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Thursday, January 17, 2013

There's more!

This is the pile of knits that was sent off to Artesano yesterday. It's 5 designs for their brand new sock yarn, which is gorgeous. I had 4 of my fabolous sample knitters (Leni, Frances, Jen & Anita) help me with this and they all did great. The commission came in about a week or so before we left for Norway before Christmas. I'm a bit cautious about taking deadline knitting on holiday with me as I never know how much knitting time I'll have so I decided to not take any. I still did plenty of work knitting as all the stuff I worked on will be self-published.
I'll share more details about these designs when they're published and I have proper photos of them but my sample knitters agreed with me on one thing: the yarn is gorgeous. It's lovele to knit with and it's soft enough for shawls and has a bit of nylon so it makes them strong enough for socks. The colours were gorgeous too. I've got some spare skeins and I'm especially in love with the bright pink at the top of the photo and I'm plotting something to knit with that soon.

I've never been a monogamous knitter. I've always got several projects on the needles. I like to have a sock in progress. I don't knit socks as much as I used to do but I need socks so I tell myself that if I keep one on the needles I'll get a pair eventually. I always like to have a slightly more complicated delicate lace shawl in progress plus at least one easy project which I can knit on when I'm out and about and socialising, in church etc. Because I have so many projects on the go there are times I don't feel like I'm getting anything finished. A deadline project can come along and I'll dedicate all my knitting time to it and in a week or two I have a finished shawl or a garment. The same thing doesn't happen to my selfpublished designs. Last autumn I started lots of new stuff. When I went to Norway I decided most of them were too close to completion to take on holiday. So I started new stuff. When we got back I felt a bit guilty about all the projects I had on the go and while i was waiting for yarn to arrive for a new deadline design I decided to try to finish some stuff. Hence the finishing streak in the last blog post. And the finishing streak has continued.

Yesterday, after I finished completing the button bands on one of the Artesano garments I cast off for my Lornas Laces Solemate shawl. I started this a while ago. I think it was something early last autumn. I was going through a bit of a stripe thing and started out without any particular plan.
 In fact, I took this yarn on holiday to Spain last summer and started crocheting a shawl but when I got home I decided I didn't like it and cast on for knitting instead. Apart from the shape and the stripes I had no idea what I was going to do. I did have some vague possibilities I wanted to explore but once I got to the point before Christmas of starting the edging I'd gone off my original vague idea so I put it on hold over Christmas. I picked it up again last weekend after I'd finished my Buffalo shawl (which I wore to knitting group this morning and it was much admired). I considered a few options for the edging and decided to go for a chevron edging with slipped stitches. The chevron edgin is part stocking stitch and part garter stitch and was fun and quick to knit. Yesterday morning I blocked the shawl and I love how it blocked out. At lunch time today I un-pinned it and put it straight on my shoulders. The lounge was a bit chilly and it was lovely to wear it. I'm usually careful to wear new designs until they've been photographed.
My pile of finished designs waiting for photography is groving rapidly. I'm planning to rope in both the girls but Vanessa has exams tomorrow and next week so I don't think I can persuade her to do a photoshoot this weekend. We've got to go to Exeter on Saturday (if it doesn't snow, if it does then we'll probably cancel) and I'm wondering if I can sneak in a photoshoot with Emily near the cathedral in Exeter or down by the canal. If it's good weather it's likely to be busy which she won't like, so we'll see.

Before we went to Norway, my main addictive project was a shawl in Araucania Botany Lace. I had a few skeins in different colours in my stash and I was itching to cast on so late last autumn I cast on without much of a plan. I decided on the shape and decided I wanted to do garter stitch and something very simple. I added a very simple edging, which will hopefully look much better once I've blocked it. I didn't swatch I just cast on and tried something. My first few attempts weren't good so I ripped it out and cast on again. Eventually I settled on a very simple edging then decided I wanted to add beads. I went through my collection of miracle beads and the 6mm purple beads looked good with the yarn.
 By the time we went to Norway, I was getting to the point where I had to decide on the edging. I considered and swatched a few options but nothing really spoke to me. So I left it at home when we went away. Last week I decided to continue with this shawl and couldn't find it. I went through all my projects in the lounge. I did a big clear out in my studio last week and didn't find it there either. It had been my handbag project for a while so i thought it might be in the scarf basket by the front door but I looked there twice and didn't find it. Neither did I find it when I searched for various scarves and glove every day when I go out. Yesterday I got a bit fed up and went through all the project bags in the lounge again, nothing. Then I emptied my scarf basket by the front door and out tumbled my project bag. It must have gotten burried in the bottom of the basket. I must say I was quite relieved.
 I'd nearly finished the first skein and had an idea for the edging (which was totally differetn from what I was thinking of doing before Christmas). I knew I had another skein in my stash. Turns out it's a completely different dye lot. You can see in the picture above how much brighter the original yarn was. The new yarn is on the right in the photo above. But as I was starting the edging with the new yarn I don't think it matters. I'm thinking the edging would look good in a contrasting solid yarn too. And I may cast on for a second version in either one variegated and one solid colour or 2 different solid colours.

 I decided to add more beads to the edging but didn't have that many purple beads left so chose some blue ones too. I still don't have enough so I've ordered some more of both bead colours this morning. I just hope they arrive before the weekend as I don't have that many beads left. I'm waiting for some yarn to arrive for a new design which I need to get started on the second the yarn arrives as the deadline is fast approaching and the yarn is late but I kind of want to finish this shawl too. So the more I can get done before the new yarn arrives the better.
With so many things flying off the needles at the moment, I'm itching to cast on some new things and I've got a few ideas but I'm trying to resist as I know once the yarn arrives for my deadline design I need to focus on that 100% to get it done in time. I've also got 3 designs due in early Feb and although I've got 3 of my wonderful knitters helping me with that I'll be doing the sewing up and finishing stuff on those garments so I need to keep time free for that. So I'm trying to resist casting on anything else right now but if this yarn doesn't arrive soon I don't know how long I can resist.....

Whats on your needles?
 How many projects have you got going?

I must admit I have a box full of long forgotten projects in progress which I ought to go through and either rip out or finish. But that can wait.

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