Monday, December 13, 2010

Starts and stops

This weekend my understanding of the real possibility I will finish all my Christmas Knitting early solidified into a menacing form with arms stretching out into next week and darkening each successive day with chocolate-themed bar squares

(which I will be eating if my hands are not busy.)

I had to stop it, of course. I mean, I just bought a cute new skirt that fits me right now. (Okay, I also just made a cute new skirt that will fit whenever thanks to a softly felted wool waistband, so I'm probably covered, literally, in any emergency. More on the Made Skirt later this week over at my Diary.)

So instead of even casting on for the last Turkish Bed Sock, or completing the final finesse that would allow me to take Secret Christmas Knitting off the needles at last, I started several new things that I will be showing you over the course of this week.

Hopefully in pictures, though we are in a patch of a lot of stormy days where I live that make for poor lighting, which is why I have no pictures to show you today.

Now, the natural thing to do when trying to fill all available time with gift knitting is to conduct a massive pattern hunt. If I just reached for stuff in my queue, I would be knitting and finishing much faster, and that is exactly what we are trying to avoid. I have yarn, I have people I could in theory make things for, surely there must be patterns that unite the two. Yes?

Yes. And if you are not yet a member of Ravelry, you should totally join for this reason alone, because the pattern search engine there is awesome. You can find out what other people made with yarn that you have, and then shorten the list to specific pattern types you are interested in knitting. Or you can find out the most popular patterns and read about other people's experiences and any adjustments they made. Or you can quickly view the virtual specs for patterns you already own and be spared sitting in a pile of actual magazines and books.

Such a pattern search yields many mysteries. The biggest for me:

The vast - and I mean vast - number of people who have knit one particular pattern, 90% of whom said they had to frog at least once and usually three times because it came out so massively off the size they anticipated. The sheer stubborn bravery of so many knitters reading these remarks and then casting on themselves - to prove it can be done in one try, perhaps?

I was not so steadfast. Instead I am planning on a Marion cowl (free at Ravelry) with the help of some needles from Trish, and possibly a Mara shawl. And I'm well into a little hat I'm improvising with bulky handspun. And, um, I started some Monkey Socks, with all the purl stitches knitted because that might be faster. That, combined with a single Turkish Bed Sock and Manhat and the bit I have to finish at the end of the Secret thing and the hand stitching I have to do on some other little pressies and All The Baking - that should cover me, don't you think?

And maybe when all that's done I'll start an Everyday Wrap. That would make a great gift for next year, don't you think?

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Can't wait to see the skirts. Yes indeed, ravelry is a wonderful tool for knitters.