Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Travel knitting revisited

My final packing decision: the Cuvier scarf, the Phinney sweater, the Rockin Sox WIP, 2 balls of Panda Soy, 1 ball of Regia (Fassett) Random Stripe, a baggy with leftover sock yarn, and another Universal scarf that I started Friday night after finishing the rest of my packing.

I never touched the Cuvier scarf, the sweater, or the socks in progress.

That doesn't mean I didn't complete any projects.

First, my non-knit projects:

From top to bottom, a decorated tote bag, a gecko made of seed beads strung on copper wire, an Anthropologie-style necklace from beads and fabric, some modular origami, and duct tape wallets.

I learned how to crochet well enough to make this slouch hat in Bamboo Ewe:
I also finished knitting the Universal Scarf (this one is in Plymouth Encore), a beaded necklace called Butin Collar, and a beaded cuff bracelet called Thrice (2 views). The latter two were designed by Laura Nelkin and were published in her Adorn Collection.

I also started a pair of Lacy Rib Socks (from the Little Box of Socks) in the Stained Glass colorway of Panda Soy. Last night I finished sock #1. The lace doesn't show up that well in the photo but should be obvious when I wear them.

Now that I'm home and I'm almost caught up with non-profit and household work, I plan to get back to my 10 rows per week goal on the Moderne Log Cabin and finish the above socks before starting anything new.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Travel knitting

Our annual trip to Fallen Leaf Lake is coming up, and I have been so busy with other activities that I haven't yet figured out what knitting to pack. Last year I took a partially finished Moderne Log Cabin for my niece Amanda and yarn for the Skeldon cardigan from Berrocco Campus. I finished the blanket and got about 2/3 of the way through the sweater during our week at camp. As added insurance, I also brought yarn for socks for my Mom (cast on at camp, but completed January of this year), and Handwerks yarn for a scarf (knit about 10" at camp, then decided to rip and reknit in a different pattern; stuck at 16" in current pattern and shown below).

I know from past experience that I am happiest with a variety of projects to choose from, both in yarn weight and type of knitting.

I am planning on bringing a scarf for nephew (Christmas present) in Ultra Alpaca Light, one or two pair of socks, and a sweater for myself. The scarf, Cuvier from Berrocco Men, is kitted up, but not yet begun; it has a lot of texture, but no lace or cables. I have two different pair of socks at the partway through cuff of sock #1 phase, but am not yet convinced if either will make the cut. The first sock is from the May Rockin Sock shipment; this design is heavily textured and includes cables. The other is from Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd; it will be a French Market Sock and is knit in 3 colors of shetland wool.

Similarly, I have two partially completed cardigans (Rafik in green and Mondo in navy), but am leaning toward starting something else (maybe with some colorwork instead of just texture). As you may be able to see, both are cabled, but the Mondo is mostly stockinette.

I am thinking that I may have too much similarity and/or complexity here. Maybe the Phinney top from Berrocco #302 (I have the yarn in dark teal (body) and deep raspberry (yoke)).

Maybe I should finish last year's scarf instead of one pair of socks (it is lace).

And maybe I should stop overthinking this.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Great tip for "endless" knitting

I was reading the current issue of Knit 'n Style, and an article by Jack Lewis caught my eye. He wrote about how some projects can seem impossible to finish because there is so much more knitting to be done (and how that is a likely point of abandonment).

His solution is to break down large projects into smaller pieces and tell himself something like: "Just 4 more rows and I'll be done with the waist shaping.". He says he breaks down a sweater into 20 or more components and ALWAYS takes a break after finishing a "section".

I thought about the Moderne Log Cabin and its seemingly endless rows of garter stitch. I analyzed what was left to knit, and realized that if I knit 10 rows every week, I would be done in early December, plenty of time before Christmas.

I decided to start today. Instead of knitting 2 rows a day for the next 5 days, I knit 10 rows today. The blanket has been put aside for now, and I am that much closer to finishing it.

The best part is I feel a sense of accomplishment, and I look forward to my next 10 row installment (I will finish block #8 at that time).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nothing Lasts Forever

Certainly not my mindless knitting jag. I was able to finish my lovely cowl (on the needles last post).

I also finished my Pebble Beach top, which was mindless other than minor shaping once I passed the armholes. Thanks to Carol O. for the great picture!

I managed to get partway through block #8 out of 10 on the Moderne Log Cabin blanket I've been making for my brother and his wife when it hit me: this is ENDLESS! The problem with this project is the last few blocks are significantly larger than the rest, so the blanket drags on forever in its final stages. I've decided they will receive it for Christmas, which gives me plenty of time (as long as I budget about 10 rows per week).

I have moved on to fun stuff. The twins turn 23 this week, and I have knit amigurami for each (both from the Mochimochiland site). Kerry gets Flushie and Professor Plunger and Alex gets Error. These were fun, fast knits that took less than a week to complete despite numerous distractions.