WIP Wednesday: 38/52

I got a lot of knitting done this week.

I made a hat for John. Our anniversary was last week. The traditional gift for 7 years is wool, so I picked up some yarn in colors I thought he would like. He picked out the pattern (Little Boxes Beanie by Benjamin Matthews). This was a fun, fast knit. I’m going to make Elliot and Audrey hats that match John (if I ever get around to it).20180926_1543461786263975601356255.jpgI finished my sweater.20180923_1633467145695112801741029.jpg

Twice, actually, because after blocking the sleeves grew about six inches. I fixed that.

And now I am never going to take it off.20180926_1106121359089853249569434.jpg

I cast on a Zadie sweater as soon as I finished the caramel sweater. If I’m going to meet my goal of knitting it before Thanksgiving I’m going to have to knit a skein a week. It will be an easy project to travel with, as it is all stockinette. It is, however, incredibly boring to knit, so having the deadline is probably a good thing. Without the knitalong this would end up in a project bag for months.

I finished the first stocking and cast on the second one. I will duplicate stitch the names and years on to the stockings when they are both done. I hope to have these both done in a couple of weeks.

Once I’m done with the stockings and sweater I’ll pick up the socks again. Until then they will sit in their project bag.

I hope you had a productive week too!

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?

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?

WIP Wednesday: 34/52

Now that I’ve finished the Study Hall Shawl I’m back to working on my caramel sweater. It’s amazing how much progress you can make when you only have one project on the needles.

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Never ask my husband to take pictures of your knitting.

I hope to be on the sleeves by next week. I’m done with the green stripe and have about 25 rows to go until I bind off. I’m going to have a lot of ends to sew in. I know I could carry the yarn between stripes, but I think this will be a floppy front cardigan and it would really bother me to see the carried yarn. So I will just deal with ends.

After days in the 90s we are down to the 70s. It feels wonderful. The kids and I spent as much time outside as we could today. We walked with friends to a park and stopped for lunch on a patio on our way home. It is perfect out. I hope this weather sticks around.

 

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.

More Craft Q & A

Karen over at NothingButKnit has another round of questions for crafters. These questions are not knitting specific, so feel free to share your answers for your favorite craft. I would love to hear from you.

The questions are:

  1. Do you have a favorite crafting tool?
  2. Which do you prefer when you craft: listening to a podcast or music, watching something on tv or silence?
  3. Do you have a favorite designer that you’d like to recommend?
  4. Most people have a favorite color, do you find you use it more than other colors? Is there a color you avoid? Why?
  5. Have you experienced a crafting injury? If yes, what

My Answers:

  1. Do you have a favorite crafting tool? I have lots of knitting tools I don’t want to live without. A tool that I’ve been using for about 18 months and I don’t know how I lived without is my sock ruler. It makes measuring for socks much easier. I use the back of it, which is blank, to keep track of names and foot lengths.20180823_1442584600606097237882365.jpg
  2. Which do you prefer when you craft: listening to a podcast or music, watching something on tv or silence? I watch TV while I knit – the news and public television mostly. In rare moments where I’m hiding from my family and knitting on my bed I watch knitting podcasts on YouTube.
  3. Do you have a favorite designer that you’d like to recommend? For simple socks I love Meanest Mommy Knits. Her patterns are easy to memorize and fun to knit. She is also one of my favorite people to knit with.
  4. Most people have a favorite color, do you find you use it more than other colors? I knit with blues and greens a lot. I find working with them calming. Most of my stash is blue yarn, so I might like to buy blue yarn even more than I like to knit with it..Is there a color you avoid? BLACK Why? I have such a hard time seeing it, so it makes me angry, which leads me to hate the project.
  5. Have you experienced a crafting injury? Yes, I have eczema on my thumb tips, and in the winter they crack. I keep knitting and occasionally snag them and make them worse.

I would love to hear your answers.