WiP-ping Away

8 Jan

Terms to know for the un-knitiated:

“wip” – work in progress;
“frog; frogged” – the disassembling of a knitted piece. Say it out loud ‘rip it, rip it’, and you get the idea;
“FO” – finished object

Twenty ten has started with a roar, but coming up the rear is ye ole Trepidation. I have already started, and abandoned, two projects (and it’s only day seven).

Endpaper mitts. Lovely, adorable, feisty endpaper mitts.

I have had this pattern printed and waiting patiently for over a year. I originally planned to knit a pair using Koigu, but I am a family woman now; a stay-at-home mom who still rents (and knits), so if I want the good stuff, I gotta save up, but if I want to knit now, I go to KnitPicks (where one can find some great stuff when considering the quality to price ratio. I love KnitPicks). Alas, I have no Koigu to knit these darling Endpaper Mitts designed by Eunny Jang. They are pretty and the pattern is simple, but my stash did not want to cooperate. Or, rather, I did not want to cooperate with my stash. I chose to use KnitPicks Telemark and a Frog Tree sport-weight alpaca for my yarn choices, rather than the fingering weights I had on hand (but sadly were not Koigu. Have I stressed that enough yet?) The result? A stiff tube that sat around my wrist like a cardboard jacket. These will not make it to see day eight. Instead, I will frog them. I have already started anew with two fingering weight yarns: an alpaca I bought while at Rhinebeck in 2007, and a kettle-dyed yarn from KnitPicks, some of which was already used for the Vine and Leaf Beret in Vogue Knitting. I hope these changes bring around the desired result: a warm, snug fitting number for someone’s dainty wrists.

Another project found its early life cut short on the sixth day of our fair year. A garter-stitch striped scarf I was liking very much until I realized that I had much to learn about carrying yarn on the side of a work. It looked like a purple and green car pile up. It was awful. I knew I would never get past it, so frogged it. Despite its untimely but necessary end, knitting it made me realize something: I love garter stitch. In fact, I wonder if I didn’t knit nearly two feet of this scarf with the abysmal yarn-carry simply because the garter stitch was feeling so nice. I think it’s quite possible. Again, I used KnitPicks Cadena. Awesome in a garter stitch.

Horrible, horrible yarn carry

Pretty, pretty garter stitch

However, in this same day, I finished a project: another easy peasy cowl in Blackberry Cadena on size 11 needles (the wham-bam-thank-you-maam cowl). And I found in my jewelry box a great fabric-centered button for it. This will go to a dear friend of mine, and I hope she finds she can wear it and take it with her on her travels, as a scarf can be lost in all that TSA shuffle. I used Jeny’s Slipknot cast-on to be sure all parts stretched enough for any head.

In other WiP news, the #21 Cable Pullover from the same issue of Vogue Knitting is on the needles. For this, I am using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes despite some bad reviews of this yarn. I used it for Sweetness’s Seamless Hybrid Sweater (Elizabeth Zimmerman) and also for my long version of Juliet. I find the yarn to be soft, hang nicely, and dang warm. It can be itchy sometimes, but I don’t mind it so much. So for now, I have nothing bad to say about it. As I have again used Jeny’s stretchy slip knot cast on for this pullover (the collar), let me say a few words about it.

Effin awesome.

I am very excited about the latest cast-on I’ve learned: Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast On. IT. IS. AWESOME. I like it for several reasons:

1) It is, as the name suggests, stretchy. Super stretchy. Super duper awesome stretchiness here. I cannot believe it isn’t recommended on every pattern. Especially socks. Why? Why?!

2) I love a cast on that doesn’t rely entirely on me to stay on the needles. I have an almost-16-month old who demands my attention. When I have to cast on 140 stitches, I hate the anxiety I feel wondering if I can get them all on before he wakes up or walks in the room. The knitted cast on can slide off and come undone but with JSSCO, you can easily recover it. Also, there is no longtail measuring nonsense. Just go, baby! Pick up that yarn and start counting! No tangles, no guessing, no extra yarn. If you are casting 150 sts on a 16″ circular, and some stitches maybe slide off, that’s okay. The cast-on does not come out. It rocks. And my favorite reason …

3) Your knitted piece just starts. I have used the cast on for both garter and ribbing stitches. There is no braid that announces “I’m the cast on!” This cast on just makes the knitting look like it started growing from the yarn. It’s amazing. With long tail and knitted, your stitches can be wonky too. Like garter stitch can actually look like stockinette in that first row. Not with this cast on. I recently learned tubular as well (Italian tubular) and though that is also stretchy and has this same “knit from the yarn” look to it, it is clumsy to get on the needles and then you have to pull out yarn?? Ha! (but I am using it for the endpaper mitts. Eunny said to!)

The cast-on edge

An extra bonus to discovering this is learning that she has developed an equally stretchy bind off. I intend on using this on the Seamless Hybrid Sweater I knit my son this summer. I wonder if it’ll still fit him. And if it doesn’t, at least I know another baby will scream just a few moments less because I replaced that neck with something more stretchy. Yes!

Click away. Knitting needs doing.

P.S. I love the interchangeable harmony wood needle set my husband got me two years ago. Still fantastic.

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One Response to “WiP-ping Away”

  1. Charlie January 9, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Very nice job designing a fab knit blog! Luv, hubs

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