It’s been a long time since I’ve written much about what I’ve been knitting — more than three months, if the category list is correct. I’ve been stalling for a couple of reasons — partly because it’s no good to write about knitting without including pictures, but it’s taken me forever to get mine off the camera and cleaned up for posting, and partly because a couple of projects I wrote about fairly extensively over the summer haven’t gone exactly (or even slightly) as planned.
Before I get to the lovely, fun stuff that I’ve finished over the past couple of months, I’ll confess to the borderline failures. First is my “single sock spring/summer” plan. As the photo above shows, this has netted me a large bowl of mate-less footwear. It’s pretty to look at, but is lacking a little in the practicality area. I do intend to knit all the second socks — in fact, I have one on the needles now — but as far as my goal to have a drawerful of beautiful handknit socks by the time it got cold is concerned — total failure.
The other project that’s gone off the rails is the skirt I was making as my summer Olympics knit-a-long project. It is, essentially, on a time out, as I need to rip it back to the first row of increases. I noticed fairly early on that I didn’t like the way they looked (big and holey) but I spent a lot of time rationalizing that they weren’t all that bad. What I should have done immediately — and did, eventually do — was stop knitting and ask sprite what I was doing wrong and how to make it better. Once I did this, and saw how easy it was, I knew what had to happen. My perfectionist streak was not going to allow the inferior increases to remain. This doesn’t sound too bad until I say that fixing this problem will require ripping out about 10 inches — taking the skirt back nearly to the waistband. Not surprisingly, I’m still working up the strength to undo all that work. It might make me cry.
Happily, my entire fall’s knitting was not marred by laziness and disaster. I made my first set of baby socks for Joanne’s son in September, and have to say that, in doing so, I stumbled upon the best way ever to bond with flight attendants. I worked on the socks on the plane to Colorado, and every flight attendant was fascinated — I probably could have gotten a bunch of free drinks or something, had I been thinking. They were absolutely entranced. It really was the tiny socks that did it though — once I moved on to the hat, the magic was gone. It came out a bit too big for his newborn head, but he’s growing into it nicely, whereas the socks no longer fit him at all.
In October, I took a free class in Fair Isle knitting at Stitch DC, my local yarn store. Fair Isle is when you use two different yarns at the same time to make a design, and it was baffling to me. (Yarn in both hands? Wah?) It turned out that managing it was less difficult than I had expected, but it’s still pretty awkward. I managed to learn enough to make a cute felted purse, which is, sadly, much too small for me to use. I think it will have a life as a Christmas gift, perhaps for one of my nieces, as I can’t imagine anyone other than a child/preteen having so little stuff to carry around.
Despite my shortage of socks, I have managed to make a few things to help with the winter chill, which is now very much here. I’ve been using the alpaca yarn sampler I picked up in Albany in September to make fingerless gloves for me and one of my officemates. Our office has only two temperatures — very hot and extremely cold — so there are days when we’re almost too chilled to type. (Seriously; sometimes it’s even cold enough that the guys in the office complain too.) Fingerless gloves are ideal, since they’re warm but still allow for work. I’ve finished Alison’s pair and have cast on for mine, though I have only a row or two done at this point. Both are based on this pattern, but the first are not actually in the pattern stitch — they’re just regular K3P1 ribbing. I think I am going to do the second pair as written, though.
Also on the keeping-me-warm front, I made a super-cute ear-flap hat during the week I was off at Thanksgiving. I used the yarn and pattern I got when I went with sprite and other folks from our knitting group out to Solitude Farm in Loudon County. I need to put a lining in it, because it’s super-itchy on my forehead, but otherwise I completely love it.
And that, I think, is it. I think I need to make an effort to do project updates a little more often — it’s taken me three days, six photos, and 800+ words to get this post together. Perhaps if I did this more regularly, it wouldn’t be such a daunting task.
Now… back to the socks. Clearly, they’re not going to knit themselves.