Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bring on the Holidays. I'm Ready.

I bet you think I am done with my shopping. Oh heavens, no. My gift knitting? Not gonna happen. My gift quilting? Not even close.

None of these. But I am now feeling ready for the holidays, nevertheless.

You see, to me, the holidays represent a great deal of knitting time, both in the car and among friends and family. A lot of my projects were at a standstill. I needed to get them organized so that I could continue knitting, while still being able chat and not look down too much. (In the car, so I don't get carsick. When talking with people, so I can make at least some eye contact.)

Knitting is portable, so when I'm on holiday, I always take my knitting. I have a lot of knitting projects going at once, mainly so that I always have something easy to work on.

But lately, on project after project, I began to get stuck over something. And the pileup began, faster than a foggy day on the Autobahn.

I had a day off the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I finally had a chance to sit down to sort it all out.

This is an easy little top, and there's no reason it's still hanging around--other than that I haven't knitted on it:

It's from the book One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites. (It's on p. 57 if you have a copy handy). It's just a little shrug, called Shrug This. I'm making it out of Tahki Torino Bulky. It's knit from the top down, and it's super easy. I need to spend a few hours and just finish it up. I have a row-by-row checkoff sheet made now.

I'm in similar shape on this vest:

It's a simple little v-necked vest that I found in a Tahki Yarns tweed booklet. I'm using Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed to make mine. I have the front and back both done to the armhole shaping. In the background of the photo, you can see my self-instructions for finishing it up. Just a few more hours, and that vest is mine.

Silver Belle is fruit that is a bit higher hanging:

I have written out the chart for making the sleeves and bodice, sort of. ....well, not completely. This sweater is a big project, and it's just slow going. But it is so pretty, and Tahki Torino is a dream to knit. Every time I see it, I get a longing to work on it. Unfortunately, I do more longing than knitting sometimes.

Okay. This sweater must get done. I have had enough of it:

It's my shadow-knitting sweater. I've been working on it for 3 years. It's really cool: When you look at it face on (like this picture), you see stripes; from the side, you see checks. It's made from Harrisville Shetland. I just have the sleeves to go, and they're the easy part. I have charted them out, and I should be able to make quick work of them. ....As quick as you can do on size 2 needles.

Dear Kevin. I know that you chose the yarn for this sweater 10 years ago. I realize that I had many false starts on it until I came across the pattern for Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Seamless Hybrid." But I'm knitting it now. I promise to finish your sweater someday.

Do realize, however, that it is on size 4 needles. And know that I started this sweater at the beginning of our relationship, back during those early stages, when a size 4 needle seemed appropriately devoted and romantic. Fortunately, Kevin, my love for both you and the long-discontinued wool/alpaca yarn of this sweater has never faded. Someday, I promise, you will have your sweater.

(Note to reader: The black part at the bottom of Kevin's sweater, in case you were wondering, is a contrasting hemmed facing. According to Elizabeth Zimmerman, the knitter is supposed to write her initials and the year she finished the sweater into the hem. The unfinished sweater, with its constantly unfinished hem, therefore provides the guilty knitter, who has finished up plenty of sweaters for herself, with an extra reminder of time's passing.)

Starting in January, I'm doing a "Zimmermania" class once a month--a class to honor the most famous knitter ever, Elizabeth Zimmerman. (Don't worry. We are going to be knitting smaller things than a man's "Seamless Hybrid.")

To prep for this class, I started working on her February Baby Sweater out of this yarn:

Now, in all my organizing, I seem to have misplaced the actual sweater I had started.

But I'm sure I'll find it again, and then I will get to work on it, and this wound-up ball of yarn is ready to go when I run out of the first ball of yarn.

I'm also working on a Fair Isle sweater from the Philosopher's Wool book, using Harrisville Highland. One sleeve is almost done, and I've started the second. Fair Isle is completely addictive. Unfortunately, my addiction has been overshadowed by my lack of time.

But I have it organized now! As soon as I can get back to work on it, I know just what to do!

And finally, my little crocheted jacket in Silk Garden from So Simple Crochet:

Just the sleeves. Come on. Crochet is supposed to be faster than knitting. Why is it taking so long? Maybe because I modified the pattern and forgot what I wanted to do for the sleeves. And because I have been staring at it rather than crocheting. It doesn't seem to be getting finished that way.

So lately, what with all my organizing, I have developed a new theory.

The theory is that knitting actually progresses only when you actually--ready for this?--work on the knitting. You can't just think about knitting, dream about knitting, blog about knitting. If you get stuck, you have to work your way through that sticking point because you have to knit. And when you do--voila! You might make some progress, or even finish something.

So for the next blog entry I write, I vow to show you something finished from the above.

But probably not Silver Belle.

1 comment:

Yarnhog said...

I had a little spasm when I saw your Silver Belle. Mine is nothing now but balls of purple yarn in my knitting basket. But I have to say, seeing a ten-year-old UFO took the pain right away! (You don't mind a at your expense, do you?)