Thursday, August 20, 2009


I know that the topic of WIPs or Works in progress is one fraught with drama and espionage. You know people hide them, pretend they don't exist.

I don't have many WIPs in my knitting life (right now). And depending on your definition of a WIP, I may never. See I always defined them as Works in progress, that is works you started but have not finished for some reason. You could still be working on it, you could have encountered a problem and set it aside for a while or perhaps you just lost interest in it. But then I saw on Knitting Daily that they were defining a WIP as a piece you had set aside for a while, perhaps never to finish.

By my definition--just a project you've started and isn't finished yet--really no value judgment implied about why--perhaps it is the active project--perhaps it isn't, I have 2 knitting WIPS. I'm not counting the socks I have a swatch for but have not cast on. The two I have are--the central park Hoodie I'm working on and a doll sweater I made that doesn't fit the doll and I need to make a decision about (of course it has been more than a year that I made this, but eh).

Up until last month I would have said something similar about sewing. Then we cleaned out the basement. I discovered in that process that I'm really much worse at the WIPS in my sewing than in my knitting. I not only have the "active project" going but at least three four five six (that I've found so far) that are in various stages.
1) Turtle wall hanging that I started Oh who knows how long ago. This one was complicated because all the shells were hexagons, but now I know the secret to making flat hexagons (give them to MIL to do--ha ha) maybe I'll get to this.

2) turtle wall hanging #2--this was actually turtle fabric as the main fabric and was supposed to hang in my kitchen--at the last house, nine years ago. I have a table cloth that matches--which is done BTW. The problem with this is that it is paper pieced and I get tired of that after a while.

3) Crazy quilt from reproduction fabrics. This is also paper pieced but I have a ton of scraps for it--I was thinking bed sized, but all the squares are 4 inches so it might take a while.

4)A skirt. I actually started this so long ago, I can't remember what the entire plan was. I out grew it then shrunk back to its size.

5) a denim quilt. All the pieces cut, just needs to be sewn together--not even quilted!

6) doll dress--the doll thing waxes and wanes so much here that I'm not sure I will finish this.

I was sure there were more, but that's all that comes to mind. I'm sure that as I continue to clean I'll run across more. Of course that doesn't count everything I have fabric purchased for or that I'd like to make (because then I'd have to confess the 40000 knitting projects of the same ilk).

I also wanted to comment about Tricia's comment on the post about the central park hoodie--and I can't figure out how Blogger will let me comment directly. Tricia wants to know why I suspect that the sweater won't fit me--this is a great question especially considering that I have only knit part of the back (now I'm nearly finished with the back but then I only had about 10 inches). Well, I do the really scientific thing of holding it up to me and saying, man this looks so small! I go through this every time and let me tell you I have only been right once.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New space

I haven't written in ten days, so you'd think that I have gotten gobs knitted, but really I've been working on my space.

You see when we bought our house, we turned the partially finished basement into my sewing room--or design studio. I didn't knit then, I didn't have children then. Now, I do both and the poor basement got neglected until it resembled something from the messiest home in America. So a few weeks ago we decided to clean it out, rip out the ugly carpet and start over, creating a full on craft room that all of us could enjoy. So for the past few weeks we've hauled tons of stuff to Goodwill, thrown away several bags of trash and are slowly putting back what's left (and still finding things we neither want nor need). My daughters have moved down there and are itching to start "crafting"--although the new carpet is so pretty we need to find someway to make it stay pretty and still be able to use ink (for rubber stamps), glitter, and glue. We're thinking plastic sheeting.

Tthe first project to get sewn in there, if I ever can get my space cleared up is the quilt I'm working on for my cousin. It has borders and is pin basted and ready to quilt. My MIL is letting me borrow her sewing machine, that comes with the portable table (because I stepped on mine--the room was that messy) and it is all set up and ready to go. Now I just need to use it.

I also swatched and started on the central park hoodie. I can't believe how easy this pattern is--and yet with a nice elegant cable. I'm about halfway up the back and already starting to worry that it won't fit AND that I'll run out of yarn--both of which are par for the course with me.

I don't have any pictures, and really not much more to add to that.

Monday, August 03, 2009

starting over

When I worked at the yarn store, I used to hear people say--they were "afraid" to make different projects. Sometimes I see that on ravelry or Knitting Daily. I never really understood it--after all knitting is just string and some sticks making knots-- what's to be afraid of? Then I started swatching for the dollar and a half cardigan.

I should probably back up and say that usually when I start a project I thoroughly investigate it on ravelry. I look to see what other people have used to make a project, I search to see who else has used the yarn I'm considering. I look carefully at the finished projects, check the needles sizes etc, so I can get a good idea for what I think works. This also helps me to see if there are any problems with the pattern or tips that other have for working the pattern.
In doing this investigation on the dollar and half cardigan, I discovered that there are a few "things" going on. First, it appears that even though the pattern doesn't say it, you really need to use two sizes of needles--one for the lacework and one for the plain sections. If you do not, your piece will pucker. This was borne out by my swatch (which I washed and accidently dried and ugh ugh ugh it puckered). The second is that there is a trick to decreasing (for the armholes) in the lace that there is an entire tutorial about.
Because of how my first swatch worked out--and it wasn't even not really on guage--I really need to swatch again, using two different needles. But I don't want to.

Oh I still want the sweater. I still want to knit this even though it will probably be a pain, but yet I feel this tiny bit of... I don't even know. I'd call it fear but that's not quite right. Perhaps this is really what people mean when they say they are afraid of a project. It isn't so much a fear as much as a bit of something that says I don't want to put in a ton of work on something that won't turn out the way I want it too. And I do think that if I start this project now it has the potential to end up badly.
It has taken me several tiny little knitting projects--smaller even than socks (and they may end up being gifted so I'm not showing them off) to come to the conclusion that I need to set the dollar and a half cardigan aside and start on the next big project.

So I'm back to swatch land, this time I'll be swatching for the Central park hoodie