Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday - The neverending scarf, airplane socks and finally getting to weave on my flip

The beginning of 2012 has been a little odd for me.  Instead of selfishly knitting up a storm for the entirety of January as all knitters would prefer, I have instead been trying to catch up on projects that refuse to be completed, such as this lovely column of leaves scarf that I have been working on for almost two years now.  Yes, you read correctly... TWO YEARS!!!  /facepalm

I don't know what it is about this scarf, but it truly seems to want to be a work in progress forever.  Admittedly, when I first started working on it, the patter  was quite challenging for me. I had a very hard time remembering to put in all the yarn overs and there were a few funky stitches in there too, just to keep me paying attention.  I used to have to work on the scarf only when I really could concentrate on it otherwise disaster and the massive amounts of frogging would occur.  So, I started to add a lifeline after every 8 row pattern repeat.

Now? I can knit this thing anywhere!  I just need to keep track of my row and I'm fine.  It's not really much of a challenge at all.  I guess that's what two years of practice brings, lol.  Right now I am about halfway done with the scarf and an supremely unmotivated to work on it, but honestly, two years is way to long to make a scarf that isn't all that challenging to me anymore.  I need to get my act together!!!

In an effort to curb my continually wandering knitting hands, and to ensure my poor little brain doesn't get too bored by working on the same 8 rows ad nausium, I have limited myself to working on only one project other than the scarf, which is a pair of tube socks.  I know I have a history with socks... not finishing them to be exact, but I started this very simple pair because I knew I needed something to do my trip to North Carolina.  My flights weren't long, only 2 hours at the most, but I had a layover that was substantial and I really didn't want to bring a project that I was truly invested in, just in case someone in security decided that my knitting seemed threatening in some way.  

So, I cast on for the socks a couple of days before heading south.  I then proceeded to swear and fumble my way through learning to knit two socks at a time on one very long needle.   At this point, I can tell you that the first inch or so of knitting socks like this for the first time is truly awful.  It is awkward, hard on your hands, and you feel like you have no idea what you should be knitting next.  But after that first inch was done, I started to get it and by the time I headed to Logan for my trip I could work on the socks without looking like a total idiot or swearing every time I had to switch sides. 

I am very happy I decided to make the socks two at a time.  The beginning was a bit rough, but as you can see, I now have a pretty respectable portion of not one, but two socks completed.  Now, I do have quite a bit further to go, but there are no heels to turn since I'm basically making two long tubes and when I'm done... I'm REALLY done!  Two socks, not just one.  I truly think this technique might be the answer to my sock knitting problem :-D

The last thing I have been up to is weaving on the lovely 25" flip loom I got for Christmas.  Just last week I was able to warp it for a sampler scarf made from the yarn I made my first hat out of.  I haven't been able to work on it for more than an hour or two since I'm trying to focus myself on finishing other things, but it is turning out quite nicely.  Honesty, I think it is good to change your craft up every once and awhile. That way your hands get a break for the repetition and you are less likely to injure yourself. 

I even have a deadline for this project!  This shouldn't be too difficult as weaving seems to go so much faster than knitting.  My scarf needs to be off the loom by the end of January because I have distinct plans for it in early February when I will be taking an advanced weaving class at The Weaving Shed.  This one day class will focus on learning to use a pick up stick to weave patterns in our projects.  I'll come out of the class with a nice sampler of what we have learned and yet another set of techniques to practice to keep me busy :-)

Can you tell I am a firm believer always being busy?  Anyway, I hope you are having a great week and are keeping those crafty hands busy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 Project Roundup and Goals for 2012

Looking at all the the images of the projects I completed in 2011 I'm starting to think that it was a pretty productive year.  I completed 31 separate projects and started quite a few more that will be completed in 2012 (one can only hope).  I continued to knit and crochet, but also learned the basics of weaving towards the end of the year with 16 knitted projects, 12 crochet, and 3 weaving. 

As for my crafty goals for 2012, I would like to learn more about weaving and continue that on my new 25" Schacht Flip Loom.  I'll shares pics of it later. It is already warped for a scarf and has about a foot of woven material completed on it already.   I'm taking an advanced weaving class in February, so I am very excited about that because I don't really know all my options with this loom although I suspect that they are many.  As for knitting and crochet I  want to tackle some larger projects like sweaters or shawls that will challenge me as well as create more items for charity so that my crafty habits help others rather than being selfishly motivated.

Well, that's about it for now.  I wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2012, even if it is a bit late, lol.