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Things I need to FINISH

Sunday, October 25, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015 is "FINISH."  This word is appropriate for me because I like to start things. Lots of things. But finishing them is quite another matter. And now that the year is almost finished, and I haven't done much work on the OWL album (read “none”), I want to take stock of what I absolutely need to finish by the end of the year. 
I had so many knitting plans for this year. However, like all best laid plans, mine went awry. It always seems that when I set goals and make plan, something happens to thwart them. In the late spring, I began getting severe pain in my right wrist and arm, making me think I was developing carpal tunnel syndrome. That put me off my knitting for over a month, and I spent the summer playing catch up. Because nothing succeeds like a deadline, I was able to bust out the two projects I had to finish in a certain time frame. 
Probably the longest running WIP I have going right now is my Custom-Fit short-sleeve scoop neck sweater, knit in red Cascade Ultra  Pima cotton.The knitting’s been finished for ages, but the actual finishing was giving me fits. The set-in sleeves look better than most of the other sweaters I've made, but that’s not saying much. It’s wearable, though.  I still need to finish the hem. I chose a folded hem rather than an edging - which I now regret, because I have to hand sew the hem to make the garment wearable. I’ll have more to say about this later, but I think this is my last attempt at a sewn set-in sleeve. Once I get this sewn, I think this sweater will become a staple in my wardrobe.

I realized that I won't be able to get my Meta shawl finished in time for my aunt's birthday in early November, so I made a one-skein scarf with some stash Malabrigo Silky Merino in a hot pink on big needles that I should finish in plenty of time. Meta has now been postponed until Christmas
I put my Circo cowl on hold as well, but only because I need to finish the scarf first. This one isn't due until Christmas.

I started a pair of gloves, knit on size 1.5 needles, thinking they would make a Christmas present for my nephew who specifically asked for gloves. What was I thinking? It took forever just to do the cuff. So those are put aside. I saw some really cool mittens (along with a collection of 1940s knitting patterns) on the Victoria and Albert Museum website, but they also call for a size 13 UK needle which is a US size 1. I just don’t have the time or the patience for that. But I saw a cool adaptation knit in a larger gauge, using Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns for the math. I have taken that book out of the library a lot, so decided to buy my own copy. I thought I had some worsted stash yarn that would make great mittens in a bigger gauge, but it seems that I have single skeins, and no one-handed people to knit for, so back to the store I go.  They shouldn’t take too long to knit up and I think I can make at least 3 or 4 pairs by Christmas. Maybe I’ll throw in a pair for the mitten tree at Church - I can try a kids size first and get a pair out of one of those skeins. 
Finally, I’m going to meet Baby C  at Thanksgiving, and I just have to finish sewing up my little pink cardigan for her. 

Back on track

Friday, October 2, 2015

After a month-long hiatus from knitting last spring due to a horrible pinched nerve in my neck that radiated pain down my right arm to hands, I finally am back on track with my knitting projects. I was terrified that I had carpal tunnel syndrome, but my nephew the physical therapist told me he didn't think that was the problem and my PT here in Pittsburgh got be back on track in a matter of weeks.

The first thing I needed to finish was the Life Cycle blanket I was making for my new baby niece. I have not come to terms yet with the word one uses when one's nephew becomes a father. Great aunts are little old ladies, who knit and drink tea and look like Miss Marple. And uses words like "one's." I only fit three of those criteria, and looking like Miss Marple is not one of them. I managed to finish the blanket in time for the shower in August. It was the only handmade gift. I often worry that people won't understand the effort and, yes, expense, that goes into handknit items, but the blanket was the hit of the shower. If I say so myself.

 
 Once that was done, I owed my friend Melody her Hybrid Vigour, which I finished just in time for early fall.

I haven’t felt much like coming up with new designs. I'm really enjoying making other people's designs, especially lace. Right now, I'm working on two mystery knit-a-longs, one that I started right before my injury and another that is currently running, and then it's time to do my holiday knitting. Then we'll see.