Making a List, Checking It Twice

So here’s the deal.  I’m not a “work on one project at a time” kind of gal.  I like to have several projects going at once so that I can work on whatever I have the brain space for.  That means I usually have a garter stitch or stockinette stitch something going; I usually have colorwork or lace; and I usually have a little something with construction like a sweater.  Plus, I believe that knitting this way keeps my hands happier because I am not fatiguing them from knitting on the same weight/needle size too much.  I knit because I love to knit, not necessarily because I want the end product.  Which is kind of weird when you stop to think about it.

Zippered Cardigan

So when I was at Stitches Midwest last weekend the subject of how many projects some of us have going at once kept coming up.  I guess it’s a natural conversation piece when you’re around a lot of knitters.  Barry Klein from Trendsetters Yarn put it this way, he only works on one project at a time because that way he gets projects finished.  He is knitting for a season and to showcase a specific yarn.  I get that.  And yes, my projects are not going to win any speed race records any time soon.   And overall, I’m completely ok with that.

The Queue as it Stands Now

So I decided to take a look at what I was actually knitting along with the things that I know I have to knit soon.  It was a little alarming to know I had so many things on the needles.  And this does not include projects that are in hibernation.  (This list includes 2 things that are not cast on yet).  Now, some of these are just a touch or two away from being finished.  For instance, the orange cardigan just needs a zipper.  I took a class on putting in zippers at Stitches and if it weren’t for having bought a non-separating zipper, this would have been finished.  (Talk about a frustrating moment as my neighbor pointed out that my zipper did not separate at the bottom!)  As soon as the new zipper arrives, I will be 20 minutes of sewing time away from done.  At least 3 other projects are just as close to being finished.

The plan as it stands in my head right now is to not stress about the queue.  However, I am going to make every effort to cull it down.  I really want to get the Owl and the Cowl out of the way before I start the Cedar Leaf Shawlette.  The Cardigan is a shop sample so that gets done as soon as the new zipper arrives.  The Sockhead hat has no real due date and that tends to be my purse knitting – so it can finish any time.   And although I love the knitting, I think it’s going to be very satisfying to X the projects off the list when they are finished!

Vivid Blanket

Sandshore Cardigan

I now have a mannequin; actually I have two in my house.  A store that is going out of business is selling off the mannequins and I decided I needed one for myself.  The second is actually for the school for our dinner auction.  I’m just storing it at my house for the moment.  Because I’m too lazy to bring it into the office.  Because the closet in my office needs to be rearranged.  Because I haven’t found a place I’d like to keep it yet.  I don’t know which one to store!  Well, I’ve got a whole list of excuses why I have the two mannequins still hanging around my house.  The funny part about the mannequin is that my husband came home from work one night to find two necked mannequins in the living room.  He just looked at them and said, “oh, you got a mannequin,” in a bored voice.  I’m somewhat disappointed at such a lackluster reaction!

The mannequin arrived just in time to model my partially completed Sandshore Cardigan.


The Sandshore Cardigan is Project #2 for Camp Loopy.  It needed to be a project that reminded us of our favorite place to relax or vacation.  I absolutely love the shore.  Whether it’s the shore of Lake Superior, the beach at the cabin, the sandy shore at Sanibel Island, or any of the other shores that I have visited.  I love watching the waves and having my toes in the sand.


Sandshore Cardigan

Yarn:  Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in Beaches

Needle:  Size 8 – I went down 2 needle sizes for this.

Modifications:  I did a Make 1 instead of a yarnover at the raglan increases because I didn’t want the holey look at my shoulders.  I also made the sleeves full length because I think I’ll get more wear out of the sweater this way.  3/4 length sleeves just don’t seem very practical for Superior.

This sweater is perfect for chilly nights on any shore.  It’s great over a dress when the air conditioning at a restaurant is kicked up a little high.  I haven’t even blocked the sweater yet and I’ve worn it twice!

Back to the mannequin, I think I need a name for her.  I’d really not write another post with the word mannequin in it 30 times.  Do you have a suggestion as to what I should name her?  Post it in the comments below!


The Cardigan That Wasn’t

So…. I started on my Liesl cardigan.  I’m using a very fluffy off white yarn that was deep in the stash.  It’s bulky weight and when I first pulled out the skein it appeared as though there was a lot of that particular yarn.  Until I ran out of yarn.

So I went back to the stash and realized that while I have a lot of off white yarn in that bin, it was not the same off white yarn.  Even my husband could see there was a difference.  No problem, I thought, I made a sweater out of that particular yarn already.  I’m sure I can access the yarn information in Ravelry.  I’m pretty positive I bought the yarn locally and I’ll just see if they have more.  Worst case, I’ve got the blog as a back up to all my projects, I would have recorded the information on the blog.

Can you see me setting myself up for a fall?  It’s like when you’re watching a horror movie and the damsel in distress goes into the basement even though everyone watching is yelling, “don’t go into the basement!”  You can just cover your eyes now.

The sweater is not in my Ravelry projects.

The sweater is not on the blog.

I referenced (vague reference) finishing it in 2011 in time to wear it to Yarnover.  But no details.  Not a single one.  Not even the pattern name.

The sweater is not all that attractive.  It’s warm, it’s cozy, but it’s a white sweater made out of bulky weight wool.  It’s practically bulletproof.

No pictures of the sweater can be found.

No reference to the yarn can be found.

But I vaguely remember having lots of yarn left over after the sweater was done.  (To be fair, I had a nasty cold/flu thing while knitting and finishing this sweater and so I think I was in a major fog that might have affected reasonable thought.)

I considered my options.  I could keep the top white and knit the bottom in a contrasting color.  But I didn’t think I had enough yarn of anything other than red to finish the sweater with.  And reds are, well let’s face it, reds are hard to match.  And I really don’t have many red summer dresses to wear this with.

So I threw caution to the wind and started tossing the stash in front of my husband.  Now my husband knows that I have a lot of yarn.  He even thinks I have an unreasonable amount of yarn.  And he occasionally comments to this effect.  But rarely do I pull it all out while he is at home.  It’s really for the best that way.  I don’t understand why he owns so many Boy Scout mugs/patches/uniforms/memorabilia/etc. and he doesn’t understand why I own so much yarn.  As long as we don’t bring it all out in front of the other person we are able to co-exist in the same house with the other person’s hoarding collection treasure.  This time though, storage bags were pulled out from under the couches, the trunk was sifted through, and drawers were gone through.  And finally, I found one extra large skein of off white yarn.  It’s unlabeled, so I still don’t know what it is.  I pulled the skein out, triumphant, and showed it to my husband.

He didn’t seem impressed.



Run. Do Not Walk.

Quick, go to Ravelry and look for the Winged Knits Collection by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.  She is giving 20% off her patterns if you enter SUMMER in the coupon code at checkout.

I love her design aesthetic.  I have several of her patterns and I’ve knit a couple.  Her patterns are well written and easy to follow.  I could easily come up with a wish list of patterns and yarn just based on her designs.  In fact, I found no less than 4 short sleeve cardigans that would work for summer dresses.  All are long enough to cover the tummy if that’s what you need (I do!).  Or you can make them more cropped if that’s your style (not mine).

Or take a long sleeve cardigan and convert it to a short sleeve.


So stop reading my silly ramblings and go.  Have Fun.  Shop.

The Nemesis Returns

Faster than stitches slipping off a needle….

More indestructible than 20 year old Red Heart yarn.

More difficult than an Alice Starmore colorwork sweater.


It’s my old nemesis Gauge back again for another run.

Do you remember the Banana Tree Cardigan?  The brown one that I just started?  Well I had just gotten to the top of the sleeve when I decided that perhaps I should check the length since it seemed to be getting rather long.

Maybe it’s stress.  Maybe it was because I had worked on this mostly when I had 2 sick children home from school (one of which ran a fever for 4 days).  Maybe it was that I was exhausted.

Maybe I might have just possibly forgotten that I really should have check gauge a whole lot earlier.  Maybe I should have actually checked the ball band to see what the suggested gauge for that yarn was.

Maybe I’m not the brightest knitter in the shop.

I would probably have to drop down to a size 2 to make this aran weight yarn knit to the gauge I want it to be since I was already at a 4.  It would be like wearing armor!

I hate when the hero in the story is taken down by the nemesis because they just don’t see what’s right in front of their face.

Turns out I don’t have the right yarn in my stash after all.