Tuesday, February 26, 2013

State of the Knits 2013: Part 3.

A few weeks ago I made an important discovery: knitting goes faster when you're actually knitting with a purpose.

Let me explain. Generally I've been in the habit of having only one or two WIPs. I chose them because they struck my fancy: they were pretty or seemed suitable as a present to someone. I'd work on them leisurely for a few weeks, finish them, then loll around on Ravelry for a while until something else presented itself. I wouldn't knit very fast because finishing something, and especially finishing something quickly, meant that that dry waiting period would only come faster.

Then, recently, I had to knit something for a deadline. (No, it wasn't for Christmas.) I took it seriously. I stopped faffing about on the internet, I queued up suitable audiobooks and I started spending five or six hours every day just devoted to knitting. The project flew off my needles faster than I thought possible. And because it didn't sit around on my table for weeks and months, I never got the chance to get sick of th sight of it. It made me think of my knitting and my time management in an entirely new way. If I apply myself, I can finish so many more things in far less time than before.

With that in mind, I resolved to make a list beforehand of all the things I wished to knit this year, and by when, and stick to it. Here's this year's to-knit list:


Large projects

- Jo's Pride (to be completed before 3/22)
This is actually almost completed. I only have a few rows of the hood to go, and then blocking and seaming. I've put this aside for a while, though, because as soon as I stopped needing my tiny crochet hook for the beadwork, I started in on the next item on the list. Some weekend soon I'll have to just power through the last few rows and find a place to block it.

- Nouveau Beaded Capelet (to be completed before 3/22)
This will be a real test. I budgeted two months to knit it, but what with delays in getting the beads, travel and sickness, I ended up with only slightly over a month. Two weeks in, I'm still working on the beginning scallops. This might not be as bad a situation as it might seem, as the scallops seem to be the fiddliest part of the shawl. But still, I'll definitely need to work a lot harder on this to get it done on time.

- Bandit's sweater (to be completed before 7/7)
Now that I'm done with both sleeves, all that's left to do is the rest of the torso. 2x2 rib in plain black alpaca for the rest of eternity. This sweater has somehow left the realm of "deathly boring" and crossed over into "mindless comfort knit". I've been working on it while listening to audiobooks, watching a movie or watching Bandit play video games. It may seem a bit strange to aim to finish and gift this heavy sweater right in the middle of summer. And really, if I sat down and just knit determinedly on it, I could probably finish the rest of it in two weeks or so. But I'm giving myself a rather more relaxed deadline for several reasons. I want to get the tighter-deadline projects out of the way first. After that, I want to just enjoy having a mindless comfort knit rather than continuing to try to steam ahead. I will most likely have to order another big skein of the alpaca yarn in order to make the torso long enough, and waiting for it to arrive will also take quite a bit of time. With all of these considerations in mind, I decided that trying to get it done by Bandit's birthday would be a fine deadline.

- Ink Cardigan (to be completed before 10/1)
I love the look of this, and I've definitely been wanting a nice fall cardigan for a long time. I even know what yarn I'll want to use for this - the Madeline Tosh Merino Light that I was given last year for my birthday. Of course I only have one skein of it, and I'll need three or four, so this, too, will need to wait a while until I can get enough fun money together to order all the rest of the yarn.


Sock projects

Socks have become my go-to travel projects. Ideally I'd always like to have at least one pair going, just to break up the tension of working on the same huge project all the time. Fortunately for this goal, I have lots of sock yarn, and a large backlog of socks that I've promised to various people...

- Bandit's second pair of socks (Berroco Sox)
This is a fairly vanilla pair of ribbed socks, and my first foray into toe-up. It has not been a very smooth journey. They're almost done, though, and I'll be a little sad to see them all finished.

- Amy's socks (Greenwood Fiberworks Handpainted Sock Yarn)
The new pattern is designed for handpainted yarns, and is toe-up. This should take care of the problem where I run very slightly out of yarn for the second sock. I swear, I will master these socks.

- Pickle's socks (Dream In Color Smooshy)
After I read the Yarn Harlot's post about knitting these socks, I grew hopeful that maybe, at long last, I might have found the right pattern for this yarn. Hopefully they will be big enough. Certainly they won't be boring.

- Three pairs of socks for me (Artyarns Ultramerino4 in grass green, Cascade Heritage in dark red and black, Fable Fibers sock yarn in dark green and purple)
I bought all of these before I planned out what I wanted to knit (beyond "socks"). I'm pretty sure that I want to knit True Love with the Cascade (I managed to snag the pattern the one day it was free!) but for the others, all I know is that I want to knit them toe up in order not to waste any of the yarn.


Miscellaneous projects

- Jo's Pride matching gloves (to be completed before 3/22)
I have an enormous amount of yarn and beads left over from the Jo's Pride hooded shawl. If I have the spare time, I'd like to knit a pair of matching gloves, incorporating the same lace motif. (I probably won't have the time. But I'll probably knit them anyway.)

- Clapotis
I promised my mother to knit her something out of the Handmaiden Sea Silk, and after the disaster that was Commelina, this is what I've settled on.

- Alliance Lion Gloves
I'll get back around to finishing these. Eventually. Maybe.