July 25, 2013

In over my head with knitting projects

The projects just keep piling up.  I don't mean for it to happen, but with all of the changes in our lives--moving, settling in, finding my way around, commuting to teach classes--my ability to realistically start new knitting projects that might make it to a bind off has pretty much gone down the drain.  Let's count the ATM (after the move) July projects that have been cast on but haven't even come close to being FOs:  two pair of socks (not on a hard deadline but would like to get those off the needles soon), one entrelac cowl (knit half-way and then frogged after I had to cancel the class due to my fractured finger), Peasant Shawl KAL with my mom (also not a hard deadline, but I should be nearly done with that by now and am not even close), and the latest cast-on, my Avonlea Hat (sample for an upcoming class I'm teaching in August).

Let's talk about the Avonlea Hat.  Hmmm.  It's a cute project, I'll give it that.  It's not, however, something that you can knit while anything else is going on around you.  At least, I can't.  It begins with a 3-inch ribbed band that is folded in half and then combined with a 3-needle bind-off (leaving you with your original stitch count instead of double).  This is a very easy thing to do, provided you have your wits about you when you cast on, follow the very clear and explicit directions, and use waste yarn instead of, like I did, the working yarn.  Yes, it took an HOUR to pick out the cast-on stitches so that I would have 140 live stitches for the 3-needle bind off.  An hour.  It was an exercise in patience that, if you've ever found yourself in the same situation with a bright multi-colored yarn, makes you feel afterward like somebody should be nominating you for sainthood.  The band is followed by a repeating lace pattern with short pattern repeats in each row for the lace; there are so many YOs and K2togs and ktbls in a single repeat that it's pretty darn easy to lose your place.  Thanks to the ever-present chorus of "mom. mom. mom. mom." around here, I've lost my place … again, and again, and again …

So after a little more than a week I am here:  a ribbed band and one 16-round lace repeat completed (plus the nine invisible rows because row 7 seems to have an issue and I re-knit rows 7-9 three times before I finally added a stitch to compensate for the missing one and got back on track).

I am hoping to finish this hat by the end of next week since it's the model for the class that I am teaching in August at the Monroe Art Guild.  When I dye yarn for the class, though, I am going to go with colors that are not in the fuscia range of the color wheel.  The yarn that I am using came from my stash.  It begged to beome this hat in the hank, but I think it was mistaken.  I think this Malabrigo Archangel colorway is a little too bright and maybe too much of a multi to show off the lace pattern, even after blocking.  Time will tell.

I have, however, recently fallen into two glorious consecutive hours of knitting time every Tuesday and Thursday evening since two of my kids have decided they need "lessons" (one for gymnastics and one for martial arts), so the ribbed socks are now half-way through the foot and the plain socks have two legs and a heel.  There might be hope for one FO between the two pair by the end of next week.  Hoping, hoping, hoping because I still have, oh, about 13 projects sitting in baskets around here besides those that I've mentioned that I cast on BTM (before the move) that might like a little attention.

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