Projects abound

With the dawn of a new year rapidly approaching, I decided to pull out every ball of yarn and every possible project considered to be underway.


I had no idea how long that would take.

While the yarn is neatly organized and with the help of Ravelry, I know exactly what I have and where it is, it prompted an almost obsessive pairing of project to yarn which took almost half a day of bleary-eyed computer time yesterday, along with the purchase of several patterns and a quick rummaging through the library to secure the appropriate issues and make color copies (I admit I am anal. I like to make a working copy of my pattern and have this thing about not marking up books and magazines.)

By midnight last night, I purged the stash of remnants of yarn and skeins purchased way back in the day when I had not a clue as to what was good and what simply, was not.  The 'was not' was given the heave ho, along with the guilt such baggage imparts.

On the receiving end was Mom.  At first she just wanted a skein or two to tie her tomato plants in the garden come spring.  By the end, she was seriously quizzing me on what was easier, knitting or crochet.  I laugh because I know she will never, ever sit still long enough to do either; however, she does know some sweet souls who would appreciate the cast offs, as they, up to this point, have been Red Heart (a.k.a. acrylic) devotees.

And, yes, I have become a yarn snob and I freely admit it.

Life is too damn short to knit with crap.  There.  I said it.

Anyway, there has not been much finishing around here, but progress.

The Colortopia shawl is still coming along, but at over 400 stitches per row and counting on size 3 needles, it will take a while longer.  The story behind this one is there is a knitter called Sockaholic who dyes her own yarn and opened a shop on Etsy.  With the left over dyes, she made one-of-a-kind skeins she labeled Colortopia.  I came across her a year or two ago and loved the wild explosions of color in the yarn, so I bought some, a lot of some apparently, but wanted to do more than just make socks with them.  At that point I got the bright idea to do a simple shawl that would allow the colors to do all the talking.  I wanted it light-weight, hence the fingering yarn, but large enough to wrap around me.

I am certainly getting exactly what I wanted, but it is taking a while.  I started this a year and two days ago and it is my oldest WIP, although I have not touched it since the spring.

For inspiration some months back, I ran a life line and took it off the needles to block after I used the first skein of 450 yards:

As it is rainy outside, I had to resort to using the bed and duvet cover to take photos this morning.  Here is what it looks like at this very moment.  As the skeins are dyed from basically scrap dye, the colors are similar, but different.  This second skein has a lot more brown in it.

I know, it will not be pretty until I soak and block it, but I really like the brown.  As it is knit from the top out toward the bottom edges, the brown will frame the lighter colors nicely.

Just before Christmas I boycotted the last and final gift:  the boyfriend hat.  I did not have it in me to whip out a third Miller hat, as delightful as the pattern is.  Three in a month is too much.  Instead, I cast on for the #12 Cabled Cowl from Vogue Knitting.

Proving that it is entirely possible to outsmart one's self, I decided to use my new Tosh Vintage in Celadon and added an extra repeat of the cable pattern.  It is a lovely and easy pattern and only took two, maybe three, evenings to complete.

It fit perfectly prior to soaking and blocking, then morphed into a tent wide enough to accommodate a traveling circus of beavers.  Yes, I soaked and blocked my swatch before starting, I think the weight of the yarn loosened up the cables and it freaking grew. Then promptly grew some more.

Undeterred, I immediately frogged it.

The ulmus scarf is also coming along nicely.  So much so, I decided Christmas afternoon to cast on for another, but this time in worsted, the same above mentioned Tosh Vintage in Celadon, along with some Briar Rose Fibers I picked up from another's destash.

While I still love the pattern, I am not a fan of my color choice for the worsted and will be frogging it, just as soon as I get the energy to rip back two alternating skeins of yarn.  I am anticipating it will not be great fun.

With Christmas firmly behind us, on the day after, I decided to switch gears.

Actually, I was almost forced to because the husband and kids were depositing old and worn out jeans in one corner of my bedroom.  They were too ratty to donate to Goodwill, but not too far gone that they could not be recycled.

While I made a couple of quilts when expecting my first child some seventeen years ago, I am not a quilter, but I had in my mind a nice denim blanket sewn from squares with the seams on the outside to fray and frame the squares with the nice smooth seam side on the inside, presumably against someone's body.  There was to be no lining and no binding required, thus, more of a blanket than a quilt in construction.

Well, I started cutting up jeans after breakfast and by the time I was ready to go to bed, I had this.

Those are six inch squares, after seaming.  So, it is approximately 42 x 66 inches.  Perfect to snuggle with.  It is now the Wee denim blankie because she called dibs shortly after the first square was cut.  I really like it.  I even managed to add pockets.  Yay!

Now, back to knitting.

The Jackson Square sweater is coming along, even though I twisted a cable the wrong way on the front:

It really is going to be gorgeous.  I am learning the linen content of the yarn is far less forgiving than the wool and alpaca that goes along with it.  Stitch imperfections are more noticeable, although, I am hoping that will literally come out in the wash.

Unable to resist any longer, I cast on for a sweater in the Madelinetosh Worsted in Saffron.

The color is even more saturated that the photo conveys.  Just gorgeous!  It does not hurt the yarn is soft and wonderful, too!

A second Wee Hooded Vest is in the works, although she wants it longer and with long sleeves.

Of course, there are at least one pair of socks going.  While I love the look and feel of fingering weight socks, I have found my go-to socks are those made of sport or dk weight.  I typically wear shoes without backs, think Dansko, so the extra bulk is not an issue and the cushy warmth of the heavier socks simply cannot be beat.

Thus, here are yet another pair of simple ribbed socks in Dashing Dachs Sport Superwash Merino in Enchanted.

The little tag on the right side is a bread tie that I use to keep my tail in check and out of my way while knitting.

So, what are you guys working on?

Any big plans to knit down the old stash this year?


Michele said…
Geez, I feel like a slacker!! *L* I have one thing I'm working on, actually almost finished with.

Local yarn shop is having a sale today, and not having established a gigantic stash (yet) I had to make a run by there.

I guess I really must like purple, because everything I bought was a different shade. But, since it's my birthstone color I'm thinking it's allowed!

I'm so glad you got me turned-on to knitting!! *S*
sugarhigh said…
I absolutely love your denim blanket! Nice work. I'm so impressed that the cowl only takes you a couple of nights to do. I look at that and immediately think a minimum of one month. I'm such a slooow knitter, but I enjoy it so I'm okay with that. Given the cowl got too heavy when you washed it, what kind of yarn would you recommend for a cabled cowl?
Feisty said…
Hey there!

The real problem with the cowl was that my yarn was not bulky enough. In order to get the proper gauge, the stitches were loose when I knitted it. I had hoped the yarn would "bloom" after I washed it and grow bigger in diameter, but that did not happen. After I soaked it, the yarn softened, but remained the same diameter and everything kind of spread at that point.

Were I to knit this again (and that is a distinct possibility), I would choose a bulky weight yarn, probably something like Dream in Color Groovy.

I hope that helps.

; )
LauraB said…
I would have WEPT over frogging those cables! One can see the necessity but I'd have paid Wee to do it to avoid the heartbreak. LOL

Love LOVE the saffron shading! Amazing...and it is not a color you would normally find in my wardrobe. But it is very tempting!

I can't blame Wee for putting in dibs on the denim. How wonderful it must be to snuggle under!

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