NaKniSweMo Finish Line

You guys, I’m so busy that when I don’t need to be working on something important, my brain shuts off.  At that point, I need to zone out and work on something frivolous, or sleep like the dead, to wake up and do it all again.  Luckily, one of the mindless activities I was engaged in was this sweater, which was finished well before the deadline, and then forgotten about as soon as these photos were snapped for the forum.

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It’s big and cushy, and the colors are the right level of crazy for me.

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We had a week “off” of training, but I was still working as many hours as I could and doing training I don’t normally get to do.  At least following this sweater, I’ve got a good case of Finish-it-up-itis and other projects are starting to fall off the needles.

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A Much Needed Quickie

I have several projects ongoing that feel like they are taking forever.  Truthfully, it’s more likely that they are taking so long because I’m jumping between several long projects, stretching out each already time-consuming task five times.  This weekend, anticipating spending most of the weekend in the car on a not-so-fun road trip, I wound a ball of yarn and started what I hoped would be a quick knit.

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The pattern is Autumn Leaves, and was so easy and quick to knit up.  The yarn is Linsilk – a nonwool, linen and silk blend yarn that I actually enjoyed knitting with.  However, I foresee it pilling if washed too aggressively.  All that is left is to sew the sleeve seams and add 3 little buttons and it’s finished – fast enough for me to regain some knitting mojo and keep trucking through some projects I really want complete, and some that I’ve promised others I would do.

The Follow Your Arrow shawl is stalled as I was trying to decide which option of the 5th clue I was going to use, and I was a little dismayed about those choices (more to come on this).  However, I am going to finish up the Over the Rainbow one starting this weekend so I can wear it for our trip to Seattle at the end of the month.

I have also promised to knit a shawl for an indie dyer to use as display, and I have the yarn, but not the pattern.  I’m hoping this will be on the needles for the plane ride and city wandering in Seattle.

And, I have one wee little sweater to seam up for a Ravelry friend, which I’m hoping will be completed by Saturday.

In between all of that is a bag design I’ve been working on for publication, and another little bag design that I’m trying to work out as a gift.

Besides all of that, Burning Man tickets will be on sale soon, and thinking about my summer plans has caused an influx of inspiration.  I want to get all of the necessary things off the needles and out the door so I can start working on those designs.

Giving In

Startitis has been strong over the past couple weeks.  Holiday knitting is interesting, and I have been telling myself over and over that it needs to be done, it helps stash bust, and it’s better than knitting just for me.  Only two more months until the holidays are over.  However, one of those months is NaKniSweMo, which ties into my holiday knitting, but because I love a challenge is going to be challenging and thus, time consuming.  It doesn’t help that designers and publishers are having sales, I’m finding all sorts of really cool things I want to make, and inspiration is bombarding me from every angle.  There’s only so much a girl can resist!

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Last night, I worked a little bit on holiday projects (the red bowl shaped thing on the left) and then couldn’t resist casting on a Esjan, because it just looks so cozy in the photographs and it is starting to get chilly out, almost freezing even, and it uses worsted weight, which takes up a lot of room in my stash so I need to get rid of it quick, and it’s knit on fat needles and I hear it goes by quickly and…and…

The best way to get rid of temptation is to give in to it.

Hopelessly Afflicted

Startitis came on awfully strong once I finished the doctor socks.

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Things are prepped.

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They were frogged.

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Abandoned.

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And settled upon.

I don’t know when it will end.

Attention Deficit Fiberactive Disorder

Last night, I could not concentrate, and a terrible thing happened in my living room.  My project bags exploded.

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It started simple enough – I just wanted to show off the a project here and there, all in progress, and as each one emerged, I had the strongest desire to “just finish it goshdarnit!” This lovely purple sparkly would-be-scarf-now-infinitely-cowl is blocking so I can sew the ends shut and hand it over to Ellette.  But pretty soon there were half-finished afghans draping over couches, balls of yarn tumbling across coffee tables, and snipped ends scattered across the desk.

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Multiple pieces of the chess board have been started – and frogged – and abandoned because the stitches are tinier than I wanted to work with.  All of the pieces have been written out, and now it is just a matter of testing them and getting the ebook ready for release.

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And then, I remembered this commission for a black and gray scarf in my queue, and I was struck with sudden inspiration to work double-knit stripes.  I didn’t know how to double-knit.  So, throughout the night, in-between loads of laundry, I striped, and decreased, and wove in ends, and blocked, and striped and cast-on until the wee hours of the morning because I was overcome with this urge to get it all done NOW.

I suppose, I really should view this ADFD as a good omen for how 2013 will be.  Perhaps I will be churning out projects left and right.  Or perhaps my entire stash will mutiny.

Strands of Technology

Last night, Odin pulled up this really amazing piece of technology.  We were watching videos of what innovative people have done with it, and I was awestruck.  In the past, we have geeked out about fibers together.  He asked for advice on sewing fiberglass fibers through layers of support to strengthen something (I didn’t get the gist of the conversation past fiberglass fibers, I was still wincing from the thought of handstitching something like this.)  I watched him use carbon fiber to strengthen the mast of his wind surfer (which he snapped in two by the end of the summer).  We talked about the use of spider silk, which unfortunately is not commercially produced that we could find.  However, I am curious about knitting with spider silk – what are the structural properties?  How would it feel on the hands? In a swatch?  Would it be similar to silk or would it be stiffer, heavier?

This discovery coincided with a post by Knitgrrl about knitting and e-Readers, and I spent my day considering where technology has taken Knitters, and where Knitters have pushed technology.  E-Readers have become rather popular in the knitting community because of their ability to store patterns and allow us to manipulate those patterns to suit our goals.

The latest edition of Knitty offers a really cool pattern for those of you with touch screen anything.  Touch screens make hand-knit mittens and gloves a little useless, as you have to remove the handwarmer to operate the phone or iPad or whatever.  Teknika is a pattern that utilizes Conductive Thread (available for purchase here) and combines it with stranded colorwork for a fashionable and useful glove in this modern world.

After doing some searching, we found Talk2MyShirt, a site focused on wearable technology.

The device that inspired this train of thought is the Arduino Lilypad, a small circular, programmable disk that can be sewn into just about anything and programmed to do just about anything.  This video on YouTube has a display of many things that it has been used for, and it is kind of mind-boggling.  One of the things that caught me off guard (and really shouldn’t have), was the assisted knitting purse, which holds patterns in it and relays them back to you via light sequences.  There are so many possibilities to incorporate this technology into our knitting, my head is reeling!

What are your thoughts on the subject?

On The Table

Last night, in a fit of indecisiveness that overwhelmed me, I decided to be completely obvious with myself and my tasks by laying out all of the kips and holiday projects on the table, literally.

Realizing that part of the reason I felt unmotivated was the sudden cold and rainy days, I looked at the thermostat and saw that I had it set at 62* Farenheit.  We live in an 1890s apartment with 8 foot windows and an rickety heating system.  All of the hot air that was being pushed through the vents was being sucked out of our not quite right fitting windows, so I’m pretty sure it was colder than I was reading.  I turned up the heat, with a firm mind to put plastic over the windows in the next week or so, then cranked up the radio and sat down to examine what lay before me.

First up, Ellette’s future slippers from French Press.  These were such a fast knit!  I reversed the shaping really easy (even though I read that this is where a lot of people were having difficulty.  I just figured each k2tog could be swapped to the other side and become a ssk – voila!)  After watching Melynda’s videos for seaming, the slippers now look like this:

Pre felting. I modified the pattern so that after they go through the wash they will be about a child’s size 1.  I’m waiting to felt until Laundry Day – which should have been two days ago really, but it’s been cold and rainy and I have to go outside to get into the laundry unit.  I can wait.

Up next, the Simple Knitted Bodice from StitchDiva.  It looks almost done, doesn’t it?  It would be – I was hoping it was.  However, do you see that neckline?  See how wonky that is?  I doubt that would come out in blocking.  I originally cast off with larger needles, because my cast-offs tend to be really tight.  It was wonky, so I ripped it out and tried again with the smaller needles.  Still wonky.  I think I had picked up too many stitches per inch and need to rip back the whole darn neckline and start over.  I didn’t work on it.  It’s in time out.

This is my Halloween costume.  Er, it will be.  It needs to be by the 27th, at least.  (Please refrain from pointing out how close that is).  I’m going to keep it secret for the time being, but will be uploading a tutorial or two following it’s completion.  I did start working on it last night, and will continue this evening for a bit.

This is the pawn for the chess board.  I am glad I wrote up the pattern prior to casting on because I ended up making some changes as I went, which means that this pattern is almost perfect.  Luckily, there are 16 (I think?) pawns in a game, so I will have plenty of opportunity to double check.  I did not work on it any further last night, although I am itching to work on more of the pieces.  I’m very excited.

This has to become a hat I forgot I promised to make for someone.  She brought me the yarn yesterday and let me borrow the sample hat.  At least it’s really simple and I get to work with yummy Noro.  I wound it last night, but didn’t go further with it.

This is part one of Ellette’s costume, which turned into this two hours later:

We have every hope of finishing the costume this weekend – luckily that just requires acquiring a green hoodie.

This is the start of my holiday knitting – I keep looking at it know I should start something, but can’t bring myself to put aside my current projects.

I also have the second sock for Ellette to make, but I am happy to show you the first one is completed.  Maybe I will cast on tonight before heading to Skokie to see the Yarn Harlot.  We are looking forward to it.

 

I definitely felt like having all of the projects sitting there staring at me was helpful for my sense of motivation.  I’m sure if I hadn’t had class last night I would have more done.  Chastise me if I cast on anything new.  But ignore the fact that I am working on something that I haven’t shown you because I just cast on.

I’m going to cut up plastic bags…

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