A bug that has been nagging at me especially as I knit sweaters this past year is the idea of designing some items. My current pile of notes is full of ideas, half drawn sketches and charts, and of course the easiest thing to buy the yarn.
Looking at this yarn, a sweater’s quantity of the String Thing studio colorway from Asylum Fibers. The sweater I want? A holiday-ish sweater with a tree cabled on it. Why holiday-ish? While the colors can make you think holiday, my main thought was that the tree would be the White Tree of Gondor, possibly flanked by the arc entrance to the Mines of Moria.
How much work have I done designing this sweater I have yarn and an Idea for? For over a year? Well I wound the yarn? That’s a step right? In my grand scheme for 12 sweaters last year this was one of them.
Designing and knitting a sweater in about a month…what could go wrong? I’ve designed whole cowls before…
But as I think about the knitting milestones I want to hit this year, maybe the answer is not an excessive number of sweaters, but instead the ones that kept getting pushed back in line during 2018 because there is no way it could be finished in a month.
In the same way that while I made a couple fingering weight sweaters, the wildly cabled and complicated ones that I wanted to make were also pushed back because there was no way I could possibly finish one in a month where I might have three hours of knitting time across a week.
So maybe 2019 will be the year of the long stuff. Longer to think about, longer to make, longer in stash. Hashtag #yearofthent.
“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.”
I had a lot of plans last year. Looking thorough my sparse posting last year I see so many ideas that I still think would be fun, but clearly need some work on my end if I want to try them again this year. Things like knitting ornaments in 2017. As I look at the tree that is still up, there is distinct lack of newly handmade ornaments. Its something I’m going to add to the 2018 list.
Same with another year to the box of sox. I was doing pretty well until summer started. And I still have a few new pairs on the needles. I also got the Addi FlexiFlips and I clearly need to try them. And I have a lot of skeins of self striping that need to be worked on. And I have the habit of buying more whenever they catch my attention.
Along with the fact that a big goal this year is to knit more, because my volume of knitting has dropped dramatically, and I’ve likely been getting way more yarn. I will have to do a stash exploration, and plotting after Vogue, since I know it will be enhanced then. I have been better about buying the odd single skein. Instead I buy sweater’s worth…which leads to a very different kind of problem.
So much yarn…so little time.
One of the things that I have been thinking of in the weeks leading up to the new year is getting some of my crafty mojo back. There have been a lot of instances lately of not having time, and way too many instances of half finished projects. And so many ideas that haven’t gone nearly as far as they should.
I’m still trying to plot out how the year is going to go when it comes to making. I feel some things need to be scheduled. Shop updates have become more sporadic, I have so many WIPs. And I keep gathering sweaters worths of yarn.
I have sweaters chosen for most of these, and of course am itching to cast them all on and make a dozen more sweaters. I possibly have the yarn for that too.
It’s the first WIP Wednesday of the year. I started thinking about all of my unfinished WIPS and I think a goal this year will be to work on at least one WIP a week. Since they are all in a variety of stages of done, I’m not going to say finish them, but maybe add at least a few rows. So what do I have on the needles? Spindles? I mean I can complete projects. Its been done before. This year even!
- Wonder Woman shawl #3
- Black Artichoke French
- Stripes Gone Crazy
- So Faded Sweater
- Royale Sweater
- Into the Whirled Socks
- Asylum fibers socks
- Headband 1
- Headband 2
- Mardi Gras Socks
- Dad’s Christmas Hat
- Hermione’s Everyday socks
- Thrummed flip top mitts
- Liilli Pilli
- Wildes Meer
- Zealana Hat
- Supported spindle spinning
- Turkish Spindle spinning
- Golding Spindle Spinning
- Loop Batt Blues
- Loop Batt Grays
- Loop Batt Purple and Green
I suspect this list will be updated and made longer. I won’t add any projects that I start in 2018, but any that existed in 2017 will be added to the list as they surface. So 22 WIPs at the moment at least. There is a reason I got more cables for my interchangeable needles.
Happy New Year! 2017 has been a whirlwind year.
And I’m pretty excited to attack 2018. Plots, plans, and shenanigans.
So I’ve been progressing on Kitra in my skein of Empire. Its a top down sweater, and my plan is to knit to the sleeves, knit both sleeves and then knit the body until I run out of yarn or get to Rhinebeck, most likely the former as there is still a lot of knitting to be done.
And it may not look it but I am less than 10 rows from the sleeve division. In theory the sleeves themselves will not take too long, we’ll see, we’ll see. That third sweater though may be like the Emperor’s New Clothes, I mean if I fix that sleeve quirk on bayside that totally counts right? I mean I finished it in Jan, it would be a new sweater for Rhinebeck.
I’ve wanted to play with dyeing yarn for a while. And after moving I decided to get myself some new crafty toys to try out. I have gotten acid dyes and metal stamping tools. I haven’t started stamping things yet but yesterday I decided to dye up some yarn.
I had a 2ply skein of Cormo I had gotten at Gauge+Tension, ages ago, in theory as a neutral for another skein. But it was perfect for this project. I ordered some Acid dye off Amazon, because Prime is a dangerous thing, it arrived right before my apartment warming on Saturday. I chose to go with citric acid, mostly because I don’t really like the smell of vinegar.
So I got my yarn soaked, poured in my dyes and waited. The method I used was Space dyeing from a skill share class by @alexcreates on instagram. I had seem his yarn at Vogue Knitting Live and I thought his class would be a good place to start.
Once the dye bath was mostly exhausted (i’m glad everyone mentioned how much red bleeds, I would have been pretty worried otherwise) I rinsed the yarn in wool wash a few times until the water ran clear.
I hang it up to dry in the bathroom. And hooray for summer it was already dry when I went to shower this morning. So I have my first finished skein of hand dyed yarn. While there are a couple things I would fix, like I think I needed to let the yarn soak longer before I added dye, I really like how my first draft of ‘a kid from Brooklyn’ turned out.
I have a couple of ounces of un-dyed fiber I will also be looking into dyeing, but I have to decide on the process for that first, as I’m much more concerned about felting, with fiber. I tried to not agitate the wool too much. Something to look into but yay dyed yarn!
Side note! The shop is open and there will be an update this Saturday at 10! Zombies, Witches, Founding Fathers, and Time Lords to name a few.
I am planning to do the Clean Slate challenge hosted by the Just One More Row podcast. I have done it before though I didn’t last year I don’t think. There are some needles I want back, and there are some projects that are just too close to being done or just SHOULD be done by now.
First up, I have seven days to finish Bayside by my deadline. I have likely 6″ of the first sleeve left. Knit night tonight’s goal is to finish the sleeve and maybe start the next. I want to wear this on the 16th for VKL. But I will be working the day job right until that, so I have one more weekend to work on it other than after work time.
Next up is Featherweight, mostly because I don’t want to put it aside for ages. So I want to pick it back up soon. Just the sleeves and border left, and I have found my DPNs. Granted they are in Bayside now but it means they will be free soon.
Those are the only projects that I have even the vaguest plan of order. Next up in no particular order. My thrummed mittens, Hermione’s Everyday socks, a cowl design that shall be ripped and reworked with more stitches, my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl, and the long unfinished Bloomery.
There are some other WIPs that are floating around the apartment, those oft ignored christmas socks, those other socks (from 2011), and things I’m sure I’ll keep forgetting until I see them.
One more over arching look at my goals. So how are the 2015 goals progressing? Some good some not so good. The 12 in 2o15 needs some major help.
1. Four more sweaters in 2015. That’s one a season, totally reasonable, and I would like at least 2 to be pullovers, and at least one to be done in pieces. its about time I got to building a sweater. And right now I have the yarn for a few sweaters!
. Alta – Green Gloss DK – swatch is done and wayyy off. I’m losing about 4 stitches every 4 inches. Math will have to be done. Done and worn to Rhinebeck!
2. Stripes Gone Crazy – Cashmere Wool Blend
3. Blue Wool of the Andes Pumpkin Ale
4. Eco Wool Francis Revisited will be cast on later this week?
6. Wine colored Sock yarn
*Featherweight has been cast on.
Three sweaters done, two on the needles, one more going on the needles. It looks like everything is going to plan there.
More craft fairs – I want to do more vending (VKLive happened!) I vended at the BKCG WWKIP again, did Funday Sunday on Smith Street, and will be doing the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk show the Friday of Rhinebeck. I now have an Events page where you can keep up to date on where I shall be popping up.
More Spinning. Joining the DSPAKAL means I will start my year spinning. The 680 yard loop bump seems to have that covered, even if I haven’t had a chance to spin since the tour de fleece started
1. Six complete spinning projects for the year (knitting handspun or spinning a project) – Hitchhiker is done, the loop bump above, and a few squares on the sock blanket.
Get one of the spindles I have been eying maybe as a reward for hitting the 50% mark – (Uh – I may now own two Turtle Made spindles, an Aaron Makes stuff spindle, and a Golding)
4. Socks!!!! I have two actual pairs on the needles. I have cast on Hermione’s Everyday socks…Now where did I put them…
. As I mentioned yesterday, more collaborations. – Clubs, Giveaways, Stitches South!
6. Updating the graphics of the blog and published patterns (new laptop should help get this going but its still a work in progress)
7. Gloves! Both the designing of and knitting of other patterns – My Thrummed flip top mittens are a start right? a still incomplete start but a start
8. Designing – So many swatches guys – SO MANY – Submissions! Things are out, patterns are being written
9. Plan another epic birthday – there may be zombies whiskey There was brunch, there was Ethiopian, there were friends.
And the 12 in 2015 – hmm er…
. Alta Swatched Done!
2. Stripes Gone Crazy – I may have cast on featherweight with this yarn
3. Bayside sleeves separated and approaching the body
increases decreases ribbing
4. Handspun Socks take two
5. Blanket – Cozy Memories Blanket
6. Gloves – Thrummed flip top mitts One mitt mostly done. Just needs a flip top.
7. Flintshire Take II – well I used the yarn for mitts. but a red flintshire would work too.
8. Release a Cowl Design – couple different swatches floating around and a pattern on the needles
9. Handspun Hat with Luxury tribbles – Cashmere! Yak!
Thrummed Hat! – I don’t wear mittens but a Hat would be great. – Likely not as then there would have to be lining.
11. A Colorwork project
12. Christmas Ornaments – After setting up the tree this year we noted it was lacking in handmade, personal items. Especially in the home of two crafters.
The Pumpkin Ale sweater continues to grow. The back piece is now just under 18″. With around 60 rows to go before I do the shoulders. Then it will be the fun of picking up stitches for the rest of the sweater.
If I continue to move at my current pace I think that will happen around Friday or Saturday. as I seem to get done about 40 or so rows of the sweater a day. Two of 11 balls of yarn finished and I’m still enjoying it so far. We’ll see where I am next week when I have to pick up stitches.