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Posts Tagged ‘op art’

WIP roundup

Since the doll meet, I’ve been doing more knitting than photography, and lots of work on slow/big projects.  But I figured it was time for a State Of The WIP update, as I have made progress on a bunch of things recently, far off as the end of any of them feels!

First, I was working on the Dollshe 70cm turtleneck (pattern will be available once I finish knitting the thing), although I haven’t picked it up since I finished the body.  Just two more sleeves to go…the Dollshe guys are SO HUGE even compared to my biggest doll, and because in my opinion a masculine style sweater should really be on the long side…well, the sweater felt like it was chugging along beautifully until I hit about 15cm and then I just wanted to be done already!  But there were fully 5 more centimetres to go before I reached the length I’d decreed to be minimally sufficient.  Anyway, the colour is awesome and I am hoping to get this one done by the end of the month.

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Mostly I’ve been focussing on the blanket for my hope chest.  Did you forget about it?  I almost did!  But if you recall my friends who were expecting their first child a few posts back, well, they have a beautiful daughter now!  She is a super cutie and has been doing nothing to quell my baby rabies!  I generally figure, those who can, do; those who can’t, KNIT!  There are a bunch of awesome baby patterns I want to start on, but first I have to finish this sucker or I will never respect myself.  Fortunately, when I picked it up again last week I somehow gained miraculous skills of knitting speedy garter stitch, and in no time had finished what turns out to be the last black stripe (since I’m not buying any more yarn for this ridiculous thing, no sir!).  I figure I have about 3 more rows’ worth of black and, um, about 1.5 more stripes of blue?  Something like that.  But I’m going to call it done after this last stripe (which I’m about halfway through!), which makes one more stripe than the small size as written.  But between knitting it double (so, looser) and using larger needles (I’m using FOUR circs, so I went with what I owned 2 of already and picked up a couple more from the $1 store), I think it’s pretty close in size to the large version.  This blanket is epic.  I now have mad respect for anyone who manages to knit full size blankets for an actual bed!

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(The colour is pretty true in the above picture, although in person the blue has a bit more of a purple-ish cast.  In the below photo, you can really tell that I drag the darn thing all over my infrequently-vacuumed, cat-infested house…I am really looking forward to finishing it so I can throw it in the wash!)

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Finally, I’ve been plugging away at my Bintje Socks!  They look awesome and feel great (I know because I have worn the first one, if only for long enough to snap a blurry webcam photo) and I’m pretty much exactly 1/3 of the way done sock #2.  I’m totally in love with the yarn, too, although it’s a bit splitty.  The colours are delightful and it’s wonderfully smooth.  Sometimes I wish I’d chosen a more solid pattern to showcase it, though.  Oh well…I am still learning that my love of variegated yarn and my love of lace don’t always work well together in the same garment!

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All I can say is, I hope my next post is a roundup of FOs!  I’m hungry for some completion!

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UFO sightings

In December, I was super focused on finishing my deadline knitting.  I think the only relaxation knitting I let myself work on was dishcloths, and even those were for a gift.  So as soon as Christmas was past, I had kind of a project explosion, as you can see here:
new year UFOs

Clockwise from the top left, they are an Ivy cardigan in some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool I got on super sale (more than 50% off!  Hope I have enough…), of which the back is finished just past the start of the armholes; my (first?) contribution to the LSG4BabbyWIP charity project (more on that later), a seed stitch cap; a MochiMochi Grouchy Armchair for my dolls to sit on; and my second-time-through Strange Bird shawl in the delectable hand-dyed yarn I impulse bought during a “Cyber Monday” sale in November, largely because it’s called Princess Jasmine, whose colour scheme I dig way more than any other Disney heroine.  Missing from the picture is, of course, my epic baby blanket, which has been hibernating for a few weeks due to running out of yarn, but which I’m about ready to start plugging away at again.

I’m not naturally inclined to finish things.  G is very complimentary about the number of projects I get to the end of, but sadly there are a lot of things that will get 10, 20, 50% finished and then languish in a drawer or basket for weeks or months before I can revive my enthusiasm for them.  I try to keep a lid on that kind of behaviour by aiming to have no more than about 4 projects on the go at one time (1-2 each of stay-at-home and travel-ready), but every now and then I just want to start things all day long!  You should have seen me yesterday, browsing patterns, checking out my stash for possible yarns, on the verge of running to print a pattern about five times – when I could have been using that time to finish binding off the shawl in the picture…!  Sigh…

One of the things that’s really inspiring me right now is the LSG 11 in 11 challenge.  LSG is a group I belong to on Ravelry, and there are two craft-alongs going on right now (that I’m part of), and watching other people’s progress is super exciting.  The 11 in 11 challenge is exactly what it sounds like: finish 11 projects this year.  For me, that’s going to be no sweat: since I joined Ravelry and started keeping records of most of my knitting & crochet (in October 2008), I’ve posted almost 70 projects.  There are more.  I’ll be shocked if I don’t knit 11 things.  So I decided to narrow my focus a little.  Our friends J&A are expecting their first child this spring, and kids are near enough in our future too that I want to start laying by more things in my hope chest, so I decided to count 11 baby- or maternity-related projects this year.  The baby blanket is, of course, on my list (I’m using the challenge as the kick in the pants I need to make sure it’s finished this year!), as is the baby cap in the photo.  The hat, however, is neither for my friends (already made 2 for them…) nor for me (I have designs on the remainder of the Princess Jasmine).  It’s for LSG’s second craft-along, the charity initiative in honour of the child some are calling “BabyWIP.”  The two masterminds behind the whole Ravelry community are expecting their first child, and a number of groups on Rav have thought that it would be great to donate to charity to celebrate.  BabyWIP is bound to have as much knitwear for him- or herself as any baby could want, so we thought we’d pass our good feelings on to some babies who might not have dozens of loving knitters and crocheters around them.  I’m not sure if we’ve settled on a particular charity to donate to yet, but I figured I had the yarn handy and I might as well get started – knitwear doesn’t go bad, after all.

Of course, for all the 11 in 11 challenge has been inspiring me, it has honestly been inspiring me more to start than to finish – the hat’s no more than 2/3 finished and my blanket still has around 100 rows to go, but last night I was researching colour schemes for a toy I want to give my friends and trying to figure out if I have enough of the funky cotton-nylon yarn I bought ages ago to make more than one Presto Chango…I don’t really need to finish anything, do I?

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On The Needles

It’s all tiny needles all the time here right now. Well, it’s either dolly knitting, or I work on my Op Art blanket
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It’s awesome and so squishy (I’m double-knitting it: you are looking at the front, and the back is solid blue) but it’s already pretty heavy and if I work on it too long my hands hurt. I’m trying to get at least 2 rows done every week…at that rate, I will be done in a mere nine months or so…okay, so maybe I should step that up to 3-4 rows a week. But the whole point of starting on a baby blanket before I’m even trying to get knocked up is that no matter how slow it goes the thing is bound to be ready by the time it’s needed. Look for FO pictures by, say, March of next year…

But the thing about the blanket, even more than that it’s heavy and tiring, is that there’s just no way I could cart it along on the bus. Hence my tiny needles.
I recently picked up a project that’s been languishing for some time: the silk stockings (with lace insert) that I foolishly thought I might be able to design & knit up for the Ravelympics. Ha! Ha! I was planning to publish this pattern, but knowing how reluctant I am to knit the second sock I’m not sure how much interest there would be…and as I look at my mis-placed heel gusset and the fit issues around the ankle I am starting to think that I have much to learn about sock construction before I’m ready to share a pattern. It feels pretty cool, though, looking at all those tiny stitches that I made.

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The Summer Tank Project is chugging along too. I finished my prototype for regular mini size and am working on one for slim minis, specifically MiniFée girl. Here’s a sneak peek at each of them–the first is finished, but not yet blocked. I’m waiting until I have 3 or 4 at least, so I don’t feel so weird getting my 2-foot square blocking mat set up somewhere just so I can block 4 square inches of fabric.

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I have the next 2 tanks planned out already. Maybe 3, as I’m thinking of doing a muscle shirt for MNF boy in dark grey. There aren’t enough hours in a day…!

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