Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Tour of the Oubliette

The Knitmore Girls recently referred to the collection of works that remain to be completed as in the oubliette, projects that have been pushed away to be forgotten, ideally in the dark, dank pits of their own misery. My work in progress basket is not quite such a dim place, since it is mostly inhabited by perfectly nice projects that have simply been put down for a moment when a deadline looms, or a different type of knitting is required. That said, when you run out of needles because you've got them all in other projects, and when you're contemplating making another set of project bags so that you'll have something to put the freshly-cast on piece of lacework into, it's probably time that some of those perfectly nice projects were brought into the light, shaken out a little, and aired for inspection.

With that in mind, here is a photo similar to the one I showed you just before Christmas (not for the monogamously knitting faint-of heart):

And here's a quick tour of what's in it:
A: My KnitNation 2011 project bag, holding a big project which is now happily completed, but awaiting a proper 'reveal'.
B: My made-by-me tetrahedron zipper bag, which contains Devon (by Cookie A) in EasyKnits Deeply Wicked (in a colourway called Grape); the cuff of one sock
C: A bag given to me by my mum, containing Daisy by Kim Hargreaves; really only just started (I had tension problems, and had to re-start, in my defence!)
D: One of my "Knitting Parlour" bags, which houses a stealth sock (my design); one cuff, but needing lots of concentration at this stage.
E: A made-by-me larger zipped bag, holding one of the two KTA projects that I didn't ever finish - the Nether Garments. I'm hoping to resurrect this as legwarmers, sometime.

Devon. Yes, it is that bright.

F: My second "Knitting Parlour" bag, which hides my first ever pieces of crochet. I came back from the workshop energised and inspired, and sat down and knit. I will pick this up at some point. I hope.
G: A carrier bag (see previous point about making new project bags) which houses some dyed-by-me yarn destined to become Laminaria. I started it, but realised I had too much going on.
H: Shudder. This is one of the first bags I made myself, and is definitely hiding. Hiding a design project that didn't quite work, and needs reworking. Possibly from scratch.
I: Happy bag! I love this project bag - it's my prototype 'large square-bottomed bag', and works really well, plus it's made out of a remnant of fabulous Kaffe Fassett fabric. And it's got my next big project in it: the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos from Coastal Knits. Which I won in a Knitter contest. Knit out of some of the same yarn that I used for my Manu cardigan, but dyed by me with Juliet. This is about half done.

And finally,
K (oops, no J!): The Selkie project bag I bought from Old Maiden Aunt at KnitNation, which holds the remnants of my other Christmas knitting: Mini Cordell Christmas decorations, of which I made four. And have photos of: none.

So there you are: hardly full of monstrosities with unfortunate complexions, and yet, so many projects. I am working to reduce them. How about we visit the oubliette again in a little while, and see where we have got to?

Monday, 21 January 2013

My Money Where My Mouth is... In a Jar

An idle idea, in blogland, can sometimes become something rather larger. Karen of Did You Make That? decided that as part of her New Year's planning, she would create a jar of projects or promises, Sewlutions if you will, and track their progress on her blog. I don't know about you, but in the heady moments when 2013 seemed to stretch endlessly before me, I felt like I could achieve a great deal. So I threw my hat into the ring, and I now have not one, not even two, but three targets to meet before the end of the year.

Just to keep me honest, here they are:
1. Finish my 'Dutch Tiles' quilt. This quilt top has been languishing for much, much too long. On the one hand, I love piecing, and am a bit afraid of quilting. On the other, this large blue / white sheet comes in rather handy as a table-cloth at craft fairs... but enough's enough. I want it to be finished.

2. Make my Minoru jacket. I've seen so many of these looking great, and Karen herself recommends it as her favourite make of 2012, plus there are great tutorials and tips included in the Sewaholic sew-along pages , but I've got stuck with my fabric choice. I want to make the non-hooded version, in a teal / turquoise fabric, and I have the flannel lining to match... but I'm not sure where to go to find a slightly water-resistant (showerproof, perhaps) outer fabric. Any suggestions are welcome, but otherwise this might be waiting until I can make a trip to London.

3. Sort out the bedroom curtains. Experience making curtains I like? Check. Fabric for these curtains, washed and dried? Check. Blackout lining purchased and ready to go? Check. Enough floor space to cut out 3 x 2.5m curtains and hand-hem them before I take them to my machine? Sadly lacking. I'm hoping for a weekend when I'm not doing much else. Or a Bank Holiday. I suspect May might be a good time.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A First Finished Object of 2013

After that brief glimpse of the chaos that is my works-in-progress basket (I've hidden it behind the sofa in the spare room / office now that it's an office again), I decided to focus my knitting time. For Christmas, a small batch of owls was created, which I'll share when I retrieve the pictures from the relevant camera, but as we weren't to see my family until Twelfth Night, there was one final gift that got put off until later. My sister now has a walk to work, and asked for a bobble hat to ward of the winter chill. My sister is a very cool person, and so a vital element of any pattern, particularly for a bobble hat, was a definite sense of style. A Ravelry search later, (DK, hat, female, knit, available for download or in my library) and I'd found my stylish knit: Tears of Bronze (Ravelry link) in Rico Fashion DK (German manufacturer's link). It turned out, one ball was plenty, both for the hat, and for the additional pompom!