WIP Summary: July 2017

July was a rough month. I spent it in a deep, dark depression. I would think, “this must be the bottom,” and then it would get deeper and darker. And it turns out that I can’t knit down here in the deep and the dark. So I did very little knitting this month.

But “very little” does not equal “none at all.” I knitted in fits and spurts, in 15-30 minutes increments while watching the Tour de France highlights when I got home from work. It never felt particularly productive, but I somehow managed to finish my Find Your Fade and my second Palmyre shawl. I wove in the ends, I blocked both shawls, but I never took pictures. I’m sure that I will eventually, but it’s not a priority right now.

My Coloring cardigan and Gull Island henley are still very much untouched. Things are beginning to look up, and while I’ve started thinking about knitting again, I’m still having difficulty focusing. I’d like to finish these two projects soon, but sometimes there’s no rushing these things.

Hopefully August will be better.

FO: Cameo Flower

Cameo Flower
Pattern: Cameo Flower
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo (Archangel)
View My Ravelry Project

I finished knitting the Cameo Flower shawl on Saturday after making a trip to my LYS to pick up a third hank of Arroyo. It was much more purple than the first two, but really, none of my hanks matched, so I just went with it, and I think it isn’t very obvious.

Cameo Flower

This was a nice project. I cast on for it rather impulsively back in May and breezed through the body repeats pretty quickly. The charted sections seemed to take a lot longer, but I think that’s just because I set this aside to work on other projects. The lace is, in fact, very easy to keep track of and went pretty quickly once I dedicated some time to this shawl.

Because of a recent turn of events in my life, this has become kind of a sad project for me. I never really put much thought into how an FO can embody or reflect the moments and circumstances in which it was created. Some knitters talk about how they can look at a sweater and remember where they were and how they were feeling and stuff like that. I’ve never felt like that before. But some things have changed between when I cast on this shawl and when I bound off, and while I took pictures of it this morning, I found myself thinking about those changes and remembering the moments I worked on this — where I was, what was going on — and I realized how very heavy this FO makes my heart. So I guess I understand now what those other knitters are talking about.

WIP Summary: June 2017

June has proven to be a busy and trying month. It has been hot and emotional, and I didn’t get as much knitting done as I thought I would, and I’m not at all prepared with photographs of most of my still in-progress projects. But here’s what I do have: two of the three projects I brought with me on my recent vacation, hastily photographed on the last morning.

Find Your Fade
Pattern: Find Your Fade
Yarn: Madelinetosh Euro Sock (Antler, Havana [Minimal / Optic], Crudo, Burnished, Cactus, Joshua Tree)
While vacationing on Big Burn Island in Lake George, I finally got to the last color in my Find Your Fade. When I started the green phase of this shawl, I wasn’t entirely sure about my color choices, but, now seeing all of the colors present, I’ve realized that I really like the colors I picked. When I began knitting this project, it was ostensibly for me, but I often plan to make something for myself, only to later realize that the colors aren’t right or I don’t actually like it or use it. And while working on this, that was always in the back of my mind: this might not be for me. But I think this is really, truly for me.

Palmyre
Pattern: Palmyre
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (Worn Denim)
This was my subway and campfire knitting project, because it’s not yet very large, I can pick it up and put it down without losing my place, and — perhaps its best asset — I can knit it in the practically-dark. It’s still small at this point, and I have a feeling it won’t take center stage in July, but I’m enjoying it. I’ve never been much of a blue person, although blue has infiltrated other parts of my life, but recently I’ve been very drawn to blues, so I’m just rolling with it. Again: ostensibly for me.


And then, of course, Seasmoke is still languishes. My Cameo Flower shawl is, on the other hand, down to the last seven rows of the “Filigree” chart, but I’m about to run out of yarn. I’m hoping to pop by my LYS tomorrow and pick up a third skein of Malabrigo Arroyo. The rows are long, but the lace is easy, and I’m at that point where I can see the finish line, and it’s exciting.

My two WIP sweaters, Coloring and Gull Island, came more or less to a standstill this month while I focused my attention on other projects. I knit maybe an inch or so on the Gull Island body and a couple inches on the Coloring sleeves. It would be satisfying to finish both in July, but I think August is more realistic.

Finally: my month of baby knits was only semi-successful. I did finish both WIPs pictured, plus the Miel cardigan, but that’s it for completed projects. I do have an Aida Cardigan on my needles, the body basically complete. I have to measure the length and confirm that it’s correct, knit some garter stitch, bind off, and then work both sleeves, which can all be completed in about a week of my pre- and post-work knitting sessions. As for the rest of my baby knits plans, I feel less urgency to complete a pile of baby sweaters right now, so I might hold off casting on the rest of those projects.

FO: Miel

Miel
Pattern: Miel
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer (Lupine)
View My Ravelry Project

I finished knitting my second Miel cardigan on Saturday. In the bright sun, it’s surprisingly difficult to photograph, and the shade is no better. But the sweater is nice, and hopefully purple is still the favorite color of the four-year-old Vivian, who is receiving this on Thursday.

Miel
Miel

FO: Babies Sophisticate

Babies Sophisticate
Pattern: Baby & Child Sophisticate
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted Weight (left: Evergreen, Avocado; right: Indigo Heather, Seraphim)
View My Ravelry Project #1 / View My Ravelry Project #2

Baby Sophisticate is a fun, quick pattern. I chose it because I wanted a cute, mostly stockinette cardigan in a variety of sizes that I could customize with mosaic knitting. I used the charts from the Rusted Roof Shawl and Walk in the Woods.

In addition to the obvious addition of mosaic knitting, I also cast on two additional stitches, which I used for a slip stitch edge while working the garments. I then picked up the collar stitches from the slip stitch and cast on edges at a ratio of 1:1, because I’m a #lazyknitter and instructions like “pick up 1 sts for each garter stitch ridge, 3 sts for every 4 rows along sweater sides and 1 st for each cast on st around left edge” make me cringe. I’m happy with how both collars turned out.

If I did this again (and I might), I’d probably play around with the mosaic patterns a bit more. For the green version in particular, I should have added a stitch at the center back so that the fronts would be even. I also could have removed one mosaic repeat in favor of longer horizontal stripes in the front. I don’t totally love the way the fronts look on the green Sophisticate. But on the whole, I’m pleased with how these turned out.

Baby Knits for June

I’m not entirely sure what I was thinking, nor do I think this is even necessarily possible, but I’ve decided to set aside my personal knitting this month in order to focus on baby knits. Because there are several patterns I’ve wanted to knit for awhile, and my boyfriend’s sister is due towards the end of June. In theory, I’ll finish those two WIPs pictured above and transform all of that yarn into sweaters and maybe a diaper cover. Plus a cardigan sized to fit a four-year-old.

On one hand, it seems a little too ambitious. I work 46 hours a week, and I don’t have an abundance of spare time. On the other hand, I can usually finish a three to six-month sweater in about two days, if I don’t have any major distractions. But I’m also going camping for six days later this month, which will provide me with lots of free time while simultaneously diverting some of my attention away from my usual activities. (I’ll be without my bicycle for six days!)

Baby Knits for June

But rather than thinking about what I could accomplish or typing about what I’d like to do, I should probably just be knitting. (And in fact, I’ve completed half of this sleeve while not so carefully considering my words for this post.)

FO: Miel

Miel
Miel
Pattern: Miel
Yarn: Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by the Kangaroo Dyer (Limoncello)
View My Ravelry Project

My boyfriend’s sister is expecting her second child later this month, so knitting for the tiniest of humans has been back on my radar again. (I knit her first child seven sweaters before she was one.) I have a handful of patterns already picked out, but as soon as I saw Miel in my “Pattern Highlights,” I had to make it, and these two hanks of this Northfield yarn, which had been kicking around my stash for almost two years, seemed well suited for the pattern.

The day I cast on, I knitted to an inch and a half or so past dividing the body and sleeves. It is apparently an astonishingly fast pattern. I can’t decide if it was the combination of yarn and pattern or if I’ve somehow become a fast (English style) knitter, but this cardigan seemed to knit itself. I finished the body in a couple hours over the next two days. The sleeves materialized before me while I played board games and drank beer on Saturday night.

Miel

Not only was this a fast project, it was really enjoyable. The cardigan itself looks impressive, as, in my opinion, cables always do, but it’s also simply a pleasant, intuitive pattern. It’s the type of project you can multitask while working on. You can drink beer. You can play board games with friends. You can wait in line while you knit. You can watch TV and have conversations. And then you look down and see that, instead of needles and yarn, you’re now holding a sweater.

I think I like this yarn too. I’m curious to see how it wears, as some people complained about pilling on Ravelry. I already have plans to knit another — possibly two — in Northfield. We have friends with two young daughters, and I’d like to make their oldest a cardigan in the 4yo size. And I think my boyfriend’s niece will receive one of these when she turns two later this month. And really, that is, I think, one of the signs of a really good pattern: planning the next project before the first is off the needles.