Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIPs and UFOs

Remember this picture?


Up until I did this stash organization, I would have told people rather proudly that I don't have a lot of WIPs and almost no UFO's. Everything in this pile I intended to finish 'someday.' I love that magical setting on Ravelry where you can say a project is 'hibernating.' That means I don't have to admit that I'm not going to finish it AND it doesn't count as a WIP. It's just...hibernating. Waiting for the warmth and daylight of that moment when I bless it with my attention once more, take it in hand, and finish it right off.

Well. Nothing like a little organization to increase your self-awareness. So, with no more self-deception...let's take a look, in no particular order.

1. Featherweight Cardigan, in KnitPicks Shimmer hand dyed lace. Started June 8, 2009


This one is just missing the sleeves. This was a fun knit for a while, although the miles and miles of endless stockinette did get to one eventually. There's always a place for mindless carry-around knitting, though, and this one qualified easily, so it got a lot of work as I trekked around to various things, and because it was laceweight it was easy to carry. I even got the stitches picked up for the collar and knit that out. As designed, the bottom band and collar of this cardigan are supposed to roll, but I don't like rolling, so I put a ribbed bottom band and collar on them. And then...I quit at the sleeves. Pathetic, right? Why did I fall out of love with this project at the sleeves?

I'm pretty sure what happened was that I put it on, and it didn't live up to my expectations. I'm not sure that's the cardigan's fault. It hasn't been blocked, so it looks lumpy and uneven, and the yarn is an alpaca silk blend, so it's all drape and no body, and I just...wasn't excited about it. So I stuffed it in a bag with the intention of finishing it..."someday."

Now, here's my dilemma. I don't love it, but that's a lot of knitting done and only a little knitting left to go, and there's nothing really WRONG with it (aside from one stitch that's a little wonky in the body, where I think I knit into the stitch below by accident). I don't know what to do. I don't feel any motivation to work on it, but it feels absolutely stupid to toss it this far in. A weekend would probably finish it off, and then I could block it and try it on and decide whether it was going to get any wear or not.

2. Umaro Blanket in Cascade Lana Grande, started Jan 29, 2011.


This one is a simple story. I started it, but I am so used to working with small needles that fumbling with giant needles and heavy yarn is just alien feeling to me, so progress was slow. If I worked on it too long, my hands hurt. I kept this one by my bed and worked a few rows before bed every night.

Then it got hot. End of story. It's been sitting in the basket by my bed for ages. It's hard to get the motivation to work on a bulky blanket when it's hot outside. I have confidence I will pick up speed on this one when the weather turns again.

3. Mystery Stole in Jaggerspun Zephyr, long time ago. I didn't note it on my project page.


This stole is knit in two pieces and then grafted in the middle. I knit the entire first half, and then stalled on the second half. I got a little frustrated with all the beading in the first half, especially because I didn't like the way the designer had instructed to place the beads. The instructions were to knit the stitch and then place the bead on it, rather than placing and then knitting as I am accustomed to, and I felt like little holes were forming around the beads, so I decided just to bead the stitch on the wrong side row, so that the bead sat where it was supposed to but without the little holes.

This is really quite an old project, probably only the second or third big lace project I attempted, and I'm a lot more experienced at both lace and beading now. I'm pretty sure I could whip through this thing and finish it off no problem. I'm worried about the grafting, though. The only thing I've ever grafted is sock toes and I do those as tightly as I possibly can. The idea of having to graft lace and maintaining tension in such a way as the seam didn't show makes me cower in fear. I know I'll be upset if I can't make it look right. Still, that seems like a stupid reason not to finish. I don't want to rip this one; even though the design itself is not my favorite ever, the color is pretty and, again, it's mostly done. This honestly might have been finished before now if I could have FOUND it any of the times I got the urge to finish it.

4. Witterings Hat in KnitPicks Crayon, started July 2007.


Another very, very early project, one I took on before I learned that I hate knitting with cotton, especially at a tight gauge. It wouldn't be that hard to finish, but...I don't want to. I know there are mistakes in this project, I don't really love the colors, I HATED the yarn (I don't even think they make it anymore) - I really should probably just frog it.

5. Karen's Water Turtles Shawl started April 7 2009


This one is actually already marked as frogged on my Ravelry page, I just haven't actually done it yet. I don't think the marriage of pattern and yarn was really right for this one, the Jojoland Melody just didn't look right in it. I think I wanted something with more drape, and this was just too bouncy. The yarn is nice, though, I think it'll make a great shawl and I have four balls of it, so I just need to go ahead and frog this one and put the yarn back in the (newly organized) stash.

6. Simone pullover in Elizabeth Lavold baby llama, started sometime this year or last, I can't remember and it's not marked on my Ravelry page.


Another victim of summer. I love the feel of this yarn, I love the look of this cowled sweater, I've divided the sleeves from the body and all it needs is some time to knit down the stockinette section to measurements before starting the openwork panel on the sides. It just got too darn hot. This one will make good football knitting. I don't really like football but CodeNinja does. He is from the DC area. I am from Dallas. I like to mock him, but that really only works if you're paying at least a little attention to the game.

7. Veronique cardigan in Rowan Kidsilk Night, started May 23 2009.


(My camera appears to have eaten the picture of this one, so please accept this picture even though it is terribly out of date)

I was in love with the elegant model picture of this circle cardigan. I knit it happily - right until I sewed up the seams and put the things on, and did not look anything like the model. There's this weird bunching that happens down under the arms and a survey of the Ravelry projects quickly showed me it's not unique to my version. But, again, all it's missing at this point are the sleeves. I could just knit the damn sleeves, block the thing, and then decide whether it's worth wearing or not. I don't know, my gauge may be too tight for this airy circular shrug - I did block the pieces before I sewed them together so I don't know what to think. I may just have to designate a sleeve-knitting weekend to finish off these two cardigans so they can stop PLAGUING MY SOUL.

8. Chocolate Waffle Scarf in KnitPicks Swish Worsted Superwash, started September 2007

Chocolate Waffle Scarf

(picture also eaten, so this one is not recent - See the WIP pile pic above to see how much is done - this one is front and center)

Speaking of things that plague my soul. Seed stitch and stripes. I think I'd rather slit my wrists than finish this not-even-half-done scarf. Sadly, frogging it won't do much to reclaim the yarn, but I can use it for charity knitting baby hats and stuff. I don't know what I was thinking, but as you can see from the date, this is one of my oldest projects from back when I first started knitting, and my only excuse is - I didn't know any better. No pattern, I was just winging it.

9. Shawl in Patons Soy Stripes started in May 2007


No pattern for this one either, just cast on a bunch of stitches and started knitting this broken garter...rib...thing, because I thought the yarn was pretty. Not really wide enough to be a shawl, not narrow enough to be a scarf, and I kept running out of yarn. I think I'll frog this one and see if CodeNinja's mom (hereafter referred to as CodeMama) wants the yarn. If she doesn't want it, maybe somebody at my charity knitting group will.

10. Beginner's Lace Triangle in Fleece Artist Suri Blue, started December 2007


This was supposed to be my first lace project. I figured out, after working a chunk of the first side, that I was doing my YO's totally wrong, which is why the lace looks so closed on the bottom half of this photo and then suddenly opens up at the top.

Instructions for this shawl are to knit the increase chart until you are halfway out of yarn or bored stupid, and then start the decrease chart. Over the course of a couple of Christmas trips home I did manage to use up the first skein of yarn and start the decrease chart, but this has long been abandonned for other things. It was a good shawl that served its purpose, I learned a lot while working on it, but I don't really see myself coming back to this one any time soon. The cable caps actually came off it at one point and a bunch of stitches are dropped and would need to be laddered back and fixed - or I'd have to rip back and then put a billion stitches back on the needles. No thanks - this is good yarn, and I'll find another project for it.

11. Moonlight Sonata in Rowan Kidsilk Haze, started July 15, 2008


(again, an out of date picture)

This one is also already marked as frogged on my Rav page, but I've never gotten around to doing the actual frogging. I liked this shawl, and I think it's pretty in the yarn, but a) I was bored stupid after the third or fourth repeat b) there's a dropped stitch a repeat or two back c) I dropped it for Christmas knitting. Again, this was a fairly early project and it would probably go a lot more smoothly now that I'm more experienced. Maybe I'll frog it, but start over. It's awfully pretty.

12. Three Scarf Ruana in Valley Yarns Northampton, started May 11 2009

I'm not even going to bother with a photograph here. It's a big long grey scarf. This was intended to be a long-term project, so that I always had a garter stitch something to be working on if we, say, went to the movies or something like that and I needed to grab something. However, it's grown a little unwieldy for that kind of thing, and it's been sitting in a box for ages. I'm not sure - maybe I should just frog it and save the yarn for something else. There is kind of a lot of yarn.

13. Galadriel's Mirror in HandMaiden Silk Twist


This one was a combination of startitis and warm weather. I started it even though I had a billion other things already going on, and it just wasn't the most appealing thing to work on at the time. It's going to be quite large and it's fingering weight, so it wasn't really summer-appropriate knitting. I took this one downstairs and moved it to my active queue immediately, and I've already finished the first chart. It's the perfect project right now with that fall smell that's beginning to come into the air. Right now it's still small enough to work on even though it's warm, and by the time it gets big enough to be uncomfortable, the weather will hopefully have cooled down some. Plus, I really like this pattern. I did my first bobble on Monday night. I don't much care for bobbles, but they're an essential element of this pattern, so bobble I did. Still not a fan, but I'll live with it. The overall shawl is going to be lovely. It's awfully textured, and I worry a bit that the silk twist yarn has too much texture, but having looked at other peoples' beginnings, I think that's just the way it looks at this beginning stage. As it grows, the lines of the pattern will come together to look a little less chaotic, I hope.

And I think that's it. Besides these projects, the only thing I'm really working on is a second sock for CodeNinja (which I haven't actually started yet, since I somehow managed to end up with three needles in my bag, all of different sizes, instead of two of the same size) and Katanya. I finished Chart K last night and have only two charts to go, but Galadriel's Mirror makes a nice break from those superlong rows (for now...there are going to be a lot of stitches on that one before it's done too).

I have to admit I got a little depressed when looking at these unfinished projects. I have a reputation for starting more than I finish in all my craft pursuits, but I've been proud because I rarely do this in knitting. I finish almost everything I start, or so I thought. But then I took a look at my Rav page. 144 projects entered there, of which 17 are marked as hibernating or frogged. So, even though I have accumulated a fair pile of UFO's in the - what? Four years I've been knitting? I still think I can be pretty proud of my unfinished-to-finished ratio.

I vow that tonight I will go home and ACTUALLY frog stuff, rather than just marking it as frogged on Ravelry and then leaving the unfrogged project in a bag in case I change my mind.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

I skipped out on blogging last week because I really had nothing to show. I'm at the point now where the rows on Katanya, the July Pins & Lace shawl, are so long that they take a while to do, and I just didn't have much time last week at all. Between work, things that had to be done at home and just generally being wiped out once it was all finished, I was barely managing a row a night, and some nights I didn't knit at all. But! Thanks to the hurricane, I had a good excuse to do nothing but knit this weekend. I'm not really sure how that works, since the hurricane wasn't inside and so there was nothing to prevent me from doing all the stuff that needed doing inside, but hey, I needed a break, so I spent a lot of time knitting on Saturday and I got through the mesh section of the lace chart:


Two charts to go, I think. There are a lot of charts in this pattern! However, you only do each chart once, so I'm okay with lots of charts.

Friday night, I finished this:


That's right, The Scarf That Would Not Die is finally done. I haven't measured it, but I'm sure it's over six feet. How do I know this?


CodeNinja is 5'10". It'll probably lose some length when blocked as I expect the rib to expand considerably, so it'll be much wider than it is in these pictures. (Please excuse my messy house in the background. I apologize for shattering any illusion you may have had that I am a neat and well-organized person. You may want to take some time to recover before reading the rest of this entry.) I would have blocked it this weekend except that I weep when I think about threading wires through six plus feet of solid knitting.

Sunday, I became possessed. I'm not exactly sure it happened, but I have six pages of flickr photos to prove it's true. We went out to run some errands Sunday after church, and I was telling CodeNinja how I've felt like I'm in a bit of knitting slump lately and I wasn't sure how to get out of it, and maybe I should pull some of my old projects out and see if one of them excited me, and then I sighed heavily because my 'craft room' (otherwise known as 'the vortex of chaos') is in such a state that I was sure I wouldn't be able to find the project I was thinking of even if I tried. Then I said, maybe I should pull it all out and organize the stash.

I say this often. I really do. But this time was different. This time, I went home - and I actually did it.

First I tried to do it a little bit at a time. That was not very successful. Too confusing. So, I pulled all of my yarn out of the craft room and the zillion other nooks and crannies it was occupying in the house, and I piled it all in my guest bedroom.



After this I sorted it roughly by weight, tossing all my sock weight on the left side of the bed, all my lace weight on the right side of the bed, accumulating worsted or heavier in one corner of the room, and tossed all my DK/sport weight into one bag. I enlisted CodeNinja, sat him down with the computer and my Ravelry stash page, and we went through the stash from heaviest to lightest. I pulled stuff out, brought it into the craft room, CodeNinja verified it was in the stash, logged it if it wasn't, let me know if I needed a picture, and then once the yarn was logged and photographed I put it away, as neatly as possible. When I came across a WIP, I put it in the corner, along with all the yarn that was supposed to go with it, to deal with later.

I don't have all that much heavier weight yarn, but the heavier weight yarn was the least well documented, so it took us a while to get through the worsted-or-heavier-pile. The DK pile was even smaller so even though it wasn't all that well documented, it didn't take that long to deal with.

Then came the fingering weight. I sorted it by color first, in rainbow order, with all the neutrals and anything that made me go 'uuhhh...' at the end.




Then I carried it by color group into the craft room, where we verified, photographed if necessary, and I put it away. Though this is by far the most extensive part of my stash, it didn't take that much time to do, because it is also by far the most well-documented area of my stash.

When we finished the sock weight I did the same with the laceweight and now, I present to you...the stash.


The worsted & heavier corner, which I'm afraid, doesn't look all that neat. I need a couple of bins to put this stuff in. The cardboard box has all my Valley Yarns stuff and then everything else is sort of neatly stacked and piled and there IS one little basket in there but it's so buried in yarn you can't see it. But, even though it is somewhat piled, it is organized. All the like yarns are together with their fellows, at least until I need something at the bottom of this pile and start tossing stuff aside with no regard for my previous organizational efforts. It's only a matter of time.

And this, the pride of my stash, the sock & laceweight yarn.


CodeNinja bought these shoe thingies for me some time ago for the express purpose of helping me organize my yarn, and they work pretty well. Of course, as I look at this picture I realize I have made the classic organizational mistake of not allowing adequate room for expansion, but we'll get to that in a moment.

I didn't have quite enough room for everything so some items are hanging next to it using my old system, ziplocks clip ed in skirt hangers. It works when your stash isn't so big, but not so well when it grows as much as mine has.


Then, I turned my attention to my WIP pile.


Some of these items are much loved, and simply unfinished because of unfortunate circumstances or laziness. Some of these are what I like to call, Things I Started Before I Knew Better, and serve as sort of a timeline of stuff I have learned over the last three and a half years of knitting about my own preferences. Unfortunately, some of my photos from this sort seem to be missing, so I'm going to save that for bonus post this week when I can really get into the "WHAT WAS I THINKING??" and maybe that'll make up for having no post last week.

My stash organization hasn't been perfect, even since then I've found more yarn that I didn't deal with during the sort, and there were a few things in my ravelry stash that I know I still have but can't find - but it's a start, and now I can actually walk into the room when I need something, instead of doing this sort of fraught-with-danger hopscotch around the room to try and get to where I think the stuff I'm looking for may be hiding.

One thing this has shown me, as if I really needed evidence, is that I don't really need more yarn. I don't feel like I have an unreasonable amount of stashed yarn, either. It's manageable. But, there aren't a lot of colors that I don't have here. This doesn't really mean I will stop buying yarn, because buying yarn is fun, but I will try to go to the stash first. Also...I really ought to knit more socks. I've got lots of sock yarn now that I feel like is too pretty for socks and that I should save for a shawl, but I really ought to just suck it up and pick some of these skeins out to make socks out of. I'm eyeing some of that Neighborhood Fiber Company Capital Luxury sock for my next pair.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Of Bouquets and Butins

Feeling like a hamster in a wheel the last couple of weeks! I'm constantly busy but never seem to be DOING anything...know what I mean?

No? Just me then? Okay. Moving on.

CodeNinja and I went to an out of town wedding this past weekend where he was the best man and I was - the best man's date. Also known as the Designated Nagger. "Did you remember to get a suit?" (he didn't), "Did you get the ring from the groom?" (he did, and then gave it to me to hold on to until the wedding) and my favorite, "You know you have to make a speech, right?" (He did, and despite dithering about it to the last minute, he did it beautifully. Then he sat down before actually doing the toast part and I had to hiss at him to get back up.)

I caught the bouquet, in the most bizarre fashion that is so laughingly typical for me. This was the twelfth wedding I've attended and I've never caught the bouquet, mostly because I can't bring myself to look quite so pathetically desperate as to be willing to SHOVE other women out of the way and take a flying leap to snatch up a good-luck symbol that has no actual bearing on reality. (Not that I am poo-pooing the tradition. I wanted that bouquet every time, I just didn't want anybody to know that I wanted it. Not because I thought it was some kind of magic charm, just because it has the same appeal as winning the lottery. Your odds are so bad that the idea of winning is exciting beyond the never-having-to-work-again aspect.) So, really, I was only going to catch that bouquet if it came straight at me and everyone else inexplicably fell asleep. Up until Saturday, that has never happened.

However this particular couple is rather nontraditional and the groom really, really wanted to throw the bouquet, so at the end of the ceremony (literally, as soon as they turned around and were announced at husband and wife), the bride handed the groom the bouquet and he lobbed it straight down the aisle.

Problem is, they forgot to tell anybody they were going to do this. I knew, as I had been at the rehearsal the day before, but I had totally forgotten about it, and so for an instant the entire room sat frozen and confused as that bouquet sailed up into the air and then down straight for the floor - as it happens, right next to me. I had my camera up and was taking pictures when some part of my brain realized it was sailing past me, and my hand shot out, I leaned, and snatched the thing out of the air before it hit the ground, depositing it in my lap quite coolly, thank you very much, as the entire room cracked up and applauded. I'm convinced all the knitting improved my hand-eye coordination. It was possibly the most calm and dignified bouquet catch ever - which did not stop certain people from teasing me mercilessly afterward, but what can you do? (To the inevitable question, "What did CodeNinja say?" the answer is, "Nice reflexes." One of our friends maintains that the expression on his face when I caught it was priceless, but I think he was just impressed at the catch. If that is not the case, he would be wise not to tell me.)

Anyway. You all came here to see knitting (though you will note I am wearing my Boutin necklace in that picture, so technically I have already shown some knitting in action).

As usual, WIPs first. I took my July Pins & Lace project with me but didn't actually work on it. I will tell you why in a moment. Thus, it remains in the same state it was in last week, but since I haven't bothered to take a picture of it until now, I am sure you will be just as amazed.


It's a bit scrunched up on the needles at the moment, but I spread it out so you could see one half at least. It's mostly stockinette at this point - I've just gotten to the point where the real fun begins. This pattern uses the same mesh as Sevillano but in a different way. I ordered a 60" Chiaogoo because my 40" ain't covering it. there will be a LOT of stitches before I'm done.

I think the edging on this pattern is so incredibly clever, as well as pretty.

And...that's it. That's all I have to show for WIPs. I still have The Scarf That Would Not Die, although I think it may finally be on its last legs. Everything else I have to show is done, done, done.

I mentioned my Butin necklace that I wore above. Well, Ms. Nelkin has now released Butin earrings, and I immediately ordered a kit to match the necklace (even though I made the necklace to match my copper earrings - and I am setting a record for parenthetical statements on the blog today). If you'll recall, when I made the Butin necklace it was so much fun that I immediately dug up my leftovers of Schaefer Audrey and got out my beads and made two more, one out of Nellie Bly and one out of...of...shoot. I always want to say the wrong monkey lady. Diane Fossey, that's it!

So I ordered up some earring findings and jump rings and set to making Butin earrings for all three necklaces. There is a note in the pattern that says "Wet block to shape. THIS STEP IS SURPRISINGLY IMPORTANT." and she does not lie. Here is the Nellie Bly earring, which has not been blocked. (Apologies that the picture is so dark, my laptop makes everything look lighter than it is and I sometimes don't compensate well.)


And here are the Diane Fossey earrings, which have:


They totally stay that way when I pick them up, too. I did not think it possible. I didn't do anything special, just soaked them and pinned them out.

It seems I forgot to photograph the first set I made from the kit, in the Elizabeth Kubler Ross colorway, but I'll try to show those off later. I still only have one Nellie Bly earring because I lost my little baggy of jump rings. I've looked everywhere for it and made CodeNinja look too and I can't find the darn things anywhere. It must be gnomes.

I had less knitting time on this trip than I expected, and even less knitting time in which I could knit something I had to pay attention to, so as I mentioned, the shawl stayed in my bag the whole time. I did have the car ride both ways, but I had taken three pairs of socks with me that needed finishing, and two were at the heel turn, so I spent my time in the car doing that so that I could get one sock to a point where it would be mindless, and the other sock to a point where I could start the foot chart. After that I only had snatches of time here and there, enough to work a sock chart but not enough to work rows on a big lace shawl. So, I got nothing done while I was gone but socks.

I finished the plain socks that I started a million years ago out of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni in Pink Hydrangea.


I finished the Serab socks from Silk Road Socks in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga colorway Arachne, so they are ready before their recipient (whose birthday was in March) returns from her travels. It's times like this I wish I had a sock blocker, because these just look weird with no feet in them.





And I finished one giant mansock for CodeNinja. This one had been an inch or two away from done for some time, I just needed some time to work on it where I had him around to try it on as needed. I don't know what this yarn is but I despise it, it is a single with some mohair content (I think) and it is an absolute pain in the rear to knit. The colors are lovely but sooooo not worth it IMO. How about a group shot for some size perspective?


Remember, girls, it is just as easy to love a man with small feet.

Sadly, this is only the first sock in the pair, which means I have to knit another one. I don't think I have enough yarn to make the stripes match up since the repeats are so long, but CodeNinja (because he knows what is good for him and where his socks come from) says he doesn't mind if they're, in the YH's words, fraternal rather than identical.

I also made some new yarn acquisitions from Calla Lily Knits & Gifts, mostly from Mountain colors. I got this skein of sock yarn in Turquoise:


And two skeins of lace yarn in Wild Horse.


I also got a bag of largely unidentified yarn and spinning fiber from the bride, who was happy to destash it to someone who will love it. And I always love free yarn. The fiber and yarn are from local farmers to their area. I haven't gone through it all but I think it is a mixture of wool and alpaca.

By the way, have you seen Puppy Snips from Hiya Hiya? They are the cutest tiny little scissors!!

Teensy weensy! The first time I used them they didn't cut that well, but I got out a piece of tinfoil and cut it up with the Snips, and that seemed to sharpen them up just fine. No problems since. I think they're adorable.

So, that should catch me up and I apologize for the radio silence. I am a bad, bad blogger. I will try to do better. Romi has finished the design of Muse #1 and it's now in the hands of the test knitters, so expect to see that as soon as the pattern gets into my hot little hands. I have two yarn combos I'm considering. Neighborhood Fiber Company in Edgewood and Sheridan Circle:


And Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock (the yarn the shawl was designed in) in Luna (the white) and Dobby (the multicolored).



Romi has announced that Muse #1 is Kleio, the muse of history. I'm thinking about knitting this one twice and just using both combos. Then I can keep one for myself, and give the Sunshine yarns one to my best friend. The colors are definitely much more her than me and since she is the person I have the most history with, and is a bit of a history buff herself, it seems appropriate that she receive Muse #1.

I will now leave you with a picture of the most inexplicable thing we saw on our trip, so that you may boggle this puzzle until I post again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Pause to Reflect

Today is the first of August and it strikes me as a good day to look back over all the knitting I've accomplished this year. I really knit like a fiend for the first six months or so, always too many projects on the go and probably more anxiety than was really necessary about getting them done. Now here we are and the year's more than half gone, and I find myself feeling like I'm in a bit of a lull, knitting-wise. I'm definitely still knitting, and I love the things I'm working on, but I'm not quite as...hmm...I don't know. Excited? I hate to say that because it sounds like I'm bored with what I'm doing, and I'm not.

Usually this happens to me when I have a bunch of things on the needles, or when I'm working on stuff I feel 'obligated' to do - gifts etc. And while I do have a few things like that (The Scarf That Would Not Die), I actually don't have that much on the needles right now. So, I think, maybe I should just step back for a minute and look at everything I have accomplished this year.

So let's take a look at my 2011 knitting, shall we?

Bluebird (Romi Hill) was my first FO of 2011, though it was mostly knit in 2010.

It was swiftly followed by my Phoenix Rising (Sivia Harding) shawl, which I absolutely adored. It was absolutely the perfect combination of yarn, beads, and pattern concept, and it was absolutely volcanic. I adored it. Plus it was huge, so it felt like a real accomplishment to finish. This one was also mostly knit in 2010 so it doesn't count for the challenge, but that doesn't make me love it any less.

My next FO was on a much smaller scale, the Limestone One Skein Shawl that I did using a skein of cashmere yarn from Zen Yarn Garden. This was a fun, frothy little knit.

Then came the predecessor to the scarf that would not die, the hat for my darling CodeNinja, whose massive intelligence requires a larger than average container, so commercially knit hats don't fit him.

Right around that time I started to lose my head a little bit and I got a nasty case of startitis. I started Galadriel's Mirror even though I knew I didn't have the time to work on it.

It still languishes, I'm afraid. I still love the pattern and I occasionally consider picking it up, but it's a bit hot for it right now. This is quite a large fingering weight shawl and I'm afraid I would just roast alive if I made any significant progress on it. I'm really looking forward to picking this up again in the fall though.

I was really excited about the In Dreams shawl, as well, but...I never started it. I'm not totally sure why. It's a bit complicated, for sure, but I like complicated. I think I just can't make up my mind about the beads. There are SO MANY BEADS. I can't decide whether I want to bead it as written, not bead it at all, or bead only parts of it. I've waited long enough that the pattern is complete, the mystery KAL long over, so I could really make some decisions about where to bead and where not to if I liked.

I started the lovely Umaro blanket (Jared Flood)

Didn't get very far on that one either. It's in my bin, waiting for the fall to come again. I find I can only work on this a small amount at a time, as the huge needles hurt my hands if I use them for too long.

I took the shawl design class and started on my Sea Turtles shawl design.

I may not be cut out for designing. It was fun and I liked it, but - the shawl remains unknit. I only have a little bit of work left to do to finish off the pattern enough that I, at least, could knit it. I had grand plans for this one. I should really set aside some time for it.

I also knit Avira for the Light and Dark Lace Club run by PennyRose Yarns and Zen Yarn Garden.

And, during all this time, I was also knitting Sevillano (Romi Hill).

Love that shawl. This was the second time that the yarn and the pattern really just came together in that Perfect Storm of Awesome. I love wearing this piece.

Oh yeah. I'd also started this, The Scarf That Would Not Die.

They seem to go so quickly in the beginning, and then they hit a certain length and you just don't see progress anymore. Sigh.

I started Taygete (Romi Hill) before I finished Sevillano, as I recall. Projects were just coming thick and fast, and I was knitting like a fiend to keep up.

As soon as Sevillano was finished, I cast on for Fiori di Sole (Romi Hill). This is the third Perfect Storm shawl - perfect yarn, perfect pattern, perfect, perfect, perfect.

Immediately after Fiori was finished, I jumped right into Spanish Moss (Romi Hill).

Somewhere during all that mess I knit a prayer shawl.

And a second Taygete (still Romi Hill).

Alcyone (Romi Hill) was next.

Followed quickly by Sakaki (Romi Hill).

Then I went to Alaska.

As soon as I got back, I knit a bunch of Butin necklaces (Laura Nelkin)
(there was a third but apparently I never took a picture of it)

Asterope (Romi Hill) was next.

I finally finished Spanish Moss (I'm wearing it today and have received two compliments from nonknitters).

Then Live Oak (Romi Hill)

Which brings me pretty much up to date. I'm currently working on the Serab Socks from Silk Road Socks (excuse the out of date picture - pretend this is a whole sock).

I'm also working on the July Pins & Lace shawl, The Scarf That Would Not Die (in this case 'working on it' means I glare at it every once in a while as I walk by in the hopes that sheer intimidation will cause it to knit itself while I am gone) and....that's really it at the moment.

But, looking back at this list - no wonder I'm tired!!