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A Yarn Story

I wish I was an Octopus: all these WIPs! June 09 2015

I said to myself in May "In June, I am going to work through my WIPs and clear the board before I start anything new." That notion came and went with the release of Stephen West's latest shawl patterns... He has been releasing new patterns as part of his Spring Scarf KAL and while I have loved all of them and been tempted by each, the Garter Goodness pattern just struck a nerve with me. So on Friday morning I dumped a whole load of sock yarns on the table in the shop and decided to play around with color combos and post them to Instagram as inspiration for others. I thought this would satisfy me enough to keep me from needing to cast-on myself. I was ok for two days but yesterday, one of my color combos was just calling to me and so I wound the skeins up and cast-on.

With this new project cast-on that officially makes 6 projects on the needles. Then I have the Works In Progress(WIPs) that either need blocking, fixing or still need casting on but I count them anyways because the pattern is bought, the yarn chosen and wound, so casting on is really just a formality. Taking all of that into consideration I now have 10 WIPs. How did that happen?

Several of these projects have been hibernating since I decided to open the shop. Because as any LYS owner will tell you, opening a shop will drastically reduce your actual knitting time. The photo above shows 5 of these hibernating projects. It includes the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top which I am knitting in Malabrigo Arroyo, some mittens I made for a friend that were too short, another pair of fingerless mittens that I promised a friend for her birthday last year and Stephen West's Daybreak, which I only need to knit about 6 rows on the border to finish. Oh and there is the scarf that just needs to be blocked before it can be a lovely shop sample.

I also have an item that I can't show you because it's last year's Christmas gift for a friend and she doesn't want to know what I'm making. There is very little left to do on this project as well but its the finicky part and there is stitch picking up involved and I'm not a huge fan of picking up stitches. It is one of those tasks in knitting that makes a project look beautiful and professional but somehow really annoys me.

None of these projects should take me very long to finish but they have been sitting in a box upstairs because new projects have caught my eye and I just couldn't resist. Such is the nature of knitting and craft in general sometimes. Sometimes I start a project because I want to learn something new and if I get far enough into that project and feel I have learned what I needed, I move on to something else. Other times a project gets neglected for an upcoming event, like someone's birthday or the birth of a friend's baby or a designer has released a new pattern that I love. All legitimate reasons to cast-on new projects in my book.

Then there is the gorgeous In Stillness sweater that I have been working on. I was flying along on this and thought I might get it done in time for the shop re-opening and then there were about three weeks when I didn't knit a stitch. This is at the main body part of the pattern though so it does make for good mindless TV knitting at the moment and the yarn is great to work with. It will get done by the time it's cool enough again to wear it.

And lastly we come back to the Garter Goodness shawl that I just had to start yesterday. The colors were just too pretty not to be turned into a massive abstract shawl. I think this combo of Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Damp and Typewriter along with The Uncommon Thread Singleton in Hi-Vis Green and Life in the Long Grass semi-solid Sock in North Atlantic are going to be just amazing together.

So I'm going to make a new pact with myself and this time I'm making it publicly and not just in my head, so you can all help hold me to it. July will be all about finishing off some WIPs. Let's see how many of these 10 projects I can clear out by July 31st.

How many WIPs do you have on the go? Who wants to join me for a month dedicated to finishing some of those off? M.aybe we can have a WIP-along

-Carmen


New Series: I Wish I Was An Octopus... April 20 2015 2 Comments

I made mention of starting a series of blog posts called "I wish I was an octopus" at the start of the year and well, I've finally gotten around to it. This is going to be a monthly series in which I talk about the projects on my needles and the projects I wish I had on my needles. As is probably the case with many of you, there are a hundred beautiful projects out there I want to knit and I only have two arms. But see, if I were an octopus it would be a whole other story.

On my active needles at the moment, (I say "active" because I have at least 4 WIPs in a basket in my office) is the simple but gorgeous In Stillness by Alicia Plummer, which I am knitting up in The Uncommon Thread Everday Worsted in Pontus. I can't take the credit for finding this pattern, it was a customer who sent me a photo (the one I used below) of her finished sweater and I instantly fell in love. I love things that aren't too fussy, that are simple and elegant in design but with a little something special. This ticks all those boxes. Alicia designed the pattern in Everyday Worsted and it is a perfect match. The stitch definition is incredible and of course the colors are amazing too. I'm hoping to whip this up pretty quickly so I can get on to one of these other projects.

I have been searching around for a baby blanket pattern for a while now as good freinds of mine are about to have their second. I have done a few baby blanket gifts in recently and while I am happy to repeat a pattern I loved, I was looking for something new and hadn't been finding anything that inspired me. That is until last week when this was in my instagram feed:

How great is this blanket!?! It's the latest release from Tin Can Knits and it's called Fly Away which is part of their new book Max & Bodhi's Wardrobe. I have yet to decide what yarn to use but I'll let you know when I do. It's going to be a belated gift as the baby is due in a couple of weeks and there is no way I'll get it done before then.

I have also been drooling over several versions of Stephen West's pattern Dotted Rays. I love both the single color versions and the super-multicolored ones. If I went single color it would have to be Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Sapphire. It is just the most goreous blue and such a great yarn to work with. It would make a great Dotted Rays. If I went multi-colored route, then I would dig out some leftovers from my stash, as the cresents at the start of the shawl don't use much yardage it'd be a great way to use up some stash that will otherwise not find a home very quickly. Add in some Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Teacup and Skein Top Drawer Sock in Smokestack Lightning. (I'm having a bit of a blue/teal obsession at the moment if you haven't noticed.) 

Last on my list of things I wish I was knitting is Belle by Coco Knits. A perfect pattern for Shibui Knits Linen, a great summer sweater that could be thrown on over a tank top, a bikini or a dress. It's a super flattering shape and only requires 3 skeins for the small and medium while the large only needs 4. I've been eyeing the Fjord colourway for a while now but Cascade has started to speak to me as well, so I just don't know.

Belle

Let's recap for a moment, shall we? I am knitting a sweater, I want to be knitting a blanket, another sweater and a rather large shawl... I'm going to have to pick some smaller projects soon. And I'm definetly on a bit of a blue kick at the moment, all shades of blue. 

I want to say a quick thank you to my friend Dominique for her beautiful illustration, which is the official mascot for this blog series. You'll be seeing more of the octopus in the near future, so watch this space.

Until the next edition, happy knitting.

-Carmen