So close to done with the sweater

I made the pockets, knitting them two at a time like socks. I made so many mistakes I had to fix on such a small part of the project that I almost gave them up all together. The few things that kept me going on them was knowing how much I would hate that I didn’t persevere through the simplest part of the project. And I wouldn’t be willing to do a make it work kind of job to put them in later.

I hate buying pants and finding out later they don’t have pockets, because I have a habit of putting my keys in them instead of my purse.

Then I attached them to the sweater sides by crocheting them into place. It worked out better than I expected. It didn’t take forever either.

I wove in some ends. I crocheted most of one side together and wove in some more of the ends. I will finish the sides sometime this week, will weave in some more ends, and crochet the collar to the sweater.

I love that it is coming together and glad I’m this close to the end. I don’t have any more knitting to do on it unless I decide I don’t care for the darker yarn collar and have to reknit it with the lighter dyed version of the colorway. There is a pretty big contrast between the two dye lots. “Mommy loves you anyway, baby!”

I went back and read an old blog post when I came in here, and it has stuff in it I don’t even remember happening. Good thing this blog is here, I guess! Maybe I should make a real life blog too, so I can go to family reunions and be like, “You remember at the last family reunion when you did blah blah blah?” lol

The state of the stash, and the art of crochet

I have acquired enough yarn that I am going to give some away, and I will still have plenty left. No worries about that at all any more.

I now have a stash pile, a giant UFO pile, and a future projects pile. I almost said I have enough yarn to make whatever I want, but then I remembered that a lot of it is skinny fingering that feels like a chore after the cast on and actual knitting begins.

I am a little more careful about what kind of yarn I get myself into these days. I started buying heavier weight yarns in smaller quantity, but it’s going to take a while to get to the point I love almost everything in my stash.

Crochet

I have been wanting to crochet all the things over the past few weeks. I do not understand this urge. I put it down for a long time and was intending not to go back unless it was to learn a new technique or make something unusually gorgeous.

Yes, I’ve been coming across pretty patterns. I always do, but I literally bought some vintage ones and a crochet tank pattern (Sweet Clara, by designer Kristin Omdahl) in the past couple of months.

I have a black stretch t-shirt that I want to either make a collar or a vest for. I need to pick one to cast on and get on with it.

Sweater update

I went to a friends house and hung out with her while I picked up the stitches for the bottom front edging of the Saga sweater I’m knitting. I finished the collar about two weeks ago.

What’s left to do:

1. Finishing the edging. There’s about 4 rows left.

2. Make the pockets and sew (or crochet) them into the garment.

3. Seam the sides together.

4. Sew or crochet the collar onto the jacket.

5. Even up the front edges where the snaps will go. Sew in snap tape.

6. Trim the front edges of the snap area with the darker Malabrigo dye lot so it will blend with the darker collar and bottom front edges.

7. Block for once and for all! :-)

Yarn without complaint

There’s a pleasure in winding yarn with tools that work the way they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to.

I think the most fun I have is buying the yarn, followed by winding it into a ball. When it goes smoothly, it is a joy.

I love the process of putting the yarn on a swift and setting it just so, picking up that ball winder and going to town. l love the way multicolors blend into a whole as they whirl by.

A mottle of pinks, reds, greens and purple and black became a dusky purple I automatically wished was available all by itself, and a navy with metallic bits had me mesmerized. I am officially excited to be knitting with them soon.  I hope I love the finished projects as much.

Of course, the navy doesn’t show up as a navy in this photo, but you can see that there are subtle color changes in there.

I intend to make a Tinbridge scarf by Laura Aylor in the navy, called Nightshade, and a sample if not a full copy of the same scarf in the other yarn.

UPDATE: Knitting the Tinbridge didn’t go as planned. I got about 9 rows in before I got a little off track. Then I got which side was which confused after putting it down for about half an hour. I cannot cook and knit at the same time apparently.

I need to go in with some stitch markers to be able to keep better track. I really liked the thickness of the yarn on the left. It was a surprise. I almost scrapped the navy version (I was knitting them on the same needle like I was making a pair of socks) to work on the left one all by itself.

I think knitting both scarves on the same needle was a genius idea, but if I’m doing it, the yarns need to match each other in size. Doing it in one skinny yarn and one slightly fatter yarn at the same time just made the thinner gauge navy scarf feel like a sad “also ran” instead of a game changer to me.

Yeah, no…the things that didn’t happen

I started out pretty good with the knitting. Unfortunately, I had a bout with pneumonia and it won. To the tune of a few hours in the ER and a week in the hospital, a side of lethargy and dose of couldn’t care less.

I’d pick up my sweater and knit a row or two. Put it down faster than the speed of light. Look at patterns, look at yarns. Think about doing something huge. Think about doing something small. Do nothing. Sleep a lot.

It has eased somewhat. I ordered a yarn for a chameleon kit. It uses two skeins of yarn and is full of i-cord stitches going every which way. It is interesting to look at, and Earthfaire had the same yarn used in the example pattern. The multicolor yarn doesn’t seem to be as pinkish as it looks on the pattern, but it’s kinda darker, so I guess I will like it anyway. Hard to say at this point.

I got a little cranky about not really feeling like doing anything, so Monday night I started finishing the second ply of a Falkland fiber I bought from Juliespins.etsy.com sometime last year. I had spun most of it Saturday, and last night I had the goal of giving it at least 15 minutes if it didn’t go well. And if it did go well, I would just spin til I felt less cranky and then go to bed. It got a little irritating the last couple of minutes, but it went fairly quickly.

Now I just have to ply them together and maybe block the yarn a little. I think it’s going to be pretty. (Falkland top in Fairgrounds colorway).

I still couldn’t tell you the difference between Falkland and merino. There’s rarely anything I get from Julie that I don’t like. I just don’t pay attention to fiber that way. I only know the difference between rambouillet and merino because ram is so fluffy…it is obvious there’s a difference.

Since the spinning’s so easy, I think I’m going to maybe pull out that sweater’s quantity of JS I bought to make myself a sweater from scratch. A while back I asked Julie to make me some braids similar to the one I navajo-plied this heavyweight yarn from a few years ago. I want to spin them up and work them into a sweater that fades from natural to black yarn.

Yes, it is stupidly ambitious for me, but go big or go home. Or something.

Knitting and arm numbness

Over the past few months, I have been having some numbness in my hands and arms that affect my knitting after a few minutes.

I went to my chiropractor and told her I had a goal to knit every day, but the numbness wasn’t helping. She said the numbness was coming down from my neck due to me having my head down all the time, especially when knitting.

She worked on my arms, hands and shoulders, and showed me a few things that should help. There are pressure points in the shoulders that need to be pressed on, and the muscles moved back and forth to loosen them up.

She said if that didn’t fix it, we would have to try something more specific.

I think another thing adding to the problem is I got a new cell phone and I have been playing games on it a lot, which I couldn’t do on my old cell phone. I probably need to make some changes in how I hold that thing and how I sit when playing it.

I have only missed two days knitting so far. There were a couple of days I was super tired, so I even went to bed early.

The main project I have been working on is the black rainbow socks. I’m on the ribbing and I think I am going to make them crew socks. Even though I love the yarn and I want to use it all up, I also want to be done with these already. lol. Here’s what they looked like as of Jan. 12.

I also picked up the sweater sleeve one afternoon, and now it’s almost to the cuff part. I think I’m going to finish off the cable, then do about an inch of double moss stitch. I need to do some major decreasing in there somewhere and switch to ribbing to make it fit my wrists better. I don’t want drafts of cold air going up the sleeves.

And another thing

I was talking to my knit group telling them how I almost bought the yarn pack for the Knitpicks Hue Shift Afghan. It was on sale for $28 or so. I didn’t get it because I’m supposed to be on a yarn diet and I wasn’t sure I’d like knitting a mitered square. (It is all mitered squares.)

Sierra said she bought the kit and it has just been sitting in her stash for 8 years. Did I want to try it using her kit? Yes. So she dropped it off today and I am most likely going to try knitting a square tomorrow.

/

I also was going to knit my cousin a hat using some DK weight yarn in purple, her favorite color. I wanted worsted, but I don’t have any good purple worsted. (Photo not true to the purple, but as close as I could get with the program I used.)

I just recently decided to double the yarn to make it a worsted weight. I hate that it took me a week to come up with that idea. I used to be faster on the draw than that mentally. I am slowing down in my middle age.

/

Great idea, Renee!

I have been enjoying a lot of Youtube videos lately. Knitters, cooks, gamers, salon artists and more have been helping me get through the pandemic.

Lately I decided I am going to start a Youtube channel to document me working through my stash, with a goal of knitting everyday of 2021 to deal with the UFOs, miscellaneous balls of yarn, beads and other stuff in my stash.

That said, there’s a huge learning curve for me and I don’t have all the equipment I would need, so I thought why not document it on my blog first, since I already have one.

“Great idea, Renee!” lol

I’ll play catch up on the videos later, once I figure out what I need to do. If it goes well, I’ll probably do it like a slow knitting podcast, maybe with a knit with me Saturday morning component. When I lived with my roommate, I would get up about 7 a.m. Saturdays and work on my knitting for a while.

I want to get back to doing that. I think it was relaxing most of the time. I’d knit, read or take photos, fix errors if I had any, and tackle parts of patterns that I had trouble figuring out.

So that’s my goal. Start knitting or crafting a little bit everyday, so I finish my WIPS, UFOs, and other projects in waiting.

I recently figured out I need to trim my Fish Lips Kiss Heel sock knitting template. Previous attempts at the heel didn’t seem to fit right. I am pleased to report that trimming the template seems to have worked for me, as the heels I finished knitting yesterday seem to fit my feet perfectly. I am so happy with them!

So, since today is the first day of crafting everyday, I have worked a couple of rows on the black rainbow socks, and I may start spinning the second half of some yarn that has been on hold for a couple of years. Tomorrow, I plan to finish one sleeve of the Saga sweater. There’s 3-5 inches left on it. The other sleeve is somewhere around the top of the shoulder.

Thanks for visiting my page.

85% done with the Saga sweater I’m making

I am just past the elbow on one sleeve. The rest of the other sleeve, pockets, and the collar will be the rest of the knitting. I am not stressing about it any more. Some of the changes I made to get it to fit me are wonky, but I can live with them and it is super warm.

The sleeves are nice TV knitting, and I will enjoy getting someone to help me take some good pics of it to share with the Marveng group knitters when I’m finally done.

I have renewed interest in socks and will be adding some to the to do list.

Pattern buying

As much as I tell myself I’m going to cut down on buying patterns and yarn, I keep on doing it. I still have a ridiculous amount of optimism on what I think I can get accomplished.

I never really take into account how much stash I already have that I’m not using. I am always like, “Ok, well, this will just be the pattern that makes me more stash conscious and the prolific knitter I keep coming across on Ravelry.”

It’s never going to happen, but I can dream, I guess. If you take into account how many projects I have frogged and fixed and restarted, I am very prolific. It just doesn’t show up as finished items.

Another thing about patterns that has creeped in is I feel like I am supporting amazing designers the best way I can by buying individual patterns. There are some patterns that are so awesome, I can’t not buy them. Even if I may never knit them or use them in something I’m making.

I am loving my Linda Marveng patterns. She releases so many, and they are all so striking. She has written one book, and is running KALS for the next one being published.

I have only bought about 3 of her patterns. Two of my favorites were gifted to me. She has 175 patterns and counting. And she has some dedicated knitters who show up in her Rav group and complete multiple sweaters (prolific knitters for sure!), while I am stalling at one.

My current goal where her work is concerned is to fully participate in a knitalong. I am not fully participating in her finish-along in that I don’t knit everyday, but I am still working on the sweater.

One future goal of mine concerning her patterns is that one day I will fully participate in a knitalong for one of her test knits and finish it before the KAL end date. Over the past year, she has had about a test knit a month. Some run concurrently. One day I’m going to be a contender. lol

Here’s a photo of Saga, one of her designs that I’m making a version of:

saga-website

© Eivind Røhne

It only goes up to a large, and I am 2X, so I’ve had to reknit the fronts so they will fit me.

I am making it in a green Malabrigo Rios yarn that it’s hard to get a picture of.

SagaBackShoulder

I am so bad about another designer, Susanne Daum, that almost whatever she is working on, I want to buy it. And I have. Celtic blankets, involved sweaters and wraps. They are amazing!

I first came across her designs when she released the Beastie Celtic blanket, and I had to buy that too. It is complicated looking, and I felt like it was one of those I am never going to be able to do myself. After watching other test knitters go through it, I think I can do it, but it is going to be a while. I am going to try something simpler first, the Glencoyne Dale  Celtic wrap. I may use the Cotton Viscose yarns in purple and black that I was using to knit a Juliet sweater. I hope my purls come out all right.

Glencoyne1

A useless-for-knitting day

I made a to do list of all the things I wanted to get done last weekend. One of the items on the list included clearing out a drawer that I wasn’t able to shut all the way because it was disorganized.

I started taking stuff out, and one of the items was a beaded knitted bracelet that I’d had in time out. It was 90% finished, and coming across it made me forget about clearing the rest of the drawer for a little while.

I thought, “There’s only a little left, I can finish knitting this and be done with it today.”

Wrong! Not only did I not finish it, I frogged it back down to about 10 percent before putting it away in disgust 3 or 4 hours later — and for the same reason it was in time out in the first place.

When I couldn’t knit tight enough that one of the beads I’d place would sit properly, I frogged a row or two and knitted them back up.  The yarn is a fine strand knitted into a worsted weight tube, and unfortunately, it gets caught up in the current row and the bracelet edges. So it keeps unraveling itself, and will eventually unravel the beginning rows of beads.

So the bracelet will soon be frogged from both ends. lol. I am definitely going to have to use another yarn, same beads, and maybe even different needles. It is a mess, and it is so irritating.

 

SagaBody

In other news, my Saga sweater is coming along pretty well. I am at the beginning of the armhole decreases. I just need to reference a short row sweater bind off tutorial (this one, https://youtu.be/ur30NRtsB4U, by Cheryl Brunette) to figure out what I’m doing.

I tried binding off like I would for a shawl project. The right hand side would look good, but the left hand side looked all weird, so I’m going to try her sloping bind off technique.

I finished a shawl and need to block it again so I can give my friend her blocking wires back.  (I semi blocked it once, but couldn’t locate my yardstick for measuring.)

I don’t know why I have been dragging my feet and putting stupid conditions on getting this done once and for all. It just seems like it has been thing after thing after thing happening, which makes me not want to deal with any of it, I guess is the problem.

It looks okay here, but one of the edges will not lay flat, and may even need to be steamed or ironed afterward.

Shawl1stBlocking

 

About 140 balls of yarn

I think my closet is very well insulated with yarn, except for some of the more flammable acrylics.

I plan to start seriously addressing it after this year is up.

Work-related stress makes me want to come home and not do anything that looks the least bit tedious.

I’m a project-oriented knitter, not a process-oriented one. I finish complete objects so slowly I lose interest before I get started good, most of the time. I hope over these next three months the stress goes down and I enjoy working on projects more.