Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Start-itis Is Dangerous

It's been quite a while since I did a work in progress post, and given my recent spat of start-itis, I have quite a few things I'm working on but no finished products yet. Also, I seem to have completely lost my desire to sew lately. With my current situation, my sewing room became filled with random things and I just can't muster any motivation to work in that room right now. I even have a skirt that just needs buttons and buttonholes, lol. It'll happen soon. I'm not going to guilt myself about it. Bare with me on the photos - my good camera is not at my house right now, so I've had to make due with just my phone :) So, what have I been working on?
The big project I've really been trying to steam through is my Ginny Cardigan. I started this last September, but only managed to make the bottom ribbing before I set it aside to do the math on the body shaping. Then Christmas gifts happened, and this just sat in a bag. I really want to have it finished, so I've devoted most of my knitting time to this project. Sadly, knitting time has been scarce, but it's enough to see progress. I love the yarn I'm using (Wisdom Limerick) as it's so airy and soft and much lighter than it looks like it would be. I still don't enjoy bottom-up construction though. I keep looking at new designs to line up for when I get this finished, then I notice that they are bottom-up and I cringe and look some more, lol. I'm just so worried that it won't fit like I want it to, and there is no way to know until you've got it finished. I much prefer top-down. I'm sticking with it though, and I certainly won't let it keep me from designs I love if they are bottom-up. Maybe I'll get better at measuring after I make more this way.
My next most frequently worked on project is a pair of plain socks. I LOVE this yarn - it's from the first Arne & Carlos line (the Summer Night colorway) and it's a jacquard printed yarn so you just knit and it looks like you've done fancy colorwork. Isn't that great?! I love this color combo, and I knew I wanted to make a completely plain pair of socks to really show off the yarn. I searched all through my Ravelry library for a plain sock pattern that I already have, but never found one that quite met my preferred criteria. I ended up just using the pattern from my recently finished (but not blogged yet) Smocked Guernsey Socks. If you've seen those sock, this may seem strange since that sock has a fancy stitch pattern. Basically I just used the numbers off that pattern and instead of the smocking stitch, I just knitted. When I reached the point that I needed to start the heel, I decided to use an afterthought heel so I wouldn't break up the pattern in the yarn (it fell on one of my favorite color sections, of course). Once I finished the toe, I unpicked the scrap yarn and knitted the heel. At first, I just decreased the same as the pattern tells you for the toe and I thought it was good ... until I tried it on. The heel was way too short, so the sock slipped down off my heel within seconds of putting it on. I knew I needed to unpick the heel, but I just never felt like doing that so this project sat for several weeks. This past weekend I was finally in a fixing mood, so I re-knit the heel. This time I followed the decreases from the only other sock pattern I'd used - the Lace Knee Socks pattern from the Knit Sock Workshop class on Craftsy. This wasn't earth shattering, but it was just the info I needed since I knew that heel would fit. All you do is decrease, then knit a row, repeat until you have 12 stitches, then kitchener. Super easy! Now the finished sock fits great :) I was so inspired that I immediately cast on the second sock and spent my Sunday knitting time working on getting these done. These are my current "take along" project since they are easy to throw in my bag and go. I'm hoping to finish them soon.
Back at the end of January, I was really in the mood to have several projects to choose from. I blame suddenly having my sewing room in disarray. I really loved the Antarktis shawl by Janina Kallio, and I thought it would be a great pattern to show off a yarn I've been wanting to use. I cast on with Araucania Lonco yarn in this purple teal green variegated colorway. This was a sweet ebay score from last year and I've really wanted to work it up. I love the color combo. I'm hoping that since this is a cotton yarn that I will be able to wear it more than my other wool shawls. I actually did have much more of this knitted, but I decided I didn't like how loose the gauge was turning out so I pulled out the whole thing, lol. It's sat as this sad little triangle ever since. I think once I finish my Arne & Carlos socks this project will get more attention.
Another sad little project is my second pair of socks for Craftsy's Free Sock Knit Along Class. I really enjoyed the first pair of socks, so I quickly chose a yarn for the second pattern and cast on (the class is 3 months long and includes a new pattern each month). The yarn is a deep stash dive of Deborah Norville Serenity Sock in the most inappropriately named colorway ever, lol. I know it seems ridiculous, but I was so put off by the fact that this yarn is called "Aquamarine" that I just couldn't ever use it. Isn't that silly? That's what happens when you work in gemstones, I guess. For the record, aquamarines are light to medium blue - a color which is not present at all in this skein of yarn, lol. Anyway, the yarn is really soft and I think it will show off the Serpentine Sock detail. I've only made the toe so far, but I hope to buckle down (again) when I finish my Arne & Carlos socks. It was really fun talking with the other KAL participants with my first pair, so I definitely want to still be in that conversation.
In other news, I've been bit by the fancy baking bug lately. Making my Valentine macarons made me really in the mood for more fancy baking (and more macarons I can eat myself, lol). I made another batch of pistachio macarons last Thursday (with milk chocolate ganache this time) as well as these lovely lemon glazed madeleines. I'm telling you,this Craftsy class is dangerous, lol. I now completely want to make a lemon tart as well as zillions of different flavors of macarons. Wouldn't hazlenut ones be amazing? It helps that they are actually fun to make too when you know what you're doing so you take away that ever present element of "what if this fails miserably". Anyway, much fancy baking has taken place of late.
I also won a sweet prize from Stitch Diva Studios. Jennifer Hansen hosted some great giveaways on their Facebook page last week and I WON! I won this deliciously soft skein of Feza Harvest yarn in the Citrus colorway. It's 100% merino wool that is organically dyed. The yellow color is awesome. I can't wait to make something yummy with it :)
And finally, I only just discovered Neko Atsume and I am in love :) A game where you just look at cutesy kitties occasionally on your phone? I'll take it. Sometimes a cute kitty is all you need to brighten your day. I recommend you look in to this app if you haven't yet.

So that's what's going on in my crafting world :) There have been lots of audio books as well as lots of home improvements and cleaning and getting rid of junk. I'm glad to have my little creative outlets when those life necessities get a little overwhelming.

What are you making?

*Craftsy links are affiliate links, but all opinions are completely my own and I highly recommend them - plus the knitting class is completely free!


  1. How awesome is that Arne&Carlos yarn!? I wonder how they calculated the pattern, and if it would still make a fair isle kinda pattern if you knit a jersey or a scarf with it?

    1. I've wondered that myself! It's pretty crazy stuff. I've seen a few people use it for sweaters, and it looks pretty good but not quite as uniform as it is in socks. I'm contemplating using my leftovers to make some type of stuffed animal maybe - I think that would be super cute too!


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