Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I have a problem.

Experts say the first step is to admit you have a problem.

I have a problem.

1) I keep yarn stashing.
2) I start projects and don't finish them.
3) I spend every moment dreaming up and planning the next project.
4) I spend every extra dollar purchasing luxurious yarn and overpriced knitting pattern magazines.
5) As if this isn't enough, I am teaching myself to crochet and quilt.
Yes, I have a problem.

Most knitters can probably relate to all or most of the above...so rather than try doing the impossible, like stop thinking about knitting or stop buying yarn, I thought I'd tackle 2).

For the past few months I have had many projects that are over 50% done. Even my roommate noticed (she is a not an avid knitter):
RM (roommate): Are you starting something new again?
Me: Uh... yeah, but look how pretty this is...
RM: Wow, how many projects do you have...
Me: Er... just a few...
RM: Don't you have that blue thing and yellow thing?
Me: *thinking, which blue thing? I have 4 blue things... ignore the blue thing* The yellow thing... well, I plan to rip apart.
RM: RIP APART!!!! It's so pretty! All that hard work!
Me: Well, it's really not working out... It's too painful to continue.
RM: @_@

Only an obsessive knitter can understand one another.

So during this rainy Labour Day long weekend... I mustered up all my willpower and finished up the following (five stars for efficiency!):

I used 2 hanks of Handmaiden Lady Godiva in Paris colorway. Because I only had 500m instead of the recommended 600m, I skipped one less increase repeat but managed to follow the pattern otherwise (12 repeats for straight rows). I think I minimized yarn wastage - only a little bit is left. The end result... I LOVE IT!!!
KS Cushion Covers
The knitting parts are done!! Using 7mm needles, I whipped up the knitting very quickly. The yarn I used was a chunky chenielle called Patons Behemian. While the yarn is soft and looks pretty, it kept shedding! I just need to sew in the zippers now *yawn*.
Experimental Cushion Covers (a.k.a. Lewiscraft close-out sale, how could I not resist?)
I bought some acrylic boucle during the Lewiscraft close-out sale. Yes, it's acrylic, but I really can't see myself spending insane amounts of $$ on yarn for cushion covers that need to be handwashed.

My sister got me a knitting machine a few months ago. It only does basic stockinette stitch... but it does it REALLY FAST. There's a whole debate about whether using a knitting machine Is considered cheating*? I still prefer to handknit... the machine is not ideal for lace, cables, all those fancy things I love about knitting. It also doesn't work well with fingering/lace yarn, specialty yarns, or super chunky yarns. But when I need a huge rectangle in basic stockinette stitch using acrylic yarn, I will definitely head for the machine... instant gratification!!!

Here's what I have so far, the cushion covers still need zippers but it looks like this.
*And if using a knitting machine is cheating? Then is using a sewing machine considered cheating too?

Lion Cashmere Blend Scarf
This thing has been lying around for ages. It's finally done! I used 4 skeins of Lion Brand's cashmere blend yarn and the pattern can be found on the Lion Brand website.
Digital Camera Holder
Another thing I started but stalled. Inspired by Ipod socks, I decided to make a digital camera holder for a friend. The knitting part was done but I had trouble finding a way to ensure the sock wouldn't fall off. Unlike ipods, which usually rest in a pocket or bag, a digital camera usually dangles from the owners wrist. I found these little snap closures and finally finished the digital camera holder.

Baudelaire Socks
I started this project on my Calgary flight. It's been frustrating. The lace pattern is not difficult but I always screw it up (not the lace itself, but the purls before and after the lace). I ripped out the heel not once, but twice (couldn't center the damn thing = couldn't count). And after thinking I finally finished one sock (yay!), I realized that I am classified as a person with a large instep and I can't get my foot past the leggy part (BOO!!!!!). @#)$??!@&*!! I need a break from this.

Remember I said my wrist was a bit sore from knitting? Well, I have these projects to alleviate the strain:

Crochet Basket bottoms
I love baskets. They hide clutter and they look good. Unfortunately, the wicker ones I bought to hide magazines under my entertainment unit had scratchy bottoms and I was worried that the weight of the magazines would create scratches on my hardwood floors. My solution was to crochet a padding to tie with ribbon onto the bottom of the basket. Why crochet?
1) it creates a more dense fabric than knitting;
2) the size of the knitted object is easier to control (no swatching required!);
3) crochet has "holes" which allows for ribbon to thread through without requiring reinforcements to the holes;
3) my hand hurts and crochet uses a different type of hand motion;
4) I should practice my crochet stitches.
One down, one in progress and 2 to go.

I've always been afraid of the sewing machine. Bobbins getting stuck, thread breaking, fraying edges.... But I've faced my fears and after a night or two of rotary cutting, lining up squares and sewing away, I have finished the top piece! It's massive... 140 cm X 165 cm and half the squares don't line up but I'd say that adds to the "uniqueness" of the piece. The next step is to start the actual quilting (by hand). Photo next time!

So, that's my long weekend... seems like I was a hermit at home doing my arts and crafts, but no, no, no! I actually had time to do other things, I had high-tea at Windsor Arms (yummy scones), stuffed myself silly at Asian Legend, scoured around Caban for last-minute deals, and went furniture shopping at Sears and UpCountry!

I just love long weekends!


opportunityknits said...

That's the way to tackle your wips, show them who's boss! I'm following your example, I'm currently at point no.2 - busy starting projects, so obviously I no time to finish any yet. But never mind, one day, I'll get to tackling them and maybe churn out a bunch of FOs :) Anyway, that's how I'm rationalising!

Siow Chin said...

How very productive! And I would like to see your quilt top, this is exciting! BTW, I do Pt 3) extensively :)

Sherri said...

I don't see the problem...lol
I think people that don't get multipe WIPS have the problem. The wouldn't wear the same clothes every day, so why do they expect you to work on the same project every day?

I know what you mean about the pain in the hand/arm. I find if I do too much crochet or too much knitting I get it. I also get it in the middle of my shoulder blade - I guess from constantly looking down and stretching my neck. Anyway, I did that this weekend for an extended 4 day vacation, and now I'm off to the chiro for repairs!

Love the clapotis - it's the same colours as mine, except mine is paler. Beautiful!

jacquieblackman said...

Nice way to use the long weekend! I can't wait to see your Clappy. My weekend was spent packing and dealing with a sick husband so I knit nary a stitch. Unfortunately since we're so behind on getting everything ready for the move, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not be able attend tonight's knit. :-( Promise you'll bring it next week!

Knitnerd said...

Ah ha! knit one wip per day and you will find the wip grows in a steady pace!

shanwen said...

wow, It seems that i have a problem too. But at least you have completed some WIPs.. No harm buying more yarn if you are knitting them )

Mimi said...

Sounds like I have your problem. I just wished I could be so eficient like you and finish all my wips. It's going to be hard after I started to dream about the designs for Fall.
The clapotis colors are very nice and I like the digital camera holder idea.

joy said...

Talk about taking the bull by the horns!! :D Good for you for finishing all those projects! Love the clappy colors!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, your Clapotis! I have two hanks of HandMaiden that I want to turn into a Clapotis, I'm glad to see it is possible! I'll follow your adaptation. Just a question... you said you skipped an increase repeat. Does that mean that where it says 'repeat increase rows 1-12 six times more' you only did it 5 times more? And then did did the 'repeat increase rows 1-6 once more'? I think that gives 97 stitches?

jm said...

this is not a comment but a question.have you or has anyone else ever knit the Mimi throw in the Decade book. I was trying to find a larger view to see what is actually looks like! any tips?
by the way, what are clappotis? I loved the colours.
You can tell I am having an exciting NY's eve. actually it's quite nice- peaceful.