Monogamous Knitting…. of sorts….

It is no secret that I have a serious case of unfaithfulness when it comes to knitting.

I cast on projects willy-nilly regardless of how many things are currently on the needles.

And, sometimes, I don’t finish things… um… ever.

I do feel bad about this from time to time. I get bursts of “finishitis” in which I resolve to finish something (or a few somethings) before I start something new. Often these bursts result in a few things finished and a few things frogged and are followed by rebound startitis (which is even worse than regular startitis). Rebound startitis finds me with more projects going than I have needles for (whew! I have a lot of needles, too!) and once I even bought more needles to satisfy the desire to cast on yet another must-knit-now project.

I felt the finishitis coming on right after I got all that lovely new yarn in the mail. How could I cast on something new when I had so many projects in the works? I did finish some things before the yarn got here – I got the Princess Sweater done after all, and the remainder of my hired knitting was completed in time. But, the socks are still where they were three months ago, Celandine hasn’t even been looked at for a good year (!), I’ve got a lace shawl going, and Smitten (which will be done before Christmas even if it kills me with it’s boringness! Why, oh, why did I think that I would enjoy knitting 25 of the exact same things?!?!).

Time for a compromise, time to turn over a new leaf. Here is my knitting basket as it looks today.

And this is my new monogamous knitting strategy. When I finish with a ball of The Boy’s Driftwood Cardigan –

then I will finish the Kindle Fire cozy for The Bookworm.

Once that is done, I will finish one sock in my Natalie Loves Me Socks

and four or eight mittens for Smitten.

Then I will do another ball of The Boy’s sweater.

Then I will re-evaluate the knitting basket and take it from there.

I realize that, strictly speaking, this is not monogamous knitting. But, if I stick to one project at a time, working toward a goal before allowing myself to move to the next project, than I think that kind of counts… right?

Maybe. Just Maybe. I can get some things finished.
(Where is the lace? you ask. Where is Celandine? One thing at a time, my Dear, one thing at a time.)

Of course, this is applies to my knitting, which I haven’t really been doing much of.

Oh, dear! I knew I shouldn’t have picked up a new hobby….

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Decisions, Decisions

The question really should be, “Should I finish something that I have on the needles or should I start a new project”.

But the answer to that is obvious.

Once that is taken care of, now I ask what project should I cast on next?

This weekend I was gifted the pattern for the Chandra Shawl (thanks again, C). I have been saving my Madelintosh Eyre for this shawl, and now that the pattern is mine and all printed up and put in a folder set alongside the three gorgeous balls of merino/silk/alpaca (can you say “luxurious”?)… well, could you resist?

I was also given a skein of Knit Picks Stroll this weekend (for a baby shower gift which is all kinds of awesome! Thanks, N!). This yarn is crying out to be made into a pair of Maeva Socks, don’t you think?

But how does one choose between them?

Oh, it is a tough decision, and the little nagging voice in my head said, “Why start something new when you have so many wonderful things on your needles already? Be a good girl and finish something first. What about that nice silk lace shawl you have been neglecting this week? That would be fun.”

To keep myself on the straight and narrow (because I try to be good, really, I do), I went to my Ravelry project page and counted my WIPs.

  • One lace shawl
  • One Christmas project (aka – no rush)
  • One silk top that should be put into hibernation because I don’t even remember when last I worked on it.
  • One crochet project (yeah, right. Like I’m really going to work on that!)
  • One super boring sampler in which I am knitting billions and billions (okay, one hundred, but it might as well be billions) of tiny squares to sew together and make something I don’t have a use or desire for.

Let’s see. That is five works in progress. Five. Five? Five!

So, I cast on the shawl and the socks, of course! 🙂

Cast On Conundrum

I need to cast on something new. I was over at Ravelry looking at my project page when I noticed something unusual. I have five WIPs – two of them are just hours away from being finished, one is probably going to get frogged and the other two are strictly “after kids go to bed and the house is quiet and I can think” knitting. Which means, technically, I don’t have any WIPs. (How do you like that math, eh?)

So, the next question is, what lucky pattern to pair with some fabulous yarn from the stash? And that is a conundrum. Here is why:

1. I should start something that will get me closer to completing one of my knitting goals. A sweater for the Year of the Sweater Project or a Christmas gift or a sweater for one of the kids (I try to make a sweater for each of them every year). But, that is too typical and boring. I want something different. (Really what I should do is laundry, but I don’t want to talk about that…)

2. I want to design something new and exciting. I have this idea swirling around in my head for longies that go all the way up, like overalls, but cuter. I have the yarn and a pretty clear vision, but I am not quite ready to start knitting, yet. Soon. Very soon. I also want to do some lace. There are several sirens calling to me. And I have yarn for that. But –

3. I have yarn coming. When new yarn gets here, old projects tend to loose their shine and I want to make something with the new yarn. I have Madelinetosh Eyre on the way. Why start something now, when I will be starting something when that gets here? I am also in a swap on Ravelry, so soon I should be getting yarn and a pattern that you know I am going to cast on as soon as I open the box. If I am not careful, I am going to end up with too many things on the needles in just a few days. (I am such a maniac, aren’t I?)

Therefore, I will be a good girl today. I will work on a current WIP until the new yarn arrives.

When that new yarn gets here, watch out! 🙂

The Attention Span of a …. Ooo, Chocolate!

So, after trying all weekend to get my wips under submission, I have come to realize something:

I lost a pregnancy and a grandparent in the last month, plus,

I have a really hard time focussing on any one project in the best of times, let alone in a difficult time (such as this), plus,

I am more than halfway done with my checklist. Therefore,

I think that I have done pretty well with this little challenge and I hereby declare myself free to cast on something new! (insert crowd cheering sound effect here)

While, I didn’t quite complete the entire challenge, I did cut down from nine wips to five and made great progress (at least one ball) on most of those five. Besides, when the stash starts sending SOS signals, you know it is time to cast on a new project! But, not before I revel for a moment in the satisfaction of finishing some of those goals.

1. Work one skein of yarn on each of the three large projects – I worked two skeins on one, one skein on the second, and didn’t even look at the third (which ended up being put into hibernation on Ravelry to make me feel better. I don’t know if it is working…).

2. Frog the junk – check. I even found and frogged two other projects that I hadn’t even counted!

3. Finish the little gifts – Oh, I have plenty of time.

4. Decide whether or not to finish Icarus frogged. See #2

5. And, finally, get Celandine to mundane mode – I did three more medalions. Not quite there, but some progress was made. Plus, I sewed together the medalions that were finished and blocked.

And now, the Malabrigo Lace (that I totally adore by the way) is destined to become a Wispy Cardigan, and by golly, that is what it will be!

Ahhhhhh. That feels better.

PS I love you

While recently looking through my stash (I was just looking, mind you! I will finish my checklist! I haven’t made any progress since I last wrote about it, but I haven’t cheated, either….yet), I came upon a crumpled love letter addressed to me. This is what it said:

Darling Shelly,

Hi. Remember me? I haven’t seen you around in awhile and so I decided to write and tell you how I miss you.

I was so excited when you chose me to come home to live in your stash. You fondled my soft, merino strands and gazed at me with such adoring eyes. You thrilled me with promises of all that I would become in your able hands. When you placed me at the top of the stash, I knew it was temporary. I sat there and reveled in your stolen glances and the way you would come pet me from time to time. I understood then that you had to finish a few things before we could be together. I was willing to be patient and I knew that you would be back for me soon.

But, I am starting to wonder if those dreams we shared were nothing more than empty infatuation. Have I done something to offend? Did you replace me with some other yarn? Do you even remember my name?

Come back to me, Knitter, dear! Come back and let us find the project that will fulfill us both. I want to glide through your fingers and experience my destiny with you. Put down all those sad wips that drag you down and bore you to tears. I can make you happy, I know I can.

Love Always

Malabrigo Lace

PS – I love you

Now, Friends, tell me truly – how can I resist any longer?

WIP Smackdown!

Okay. So, the other day, I set some serious goals for my knitting. I said that I would do these five things before I cast on a new project:

1. Finish one ball of yarn on each large work in progress (that would be the three women’s sweaters 1 2 3 );

2. Frog the things I will never, ever, ever get around to even wanting to finish (that would be the socks and the goofy toy thingy);

3. Finish the gifts that must be done by September 26 (small things, but tedious, and boring because I am over it 1 2 );

4. Decide whether or not to finish Icarus (despite my occasional desire to work on it, it is sinking fast on the to-do list).

5. And, finally, get Celandine to mundane mode (more and more medalions before it becomes stockinette on lace weight on small needles around and around and around and around…..)

I am sure that you are all holding your collective breath for this update, so here we go!

The good news: I have made some progress. Not only that, I have found that by forcing myself to focus on these projects, I have pushed past the boring bits and actually enjoyed the knitting. (I refuse to learn the lesson, here. I am not trying to change my ways, only get the WIP list shorter so that I can start more projects!) I have frogged the little frogables, knit up one ball on a women’s sweater, and am working on the second sweater. Actually, I tricked myself with this one. I had already decided to work both sleeves at the same time, which means two balls are in play, so I am doing two balls on that one. Oh, and I made a decision about Icarus. It was hard, but I think I will be happier. Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit. That is 2.5 out of 5 – hey! I am halfway. Yippee!

The bad news: I want to cheat so bad! I sit and knit on some old project while fresh skeins of wool stare at me from all sides. Knitting books line my knitting table, knitting magazines on my nightstand, and the new Knit Picks catalog came in the mail yesterday! I even caught myself moving toward the Pima Petite thinking, “It is time to cast on Chloe’s shrug. That’ll be a quick knit.” At least I caught myself in time, but that was a close one. I am hanging on by a thread, and knitting as fast as I can before I lose all control and cast on six new projects in some wild, wooly frenzy. Plus – look at all of this recaimed yarn! It is like Christmas in August! There are two laceweights in there, and you know how I am about lace these days…!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…..

Self Control

So, despite my best attempts to rationalize away my insatiable need to cast on new projects, my conscience has been getting louder and more annoying. Each time I reach for that new skien of Malabrigo to start Beka’s next sweater, I think to myself, Self, you really should work on the Vera sweater instead. And, when I spend hours looking at new patterns on Ravelry and am tempted to put some of my stash to good use on some new siren, I hear the voice again. Self, you already have something like that going. Why not work on finishing that first?

Thinking that I could prove a point to my conscience, I counted up my works in progress. Now, I usually have at least four things going, so five, six or even seven projects would have been within the limits of acceptable. I fully expected to come up with a reasonable number of unfinished items, therefore, allowing me to cast on something new.

Imagine my chagrin when I found that I have nine things going right now. Nine. I just don’t think I can rationalize that away. Especially since I didn’t even remember some of them. There are the three that are sitting by the couch (familiar and getting lots of progress), the one by my bedside (a little less well known to my tired brain – I rarely knit in bed. I don’t know why it is there), the two I kinda-sorta remember starting and then throwing them into the craft closet to clean up the house that one time (the memory is fuzzy, but I am sure that is how it went down), and the three that live somewhere deep and dark in that same closet (I only remember them because of their pictures in my Ravelry notebook). I have to admit, I am a little ashamed.

Here is the remedy (or, at least, the compromise that my conscience will have to settle with):

1. Finish one ball of yarn on each large project (that would be the three women’s sweaters 1 2 3 );

2. Frog the things I will never, ever, ever get around to even wanting to finish (that would be the socks and the goofy toy thingy);

3. Finish the gifts that must be done by September 26 (small things, but tedious, and boring because I am over it 1 2 );

4. Decide whether or not to finish Icarus (despite my occasional desire to work on it, it is sinking fast on the to-do list).

5. And, finally, get Celandine to mundane mode (more and more medalions before it becomes stockinette on lace weight on small needles around and around and around and around…..)

Then, and only then, will I allow myself to cast on something new. Something exciting. A shrug for Abby, a sweater for Chloe or (OH, OH, OH) a baby thing for my brother’s baby that is on the way. Ooooooo,  I am so excited I might explode!

But, for now, it is all about self control. Think I can do it?

Yeah, me neither….

Could you?

Top photo: Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace, Teal

Bottom photo: Malabrigo Worsted Merino, Sotobosque

Yes, That is My Daughter

I have to brag on my daughter, Beka, yet again. The child who learned to knit the other day is making wonderful progress on her scarf.

Garter stitch scarf in Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky Pink Candy (I know, cheap and nasty acrylic. What can I say? The pretty colors are all that matters to my girl. We’ll get her some good yarn for her next project… ) I have knit maybe 25% of this and she has only lost one stitch, so far. (I don’t know where it went. We cast on 12 and now there are only 11. Hmmmm)

I, on the other hand, got a terrible case of startitis and have started this

Aeolian Shawl in Madelintosh Prairie Nutmeg (I hear you saying,”You barely made any progress on that”. But if you count all the stitches I frogged before I remembered to place a lifeline, you’d see that I have accomplished quite a lot!)

and this

Swatching for a new shawl design. I call it Hug. It is a new design I am working on in Dream in Color Classy Wisterious

and this

A sweater for “Jo-jo” in Knit Picks Cadena Cranberry (Emma picked out the button).

Fortunately, I also happened to finish that last one. Doll clothes are fun to design and fast to knit!

The Knitting Doldrums (or “A Nasty Case of Startitis”)

I would post a picture of the Vera Sweater, but it would be redundant. Though I have knitted on it for rows and rows, it has refused to grow or change in any percievable way. I should have known. A beautiful sweater will be had at the end, but the Wool of the Andes starts to chafe after so much stockinette and the brain screams for something more interesting.

I would post a picture of the something interesting that I am working on, but that would ruin the surprise. You see, I am one of those crazy people who starts making Christmas gifts in February and I currently have a lovely on the needles. It may be for you. No pictures, no hints.

I would post a picture of a new project, but I have not started one yet. To combat this startitis I am experiencing, I have made a deal with myself. Finish knitting one ball of yarn on the Vera Sweater and one ball on the secret project and then I will allow myself to commission Year of the Sweater Project #4. Let’s see. Which should it be?

Labyrinth in Louisa Harding Grace?

Or

The Mondo Cable Cardigan in Dream in Color Classy?

Or

The Vine Yoke Cardigan in Malabrigo Worsted?

You know what I am leaning toward? The Impasto Shawlette from the new issue of Interweave Knits with The Unique Sheep Pima Petite (which I don’t have…yet).