Well, it’s another day in paradise and I thought it would be good to describe what took place with regards to the analysis paralysis I was having last week. Things did not go exactly as planned, but that’s life, no?
What went as expected:
Tropicale and Casablanca went back into hot storage. This is both a nod to the fact that I really want to use them and that it is very hot in Seattle at the moment where my stash lives.
It surprised me, but I just picked up the frogged Wurm hat. I even tucked it away. But something about it bothered me. So I made a mad dash to Pacific Fabrics for some Debbie Bliss Babymerino to replace the beautiful, but troublesome blue DK. So it’s underway and now oh-so soft. WIP #2
The original blue DK frogged from the Wurm hat will probably be just perfect doubled and made into my first crochet project—as the Little Gadabout Bag by Dot Matthews. I’ve been swatching it and trying to make sure I know all the stitches needed to complete it. I hope to get more help from the fiber group I restarted at work. WIP #3
I brought Leftie up with me to the island this weekend, but I think I’m a bit overwhelmed to start into it until I finish at least one of the three above.
Creating a shorter version of my fingerless Warm Waffle Mitts is on hold as well for the same reason as Leftie. Because with the three above and the pillow cases, I’ve now got four WIPs.
The Valkyrie Yarn & Fibre Jayne I’d earmarked for another Hitchhiker scarf was given to my intern who started this week and admitted she was a knitter within a half hour of meeting me. So this is her WIP this weekend. I already miss the yarn, but the opportunity to teach and share was too good to pass up and there’s just about nothing I love more.
The yarn for Notched Hem Tack from Purl Soho is now tucked in my closet—not out of sight or mind. Though it topped my list of hopefuls, small portable projects are grabbing my attention for the moment and work best for my busy life.
With so many patterns to choose from and so much yarn in my stash, is it any wonder I have analysis paralysis?
Now that I’ve finished Under a Clear Blue Skye and frogged my Keeping Wurm in Seattle hat, I’m in a quandary. Sure, there is the palate cleanser WIP pillow cover project, but I’m bored with it because it is garter, HUGE and taking forever.
Adding to the dilemma is that I finally put almost all my pattern books in Ravelry. This was to stem be rebuying patterns I’ve already purchased in one form or another. This took a heck of a lot less time than the stash inventory, which was more than a week’s worth of photography and photo editing, to say nothing of the boxing and unboxing of nearly 200 yarns.
The upshot is I can now see that I have thousands of patterns. Combining that with yarn choices in my stash–if only I could manage to do that–makes the possibilities astronomical. To say nothing of the yarns I felt were in too small of quantity to catalogue. Those only clutter my mind…
Since much of grandma’s yarn is small bits of this and that (3-5 skeins), I can no longer blame grandma’s stash for the problem of having too much wool. When I buy yarn it’s usually wool and enough, each time, to make a roomy cardigan. So for a summer project I thought it would be time to dig into grandma’s “leftovers” and consider my options.
Even though I’m clearly Jonesing for cardigan I can wear on island—one preferably immune to the moths we’ve discovered infest the place–I set my mind on choosing something quicker, more portable and summery. Probably something I’ll finish just in time for the weather to turn cool.
It’s my way (the Tao of Kris) to always a season behind.
Here’s a pile of the things I’m considering.
The Tropicale is bright, soft and beautiful, but I couldn’t find just the right pattern for it. Same with the Brunswick Casablanca. I didn’t see many worsted weight summer wraps or cardigan patterns. It’s back into the stash for those…
I’ve been angling to make a friend a pair of man mitts and I settled onRobbin Abernathy’s Simply Ribbed Fingerless Mitts as a pattern after MUCH searching. He works as a kayak instructor and needs those fingers to be free. His partner suggested a pullover style, but I worry that will just get in the way of his work. I also fear a natural fiber won’t hold up to the rigors of his near constant ocean going adventures. He’s a “man in black” type and I’ve got enough of Bouquet’s Softee Knitting Worsted Premium to knit 10 pairs—at least!
I could pick up the frogged Wurm, but I’m too annoyed by the light yarn showing through on the dark when I carry it. It may be that the yarns just aren’t compatible and it will take too much non-knitting time to sort out. So I think this one gets a pass, for now.
Leftie has long been on my list and since I found out I have less of the Bernat Carioca than I thought (a hazard of discontinued grandma yarn) this would be put to better use as a scarf than a sweater. Combining the neutral colored linen with a beautiful Melrose Italian silk in scarlet. Seems promising!
I’ve also been angling to create a shorter version of my fingerless Warm Waffle Mitts out of a spare half ball of Tosh DK in cathedral. I’d have a new pattern I can use AND another pair of mitts. What’s not to like?
I could also knit a (yet another) Hitchhiker scarf. I’ve been meaning to make one for Nick’s oldest daughter out of the Valkyrie Yarn & Fibre Jayne I actually *did* buy for that very purpose last summer and haven’t gotten around to doing yet. The advantage here is that I’d have a gift at the end and I won’t be disappointed by missing a time window. It would be easy to do on my ferry commuting as well.
The project I’m leaning most towards (as evidenced by the time spent thinking about it) is Notched Hem Tack from Purl Soho. I started out swatching with the Carioca, which is how I discovered I didn’t have enough for the project. I then moved onto Reynolds Clover (yet another discontinued grandma yarn) and while the color is summery and the yarn soft and sweet, I just don’t like the color with my skin tone which means it would also be a gift—but for who? Not to mention I’m feeling a bit selfish after the massive Skye project eating up so much of my needle time.
I’ve been holding in reserve (because I do have quite a bit) some Brunswick Coolspun linen in the color Olive Pearl. Yes, it’s a thicker, and yes I could do something more substantial than a shell, I didn’t find a different pattern, so perhaps this will be a Notched Tank for me. Something says, this is the yarn for that pattern despite the difference in yarn weight. But is it the project for the summer?
That remains a mystery—for now.
Update: I selected the man mitts. Quick enough to finish in a weekend leaving me clear headed to select the next major project.
There’s always a sadness when you finish a project mixed with the joy of the anticipation of projects to come.
Nick’s sweater is finally, finally done and just in time for Knit in Public Day 2015. I simply couldn’t stop saying to my husband as we ferried over to Orcas Island that morning, “I made this! I made this!” It is truly one of my favorite things I’ve made. When I tried it on (of course before I told him it was complete) I thought how much I wanted a sweater just like it. Maybe I’ll make a great sweater out of the new yarn I picked while I was there.
What makes this sweater exciting is the yarn. In different lights it takes on different colors–from a rich blue outdoors at twilight to a faded denim indoors. Many thanks to Handspinner Having Fun in Broadford, Scotland for making such a lovely, soft and cuddly DK. I wish I’d finished it before I came by the shop last month, but I’m so glad I got too share it on Instagram with the shop.
Patterns: This was based on two knitting patterns with modifications. The structure is largely found in Men’s sweater Simon by Faina Goberstein. The fabric pattern is from 210-211-56 Men’s Sweater by Pierrot (Gosyo Co., Ltd).
Modifications: The reason for two patterns instead of one is that Nick thought the garter rib of the Simon pattern was a bit boring, so after much searching for one he liked, I settled on the 210-211-56 as the main body fabric (12 stitch repeat+6). So there was a bit of math, but I think it was well worth it.
One big change I made is the embellishment runs horizontal, not vertical running up the sleeve as the pattern calls for. The worry was aligning the patterns in a bottom up sweater. The trick was to start the sleeve shaping exactly after the pattern on both sleeves and chest. Worked perfectly!
Something I didn’t, but might modify, is the large neck opening. This is a feature the pattern, and partly why I selected it, as Nick didn’t want it close to the neck. If make another, and given how happy I am with this I just might, I’ll knit higher up the chest before starting the neck shaping on the front or knit the opening for a smaller size.
And since the sweater was inspired by Scotland, despite me missing the target of Nick wearing it there, here are some photos from our trip there last month.
Apologies for the long lag between posts, I was finding it hard to post from the Inner Hebrides and the business trip before and after I went. Oddly, when I used to write a travel blog, this was the easiest thing in the world. I met my husband on my blog. No joke! And I‘ve thought about resurrecting the site though having two blogs, if I struggle to keep up with one seems a bit silly. I’d love your feedback—separate or together?
I thought I was being so original—knitting a Wurm hat in Seattle sport team colors. But alas, I found no less than eight more Seahawks versions of the Wurm hat by Katharina Nopp on Ravelry.
This said, each one has its own uniqueness, including mine, which was started as a travel project because I thought my husband’s Blue Skye sweater was too much to pack on a recent business trip to Tuscaloosa, AL. In retrospect, it would have been better to bring it and return with it finished—I ended up having more time in the evenings and on the plane than expected—not to mention plenty of room in my bag despite being on the road for a week with only carryon luggage—a trick I’ll talk about in another blog post.
My Wurm is a mix of boutique yarns—one local, one from San Francisco. The blue is a DK from Warm Valley Orchard on Orcas Island. The owners of WVO do everything from raise the sheep, shear, card, spin and dye the wool on island. It’s a bit itchy, but warm and the rich blue color is amazing. The green is the now sadly defunct Art Fiber’s sport weight Peruse, a soft baby alpaca. This softness is why I selected to have the green parts closest to the face and head.
What I loved about this pattern was learning to do a double headband. I’d heard about doing this for collars, but I’d never tried it, so doing it on a project like this one with leftover yarns took almost all the stress out of it. Though it did take a couple of tries to get it just right. Knitting it was fine, the problem was picking up the stitches from the edge. You have to align it perfectly or it looks weird.
After trying a failing twice, I finally took a contracting color, slipped them through all the “known” stitches and only took stitches that were on that string—no more no less. Got it perfectly right that time. Whew!
I’m still sewing my husband’s sweater together and next will be to pick up the collar. I started with that before the sleeve sewing, but ran into trouble. Now I think I have a technique from the hat which will make that go much better.
Forgive the quality of my photos. All of these were taken with my phone and many under very jittery conditions—mostly in flight on a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter pontoon plane. If I could afford it I’d always commute up with Kenmore Air.