Just knitting on...

A record of my knitting projects and events of my life

Monday, October 09, 2006

What's in the Project Basket

I've been putting this off for a while, but the Project Basket needed a good tidying and it got it this week end. First, remove everything from the basket, shake, blow, and brush off dog hair that has drifted into the basket as Missy the Dog passes it on her way to her "cave" behind the recliner chair in the corner.
Well, let's see what have we got here?

Assorted swatches. Remove the ones not related to current projects. Note to self: "Self, LABEL these things in the future--at least with needle size-- if you ever hope to duplicate the gauge in your lifetime."

Ye gods and little fishes, it's novelty yarn! I confess to knitting a scarf or two from this stuff in the past and hating every minute of it.

Put back in stash and/or find someone to give it a good home.

Now that's a nice ball of sock yarn, but what is it doing here? It belongs in the sock yarn basket with the other sock yarn balls. I have no clue where I got this, perhaps someone sent it to me. I blame my aging brain. And there is the Suri Elegance ball, hopefully someday to be Icarus. I still want to knit that project. It can stay.

Not a great picture of these, it's a dark yarn. This is the cuff of the Jaywalker socks. I did tink back to the mistake, and I'll get to it someday. I must finish Katy's sweater and then knit the Midwest Moonlight scarf. So back in the basket they go to await my attention.

Odd balls left from past projects. I probably should just toss them out, but I can't make myself do it. I'll pack them in a ziplock bag and it can go in the stash. You never know when you may need a few scraps of yarn. Besides, some of this has real sentimental value! That aqua ball is left from making a baby blanket for my then unborn grandson. Jack still sleeps with that blanket, known as Bly.

Now here's a sad story. This project is Lucy Neatby's Camelot Socks. They were coming along beautifully until I tried them on and couldn't get them over my heel! You can see (well, sort of, it's not the best picture) how the colorwork pulls in beneath the ribbing, and is clearly a smaller gauge. The lesson here is that stranded colorwork does not stretch much. I'll need to rip the whole thing back to the ribbing and redo the colorwork on needles a size or two larger. I was so discouraged that I hid them in the basket and cast on for something else. This project can go back in the basket and I'll return to it someday. It's too pretty not to.
This project is coming up on year three, I think. It is Jade Starmore's Beadwork design from a Collector's Item. I haven't touched it since last April, when the weather began to warm up. One thing I learned with this project is that gansey yarn and size 1 needles are not the most fun to knit with. And it makes your hands sweat to knit it in the summertime. But the finished pieces have promise, so I'll persevere I think. I really, really must finish it this coming winter. I'm not going to do any Christmas knitting, so that should free up some time. (Yes, I have said this before about Chrisitmas knitting, but this year I mean it.)

What to do with this project? I don't know why I am so ambivalent about it, but I am. It is a Philospher's Wool Sweater Kit, in the Southwestern Design, I forget the colorway. This project has real problems, and not all of them mine either! Oh, and this is the oldest project in the basket. When the kit arrived, it included orange koolaid and natural yarn that you were expected to dye! Surprise! Ok, so I dyed the yarn orange. Not happily, but I did it. Next, the design chart included with the pattern did not indicate which colors to use! You were supposed to just the assign the colors as you wished. A=purple, B=turquoise etc. That really threw me for a loop! Also, the amount of yarn in each color in the kit varied, so what if you ended up with not enough of one color because you assigned the colors in such a way that you ended up needing more than you had? What I ended up doing, and you can see this in the picture, is creating a spread sheet in Excel, and using the picture as best I could, I assigned the colors to match. That's my printed spread sheet. Then I started out by knitting the sleeves. I got as far as a few rows short of the top of the second sleeve. I hate the yarn. It is harsh, and unevenly spun/plyed, so that parts are thicker or thinner. It doesn't feel good to the touch. The pattern itself is not well written, altough I won't bother elaborate more here. So what's the hang up? Why don't I just write this one off and put it in the trash can? As best I can express it, here's the thing. I really would like to see what the finished object would look like. Even if it's crap and I never wear it and throw it out. The problem is that to see the finished object, I'd have to do the work and that's a lot of good knitting time that surely could be better used. So I don't know. I put it back on the bottom of the basket until I make up my mind, if I ever do.
Finally, here is some flotsam and jetsam, you know, just stuff that somehow ends up on the bottom of the basket. It's been put in the plastic box I use to hold knitting accesories.

This conclude the tour of the project basket.



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