WIP Wednesday: 37/52

Happy Wednesday! I’ve been knitting away this week, making progress on most projects. I haven’t touched my sock project at all. It feels weird to not be working on socks, but I’m just not feeling them.

I’m getting so close on my sweater. I’m actually to the point where I’m excited to be working on it because I’m so close to having a new sweater for fall. I just need to finish up the second sleeve.20180919_1242287837708890853937678.jpg

I started a stocking last week and made a 10 rows a day goal. I’ve been sticking pretty close to that, with the exception of yesterday when I did 10 rows and the heel. Doing 10 rows a day is perfect for me, as I don’t love colorwork and this breaks the project out. 20180919_1238243756778440712550706.jpgThis is the fifth stocking I’ve made from this collection. It is the first time I’ve made the heel as written without any issues. It was actually pretty simple and now I’m wondering why I ever had trouble with it. Has that ever happened to you?

What’s On Deck

I’ve finished the first sleeve on my sweater. That means I really need to sit down and get to work on it. But I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m planning what to knit next. I have three items on deck.

First up: Stockings. I’m making two for my friend’s girls. My plan is to work 10 rows a day on these. That will get them done by Thanksgiving, and I won’t get sick of colorwork if I’m only doing 10 rows a day. I’ve made these stockings a few times. I love the design, but the toe and heel have given me fits each time. I am going in to this project knowing I’m going to ignore her directions and do what I think makes sense.20180914_1155287694026387886452700.jpg

Sweater Knitalong. My friend Ivy and I have had Craftsy sweater kits in our stashes for too long. That changes now. We’re each working on our sweaters with the goal of finishing them by Thanksgiving. This is a bit of a stretch goal, as I can’t start on the sweater until I finish the one that is already on the needles. I’m going to make the Zadie sweater in Caribbean. I’m hoping the relaxed fit and casual design of this sweater will have me reaching for it instead of a hoodie this winter. I don’t remember which sweater Ivy is making, but I do know it is a different pattern. If you have a sweater waiting to be knit you should join us in making a Thanksgiving sweater. 20180914_1154413517288618213395725.jpg

After I finish the Zadie Sweater I’m going to start the Everyday Shawl by Jenny F. At least I think I am. I am still undecided on the pattern, but I know I want to make a shawl with my latest batch of CSA yarn from Garden Wool & Dye Co. I won the drawing for free yarn for participating in her knitalong, so I received two skeins in my box this month.20180914_1153521253118397113837728.jpg

I am really going to miss being in the CSA, but I don’t knit fast enough to justify it for more than the three months subscription.

If you have any shawl suggestions for this yarn please let me know. I want something simple that lets the yarn shine. I also want to knit something that is interesting to knit so my brain doesn’t turn to mush when I pick it up.

What are you planning to knit next?

WIP Wednesday: 36/52

Do you ever get to the point with a project where you just want it done? That’s where I’m at with the sweater. I know I’m going to love it. I know I will wear it a lot. I’m just sick of working on it. 20180912_1641441213270568361292031.jpg

I’m getting there. I should be able to finish the first sleeve this week. If all goes well I’ll finish the second sleeve next week. I would have made more progress this week, but I could not stand to look at the ends hanging loose any longer and sewed them all in. I was going to try waiting to weave in ends until I blocked the sweater, but I don’t think I will ever have the patience to do that.

I managed to stay away from the sock most of the week. I only have an inch to go until the heel. It will probably take me months to finish these. I have all sorts of knitting that I want to do when I finish my sweater, none of which is socks. 20180912_1640338355456867042896113.jpg

Both kids staged a nap revolt today, so I’m hoping they fall asleep early so I can get a lot of knitting done. Wish me luck.

Scrap Yarn Blanket Organization

I love working on my scrap yarn blanket, but keeping the yarn I use for it organized can be a lot of work. For the first two years I had a bags full of yarn and pulled out whatever I could find. It was hard to find the yarn I was looking for and it was messy to look at. I’m on my third year of knitting a square every day, and I feel like I finally have a process for keeping things organized.

I thought I should share my tips for keeping yarn scrap organized for a project. I wish I would have had someone give my suggestions when I was first starting.

Please note that I tell myself several times a year that I’m going to put the yarn back where it came from. That doesn’t happen. I end up tossing the yarn in the bag and it becomes a tangled mess. Since I’ve implemented this process I no longer lie to myself about keeping the bag clean.

How I organized my scrap yarn blanket yarn

When the blanket is small I organize the yarn every time it is square. When I find the yarn is getting messed up more often I switch to whenever the blanket is square or rectangular. I can tell it is time to organize when I get twitchy looking at the bag. Today was one of those days.20180830_1404584600752328082169471.jpgStep 1 is to dump the yarn out. By the point I organize the yarn there are several balls that are roaming freely. There are also balls that are starting to unwind. 20180830_141312828090844735112279.jpgStep 2 is to ball up the yarn that is starting to unwind. This part involves getting annoyed at myself for keeping balls that might be too small to knit a square. This time I only had one ball so small I don’t know if it will knit a full square. I love the yarn though, so I’m going to chance it. 20180830_1413479074090071588585461.jpg

Step 2 involves a trip down memory lane too. Here is the yarn from my first pair of socks. 20180830_1414567019116981562801162.jpg

Step 2 also involves gratitude. How lucky am I to have a friend that deserves black socks? I hate knitting with black yarn. Making someone socks is a sign of true friendship, but black socks? That’s a bosom friend, and you don’t get many of those in a life.20180830_1416478215722457242033222.jpg

Step 3 is taking the yarn out and organizing it by color. This is the prettiest stage.20180830_1429027280458444583469109.jpg

Once the yarn is organized I fill bags with similar colors. That helps me when I’m looking for my next yarn. I usually have an idea of what color I want next, so I just grab the Ziploc bag with the right color yarn in it.20180830_1439027226545986225604983.jpgStep 5 is shoving the Ziplocs into the project bag and zipping it up.

I am much happier with the project now that I have found a way to keep my yarn organized. Have you ever struggled to keep a project organized? What steps did you take to stay organized?

Study Hall Shawl

I finished my Study Hall Shawl last week. It might be the shawl that makes me a shawl person. I love it.20180823_1411068200878794325745035.jpg I’m so glad I used my Garden Wool & Dye Company yarn for this project. They are not colors I normally wear, but due to encouragement from AJ I decided to give it a shot. I think I’ll pick up a gray or black long-sleeved t-shirt and wear my shawl all winter long.

I wanted to block it in the sun, as it would dry in a few hours. After ruling out the back yard (Wrigley would run over it), the front yard (I didn’t want my neighbors to think I was crazy), and my driveway (I was hoping to leave the house that morning) I decided to use our small storage shed on the patio. 20180823_1102495466156871231205118.jpg

The shawl is bigger than the shed making it difficult to pin the shawl in place to block. Feeling lazy, I decided to try weighing down the corners with binder clips and hoping for the best. 20180823_1102201510565182295827340.jpg

It worked, and I’ll probably try that technique again. The corners weren’t as perfect as they would have been if I pinned them in place, but they are close enough not to bug me.

I had so much fun knitting this shawl. I might have to knit another shawl to see if the fun can be repeated.

WIP Wednesday: 33/52

I spent another week ignoring my sweater and working away on my Study Hall Shawl. I’m getting close to finishing it. It is now at the point where it is very difficult to photograph because the fabric is larger than the needles, so I can’t give you a good picture of it.20180822_1326301335615502415072281.jpg

I love the shawl, but I have had a couple of issues with it. Please note that the issues don’t actually bother me, which I assume is because this shawl is so much fun to knit.

The first issue is the yarn: I am using two 100 g skeins of Garden Wool & Dye Company yarn. The yardage 437 yards – 23 yards shorter than the yarn called for in the pattern. The 23 yards make a difference – I do not have enough pink for the final stripe and bind off. I might run out of the blue, so I’ll have to end the shawl early. I should have enough for three full basketweave sections, so it won’t look awkward.

The second issue is reading the chart. I blame this fully on taking cold medicine. The chart is clear. It is standard. It is not a funky chart. Yet I totally misread it and in the sanquar check sections am purling and knitting in the wrong spot on the wrong side of the shawl. I like how it looks though, so it doesn’t bother me.

With any luck I’ll finish the shawl and have it blocked before the end of the week. As soon as that happens it is back to the sweater. I might start a pair of socks too.

Or, instead of knitting, I’ll get around to picking the tomatoes that are suddenly abundant on our volunteer grape tomato plant. 20180822_1327321510331404899824685.jpg

I hope you had a productive week!