I had a small case of “startitis” over the weekend.
You’ve had the feeling even if you haven’t heard the name before. It’s that overwhelming urge to cast on or start as many projects as you can.
It can be caused by a desire to start a new project without know what you want to make. Trips to a local yarn store or fiber festival can also trigger from the sight of all the pretty yarn.
Finishing (or getting close to the end of) a long term or complicated project can be a cause. And cabin fever (Knitting Fever? hahaha) brought on by cold winters days can contribute.
As you can see, startitis is a wide ranging ailment.
I find it’s often best to give into it, especially the cause is not being sure what project to start. If you do a bunch of swatching one project is bound to rise to the top.
My bout of startitis was brought on by finishing a complicated cowl and needing a new project.
Originally I thought maybe I wanted a small and quick project for some instant gratification after my big project.
The lovely magenta yarn at the 6 or 7 o’clock position in the first picture is a cake of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.
You just need one hank to make all three pieces of the Asta set from The Small Things Matter Collection.
But I just finished a cowl, did I want to make another one?
The cowl abandoned (although the cuffs were still in play), I decided to focus on my need for a new hat.
As a knitter, I obviously can’t just go to the store to buy one. Instead I spent time thumbing through my pattern books and poking around on Ravelry looking for ideas. (Both those activities can also trigger startitis.)
Right there an another page of The Small Things Matter Collection is the Monika hat and bag.
Look at those stripes! I won’t even have to settle on one color.
The pattern calls for holding Silky Wool doubled, but I had a sneaky suspicion that Silky Wool XL might be the correct gauge by itself.
It took a couple tries, but I achieved gauge on US 6 needles. Victory is mine! I started by using the suggested needle size for the pattern (US7) and swatched with regular Silky Wool held doubled as the pattern required and a single strand of Silky Wool XL side by side.
That allowed me to see that the fabric with the XL would be the same (or very similar) to the fabric at the same gauge as the regular Silky Wool. We’ll see what happens since I’ve been too clever for my own good in the past.
Maybe a shawl?
Of course, I couldn’t stop there. Having finished one big project maybe another large project was the way to go.
That purple ball of Juniper Moon Farm Findley (#4 – Renaissance) in the middle of the picture has been taunting me for a while now. That ball and it’s twin want to be the Gable Wrap, which is a free pattern on our website.
I still need to swatch for this one. It is knit using the “Indian Cross-Stitch,” which I’ve never knit before. Swatching will allow me to both check my gauge and become familiar with the stitch before starting the shawl.
The only problem is the suggested needle is US5 and I’m not sure where mine is (we will ignore the implications of one or two active projects that these missing needles imply). I might not end up using US 5 needles to knit this shawl, but I always like to start with the suggested needles when I start swatching. One day I’ll get lucky!
WIPs to fall back on
Fortunately, when I got tired of all the swatching and actually wanted to knit something I had a, ahem, few works in progress to fall back on.
Lately I’ve been trying to pay attention to my Loreto Cowl from Mirasol Book #23.
I love the cables on this cowl. It looks complicated, but once you get the rhythm of the cables it’s pretty straight forward.
I’m using three shades of Kutama, a 50% Alpaca, 50% Highland Wool blend, hoping to achieve a shaded look.
This is a great pattern that is fun to knit, but sometimes I need a break from all those cables!
I took a break from all my swatching and planning to take my yarn outside for pictures. I thought the natural light would show the colors better, but it was late in the afternoon and getting a bit dark.
And then a gust of wind started blowing my yarn off the table and down the hill!
Which seemed like a sign that it was time to collect my toys and go back inside.
I hope your weekend knitting and crocheting was a little more productive.