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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NaKniSweMo Day 22: Blocking and Bleeding

My back has been hurting for a couple weeks now, and the pain has only been getting worse.  At first, it was fairly manageable and easy to dismiss.  I’m always sore – this program is hard.  Over the last few days, it felt like something was sliding around a bit, and the pain became sharper.  I needed to slow down.  I’ve been pushing myself so hard, hell bent on taking advantage of every opportunity presented to me so that when I launch my career at the end of this program, I will have more knowledge and technique to pull from and a better foundation to build my acts.  The downside is that I haven’t left time for rest.  Friday I decided to sit out and observe class rather than participate physically.  And today, instead of going to the workshop I had signed up for, I stayed home (and had quality time with Ellette, which is fantastic), and I blocked my NaKniSweMo sweater.

 

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In total, 57342 stitches were knit.  I tried it on before throwing it in the water, and it fit just about the way I had intended, and I hoped the bath would help ease the areas that needed to be stretched.  When I pulled it out of the water, the body of the sweater started expanding.  I squished the water from it and held it to my torso briefly – I had somehow made a dress.

And then I noticed the sleeve.

I knew I was taking a chance by knitting a white sleeve, but I didn’t really consider it to be a problem.  I had worked with all of these yarns before.  But this time, the hot water and the purple decided to have a quarrel in the tub, and the purple bled onto the sleeve.  I tried to rinse it out with cold water, but it just wouldn’t work.  I’ll try another quick rinse when it’s dry, but fear my sweater may bear the curse of Sweaty Smurf in the underarm.

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While the sweater is drying rather conspicuously in my bedroom, and I am trying not to pay attention to the imperfections, I have picked up the sock hat I am making for a good friend of mine.

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It currently measures 52 inches in length, and when it is complete will be about 6.5 or 7 feet.  It’s a simple little pattern and uses up a lot of my odds and ends.  It’s the perfect mindless project right now.

NaKniSweMo Day 18

Day 18 dawns, and I’m inching along on my remaining sleeve.  The first sleeve was completed at a Sunday rehearsal, where I spent half the time sitting on the sidelines knitting away in circles.  I tried it on just before starting the cuff, and the sleeve is a couple inches longer than I want, but not so long  as to be annoying, so I left it.  I don’t have the energy to take steps backward anymore.  By the end of the day, I was casting off and beginning the next sleeve.

I’m so close to being done!  The only problem I face is that my schedule has just exploded.  I picked up seasonal work, intending to keep the two jobs I currently have, so that I can cover tuition and rent more reliably.  The financial stress I was facing has been replaced by working 18 hour days.  I hope this is only temporary, but it’s hard to think too far into the future when all of your brain power is being spent just getting you to the end of the night.  Despite the exhaustion, I am still looking forward to the next day.  I can see myself improving, and that is enough to keep me going.

 

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Day 18: 51,518 stitches knit to date, 90% complete

12 days to go!

NaKniSweMo Day 12 (And Snow)

12 days in  and I’m making better progress than I imagined I imagined I would.  I’m almost done with the body of the sweater.  I’m facing a yarn shortage predicament and trying to figure out how to proceed.  While I’m stewing over that, I’ve started on a sleeve.  Stephen West designed this sweater to be a mishmash stash bust, and it has been for me, and I love how the colors are coming together.  I think colorwise, the sleeves represent the hardest decision.

The sweater currently stands at over 46,000 stitches, approximately 77% of the sweater being complete.  My estimation is that each sleeves is around six thousand stitches, so hitting the 50K mark should be a piece of cake.

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In the meantime, this is what Colorado looked like on Saturday:

 

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And this is what it looked like this morning:

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It’s sweater weather.  Brr.

NaKniSweMo Day 2 (And Other Things)

National Knit a Sweater Month began yesterday, and I did so much as to cast on and knit an inch before calling it a night.  A weird allergic reaction caused me to spend the evening in discomfort and day 2 dawned with me feeling worn and super sensitive to everything.  Today was my first day completely free of obligation – no work, no school, nothing.  I had wanted to spend it exploring, and instead spent it watching tv reruns and knitting.  I must admit though, it was relieving to not think of circus or dance for a little while.

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I ended up choosing Stephen West’s Enchanted Mesa design before of it’s stash busting qualities.  I had a selection of yarn selected for the pattern, and after the first short row section I nixed my original plans and grabbed different yarn from the stash.  This new option is much more colorful and fun to knit.

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Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Fedora, Cascade Sport in “849”, Malabrigo sock (from previous project, lost tag), Haute Knit Yarn, and Pingouin in “520”

Total Stitches: 12,876 (25% of total goal)

Must. Knit. Faster.

This past weekend saw beautiful temperatures.  I was outdoors in a sundress and light jacket, soaking it in.  That also means that some of my knitting projects are about to go in to hibernation if I don’t finish them soon.  One of the afghans I’ve been working on since Christmas was accidentally left at my grandfather’s house on Saturday, so that’s gone for another week or so.  Apart from that, I have two summer sweaters on the needles, so I’ve been working on those as quickly possible.

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Ellette’s sweater is coming along nicely.  The instructions are easy to follow and I’m zipping through the endless stockinette.  I thought I would be sick of it by now because the puff sleeves were a ridiculous amount of knitting, but I found if I marvel at the bottomless ball of yarn I’ve been using I can keep going.  It’s like a mystery – how many rounds does it take to get to the end of the tootsie skein?  I’m almost done with the body, and still have a few yards to the ball at least.  The world may never know.

I’m hoarding my other fingering weight yarn for on-the-road summer knitting.  I’ve got a few design ideas in my head – now I just need the time to execute.

What summer projects are you itching to begin?

Hibernating

This morning there was snow.  Yup.  A layer of bright white snow to mock the recently delightful temperatures.  I spent Saturday lounging on a deck outdoors, sipping a beer and knitting away – WITHOUT a jacket.  And this morning I’m back to needing boots.  My mind and body are in turmoil.  There are spurts of energy as the sun comes out and I want to get a million things completed.  Then I look outside and just want to curl up in my blankets with hot tea again.

I started something new, just to break up the monotony. This is for Ellette. The problem lies in the guilt I feel when I grab a pre-existing project.  Ellette looks at me with a scowl and says “You’re not working on my sweater!” I think I’ve gotten past the worst of this one though.  The pattern is Get Off My Cloud, by Kate Davies.  One of the reasons I was drawn to it was the adorable puffy sleeves.  I failed to remember that puffy sleeves mean loads of extra stitches, and the last few rounds were intense.  Not only was my mind going numb, but my wrists were starting to hurt from pushing the large quantity of loops around the needles.

 

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This morning, however, I managed to separate the sleeves from the body.  It should be smooth sailing from here on out.

I just want something to be finished right now, and preferably something simple and without difficulty.  I could use some instant gratification. And no more snow.  I could really do without that again.

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