Saturday, August 21, 2010

It appears I am in finishing mode

After last weeks efforts at finishing off two pairs of socks and bringing the Works in Progress count down to 9, I declared that 10 is my maximum number, that anything more than that does my head in and that a line had to be drawn which cannot be crossed. I believe the number should be less than that, 5 would be good, but 10 will do for now. I seriously contemplated casting on a promised pair of socks for Jules, just to take it back up to 10. But I remembered that I had also promised to make a new cardigan for my rapidly growing niece and even have the yarn and pattern sitting at the ready. What was a girl to do? Husband or niece, husband or niece???

Enter option number three: Finish something so there are two gaps and both can be cast on. I know crazy town, but hey I'm the only female in a house of four boys/men, crazy comes with the territory.

Inspection of the WIP list over there on the right reveals that half the projects are actually from last year and therefore on the "Must be completed by the end of 2010" list, so must be dealt with in the next 3.5 months. Hmm that's a lot of knitting and all of a sudden not so much time. It's been a while since I've pulled out the box of WIP's and I honestly have no idea of how close to completion a couple of them are. Completely suspicious that there's an awful lot of work coming up in the next 3 months.

Opening the box lead to a few discoveries:

The tricot scarf - is sort of in Purgatory. I'm not convinced I like it. It feels too dense and hard and despite assurances that Silk Garden softens on washing I'm not convinced enough softening would occur. This one may in the end be frogged. I keep having visions of fat needles and blankets. Probably don't have enough yarn for a blanket but maybe a scarf knit on fat needles so it has more flexibility. I'll leave this one until the end to make a decision.

Field of Flowers blanket - didn't look at, figured there's more to do but I'm not in the mood to crochet at the moment so I might just ignore it for now and come back later. No idea of how many flowers are made or how many I intend to make either!

Pink Bolero - now here's a project I can do something about. The back, two fronts and two sleeves have been knit but I was at the point of needing to do seams and then face a picot type edging, something I'd not done before and something I was unsure about. To put it in perspective: Size Newborn. Not a lot of work to have a completed item and therefore one more knocked off the list.

Shrug/shawl - have been chipping away at this one. It's for me and is mostly *p2tog, yo* on every row with some short rows for shaping. So it requires keeping track of. I do feel that after completing my cardigan recently this one is just begging to be finished as I know how to keep track of my rows quite well now. This was going to be my next "evening knitting" project but I have been side tracked by Markets and Kinder functions and sick kids so it just hasn't surfaced yet.

Design cardy - Apparently have the back and two fronts done and now just need to look at the sleeves and then the seaming. It's a bit more complicated than that because I'm making this one up so I need to calculate stuff and have a play and see how different things look. Also haven't touched it in at least a year so I'm out of sync with it and it will take some extra brain space to deal with.

So, options for a quick finish appear to be the pink bolero or a frogging of the Noro scarf. Not prepared to frog just yet so the pink bolero has been fished out and last night I seamed the body pieces together and did the picot edged band. Oh my. After picking up the 188 sts from the provisional cast ons and the edges of the garment I had 5 rows of rib before tackling the picot cast off. I've never done a picot cast off before and if anyone else has, you absolutely have my sympathy. The instructions say: cast off 1st *sl st from right hand needle back onto left needle, cast on 2 sts, cast off 4 sts, rep from * to end. I didn't do the math before I started. By halfway through I'm glad I hadn't or I may have put this one aside again. By the time you have cast on two stitches and cast off 4, you have effectively doubled the number of stitches you are working with, that's 376 stitches on a bolero jacket for a newborn. Crazy town. Granted I'm working in 4 ply and it does in fact look brilliant but imagine doing it on a garment for a 5 year old or worse still on the edge of a blanket!!! I finished that bit of edging and am now at the point of sewing the sleeves in and then I have two picot cast off cuffs to do on the sleeves. I'm thankful that these each will start with only 33 sts, the picot edging takes it to 66. That I can manage. I think if I had done the sleeves first as the pattern requests I may never have done the rest of the jacket!
So another finished project is imminent and then I can get onto the two new projects I want to start.

I think I'm going to have to put my WIP box in my way though or I won't get it all done by the end of the year. The shrug for me is definitely going to have to be brought out to the lounge room at least so that it gets chipped away at a bit more. Oh the challenges of having too much knitting on the go!!!


Kate said...

Hi Dr Bones, my what a lot of finishing you have going on here! D'you think a little might rub off on me? And is your Hunter all better now?
Change of season sniffles perhaps...

Sonia said...

I'm in a finishing mood too, and it feels great! I've never managed to have everything finished before I start a new project. The last time I got down to 1 WIP, I lost my knitting mojo; scary times!

Ally Johnston said...

Great to see how focused you've been. I think it is a good idea to aspire to keeping the WIP's to under ten. I try to keep that one too. I also read in one of the knitting magaazines some tips for dealing with WIPs. Things like not lettting them breed or mutate, the one I found really helpful though was to number them, give number one to the project you are struggling the most with, the one you enjoy the most gets number two and the others are random. Then you work on a project with a number which divides evenly into the day. May the finishing continue.