I have a personal goal this summer of using as much stash yarn as I possibly can, rather than buying new. This sounds quite virtuous and economical, but the real reason is that I'm going to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in October, and I want to feel unfettered and free to buy as much hand spun, hand dyed yarn as my little heart desires. Carpe Diem, right? Following this logic, one of you needs to go in my will to inherit my inevitably still voluminous yarn stash when I die, so let me know if you're interested!
*virtual high five!*
And so here we have it! This list is a combination of Things I've Just Needed To Knit For The Past Decade, and Things That Truly Scare Me. :0
GREAT CRAFTING OBSTACLES LIST OF 2018 (AND WHO AM I KIDDING? ALSO 2019 AND 2020)...
Big and Frightening Cabled Cardigan
I've knit cables before, but they're still pretty new to me. Also, never in a man's sweater. I have had "Sweater for Mike" on my Christmas crafting list for approximately the past 5 years. At least 3 years ago (maybe more 😳) I bought a truckload of tweed yarn in a neutral color that men seem to like. I'm thinking of one of those fisherman-like cabled sweaters with cables out the wazoo. This one of those projects that I just need to pick a pattern for and cast on for lest I lose my nerve indefinitely. Mike will be excited.
Scary Seamed Socks
My comfort zone with socks are cuff down, basic ribbed socks, knit on double pointed needles. You know, those ferocious-looking ones with points on both ends. THAT was scary to me at first, but I have mastered knitting socks in this way. There are, however, *many* other ways to knit socks, and this is one of them. I want to make socks that are knit flat into a complicated-looking pattern, and then seamed. I loathe seaming. Probably because I'm so bad at it. But these socks are awesome-looking enough to warrant the possibility of a thick and uncomfortable seam on the back of my ankles:
|"Smokey Zickzacks" by Natalia Vasilieva|
I tried toe-up socks once. Let's just say it didn't go very well. Rather than a happy load of 64ish cuff stitches, you start out with relatively few stitches on your needles and gradually increase up. The kicker is that, until that happens, things tend to get all twisty and tangled. I was so determined to make those falling leaves socks, too! It was a curse called down on those freaking falling leaves, let me tell you. It's been years now, and I'd like to try again. I WANT THOSE FALLING LEAVES, #@%! IT.
|"Falling Leaves Socks" by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence|
How Could They Not Be Trouble When They're Called Fox Socks?!
I like stranded colorwork knitting. But stranded knitting in socks in an entirely different animal. Indeed, we do have the Great Argyle Sock Incident of which we will not again speak. Picture Tiffany painstakingly knitting the argyle pattern with multiple strands of yarn going at once all the way down the cuff, knitting the heel flap and turning the heel, knitting the gusset, then starting the pattern again on the foot, and then finally trying them on. This all took WEEKS. For a single sock. Do you want to know what happened next, good and gentle reader? Imagine your Catholic Librarian trying to force her giant size 9 foot into this sock like one of Cinderella's ugly stepsisters intent on the glass slipper. Stranded knitting dramatically changes your tension, making it tighter than usual. Did Tiffany knit a gauge swatch to try and prevent this from happening? No. No, she did not.
And so I have not yet successfully knit a sock with a stranded pattern. I want the fox socks, people, and I want them badly!
|Did you ever?! "Fox Isle Socks" by Life is Cozy|
"Am I Going To Regret This?! Intricate Stranded Hat That Will Actually Fit A Human Head
Speaking of tension issues with regards to stranded knitting... Stranded knitting requires a particular kind of patience. Socks that do not fit size 9 feet = hats that would fit a baby bird. And Henry would like a stranded hat made with an image of Hedwig from Harry Potter on it. I have gray and white yarn, so I have no excuse not to try this. But...eeks. This is going to require swatching. 😭
|"The Owlery" by Ingrid Carre|
Praying That It Will Be Gorgeous, Complicated Lace Shawl
I have knit a lace shawl before. But only one. And it did involve some blood, sweat, and tears, especially when I dropped a stitch in the main lace section.
I want to knit a lace shawl before Rhinebeck with a design inspired by the mid-Hudson bridge. The pattern is not available online, but it is *beautiful* and I have hand dyed yarn with a colorway intended for this specific pattern. That's a lot of pressure if I screw it up! :0
A Rhinebeck Sweater
Speaking of Rhinebeck, a "Rhinebeck sweater" is a traditional rite of passage each year for all knitters, and I *really* want to knit one that I've had in my queue for all time and eternity:
|"Autumn's End" by Alana Dakos|
Colorwork Sweater For Anne
More sweaters! I've been promising Anne one for a few years now, and I just cast on for this one:
|"Little Lighthouse" by Carrie Bostick Hoge|
School Cardigans for Anne and Autumn
Anne and her adorable friend Autumn both attend Catholic schools with a navy blue uniform. I said last year that I'd like to knit them navy blue cardigans that are comfy, rather than the scratchy wool ones a person tends to find in the uniform stores or JCPenney. It is also infinitely less expensive to buy a navy blue cotton/acrylic blend yarn than to buy the sweaters. I excitedly bought the yarn during a sale, and well...I haven't knit them. :0 Do you think I could get both done by September? eeks!
|"Little Hiker's Cardigan" by Melissa LaBarre|
Finish Up a UFO That I Don't Even Like Anymore
This is not an alien invasion, UFO here stands for "Unfinished Object" in the crafting world. There are...let's just say, a NUMBER of possibilities for this category. I like to start new craft projects. I get all excited in the planning phase, and then after I cast on and the item takes shape, it's just bliss. And then, for some projects, the fever sometimes wanes. The pattern begins to bore me, the color starts to sicken me, whatever. And so I innocently tuck it into the bottom of my knitting basket, telling myself that "I'll get back to it later." For some innocent UFO's, later never comes. I know they're starting to resent me, casting on for bright new sweaters, while they languish amongst knitting notions and lost pencils. There's a cream colored, tweed poncho. There's a summer top in peach linen. There's a colorblock shawl. I can feel their beady eyes on me right now as I think about which I'll choose, and it's making me shiver. 😁
Double Knitting Bonanza
Double knitting is a technique that I've never learned, so I can't even describe it to you, ha! I know that it makes a fabric appear on both sides of your item with no "wrong side," if you will. For example, I've always admired this scarf which is knit using this technique:
|"Snowstorm Scarf" by Rose Stewart|
The Ultimate Terrifying Knitting Project - Steeking
OK. This one is the Big Mama. All of this other stuff? Yeah, I want to make/learn this stuff. But steeking? I'm actually afraid of steeking. Steeking is related to Fair Isle/stranded knitting, which in many ways explains it's intimidation factor. *eyes narrow* Essentially, when you knit using a lot of different colors, the most expeditious way to do it is to knit in the round, wherein you never need to purl. Now, this is all great and everything if you're knitting a pullover with no sleeves. :0 But the instant you need to make an opening for sleeves, or God forbid, a center opening for a cardigan 😱, you need a steek. To steek, means TO CUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL KNITTED GARMENT THAT YOU JUST SHED BLOOD OVER.
I literally don't understand how this is possible. There's something about reinforcing the fabric with sewing prior to taking your scissors to it, but I'm feeling woozy, so I do not understand these words.
This is the last knitting frontier for me. I NEED to try this and live to tell about it.
Before I'm willing to go there for a sweater, I need a smaller steek. A baby steek. A steek with training wheels. So I'm going to knit Fair Isle slippers:
|"Frost Slippers" by Emily Kintigh|
Don't laugh. I may need you to come and hold my weeping form before this takes place. You may also need to bring a bottle of vodka.
I will grant, it's going to take me many months to accomplish all of these items. I'll update the blog as I make my way through each project, but it may take me a year or more! :0
Here is out Bingo card to keep track!