Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Conquering the WIPS

Last Friday as I was coming down with a nasty cold, I had the overwhelming desire to go through my knitting WIPs and decide what I could conquer. I know getting sick doesn't equate with conquering lists of things to do, but for some reason this kind of list helped me through my somewhat miserable weekend and yes, with the exception of going food shopping, I spent my entire weekend in my sweats on the couch knitting. Get rid of the nasty cold and it equals a perfect weekend!

I wrote a post back in June where I last talked about my big list of WIPS. You can read it here and this was a shot of my Ravelry In Progress page at the time.
I am proud to say that #1, #2 and #3 on this list moved to the FO section sometime between June and September. #7, TTL Mystery Sock 2012 was frogged.

As of Friday my In Progress Page looksed like this:
At a quick glance you can see that there have been some new projects (three to be exact) started while 10 of the original WIPS are still on the list.

After some pondering and pulling projects out of their sleepy hidey holes, I decided upon three projects in the current list to focus my sick energy on over the weekend. My Glazed Carrot Mod Podge sweater was not on that list. My purpose was to focus on older projects.

So what projects made the cut?

#1 - Some Cloudy Day legwarmers
I remember buying the yarn for this project with my sister when she still lived in Myrtle Beach. I remember rushing home and we both casted on for these legwarmers at the same time. I even bought double pointed needles so I could start them. I remember I had finished one leg warmer in less than a week. I remember casting on for the second leg and getting it almost to the finish line. I remember putting it aside, but I can't remember why.

This project made the cut for this past weekends list simply because I was thhhhhiiiiiissssss close to having it finished.

I will tell you now that as of Saturday afternoon this project became an FO. I will also tell you that even though I was really close to completing the project, it wasn't without knitting drama.

Let's just say I knitted 14 pattern rows and then when I started the cuff, realized I had 61 stitches instead of 60. After analyzing my knitting, I noticed where the extra stitch came from and that was 15 rows back. I'm pointing to the little bugger right here:
The mistake happened the last time I worked on these babies. It must of been fate for me to have made that mistake way back then because after I frogged back to the mistake on Saturday, I relooked at my pattern notes to compare the number of pattern repeats between #1 and #2 that I needed to complete before the cuff, and realized that I only needed to knit 7 rows and not the 14 that I originally did before I noticed the mistake. I am so glad I realized this mistake, because I guarantee I wouldn't of noticed it until after I bound off and snipped the yarn. Then I would of been in knitting tears.

I'll do a follow-up post soon showing the completed project with all the project details I like to include.

#2 - Mystik Spiral Socks
While this isn't one of the "older" WIPs, it was one that I felt needed my attention if it was ever going to be finished. If you remember, I started, and could of had these socks finished, while I was on my European Backpacking Adventure this summer, but on my last day abroad, I realized I missed 11 rows on sock number two, after I had already bound off and snipped the yarn. This post shows you what the pair looked like when I discovered the issue.

To fix the problem, I needed to decide if I was going to just remove the cuff, add the 11 rows and call it finished or if I was going to frog the sock from the cuff all the way down to the ankle and add the 11 rows where they belonged in the pattern.

This is what I decided:
After I frogged down to the ankle, found where I was in the pattern, I added the 11 rows that were missing and put the project aside for another day. My goal was to decide what I wanted to do with the sock and take action towards getting it closer to the FO list. Goal accomplished.

#3 - Back Bay wrap
As you can see above I started this wrap in November of 2011. Eeek! When I last worked on it, and I can't remember when that was it's been that long, probably when I first started the dang thing, I had completed two pattern repeats. That's 20 rows per repeat, so a total of 40 rows plus the setup rounds had been done. By Saturday evening, I had added another 20 or so rows:
I worked on it again all day Sunday and Monday (because I was home sick) and as of right now it looks like this:
I'd say that's some good progress. We have a total of six 20 row pattern repeats done. I believe that the pattern calls for a total of 20 pattern repeats, so I am not close to being done, but definitely heading towards it.

After putting my Glazed Carrot Mod Podge sweater aside for the weekend, I did end my Monday evening with completing sleeve #1. I plan on casting on for #2 this week, but don't anticipate completing the sweater by months end.

I think I kind of liked splitting my attention between a few different projects this past weekend. I really want to get a few more WIPs off the above list by the end of the year.

So, as I look toward my long four day weekend thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, my goals are to finish the Mystik Spiral Socks and the second sleeve of the sweater. After that, we'll see where we go.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Being A Tourist

Back in late October I got the chance to be a tourist in my own city. The last time I played this part was when my sister and niece visited me probably 3-4 years ago. My brain can't remember exactly when, I just know we went all over the place and had oh so much fun.

This time around, when my niece had her Fall break from teaching she asked if she and her boyfriend could come visit for a few days. Why of course! I didn't think twice.

As I am sitting here flipping through the pictures on my phone, I can't help but reminisce about their visit and all the fun "touristy" things we did.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite highlights.

Our Day 1 adventures began with a walk through Times Square in search of TKTS.
With TKTS not open until 2pm, we headed down to South Street Seaport. After having TKTS success and Broadway Show tickets in hand, we strolled over to the water.

It's been a long time since I have visited the Seaport. I couldn't believe how much had changed. The mall that was there is all boarded up and appears to be going under construction. One thing that hadn't changed was the ship.
From the Seaport we decided to stop for a bite to eat. If my memory serves me correctly, we had Lebanese food.
After our bellies were full, we strolled over to One World Trade Center.
Not matter where you stand, every time you look up, the building comes to a point. Of course, we also stopped by the 9/11 Memorial.
It's really beautifully done and happy that I finally visited.

From here we went over to the Hudson River and walked up to The Highline.
My day out quickly came to an end after we checked out, and sampled, some yumminess from the Broadway Bites setup at Herald Square. By this time is was early evening, I headed home as my niece and her boyfriend went to their first Broadway Show.

On Day 2 of their visit, I sent them out on their own as I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and didn't want to hold them back.

However, I was back out there with them for our Day 3 adventures. Even though it was raining for practically the whole entire day, we still made the most out of it and had some fun.

We started with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. Fortunately we were walking from Manhattan into Brooklyn so the rain/wind was at our back.
Once we got off the bridge, we got our bearings and headed towards the water. We stumbled upon this beauty of a used bookstore.
This picture just captures a small portion of all the books they had. Heaven!

What visit to Brooklyn wouldn't be complete without a visit to Grimaldi's?
Best pizza ever in my opinion!

After lunch, we strolled through the neighborhood to do some architectural sightseeing and shopping.
This place must be pretty amazing, and expensive, to live in. Loved everything about it.

We also did some thrifting.
Well after my quick perusal of the racks, I planted by behind on a bench and watched the two youngens shop their hearts out. I was completely happy just watching.

Lastly, we headed back to Manhattan for dessert and landed at Veniero's.
All of this for just three people? Yes please.

Of course, before we knew it the fun had to come to an end. The next morning was time for our goodbyes, which is always hard for me. I miss having family close by, so this was extra special for me to have them visit. Can't wait for the next time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Winter Is Coming

Over the past month I having been knitting away on my new sweater. Today our temps seriously dropped and I realized just how quickly winter is coming and that I need a new completed sweater. The magical word being completed.

So just how close am I to completion?

Well let's see. We started with the back on October 8.
Then just a mere 10 days later the back was complete and I picked up with the left front. When I reached the armhole shaping on the left front I realized there was an issue with it not matching up to the back. Whatwo!
I thought staring at the sweater would miraculously fix the issues. Sadly it did not.

After some serious pattern rereading, math and a bunch of texts messages and a phone call with my sister, I realized there was an error in the pattern, even though I had the updated version of the pattern that supposedly fixed the issue with the number of cast on stitches and stitch counts after the decrease and increase sections. So this happened to the back:
And three days later we had this:
Once all was well in the land of knitting, I quickly finished the left front:
Then the right front:
As of Sunday, I entered sleeve island.
So what is my grand master plan to get this baby done? Well. I don't really have one. I know I'd like to have it done for Thanksgiving. It's quite possible to achieve that deadline, but I am not going to drive myself crazy to get there.

I am hoping that by the end of this upcoming weekend I will have both sleeves done. If I do, I will proceed to attach them to the sweater and seam up the sides. Then I'll be left with the collar, which in reality isn't all that bad once you get past picking up all the necessary stitches. I need to look in my notions stash to see if I have snaps for closing the sweater. I think I do, but of course this wouldn't be the first time my memory has failed me. So we shall see.

I know I have been absent from this blog for quite a bit. Lots of personal stuff  has been happening during the past couple of months and unfortunately it has taken my attention from this little space. I hope one day to share everything that has been going on, but until then, I would love to get back here for more regular postings. I get a little sad when I look at my list of posts that I started and never had the chance to complete. Some of them can just be trashed, but maybe I can revive a couple of them even if it's a little late.