Tag Archives: WIP Wednesday

Finding Time

Like any hobby or extracurricular activity, finding time for my knitting can be a challenge.

I often enjoy knitting in the evening after my daughter has gone to bed. I can visit with my husband and watch TV. But ever since my daughter started middle school we have to get up really early, which means I have to go to bed early, which means I have less time to knit.  And sometimes I’m just too tired to knit at all!

One of my favorite times to knit is in the waiting room while my daughter has her therapy and social group appointments. A nice chunk of time all to myself! Sometimes I wonder if the other parents think I am obsessed with my knitting (I’m not) since I’m always doing it. They might not realize it’s one of the few times I have to knit without The Other Things I Should Be Doing hanging over me.

Regardless of where, I manage to find enough time in bits and pieces to actually make progress on some projects.

When do you find time for your hobbies?

Here are the projects I am working on right now:

Ambiguous Cowl:

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This is the January 2016 Progressive Needles knit-a-long. I’m way behind because I focused my energy in January and February on my Downton Abbey Shawl.

The project is a long cowl. It’s a two-color project using the Fair Isle technique. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Michelle Hunter’s knit-a-longs because I always learn so much!

This one is going to take me a LONG time to finish. It takes a lot of concentration and is not a good project to take with me to my daughter’s appointments. I manage to get just a few rounds done each week. At this rate, I will be lucky if I have this done in time to wear next winter.

Edith’s Secret:

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I have been working on this shawl for over a year now, but I’m on the home stretch. It is the Downton Abbey KAL project from LAST year. I really love the way it’s turning out, and am focusing most of my knitting time getting this one finished. Hopefully I will be sharing the finished project soon!

Strie Socks:

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As you can see from the photo, I am not very far along on this pair of socks! This project is kind of on the back burner right now. I started it as a nice, easy project to work on during my recent trip to Seattle. Also, I like having a started project waiting in the wings. I am sure these socks will see more action once my Edith’s Secret is finished.

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WIP Wednesday: Shades of Gray

It’s been a while since I have shared my knitting projects with you, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting!  I have an unprecedented (for me, anyway) three projects going right now. Each of the projects is very different, except for one similarity:  they all use yarn in some shade of gray.

Project 1 – Socks

CoBaSi - Gun Metal Gray

First up is a project I actually started over a year ago.  It’s my first pair of socks, Focus Pocus by Michelle Hunter.  As I said, I started this one a year ago, but I didn’t like how tight the cast-on edge was.  It was hard to get over my heel, and it felt a little tight on my calf.  So I ripped it out.  I put off starting over for several months.  The cast-on and knitting of the first few rows is quite fiddly and stressful and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I finally braced myself and cast on in November.  To address the too-tight edge I used a larger needle for the cast on, then switched back to the smaller needle when I began knitting.  This not only helped with the tight edge, but it seemed to make the whole process go a little easier.  Now that I am well into the knitting, I am enjoying this project!

Focus Pocus Socks

I am about halfway through the cuffs of these socks.  This project is temporarily on hold while I work on some other projects, but I am looking forward to getting back to it.

Project 2 – A Mystery!

I can’t really tell you much about this next project, because it is super secret!  I can show you a picture of the yarn I am using:

Kenzie Yarn

And here is a little detail photo:

Mystery Detail

I will tell you more about this project when I finish it in a few weeks!

Project 3 – Downton Abbey

Lastly, I couldn’t resist participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-a-long hosted by Jimmy Beans Wool again this year. I have had so much fun with it the last two years, and so far this year is no exception.  As always, Jimmy Beans created a specially-dyed yarn just for this project.  While I liked the pink and brown colors of the special yarn, I couldn’t see myself getting much use out of a shawl in those colors, so I went rogue and chose these pretty colors:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. The color on the left is called “Fifty Skeins of Gray – Anastasia” and the color on the right is “Kerfuffle”.  I love these two colors together!

I am running a few weeks behind the knit-a-long (the group is on clue #4 and I am on clue #2).  Here is a picture of my shawl at the end of the first clue:

DA Mystery Shawl Part 1

I can’t wait to see how this one turns out!

What projects are you working on?

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WIP Wednesday: Lessons Learned

I am still working on the two projects I told you about a few weeks ago: a hat for my daughter and fingerless gloves using leftover yarn.  I have learned a few things while working on these projects.  In no particular order:

1. I prefer DPNs instead of magic loop.

Until I started working on my Roku Mitts, I thought I preferred magic loop, even though I have used both DPNs (double-pointed needles) and magic loop successfully.  I chose to do my mitts with magic loop mostly because I didn’t own any DPNs in the correct size.  But I discovered that I particularly dislike magic loop when there are not many stitches on each needle (32 total in this case).  I spent more time fiddling with the needles than actually knitting.  After I gave in and bought some DPNs I was knitting much faster!

Roku Mitts on DPNs

Roku Mitts on DPNs

Both methods have their uses, but I will no longer shy away from using DPNs!

2. Gauge is important.

I know, I know.  I already knew this.  But I was playing around with different gauges to adjust the size of my daughter’s hat and I gained a little more understanding about how gauge affects finished sizes.  My first hat attempt was WAY too small.

3. Trust pattern sizing.

My daughter has a small head.  And I want her hat to fit well and not be too big.  So even though I measured her head, and the pattern designer listed finished hat sizes, I started knitting a size smaller than I should have.  And guess what?  My second hat attempt was too small.

Yellow Hat - the correct size

Yellow Hat – the correct size

Third time’s a charm, and I am now making the size hat that matches my daughter’s measurements.  And wouldn’t you know, it fits!

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WIP Wednesday: New Beginnings

Welcome back to WIP Wednesday!  I recently finished two knitting projects that I am very excited about.  I will be sharing them with you soon.  In the meantime, it is time to start thinking about what I will knit next.

I have a bit of yarn left over from one of my recently finished projects.  Enough to actually make a little something.  In a fit of frugality (or something!), I became determined to use it right way rather than stick it away in the stash and never look at it again.  I found a pattern for fingerless gloves that looks like it should fit the bill.  It uses two colors  and close to the amount of yarn I have left.  As you can see, I am not very far along:

Roku Mitts in Progress

I am making Roku Mitts in a size small.  This is a risky project because I might not have enough yarn. And I won’t know until I finish the first glove.  The suspense might kill us!

Here is a photo of me using my new ball winder for the first time (well, I’m not actually in the picture, but I’m sure you can imagine me standing right there winding my yarn):

Winding Yarn

A few readers who are related to me can guess that this yarn will be used to make something for my daughter.  I had such success with her fingerless gloves last year that I thought I would see if I could get her to wear a hat made in her favorite color.

Caked and Ready to go!

I am using the Knitted Hats for the Whole Family pattern.  It should be a quick and easy knit, perfect for taking with me to my daughter’s weekly OT appointments.

What do you do with your leftover yarn?  Do you use it right away?  Does it ever get used?  Please share!

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WIP Wednesday: Too Busy To Write Edition

When I started my WIP Wednesday feature last month, my intention was to write an update at least every other week (as long as I had updates to share!).  Well, it’s nearly a month and a half later.  Whoops!  My excuse is not that I haven’t accomplished anything, but rather that I have been so busy with my projects that I haven’t had time to write about them.

Knitting

Larch is coming along nicely!  This has been a very enjoyable project and I love how the pattern shows off the beautiful yarn so well.  I can’t wait to finish this one!

Larch in Progress

Next month I will be starting another mystery knit-a-long!  This one will be a two color hat.  I chose the following colors of Simplicity.  I used the Pantone Fall 2014 Fashion Color Report for inspiration.

Simplicity Yarn

This is another KAL hosted by Skacel and Michelle Hunter.  For more information about the KAL see:  http://knitpurlhunter.com/kal/uncategorized/july-kal-3/.  If you are interested in participating in a mystery KAL, I highly recommend Michelle’s.  They are very well run and I always learn something new!

Home Improvement

My bedroom project is coming along slowly, but surely.  It is slow-going because this is the first time I have done any of this, and I am learning as I go.  The project also got stopped in it’s tracks due to have my mother visit to help me with a garage sale (she stayed in the room, so I had to make it liveable for her) and the school year ending.

Since I last updated you, I have ripped out the closet doors, washed the walls (a painful process because of leftover wallpaper glue), painted the ceiling, and patched the walls.  I had hoped to have a fun before/after photo of the ceiling and new light fixture for you, but we ran into a snag with the light fixture that requires some research and perhaps a consultation with an electrician.  Trust me, the picture will be more fun when the light fixture is installed!

I made a decision about the closet doors!  They have been removed and will not be replaced.  My sister-in-law, who has young children of her own, convinced me to go doorless.  Thinking about ease-of-use and accessibility for my daughter, this made the most sense.  Here is a photo of the closet right now:

Empty Closet

The white bits are where the original shelf and rod were installed.  I removed those and patched the walls.

Right now I am working on masking the rooms so I can get the walls painted.  I hope to get that done when summer school starts in a couple of weeks.  Then the project will be put on hiatus until the new school year starts in August.

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Work-in-Progress Wednesday: First Edition

Welcome to Work-in-Progress (WIP) Wednesday!  I hope to be updating you every (well, most) Wednesday on various projects I am working on.

Knitting

I have been knitting pretty continuously the last few months.  I recently finished a project that I will be sharing with you soon.  I just need to take some pictures (hopefully on Sunday as I will be wearing the finished item for Mother’s Day).  I pretty much immediately started a new project that I am quite excited about.

Meet Larch:

Larch Shawlette

It’s a little shawlette or scarflet that I have been wanting to make for over a year.  I had just been waiting for the right yarn to find me.  The yarn and I finally crossed paths recently and I love it!

Back in January I started my first pair of socks as part of a mystery knit-a-long.  This is how far I got:

Focus Pocus

The project stalled for a couple of reasons:

1) I started a Downton Abbey KAL at the same time I started these socks.  I discovered that I am  a one-project-at-a-time girl, and this is the one that didn’t get worked on.

2) After trying on my socks, I found that the cast-on edge is quite tight around my ankle, which discouraged me.  I think I will start over soon with a looser cast-on.  I want the finished socks to be comfortable to wear!

Home Improvement

In other news, I finally started a home improvement project I have been talking about for years!  I am turning our spare bedroom into a freshly painted and revamped bedroom for my daughter.

I have ripped out molding, removed doors, pulled down shelving, and sanded down flaws.  By the end of this project, I will have learned how to paint a room (can you believe this is my first time?), install baseboards and molding around a door, install a closet organizer, and all sorts of mundane home improvement tasks.

Door in Progress

Now I would like to get some opinions about the closet.  I have already removed the original, boring shelf and bar and will replace them with some sort of closet organizing system (I haven’t designed it yet).  I am trying to decide what to do about the doors.

Original Closet

These are the original sliding doors that were installed when the house was built.  They are in good condition and function well.  I have some fun ideas about how I can spruce them up and make them more interesting.  But, I am also considering replacing them with bi-fold type doors.  Any opinions?  Pros and cons for the different types of doors?  I would love to hear what you think!

Whew!  I have a lot going on!  What projects are you working on?

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