Taking Stock

So I’ve been poking around my project basket lately, and realized that I really needed to take stock of what was/wasn’t in it. And what I should really be trying to finish up.

The first two projects aren’t so much in my basket as they are adjacent to it. I’ve been working on the cross-stitch snowman forever, but it’s down to some backstich (mostly on the tree) and French knots. The Santa with a cat is a newer project, but I’ve had the kit as long as I’ve had the snowman kit. So it’s time to be done! Although I cross-stiched quite a bit this winter, I stopped to save them for when it’s too hot to knit. Which might include today–not that it’s so terribly hot, but it IS very humid.

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In the category, “isn’t this done already?,” there’s my Aeolian. Which is done. Exept for blocking. I’ve been on a roll of washing and blocking shawls lately, and I think I have enough room to block this if I double it, so there shouldn’t be any reason I can’t be completely finished with it by the times it’s cool enough to wear it.

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The sweater, Ondulé, whose seaming I’m avoiding. (And I need buttons. I’ve looked locally, but haven’t found anything yet.) There’s another sweater pattern I’d like to knit–and I even have the perfect yarn–but I think perhaps I should actually finish this first. Ahem. I just need to plan to sit down and do this some Saturday.

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So…I was almost finished with my Les Abeilles back in November. I was slightly concerned I might not have enough yarn, as I don’t have as much as the pattern calls for, but I made it to the last row with plenty yardage to spare. Too much! I could tell, just spreading it out a bit that it was going to be as small as the smallest pattern size, even though I knit the middle. Shoulda checked the gauge. Oops!

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So it looks like this now, after I ripped and restarted. I’m through the first chart. I’ll still have the yardage concern, so I’m going to add a lifeline in before I start the next section–if I run out, I’ll change the decrease rate in the gartar stitch portion. I’m not worried about finishing, as this has been my go-to project when I’ve been looking for something that doesn’t require any thinking lately.

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Then there’s this: my Girasole, finished several years back–and hurt. I don’t know what happened; likely I snagged it on something and tore the fragile cashmere. I have plenty of yarn so I can repair it, but it will take some thought to work out. So I’ve been avoiding it. For over a year. So, again, something to just plan to do some weekend. Before I want to wear it again next fall!

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Finally, something new! This is another Monkey Bread hat, this time for my mom. I think I need to restart, as the brim seems too tight. (Not sure if it’s just the cast on, or if I should go up a needle size as well. Regardless, I really want to get it finished for my mom by next winter. There’s no reason I can’t as long as I stick with it.

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But otherwise – nothing new! No new lace, and I’d like to have another project on the needles. I don’t know what yet–but I think perhaps that’s okay as I really should finish off some of these first. After all, I don’t have any good excuses not to!

Ondulé, Approaching the Finish

I left the details of Ondulé out of my last post, deciding I wanted to spend a little more time with it than just a drive-by. Because you see, as slowly as I’ve been working on it, of course things couldn’t go quite as planned. I’ve been knitting Ondulé seemingly forever, first starting in January 2010. Gauge changed, so I restarted in July 2012 as my knitting for the London Olympics (why I thought a wool sweater in July heat was a good idea…?). It went pretty well, and I was probably about half done after the two weeks were over. But then it sort of languished for a while before I finally picked it up again in 2013. And dragged it out. Forever.

If I recall correctly, I finally finished the last sleeve right before Thanksgiving, last November. All the pieces were done, now I could just procrastinate on the seaming. Sometime in December it occurred to me to block the pieces first (forgetting that the neckband was still to be knit, but that’s a minor detail), so I soaked and laid them out. What a difference that made–I couldn’t believe how much nicer the fabric was! But that’s when I realized something.

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Yep. I knit the shoulders on the fronts both sloping to the right. Oops! Fortunately, this was only about six rows of work. In theory, it should have taken me more time to work out which shoulder was wrong than to do the actual knitting, but somewhere in the process of fixing the shoulder, I managed to unlearn how to count to seven. Three tries later, I have two correct shoulders.

I don’t have updated pictures (bad blogger!), but in between repeats on my newest knitting project, I’ve actually seamed the shoulders together and finished the neckband. Amazingly, it only took my 1.3 tries to pick up the correct amount of stitches going around (two tries for the first front side), and I had the knitting part finished off fairly quickly. Now I’m back to a sweater waiting for seams… Any guesses how many more months before I get to that part?!

Progress!

I thought I’d add an update while I’m still in the midst of just getting started excitement. Of course, if I keep up the pace, I’m hopeful I might actually finish the sweater in two weeks–but I’ve tried this before, so I’m not going to hold my breath!

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I started with the left front of the sweater (Pattern: Ondulé) and am almost finished with the increases after decreasing for the waist. I’d like to finish the front tonight, which would put me in good shape for my goal. It’s looking like I’m not going to be too busy this week either, so I might even have some extra time to knit.
Who knows? Maybe this will be the year I actually make my goal!

Competition Time

I love watching the Olympics–Summer or Winter–and have for as long as I can remember. So it was a given that I would watch this summer. Less certain was whether or not I would challenge myself with a specific knitting project. Perhaps this wasn’t the year. But after finishing my two long-term projects and becoming re-energized to knit, I’ve decided to challenge myself yet again.

Now, I’ve never actually met any of my knitting goals during past Olympics. But why should I let that stop me now? I’ve decided to resurrect a project I started not long before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics but which has long languished. So long in fact, that my knitting tension changed on me, so I’m starting from scratch. I’ve already frogged and the yarn and needles are now patiently waiting tonight’s Opening Ceremonies.

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With any luck I’ll have a finished sweater in about two weeks. Or even finished pieces would be great!

I am also participating in this year’s edition of the Ravellenic Games, Team Briar Rose. Seems appropriate since my yarn is Briar Rose Legend, a lovely 100% merino sport-weight yarn.