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.