I’ve felt a little at odds with my knitting over the past day or so. Out of four active WIPs, I finished one, worked on one out of obligation, was bored with another and having issues with the fourth. I toyed with the idea of casting on something new but nothing was really coming together.
So, let’s review: the one I finished was my third River District Toque. This one is adult sized. I haven’t taken pictures of it yet, but given that it’s nearly identical to the other adult one I made and is in the same yarn (malabrigo Rios in Archangel), I’m not really motivated to do so. This will be going to my SIL for an early Christmas gift as soon as I’ve given it a wash. I was getting over a cold while working on it so I want to make sure it’s clean. Highlights from that project include grafting in pattern (I’m getting pretty good at that) and weaving in most ends as I went. As a result, I was able to get all the finishing done really quickly. It’s really pretty and I think she will like it!
The obligation WIP is my garter yoke baby cardi. I’ve blogged about this project and its woes before, and it hasn’t gotten any better. It got put on hold for a while because, despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of buttons in this house (really) I could not find more than two matching ones in an appropriate size and color. So, I eventually bought some buttons, then dragged my feet on knitting the button bands and doing all that stuff. I picked it up the other day because if I wait any longer, the baby I made it for will have outgrown it and it won’t be sweater weather anymore! I knit the first button band (the one which will have the buttons sewn on) and then debated for a while on what form of buttonhole to use. I didn’t want to do just a yo/k2tog because the buttons are really too big for that. I didn’t want to get super fiddly and do real buttonholes because, let’s be honest, how many times will this even get worn? I don’t mind putting effort into things, but babies grow so fast! So I figured I’d do applied I cord with button loops.
Sounds simple, right? Well, there are directions in the original pattern for how to do that, but they just weren’t making a ton of sense to me. I’ve done this kind of thing before but couldn’t quite remember how to get going. So, I poked around ravelry and couldn’t find anything. I know it’s there, I just wasn’t able to stumble across it. Then I went to TECHknitter and read everything there about buttons and buttonholes…no luck. I was about to just resort to google when I decided to bring out my go-to handbook again, The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman. Sure enough, it was all spelled out clearly with clear photos and illustrations. Great! So I did the button loops and cast off. I was feeling like a martyr so I just kept going and wove in all the ends*.
It’s proving difficult to get decent photos of black yarn, but you get the idea. Here’s a better look at the button bands:
So now all I have to do for this is sew on the buttons and wash it. Depending on how it looks after a wash, I may try steam blocking it a touch…but I don’t really think it’ll be necessary. I’ll be happy to have it done.
The WIP I’m a little bored with is my Sunlight Shawlette. I know the idea is that it’s a simple pattern, but it’s just turning into a lot of stockinette to slog through. I’ve made a little progress on it though.
And last, the WIP that was giving me some trouble? My second pair of Passport Mitts. Everything was going fine. I was working on the first mitt (the left one) and making progress. I was liking the stitch definition of the yarn I’m using as well as the semisolid colorway. Then, I tried it on and realized I was doing something wonky with my tension on the m1r stitches along the right edge of the thumb gusset:
It’s not the most awful thing, but the contrast with the left edge of the gusset is pretty stark. That one looks so neat. So, I wasn’t sure what to do. Rip it back? Ignore it? Mess with the surrounding stitches to try to even things out? Hope it blocks out? I stalled for a little because I really didn’t want to rip it out, but I also didn’t want to ignore it. Well, I picked it up today while I was between chiropractor and PT appointments and just started adjusting the tension. I used the tip of a dpn to snug up the holes and work the extra yarn into the stockinette panel to the right of it. I am very pleased with the results!
So, moving forward I will just try to be more conscious of the tension on those stitches. I also switched out the stitch marker I was using there for one with a lower profile. Hopefully that will help prevent it from continuing to happen.
I’m glad I’ve worked through some of my knitting issues. I’ve been very frustrated with the rest of life in general–it’s taking me so much longer to heal than I’d thought it would and I’m getting really tired of not being able to do stuff that I want to do. Knitting has been sort of my saving grace, so not having a project that I just wanted to pick up and work on was frustrating.
I’ll leave you with a little dose of cuteness. Lately my daughter has been talking about wanting to learn to knit. It’s a little early (she’s not quite three) but it’s really sweet that she’s interested. The other day she put on some dress ups, grabbed some crayons and told me she was knitting:
*I’ll tell you a secret about weaving in ends when using Caron Simply Soft acrylic: Tie knots. Just do it. That yarn is so slippery that I don’t think anything else will hold. What I did in this case was weave in the end with duplicate stitch for a while then split the tail into two pieces with two plies each. Then I ran one half through a neighboring stitch and tied it to the other half with a secure square knot. This thing needs to hold up to machine washing!
Crayon knitting! I die of heartache. Too cute. Keep at it. All those great projects will come together. I think obligation knitting is okay if that’s what it takes to finish a project and start anew.
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Oh she is a darling. I love the spontaneity of our children. I’m sorry you’ve been frustrated physically and emotionally. I hope this post was cathartic in some way for you. Kudos to you on knitting a black cardigan. I get all squinty eyed when knitting with black yarn and that doesn’t help my old, coke bottle eyeballs. I love that color you’re using for your mitts. My enthusiasm for a project is like a wave. When I get toward the end of something, I tend to get lazy as well when I know I can finish that sh*t up quickstyle.
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Great fix on the thumb! I’m horrible about letting things languish over some small detail. I hate sewing seams!
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thank you for letting me know I am not the only one bored with a WIP or 2 AND I can’t leave without saying that little cutie absolutely made me smile
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