I have decided to look at simplifying areas of my life in an effort to cut down on my increasing stress levels. The first area which comes to mind when simplifying is my knitting. I tend to be a knitter who gets distracted by the new and the shiny patterns and yarns. I fall in love, and I fall hard, which leads to bouts of castonitis and a growing WIP pile.
I currently have eleven WIPs which doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I really love the feeling of finishing projects and starting new projects, it is a bit of a problem. I figured I would take some time to write about each of these WIPs in an effort to fall back in love with them and get the push or the energy to get them off my needles. It would be so nice to have clean, or almost clean, needles in time for the new year (which is only two short months away!).
The oldest WIP that I have is my Cullum by Isabell Kraemer. I started this project on May 19, 2018, just in time for the warm weather of summer. I am knitting my Cullum in Quince and Co Sparrow in the Port colorway. Before starting this project, I had never used linen yarn before. One of the many things which drew me to this project was the fact that it could be dressed up or down, depending on how I want to wear it. I am currently at the point in the pattern where I am knitting down the body. You’d think that this project would fly off the needles considering I have completed all the hard parts, but I think I am just bored by the monotony of the stockinette stitch body. It does not help that linen is not a comfy and cozy yarn to be knitting with going into the chilly months of Fall and Winter. This project will most likely go into hibernation until next Spring/Summer.
Sizzle Pop by Lesley Anne Robinson is the next WIP on my list. I started this project on May 28, 2018 and it is the perfect example of me falling in love with a new yarn and a new pattern. Ever since I learned brioche, I have had a love/hate relationship with this style of knitting. I love the squishy effect it gives my knitting projects, but it does not help that it takes twice as long to knit brioche projects because I am knitting every row twice. I am using Lolodidit Plush Sock in their Kiss A Wookiee and Beauty School Dropout colorways. I saw the yarn on Instagram and I knew immediately that I HAD to have it! The reason this beautiful project is still on the needles is simply because it has gotten placed on the back burner for other gorgeous projects which have come along. I picked this project up last night to knit a few rows on it and immediately fell in love all over again. I could see this project being one I finish before the new year.
Birkin is a pattern by Caitlin Hunter that I started on June 22, 2018. If I was finished knitting this sweater, I know I would wear it to death because it is simply stunning! I am using Quince and Co. Finch in the Audouin colorway for the main color and Carries Yellow, Delft, Parsley and Sorbet for the contrasting colors. I cast on this project and was making good progress until I got to the colorwork and the knitting came to a screeching halt. I did not realize before starting this pattern that the colorwork involved a main color and two contrasting colors in the same row. Before this pattern, I had only done two color colorwork knitting (one main color and one contrast color per row). I tried to use my colorwork knowledge of holding the CC in my left hand and the MC in my right hand and catching the floats every few stitches, but that made the colorwork drag on and on. Soon, I gave up on trying to catch any floats and just wanted to knit the colorwork as fast as possible to get to the “easy” part of the sweater, knitting the body and sleeves. The colorwork for this sweater is maybe 40-50 rows, and I know I could have it finished in no time if I knit a few rows a day. I want to have this sweater done for the Sun Valley Fibers January Thaw Retreat at the end of January 2019, so I better get knitting.
On July 7, 2018, I started knitting a pair of vanilla socks using Nomadic Yarns self-striping yarn in the Starlight colorway. This is another case of falling hard for a yarn and impulse buying it for socks. I use my own vanilla sock recipe for socks, which includes cuff down or toe up, 64 stitches, Fish Lips Kiss heel, and 2×2 ribbing for the cuff. No texture, just plain stockinette knitting and letting the gorgeous self-striping yarn shine. If I remember correctly, I am on my first sock of the pair and just passed the heel. I put these on hold because my Fish Lips Kiss heel took up nearly a full pattern repeat of the colorway, so there is a weird striping on the top of the foot that is making my perfectionist brain go crazy. Besides the weird striping from my heel of choice, there is absolutely no issues with the sock.
This project was born out of necessity for an easy, mindless project to bring with me to my internship. I needed a project that I could pick up during my lunch and knit a few rows on without needing to follow a pattern. The Sockhead Hat is a pattern by Kelly McClure that I began on August 18, 2018. I am using Youghiogheny Yarns sock yarn in their Dogwood colorway that I purchased from Stitches Midwest in 2017. This hat might be gifted once it is finished, although I haven’t decided yet.
I have lusted after the Monkey Socks pattern by Cookie A for as long as I can remember. During a trip to my LYS, I found the most perfect color of Hedgehog Sock yarn called Plump which is a pinky-purple colorway, and knew it just had to be a gorgeous pair of Monkey Socks. I began these socks on August 22, 2018 and have knit maybe two or three repeats of the pattern down the leg of the first sock. I put these socks on hold as new, more exciting patterns came out considering this is a pattern which I need to focus on with its knits, purls and yarn overs. I am looking forward to finishing this pair of socks and knit more Monkey Socks in the future.
Across The Pond
I started my Across The Pond cowl by Andrea Mowry on September 12, 2018. I am not normally a cowl person, but when I was living in Chicago I bought the most gorgeous Road to China Light by The Fibre Co in a grey and magenta color. My gauge is a little funky on this project due to how much softer this fiber is compared to a merino, which has led me to second-guessing if I like this pattern with this yarn at all. This might be a project that I frog…
Wild Cherries is a lovely laceweight shawl created by Janina Kallio of Woolenberry. I began this project on September 27, 2018 as a Christmas present for a loved one. So far, I have loved every minute of this knit. There are both lace and garter stitch sections which keeps me interested as I knit more and more on this shawl. I know the recipient of this shawl will absolutely adore how lightweight and cozy the Merino/Cashmere/Nylon is against their skin. I will continue to knit on this shawl as I need to have it done in time for Christmas 2018.
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Socks
I absolutely adore vanilla socks. I have many Ontheround colorways on her Signature Sock base and I haven’t been able to figure out my perfect vanilla sock recipe for them. This yarn is perfect for the winter months because of the light-colored speckles on the cream base and the thicker fingering yarn will make cozy warm socks! My traditional 64 stitch sock on a 2.25mm needle is too big for this thicker fingering weight yarn. I went down to 60 stitches, and the foot of the sock was still too big. I then tried 56 stitches and it seems to fit perfectly with the 2.5mm needles I am using. I also traditionally use a wedge toe, where I am increasing 4 stitches on one round and have a rest round the next round. I wanted to try something new, so I tried a rounded toe recipe that I found on a YouTube tutorial. So far, the sock fits well and I am excited to see how it fits after adding the heel.
Kobuk is another example of a pattern which I fell in love with and had to knit. This is another fabulous pattern by the talented Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks. I cast on for my Kobuk hat on October 9, 2018 and brought this along to the hospital for my extended stay. I think I got one row of ribbing knit on this hat on the train down to Chicago before my doctor’s appointment. I am using Woolberry Fiber Co.’s DK and Mohair held double in their Berry Tart colorway. I am not usually a hat person, but I fell in love with this pattern the second I saw it. I am also not usually a red person, but I knew the Berry Tart color would be perfect for wearing in the fall and winter months. I cannot wait to finish and wear this hat as the weather starts to turn colder here in Wisconsin.
The Brunswick top by Marie Greene is my most recent spontaneous cast on. I saw this project on Instagram a few days before its release and immediately started thinking of yarns in my stash which I could use to knit it. I cast on my Brunswick on October 21, 2018 using Madelinetosh Tosh Twist Light in Astrid Grey for the main color of the top and Stitch Together Studio in the Tough Titty colorway as the contrast color. The Stitch Together Studio was a special colorway created for the Tits Out Collective which happened this summer. I brought this yarn with me to my recent hospital stay thinking that I would get loads of knitting done while the doctors and nurses treated my migraine headaches… In reality, I did absolutely zero knitting while I was admitted to the hospital… I am excited to knit on this project, especially because it is very similar to the Tegna that I knit earlier this year. I cannot wait to finish and wear my Brunswick!
What WIP(s) are you most excited to see me finish? Do you have WIPs languishing on the needles? I’d love to hear about them below. What keeps you from finishing a project? Do you get distracted easily just like I do? I hope that this post inspires you to look at your WIP or UFO (Unfinished Object) pile and figure out what you want to finish knitting or frog.