Tag Archives: WIPs

New year, old projects

I’m in a knitting project monogamy binge and it seems to working – though I want to have many more, more, more!, things on the needles, all things are coming off of the needles now instead of languishing. Not counting 2 small travel knits, (should just be one) I’ve only got two cardigans and a blanket in the nice WIP pool now (there’s another blanket out there in the scummy one).

The current project is this cardigan – the body is now just over halfway done – I barely started it back in 2017, then a series of needle issues stopped it until I started back on it last month. I’ve moved on to the sleeves before finishing the body because I’ll need every last bit of yarn to make it long enough and the collar/edging wide enough. My gauge was off and my numbers fudged, so while the fit still works, it’s more fitted than intended, and I’ll need to gain some extra width in the chestage. If the sleeves (just past elbow) only take a ball each, I think I’ll be okay.

The finished projects are:

N’s linen stitch scarf – I thought this would be a quick knit, and it wasn’t too bad, but there’s always that almost halfway point where the stitches begin to compress a little and you’re knitting your way out of a loose sand dune.

I was able to dig out and nearly finish during a cabin week in the summer. There are a few mistakes – I never count rows right, or the same way? in linen stitch, so even though it’s meant to have equal stripes, one or two have one more or less row than the other. Instead of fringe, I wove in the ends, and they seem to be staying put, so I may end up doing that to mine, but I’ve only worn it once? this winter so it’s probably not worth the time (or maybe even the drawer space to keep it at this point…)

The yarn came from one of N’s old oversized 1990s sweaters, and thankfully the yarn for the stripes (except beige) were run continuously up the sides, so they unraveled into big balls (except where there was some breakage (moth holes?).

There’s still an unraveled sleeve that with a few knitted additions could become a matching dog sweater…

And still have some yarn left over – maybe some boot cuffs for me, or hat/mitts for N, or just scrappy bits for scrappy knits.

(And there was a  total triumph long-term finished project that deserves its own post, so this isn’t really a list after all.)

The spin I started a month or so ago failed.

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Spin, [not span], spun… #spinning #wool #roving

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Not failed, really, just didn’t work as I’d intended and is going in another direction. The wools weren’t like enough to be combined without being combined in a blended sort of way – I’m spinning long sections of different rovings instead of short, so a section of shiny and smooth stuff is up against matte and lumpy stuff and I don’t think it will knit up the way I wanted in the end. So I’ll be left with 8 oz of smooth in two different, but hopefully complimentary, colorways plied together, that hopefully will coordinate enough with another skein of orphaned handspun, and the lumpy will be paired with some other lumpy in the stash and hopefully become nearly a pound of stripey single along the lines of this project, only this time in greens and browns and all that is earthy and murky.

Some sewing has happened too – perhaps that too should be its own post…

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Of basil, beans, and blankets

borlotti finger

My garden (I can hardly call it my garden – it was a patch of dirt the previous owners planted tomatoes in, and I just threw some seeds in there in the spring) bore much more than I expected, especially after I entirely ignored it (let’s hope it just doesn’t have low self esteem and thrives on neglect).

And two of my favorite comfort foods did exceptionally well.

We had enough basil for multiple pesto dishes.

basil in garden

And some entirely lovely borlotti beans – but just a few plants’ worth since I threw just a few seeds in not expecting anything.

borlotti beans

(Yes, they are surrounded by lots and lots of weeds.)

Basil pesto reminds me of home – I grew up with the stuff over homemade spaghetti while the closest thing my classmates had to pasta was elbows and powdered cheese from a box.  I’m pretty sure one of my teen boyfriends (a boyfriend I had as a teen, and who himself was a teen) only hung around as long as he did for the food.  When I moved into my first few apartments, pesto was one of the first dishes I’d make so the place would immediately smell good.  And then I could sound even more pretentious and say the smell of fresh basil and garlic and boiling pasta immediately takes me back to my halcyon days as a college student in Firenze.

pesto dish

I didn’t think you could acquire new comfort foods as an adult, but borlotti beans came in to my life several years ago and nestled into that role.  I spent nearly all of my twenties as a vegetarian, so all beans wore out their welcome, but when N came around and started whipping up beans and greens with the speckled beauties, I became a fan.  And they also remind me of our semi-annual trips to Abruzzo.  Next year I hope to plant a gigantic bed of them so I can dry pounds and enjoy them through the winter.

borlotti-dried

And I finally finished knitting a [large-ish] baby blanket for a new member of the family.  His mother started it and I offered to finish it – boldly thinking I’d have it done in time for his birth in July, but at least it’s still technically summer.

babyblanket-dry

Though I was uncharacteristically monogamous with the project, and while knitting it made a mental list of all the other things I wanted to start (or finish) when I was done, I’m feeling a little itchy to knit a new blanket for us – one to snuggle under while eating some beans.

Isn’t that just cozy?

(Actually, I hate eating around textiles and prefer dining properly at the table…)

But wait, haven’t I already been knitting a blanket for over a decade….?

newhampshire-blanketinprogress

I finally got it back out to finish – it’s nearly done, but the cotton is still doing some ass-kicking to my wrists, so I’m dreaming about a new one in wool…

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Slowly simmering….

I’m slowly and only very occasionally working on my latest Lacy Batkus.  I still love the pattern as always, but I’m not falling in love with this version yet.  My handspun is a bit stiff and though I embrace all yarns thick and thin, it appears that the skein is getting increasingly thicker overall and thus the needle size may end up a bit small.

Lacy Baktus progress

But my old favorite pattern may start to feel the pressure of a new pattern in town…

Mimsy Hitchhiker

I’ve started a Hitchhiker by Martina Behm out of my handspun Pigeonroof Studios BFL “Mimsy.”

Mimsy progress

I wasn’t crazy about garter stitch and handspun before, but this single yarn is perfect for it.

Mimsy detailAnd damn near downright ethereal with incredible lightness and drape.

I’ve had problems in the past determining what to do with fuzzy yarn and this pattern is perfect in its simplicity – it was also perfect for some recent airport knitting time.  I do fear that I may run out of yarn before I make it the perfect size, but I should have just enough for an acceptable length, and I’m sure I’ll be able to block out a little more.

Other projects still in the works?  The cotton blanket is currently taking its last laps and I still need to decide how to do the border. I’ve started a quilt with applique letters that is kicking my ass at the moment.  And my spinning queue is bigger than ever.  My goals for the Tour de Fleece are spinning my recent PRS purchases:

PRS Tour de Fleece

It’s all superwash merino in colorways from left: Jadeite, Storm, and Lettuce.  Rather subdued and monochromatic for PRS, but I love them, and I love them combined.  I have plans for a shawl and I was initially thinking it might be something feather and fan-ish, but I’m on a garter binge now so it might be one of the trendy stripey patterns, or one of my own if I get my act together.  You may have noticed how “perfect” I’m feeling with my new handspun and Hitchhiker above, so now I wish I could make fulled/felted singles out of this, but it will have to be two-ply.  I have another braid of SW merino in a brownish colorway, but I don’t want to commit to finishing it in the near future and I’m determined to perfect my chain-plying skills on it, so it will be for another time.

And I need to finish spinning the zucchini blossom I put aside earlier.  I still want to turn it into socks, but I’m still on the fence about making a two or three-ply.  I found some complimentary commercial sock and other superwash yarn in my stash that could be used for stronger toes and heels, and possibly soles.  I thought these would be lighter summery socks, but if I make a three-ply they will be thicker… either way I’m happy I can eek out some more yardage with the commercial stuff.

PRS-squashblossomHmm, I will need to decide soon.

Decisions aren’t easy for me these days.

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