February 01, 2012

Just a few resolutions ...

Normally one makes resolutions for the new year when the new year is actually beginning.  This new year has been so overwhelmingly stressful and generally miserable from nearly every direction other than my Honey and knitting that it's the first of February and I am just now getting around to beginning to think about my new year's knitting resolutions.  What I have determined thus far, mostly as a consequence of having rearranged my knitting room, is that I have six projects staring at me from the shelves, one for which I haven't even dyed the yarn yet, and three sitting on the table.  So, my new year's resolutions are going to have to begin with wrapping up or frogging the crazy collection of partially begun projects that are staring me down and I type.

First on the list: those darned 2-at-a-time socks that I started sometime (probably last spring about this same time) last year, the ones with the twisted basket-weave pattern done on size 2 needles with a marled German wool that likes to separate with every stitch.  Yeah, those.  Who knew I could come to hate twisted basket weave so much?!  Anyway, after months of pretending that I hadn't even started them, and then a month of waffling back and forth between frogging or finishing, I figured out how to turn the heel and am on my way to having one of two socks with a heel; so I guess I'm committed to finishing this one up.

Second on the list:  Honey's shawl collar sweater, which I am designing as I go.  Who knew that there would be so few pattern resources for a frickin men's sweater!  I need to learn to do my research before I commit, even where Honey is concerned.  I say that not because the knitting is difficult--it's really just knitting in the round right now--but because I'm pretty sure that the measurements of this sweater (it needs to be large enough to fit over a long-sleeved shirt) equate to 2XL.  It's a lot of mindless knitting.  I thought it would be good car knitting, but then I haven't really done much riding in a car lately so that's been an unproductive plan.  Last night, I took this project with me to work on during Scout #2's trumpet lesson.  I got 35 minutes of uninterrupted automatic knitting time.  I think that I will also be taking this project to Rocket's violin lesson.  With 70 minutes of knitting time per week on this project, I might actually get it done before next winter!

Third on the list:  the Elegy gloves order.  I firmly intend, provided the yarn arrives this weekend, to dye the yarn and get this order knit up by the end of next week.  I am totally putting myself on project restriction after the yarn dries until these are finished.

Fourth on the list:  finish at least one of the other three pair of Elegy gloves started but abandoned on the table.  One pair is for Rocket.  I am unsure if it's even worth my time to finish them for her because I have only seen her wear the hat I made her for Christmas once and the mittens not at all.  Of course the weather has been so balmy that my jonquils and hyacinths were coming up by the third week of January, and Rocket will go outside to play happily without shoes, socks, jacket, sweater, sweatshirt--she'll go out in a tank top and shorts if you let her!--in 30 degree weather.  One of the pair of gloves, however, is an olive green pair for myself, and these I think will get done because there purpose was for me to have them to wear during soccer season--you know, we soccer moms have to sport some semblance of school colors while we sit and freeze in the stands.

Fifth on the list:  I have a new shawl design to which I have devoted the 5 skeins of recycled tweed wool from the thrift store spree.  It's turning out nicely, but it turns out that the smaller the needle, the less my hands and wrists hurt and the larger the needle, the more strain I seem to suffer.  The shawl is being knit on US15--which probably seems like it would equate to a quick knit, except that I chose a somewhat tedious stitch pattern for the center panel.  My wrists just don't like this one and it may be months before I can reveal its complete awesomeness.

Sixth on the list:  Remember that Entrelac thingy that I started in December?  Remember how I was going to have that done BEFORE Christmas break ended?  Well, as it turns out, I can knit on that darned thing and knit on it and never seem to make any headway.  I think I have about three more feet to go before I run out of yarn.  I believe that I now fully understand how Penelope felt about that shroud she kept working on for 10 years while she waited for Odysseus to quit playing around in the Mediterranean and come home.  This Entrelac project has become my shroud.

Seventh on the list:  I would like to finish the two test knits for Rocket's cropped cardigan that I made early last fall.  I have knit nearly all the way through the body for the small size, and it's possible that I could get that test knit done by the end of March.  Apparently I was a little overzealous when I mocked up the other pattern sizes because my original plan, I just noticed, was to size the pattern in four different sizes.  I think I might have to nix the extra-small size and just deal.  Theoretically, I could have this pattern ready for sale by the end of July.  I think that will be my goal.

Okay, let's just face it.  That last project, the mostly finished teddy bear improvisation over there in the bowl ... it's just headed for certain destruction.  I think I can honestly say that the knitting of toys doesn't do anything for me.  I know that because that "bear" was supposed to be a baby shower gift, and the kid is almost two years old now.  I'm pretty sure this project has no future.

Eighth on the list:  Scout #2's Reconstruction Sweater ... the body for that thing was finished last year.  Maybe I will actually knit some sleeves for it this year.  Good thing I made the body extra-large on the second go-around because he might actually still fit into it by the time I get it done and next winter's cold weather rolls around.  I'm pretty sure he has given up on my ever finishing it because he's started making concessions, like "Mom, you don't have to knit stripes on the sleeves to match the rest of the sweater.  You can just knit all one color and that will be okay.  Whatever it takes, mom."

And lastly, ninth on the list:  That purple baby blanket that I started because someone wanted me to do it as a special order and then backed out of the deal ... it just needs to be finished and donated to the Linus project or something.  It's a third of the way done and I am sure that there is going to be a point (probably during spring break when I have a lengthy round-trip plane ride) when some automatic knitting will come in handy.  I have the same blanket begun in a bright blue, too, so I should probably bite the bullet and finish it as well. Not to digress, but I understand that bamboo needles are okay on an airplane but not metal or acrylic ... a man made that rule, right?  I don't know about your wooden needles, but I for one have never bent a wooden needle while doing something as innocuous as knitting with it, while I have several sets of straight metal needles that sort of curve in the middle.  Well, I won't tell airport security how they got this "dangerous knitting needle" policy backwards if you won't.

I really only have four other items on my resolution list, and these have yet to be cast on:  The cable cowl from Lion Brand that I bought a gazillion skeins of blackberry wool to make about two years ago, the Buttercup Beret that I bought that expensive silk to make at about the same time as the blackberry wool, a long and flow-y cardigan that I bought the cream-colored Italian silk in December to make, and the top-down mock turtleneck sweater in merino, mohair, and alpaca that I have knit the mock neck for and then abandoned on the duct tape dummy.  Wait, I take that back!  I would like to knit something with my Possum yarn before Stitches South rolls around again in April--probably a chunky cowl that my friends will drool over.  Easy!  I could do that in my spare knitting time!

Okay, so maybe it will be a while before I am able to post another Monday Masterpiece; however, just wait until you see how the Brambles Beret turned out!  I am pretty pleased with that one!



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