Works Out Of Progress – How Much is Too Much?

I have been having fun reading knitting blogs. It’s so inspiring to me to see all of the completed works that come off of everyone else’s needles. Socks, shawls, sweaters, blankets …. People seem to get more knitting done than I do. People seem to be able to knit and read at the same time. People seem to have more Works in Progress (WIPs) that are being worked on. Mine, seem to become disinteresting to me after a bit. Mine can only be called Works Out Of Progress (WOOPs).

In the interest of true confessions making myself accountable to all of you, I am sharing my WOOPs. Wouldn’t it be nice if I made some kind of a plan to finish up one of these WOOPs every two weeks and then photographed it for the blog so that you saw progress being made? Right.

DSCF2773.JPGThis is a bag from Bags – A Knitter’s Dozen, done in some wonderful Schaefer yarn that I bought from one of the three LYS’s that get too much of my money. (But they love me.) You knit the base, then knit in the round, increasing stitches until the colors start to line up. Then you knit and knit and knit until it’s as tall as you like, then you finish it off. I got bored with this because the colors never really lined up like they were supposed to. Since this was the third bag I had worked on like this, I knew the yarn would do it – but it didn’t. So I stopped knitting. It would be a good mindless knitting project to pick up again, when I need it. It has gorgeous blues in it.
DSCF2774.JPGHere’s another one that stalled – same bag, same wonderful Schaefer yarn in a different colorway. Now this one really did have a good reason for being put on hold. I needed a mindless knitting project about that time, and I was at a point with this one where I had to pay attention to finishing off the drawstring top. So this stalled project really wasn’t my fault. At least it had the color stacking thing working.

DSCF2772.JPGI was going to have this sweater finished by April, so that I could wear it on a trip that Paul and I took to St. John. It’s a t-shirt style sweater and I had such high hopes that I bought enough yarn to make it in two different colors – this shocking aqua and lime green, and then a more sedate taupe color. I’ll include that in a near future blog about “yarns/patterns purchased with all good intentions but not made – how much is too much.”

DSCF2775.JPGNext, a baby blanket from Knits From the Heart. My friend has had her baby. I won’t tell you how old the baby is. (Less than a year – it’s not that bad.) I had the hardest time finding the right weight yarn to do this in. I, um …. didn’t get very far, did I? But I will finish it, because it has cute raised hearts knit into the pattern. All I have to do is make 3 rows of 3 hearts each. I can do that. Surely some other friend will have a baby girl one day.

DSCF2776.JPGA scarf in a color that I love. Truly, I am so over making scarves that I’m wondering if I’ll ever go back to this? But I do love the color, and I like the way the two yarns are knitting up together. It’s soft and it would look great with my winter coat. Ok. Maybe I’ll spend an evening and finish it up. (But do note that I have the width thing down for scarves, now. See “Top Ten Dumb Knitting Mistakes” #1,2,3…)

DSCF2755 (rev 0)A sock. I really shouldn’t include this, because this is a planned Work Out Of Progress, in the truest sense of the word. But lest I deceive anyone, I thought it ought to be on this list as it is not done. My theory – in order to help prevent Second Sock Syndrome – is that you should knit one sock from a sock yarn, then knit one sock from another sock yarn, then maybe even a third sock from a third sock yarn. By the time you’re done with all three “singles”, you can go back to the first color and make the twin, move on to the second yarn and finish the twin, then complete the twin to the third, without being so bored with the color again. All of a sudden, you have three pairs of socks done. So this is Cherry Tree Hill Java (which reminds me of two wonderful things – coffee and fudge. Come to think of it, I probably did not get bored knitting this wonderful color. Coffee and fudge. How can one get bored with that?) I am due to return to it shortly.

DSCF2781.JPGAnother sock. Same story. It’s out of Socks That Rock – some divine colorway that they don’t have anymore. I would LOVE to carry Socks that Rock at The Loopy Ewe. Would all of you people who have an “in” with that brilliant Tina at Blue Moon Fiber Arts please tell her what a wonderful little sock shop I have here, and how great it’d be for you to be able to buy STR along with all of your other favorites at The Loopy Ewe?? She promised me that I’d be the first to know if she decided to open accounts to online stores. Ohhh, I so hope she remembers that. But surely one of you has significant pull with her, right? One of you has to be the best friend of the sister-in-law of her second cousin’s husband who works out in her brand new beautiful warehouse. Can’t you get this nice guy to take five minutes of his coffee break to put in a good word to Tina? Even though his conversation would probably go something like this: “I’m supposed to put in a good word to you about something called The Goofy Sheep or something like that that my wife’s sister’s best friend is going on and on about for some unknown reason. So there. I put in a good word. Back to my break.” Surely it can be done. Surely it would help my cause. I have such faith in you dear blog readers. (And hey – if you click on that link and wander over there to Tina’s website, you just make sure you come right back when you’re done, got it?)

DSCF2778.JPGAnother bag. (Is there a trend here? Socks, bags, socks, bags….) This is a wonderful yarn that I bought at a Quilting/Yarn shop in Breckenridge, CO. This is going to be a great bag, one day. It’s just kinda boring to work on. Knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting (well, you get the idea) around and around and around and around and around (well, you get the idea) – with no end in sight. The thing about this one is that it has to be knit huge because it’s going to be felted. And someone had the brilliant idea to make it even bigger than the Booga Bag pattern called for, because “wouldn’t that be just a great size??” It’s enough to drive one to drink. (Note the little tiny white cat feet in the top right-hand corner of the photo. Zoe was just sitting there waiting for me to turn my back so that she could bite that yarn in two.)

DSCF2782.JPGA little teeny tiny red sock. When I started The Loopy Ewe, my mom gave me a 20″ tall stuffed sheep that she used to have in her kindergarten classroom. Since our Loopy Ewe in the logo is wearing red socks, of course I figured that I needed to knit little red socks for the stuffed guy. (He sits at the entrance to The Loopy Room.) I made two socks. This is the third. They took all of 45 minutes each to do. There really is no reason that he stands there with socks on his back feet, and none on his front feet. No reason at all. Do you notice that I am using a combination of metal and bamboo needles? That’s because my other size-whatever-these-are needles were in use, on yet another WOOP.

DSCF2777.JPGLast but not least, a baby hat out of self-striping sock yarn. I am making booties to go with it as well. It’s from the book Not Just More Socks and I’m having fun working on it. (Do you use self-striping sock yarns for other things? How easy is it to make something that looks oh-so-impressive with stripes and dots of color, just because you’re using this special yarn? I’m telling you, if you gift people with knitting from these yarns, you will get lots of knitting gift credit. Lots.) I have been working on it this week, so I don’t think it can actually be considered a Work Out Of Progress. I think that qualifies as a Work IN Progress, don’t you? Also, because I anticipate finishing the hat and booties up this weekend, that has to make it an IN, not an OUT. A WIP not a WOOP.

So – there you have it. My WOOPs. Aaaahhh. Confession is good for the soul. I feel much better. I have pulled out the WOOPs, I have documented them with photos, I have confessed my knitterly shortcomings, and I feel better. I’m going to go start a new project.

Sheri dyingtodoaLogCabinBlanketmaybeI’llstartthatthisweekendwhatd’yathink?

Stash – How Much is Too Much?

Oh, I just love it when I get yarn boxes from the UPS guy. (Although it has proven to be VERY hazardous to my own personal stash levels.) Today we got more Claudia Hand Painted. Have I told you how much I love that yarn? Just love it. So new at The Loopy Ewe: Wisteria (the most wonderful colors of periwinkle), Carribean Blue (blues, teals, greens, heading into my own stash post haste), Sante Fe (the perfect autumn yarn, and I love the deep blue that runs through it) and Pink Dot (which actually has quite a bit of purple in it, too.) These were backorders from my original order with them. I also ordered MORE colors of Claudia Hand Painted just yesterday, which they promised to ship right out. Today, I ordered more Cherry Tree colors – and those will ship to me on Monday. (I also ordered another WONDERFUL yarn that my new friend in Japan, Susan, clued me in to. Thanks Susan!! I will wait to announce that until I have get a shipping estimate from them.) So – keep checking back, as we have new things arriving weekly. Remember, we only show things on the website that are currently in stock – and the website automatically updates our quantities as people order. So if you see it on the website, you can order it and not worry about it being backordered.

So – onto today’s post. This thing called stash? I tried to avoid it. I tried to be “mature” and only buy up one project ahead. That meant that as soon as I started in on knitting one project, I could go shopping and have another project “in the wings” – but no more than that. (I know – what a novice knitter…..) That worked for …. oh, about a month. I think this plan came about because of the unbelievable cache of counted cross-stitch books that are boxed up in my basement. We don’t talk about the fact that most have never been used, and I haven’t cross-stitched in years. I had good intentions when I bought them all. And all that cross-stitch fabric, too. So I was trying to put a good lesson into practice – don’t buy more than you will use. This new, mature purchasing plan worked until the next time I visited my LYS and there were too many new projects that I needed to take home with me. They practically jumped into my basket. It really wasn’t my fault. I checked out with them and bought a plastic under-the-bed storage container on my way home and I officially had “stash”.

I might point out that at that point, I was buying specific yarn for specific projects – so it still seemed a bit mature. I had a plan for them all. Soon I went to yet another LYS. I found this wonderful moss green yarn that I just loved. DSCF2736 (rev 0)I picked it up, walked around with it, and then put it back down. After all, I had no idea what I’d do with it. None. I have way too many scarves and had moved on to bigger and better knitting projects. (Not that there’s anything wrong with scarves. I love having a whole wardrobe of them to choose from.) So I said to myself, “Hmmm. I have no idea what I’d do with this yarn. I’m not buying it.” In the back of my head, I started hearing voices. It was all of those knitting blogs that I had been reading, where the authors talked about their stash, and having far more yarn than they could knit in their lifetime. Did that stop them from buying more? Of course not. I’m pretty sure that they have yarn that is not designated for a specific project. I’m pretty sure that one of the definitions of “stash” is “I have no idea what I’ll use it for but if I don’t buy it now it will be gone when I think of something to use it for and come back to buy it later.” So of course that moss green yarn made its way back into my basket and is now in my stash. I have no idea what I’m going to use it for. I’m just happy it’s there.

Sheri howmuchofYOURstashisyarnthathasnoknownpurposeyet?

Needle Inventory – How Much is Too Much?

Needles. Can you ever have enough of them? I think not. I remember being at my LYS about a year into my “return to knitting”. (That means I learned when I was young, and returned to it again three years ago). I was buying yarn to make a felted bag, and bought circular needles in the size that I would need. When I got home and put this new project in my knitting bag, I was so dismayed to realize that I already HAD size 6 circular needles in a 24″ length, for pete’s sake! I ran through my options – a) driving a half hour back up there to return them (feeling like an unorganized idiot for not realizing I already had that size), or b) giving them away to someone who needed that size. What to do? The next day, I was going through knitting books, deciding on all the fun things I wanted to knit, when it dawned on me that duplicate needles are a very good thing. Indeed – a VERY good thing! Of course I need multiple needles, because I have multiple projects going on at the same time and sometimes the size I need is in use already. (Shuffling the stitches off onto a stitch holder? Too fiddly, most of the time. Unless I don’t have the option of an extra pair of needles in that size. What is the average number of “works in progress” for knitters?)DSCF2740 (rev 0) Yes, I definitely “get” the multiple needles in all sizes thing now. Thank goodness for needle organizers. (Although I did have fun throwing a lot of my needles on the floor to take a picture of my “needle stash”. We have yarn stash – is there such a thing as needle stash?) You know, this picture is deceiving. I have more needles than that. But it was great to put so many out on the floor, because I updated my needle inventory card and then got them all organized.

Now that I have my Namaste Vintage Knitting Bag, I am looking for all different kinds of fun (pretty) needles to display around the outside. Who has some great ones that I need to know about?

Sheri Ilearnedalessonabout”stash”earlyon,tooandI’llhavetosharethatwithyouinthenextpost