Thursday, November 08, 2018

Reopening the Knitting Factory

It has just come to my attention that we are now a full week (plus one day) into the month of November -- November! -- and that some serious knitting progress needs to be made pronto. There is one project that has been lingering on the needles for too long, in my opinion, and two sweaters that I would really like to have done in a little more than a month.

Let's talk about the oldest WIP. It's a shawl design that I've been working on since September using two sets of Fibernymph Dye Works mini skeins. I know that doesn't seem like that long ago, but this is the second version of the shawl; I ripped out the first iteration when it didn't work out as I'd hoped. Furthermore, Lisa and I were talking about this design idea way back in June when we went to TNNA together, so I feel like it's been in progress since then. Fortunately, my excitement for knitting it has resurfaced, and I'm determined to put in some serious effort and get it done -- ideally within the next week or so.

The good news is that I'm past the halfway mark on this -- the orange and orange speckle yarns you see at the bottom are the fourth pair of mini skeins and I have six total pairs. The number of semisolid stripes also seems to be following a pattern: There are 10 gold and eight green stripes, so I'm expecting I'll get six orange stripes, four of the next, and two of the last semisolid color. That means not very many rows left to knit, though they are getting noticeably longer. It's not ideal for lunchtime knitting because my time to knit is limited and I frequently have to stop mid-row, but I think it will be perfect for the weekend when I can plop down and knit for a couple of hours uninterrupted.

Sweater knitting has been happening at home in the evening. I cast on for the Mister's Neighborly Cardigan last weekend and have completed about 7 inches of the back (including 3 inches of 1x1 ribbing that was as slow as molasses). After not quite getting gauge with my swatch, but getting a really nice fabric (and determining that going up in needle size to get gauge would result in fabric that was too loose for my taste), I've decided to knit a size larger at my gauge, which should result in a finished sweater that's more or less the size I originally intended to make.

As you can see from the yarn tails at the middle top of the piece, I've just joined in the second skein of yarn (or, rather, a partial skein, as I'm using up the rest of the skein that was used for the swatch). The yarn that the Mister ordered for the original size of the sweater was not quite enough for the next size up, so I was forced to place another Knit Picks order (I know, the hardship!) with three additional skeins. I felt like as long as I was ordering those three skeins I should probably fill up the box, so I added various other skeins to my cart until I had enough for free shipping and will use them for charity hats and mittens.

Last night I felt bad about focusing so much on the man sweater while ignoring my own and pulled out my Floozy cardigan, which I'd been so excited to start on the way up to Rhinebeck and then promptly forgotten about when I returned. I put several rows on it last night, and now you can properly see the second color.

Of the two sweaters, I think this will be the more challenging to finish my by self-imposed deadline of mid-December, so I won't sweat it if it's not done. The deadline is because the Mister and I are attending the Mister Rogers Cardigan Party at our local PBS station, and really his sweater is more critical, as I've made many cardigans for myself but none for him. It would be great if both of us could have new sweaters to wear to the party, but if I have to wear an older cardigan, I'll be okay.

I'm hoping to make significant progress on all of these projects this weekend, and it will be a good weekend for knitting in part because the weather is supposed to be horrible (the S-word was in the forecast!) but also because my gum surgery is tomorrow morning and I'm really not supposed to be done much of anything following that. Tomorrow I'll have to have an ice pack on my face on and off for most of the day, and I'm planning to use an ace bandage to hold it in place so I can have my hands free to knit or spin. I still have a backlog of video podcasts to catch up on, so in spite of the discomfort from the procedure I think I'll be perfectly happy.

Finally, I did want to say thank you to those who you who have purchased my To Life pattern. As of this morning, sales are in excess of $140, and I'm so excited that I'll be able to write a big check to Tree of Life in the near future. Some FOs are already popping up on Ravelry and social media, and I'm planning to knit a bunch myself once I can locate my big bag of sock yarn scraps. Also, this Sunday is the fall Indie Knit & Spin show, and Lisa of Fibernymph Dye Works will be selling mini skeins along with a coupon code for the pattern for $1, with all proceeds going toward Tree of Life. If you're looking for a quick charity project to add to your holiday knitting, I hope you'll consider it!

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