Monday, January 25, 2010

This Post was Going to be about Charity Work...

...but that topic will have to wait just a little bit longer, because I am still having a love affair with shawls. I have managed to start another 3 shawls, for a total of 5 shawl WIPs. I keep seeing shawl patterns on Ravelry that I can't get out of my head. Once I find an appropriate yarn in my stash, I can't stop myself from starting the project. After the finishing marathon last year, I knew I was in for a serious bout of startitis, so I'm just going with it and enjoying myself!

First up, I started the South Bay shawlette from Lion Brand Yarn. (Sorry, the link requires free registration, if you aren't already registered with LB.)
I'm using 3 skeins of Filatura di Crosa Gioiello, which I originally bought on sale up at Webs for another Doris Chan moebius shawl. After making 2 moebius shawls, however, I am perfectly happy to use this yarn for a completely different pattern.

The I started the Tea Wrap, also from LB.
I am using 1 skein of Brooks Farm Duet, a dk weight yarn, that I bought at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago. Even though the picture doesn't do it justice, the colors of this yarn are just delightful.

And then, I started Saroyan. (Sorry, this pattern is available as a free Ravelry download only.)
I'm using 2 skeins of Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Worsted. The yarn is beautiful to touch and to look at. The pattern is one of 3 patterns that were inspired by the TV show Bones. Since that is one of my favorite TV shows, this pattern just seemed like a natural for me to make.

Believe it or not, even though January is ending soon, I still have hopes of finishing at least one of these shawls by the end of the month.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010-The Year of the Shawl

Oh, goodness. I managed to miss December, the holidays, the end of 2009 and the start of 2010! I don't know, life just feels so much more hectic than it used to. And I spend entirely too much time on Ravelry! I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season and is having a terrific new year.

I finished 2009 with 5 WIPs left on my list. They are all currently on hold, because I may try to finish them during the Winter Olympics. I continued to frog some projects and finish others. If I ever get my act together and get some scarfs blocked, I might just have some FO pictures to share eventually.

In the meantime, I joined the Ravelry group 10 Shawls in 2010, and I am having a great time working on my first 2 shawls for the challenge. The first one is Doris Chan's Guadalupe Shawl.
I am using 3 colors of Caron Simply Soft to get them out of the stash. It's fun, now that I am adding color to the edge. Here's another picture that shows the colors a little bit better.

This past weekend, I also started a knitted shawl.
It's the Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl. I'm using some Sirdar Denim Tweed DK yarn that has been in stash for years. The yarn is an acrylic, cotton and wool blend that is knitting up fairly soft. The tweed makes me think of chocolate chip ice cream, so I am thinking of this as my Chocolate Chip Shawl. I am definitely going to need a longer circular needle soon, as this is growing quite quickly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Sure Where November Went!

I'm not at all sure what happened to November. It turned into a very busy month, at work and at home. I seemed to spend a lot of it rather tired. And I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to on my WIPs.

Having said that, however, I did manage to bring the WIP list down to single digits. I frogged 3 scarves which I decided I just didn't like. I finished another scarf, which I will photograph once I block it. Right now, it is a little small, so I am hopeful that blocking will make it wearable.

My biggest triumph this month happened last Saturday morning when I finally felted the Lucy Bag. I finished knitting the bag at the end of January, 2008, and it has sat in the craft room sinced then. Here's what it looked like before felting:

I'll admit that I was a little nervous about the felting process. But I told myself that Saturday was the day, and if I ruined the bag, then all I had wasted was some yarn and some time. After all of 15 minutes in the washing machine, I had a perfectly felted bag:
This turned out so well that I now feel like a procrastinating idiot. But I am very pleased with the bag, and I think it is going to become my every day purse.

So, 21 WIPs down, and 9 more to go!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Starting November Right

So, Saturday was my birthday, and I decided to spend most of the day doing what I wanted to do. And what I wanted to do was finish my 2009 ripple afghan. I didn't quite finish weaving all the ends in until Sunday morning, but I still felt comfortable considering this an October finish.
It used 950.5 yards of Caron Simply Soft from stash. It makes my 5th finished afghan in October, and the 5th afghan made from my SS stash over the past 2 years. And I still have SS stash left, which tells me that I had accumulated way too much Simply Soft along the way! Hopefully, before the end of the year, I will have time to re-inventory the SS stash, so that I have a better handle on what's left. Oh yes, I used the "Soft Waves" pattern from Jan Eaton's 200 Ripple Stitches book again for this afghan. I do love the pattern, but I think that's the last ripple for a while. (Although I probably say that every year!) The afghan is approximately 40" wide by 48" long, so it is a nice lapghan size. And since the temperature is in the 30s this morning here in CT, I will probably be using it very soon!

So I am starting November with 14 WIPs to work on. I need to finish 7 each month to be done by the end of the year. That means that I need to average one FO every 4-5 days to reach this goal. I have no idea if this is doable, but I am willing to try. In fact, my next FO might be very close to being finished. I need to do some measuring when I get home tonight, and then I will have a better idea.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Down to 15!

Well, I have no FOs to show from this weekend. We were very busy around the house instead. I was determined to get some housework done, since next Saturday is my birthday and I am not doing housework on my birthday! We also got the house ready for winter - air conditioners out, storm windows down, patio furniture put away. And on top of that, I got my hands on the new Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, last week, so I had reading to do as well.

I have continued to work on whittling down the WIP pile, however. Thanks to the help of one of the ladies in crochet guild, I found a Girl Scout troop willing to take 3 bags of afghan squares off my hands. I'm not entirely sure how many afghans the squares will make, but for the purposes of my WIP list, I was counting them as 3 projects. Then, yesterday, I pulled out a preemie blanket that I was knitting, and I decided that I just didn't like it. The stitch pattern, rows of garter stitch alternating with rows of stockinette, wasn't reversible, and that really bothered me. So I frogged it. I have another idea for a knitted preemie blanket, so maybe next year I will try again. And that brought me down to 15 WIPs! Even though I know I still have work ahead of me, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I also seem to be enjoying working on the remaining WIPs more, knowing that so many old projects have been dealt with.

Finally, it occurred to me that I never posted a picture of this year's ripple afghan, so here it is.
Working on the ripple afghan is like eating comfort food. It is just soul satisfying and perfect for those times when I am a little tired or distracted by TV (like yesterday afternoon, when I got completely caught up in "Stephen King's Rose Red" on the syfy channel, even though I had seen it when it first aired years ago).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Number Eleven!

It seems like all of my projects reach a point where they are so close to being done that I just can't stop working on them until they are finished. This scarf reached that point on Monday evening, and last night I sat down and finished it up.
I used 2 skeins of Cotton Fine from the Brown Sheep Company. The yarn has been in my stash for years because I didn't know what to do with it. I used the bushy stitch (2 dc, ch 2, 1 sc), which made for a nice built-in edging all around the scarf. The scarf measures almost 5" wide by 70" long, and took 377 yards out of the stash.

Unfortunately, most of my other projects are not this close to being done. I'm going to continue to try and focus on one or two projects until they are finished, and work on some of the thornier issues on the weekends. Actually, for all the work I have done this month, I am still so concerned about what I have left to do that I sat down Sunday night and rewrote my list of WIPs again. I sorted the list into 2 columns - hard and easy. I was pleased to find that I only have 6 projects on the "hard" list, and one of those is felting my Lucy bag, which isn't going to be hard so much as a little fussy. So I keep telling myself that I am in good shape, and most of the time I actually believe it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

And Then There Were 10

I had set several goals for myself this weekend. I had to finish reading The Perfect Storm and prep for the book discussion that I am leading this evening and again next Wednesday morning. I was barely 100 pages in when I hunkered down on Saturday to finish the book. It turned out to be a riveting read, so I had no problem finishing the book by dinnertime Saturday.

I also decided that I wanted to finish the afghan I have been working on this weekend. That seemed like an ambitious goal, but I decided to try anyway. And here is the result:
I finished the afghan last evening. I am pleased to say that this afghan took 3 skeins of yarn and 1,177 yards of yarn out of the stash. I used the Rectangular Granny Afghan pattern, and I am very pleased with the result. I like that the edging almost, but not quite, ruffles. So that makes #10 out of 30 WIPs dealt with this month.