Saturday, January 19, 2008

My January 08 UFOs- Let the Finishing Begin!

First up on my own Finish-an-Unfinished-Object list are these Worsted Knee Socks -

I started these, um, sometime quite a while ago. Don't be fooled, they knit up rather fast, at least the first one did (especially if you're used to knitting your sock in a lace or fingering weight on size 1 or 2 needles...) I came down with a case of Second-Sock-Syndrome, and even after I finally got around to casting on the second sock I was still rather run down with my Knitting Attention Deficit and, well, other need-to-knits kept getting in the way... Sock #2 is done to the heel; it should only take an hour or two...

Next in line is this eyelet baby sweater, started some years ago. I think it was the 2nd project I ever completed- well, almost completed. I believe 2 of my daughters have worn this sweater sans buttons...

Yep, all it needs is buttons- you wouldn't think that would take a couple years, would you? Well, you must not know me very well yet... (this will not come as much of a surprise to my sister...)

Next up is this bright little Kid's Kimono. It appears done, and I guess it could pass as such, but I made the button loops too big and those cool bamboo toggle things keep slipping out of their respective loops- this is very disenheartening to toddlers wearing this sweater. It has caused much consternation. Those loops need to be remade, and soon; I have another daughter just about the size to wear this striped yumminess. Have I ever mentioned how much I love stripes?

(The striping was a yarn shortage induced variation. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to have enough of the Poppy. My affirming sister told me they reminded her of Big Bird's legs... I think I always liked Big Bird's legs-love those bright stripes!)

Another thing that should only take me a few minutes... yet it has taken over a year... yes, procrastination is my middle name...

That brings us to this little purple thing. It's another of those eyelet baby sweaters (given name unknown at the moment as the Leisure Arts booklet this pattern came from is temporarily missing in action.) If I remember correctly (and I seldom do) this sweater was a good part of the reason the buttons never got sewn on the green one. This yarn is much softer. I quickly became disillusioned with the scratchy acrylic yarn I used for the first one (though it was the prettiest yarn I could find at Walmart that week) and wasn't very concerned with the finishing anymore... but then I was excited to actually put something I had knit on one of my babies, even without buttons.

I'm not really sure what project jumped ahead of the finishing on this one. One thing I do know, this project has languished in my knitting basket for far too long. It needs to be finished, even if baby Mercy is getting too big to wear it. It is probably destined to be gifted. My youngest sister is nearing the birth of her first, but it seems pretty likely that he's going to be a boy, and I doubt she would dress him in light purple eyelet anything, no matter how much love went into the making. But really, how much love can there be in an abandoned project that has sat so long I can't even locate the pattern? I think I'll have to count neckline and button band stitches on the green one to finish the puppy. I can do that, really I can, but not tonight... maybe tomorrow... see what I mean about that middle name thing?

Well, that's what I'll be working on this month, that and an armful of other projects, like usual.

Happy knitting-


eta: Buttons were sown on the green baby sweater last night, and the 2nd Worsted Knee Sock was completed this afternoon. Socks await blocking.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

And Then There Was Ribbing

and it was good...
My husband's sweater is done- seaming done, neckband done, ends woven in, all that remains is the blocking- with all that ribbing it definitely needs blocking. Stretching it out a bit for a photo helped...
Notice anything ever-so-slightly-off? No, that color variation was not flash inflicted. Who knew there would be such variation even within a single dye lot? If I'da noticed it was that far off earlier, I woulda worked with 2 skeins at a time and striped it to blend things- it probably wouldn't even have been noticeable... well, he's a man, a fairly typical man, he may not even notice...

See it now? Oh well, makes it unique, right? Gives it character, right? It's still a wonderful finished object- the first of the new year! And it's the first thing I've actually knit for my husband...

My 2nd finished object for the year featured even more ribbing, and a tighter gauge to boot. Miles and miles of 1x1 rib, broken up by a section of 2x2 rib...

Here's a bigger sneak peak at an upcoming pattern in Blue Sky's spring line... I didn't design it- I just tested it. It's a lot of ribbing, but the end result is pretty nice. It would definitely hug a girl's curves... It has some short row shaping in the bust that gives enough extra fabric so as not to cause any extra pulling open of the ribbing (one of my pet peeves about ribbed knits and bustlines)- a nice added touch.

One thing I would mention about this knit- the miles of ribbing and measuring can be a little fussy. In general, ribbing should be stretched to the finished width before measuring length as it can be quite a diference... and I would never throw out that practice, but, with a knit like this and a yarn like this, I would go ahead and err on the short side... not by much, mind you, but when measuring and you think to yourself "almost there, just one or two more rows"- you're probably close enough... this piece grew by at least an inch after wetting it to block. I tried so hard to not pull on it at all and even tried to 'scrunch' it up a bit to keep it from growing, and it still ended up an inch longer.

I didn't knit this for myself- I'm not the sleeveless or strappy tank type (though I was thinking this would be pretty cute worn over a smart baby tee...) This piece will be a trunk show sample to be seen in the near future in yarn shop near you!

Well, my sister and my mom will be in California for the next few days at the TNNA Tradeshow... without me... sigh... I'll be here with my housefull of little kiddos who are currently passing around a stomach bug... guess where I'd rather be this weekend? I love my brood, but some weeks I could do with more sun and less puke.

I'll quit my whining now... time to sanitize my hands, maybe start a soup stewing, fold some laundry, work on a scarf...

Keep the contest entries coming in- I can't wait to see all of the finished objects by the end of the month!

Happy knitting-


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Monday, January 07, 2008

January Finish a UFO Contest 2008!

In the spirit of the New Year and the required resolutions that accompany it, I've been mulling over a couple new ideas for new contests. Now, there's nothing wrong with just randomly giving away great treasures and fun, but I do strive to have some sort of reason for a contest, something to encourage and inspire the knitting and the knitter.

I don't know how many of you make knitting resolutions along with all of the regular dietary resolutions, time with family resolutions, time to stop and smell the roses resolutions, etc… but I, for one, have been mulling around a few knitting resolutions of my own, the first of which is a resolution to pick a certain something up out of the UFO's pile and turn it into a veritable FO. And, well, I'm fairly certain that I am not the only knitter with a pile of UFO's… so perhaps you may think of this new contest as a sort of cyber support/accountability group.

From now until January 21st, post about an unfinished object you resolve to finish by January 31st, remembering to mention this contest (with a link back to this post, if you please,) and then you will have until February 7th (that's a week for you blog slackers, like me) to post a follow-up entry, complete with pictures of your newly (finally…) finished object, and you will have a chance to win some of Blue Sky Alpaca's newest yarn- the Skinny Dyed Cotton.

I believe I've managed to wrangle up 3 skeins of the not-yet-in-stores new yarn, which I think will make the winner one of the first people to get their needles on the stuff! I'll throw in a copy of the Baby Cardigan pattern as the new yarn knits up to a similar gauge as Blue Sky's Sport Weight and Organic Handspun Cotton, and, well, cotton is just perfect for a baby sweater! 3 skeins would be enough to knit up all but the largest size for this pattern, though you can certainly choose to knit something else if you have no wee ones to knit for…

So start digging through that pile of UFO's and pick something to finish this month. I think I know just the item I'll be working on- I'll be digging it out later this week, and then I'll have to dig out the pattern- if I can even find it… or I'll be winging the finishing… Watch for my UFO to FO resolution post by the end of the week…

And… check back for details about a belated winter knitting goals contest!

Until then,
Happy knitting-

edited to add linking details: Leave a comment, because comments make me feel special, then post on your blog (with a link back to this post) about the UFO you resolve to finish this month, then come back and add your details to the Mr. Linky widget (leave the link of your contest post) so we'll have all the posts linked in one place, and knitters far and wide can see and be inspired by all of the finishing going on around the world!

Oh, and feel free to grab a button for your blog- help spread the word! Right click, save as, you know the drill...


Saturday, January 05, 2008

Husband's Sweater- The Home Stretch

Well, between holidays and all the other days, my pace on my husband's Men's Ribbed Sweater slowed considerably after those first few days of furiously fast knitting. It is almost done- all the pieces are complete, the sleeves are seamed and waiting to be set in, then all that will remain is the neckband and the blocking. If I don't get to that sometime today, well knitting shame on me...

This past week much of my knitting time has been eaten up with another pattern testing knit this quick before we head off to convention for Blue Sky Alpacas. Here's a sneak peak at an upcoming design- looks pretty basic so far- it's the upper bodice where a little designers' flair comes in- you'll have to wait for the rest.
The piece looked great on the model, but then, my old shower curtain would've looked great on her... It's worked in Blue Sky's Alpaca Silk, which though lovely in the hand as well as on the needle, knits much slower than the worsted I've been flying through. The contrast is so great that I should probably knit on something sport weight in between just to ease the transition a bit. You know how slow 55 mph feels after you've been going 70 mph on the interstate for a while... well, knitting on much smaller needles with this silk, and all that ribbing to boot, is like pulling right onto a 45 mph road right from the interstate... and well, with 220 sts in the round, and 9 rows to the inch, I wouldn't recommend knitting this piece with only 2 weeks to work with... something this pretty and luxurious (I mean silk is just so silky...) should be savored and enjoyed, like a beautiful lace shawl. Some things were not meant to be knit in a rush- it kinda sucks the joy out of it, but the bright side in my pitiful tale is that it puts a little cash in the coffers. The things a mom will do for some spending money...
Check back for another contest (or two!) to be announced on Monday!
Until then,
hapy knitting-


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