Tuesday, March 5, 2013

loose ends/new starts

It's March and for those of you playing along with the Quarterly Goals challenge, it's time to pick things up and get them finished.  For once I'm thrilled with all of my progress on my goals.  I've met all of them but one and I still feel like finishing the last one is doable by the end of March.

In case you're in the dark on this one, my goals for this quarter were
1. Learn to steek and finish that project. (Pink sweater- done)
2. Make baby quilt for Emery (done)
3. Finish hand sewing quilt binding (not done yet)
4. Finish mom's mermaid (done)
I'm having a bit of a hard time working on the binding because this quilt is both Madeline's and Rob's favorite blanket in the entire house.  Clips, needles and all, they fight over who gets to lay under the quilt.  Madeline wins most of the time.  
Naturally I have finished quite a few other projects as well but those were the big things that I wanted to finish that I felt like I needed a deadline to really commit to working on it.  In addition to the quarterly goal challenges, I've also been playing the Highland Games on the Outlander group on Ravelry. The Highland games are a fun activity for those who are addicted to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and like to knit and read.  There is a swap happening (my package went out last Friday and once the spoilee confirms that she's received it I'll share my project that I made for it), and in addition to the swap there's puzzles and crafting challenges that must be tied in with the theme.  You craft and solve puzzles so that your Clan can win the Highland games.  I'm a MacKenzie in the Highland games, so I complete challenges from the other Clans.  I've only done one of the puzzles because I'm lame like that, but I have done crafting challenges.  The most recent craft challenge theme is "tying up loose ends" which means that you're welcome to finish an old project, provided that you've actually got quite a bit of work left on it.  No points for binding off a warshcloth or just weaving in ends. In addition to the challenge of finishing up an old project by the end of the month, you must also be able to tie it in with the challenge theme.  So this month we have to create or finish something that one particular character could have used on his journeys throughout the novel.  I had two projects that could possibly work for this challenge, so naturally I chose the biggest one, a fair-isle sweater. It's going to be a bit of a stretch to tie it in to the challenge, but I'm sure it will work.  And if they don't accept it, I will still have a lovely new sweater.  So that's a really long way of saying "I'd like to also finish this sweater by the end of March." 
Except that there isn't this much progress anymore.  I started this sweater back in August during the Olympic Opening ceremonies for my Olympic challenge.  Then two days in, a friend of mine's daughter died and I put together a comfort afghan (with the helps of loads of other knitters and crocheters) for her instead of finishing the sweater. I managed to finish one sleeve up to the armpit and about 6 inches of the body before I put it away.  I dug it out again before I went to New York in December, and then finished the body (up to the armpit).  When I dug it out March 1st I was trying to figure out where I left off and things weren't matching up.
I followed the stitch markers and figured out that I had made the body for a 32" chest and the sleeves for the 36" chest size. Crap. So I ripped the sleeves back to the first 4 increases were and started knitting without increases from there. Not a big deal, finished Sunday night watching Once Upon A Time.  Monday morning Miss Wonderpossum woke me up ridiculously early so I figured I'd start the next sleeve before work (I started a part-time seasonal job this week! Yay for regular income!).  Thought the body looked a bit funny and then figured out I had marked the body for the size 32" chest but it's actually 34" chest.  Which means I've just knitted the sleeve the wrong size AGAIN.  At this point I started laughing maniacally in the middle of the living room floor and scared the cat.  Thank goodness I live alone.  Ripped out the last 8 inches of the sleeve and added more increases. Worked on it last night during Castle and am now 1 inch away from finishing the right size of the first sleeve.  So if you're playing along, you've counted that I've now done the first sleeve 3 times.  And after I finish this sleeve, I get to do it all over again for the second sleeve. I hate sleeves.  But I know that after I get past the second sleeve, I get to join the sweater at the armpits and work a few massive rows of eleventy-billion stitches before I start the fair-isle part which is the most of exciting part of any project I have going right now.  So I'm doing it.  I'd love to get the sweater all put together before the weekend because I have a trunk show for Good For Ewe yarn in Nashville (the one in Indiana) and I'd love to have just one more example of how awesome Claddagh is. Because I'm not biased at all.

So that's what's happening in the craft world of Paige.  I have a couple little Good For Ewe projects that I'm working on (3 at the moment) and I've still got some cutting of fat quarters to do for the next quilt, but I'm really trying to just finish a few more projects before anything new starts.  I did start my little "garden" today inside.  Working at a nursery (the plant kind, not the little human kind) has given me so many ideas on things I'd like to grow and it's so hard to not come home with a new houseplant every day.  But they did hand out freebie seeds the other day and I came home with Thai peppers and pickling cucumbers.  I've started them in little pots and when it's time to move them outside, I'll move the cucumbers to bigger pots.  The peppers will probably be fine where they are as long as there's only 1 plant per pot.  I also have 3 Swedish Ivy plants up there- 2 of which need to go to their new homes.  I've also got 2 Christmas Cacti up there, the one in the orange pot is the baby I started last fall and now has 3 (!!!) new leaves on it and the wilty one in the terra cotta pot is Esther, a rescue plant.  My aunt thought it didn't need water because it's a Christmas CACTUS but it's a bit of a misnomer and it's actually a tropical rainforest plant, which means it needs a little water very frequently.  So I'm working on bringing it back to life.  I broke off a few of the sections that were too far gone and the rest of the plant still looks awful, but it's also looking a lot better.

So that's it!  If you are free on Saturday and feel like a trip to Brown County, I'd love to see you! I'll be doing a trunk show on Saturday at the Clay Purl and will have all my yarn goodies with me including patterns in progress and a few new ones that are written up and ready to be knitted up by you!

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