Summer of WIPs and FOs

Summer, more and more often, seems to be the season I spend playing catch up.

You may know that I usually play along with the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (huzzah Hufflepuff!), but I'm actually "on sabbatical" this term because my WIP pile has gotten out of control. After the mad scramble to finish Charm City Knits, I'm taking it a little easier on the design side so I can focus more attention on personal projects. 

Of course, I've got the Sock Spectacular 2016 project/contest underway--I'm working on my 8th sock for the year (with that overdyed yarn I talked about in the last post!) which means I'm almost on track! In the interest of speeding things along, I recently added to my sock needle collection. I bought a pair of Chiaogoo 9" circulars to try--I tried another brand in the past and wasn't impressed, so I'm interested to see if these will be an improvement.

The Summer in the City KAL is also underway--I have 3 projects planned for the KAL, and have actually managed to start 2 (I'd like to keep my original samples in good condition so I can use them for displays, should the opportunity arise, so I need extras to actually use!).

First, a Charm City Shawlette in some very soft Madelinetosh Twist Light:

And an Admiral Fell hat, in this fun, handspun-esque Spincycle Yarns Dyed in the Wool:

And then I just have some regular old WIPs, I'd like to get off the needles--many of them languishing for years: Ollie's baby blanket, Lady BatArtichoke French . . . I'm sure I'll find more if I keep digging through the baskets!

Are you playing along with Stash Dash this year? This is the first year I'm attempting it--I'm pushing for the 5k, nothing too outlandish, hoping it will provide some additional motivation to finish these projects!

If you'd like to see my progress (or lack thereof), be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily photos (and sometimes wine). And don't forget to come join us for the Summer in the City KAL--we'll be knitting along all summer long!


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Slow Fashion October: Reconsidering the WIPs

As I indicated in my previous post, Slow Fashion October has inspired me to take a closer look at my knitting projects and how often I'm actually contributing to my wardrobe vs. starting exciting new projects that ultimately wind up sitting in a bag, taking up space for a few years. 

This is especially true of sweaters, which tend to be the projects that end up ignored--they take longer to finish and some parts can be monotonous (sleeves!). Or I hit a tricky bit of shaping and put it aside until I can concentrate (you know, when the kids move out in 16 years). Or I make a mistake and have to put the sweater in time out. Or I realize the yarn doesn't really work with the project, but having already put so much work in, I can't bear to rip it out. Or I simply fall out of love with the pattern. 

Whatever the reason, I had a fair few sweaters that had been languishing for years, and decided I needed to make some permanent decisions about their fate.

argyle-vest-mediaperuana

This is my oldest WIP--a Deep V Argyle Vest I started years ago (I want to say 2009), in now-discontinued Knit Picks Merino Style. I absolutely adore this vest, but I was a much less experienced knitter when I started it, and it's not without its problems. The floats are too tight, and I'm not confident blocking would improve  them much. Not truly understanding pattern sizing and ease at the time, I chose to knit the 34" size, which back then would've given me 0 ease, and today negative (it is supposed to be close fitting, but you still need room for a shirt under it!). It's time to give up on this project. Maybe I can use the yarn for a colorwork project for one of the boys--JJ does seem to love purple. 

dahlia-cardigan-mediaperuana

Here's a project I jumped into enthusiastically a few years ago--the Dahlia Cardigan. The lace panel on the back was so fun to knit, and the side panels were easy TV knitting. As I got closer to finishing the body, though, I began to suspect I didn't have enough yarn. That cake in the picture is it, and I still have to finish the left front and knit both sleeves. The labels are long gone, so there's no hope of matching the dye lot, unless by pure chance. This is a tough one. I'm giving myself until Easter--that's March 27--to buy another skein and finish it, otherwise, it's being frogged. 

This one wasn't too hard to make a decision on--I've never been happy with the combination of yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Merino) and pattern (June's Favorite Cardigan). It's delightfully soft, but the single ply just doesn't have enough definition and the textured stitches are lost. And it would pill like crazy. So long, cardigan. 

This Hugo sweater is supposed to be for CP. It's enormous and this is just the front. Men's sweaters are a lot of knitting--especially if your husband is 6'3". Add to that the fussy (but decidedly sharp) tubular cast on and the miles of moss stitch and it's no wonder I put this one aside. I don't think I even asked if he wanted a sweater before I started it, and we're talking about a man who wears polo shirts almost exclusively. I think we're going to have a chat--if he honestly thinks he'll wear it (and not just to make me happy), I'll keep it and set a deadline for next fall. But if he really doesn't want it, a frogging we will go. 

artichoke-french-mediaperuana

Lastly, my Artichoke French, started for 2014: Year of the Pullover. I got bored with the sleeves, but this is a definite keeper. I adore the yarn, the color and the pattern. I need to keep this one at hand so I don't forget about it as I stumble through the last few months of 2015: Cardigan Comeback.

I also ripped out a few socks and smaller accessories without too much fanfare--they're easy to restart, and if I couldn't even commit to finishing a hat, I must not have been enjoying the pattern that much anyway. Besides, I have no shortage of hats. 

My WIP baskets are decidedly lighter and I'm ready to focus my energy on finishing some projects and expanding our wardrobes!


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