Loose Ends

I continue to dash about from one project to the next, staying so busy I scarcely have online time, and doing so much that I’m overwhelmed with ideas for blog posts – that made even worse by being so busy I can’t even get them up half the time! However, I’m absolutely loving our warm, gorgeous autumn this year. I needed something to help jump start me back into real life, and by having this continuingly beautiful weather, I feel like I’ve been given the gift of almost having my summer back, but with nicer weather. Only thing marring the perfection is the reality of the calendar page…

The past 24 hours, I’ve been tying up some loose ends on knitting project, some of which have been hanging around for a ridiculously long time. Thought I’d share those today, since I just took a slew of pictures, updated them on Ravelry, and have them at the forefront of my mind at the moment.

First in line is my neck cozy, which I named “Who Needs Mink?” on Ravelry, because the Misti Alpaca Handpaint Chunky yarn I used is so deliciously soft and snuggly. I bought the pattern, Fancy Neck Cozy #089 by Lynda Gemmel of Cabin Fever, at Knitter’s Connection last year and started knitting it in August. I didn’t just sit and knit it, but rather had it stationed at a location where I found myself with a few minutes of time on my hands with great regularity. The short rows were great for this, and I felt like I got the knitting done on it virtually for free. 🙂 I found this marvelous Raku Button from Odddesignsnc on Etsy, and I am thrilled with the way it looks together. The colors in this button picture are the most accurate. So, what was the hang up that made it take 14 months to complete this little project? There were three components to the scarf – the knitted section, the big button, and a smaller button, which is sewn to the back of the big button and is what actually fastens the two layers together. The hold up on the project was that once the knitting was finished, the big button came up missing, and when I found it, I couldn’t find the little one. I finally got those two together, but the knitting had vanished! When the knitting showed up again, the box with the buttons had slid into a hiding place! Then when I had all three parts, it turned out that the button I had for the back was far too small…

Thankfully they are all together in one place now, and I intend for it to stay that way! 😉

The second project isn’t quite finished, as the blocking has to be done in (at least) two steps. Half of it is pinned out right now, and I’m definitely enjoying looking at the color play of the Crazy Zauberball yarn. 🙂 This is my Wave of Color Moebius, a pattern designed by Birgit Freyer. I started knitting it along with the group on a KAL last October, and despite all the other things I was doing, I was managing to stay pretty close to on schedule with it until tragedy struck. I was on the final row – the single crochet finish to the bind off edge – when I ran out of yarn. My LYS didn’t have another ball, and frogging it back to remove one repeat sounded agonizing. I was finally bailed out by my best friend, who happened to have a ball in her stash that she’d picked up on an impulse buy. However, by the time it was in my hands, I was seriously diverted, and the Moebius had lain forsaken for almost a year. Once I found the right size crochet hook and actually sat down to do it, I was finished in about an hour, which, of course, made me feel pretty silly about the year bit. 😉 Right now, it’s out on the blocking boards drying. The big challenge for me was tackling the blocking part of the project. I wasn’t sure how it would work, and I’m not sure at this point if it has! I fought with it for quite a while, trying to figure out how wide to spread it and what sort of distance between points. I couldn’t get it right, despite numerous attempts, and it was starting to get dry. Finally, I got out my flexible blocking wires, and that was a vast improvement. Currently, I have it pinned to within an inch of the edge of my blocking mats, which I have set up in a 3′ square. I pinned one point at each compass point, leaving four points between. I’m really curious to see how it looks blocked to this size. I know I loved the concept totally unblocked, though the knitting looked pretty lumpy like that. I hope I’ve not stretched it so big that it loses what I found so appealing. Stay tuned for more on this project!

My last project to share has been done for a week or so, but I finally took my finished project pictures today. Happily, there are no confessions attached to this project. 🙂 I started it on September 7 and blocked it on October 12 this year – just 5 weeks, despite some major interruptions. This is my Catenary Shawl, pattern by Kiersten Brandt, knit from my 4th skein of handspun yarn, about which I’ve already blogged. Although this pattern was much simpler than my normal lace shawl knitting, I really enjoyed making it a lot, and I’d actually consider doing it again sometime. It seemed to go quite fast, perhaps because it’s knit from tip to tip. The rows never get extremely long. The construction is definitely unique, and a good blocking is absolutely mandatory, as it comes off the needles shaped quite differently than it finishes. Catenary is a perfect handspun project, because you can knit to the center with half your yarn, then go back out to the other end. A good set of scales will help you maximize your yarn usage. I ended up with a whole 14 yards left when I was done – and yes, I was sweating it close to the end!

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