Saturday, April 21, 2012

And Now, Time for Some FO's

Ah yes, knitter's speak.  A FO is a Finished Object, the stark contrast to a UFO, or UnFinished Object.
Sometimes, projects enter knitterly black holes, and go from WIPs - Works In Progess - to UFO's.  No one can explain how it happens, but suddenly, something you've been bashing away on non-stop falls from grace, gets put in a bag, and left in the trunk of a car for maybe 2 years...not that that's ever happened to me, no way...

I really tried to knit from my stash this year, and I did a great job until Kate Davies' Rams and Yowes caught my eye.  Well, if that wasn't an impulse purchase, I don't know what is.  I started off fast and furious, made a few mistakes, pulled back a ton of work, and there the project languishes.  I vowed if I knit just 2 rows a day, I'd be done in 2 months' time.  That's not a terrifying commitment, yet it's not happening.  Maybe today, maybe today, is the optimistic battle cry of a rejected project.  After all, when all else fails, there's always hope.  I cling to that like a shipwreck victim clings to driftwood.

I do admit to having a gray mohair pullover in the trunk of the car.  It got cast on in a flurry, and it's nearly completed, and I don't really know what my excuse is for not finishing it.  Maybe it's become a fixture in the car, and seeing it in the trunk warms my heart with potential? I don't know, but what I do know is there should be a specialization in psychology expressly for knitters.  I'd sign up for intense therapy immediately.

On the positive side, Eric's Lopi fits my father like it was made for him.  The sleeve length is perfect, the look is perfect, and my father loves it.  Again, putting in the zipper took a leap of faith:

I've never sewn a zipper into a knitted garment before, ergo the procrastination.  It was fussy, fiddly, I swore, then I swore some more.  But the end result is sublime.  I added the gray decorative tape to hide the steek edge of the sweater, and although this little detail took literally hours of sewing, the effort was worth the outcome.  The inside of the sweater is now clean and properly finished.

Some people might say, "why bother"?  And it's true - why bother?  But then again, that philosophy can be applied to so many things in life.  Just call me a nit-picking over-achiever.  I wear that title with pride, dammit.

To give you an idea, here's a look at the inside before adding the trim:
The devil, she is in the details.  Ask any knitter.

Moving onto other projects.  I started off the year with the Cabled Buttoned Wrap designed by Plymouth Yarn Design Studio.  Inspired by a fellow knitter from our knitter's group, I cast on the exact same project with the exact same yarn and the exact same needles, and should have had the exact same outcome.  Alas.  I knit a lot tighter than dear Maureen, and with that tension, my shawl didn't have the same drape.  Lookie here:

I was disappointed, and wanted to frog the entire thing and knit it again with larger needles.  I thought of blocking it to oblivion and beyond.  In an epiphany, Maureen tried my shawl on, and preferred my tension over hers.  She's shorter and her shawl overwhelmed her.  So, we did a trade.  I took Maureen's shawl, Maureen took my shawl, and both of us wear each others' shawls with pride.  I gave Maureen her buttons back, since she had spent a small ransom on them, and then I dispatched my BFF Elaine to the wool store to find some buttons, because I hadn't had any luck finding something apropos.  This is what Elaine came up with:
Brilliant.  They suit the wrap perfectly, and the organic aspect appeals to my esthetic.  Not to mention, the finish is hand-rubbed and so smooth, just touching them soothes the senses.  I am in love, and this wrap has become my super-binky.  It is so infinitely wearable, I can put it over a thin coat, wear it in the house, at work, it's become a security blanket of sorts.  Although the wool looked bland on the skein, this colour (Drops Alpaca in Denim 8120) is anything but.  Little threads of red and brown interspersed through the wool gives a beautiful depth and neutrality. 
It's classic, it's malleable, and I am in love...

Now.   Sometimes we procrastinate about a project, just because we're not quite happy with what the instructions tell us to do.  I knit this little Lopi purse to match my Lopi Aftur sweater:

This pattern is from Istex and is called Taska.  I added two chart repeats, and ended up with a purse about 9" wide and 10" high.  The instructions called for knitted I-cord straps, and I couldn't bring myself to do seemed chintzy and amateur and just didn't resonate with my inner knitter.

A few weeks ago, I headed over to a new LYS (local yarn store, for those not familiar with knittingese), and came across these beauties:
Ah-ha.  Now I know why I was procrastinating.  Because the universe wanted me to find these beauties.  Once the sticker-shock wore off, I put them on, and bingo!  Purse completed with a minimum of effort, yet maximum effect.  Man, do I love knitting!

Here's a look at the inside.  These handles by Sage Luxury might be expensive (gulp, I'll admit they cost me $55 CAD), but they finish the project off beautifully and are worth the money.  The quality is most definitely there.  So much so, I went back and bought another pair in black...  I'm not sure if I'll keep the dark brown on this purse, or switch them out for the black pair, I suppose it will all depend on what I knit next.

Again, because I'm in love, here's another view:
Can I mention one more time just how much I love the look?  Okay.  I'll shut-up now.  Project complete.  Verdict:  Total Success.

And, now for the pièce de résistance.  I actually finished the BMF.  (Use your imagination - this one I made up, B stands for Black, and the rest I'll let you figure out).

See how crinkled it is?  That's because it was SHOVED in the bottom of my knitting bag, literally scrunched into a little ball that started to work it's way into the corner of the bag, sort of like a terrifyingly huge wad of lint.  I'm not even going to bother washing it - although it might benefit a bit - because wearing it will help ease all those wrinkles out and even out each stitch.  I cannot believe the Black MoFo is donedonedone.


So there you have it.  My knitterly friends will know whereof I speak when I say procrastination is a necessary part of the creative process.  The rest of you should be so lucky.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April, So Far

 A spell of unseasonably warm weather in mid-March derailed any blogging attempts.  Suddenly, we were able to work outside, take nice long walks in dry fields, free of bugs and stifling heat, and enjoy shedding our winter wardrobe along the way.  It was a renaissance of the finest order.

March also features Eric's birthday, and the honours go to me for opening the party season with a big bash.  It always seems to take me a few days to get the house in order, prep my plan, and let the good times roll.  A good time was had by all, once again, and I drift on the fumes of "hostess with the mostess" for at least a week longer.  Once my light-headedness wears off, it's back to the old grind again.

We've been enjoying lots of bright, sunny days, and although it's not as warm as it was in mid-March by a long shot, Cooper has been motivating me to get off my duff and take long walks in the fields again.  Let's just say I've embraced this beautiful weather as a sign that I'm meant to shed a few post-winter pounds.  So, after dinner, the dog and I head out, making our rounds, some evenings coming back after nightfall, but invigorated by the cool air, the fresh, growing grass, and the chirps of returning birds as we make our way home.  It's the perfect time of year, and even if I need to wear a hat and gloves and long-johns to be comfortable, it's the high-point of my day.  When the sun sets, we turn back and watch the sky as it turns orange and pink and purple, finally making our way home.

Everyone should own at least one Aladdin lamp.  We were lucky this past winter, and didn't have one power failure worth getting the generator out for.  We took the opportunity of Earth Hour to break out the lamp and dust it off, post-photo, I regretfully add.  It's amazing how much light these Aladdin lamps give off, and how much heat as well.  We also have 2 candle chandeliers that we regularly use, one in the kitchen and one in the living room, so the concept of turning off all the lights and basking by the glow of candles is not foreign to us, but we don't give the Aladdin lamp the use it really deserves.  Hopefully, we're good for at least another year.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...