Juggling Projects, Staying Sane

So, when you have a million different interests, hundreds of subjects that grab your attention and make you want to dig deeper, tens of creative interests that you pursue, and projects that are mountainous and many – how do you stay sane, juggle it all and, most importantly, get anything done? Oy!

My Bohemian Sweater, a little artsy, a little random
My Bohemian Sweater, a little artsy, a little random

Pick and choose.

From Louet's pattern "Harmony"
From Louet’s pattern “Harmony”

Not in a life-long-committment sort of way, that would never work for someone who is scared to death of missing something. But sometimes I just have to say to myself “This week (day, month) I will focus on this one thing, and this one thing only. The rest can wait until next week (day, month).” I can do anything if I know there is a (reasonable) time limit to it. It’s those open-ended limitations I can’t cope with. “I will work on designing and building the worlds first fusion power generator until I find the solution, and work on that only, abandoning my interest in breeding killer earthworms for the rest of my life.” Yea, that generator would get derailed by day 3.

Bohemian Sweater, neck detail
Bohemian Sweater, neck detail

My Bohemian Sweater was a project that kept getting put aside for other things. I finally made it a top priority project and concentrated on it with a firm deadline in mind and a determination to finish it. I really wanted to wear it! The pattern is an older Louet pattern called Harmony that has been in my knitting queue for years. To be honest, the color changes and number of ends to weave in was a stumbling block for me. Then I found Stonehedge Crazy .

Stonehedge Crazy - their story
Stonehedge Crazy – their story

The perfect yarn and the perfect solution! Spun from mill ends grabbed at random, this yarn never has any two skeins the same. The colors are not carefully planned out and grouped to make a pleasing combination, they are random. And it works. The yarn is so fun to knit with, each row is an adventure. This sweater was also a very rare knitting experience for me in that I did not rip it back (or out) and re-knit it several times. Once through. Really. I just followed the pattern (also rare) and it all worked.

fused glass button, one of 5 mis-matched for the Bohemian Sweater
fused glass button, one of 5 mis-matched for the Bohemian Sweater

And, I’m a button maker. Part of that results in random single buttons that were experiments. I have a small (snort) jar of these hanging around. I decided that a sweater made out of random yarn needed random buttons so there are 5 totally mis-matched fused glass buttons to finish it off. I got to wear it about three times before the weather got too warm. It fits great and I love it – a total success. You can see it on my Ravelry page.

Detail of attached grosgrain button band and backing button
Detail of attached grosgrain button band and backing button

This was a project that hit the “I will work on this, and only this for one week” list.

See, even I can get things done sometimes  😉

Deb H

And just in case I didn’t use the word enough – random!

Art-scale Your Wearables
one button at a time…

 

 

Juggling Projects, Staying Sane

Back-To-School Fitted Vest

I’ve finished a new knitting project!

Teal-fitted-vest-2

This one in record time because I had to have it done for a class sample. In the fall, I’m teaching a class at Heritage Spinning & Weaving called the”Back-To-School Fitted Vest”. It’s from the book “Fitted Knits: 25 Designs for the Fashionable Knitter” by Stefanie Japel. I’ll review it as soon as I get a chance but in the meantime… here is the cover and an Amazon link.

fitted-knits

I used Shepard’s Wool yarn in “Great Lakes” which is a lovely heathered teal.

Teal-fitted-vest-yarn

The yarn is a worsted weight, very fine wool (merino quality, good merino quality) that knits like a dream and is my favorite – which is why you see it mentioned a lot here 😉

Teal-fitted-vest-5

I knit a size 37 so it would fit over a winter turtleneck and was bang on gauge. The sweater fits very well but I would have preferred a slightly smaller armhole. I will make adjustments when I knit it again.

Teal-fitted-vest-6

The really cool part is that this vest is very “shapely”. It utilizes stitch patterning; 2 x 2 rib and waffle stitch, as well as bust darts to give the vest an hour glass shape making even me look like I have a waist. I love the end result and will wear it lots – as soon as the weather turns cold (all too soon here in Michigan).

Teal-fitted-vest-4

But, I’m thinking a summer version in bamboo…

BTW, if you are curious about how to create bust darts, Sandi Wiseheart, formerly of Knitting Daily, did a series on the how-to’s. Check them out; The Return of the Bust Darts, Introduction to Darts, Bust Dart Placement,   Getting Started With Bust Darts, and Bust Dart Math. You may have to register with Knitting Daily to see these but the whole site is soooo worth it!

Deb H

Back-To-School Fitted Vest

The Cushy Sweater!

The Cushy Sweater
The Cushy Sweater

Yes, it’s finished! I moaned about ripping it out, but Azapa by Araucania is such a lovely yarn to knit with; so soft and cushy, that I didn’t even mind. The finished product is based on a pattern called Emma from the book Araucania Collection Book #1 by Jenny Watson.

A Finished Object
A Finished Object

I confess I cannot follow directions. I always think I have a better idea. I placed a cable down the outside of the sleeves (plain sleeves on a cabled sweater? Come on!) and I added the picot edge (they had on the hem and sleeves) to the neckline as well.

The Details
The Details

My version has narrower cables, a bit of stockinette stitch in between the purl rows defining the cable to reduce the vast amounts of reverse stockinette which is not my favorite thing to look at.

The Flip Side
The Flip Side

I also did the cable patterning on the back as well as the front (my absolute pet peeve is a plain back with a patterned front)!  I think the finished sweater is worth the re-knitting.

It fits!
It fits!

I am very pleased with the results and how well it fits – it’s shaped and that makes such a difference. I’m wearing it here with a skirt but it looks even better with my jeans as it is a longer, almost tunic length.

Cushy Sweater Sass!
Cushy Sweater Sass!

All done just in time for warm weather, oh well!

And yes, I cut off all my hair – I’m still a bit in shock and getting used to it. My neck feels a little exposed, like the Ax Man is looking at me speculatively.

Deb H

The Cushy Sweater!