Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Knitting Progress Update: So Little Time ...

I feel like I'm always saying this, but I've had the craziest few months ever. This time it really is different and more crazy than the usual crazy, which has left me with almost no time to make much of anything. I've managed to sew a few things that I had deadlines on, but my knitting has almost come to a complete stand still. It's so sad and I really wish I could be knitting more - I miss the relaxation it brings, not to mention the joy of a finished project - but trust me when I say that it's for the best reason. I'm hoping I can talk about that reason soon. For now, I wanted to at least post an update on various projects for my own sanity (to feel like I've not given up my blog!). So here we go.

My biggest project is my Dahlia Cardigan. I started this back at the end of May and made good progress for a while, making it almost halfway before I had to set it aside for regular life. This is seriously the strangest sweater construction I've ever done. The pattern itself is a little older, but it was very popular with 1599 projects up on Ravelry alone. It was published in the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Knits but you can now buy it as a digital download. I've been really pleased with the drapey front look right now - after making so many sweaters, I like that I can switch it up in this way since I so rarely button my sweaters anyway. I wanted to make something lighter weight and still different, so I'm knitting this up in MillaMia Naturally Soft Cotton in the Flamingo colorway from LoveKnitting.com. This isn't a traditional choice for a cardigan like this, but I get to wear my heavier and wool based sweaters so little that I wanted to try out this tactic. So far it's going well aside from the crazy construction. I honestly feel like Holly Golightly when she says that she doesn't know if she's knitting a sweater or a ranch house. This picture should show you what I mean:
This is how the sweater looks now that I've finished the right side and am into the left side. You start by making the back lace panel (which is the most fun to knit, hands down). Next you put one side on hold and bind off the top and bottom while continuing on the right side. You set the main body aside, knit two separate pieces for the upper back/collar and the lower back, then knit them into the body as you work outward. You add in an afterthought line for the sleeve to be knit later, and make the entire right front drape. Then you unpick the provisional cast on of the upper back and make it the width of the entire back. Since I started this so long ago, I couldn't remember stitch counts, so I just had to try and read my knitting as best as possible to make the two sides of the upper and lower back even. These are the big open slit areas - that is the upper and lower back, not the sleeves. Crazy, right? My husband and I were in a weekly class that just ended last week, but this gave me some knitting time that helped me make a little progress ... until I lost my knitting bag! I was so heartbroken. I checked every place I had gone on the last day I knew I had it with me with no luck only to find out a week later that someone at work had wrapped it up in a sweater and shoved it on a bottom shelf to get it out of their way, I guess :/ I was miffed but that was completely overridden by my elation to have my sweater back. I had mentally tried to make myself ok with it being gone that whole week and it was so hard, guys. It felt silly to be so upset about something like that, but I think you other makers out there can understand - particularly when the bag contained a mostly finished sweater I'd been working on for 5 months. Anyway, it's back and will get worked on whenever I had spare time (who knows when that will be, but oh well, lol).
When my knitting bag disappeared, I still had my weekly class with knitting time that I didn't want to go to waste, so I grabbed my Ducks in a Row. I started this back in January (how sad is that), and I had barely managed to finish the mama duck body before I set it aside for my Recoleta sweater. During just 2 of our classes and one random Sunday with a little knitting time, I was able to give the mama duck her wings AND make 2 complete baby ducks! Now I'm very motivated to finish this project soon. I plan to buy the pieces for the wheels this week, then I can put it all together. I'm not really looking forward to making all the i-cord it will take to connect these, but it will be worth it. I plan to give this to some special little ladies at Christmas and I feel like this is a reasonable goal. It feels so good to make a toy again :)
I also have a pair of Jaywalker socks in the works - I mentioned wanting to make these back in this post about my case of start-itis at the beginning of the year and I started these just 2 days after that post went up in February. I worked on them for a few weeks on and off, but I quickly set them aside to work on my Recoleta. So I have most of a sock now just without the toe area, lol. Who knows when these will be finished. They do look nice, though :) I say that, but just pulling this out to take the photo has me more motivated to work on them since it is closer to finished than I remembered. Always nice. Then we will see if I am struck by Second Sock Syndrome or not.

I also still have my Lady Russel Shawl in the works, but I have made zero progress since my post in February. I also have a partially made blanket I bought at a thrift store years ago that I vowed to finish up when I moved back in July - it is still sitting in the same bag, totally untouched, lol. Also I swatched for 2 other sweaters - Endearment and Rebel Lace Cardigan - but those are still just swatches. Maybe someday I'll have enough knitting time to make a sweater again, lol. Until then I am enjoying the little time I do get and slowly but surely working toward a few finished objects. Wish me luck!

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