Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coming Soon... A Finished Project at Last?

(Wow. This post ended up a lot longer than I expected it to... Consider yourself warned.)

So... I have this WIP. Or, possibly, by now I might be forced to call it a UFO... Either way, I started it way back before my Baby Girl was born. So, that's at least a year and a half. It's a sock. I might have mentioned it the other day. It was going well at the time, but I put it aside so I could knit up some adorable little socks for the impending arrival... And, then I never went back to it.

Until about a week and a half or so ago, that is. I picked it up again. I started knitting around and around. I swear I knit forever, just waiting to find the start of where I needed to turn the heel. It never came. So, I pulled out the instruction sheet and reread carefully...

There's not a heel to turn. There's never going to be a heel to turn. Because, I apparently picked up a tube sock pattern without noticing until now. I need about three more inches of this infernal thing before I can start the toes... It's taking forever.

I snapped a quick (and probably not great) picture of it:

I love the way the yarn is striping itself. And I still love the colors. But if I ever get stuck with a tube sock again... Ugh!! I definitely need a heel to turn so I can see that progress is being made.

Little Miss watched with interest while I worked on this thing during naptime. And then, she came up with her grand plan. Since this sock is way too big to fit her, she decided that, obviously, I should knit her some pink ones. Immediately.

Sounded like a pretty good idea, at the time. Socks for her would be smaller. So, we negotiated a deal. If her daddy would buy me some yarn in an appropriate, Little Miss approved color, I would make her some socks. BUT, I told her not to expect them to be finished before Christmas. (Because I obviously have to do two pairs of socks. Thank goodness the second pair will be even smaller.) She agreed to this, and promptly hit up her daddy for the money. Surprisingly, he agreed.

Judy at Patchwork Times is always talking about the wonders of The Loopy Ewe. I've snuck over to their site a few times, and OH!! The lovelies! So, we went shopping. My very first boxes of fun will be arriving tomorrow, according to the tracking numbers.

Yes. I did mean to say boxes. Here's what happened:

We went over to their site, just to find some perfect pink yarn for the socks. But, oh, the things we found! And I wanted them all. But I restrained myself. We got a little bit of yarn for socks. A pair for Little Miss, a pair for Baby Girl, and a pair for me. (My husband declined to have a pair of socks on the basis of having no plans to go and work in Antarctica.) We checked out and began impatiently waiting for our yarn to arrive. I picked up that infernal tube sock and started around again. Then...

I really have no explanation for it. I don't. I assume it was my resurfacing desire to make something- anything, really- coupled with the realization that Christmas is right around the corner, and compounded by all the glowing descriptions Judy posts of the fun she has doing Camp Loopy. Whatever caused it, I found myself actually thinking that I would like to try it at least once. I mentioned it to my husband. He said, "Whatever you think." And even when I mentioned it would mean buying more yarn (one of the requirements for participating), he still said, "It's up to you."

I promise I didn't run right back and immediately order yet more yarn. I didn't. I actually thought it over for at least 24 hours, waffling back and forth. The challenge requires you to knit an entire project from start to finish, and using a minimum of 800 yards of yarn, and only working between August 1-31. All photos proving a finished project have to be uploaded to their website by midnight August 31... Quite frankly, I'm not certain I can manage it. But I found a shawl pattern I adore, and it meets the yardage requirements. So, I finally decided to take the plunge. I ordered the yarn. And we sat back down to wait for our boxes...

Yesterday, I was wandering through Ravelry, finally checking out some of the forums since TLE had mentioned that they had a thread there to share your Camp Loopy project plans and yarn, and I stumbled upon some very disturbing news (hold onto your hats, it's a shocker): Turns out there is a yarn shop right down the road from me, and nobody had bothered to tell me!!  ;)  Yay! I immediately had to search out their website and find out hours of operation. When I saw that they opened for business in a mere hour and a half, and knowing that I was forced to go out anyway after groceries (with a grocery store less than a mile away from the shop), I had to plan an immediate reconnaissance mission- even though it meant dragging both the girls with me.

Surprisingly, Little Miss was super excited about the idea. And while she was there, she was struck with the sudden, overwhelming desire to knit. So, I had to hook her up.

As you can see, like all beginning knitters (I hope. I really can't handle the idea that I'm the only one who ever despaired of figuring this stuff out in the very beginning.) she has far more enthusiasm than skill. But she's five. And until yesterday, as far as I know, she had never even considered the possibility of trying to knit. We'll have to wait and see how long it interests her. She's having fun, and that's what counts at the moment. She's also already decided that I have to teach her to crochet "when she's ready". Not sure exactly what she means by that...

I managed to get out of that adorable little shop without too much damage. But I did pick up three balls of a beautiful yarn- Painted Desert. They had a shawl done up and it was beautiful! I had already looked at it three times before she showed me what it looked like when it was worked up. That shawl did it. Especially since she had both a knitted version and a crochet version.


                               This is color number 08, I think. I love how it makes the stripes.

I still have at least four rows left, if I remember correctly. Plus the edging. And then, I assume that it needs to be blocked somewhat aggressively. She said you just have to stretch it to the size you want it. I sure hope she was talking about blocking...

Here's a link to the pattern I'm using. The lady at the yarn shop has made at least four of these things already, and has another in progress. She didn't hesitate to grab them and stretch them out completely, either, when she was illustrating her point about the blocking... I've only had a few minutes at naptime yesterday and a little time right before bed last night to work on it, but it's going pretty quickly. I'm glad. I need it to be finished before August 1st. I'm thinking the other two balls of Painted Desert that came home with me will most likely have to be very patient and wait until September before they become anything. I'm also seriously considering going back after another ball or two of the color 18 (?) that I got and knitting it up into this.

And before anyone asks, yes, I do know that this seems to be an awful lot of shawls. Especially for a person who normally has no occasion to wear them. (And, yes, I have already made myself no less than four shawls.) Not sure why I like them so much, but I do. I guess I just like the idea of shawls. And also, they're much easier to make than sweaters. Possibly this means that I should be concentrating on sweaters and practicing, but not right now. Maybe after I'm over this shawl thing... And after I finish up with all the socks...

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