The Problem with Unfinished Objects

Two falls ago, I made a pair of fingerless gloves. Well, that’s not true. I started a pair of fingerless gloves.

I began at the fingers and bound off at the cuff. But when I was more than halfway through the mate, I decided the bind off wasn’t stretchy enough, so I frogged the mate and frogged most of the cuff of the first glove.

Then last fall, when I was halfway through the mate for the second time, a friend asked me how to close the holes at the bases of fingers. I’d put the gloves down so long ago that, in the interim, I learned how to make no-hole gloves, but I didn’t remember how exactly I’d done it, and I noticed my fingerless gloves would benefit from the new technique, so I frogged both again to start over—again.

Now the gloves are done. The first one is bound off loosely and so is the second. But the second isn’t bound off completely. I’ve got a circular needle in the lone loop that is left after a bind off.

The needle has been there since Christmas or maybe January. My plan was to write out the no-hole instructions and send them together with the gloves to my friend, who has moved to a place with snow. But I haven’t. I keep thinking my instructions aren’t as clear as they should be, keep thinking the gloves can be a little better, keep thinking I don’t have a box the right size or tissue paper to wrap them in. I keep waiting for the quality I know I’m capable of, for the perfect gifts to cheer a friend, but what I’m really doing is putting off the moment my friend can warm her hands.

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Just Hangin’

The other day, my mom, who is my crafty accomplice, was at one of those Dollar Plus stores, the ones that sell a little of everything, from the groceries and toilet trees you use everyday to the gadgets and containers you can’t find anywhere else. She found a perfect holder for the spare yarn that can’t be put away because it’s being used in a current project, but probably shouldn’t be cluttering up the coffee table or CD rack.

According to the label, the container is meant to hold stuffed animals and other small toys. It’s shaped like a drum or the sort of pan you boil vegies in. Well, it’s shaped like two, one stacked on top of the other. It’s made out of a fine netting or mesh, the stuff collapsible laundry hampers are made out of, and to give it shape, it’s got three plasticky wire rings, one at the top, one at the bottom, and one in the middle, where the two drums or pots meet. Each of the drums or pots has a hole in the side. This is where you reach in to fill the container with yarn or to pull another ball out. There’s a loop on the top surface for you to hang the contraption.

So far, it seems to be working, though I miss the lovely yarn accent in my decor.

Knitpicks Color Descriptions

Earlier today I was doing some yarn browsing online. I was technically supposed to be getting a couple balls of yarn for a baby blanket I’m making. It looks like I’ll be about 3 or 4 balls short in two different colors. Knitpicks didn’t have any more of one color I needed. After some venting and measuring I decided I could still make the blanket with the yarn I have. It will just be a bit smaller.

Being on the Knitpicks website is never a good thing for me. Well, I think it’s a good think but my checkbook might not agree. So, while I was browsing through the Felici fingering self-striping sock yarn I was feeling mildly irritated. I was going to have to call a friend and get her to describe the colors for me. Seeing as this is the same friend I just vented to about the shortage of blanket yarn I didn’t really want to bother her. We’ll not even mention the fact that I’m not supposed to be buying yarn for the rest of 2012. Then I decide to click on the View Larger Image link for a color way called Time Traveler. I’m a big science fiction fan so the name appeals to me. I’m thinking in my head that there just might be more information about the yarn. Probably not, but just maybe. I get the surprise of the day. They have color descriptions of each color way. How totally awesome is that? I checked a couple of others to see if they all had it and they do. Then I look back over the information right before the list of colors. Lo and behold if I slow down just a little there’s a line that says “Click on each thumbnail to see larger images and color descriptions.” Imagine that. I have no idea how long these descriptions have been there. I’m pretty sure they weren’t there when I first started shopping at Knitpicks but who knows. This will make my yarn shopping so much more informed and even more fun. Like I need another reason to buy more yarn. I have a feeling that Time Traveler will be in my stash very soon.

Plano Organizer

A few of the knitters I know have been using little plastic organizers for their knitting accessories. I thought they were just really organized knitters and that was too much for me. I would just continue using my little bag system. This involved putting all the little bags of markers and things into a larger little bag along with all the other little odds and ends I need. So of course I’m spending a few minutes at a time digging through this little bag to find one or another of these little things. I thought I was being organized by having everything in one place but now I know the error of my ways.

Last week I decided to check the little plastic organizers out at Wal-Mart. The first nice surprise was that they were only a little over $3. I just love prices like that. Especially when I’m not entirely sure I’m going to like something. I still open one up in the store and investigate. The organizer has two identical sides. If you opened both lids they would open opposite to each other like the front and back covers of a book. I wouldn’t open it like this though; all your stuff would fall out. Each side has 5 long sections and there are little dividers you can insert wherever you want and create up to 10 sections. The whole thing is about 6 inches by 4 inches and a little over 2 inches deep. Not really too large for a knitting bag. I should also mention that these handy little organizers can be found in the fishing section at Wal-Mart. I did have some trepidation about having my husband take me into this section but he behaved himself and it didn’t take us long to get in and out.

After putting the baby to bed and feeding the rabbits and all those things that just have to be done before you can relax at night I was finally able to sit down to see just how organized I could be. At first I was disappointed that my folding scissors wouldn’t fit. I left the center slot open just for them. Then my husband pointed out that the side slots were longer because of the space needed for the latches to close the lid. So I moved the open slot to the side and the scissors fit. I put the things I use the most in one side and put a braille label with my name on it on that side just so I would know which side was which. They are identical otherwise. It’s made of clear plastic so the contents can be seen but that doesn’t help me. I put the less often used things in the bottom. The only things I couldn’t put in were things like larger cable needles crochet hooks and stitch holders. These went into another plastic case and I have everything I could possibly need all together.

Once I got everything where I wanted I really started to like this new organizing plan. I can just put the organizer on the table and leave it open during those times when you find yourself needing a lot of little odds and ends. For me, that’s when I start and finish a project. One major downfall I can imagine is leaving the organizer open beside me on the couch and forgetting it. It would be entirely too easy to sit down in the wrong place and spill all of the nicely organized stitch markers and things. I feel confident that this is bound to happen one day. It really seems inevitable for me. I just have to remember to close it when I’m through using it. For now, I’m just going to enjoy being super organized. At least with my knitting; we won’t talk about the rest of the house.

Cardigan Fever

I finished the Mr. Greenjeans Cardigan last week. While I was trying it on I realized that in five years of knitting, this was the first sweater that I have made for myself that I’m actually going to wear. This makes me really happy. This sweater is a top down raglan with a cable and rib section on the body and on the sleeves. I think it will be a great casual sweater to wear with jeans.

. I made this same sweater a few years ago out of an acrylic yarn. I wasn’t happy with the button band and the whole sweater needed serious blocking. In my beginner state I didn’t know that acrylic is basically impossible to block. This time I used Boroco Ultra Alpaca. It’s 50% wool and 50% alpaca. It has a much better drape than the acrylic sweater had. I also used a larger needle for the cable and rib section instead of the smaller needle it called for. It just didn’t make sense to me that I should use a smaller needle that would necessitate more blocking when I could use the larger needle and do less blocking. Now I’m just hoping for some cooler evenings so I can actually wear this cardigan before this fall.

I immediately cast on another cardigan. I was so pleased with the first one that I thought I would try another one and see how it went. This time I chose the Sitcom Chic Cardigan. It’s mostly stockinet with a garter and eyelet strip around the yoke. It has ¾ length sleeves and one button at the center of your chest. It was a fairly simple knit and worked up pretty quickly. I had a lot of knitting time last week since I skipped all the housework and knit instead. It’s just too bad I can’t get away with that every week. I’m done with all the knitting for this cardigan. I just have to do the finishing work and I’ll have a cute little cardigan to wear over summer dresses. It should be a little cooler than the other since it’s made out of a 75% cotton and 25% acrylic yarn.

 

Ana and Crystal are on Viewpoints!

Ana and I did an interview for the Viewpoints Podcast. We talk about knitting with visual impairments and share some tips and advice for other blind and low vision knitters.

 

Please check it out:  ViewPoints 1214 4-4-12 Knitting for the Visually Impaired

 

Also, check out  ViewPoints

A weekly, half hour radio program for people living with low vision

Find out more about the show and get links to the podcasts at:

www.ViewPointsPlus.net

 

The never ending Project

Most people who know anything about what I’ve been knitting lately know that I’ve been working on a sweater for my mother for a while now. Since May of 2010. I wrote another post about it here.

After a mistake last November I decided to take the advice of friends in the BlindStitchers group and put the project away until I wasn’t so frustrated with it. Just before New Year’s I pulled it back out with the intention of going into eat, sleep and knit mode so I could finally get it done. Well, I knit like crazy for a week and a half. I got quite a bit done. So much done that I was having daydreams about handing it over to a friend of mine to be sewn together.

That’s when my needle broke. The cable just came loose from the needle and there goes about 20 stitches. 20 stitches in the diagonal ribbing section. With size 3 needles and fingering weight yarn, I’m just not looking forward to trying to fix it. Nevermind that I knew I should put a lifeline in. I was just too lazy to do it. Nevermind that I knew the needle was weakening in that spot. Oh, it won’t break. I’m just being paranoid.

All this makes me think that I’m bringing the problems with this sweater on myself. There’s a point where you just have to face the facts and admit that bad things do happen to good knitting. If I can manage to fix this sweater again without having to knit practically the whole back piece over again, I’ll be inserting a lifeline immediately. Lesson learned, finally.

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