Thursday, September 16, 2010

Old Projects / New Projects

Even though I'm pretty good with dates, I still often have deadlines sneak up on me. And, not surprisingly, it's worse when I'm really busy like I have been lately with work. So the other day I was startled by the thought that when my mom comes to visit in a few weeks, I should have all my Christmas knitting ready to go back with her in case I don't make it home for Christmas.

So that go me to thinking, What do I have to finish for Christmas?

The first and probably most time consuming has already been finished! (And no, I'm not telling here what it is...she's probably reading.) But I do have to wrap it yet so it still gets added to the "to do" list.

The second is these hat heel socks:
I've been working on them since the middle of July. They've been my "car knitting" lately as they were easy to pick up and I knew the pattern. But I haven't had any car knitting lately. So they were languishing. When this deadline occurred to me, I started to focus on them and then they went like gangbusters!

I think I finished the second foot over an evening at small group. And then it sat in my car for a while because I had to weigh what was left to know how much I could use for the leg. When I finally dragged it all inside and got it together with the scale, I measured 25 grams left. Ok. I would knit the leg until 13 grams were left. Which I did. (I think in one evening again; these socks really are fast.)

Then I started the leg of the second foot, while not cutting the yarn. (I'm not pessimistic, I'm just cautious. And experienced.) And sure enough, the second foot was about four rows shorter! So I undid two rows of the first sock (while congratulating myself on not cutting the yarn), knit two more on the second sock. Then still ran out of yarn and had to undo one more row on each sock. Then they were even and done.

Now you know why they are attached like children's mittens in the photo. I just have to work in all the ends and these puppies will be done.

As I was considering the WIPs that I had and which had to be finished by this deadline, I remembered my blue lace scarf:
I started this scarf just because it was a nice pattern and I had the lovely blue Malabrigo lace wool. It's the perfect blue for my mother and that was always the idea in the back of my head. But she's not really a lace person (although she can certainly appreciate the work) and she didn't go crazy over it when I showed it to her. (I hope you're not too disappointed reading this, Mom!)

And then I thought of my grade school sewing teacher. I think I'll send it home with mom to give to her just as a thank you. I know she'll appreciate the work and I can't imagine the colour not really being to her taste.

I haven't worked on the scarf very steadily but I have managed to make progress. It goes a lot faster now that I've found my way in the pattern. I wrapped it around my neck tonight and I think it's just about long enough to hang around your neck and fill in the "crack" of your coat collar and that empty V above your buttons.

I looked at the pattern and it instructs you to make the scarf 68" long. That seems crazy long. I have about 35" right now:
and I think that's just about enough. I'll finish with the border soon and then block it. That will make it look a lot better, I assure you.

This lace weight wool is really lovely. (I know, I say that about a lot of wool!) It's very soft and as plush as string that thin can be.

While I love finishing projects, it usually frees me to think about starting other projects...

I follow a group on Ravelry called Obscuriousity. The group's goal is to promote great but obscure patterns. Their definition of obscure is fewer than 50 projects on Ravelry, older than 6 months and readily available. It's been a fun way to check out patterns that don't have a large "band wagon" to jump onto. (You know I'm really not into trends, right. Sometimes to my own detriment, but there you have it.)

I'm technically a member, but since I've only been lurking so far it's more "following" than "participating." Until now. Each round (usually 2-3 months) they run a sophisticated nomination process and I have occasionally voted my admiration of a pattern, but never a commitment to make it.

Well, this round, they just may have gotten me! I really like this sweater:
from Drops Design. I really like the style. Simple but not  boring. Feminine but not too girly or fussy.

And I voted for it. Not a vote for "I like this" but a vote for "if this wins, I will make this." (Not that they have police for this or anything.)

The second and final round of voting ended today and it looks like this pattern won. Now I feel obligated!! With a 2-3 month time frame I still have time to decide. (And the group actually does not enforce end dates at all. It's a very "whatever you like" sort of group.) I don't really need another project, but I don't have a KAL going currently and would enjoy the company. And I could time it so that I could make it for NaKniSweMo in November.

I'm thinking of going with the called-for yarn instead of finding a substitute at Red Purl (still deciding though). One advantage of this yarn is all the colours available. Check them out here (scroll down just a bit) and let me know if you think any of them especially suit me. (Nothing too dark, please.) Aren't all those delightful options just intoxicating?! I love options.

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