Friday, April 23, 2010

Three Finished Objects: From good to not-so-good

Well, my plan worked. I've been focusing on my WIPs and knitting and knitting and I was able to cross three projects off of my list.

The one I like the best is the Selbu Modern Hat. I guess 1,237 Ravelers can't be wrong! The pattern was clearly written, short, and easy to follow. And, best of all, it resulted in a very pretty hat...just in time for spring the winter wear closet.

And the inside of the hat is almost as pretty as the outside.

My next project did not turn out as well. The backstory is that I've been reading Alice Starmore's book about Fair Isle knitting to increase my knowledge and gain some inspiration. She writes about how she uses the things she sees around her to provide a jumping off point for her beautiful designs. Based on this idea, I took a napkin holder from Mexico (of all things) and used it to create a pattern.

My execution of this design was less than pleasing to me. The flowers look like fiery blue suns and the V-shapes look like elongated blue hearts. Hmmm.

So, I filled in with a tried and true Dale of Norway rose pattern. After I had made about 1/3 of this I decided to turn it into a cosmetics bag based on the one found on page 90 of Holiday Knits by Sara Lucas and Allison Isaacs.

I especially like that it is fully lined.

One of my sisters has a fetish-like obsession for cosmetics bags. She must have hundreds of them ...which has never stopped her from obtaining more. So, I thought it would make the perfect Mother's Day present after I fill it up with little heart-shaped soaps and a packet of lavender bath beads.

Finally, my last project is a completely original design for which the new slang word "meh" is a perfect description of my feelings for it. I don't think it's going to ever get a mate, but it did send me back to the drawing board with a better idea...

... to be blogged about at a later date.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April is "Working on WiPs" Month

I have far too many works in progress (WiPs). Before Ravelry I never worked on more than one knitting project at a time. I didn't have a stash of yarn either. For most of my life my approach to knitting was to become inspired to knit a particular project, buy the necessary pattern and yarn for the project. Knit the project until it was complete. If I lost momentum, I simply laid the project aside and came back to it whenever the spirit moved me. When the project was done I would come up with a way to use up any extra yarn I might have had leftover. This usually meant knitting a coordinating scarf. And it might have been months or even years before I became inspired to knit something else and then the process would repeat itself in much the same way.

The Internet, Ravelry, and knitting blogs have changed all that. I wander in and out of Ravelry on a regular basis and feel like a kid in a candy store. The yarn! The patterns! The finished objects (FOs)! The knitting books! They all call out to me and it's hard to resist their siren's call. I have now reached SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy), have shelves of knitting books, and worst of all, far too many WiPs. In fact, the number of WiPs is making me feel stressed out and uncomfortable. It's just not my style to have all of these projects hanging about and it's making it hard for me to concentrate on any one project. So, I've declared April the month for winnowing them down. Don't get me wrong, I will never finish them all by April 30th, I would simply like to cross several off of the list. So, without further ado here they are:

1. My version of the ever-popular Selbu Modern hat. I think I stand a chance of finishing this soon.

2. My version of a cosmetics bag adapted from the one in Knitted Gifts. (It's not a Poetry in Stitches project, I'm just using the handy bag Hifa yarn used to send out with their kits inside.)

3. A Dale of Norway sweater, Narvik, that I'm making for my beloved brother. Can I just say that he's a very big guy (6'4") and the 19 inches of lice requires a fair bit of patience?

4. A baby blanket for no particular baby. I was swept away by the colors of the Cascade Superwash yarns that are now available and I thought they'd be pretty in a baby blanket. So far I have about 1/3 of a blanket.

5. My "Chanel" socks. They actually have nothing to do with Chanel the designer other than the fact that I was reading her biography when I started them and I'm using the colors black and white. (The gorgeous blanket under my leg was knit by my wonderful grandmother on the occasion of my marriage.)

And that's about half of the list. You can see how far I've strayed from the days of old when I was a monogamous knitter. Now I'm playing the field with whatever project catches my eye. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just different for me and a little bit overwhelming. So, I'm going to see if I can whip these WiPs into shape...or rather into completion.

Happy Knitting!