March’s tally

Well, it’s the last day of March, so I may as well do my yardage tally and post up the year to date totals. 🙂

Yardage totals for 2009:
January: 937 yds
February: 1286 yds
March: 1466 yds

I would say that this month’s total is particularly impressive considering all the frogging I did this last weekend. Had I not had to do that, I think another 100-150yds could have been added to my total for the month. I’ve been pleased, though; I’m consistently increasing my knitting each month. In a perfect world, I would love to be knitting a mile a month-about 1760yds-but I’m happy with what I can get! And if I knit too much, people may start to wonder if I ever watch my kids or if the poor things sit around all day while Mommy knits. 🙂 I still do not have a lot of FOs to show for it, but I’m getting there!

Now we can get to the part with the pictures! First, my FO from this week. My first Ishbel is finished (though the picture I have right now is not color accurate, my previous post about it is much closer to the actual colors.)

Pattern: Ishbel
Needles: Size 6 Harmony interchangeables
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight-color Backstabber

Loved this pattern and as with previous exposure to her work, the pattern is very well written and easy to follow. Clever and gives nice results. I like it so much, I’m making another in blue.

So far, it’s looking really nice and I think that it will show off the lace beautifully. I like it much better then the other project I attempted with it. I also found that after the first 5 yards or so, the yarn is getting to be nicer, so I think the end of that particular skein must have been rough.

Next is my Zig Zag lap blanket I’m making. This will be a long term project, to be sure. At just over 200 yds of fingering weight yarn as of today, I have maybe an inch and a half to show for it. I’m in no hurry on this one and eventually, it will be finished. I figured I may as well have one crazy project that is all willy nilly with the colors. I can already see that it’s a great way to use up my sock leftovers as well as skeins of sock that are too variegated for me to use for anything else. It’s easy enough to be pretty mindless, but there’s enough going on to not put me to sleep. I’m not thrilled with 441 purl stitches every wrong side row, but for now, I’m surviving. I love that fact that it’s a project I can put down and pick back up whenever I feel like working on it.

Here’s to hoping that April will be just as productive and more so!

2009: Year of the…Frog?

So it would seem for me, so it would seem.

I have been having a bear of a time this year with keeping projects on needles and I think I’ve frogged close to half of what I’ve cast on. This weekend has been horrible that way. The scarf from last post? Frogged. Didn’t care for the pattern enough to figure out the instructions. When it comes down to it, I’m not so much a lace knitter. It has now been cast on as a second Ishbel. Then yesterday, I cast on a Zig Zag blanket, worked on it for about two hours, and decided I hated it. Frogged. It has now been recast on with two sizes smaller needles and many more stitches so that I would like the look of the fabric better and I could do longer zig zags like in Grumperina’s Jaywalker socks.

It’s really hard to rack up the yardage this way. 🙂 I’m hoping the rest of 2009 will go better then the first quarter has. Not a great year for knitting so far.

Scarves are the word for now…

Ishbel is finished; I’m waiting for my photographer to get home and help me take pictures. So I’ve cast on for my next small project instead: the Night Song shawl, which I’m making into another scarf. I wasn’t sure about it the first few rows, but as I’m getting further along, I can see the pattern and I’m warming up to it.

As blasphemous as it may be to say, while I love Sundara’s colors, her sock base is not my favorite. I’ll be trying out some others I have before I say for sure, but this may be the end of sock yarn buying from her. I’m hoping it’s just a “gimp” skein of yarn, a lot of the CaWG seemed to be, and that’s what is going on with this particular yarn. I have quite a bit of sock coming from her in May. There is nothing worse then loving a dyer’s colors, but not the yarn base they use.

I’m considering the possibility of putting a third project on needles again. I have a fair amount of random sock yarn that I will never use for socks but is too variegated for me to use for other items like hats or accessories. I’m planning to start a Zig and Zag blanket, but much larger then “pram” sized. I would like a small-ish blanket to snuggle under while I knit, and what better way to use up odds n ends as well as yarns I know I won’t use because I couldn’t resist them, but I have no use for such variegated yarns? I’m thinking I’d like to make it about 2-2.5 times as wide as the size given, which is just over 21″ wide. I’ll be frogging the Jaywalkers and using that yarn as either the border or color for stripes instead. Then as I have leftovers, like I did for Ishbel, I have something to use them for rather then wondering what to do with 24 odd grams of fingering weight yarn. I’ll get a lot more use out of a blanket then mitts, or yet another hat, or scarf anyway. 🙂

6 weeks and 1 day later…

The knitting for my Viking modded CPH is finished. The sleeves are getting a good soak as I type and will block and dry overnight. By tomorrow, I hope to have a completed sweater and I can finally move onto something else.

WHOO.

Overall, it was a great knit and I enjoyed it the entire time: I just didn’t enjoy how much time it took. One of my favorite parts was watching for the purple/lilac bits to pop up in the colorway and then admire how they looked on the right side.

If all goes well, I’ll have pictures tomorrow or Tuesday. Now I think it’s time to read the instructions for Ishbel and look at casting on for that tonight.

Quickie

The first of the sleeves is done. My unofficial goal is to get the second sleeve off needles by Sunday or Monday. Then I have to block them, seam and weave in the few ends I left. I’m hoping to have my first big FO of the year done in time for our next yardage tally on Tuesday.

So far this month (meaning as of Tuesday), I’ve knit close 700yds, almost all of it worsted and in this current project. Not bad, but I have been hoping to maybe hit a mile in yarn every month if possible. If I can move onto a fingering weight project or two, I may be able to make it. If not, I’ll definitely break the 1000 yd mark, and that’s fine too.

I’ve been working on destashing at Ravelry and trying not to add to my current stash unless I have to. (Acquiring more of yarn I realize I may not have enough for with specific projects is one of the only exceptions I’m making to “no new yarn.”) I *did* buy some yarn that was supposed to be in back at the end of January that finally popped up last week, but I’m hoping that’s the only new stuff I’ll be bringing in until I can get some more projects done.

Time to go cast on that second sleeve. With any luck, I may get the ribbing on it done before the night is up: children permitting.

Never-ending hood o’ doom.

So my second estimated finish date for my CPH is going to pass me by before too long. Three weeks ago, I thought for sure I’d be finished by this coming Sunday but it’s not going to happen unless I can magic two knit sleeves out of my butt. 🙂 If anyone knows how to do that, please let me know, it would be some trick! Useful, too.

The hood, of all things, took five days to knit. Five full days for what was just over 12″ of knitting. I have to admit, I was gobsmacked that one of the simplest pieces of this knit took so long. I’m currently working on the endless ribbing since I’m doing it all in one piece. It’s going more quickly then the hood did. I suppose the fact that I’m not purling 90 or so stitches every other row helps.

I still have no idea what I want to do with the sleeves. At the moment, I *think* I want to knit them with the more simple thin cable up each one. I thought I’d do them in plain stockinette, but I wasn’t sure if that was because I want to be done so I can move on, or because I’d prefer that from an aesthetic point of view. I’ve been debating short vs. 3/4 vs. long on this as well. For the type of sweater it’s meant to be, I’m thinking I should do a full length sleeve. I don’t do a lot of those as they aren’t overly useful in Texas, but for visits back home and potential future duty stations, I may as well have one go-to snuggly sweater.

For now, I’m hoping I can get this sweater knocked out before March is up. At that point in time, I’ll have been working on it 7 or 8 weeks.

I had originally planned to do the Soap Bubble wrap next, but I think I’m going to take a minor detour and do a couple of smaller projects first. Ones that won’t take 3+ weeks to finish. Ones that will give me more immediate gratification. I have some yarn caked up to do Ishbel and I have some Sundara Sock I scored during CaWG that would make a gorgeous Nightsong. This will be my first real dip into the waters of shawl knitting. Both should be more like scarves then actual shawl-shawls…for some reason, I get visions of Stevie Nicks stuck in my head when I think of them. I’m not ripping on Stevie, mind you, but I don’t really think that whole witchy gypsy thing is quite me…or the opposite extreme that I think of when I think shawls: stuffy, formal, overly frilly.

Ishbel Sneak Peek.

Nightsong Sneak Peek.

I find it strange that the longer I knit, the slower I get. Though, the more neat my knitting has become in the process. Knitting flat slows me down to about a third of my round knitting because I have to be careful lest my purls get all loose on me. No one likes a loose stitch.
I’m hoping to have another WIP picture soon, or better yet, an FO to show off.