WIP times three on Thursday

Yet again the stars did not align between work schedule and hobby schedule to allow me to post on Wednesday about my works in progress. So, just before Spanish lunch time, I can report on my progress.

I really want to get my Thanksgiving decorations done soon. I thought I would tire of my cornucopia in favor of the biscornu, but this has not been the case. They have each received equal time.

To the left we can see my cornucopia and to the right my pinwheel biscornu. The biscornu would be more done than it is if I hadn’t messed up and had to restitch the blue pinwheel.

My “Widsith” sock now has a complete heel and the beginnings of a foot.

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And that’s all for today!

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WIP Wednesday: “St. Enda”

What a coincidence that today is All Souls Day and I have a Saint of my own hanging off my knitting needles! I may not be religious, but somehow I’ve managed to live a parallel life on this day after Halloween. I know! Halloween is over! Total bummer!

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I’m making a lot of progress on this Celtic saint. As you can see, I’ve got the front done and now I’m 2/3 of the way up the back. You can also observe that on the front I didn’t bind off my remaining stitches, I just left them “live.” I’m not following the directions, which instruct the knitter to bind it all off. My reason is simple: when I knit the sleeves I shall simply knit the saddle onto the shoulders. Yes, I’m an evil genius who wishes to sew as little as possible. I suppose some people take great pleasure in sewing saddles onto shoulders. I do not.

I’ve also very cleverly put garter stitch selvage edges on my pieces. I’ll do the same on the sleeves. This way, I can mattress stitch the body together very easily and also crochet the sleeves to the body. I’ll more than likely mattress stitch the sleeves together, though, so they match the body seams.

A lot of people think that crocheted seams are too bulky. This is simply not true. Mattress stitch, actually, can leave more bulk than a slip-stitched seam. I’ve experimented a lot with crocheting my knits together and I’ve discovered that if you’ve got a textured stitch pattern, like on this sweater here, a garter stitch selvage that is slip stitched together on the wrong side blends in very well. It’s far less annoying than doing that silly “fake grafting” thing on bound-off edges. It looks neat and professional, without all the “take the tapestry needle this way, then around, then that way, try fudging a little, rip it out and try again” nonsense.

The cold weather is approaching. As a matter of fact, we are almost on the verge of turning the heat on. The temperature is wicked cold in the morning, rises to room temperature or slightly less by noon, and then drops quickly back to wicked cold at sunset. Needless to say, I was very happy and content to watch Stranger Things, season two on Sunday, knitting a cowl and hiding under my bulky crochet afghan.

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I snapped the photo with my iPhone on Sunday afternoon just in case I wanted to document this WIP on the blog. You can’t see my legs because they’re under my afghan. When I finish this cowl I’ll still have plenty of purple Cascade 220 Super Wash Quatro to make a scarf for a Christmas gift. So, a long time ago I bought a ton of purple yarn, that’s for sure! I got a cardigan for myself out of it and now I’m going to knock some Christmas gifts out of it, too! By the way, the cowl is still a WIP. I started it and stopped knitting on it on Sunday.

 

Purple cardigan on a WIP Wednesday

I’ve been knitting away at my purple top-down cardigan. I’m almost done with the body and then I can get going on the sleeves.

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I haven’t knit stockinette stitch flat in years. Wow, is it boring! I really made a push on it over the weekend to try and get it all over with. I almost made it to the bottom, but not quite. I wanted a sort of plain cardigan and I’m getting one, it’s just I have to make a real effort not to yawn while knitting and purling back and forth.

A can o’WIPASSessment

Now that I’ve got the naughty WIPs under control and disciplined, it’s time, on this WIP Wednesday, to open up a can o’WIPASSessment on what’s left, which are five projects plus 1 new one I started on Monday. The rest of them aren’t featured here in photos because they look the same as the last time I photographed them.

If you pay close attention to what I blather on about, you might remember that I said I would only start a new project when the crochet table cloth, the sweater, and the cross stitch pumpkin were finished. Recently I have had a conference with the WIPs and, as we now do in education, from elementary to university, an assessment was performed. Higher Education administrators who read this blog will be just thrilled to know that I prepared paperwork for this tedious – yet administratively necessary – procedure. The evaluation questionnaire, filled out by all WIPs, collected the following data:

WIP Title:

Indicate to what degree you agree or disagree with the following statement. 1 = strongly disagree 2 = slightly disagree 3 = agree 4 = slightly agree 5 = strongly agree

  1. I am necessary for use in the upcoming season.  1  2  3  4  5
  2. I am handy for this season and can be finished now.  1  2  3  4  5
  3. I am boring to work on.  1  2  3  4  5
  4. I am 3 hours or less from being finished.  1  2  3  4  5

The tablecloth is nice enough, but it’s summery and this hot season is almost over, not to mention the fact that it is pure decoration for the table when it isn’t being used. You know, it’s for “company” that comes over to sit about on a sofa for a cup of coffee or a stiff drink to chit chat. When subjected to assessment, it strongly agreed that it is not necessary for the upcoming season and strongly disagreed that it is 3 hours from being finished. Clearly, the administrative procedure has revealed that its moment is not this year so it shall vacate the back of the sofa and rest a while in the bottom of a bin in a dark closet.

The cross stitch pumpkin is good for about twenty minutes of cross stitching once a week because it’s really boring to get through and has this tedious nature about it that is quite revolting. Its prime moment for being done is in October. It is now August. I don’t have to work on it more than I’ve been working on it. Once it’s done it’s only going to get processed through the sewing machine so it’s displayable with its other pumpkin friends for Halloween. The three finished vegetables alone, in fact, could serve a decorative purpose without this fourth gourd. Its current pace of completion is just fine. It should be no surprise, therefore, that the cross stitch pumpkin strongly agreed that it is useful for the upcoming season and that it’s a bore to stitch on.

The two afghans and the Celtic Wheel cushion were going to be permitted to be in progress for a long time. So, their status remains the same. Don’t worry, though, they got a taste of the very same paperwork the others were tasked with and so very much deserved. It was not necessary to assess them, but the administration requires everyone to participate in the process even though it’s a waste of time.

I finished my “Telegraph” sweater – it’s drying now, and should be ready for supermodel photos by FO Friday – and so it escaped the assessment. To celebrate, I have started a new crochet sweater that I’m inventing on my own without a pattern. I began the project after the paperwork, so it, too avoided the questionnaire. It’s just in its very first stages:

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This sweater is going to be for my partner, who is unaware of this. I have decided to keep the wearer out of the know due to a general lack of patience and a constant asking about when things are going to be finished.

You can tell that, in the past three weeks, I have devoted a total of about 30 minutes to my last cross stitch pumpkin.

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Trust me, this pumpkin is really cool when it’s finished. I saw the photos in the magazine where the other ones you’ve seen are published. It’s just annoying to sit down with and commiserate because it’s too easy, which makes it a very dull companion. The last five minutes I spent with it I didn’t even get out the chart. Before I put it away I checked the chart and I made no mistakes. Really. That much of a dud.

Conclusion of this WIPASSessment report: It’s all a total no-duh.

WIP knockout

I’ve managed to transform a couple of WIPs into FOs, which means I feel less overwhelmed because I have fewer things in progress. The flavor of the week, that had been abandoned temporarily, is the pineapple shawl for my sister.

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This time I hung it off a hanger, which is promising. It means that it’s big enough to drape over something. The yarn ball only has three color repeats left. This is good news, because it means I’m almost done. It is also slightly disappointing, because I was thinking of borders, but I don’t I think I’ll have enough yarn for one. This is only slightly disappointing because I envisioned a border just to have fun crocheting it. The shawl will look just as wonderful without it.

I have resisted the temptation to start any new projects (Go me! Fighting the good fight!). I am not even working on my usual pair of socks that I always have going. This means that the WIP stats are going down. All my projects are now crochet and cross stitch. I have no knitting in progress. That’s fine. I’m not going to start anything new until I finish my cross stitch pumpkin, the pineapple shawl, and my crochet sweater. The Celtic Wheel cushion (cross stitch) and two crochet afghans can continue with their WIP status for a while longer. However, I plan to work diligently on my hexagon afghan before starting anything new. The goal is to bore myself with the afghan until I can’t take it anymore and then start a new project or maybe I’ll feel like working on the Celtic Wheel cushion. Hope certainly floats, doesn’t it?

Text-only Wednesday

No pics today. Nope. Just some text. I want you to feel nostalgic for the days of yore when you were trying to beat The Legend of Zelda and you went over to the GameFAQs site to read the walk through with its ASCII terminal type and maps “drawn” with symbols. OK, maybe you never did that. I did, though.

What made me think of this? Because way back in 2002 I decided to get out the old Nintendo and follow the walk through to beat Zelda, finally. 17 years later I did it again! That’s how I spent my weekend. No, I did not remember all the things I had to do to win the game, so once again I relied on good old Colin Moriarty’s nerdy, ASCII instructions. By the way, Colin, thank you again.

Wait a minute, this is a knitting and crochet (and sometimes cross stitch and sewing) blog. Totally off-topic. I’m supposed to talk about crafty things. OK. Here it goes:

  1. Socks knit with Cascade Heritage Prints yarn: I turned the heel on the second sock.
  2. My sister’s pineapple shawl: languishing in the UFO bin.
  3. Cross stitch pumpkins for Halloween: I’ve got three done and I’m working on a fourth one. I wanted to photograph them but I worked all day and now it’s night time so, nope, no picky-picky. Another time. I’ll be talking about these things for a while, anyway, because cross stitching them entirely is just the first volume of the saga. Once they’re cross stitched I’ve got to decide how I want to sew them together. I also “need” to buy fabric to accent them. I really “need” Halloween-themed fabric.
  4. Cross stitch “Celtic Wheel” throw pillow (or cushion, take your pick): I’ve managed to get some little details done. I’m still in quarter 1 of the chart. I might overstay my welcome in this area given that the details are time-consuming. Yesterday, with about three hours, I got the little thingies that might be rocks or might be snails (not sure what they are supposed to be) stitched up partially. If only Joan Elliott cared about my blog. I follow hers. BTW, Ms. Elliott, if you’re reading this, what are those things supposed to be? Are they magical rocks or magical snails? And please excuse my ignorance. Sometimes I see them as snails and sometimes as rocks, because the thingies that sit in the middle of the piece don’t have antennae, but then the ones that are on the border framing the whole piece seem to have antennae. I debate with myself often if they are snails hiding in their shells or magical Celtic rocks with mystical time travel powers.
  5. Top-down crochet “Telegraph” sweater: languishing in the UFO bin with its cousin, the pineapple shawl.
  6. Crochet cotton tablecloth: languishing yet perched on the back of my sofa, exposed to the elements but certainly free to finish itself if it feels motivated. I tell it often, “feel free to finish yourself” but so far it isn’t getting my drift.
  7. Tunisian crochet afghan: on month 4 of being ignored, yet pleased to be resting in the afghan cubby. It often shouts at the projects in the UFO bin that it’s in the VIP furniture.
  8. Hexagon afghan: Resting peacefully next to its brother, Tunisian crochet afghan, telling him to shut up and leave the non-VIPs alone. It’s not their fault they’re wool and need a line of protection against pests, after all. I’ve even heard Mr. Hexagon say to Mr. Tunisian, “don’t get so full of yourself, we’re cheap acrylic, after all!”
  9. Socks that are finished yet not washed or blocked yet: Those three pairs are in the UFO bin, shouting at Cascade Heritage Prints to get done already, so that maybe they can all have a bath together.
  10. Never-before-mentioned mosaic knitting thingy: I made some progress on it. I still have no idea why I’m knitting it and what it will be. It’s blue and white and a big rectangle. I cast it on some months ago and forgot I had started it. I found it by accident yesterday and knit some on it this week just for fun.

If you’ve read this far, thank you for your attention. Since you are kind enough to stay, I pose the question to you: What the hell would you do with all these WIPs? It’s too much. Some days I feel like putting white dresses on them all, parading them through the town, and leading them to the mountain to sacrifice them to the volcano.

So far the only idea that has occurred to me is that I will finish my socks and then just work my way through all the other projects until they are done before I ever, ever, ever start something new. Obviously the afghans have a low priority given that it’s July and it’s hotter than seven shades. However, the shawl is manageable. I think I’ll try to finish the shawl and the table cloth next while using cross stitch and the mosaic knitting whatever-it-is to take a break from the shawl, table cloth, and cross stitch. I don’t like this idea much because I WON’T HAVE A PAIR OF SOCKS GOING. THE AGONY. But that’s life when you have the attention span of a fish that knows how to knit, crochet, and make other things.

Getting ready for Halloween

As many of you know, a lot of people tramp through my house because I tutor them in English in my living room. Well, after two years, I’m tired of looking at this leisurely work space. I need to add new colors and patterns to perk it up.

I’ve decided that it would be entertaining for the students to see festive decorations during particular key seasons for Americans: Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, Christmas in December, etc. So, I’m getting ready for Halloween by planning and creating little things to put out here and there in the living room. I’m pretty sure I’ll knit and crochet some things: how about some knit throw pillows with Halloween-colored stripes and some amigurumi bats? I’ve also decided to cross stitch some things to hang up.

This week I’ve started cross stitching some pumpkins I found in Just Cross Stitch. There are six different ones. I haven’t decided if I want to stitch all of them because I might like to mix them with other Halloween-themed items. I’ve finished one pumpkin and started another one. Here’s the one I finished this morning:

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I like them because they aren’t the typical Jack-o-lantern, although I plan to stitch up one of those, too. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. How about you?