How Many Projects are Too Many Projects?

Whatcha think? I finished M's "Ampersand Socks" a couple of weeks back when she was here for the Labor Day weekend. Of course, I made a change or two in the pattern (well, it wouldn't be really 'mine' if I didn't do it a little differently than the designer, would it?), like discontinuing the pattern stitch on the Instep and Foot portion of the sock. Silliest thing to have a pattern that (a) is rarely seen when the sock is inside a shoe and (b) just serves to increase the "bulk" of the said sock in the said shoe. And, I used Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton instead of the recommended yarn. But other than that...! Anyway, M says she loves 'em, and that's really what matters.

She and I had such fun doing a yarn crawl around the Gateway; we "hit" 3 yarn shops before we had to stop the madness for sustenance...and headed straight to M's favorite: PF Chang's. Before yielding to Hot 'n Sour soup and Crispy Honey Chicken (yumms!), we both got some of Berroco's new yarn called 'Comfort' in a deep, rich Cherry red color for our Red Scarf projects.

For mine, I cast on 30 stitches on US 10.5's, working a simple 2x2 rib, using a free pattern from Plymouth Yarn. But she decided on a pattern for a "Twin Rib" scarf, casting on 36 stitches on US8's:

  • Row 1: K3, P3

  • Row 2: K1, P1
We've both finished our scarves now and need to get them in the mail soon. M's already got a restaurant gift card to include with hers...good thinking, since the scarf will be going to a college student. I haven't gotten a picture of mine yet, as my camera is on loan to Mr. T. for the week.

I was in ATL the last week on business, but had some spare time to enjoy a class in Entrelac at The Yarn Garden in Lawrenceville, GA. What fun! Great yarn shop, with a great staff. (They were not there when I lived just down the road a piece in Duluth and in Dacula...if they had been I surely would have thought twice about leaving the area 5 years ago!)

The class project is a scarf using Noro's Silk Garden yarn and size US8's. I will definitely finish this project because I think the technique is so different and interesting, and I can't wait to see what blocking does for the bumpy rectangles and triangles that are created by the entrelac technique, but I doubt I will ever, ever, ever purchase anymore of the Noro for anything...ever. First of all it is expensive (although the 3 skeins I now own were included in the price of the class). Secondly, it is so inconsistent: here, the yarn is so thick that it is difficult to knit with it; there, the yarn is so thin that I worry it will snap and need to be "healed." And, finally, it has "inappropriate" knots/joins: a knot, in the middle of a skein, joining two drastically different colors is just wrong, wrong, wrong for a yarn that supposedly has as a selling point that the owner ("Mr. Noro?") personally inspects each ball of yarn??? Yeah, right. I was not familiar with Noro (I guess I've been living under a rock), but I saw it in 3 of the 4 yarn shops I visited in the ATL area. I just don't get it. I guess people are buying this stuff for the beautiful colors and could care less about the quality of the product? Who knows...

And, since I had plenty of knitting time available to me in ATL (as I was relieved of the duties of domestic goddess and slave to the dogs for a whole week...woohoo!), and a great suite-style room complete with comfy chair and ottoman, I found 3 more yarns to start my "pashmina" shawl (is that redundant?). I've had this absolutely gorgeous handpainted yarn in teals, purples, greens, and blues in 3 textures (a ribbon and mohair mix; a boucle; and a smooth), just waiting to be knitted up into something special. I bought a couple of skeins of alpaca, one in black and one in purple, which I combined with a purple sparkly thread (all from Cast On Cottage in Roswell, GA), and to round it out, I found a beautiful mohair and metallic thread combo called Dune, from Trendsetter, found at Stitches n Strands, ATL. Then, I cast on 277 stitches on size US13, 60" Addi Turbo's. I'm adapting a Paton scarf pattern (5 row repeat of YO's and K2tog's) in one yarn, alternating with 4 rows of garter stitch with another yarn. I think it will make a fabulous wrap for the holidays, dressing up my black slacks. Can't wait until I can show you a picture of that!

Meanwhile, I finished Sock #1 of a pair for moi, using an adaptation of Mary Snyder's "Padded Footlets," found on pages 59-63 in the Favorite Socks book from Interweave (a recent purchase for my growing knitting library). I loved the instep pattern stitch, but thought the concept of wasting all that work on "footlets," well, a waste. So, I made the socks with 6" legs, incorporating a version of the Instep pattern stitch, combined with a K3, P1 rib for the back of the leg, and then for the top of the foot. I found that this made for a super portable project for the flying time to/from ATL, and thoroughly enjoyed knitting my sock and listening to my *new* IPod Nano that M gave me for an early Christmas present. I had downloaded 10 Cast On Podcasts, along with 3 Audiobooks I'd purchased from the iTunes store (oh my, it's just way too easy to spend money there!), and I do believe that I knitted faster than I normally do. Anyway, can't wait to post a pic of this project, either!

So, how many does that make? An Entrelac scarf of *!$&^ yarn, a pashmina shawl of beautiful colors, and a sock-to-go. Of course, that's not counting the two or three crochet baby blankets that have been pushed aside while the needles dominate over the hooks, or the afghan strips that are perpetually present in the bottom of the knitting bag, a ball of beige yarn and a pair of US10.5 needles. Oh, and I almost forgot the humongous blue wool mitten(s) that I am knitting to teach myself the *proper* way to felt (since my felting heretofore has been limited to the accidental variety). And, this list fails to enumerate the 4 or 5 finished-but-not-completed (FBNC = I've finished knitting them but I've yet to complete the joining, grafting, sewing, whatever that it takes to actually complete the project) projects (a sweater of Rowan silk, two baby sweaters, and a couple of purses made of knitted fabric strips) that I'm ready to tackle now that I've completed my class on Finishing Techniques (great class, BTW, held recently at the Knit 'n Caboodle LYS). Ooh, ooh...I forgot about the green sweater (photo in left column, mistakenly called "Finished Projects"); I want to re-do the side-seam joins and I need to shorten the sleeves some....froggit, froggit. Whew! If I live to be 120, I may never finish them all!! (But, isn't that really the goal...?)

Speaking of projects, M finished a neat one recently (photo below). She made a leash for Charley Dog (right), using some beautiful
Encore yarn. Next up: a matching mat!

Doesn't Charley look thrilled?


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