Sunday, January 31, 2010

Where Did This Come From?

Ok, I know I have my forgetful moments, just like the next person, but today I was flabbergasted.

I was on a search today, for a box of yarn that seemed to have gone AWOL. It was yarn I was trying to sell on Etsy, only it wasn't stored with my other Etsy items. In fact, I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched all over upstairs. I searched downstairs where I try not to put yarn anymore. I even went over to the storage unit and searched there, although I was pretty sure I wouldn't have put it there. Pretty sure.

The missing yarn never turned up, and my only conlcusion was that I sold it last September at my sister's garage sale. Either that, or it's going to appear when I least expect it. Like that's never happened before.

While I was looking through boxes and totes at the storage unit, I found several balls of yarn to bring back. I've been getting more of the stash inventoried, and these balls had companions all present and counted for up in the studio. I also brought back a box that seemed to have a few projects and a lot of loose needles in it. I could get those put away too.

When I got the box home, where it was much warmer, I emptied it and put the items where they belonged. And at the bottom of the box, this project was hiding.
I have no idea when I started this. Probably right after I got the book "Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves" by Carol Rasmussen Noble. The book was not with the project, but I had photocopied the pattern pages, and I recognized where they came from. The glove was about 3/4 done, and approaching the top of the snowflake. The stitches had been placed on a long circular needle, as if I needed the DPNs, and switched to this for the time being. About a third of the stitches had been pulled off, which made me cringe a little.

The needle was a #2, and I couldn't believe I would have knit this fine shetland yarn on #2 needles. What was I thinking? That couldn't be right.

Even though I had plenty of other projects going, I decided to get this one back on track. I pulled out some #1 needles, transferred the stitches, and figured out where I was on the chart. I knit a few rounds, and realized that yes, I really did need the #2 needles. I switched over, finished the hand, made the pinky, and the thumb ribbing.

I wonder what made me put this project down? Was it because I was approaching the tricky part, the finger ribbing? Did I have to stop and work on something more urgent? I don't think it was because I got bored. I love stranded knitting, and usually can't stop knitting once I get going.

Whatever the reason, it makes me feel a little sad. Sometimes when a project is abandoned, there's just no hope of getting it going again. There were two other projects in the box. One I've already ripped out, and the other will probably follow suit. I'm glad I was able to rescue this project, and I can't wait to see it completed. I think the gloves will be beautiful, and I'm looking forward to wearing them, maybe even yet this winter.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day of Knitting - Report

Yesterday's "Day of Knitting" spilled over into today, but since I didn't start until the afternoon yesterday, I figure it's still a day's worth.

As for progress - I made two catnip toys, and finished the baby booties.

There are no new photos of the cardigan, or either of the two dark hats. They don't look too much different, although each one is a little longer than yesterday.

This hat was started yesterday. It's a Machault Cap, or Voyageur's cap. I need to complete it by the early part of February, so that's why I started yet another project!

And today, the inevitable happened. All I did was go upstairs to put away the leftover yarn from the baby booties. While I was up there, a single ball of wool in an open box called out "knit me" and like Alice in Wonderland, I had to obey! At first, I was only going to pick out some yarn that would go with the wool. Then I was only going to start the hat, and see what the combo looked like. Well, then I was off and running, and except for a lunch break, I worked on this until it was finished.

I used my food scale, and kept weighing the remaining ball of yarn, to see how I was doing. If I ran out, I was going to have to add a different yarn, or rip the whole thing out and make something else. I switched to garter stitch when I had about 12 grams of yarn left, and when I cast off, I had less than a yard left. See, that's knitting serendipity - when it all works out - and there were no preconceived ideas about what to do with the yarn, so designs, just take off and see what happens. Sometimes it's a disaster, but when it works, it's really great!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Day of Knitting

Happy New Year, a little belated! It has been very busy at work since returning after the Christmas holiday. I have been given additional finance work to do, and still want to get my own budget in line, as well as dozens of other tasks that are piled on the desk. I was hoping for a week or two of calm to get organized, but that didn’t happen.

So while work is chaos, I’ve decided that my at-home time will be as relaxing as possible. That’s why today is going to be a “Day of Knitting”.

I have so many projects going, and rather than work on only one, I’m going to set out several, and rotate through them, working a little on each, and see how much I accomplish.

Today’s lineup includes:

A hat for my brother. I made myself a night hat for cold evenings. It’s lightweight wool, and gives just enough insulation to keep the chill out. My brother can use one too, as his house is pretty chilly most of the time.

A black stocking cap. This is a repeat order from an Etsy customer. Black is a little difficult to work on at night, so I’m glad the sun came out today!

A cardigan for me. I’ve shown this project on the blog before. I wanted to get this finished to wear this winter, but there hasn’t been enough time to work on it as I’d imagined. So if I can make some progress on it this weekend, all the better. And we'll talk about that color variation later...

Baby booties. These were also requested – several pair in several colors.

Catnip toys – a constant project – love making these and using up my leftovers!

A Red Voyageur’s Cap – yet another special request. This is a historically accurate version of a Machault cap, worn by French fur traders and others during the 1600’s. I do like making these, because they are so basic, yet a piece of history. And warm, too!

That’s the lineup so far. I may add another project or two as the day goes on. Most of these are at the stage where they’re not difficult, which is good when doing rotation knitting.

Tomorrow – a progress report!