My knitting plans for 2018

Hi there, like I said last time I have so much to share I need to schedule my time well and share as much as I can without invading your life too much. I hope you enjoy spending time with me on the blog but I should not abuse your time and kindness:)

So I’m not going to post everyday but maybe rather try to post twice a week until I’m back on track.

Anyhow today I’m here to share my objectives for 2018 where knitting is concerned. I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I rarely set myself objectives at the end of the year for my personal everyday life. Even if I have a million plans and things I would like to get done. I think I may be afraid that if I set them as objectives I may not actually get them done… Silly but that’s how it is.

Knitting however is different. At least it is this year. I have become increasingly passionate about knitting over the last few years and I constantly want to learn new things and improve my skills. I also have a list of “to knit” that will probably last me 10 lifetimes. Not to mention my…mountain of shame aka pile of lingering wips!

I’m not ashamed of my knitting and I don’t regret what I have knit. Don’t get me wrong. What I mean is that I have way too many half done projects. I think the oldest might actually be 3 years old!

I’m not sharing any pictures today because my pile of wips is not nicely organized nor stored in an elegant fashion. No, my pile of wips is just that. A big pile of project bags in a corner close to my bed.

I see it every day! And still it does not get smaller!

My husband has had enough and he regularly moans about my pile of stuff that makes our bedroom look overflowing and messy.

So it is time to do something about this.

I have gone through each and every project bag in my pile. I have ripped back a few projects and stored the needles and project bags for future use. So now what is left is all (or 99%) projects I actually want to finish. Some are half done, like socks where sock one is all done and sock two is maybe past the heel already. Some sock one is done but sock two has yet to be cast on. There is a sweater that I have cast on and knit maybe 10 rows. Another one that I had ripped back to the underarms and plan on re knitting. Shawls that I need some quiet time to get back too because they are too complicated to be worked on the go or when my mind is busy.

I have counted the number of projects in the pile and please note that those do NOT include my “on the go/current” knits.

I have: 

8 wraps/scarf/shawl/cowl – so this is a mixed bunch. The single scarf is I think the oldest of all the wips and I think I might end up ripping it back. It is an aran weight colorwork scarf knit in the round and I’m not far in but I haven’t touched it for years so I think maybe I never will. There are two shawls that are complicated and I think starting again will be a challenge to find where I am in the pattern and remembering how to work them. But both are shawls I want to finish.

1 fingerless glove  – If this is younger than the colorwork scarf it is very close in age. I started this a very long time ago and I do not have much to go to finish. This is a pair of colorwork fingerless mittens and they are knit on size 2mm needles. Beautiful but time consuming.

5 sweaters/cardigans – so these are in various stages of completion. Most are barely started though so lots of work here.

18 socks – hm hm. I clearly suffer from second sock syndrome at times. A lot of those socks are test knit socks where the designer only requires one sock to be knit up. I’m constantly signing up for test knitting and so sometimes find myself at a lack of time to complete the previous pair. Also I have in there an amazing pair of socks that I started knitting during a speed sock knitting competition. This was the pair that got me eliminated. It was so complex I could not knit any faster. The pattern is amazing so I really want to finish the second sock which I think is just at the cuff. I did have an issue with the yarn though. I see I was worried about not having enough yarn and so I knit the toe in a contrasting color and I’m not very satisfied with how that looks. If I have any yarn left when I’m done with sock two I think I will undo the toe and re knit in the main yarn.

1 cat sweater – yes because my mom just got a Spynx cat and I’m head over heels in love with him. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a Christmas picture of him.

3 blankets – I have the pinwheel blanket, one design project that is a colorwork pattern and one that I’m making up as I go using my hand spun yarn. That blanket is very old and hasn’t seen any love for ages. It does look nice though and it is super warm. I do wonder though if I should just stop here and make this a lapghan and start a totally new pattern  with all the handspun I have set aside for this project.

WOW! Talk about a pile of wips! How on earth am I going to get through knitting all of this when I suffer from a severe case of startitis and am constantly buying new patterns and wanting to cast on new things?

Well, here’s my plan. And if you too have a similar issue, you might like to join me and we could support each other.

I’m thinking that I should knit concurrently one new project and one from the pile of wips. I haven’t started yet. I’m thinking I will finish the projects I’m working on right now and when those are done and I’m ready to cast on for something new, I will choose a project from my pile to knit concurrently with the new project. So my plan will most likely go into action end of January. What do you think?

Have you or do you currently have a similar issue with wips? If you have overcome this or if you are currently working on your lingering wips, I’d love to hear your approach to this.  If there is interest, I could open a thread in the Knitting in France group on Ravelry where we could share pictures and discuss progress. Let me know what you think.

I will of course also share with you here on the blog and show you pictures of my future FOs. How exciting!

The Mountain of Wips

It’s time I told you about my mountain of wips. A while ago I was inspired to do something about this after watching Jilly of the Knitting Broomstick talking about how she tackled hers.

I keep a part of my stash in my bedroom and that’s also where my Mountain of Wips has been formed. It wasn’t on purpose, it just sort of happened with time.

I’m constantly working on a million projects at the same time and constantly giving in to the urge for a new cast on. Then there are projects that must be done or maybe there is a deadline and so other things are put aside for a few days which then turn into weeks and even months. Little by little the pile grows and grows until it has taken on a life of its own it would seem.

My pile had just taken on this ugly image of a pile of bags of all kinds and just looked messy and unorganised…which it totally was. I also knew that I might not want to knit everything that was in there. And I also new that some of the bags did not contain wips but projects to be – a skein of yarn, a pattern and a needle. Ready for me to cast on. But somehow I just hadn’t gotten to do so.

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The plastic boxes on the right house part of my stash and as you can see there are a number of project bags all over!

There was no method to this madness so I just took one bag at a time and looked at its content. If it was an actual work in progress I then decided if I wanted to finish it or rip it out. I admit I only ripped out very few wips.

All the bags containing “to be knit” projects were emptied. I put the yarn back into the stash box and put the pattern aside for future use and the needles back in my bag of needles.

I wanted my pile of wips to be just that, no piles of ready to go knits. I don’t need those. I just get everything ready when and if I want to cast something on.

So after going through all the project bags this is what I ended up with.

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It’s not a very good picture but at least you see there is now only one project bag on the floor. The rest fits in my bin. (since the picture was taken I have added one big “to be knit” bag but it doesn’t count because it is a necessity for Sock Madness).

As for the contents of the remaining project bags, here’s the list:

2 cowls

3 shawls

2 pairs of gloves – one is fingerless and it is my oldest wip ever!

2 cardigans

1 pull over – which is sooo close to being done!

1 scrap blanket – the Pinwheel blanket by Mina Philipp – I have a few squares done

10 pairs of socks! Yep that’s right, 10! Most of those are half done, that is one sock done and the other only just started.

I have decided that I now need to work on a wip at all times. I’m allowed to cast on for new stuff BUT I also have to choose a wip and work on concurrently. This way my Mountain which is now back to being a pile will slowly turn into just an extra project bag or two. (It’s ok to dream).

It may not look like much of an improvement when you compare the two pictures, but it actually is! I now know what I have waiting and getting all this done is no longer overwhelming. I know I can and want to do it. It’s just going to take time but that’s ok. Knitting is  supposed to be fun and that’s how I like it.

As I’m writing this Sock Madness 11th edition has just launched which means that my knitting time will be concentrated on that and nothing else will be worked on except in between rounds but when that is done, I’ll be back to working on my pile of wips.

So you also have a mountain/pile of wips that needs sorting and working on? Or have you maybe already gone through it and come out a winner? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and how you organise yourself. Please share by leaving a comment below.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend and until next time, Happy Knitting!

FOs and WIPs

Hi there, it feels like it’s been ages since my last post and thus I have a gazillion things I want to share with you but I won’t be able to fit everything into just one post so hopefully I’ll have some more time this week so I’ll be able to blog more and share all my stuff with you. It’s difficult to have a lot of ideas and things to share and not have the time to actually do so. Just as frustrating as having the time but not much to share! But hey, I’m not going to complain about actually having loads of stuff to share with you so here goes:)

First FOs and this week I have two so far, both socks. So the first pair has actually been ages in the making. Not because it is particularly difficult or anything I just got side tracked and cast on a number of things between sock one and sock two. So now that I’m done, I’m super happy about my pair and I’m going to gift them to someone special (not saying who just in case the recipient actually read this post). The pattern is called The Lady of Lallibroch and is by CC Almon or JavaPurl on Revelry and this is an Outlander inspired pattern. I used Cascade Heritage Sock yarn and I think the solid color really compliments the pattern. I feel that for the cable to shine, you really need to use a solid, semi solid or very lightly variegated yarn just so the cable really shines.

www.knittinginfrance.com The design focus is this gorgeous cable that works its way from toe to cuff. Super gorgeous and as there is “just” one cable and every other row is “knit as stitches present themselves” the pattern is not too complicated or time consuming although you may want to knit the first cable repeats away from any distraction. I really love the outcome.

The second FO is also a pair of socks and this is just plain vanilla, nothing fancy. I knit them toe up with a  short row heel and they went real quick. The yarn is Holly Jolly by the Cozy Knitter and I really love the yarn. This is one skein and I started both socks at the same place in the color repeat pattern and I got identical socks which is just great, plus the colorway just screams CHRISTMAS.

www.knittinginfrance.com Don’t you just love this colorway? I got a second set of yarn from her and I’m going to cast on for a new pair of socks soon, also in the holiday spirit.

So two socks done and I’ve cast on for a new pair using my own hand dyed christmassy yarn which is a muted, variegated yarn. I’m doing tube socks for my youngest. I just cast on so I’m not showing them here but as soon as I make some real progress I’ll show you.

I’m also working on my Meristem mitts and I’ve got one done (minus the thumb) and I’ve started the second (I’m just past the thumb placement) so hopefully by the same time next week those will be done.

And, then there is the Stephen West mystery knit-a-long called the Doodler. I’m sure you’ve heard about that, if not from social media then from Revelry or just on my blog. So I decided to join and the first clue came out last Friday November 6th. I wasn’t able to cast on immediately but I did this weekend of course and now I’ve only just begun wedge 10. In this first clue there are 17 wedges and I hope I’ll be able to finish those before the next clue comes out this coming Friday. A bit of pressure here to stay on target as I don’t want to fall behind or I’m afraid I’ll never finish. So far I really love how the yarns are knitting up and I’m very happy with the colour choices I made. I’ve seen lots of pictures on Instagram from others and so far I think mine is perfect.

www.knittinginfrance.com This looks a lot like a butterfly wing at the moment. The only thing that bothers me, is that every X row I have to add and then cut off yarn B so I have a lot of loose ends as you can see. Otherwise, so far so good.

Are any of you also knitting this KAL? I’d love to see your progress. I really should make a project page on Revelry. I don’t know why I’m so lazy about actually putting pictures of my FOs on Revelry to share, especially knowing that showing off my hand dyed yarns all knit up would be a plus for my business…Maybe one day I’ll muster the courage and energy to set up a number of project pages to show my works. Do you use Ravelry a lot? Do you maybe even use it to keep track of your stash and so forth? I’d be curious to hear how you use Ravelry and if you think it impacts your knitting life.

Well, that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon with some more because like I said at the beginning I have loads of stuff to tell you about.

So “see” you soon 🙂

Works in progress, FOs and a happy mail day

Hi there and happy Monday:) I’m not sure if you are a Monday kind of person, I know I’m not a particular fan of Mondays but… let’s try to stay on the positive side:) So Yesterday the time changed here in France and we are officially in Winter! This means that my work hours have also changed so I begin earlier in the day and finish earlier in the evening and even if I have less time in the morning i’m super happy about finishing earlier in the evening. Especially when I’m on the evening shift! So yeah to that 🙂

Now today was as happy mail day for me! I recently discovered this new podcast on Youtube called Fawn Knits and she has an Etsy shop called TheFawnandthefox where she sells project bags. She was showing some of her bags on one of the podcast episodes and so I went over to the shop and although I have recently purchased way more project bags than can be called reasonable, I fell for her bags and bought…..3.

www.knittinginfrance.com Aren’t they nice?

www.knittinginfrance.com I think this one is my favorite. It was made to order and it is a sturdy, large bag. The tissue is heavier than in the small bag and the bag is large enough for a big shawl and I think even a fingering weight sweater project. I bought it as I thought it was a little Halloweeny without being too Halloween for me to not use it all year round. And I’m very happy with my purchase.

www.knittinginfrance.com This is the small bag and I think she calls this one ghosts – its like dresses floating around the woods. Kind of spooky but oh so  cute. This will be perfect for sock projects, mittens and hats.

www.knittinginfrance.com The day I went online she had a special offer so I could get a notions pouch for free with my order and I chose this one which is a happy yellow color. It is big enough to accommodate all the essentials you need to have on hand.

So yeah! Super happy with my new project bags. So now I just have to cast on for some new projects to fill them up:)

And speaking of projects. At the moment I’m still in my “finishing stuff” mode which is a nice change from being in “startitis” mode. So, since last time I have finished a few items and here are the pictures to prove that.

www.knittinginfrance.com First off my Featherweight cardigan. I knit this using my SPARKLE lace yarn and it took less than 1 skein for a size small. It does not look like much unblocked, also it looks smaller than I had expected but I think I really need to block it before passing judgement. If it actually is too small for the intended recipient, that will not be a problem I already know of someone else that could use it, just in case. So the yarn is gorgeous, super soft and the color is a semi solid silver with very slight traces of blues and purples, impossible to show in a picture. So very nice.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com And I think I told you last time that I’m doing hats and mittens as gifts this Christmas. Here are the first too. The one on the left I knit from my hand spun yarn.

handspun mittens And currently I’m working on a pair of mittens and I will be making a hat using the same yarn. This is for a young niece and the yarn is handspun by myself. It is a 3 ply with 3 different pastel colours (blue, pink and yellow). It’s super cute and soft.

I’ve also picked up my Snowflake sweater by Tin Can Knits which I had almost finished and then left in its bag for a shameful amount of time. So now one sleeve is done and I’m half way through the second sleeve so not much left there. I hope I’ll be able to show you a picture of the finished sweater in a few days!

Also my two socks in progress, I really need to finish my two CC Almon socks so I can cast on some more! I dyed up a Christmas yarn and want to knit a pair of vanilla socks with that to show you and I also fell for 2 Christmas dyed yarns by an indie dyer on Etsy the other day…. Once I get the yarn I’ll be showing you here.

Well that’s all for today. I’ll be back soon telling you about an exciting Mkal I’m going to participate in and maybe you are too:)

So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)