Most of my knitting this week has been focused on the shawl – my first real shawl and really my first attempt at any sort of lace.  It’s been quite easy so far, though I will admit that my shawl will have plenty of mistakes. For example, if I end a repeat with an extra stitch or one less stitch than needed,  and a quick recount of that repeat shows that the mistake was in a previous row – I totally just knit those two stitches together or make an extra one. I just don’t really anticipate anyone looking THAT closely at my shawl and it certainly doesn’t bug me for this specific project.  Were I writing a pattern or doing a test knit, I would dutifully tick back – for this, not so much.  Plus, I think I showed my knitting grown-up-ess when I ripped back three inches of fair isle mitten.  Just don’t tell Wendy that I am being lazy with her lovely pattern…

 

Still loving my chrysanthemum mittens, but the two inches I added at knitting group this week have shown that the combo of the pattern, yarn and gauge would make these mittens far too small for my larger sized hands.  The cuff fits fine, so I plan to:

1. Rip back to the top of the cuff pattern and do a repeat of the final 8 row pattern and increase a few stitches while I do it.

2. Start up the pattern again – adding a few extra stitches to each edge and the pattern on each side.

3. Increase more for the thumb.

4. Add length if needed.

Better make good notes on the first one or the second one will be a mess.

Time to go rip out my last three inches of knitting – I think I will accompany it with a lot of chocolate…

1. Fiorella – Still finishing this one up.  Might have to rip back the front edge ribbing I picked up and pick up less stitches along the edge.   Estimated finish date: June 4

2. Plain and Simple Pullover – Still only a couple inches done on this one.  I am not in a hurry to finish this, so will let it takes its own sweet time.

3. Chrysanthemum Mittens – Not a single stitch added since last time, but have added these to my June goals list.  Estimated finish date: June 30

4. Giraffe Toy – Same as the mittens.

5. Weave Stitch Laptop Case – Learned to cable without a cable needle (Thanks, Sarah!) and got about two inches done.  In super bulky wool, that’s about 3 rows, so I am hoping this will knit up rather quickly (especially since the recepient’s birthday is in 2.5 weeks). 

In other knitting news, I knit a whole baby sweater between last week’s WIP Wednesday and this week’s.  Photos to come.

Fiorella is coming along! Since this photo, I have cast off the second sleeve and divided my remaining yarn for the front edging.  Turns out the extra skeins I ordered ‘just in case’ are a different colorway – this one must be discontinued!  I have one full 100g skein to split between to front edges – The skein is now in two equal looking sections, so even if I come up short, at least both edgings will be the same length!

I started my Plain & Simple Pullover as easy knitting for my recent road trip and have a few inches done.  I anticipate this being a slow knit, so will work on it inbetween my other WIPs.  14′ of stockinette left to go…

My other WIPs remain the same – no new work done on my Chrysanthemum mittens, the Giraffe, or the Mezquita shawl.  The shawl is definitely not exciting me right now, so I will probably rip out the two rows I have cast on and tuck the yarn away for another purpose.    I do have plans to add two more projects to the list: A laptop case for my sister’s upcoming 19th birthday (a special request) and a Milanese Lace hat (hopefully a hat will be a quick finish knit – I need one of those right about now).    I should probably start a few of those baby cardi’s I was going on and on about – the number of people I know expecting and adopting just keeps going up!

What are you working on?

1. Prepared three new knitting projects to start at will.  Am having trouble focusing on any one knit and feeling like I will complete more projects faster if I start a bunch at once.  This, of course, is total self-deception.   For this lack of focus I blame my Ravelry queue as well as any of my friends who are pregnant/adopting – suddenly my queue is filled with baby cardigans.  

2. One of those baby cardigans is Laura Chau’s Sweet Bunting. I have a feeling that instead of knitting many types of baby sweaters, I will end up knitting this for all of them (maybe even regardless of gender).

3. My love for this pattern was on intensified when last night at knitting group, Laura Chau joined us at Tea Tree Tea.  She’s a friend of Ysolda’s and is on holiday in the UK for the month.   I am a fan of her consistently good taste in designing and have queued up her patterns several times in the last 6 months.  She’s very sweet and down to earth as well – it was great to meet her. 

4. Despite the knitting fever 1-3 may have shown, I am in the middle of two sets of visitors (friends this week, family next week).  I love to hostess and practice hospitality, so I am enjoying having some people to inflict this on.  This weekend will see me on a Highlands tour and next week a road trip up the west coast to the Isle of Skye.

5. I am thinking about creating a nutritional plan for myself that does not include so much sugar.  Yesterday I consumed a hot cocoa, a tea, and a large iced mocha – along with these I ate sugary cereal, the equivalent of one whole donut, three shortbread cookies, two pieces of fancy hazelnut chocolate, and another dark chocolate cookie.   Admittedly, this was not at all balanced by veggies or super healthy foods (B: Scone, L: Cheesy pita, D: Turkey, Brie & Cranberry sandwich).     I really did think I was healthier than this.

6. #5 shows me that I should keep a food diary for a little while.  It has also proved to me that I am scared to keep a food diary as I would no doubt be ashamed of each page.

7. The next year may see me adding spinning to my craft repetoire.   I shall try to resist as long as possible for the sake of our budget and our storage space.

8. Just finished the latest Jasper Fforde novel ‘One of Our Thursdays is Missing’.  I am such a huge fan of his Thursday Next series – I am already impatient for the next novel (which won’t be out for a year or so I suppose).  Maybe I should have paced myself through the first six instead of reading them all in less than a month…

Eight seems like enough for one day and besides, I am having trouble stringing two or more thoughts together coherently, which is never the best state of mind to be blogging in.    I will be back soon with WIPs, photos from my upcoming adventures and more random lists.

Four projects on the needles this week:

Fiorella in Berroco Vintage.

Giraffe by Cassidy Clark (that’s his head and snout on top of the bag)

Chrysanthemums Mittens

The fourth is two rows of a scarf/shawl in black yarn that does not photograph well…

Today I am in the mood to start something new

To take a nosedive into my newly organized Ravelry queue – starting with number one and moving swiftly down the list. 

To take a day off for the ridiculous reason of wanting to knit the whole left front of a cardigan in one sitting.

To put my WIPs on a timeout while I make them jealous by cozying up to this vest (number 2 in the ‘queue’ – mine will be in a solid color) or this flutter sleeved beauty (hmmm…two of them in different colors, I think).

The reasoning behind this sudden bout of want-to-start-itis is still unclear to me.  As listed last week, I have tucked away some WIPs, leaving only those I am still interested in finishing in a timely manner (or am under a deadline for).  Those Chrysanthemum Mittens are still singing a siren-song to me, but I haven’t had time for super focused knitting so they have been singing to themselves in their project bag for the last week.

I mean, should I take a knitting pledge not to start anything new until I have finished 2 WIPs? or go even further and say nothing new until all the WIPs are done?  :: Gasp ::   Isn’t that what a responsible knitter would do?

Wait.

Knitting is only a hobby and shouldn’t be guilt-inducing.*  

That settles it.  I’m starting Fiorella.

*Guilt is probably a good thing when your hobby becomes the major expense on each month’s CC statement.  Stash as you will, but knitting is not worth your livelihood (or potential bankruptcy).  Just saying.

I recently cleaned out my knitting bag.  The WIPs I had at the time were overflowing and making a clutter mess of project bags around my knitting bag.  I have since finished two projects and tucked a few others away for future finishing (a ‘time out’ of sorts, but only because of my space issue). 

That leaves three projects in my knitting bag and a new sense of purpose and direction to my knitting.   I have yarn and needles picked for St Patty’s day hats for my family (left), simple stockinette stitch mitts – perfect for bus rides and knitting group (center), and after the successful completion of my 2010 Cardi, I am newly determined to finish a simple brown vest that is 70% done already (right).  The project bag for my unphoto-ed Chrysanthemum mittens is floating around our flat somewhere and therefore is not counted in the knitting bag projects roundup, but they are still being worked on slowly – they require a lot of attention. 

What’s in your knitting bag?

AnnieHorn

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