Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP-it Wednesday (April 20th 2011)

Here is my WIP Wednesday posting for April 20th 2011.

I didn't make too much progress on several projects but I did make some significant progress on my G is for Grasshopper Twists Socks.

Last Week

This week

I managed a little bit on my Around the World Quiltghan and hope to have more significant progress to show next Wednesday!

My two scarves have not been worked on this past week - but this is mostly because I was out of town for several days and did not take them all along to work on - only the socks came with me (which explains the progress)

To see more like this please visit tami's amis

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Too many WIPs for me!!

I have been contemplating my WIP list and am slowly realizing that I can't keep up with so many projects.  Something always gets neglected.  I think I really need to pare down this list so that I don't feel overwhelmed by it and so that projects don't sit around patiently waiting for me to remember that they exist.

Here is a list of what I have on the needles and on the hook and where they are at:

1) 12 Days of Christmas - Day 4 - this project involves making one square each month so it is not as daunting as some others - although I have yet to cast on my April square. This entire afghan will be completed by December.

2) BAMCAL 12 inch square - this is a monthly square so again it is not too daunting. This entire afghan will be completed by December.

3) BAMCAL 12 inch filler square - this is a monthly square so again it is not too daunting. This entire afghan will be completed by December.

4) BAMCAL 6 inch square (four of them) - this is a monthly square so again it is not too daunting. This entire afghan will be completed by December.

5) G socks (ready to turn the heel on sock number two)

6) Mindless afghan - this is a long term project that I do not anticipate finishing for a couple years.  I am making it with scraps of yarn from my socks (and other fingering weight scraps).  I have not done much on this in the past few months. I really do need to make an effort to work on this a few hours every couple weeks.

7) Raspberry Dreams Stole - I have been working on this since last fall. I brought it out the other day and did some on it but I found my stitch count was off.  I honestly think I will frog this as it has given me nothing but grief since I began it.  I don't need to work on something I do not enjoy. I have plenty more to work on instead!

8) Around the World Quiltghan - this is a commissioned project that must be done by the beginning of August 2011.  I need to keep it in a regular rotation so that I make sure it is done on time.

9) Pet snuggles - this is something that I am working on off and on.  It is simply a way to use up a lot of my acrylic that has no other purpose.  There is no pressure or stress in making these when I want something totally mindless and easy to do.  That being said, I have not done anything with these for several weeks now...

10) LTK (working on LTK 53 right now) - this is a project that I have been working on since January 2009.  It truly is about time I get this done.  But as other projects that catch my eye come along, it gets put aside (again).

11) Sojourn Falls Scarf - this is project I started last week - note there are ten other projects ahead of it on the list...

12) Spring Leaves Scarf - again this is a project that I started last week and again I should have held off and finished something else first...

13) I am also in the process of keeping up with the 26 pair of socks in 2011 challenge.  This involves starting a new pair of socks over two week intervals over the year. I am set to cast on another pair last week (I am behind...)

Plus this is the busiest time of the academic year for me.  I probably don't have time to be doing all these projects...  Oh well, May will be here soon and then I will have some more breathing room!  Once May rolls around I plan to map out just what I need to do on all these WIPs so that I can get them under control.  Or at least that is my plan.  If anyone is still reading this novel - what are your suggestions??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP-it Wednesday (April 13th 2011)

Here is my WIPW posting for April 13th 2011. To see more like this please visit tami's amis

I have made a fair bit of progress on my Around the World.

Progress as of last Wednesday
Progress as of this morning

I have also started two new lace projects.  I need to add more to my WIP list like I need a hole in the head...

Here is my Sojourn Falls:

This is my first ever project using beads and I must say it has been a challenge!  Now that I have the hang of it I am moving along nicely.

The color is actually lilac not pink...  Another thing I need to practice and work on is better picture taking skills :)

And here is my Spring Leaves:

This is being made in a worsted weight so I made it narrower than the pattern.  I also suspect I may not have to do so many repeats to get it to a decent length.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New projects

So I have started a couple new projects (as if I need more WIPs!)

First up is Sojourn Falls - a pretty scarf with beads.  I am using Knit Picks Palette in the color Lilac and found two vials of beads at Joann's.  Now this is my first attempt at using beads with my knitting and I must admit it has been quite a learning curve for me!!  First I tried a small crochet hook - size 11.  I struggled using this...  I found out later (after other tries) that this hook was a bit too big - the bead fit on the shaft but once the yarn was there it wasn't working well.  The I tried using regular dental floss but after a few tries the ends got quite frayed and that wasn't working...  Next I tried some heavy sewing thread - this was a PITA to thread the beads onto... Then I tried one of those threaders for dental bridges (the ones that look like a darning needle with a huge eye) with some thread attached to it - this was just plain awkward to use... Then the dimmer switch on my internal light bulb came on - Why not try a smaller crochet hook??!  Low and behold that was the answer!!  Now I am getting the hang of this adding beads thing!  I'll post a progress picture on Wednesday as part of my WIP-it report.

The second new project I have started is Spring Leaves.  This one I have decided to do in a worsted weight yarn and a larger needle (6mm).  Maybe it won't take too long to finish!  I am doing it a bit narrow (2-3-2) and I imagine it won't take too many repeats to get it long enough.  This will be my first try using a provisional cast on so I will be very afraid once I get to the point where I need to get going on the second half and pull out the provisional cast on!  Maybe I should try a small swatch to see how this works before committing to half a scarf being complete! Here is the yarn I am using for this one:

It is so nice and soft to work with! Such a dream!  I have four skeins of this so I will be able to make some other projects with it too :)  It took me a little while to figure out the pattern and how to read the chart, but now that I have it figured out all is moving along nicely!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WIP-it Wednesday (April 6th 2011)

Here is my WIPW posting for April 6th 2011. To see more like this please visit tami's amis

This is my first post for the Around the World crochet quilt I am making for a friend of our family (actually a commissioned project to make for a friend to give his wife for her birthday) and it needs to be done before the beginning of August.

Here is the before picture (all the yarn to go into the queen size afghan):
And here is where I am at today:

Maybe I should have put this on a quieter background, but I was too lazy to take the afghans off the bed...  The box has a bunch of little squares (saltines since they look like little saltine crackers) made and ready to sew onto the blanket.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WIP-it down

I need to work on a system of sorts to try to get to all my WIPs so that they all get to completion.  I find that I often have several WIPs that get put aside and collect dust once a new WIP catches my attention.  I suspect I have crafting ADD!!  So what I plan to do on a semi-regular basis is make sure everything gets a chance to be worked on.  First I will list all my WIPs and assign a number to each of them.  Then I will go to and select a number between 1 and 11 - this number is the project I will have to work on.  I will roll the numbers again selecting a number between 1 and 60 to select how many minutes I will work on the selected project.

For April this is what I will tackle first.  I  will add more to the list as I knock some off the list!
1) 12 Days of Christmas - Day 4
2) BAMCAL 12 inch square
3) BAMCAL 12 inch filler square
4) BAMCAL 6 inch square (four of them)
5) G socks (part way done sock number one)
6) Mindless afghan
7) Raspberry Dreams Stole
8) Around the World Quiltghan
9) Pet snuggles
10) LTK (working on LTK 53 right now)
11) Sojourn Falls Scarf

I ran this today and drew 52 minutes to work on the 6 inch BAMCAL squares, then 36 minutes on the Raspberry Stole (see this works as I have not worked on this for ages!), and then 17 minutes on the BAMCAL 12 inch square.  This will be my schedule of crafting for when I get home from work today!

ORT Collection

I am ready to try something a bit different (for me at least).  I saw a link to an idea for cross-stitching and thought I would adapt it for myself to use for knitting and crocheting.  I found a cute glass jar at Goodwill and I plan to add all my scraps of yarn - my ORTs - Old Ratty Tails (the original idea is Old Ratty Threads) to the container.  I will take a picture on the first of each month and will post my progress.  Here is my empty vase/bowl thing that I am using:

I have already added quite a few tails and hope to be able to show some decent progress by May 1st! And what do I plan to do with this when the jar is full?? Who knows! Leave it outside for birds and squirrels to haul pieces away for their nests and homes? What should I do with all the scraps once the jar is full??

Monday, April 4, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Recap & Thoughts

I just finished participating in the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week and I must say I enjoyed it tremendously!  I kept up all week posting, although I did some of the writing a bit in advance and then updated the draft post before publishing.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading other posts as well and I still have many left to read!  I got a lot of great ideas for new things to post about in the future and have thought of new ways to incorporate different things into my blog.  It was a very rewarding experience participating in this past week's adventure! Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks especially to Eskimimi for organizing this!!

Now to plan my next project: Sojourn Falls Scarf  This will allow me to try a new technique - adding beads to my knitting.  This is something I have admired in other projects I have seen and it is about time I try it myself!  I plan to use some Knit Picks Palette yarn in the color Lilac:
And I bought some beads at Joann's yesterday.  They are a pretty purpley color with a pinkish-purple inside.  I think they will look very nice! Here they are:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 7

My knitting and crochet time.   2KCBWDAY7

The short answer to this question is that I knit and crochet whenever and wherever I can :)  But to be more honest I do knit and crochet different things at different places and at different times.  
If I am working on a new or complicated pattern I need to work in silence with no distractions so that I can concentrate.  I also need to be relatively alert so later evening is not my optimal time for this - morning is much preferred.  I am also happy to knit or crochet while watching TV or a movie, but it needs to be a pattern that requires less concentration.  I frequently watch TV episodes I have missed online, so I usually have the earphones on and my crafting in front of me to work on.  I also love to knit or crochet to pass the time while traveling, although for this I will take along a small project that does not take up much space and that has an easy pattern to follow (or no pattern) since keeping track of what row I am on can get tricky on a bus or train or in the car.  I also am content to knit or crochet with others - a friend or a group of ladies who also like to craft.  For this I also need to have somethings that does not require intense thinking or concentration.  If the pattern is not too complex I can talk and knit at the same time (usually).
I usually have a cup or tea or a jug of water with me while crafting.  If I want a snack I will do that elsewhere and wash up before I pickup my yarn again. I don't like to mix crumbs and yarn!

Here is a project put down for a moment while we were traveling somewhere last summer:

And another one at a place on the coast where we were camping with a friend..  This picture is of my friend but I was sitting in the same type of lawnchair with the same view.  We sat out there (she reading, me crocheting) all day watching the tide coming in and going out (and chatting).
I have a trip coming up this month where I plan to take along a pair of stockinette stitch socks to work on - I have four hours on the bus followed by three hours on a train (each way) so that will give me plenty of time to knit to my hearts content - thank goodness I am not subject to motion sickness! I think I may just tackle my first pair of two at a time on two circulars on this trip - with some fun self-striping yarn :)

I also knit during meetings and that kind of thing - it's a shame in my opinion to not multitask in this way :)  I do however ask permission of the person in charge before I do this! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 6

Something I aspire to...   2KCBWDAY6

This was the inspiration for me to learn to knit lace:

(Borrowed picture - not mine)

I have since learned to knit lace but I have not yet made this beauty!  I really do need to rectify that and make this up for myself one day (soon!!!)

I also want to learn to do stranded colorwork and make mittens (at the same time).  My goal is to learn to make something like this:
(Borrowed picture - not mine)

I have this pattern already and my goal is to make two pair of these for Christmas this year coming up (one for my sister and one for my niece).

I used to be afraid of trying something that I thought would be too difficult for me to make.  Now that I am gaining more experience I am willing to grab the yarn, needles, pattern, and start!  I have found many wonderful resources online that have helped me to make sense of patterns and have taught me just how to do a certain technique.  I am learning not to shy away from things now just because they look difficult.

A good example of this has been knitting socks.  I found a great tutorial that walked me through making my very first pair of socks and they were actually much easier than I ever imagined they would be to make!!  Now I am happy to tackle a pattern and see where I get to!  The worst that can happen is that some frogging will be involved...

Friday, April 1, 2011

2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week - Day 5

And now for something completely different   2KCBWDAY5 (click each picture for a larger view)