Knitterly Confessional: WIP and UFO Counts

I have to level with you guys…until this afternoon, I couldn’t accurately tell you how many WIPs and UFOs I had. I knew there were a good amount but that’s about it. I’ve been in the habit of starting a bunch of different things in a couple day period, then only sticking with working on one or two of them. Instead of pulling out progress on anything I didn’t want to work, it just got put in a bag or shoved not-so-nicely into my yarn storage cubbies. In the spirit of Spring Cleaning, I decided it was about time I get honest with myself about all that I wasn’t actually working on.

What I Remembered

Rainbow Socks

I bought this yarn a few weeks ago at MD S&W and promptly finished the first sock. Then, they sort of lagged because I was in the mood for a larger project. I’d say these are a WIP, not a UFO, because I really do intend to finish them by the end of June. (Pattern: Charybdis by Fiona Bennett / Yarn: Knittyandcolor Acoustic Sock in Milky Way)

Black and Blue Brickless

This was started around the time of MD S&W, about when I started to feel guilty for not having used up yarn I got around the same time last year. I love the pattern but the yarn is rather dark so was annoying me to knit with it. There were also some really warm days about then and the last thing I wanted was worsted weight knitting on my lap. (Pattern: Brickless by Martina Behm / Yarn: Neighborhood Fibre Company Studio Worsted in OOAK colorway)

The Itchy (But Very Lovely) Sweater

Oh, this sweater. I knit the entire body then tried it on to realize it makes me itch. I pushed myself before to make the sleeves and picked up on side of the edging but it stalled. Certainly a UFO but I would like to finish this and pass it off to someone by the end of the summer. (Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig / Yarn: BC Garn Semilla Fino in Ox)

The Blue and Gray Blanket

We have one family member and two sets of friends expecting this fall, so I’ve got lots of baby knitting in my future. I started a blanket a few weeks ago but just got bored with it. I let myself get bored because I’ve still got months to knit. (Pattern: Made up but inspired by a pattern whose name I can’t remember / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool in dark gray, lighter turquoise, and – once I add it – darker turquoise)

The Active WIP

I just started this last night, so it would be rather hard to forget about it. After finishing up a sweater for Lizzie – future post coming! – I still have an entire ball and then some of the yarn left. One of Lizzie’s teachers lost everything in a house fire. Her most important needs being taken care of, I wanted to knit her something to bring her comfort, but replacing the scarf of the same pattern I’d made for her earlier this year. (Pattern: Riparian Entertainment by Heather R. Robinson / Yarn; Neighborhood Fibre Company Studio Sock in Olde Town East)

What I Forgot

The Bat S**t Crazy Cowl

Started who knows when but, like many other things, abandoned because it’s boring. I pulled out my progress on this. (Pattern: Uhhh? / Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply in Bat S**t Crazy)

The Other Riparian Entertainment

No clue on this one, just recognize the pattern. Maybe started in February? Another one where I frogged the very little progress I’d made, so far. (Pattern: Riparian Entertainment / Yarn: Regia? Something I got in Germany, for sure.)

The Leftover Honey Cowl

In April (?), I bought a lot of Socks that Rock Heavyweight off of someone who was selling it via Instagram. I’m a big fan of DK for heavier things so jumped at the very good deal. After making two different cowls from the partial skeins she sold me, I started this one. (Yeah, those are a future post topic, too.) I like how the colors are blending, so far, so this one is in a bag, waiting for me to work on it again. I often get really into heavier-weight cowls so it will be nice to have this one already going. (Pattern: Honey Cowl by Antonia Shankland / Yarn: Socks That Rock Heavyweight in, well, I have no idea what colorway)

The Blanket Made in Pieces

Soon as I saw the Tin Can Knits collection this is in, I had to make this blanket. I quickly whipped up as many of the motifs as I could make from a single ball of the yarn,…then fizzled out. I held onto the motifs I’ve made as I really would like to make Lizzie a small lap blanket with them and a dark gray. (Pattern: Polygon from Tin Cat Knits / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool)

The Other, Other Baby Blanket

I started this right after my post about baby knits. Yep, got bored with it. I pulled this out today, in favor of making a different pattern. (Pattern: Four Corners Blanket by Rina Shaikh-Lesko / Yarn: Berroco Pure Wool)

The Too-Dark Socks

I have a coworker who saw me working on the toe of these and instantly claimed them (don’t worry, she’s knit-worthy). But the yarn is just too dark for me to knit into socks. I pulled out my progress and will probably use the yarn to make a shawl or something on bigger needles. (Pattern: I have no idea… / Yarn: Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply)

The Adorable Sweater Dress

After Lizzie really loved her dress I made for her birthday, I decided to make her another. I remember putting this aside in favor of something with more of a deadline but I have no idea what that was now. (Pattern: Kelsey by Kelly Menzies / Yarn: Louisa Harding Yarns Cassia Prints)

 

When did you last get honest with yourself about how many WIPs and UFOs you have? Are you as forgetful as me?

Knitterly Confessional: WIP and UFO Counts

MD S&W 2017 Recap

It became a sort of joke that I was never going to make it to Maryland Sheep and Wool again. I last went in 2009, back when I was a baby knitter and didn’t have much money at all to spend on yarn as I was still in school. (I spent that year walking around with Olga Buraya-Kefelian, a friend who also happens to be a knitwear designer who was just starting her ascent into knitting fame back then.) Every year after that, something would come up to keep me from going: we’d be out of town, be going to a party, I’d be sick, etc.

This year, though, I was determined to make it. Despite still not quite being over my cold, I went to the festival with my neighbor, Sara. We went on Sunday afternoon which, of course, is after all of the most popular items are gone but the crowds are far, far less than on Saturday or even right at opening on Sunday. We took our time and walked through each of the barns, the exhibition hall (which we missed the first time around, somehow), and the outdoor vendors.

I had gone with a rather laughable goal: buy two sweater quantities of animal-free yarn, one in sport weight and another in worsted. Yep, I went to a sheep and wool festival to not buy wool. Unsurprisingly, I did not meet my goal.

We did get to see an alpaca, though. Sara wanted to kidnap him and bring him home to meet her girls.

I couldn’t resist a few wooly things, however. I have quite a stash of worsted yarn right now, so went for sock and fingering-weight yarns, both of which I’m running rather low on.

Knittyandcolor Sock Yarn in the coloway Milky Way [to become socks for Sara]

I couldn’t resist winding it to see how the colors showed up.

Two gradients from Fiber Optic Yarns – Foot Notes Yarn (colorway: Thunder – Lightning) and Kasmir Yarn (colorway: Onyx – Crimson)

I took some time to wind the whole set of 15 little skeins up. (Then started on a shawl with it, right away.)

Any of you go to MD S&W? Get anything really fun?

MD S&W 2017 Recap

Knitting for Super Tiny Humans

Whenever I learn of someone close to me is having a baby, I almost immediately start thinking of what I can knit. I do all sorts of planning…and then tend to forget to actually make something until, oh, three weeks before the baby is due. They’re so small, so surely I don’t need to put aside tons of time to knit them? Except I have this thing for making blankets or using tiny yarn or some other craziness that means monogamist knitting for between a week to a month.

I’ve got knits for tiny humans on the mind now, as we have two friends plus a family member who are all expecting their first kid. And, of course…I’ve barely started on anything. But I’ve got some ideas.

Favorite Patterns

Baby Surprise Jacket – The pattern is a classic for a reason. It’s in a bunch of different books, so anyone who has any interest in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s work probably has a copy of the pattern lying around. It only takes ~300 yards of your favorite yarn and is both mindless due to the garter fabric and not boring, as each “section” changes what you’re doing. I’ve made 6 of these, using Fingering, DK, and Worsted weight yarns.

Finished-BSJ

Little Sister’s Dress: Only comes in one size but easy enough to scale up/down using a different size yarn. Make sure you keep track of your stockinette and reverse stockinette rows. Gives you an excuse to use cute buttons, though be sure they are really well attached!

littlesisdress001

Four Corners Blanket – Free pattern that’s modular for the first two squares, then not totally crazy to have on your lap when you’re adding the other two squares. When I knit this, I find myself getting excited as I zoom through each part, excited about getting to the next color/square. This would look really cool if done in a yarn with a long color repeat.

Four Corners Blanket

Coming Together

Stuffed creatures – I have a love/hate relationship with actually knitting these, but they are really fun and won’t be the same sort of thing someone’s Great Aunt would need for the kid. I tend to make monsters versus real creatures because, well, they don’t have to look like anything in particular when you accidentally misread part of the pattern. Rebecca Danger has TONS of great patterns for these. (Clicking on “stuffed creatures” will take you to a Ravelry page of all of her patterns.)

September 7 (Day 48) - Birthday
[Not a Dangercraft pattern but one from Berroco, called Celstine.]

Stay-on Booties – Okay, so I’ve never made any of these but a friend made some for Lizzie when she was brand new and they were great. Won’t fall off, are super cute, and so small they take like no time to knit. Saartje’s Booties are what I think of as the standard example.

Bounce – This is one of those patterns that I love the look of the finished project, but the actual knitting felt like a bit of a slog. Still! Do not be dissuaded. Excellent pattern and can be done in all sorts of fun color combinations.

Favorite Yarns

Berroco Vintage – This is my favorite, if you’re looking for a wool/non-wool blend that’s machine washable. Comes in a million colors. This comes in worsted, DK, and chunky versions, if not more.

Berroco Ultra Wool – Very soft but still superwash, again with an excellent range of colors. My LYS just switched to this – from Ella Rae Classic Superwash – and I like it even more than I liked that yarn for both being a pleasure to knit with and how well it holds up to washing/wearing.

Spud and Chloe Fine – Excellent if you want to do colorwork or otherwise need a superwash fingering yarn. (Rav tells me it comes in a stripy version, too.)

Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton – Luxury cotton that’s worth the price. Limited color range but the colors that are offered are gorgeous.

Some Tips

  • Don’t be that person who gives a new parent something they can’t put in the washer/dryer.
  • Consider making blankets roughly three by four feet. It’s not only a good size for the car seat but for snuggling with when the kid’s a toddler.
  • Include with your handknit something to care for the parents. A gift card to a local pizza place that delivers, an offer of free babysitting, a box of K-cups of their favorite brand.

 

What’s your favorite thing to knit (or knit with) for tiny humans? If you have kids, what do you wish someone else knit when you had a baby?

Knitting for Super Tiny Humans

Finishing Up

Amongst knitters, there’s a question that always comes up: are you a process or a project knitter? Me, I’m a process knitter, for sure. I find a yarn and pattern combination I like then just sort of dive into it, usually without a recipient in mind. I’m usually only really working on one project at a time, though I may switch back to another WIP if I get bored with what I’m currently working on. I find I’m really excited in the first 20% and the last 20% of a given project, it’s the middle 60% that just crawls by, unless I’m distracted by an audiobook, TV show, or interesting conversation. Though I knit with a project being completed as the end goal, I have an issue: I HATE finishing things.

Take the cowl I finished the other day. What did I do when I was done? Snipped off the excess yarn then tossed the project and needle onto my desk and walked off. Now, this is a single-color cowl – nothing with tons of ends to weave in or a difficult blocking process associated with it. I just didn’t feel a need to actually finish it because, in my process-oriented brain, it was done.

Thing is, no one wants to wear something with ends hanging off and, if they know something about how much better things look when it does happen, unblocked. This particular knit even has an intended recipient, one who I’ll see in a week.

I did finally get it blocked the next time I sat down and forced myself to finish up the sewing-in ends on two shawls, one hat, and one cowl. It soaked while I worked on the end-sewing. And, soon as it dries, it’ll be ready to gift…soon as I can get myself to weave in those pesky ends….

Finishing Up

Never Made

I was thinking the other day about how I started a bad trend in 2016 (or was it 2015?). I would buy patterns and think about making them…and it would end there. I managed to figure out how to do a Ravelry search of all of the digital knitting patterns I own but have yet to make. (Go here to do the same search for yourself.)

Results: 153

Yeah, 153 patterns I bought and have not made. And that’s ignoring all of the patterns I have in books and magazines.

I gave the list a good scrub, removing all of the projects I’d honestly never make. Then I added them allll to my queue.

Now I’ve got a much more reasonable number facing me: 70.

So, my big plan: I’m not going to buy a single pattern until I get through all of those 70 items (well, except the 13 ones which were free patterns).

 

 

Never Made

WIP Wednesday 2017.1

One of my goals for 2017 – which, of course, I have yet to blog about at all – is to keep up with semi-regular WIP Wednesday posts, even if all I do is explain why I have nothing to show.

This week, I’ve got three WIPs, none of which I have color photos to share. We’ll pretend it’s to keep an air of mystery, not just because I wasn’t able to get the colors quite right when I took the photos last night, well after sunset.

My first WIP is a pair of socks I’m making for my mom. These aren’t active right this second but will be once I feel like knitting socks again, probably in a few days. I had knit several pairs in a row there and just needed a break.

While the yarn itself is not new to me – Miss Babs 2-Ply – the pattern is. It’s called Jeck and a free pattern from designer Regina Satta. I swear my mom chose the color herself, though I do find it hilarious it’s named Bat S**t Crazy. You can’t tell here, of course, but it’s a mixture of deep blue, green, and brown. Not at all what I would have picked for her, but it was her first pick of the four colors I offered.

The WIP I’m actively working is a hat for a coworker. I’ve made the pattern before (Roku by designer Olga Buraya-Kefelean) but never did take a good FO picture to share with you. Again, no color photo but you it’s a muted, sort of medium blue Ella Rae Classic Superwash.

I’m also working on my perpetual WIP, getting the house organized, but no one needs to see before/after photos of my straightened-up linen closet. (Right?)

What are you all working on this week?

WIP Wednesday 2017.1

Knits of 2016

After a few years of really not knitting very much, 2016 was a really productive year, when it came to my knitting.

Thanks to Ravelry, I can give you the exact statistics:

  • Dresses – 2 (both for children)
  • Socks – 6 (one was only finished, another child-sized)
  • Hats – 7
  • Cowls – 6
  • Scarves – 8
  • Shawls/wraps – 18 (two were for children)
  • Blankets – 2 (both for babies)
  • Dishcloths – estimate is 20, not on Ravelry

Wow. That’s 69 projects!

And, my WIPS and UFOs are very few:

  • Socks for my mom [Current WIP]
  • Shawl/wrap for a coworker [Current WIP]
  • The hat I started but got distracted from (may be one of my FOs this month)
  • The itchy sweater  [UFO but will probably finish]
  • A baby blanket I’ve made about 20% of the motifs for [UFO which will probably never be finished)
  • The sweater I knit for myself a long time ago and found out, during seeming, that it’s not working for me  [UFO which will probably never be finished)

 

Knits of 2016