The Yarnologue

On The Needles

Braided Mega Scarf

Braided scarf in 3 colors of Ella Rae Mega.

Three projects have been occupying my time.

If you think that is conservative, believe me it could rapidly escalate to five or six Works in Progress (WIPs) if I don’t maintain my focus. I’m sure you know just what I mean.

I find that I make the most progress on a project if I stick to one at a time, but I seem to be happiest with at least three on the go.

After all, different moods and situations demand different types of projects.

I like to have one relatively simple project–either plain stockinette stitch or maybe ribbing–for when I’m watching something on TV that I actually want to “watch” or when I’m tired and don’t want to have to think.

Then I like to have a challenging project–either cables or lace–for when I want to exercise my brain and give my knitting my full attention. It is so magical to watch the pattern develop as the rows stack up.

My third project is usually something portable, like a sock, that I can bring along on car trips or when I know I’ll be waiting somewhere for an extended amount of time. Usually I don’t even count my sock in progress in my list of WIPs. Sometimes, however, my third project is something large and long term like a blanket.

Another advantage to having multiple WIPs is that each usually requires a different size needle and a different type of yarn. Some times you don’t feel like holding little US1 needles to make socks, in which case nice big US15 needles for a scarf are the way to go. Some days call for soft alpaca, while others demand silk.

There is just too much variety in the knitting and crocheting world to limit ourselves to one project!

How many WIPs do you prefer to have on the go at one time?

Mega Scarf

My first project is a braided scarf using three colors of Ella Rae Mega, which is the picture at the top of this post. I had fun making the two cowls with this soft, fluffy yarn. Then I thought the chunky weight and large (137 yard!) hanks would lend themselves nicely to a fun scarf.

Worked on US15 needles in a simple K1, P1 rib, this is my mindless project.

I’m about half way through each ball and the unbraided strips are just over 5 feet long. Braided the scarf is about 4 feet long and 5 inches wide. It will be fun and cozy to wear this winter!

Findley Lace top

Just the right front and sleeves to go.

Once I have it done, and can share finished dimensions with you, I’ll post the pattern.

Findley Lace Top

My second project is the Lace V-Neck Top pattern from the Holiday 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting.

Worked on US4 needles, in an all over lace pattern, this is my challenging project.

I’m using Findley yarn from the new Juniper Moon Farm line. This wonderful yarn is a 50% Merino, 50% Silk lace weight that comes in 800 yard balls and 12 colors.

I was given a few sample balls of Findley to play with before the official pattern book was finished. After making a few swatches and casting around for ideas, I settled on the pretty Vogue sweater.

The body is worked in the round to the armholes, then divided for the front and back. I just have to knit the right front and the sleeves to finish.

I’m holding the yarn doubled to get the correct gauge. If the idea of working with lace weight yarn intimidates you holding it doubled is a good option; you just have to stay alert and make sure you always catch both strands as you’re knitting.

Of course the patterns in the book all expect the yarn to be held singly. Happily, as is common when working with lace weight yarn, reasonable needle sizes (US4 and up!) are used. Some of the smaller sizes of the patterns, like the Three Lace Cardigan, require just one ball of yarn.

Three Lace Cardigan

Three Lace Cardigan from Findley book.

Babe Color Block Blanket

My last WIP is both long term and a little challenging.

I’m working on a crib blanket using Euro Baby Babe yarn. This very affordable yarn is a 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic blend, which means it is machine washable. Easy care is a great feature for garments for babies, children, and even adults. This is a very soft yarn with a nice amount of squish. It comes in 180 yard balls and 36 colors (8 of them variegated).

There are so many fun new colors that I couldn’t resist mixing and matching for a little sampler blanket.

Babe Blanket start

Every blanket starts small.

I’m pulling stitch patterns from the “365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar” from Martingale & Company. This is a fun, compact stitch dictionary that you can use as a desk calendar or just keep on the shelf for reference. It should be easy to find at your local yarn store.

I’ve sent in a permission request to reprint the stitches I’m using. If that isn’t possible, then I’ll tell you the dates so you can knit along with me from your own copy.

My first tier is Watermelon, Purple, and Salmon. (The Salmon block is just plain stockinette stitch.)

Stitch sampler blankets are a great way to experiment with new stitch patterns. You can test them out for a larger garment, learn a little bit about what type of fabrics you prefer, and enjoy a lot of variety as you knit.

We’re coming into the weekend, which always means extra knitting time. I wonder how much progress I’ll make on my projects? And will I resist adding a new one to the pile?

Do you focus on finishing projects over the weekend or find yourself casting on new ones?

1 Comment

  1. Debra Mcmahan2205

    October 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    comment to “On Needles”. I have about 12 projects started. Some of them are in my “cold case file” Which means, they will get done someday! I have about 5 I’m working on now. Your right you do not always feel like working on the same thing everyday. Good luck to you.

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