Monday, January 20, 2014

The Knitting Run-Down

Happy Monday evening. I hope you all enjoyed a three-day weekend! I actually don't work on Mondays so I didn't get a free day off, but Jarrod was home and the animals and I were happy to lounge around the house with him this morning. We had to take Conan to the vet for his chemo this afternoon -- which turned into a many-hour excursion -- but we are home and fed and about to hunker down with some chocolate pudding cake and start episode 4 of "Top of the Lake," the Golden Globe-winning miniseries starring Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men."

I'm also about to pick up my knitting, which always soothes and relaxes me if I've had a stressful day. That's fitting, because I started putting together this post about knitting this morning when I was happy and relaxed, and after our rather long and frustrating day my hands are now itching to pick up my knitting needles!

Until recently, I've been a pretty monogamous knitter. Of course there might be exceptions if I needed to whip up a quick baby hat or something, but for the most part I only worked on one project at a time. The past few months, though, that's changed. I currently have needles in five separate projects, just finished a sixth one, and am about to cast on for some baby gifts and a Valentine's Day decoration. Phew!

The problem with this ADD sort of knitting is that some half-finished projects inevitably get put on the back burner (i.e. in the dark depths of the coffee table drawer), not to be picked up for weeks or months at a time. I really hope to get those forgotten garments back into the knitting rotation soon. So what are these five WIPs, you ask? Behold:
1. Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-Along

I love mystery knit-alongs to begin with, and this one is even more exciting because not only do you not know anything about the finished product other than that it's a shawl, but you have not one but two options with each of the five clues! Usually the only thing that varies with an MKAL is the color, but there are (according to someone much better at math than me) 32 possible shawl versions.

(If you're unfamiliar with a mystery knit-along, it's where a bunch of people come together to complete a new pattern at the same time, except you don't know what your knit will end up looking like -- only the needles, yarn weight and yardage necessary. Pieces of the pattern, or clues, are released weekly. Participants are encouraged to post "spoiler" pictures after each piece of the pattern is completed, and once you've finished you can go check out how everyone else's clue turned out. Such fun!)

I chose pattern B for the first week, and the second set of clues came out today. I'm excited to look them over and "follow my arrow."
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk 
2. Lace Ribbon Scarf

A couple years ago, when I was much more of a novice knitter, I made one of these scarves for my boss as a going-away gift for her move from Hawaii to Oregon. I thought it was the most beautiful object I had knitted to date and vowed to make one for myself one day. So here we are -- and living in a place where the winters necessitate the wearing of such things!

This Malabrigo yarn is absolutely stunning, but I just couldn't get it to photograph properly on one of Ohio's rare winter sunny days. The color is more green than blue -- a lovely teal -- with varying shades of green, blue and turquoise flecked throughout. While the yarn is amazing and the pattern is easy TV knitting, I now remember why I haven't made a scarf in ages. Row after row after endless row of the same thing repeated. Booooring. But I'm nearly finished and I know all the work will be worth it as this is sure to become a favorite winter accessory and get tons of wear (and, hopefully, compliments.)
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Solis
3. Mittens for the Mantle

I knew months before Christmas that I wanted to make this garland but ended up getting a start on it way too late. I adorable-little-mittened my butt off but about two weeks before Christmas when things really started getting busy I had to concede that we just wouldn't have a mitten garland to adorn the mantle this year. I actually only have 1 1/2 more mittens to make (and I have to sew the hanging loops closed on all of them). Then I have to figure out how I want to string them up (I'm thinking twine for a rustic look). There's no hurry to finish this project since, once finished, the garland won't be seeing the light of day until next December.
Yarn: various and sundry cheap acrylics
4. Splitsone Vest

This is project #1 of 2 that has been neglected for quite some time. It's my first sweater vest and I liked the way it was coming along... then other projects just kept coming up that took priority. I'm sorry, vest. We shall meet again soon.
Pattern: Splitstone Vest
My Ravelry project page
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Dark Rose Heather
5. Overly-Bright Library Cardigan
I actually made quite a bit of progress on my first sweater this summer. All that's left is the sleeves and the ribbed edging along the collar and front. But it's been tossed to the side for quite a while. Probably that's because I don't love the yarn color and I'm afraid I'll never wear it. I bought the yarn on eBay and from the poorly lit pictures assumed it was a raspberry pink. Not quite.
Pattern: Shapely Boyfriend
My Ravelry project page
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino Aran


  1. Color me very impressed! I love your MKAL shawl - so pretty! And the color of the scarf is gorgeous. That's a very nice vest, too. All your projects are lovely, though I can see why you're not happy with the cardigan color. It is a bit... hot pink.

    My own knitting has taken a backseat to blogging for much of this year, and I need to get back to it. Just as importantly, I need to do the finishing and blocking on a bunch of projects: the I want you - Shawl, a Weasley Sweater (without the initial), and several doll projects (hat, scarf, sweater). Hopefully you've inspired me to make time for them.

    1. Thanks! I checked out the patterns you're finishing up and I LOVE that shawl! So pretty. What color did you choose? I totally understand not having time to knit because of blogging since I'm kind of the reverse -- I don't have time for blogging because I always want to knit in my free time. Good luck with your finishing (ugh!) and blocking!


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