One row forward, two rows back

Sperry

Do you ever have one of those projects where you feel like it is just impossible to make progress? Well I’m right in the middle of one of those at the moment, and it’s pretty frustrating. After finishing the Wilshire shawl I was so excited to cast on some new things. But I’ve only started one new project, without too much to show for it.

The Sperry sweater is one of those projects that’s been in my queue for quite a while and I’ve had the yarn lying around for months as well. The construction looked easy enough and then just loads of stockinette and some stripes, how hard can it be?! But I’ve just been falling from one obvious mistake into the other. The pattern instructions are also a bit of a mess, since there are no paragraphs at all (the horror!) and I’ve been so focused on just reading through it and trying to not mess it up that I’ve made an epic mistake.. I twisted while joining in the round (I’ve put the evidence for this behind this link, I don’t want to involuntarily upset some knitters with these horror pictures). Rip rip rip. And even after that, a little M1 mistake here, a horrible colour switch there. And every time again I’m just rip rip ripping it out.

At least now I’ve come to the point where I’m about ready to separate the sleeves and after that it really should be easy going (right?!). I’m actually thinking of putting a lifeline in it right now, unheard of! And now all kinds of horror scenarios are spooking through my head. Like the fact that a lot of ravelry project notes warn for the neckline ending up too wide, and me thinking that wouldn’t be a problem because I like a wide neckline. But now actually seeing it maybe I should’ve taking the advice. And then there’s the thing of me only doing a kind of gauge swatch, so who knows what size this will end up as. Oh well, I’m going to keep my optimism hat on for now and soldier on. Even if it ends up with a huge neckline and in a tiny size, I’ll just have to find that one friend with a slightly shifted shoulder to waist ratio and then they’ll have a wonderful christmas gift.

FO: Wilshire shawl

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Oh happy day! I’ve finished this shawl in time and am so happy with how it turned out!

Pattern: Wilshire shawl
Yarn: Lana grossa lace merino in colour Lilla

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I started this shawl a month ago and since it was intended as a birthday gift it had to be done before yesterday. On monday I finished all the knitting and on tuesday I quickly blocked it and weaved in the ends. Yesterday it was wrapped and on to Amsterdam I went. I’m delighted to say my friend loved it! She knows I’m a quite fanatic knitter and I told her I made her a present. I think she was expecting a pair of socks, but this was much better of course. Also my yarn over mistake really isn’t noticeable, probably due to the amount of yarn overs throughout the shawl.

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I’m also very happy with the yarn. It is so soft and quite elastic. I don’t think I have one bad thing to say about it. And the colour is really nice as well. Plus I still have plenty left for another big shawl, yay!

Now I feel like casting on some stuff that is a bit more seasonal and warm. And one big cast off equals at least 5 new cast ons right?

Final countdown

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This is it. The final stretch. This wednesday I’ll be on a train to Amsterdam and this shawl has to be with me, finished, cast off, blocked and nicely wrapped. There’s no room for failure. This shawl will be gifted.

You might remember me being proud of casting on this Wilshire shawl so well in advance and there being loads of time for me to finish this. I guess I know myself well enough to know it would come to this. Only a couple of days left and still 1,5 lace charts to go over 400+ stitches. It still seems possible, despite most of my weekend already being filled with sporting/social/working plans. And I was quite optimistic until yesterday evening when I spotted a MISTAKE (cue dramatic music). A yarn over mistake right at the spine a couple of rows back. Sorry for making this into a knitting confession but I am terrible at fixing mistakes! Sure, I can pick up a dropped stitch in stockinette, but that’s about it. I’m in awe when I see people fixing complicated lace mistakes by dropping stitches and just knitting them back up again. The only strategies I have when it comes to mistakes are a) don’t make mistakes; and b) if you spot a mistakes carefully knit back every stitch, until said mistake has disappeared.

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But here’s the thing, I don’t have time anymore to knit back so many lace stitches. The mistake was a major eyesore to me but I decided to put it to the test to see how bad it really was. I don’t know if this is a horrible thing to think or not but this will be gifted to a non-knitter. So I showed the shawl to my boyfriend (also a non knitter), explicitly told him one of the little holes right next to the spine was wrong and asked him to point it out to me. He couldn’t. So the hard decision was made to leave in the mistake and I’m desperately hoping that even after the yo’s open up after blocking it will still not be visible to non-knitters. Also maybe I overreacted just a tiny bit yesterday, because I also don’t find the mistake that disturbing anymore by daylight, it’s not even visible in the pictures!

I wouldn’t even be in this situation if I’d stick more to my plan. But after casting on I’ve been busy at work, I’ve flirted with cross-stitch and I’m ashamed to admit it but I also cast on a new project. In my defence, I’ve been wanting to cast on the rainbow wanderer socks ever since falling in love with my mini skeinbow. And realising that they would qualify for the September Sockdown fraternal pairs socks challenge I had no choice. And you can’t just cast on a pattern like that and only knit a few rows, I had to see the rainbow evolve a little!

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Anyway enough whining for now. I’m getting into full focus mode, no more mistakes and I’m not allowed to do anything besides knit this shawl today.Before wednesday there’ll either be a euphoric blog post about my amazing knitting skills, or a depressed one about how I need a time management course.

x marks the spot

GliaClub

I’ve survived all the work deadlines and my life is slowly getting back to it’s less busy self. Which means I can pick up my knitting projects again! Despite not having any FOs to show you I did make some progress at least. But to be honest I got a bit fed up with knitting last week. I was working long days and when I got home felt pressured to knit, rather than feeling relaxed by it. I kind of have a birthday knit deadline for the Wilshire shawl, I really want to cast on something for the september sockdown, I want to start a project to tackle my cable fobia, I wanted to join in with the WIP crackaway etc. etc. This all took the fun out a bit for me so I was looking for something else to relax with until my mind was a bit more at rest.

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So I decided to finally learn cross stitch in the hopes of it being as easy as I imagined it and offering me some mindless activity to wind down. I spent one evening reading some tutorials, picking out a pattern and ordering materials. Two days later I was good to go and I actually really enjoy this! The pattern I’m making is called Glia Club, and although it feels like I’m just doing something random, it’s actually starting to look like it’s supposed to. Plus it did the trick for me, it was a great distraction and I feel like I have energy to knit again 🙂

Do you sometimes feel stressed out by knitting?

Knitting Confessions #3

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This post is a link up which was initiated by Brandy from the blog Stitched up in Toronto. As she so well described this idea:

Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

So here is my third knitting confession and I’m afraid I’ll be quite alone on this one:

I have a cable knitting phobia

Probably most knitters have wild dreams of wonderful cabled sweaters, but to be quite honest the idea of knitting them freaks me out. It’s not that I do not love looking at beautiful cable projects, but I don’t feel like I’m good enough to knit them. My projects involving a cable needle are very rare and the experience left me not very happy. The cable needle is so fiddly, the charts are so complex, it feels like so much more work (yes I say this as fanatic lace knitter).

However, I’ve come up with a two step program to tackle my disabling fear. The first step towards overcoming my phobia is to learn how to knit cables without a cable needle, at least eliminating the fiddly bit (hopefully). And as I second step I will be required to admire all the inspiring cable projects that were just released for the Brooklyn Tweed Fall collection, for at least 10 minutes each day.

I am very determined to conquer my phobia and set myself the goal of knitting at least one decent cable project still in 2014. And then either my inner cable knitting enthousiast will awaken, or I will throw in the cable knitting towel. Fingers crossed it will be the first one.

Any more pro cable knitting tips are more than welcome!