Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Works In Progress

There's something about finishing a knitting project. No matter the scale, simple or complicated, it spurs a sense of accomplishment when you hold that completed project in your hands. With the untidy loose ends finally tucked away, the hours of knitting seem totally worth it.

It's such a great feeling, I just wish it wasn't quite so elusive. It probably wouldn't be so hard to finish one project, if it was the only thing I was working on. Yes, I have been guilty of starting new projects before completing the ones I've already got going. And while it's inconvenient to have needles tied up in a partially knit work, I find the pictures of my works in progress on my Ravelry page even more maddening. The row of unfinished pictures on my project page recently drove me to set a goal for myself: Finish my Works in Progress or WIP's before 2011 is over!!

The list of projects I had left in knitting limbo included the monstrous undertaking of recreating the Ron Weasley Blanket as well as a half-completed newsboy hat, an argyle sweater for the dog which was perhaps only ten percent complete and a disastrous attempt at a bikini. Frogging these projects was not an option, I'm a little type A and it just seemed weak to rip them out and remove them from my list of projects I aimed to complete.

The biggest project was my blanket and I'm pleased to say not only did I finally finish it, but I typed up the pattern as well and posted it on Ravelry. I was convinced that I was the only person who would want to recreate the blanket as exactly as possible. Boy was I shocked by how many people responded to it. All the compliments were extremely flattering and I hope that anyone who decides to make the blanket finds the instructions easy to follow.

With my Weasley blanket complete, I turned to a hat I had begun probably two years ago. I'd started it and realized I didn't have even enough yarn to get passed the band at the bottom. I had bought a new skein of yarn at the time to finish it but had never gone back to it. The needles I'd been using were needed in some other project and I'd stolen the circulars, leaving the half completed work with the needles removed, stitches unraveling. Beginning a project without any idea where I'd stopped in the pattern was hardly ideal and I wanted to kick myself! Needless to say, after a bit of patience and a fair bit of cursing, I managed to get the work back to a stage at which I could begin following the pattern again. The hat ended up pretty cute, now I just wish I had a brown coat to wear it with... 

With the hat under my belt, I turned to a sweater I had dreamt up for the dog to use up a couple of yarns left over from squares I had made for my Weasley blanket. I thought an argyle pattern for a sweater would be cute. Turns out, argyle is a bit of a pain to not only knit but to increase and decrease within as the pattern for my dog sweaters calls for. Fortunately I have a very small dog and the sweater only took a couple of days to complete. Again, with a little more cursing, I finished it by December and Susie got it as a Christmas present. She's always cold and seemed rather content with her knew attire.

The final WIP, looming over my head was an ill-fated attempt at a bikini. I'm not sure why I thought this pattern was a good idea, but I knitted two triangle pieces and then lost interest when the instructions to connect them became a bit fuzzy. After much debate, I finally turned it into a halter top. Using elastic and under wires I stole from an old bra, I came up with a design that offered some support and didn't look too awkward. The skein of yarn dwindled as I finished the bottom. When it finally ran out, I bound it off and decided that showing a little midriff was better than getting a whole other skein of a yarn color I'm not sure I like anymore. I'm just glad this project can now be filed under "Finished" works.  

My projects page now boasts a list of 33 completed projects, nothing frogged, nothing abandoned. Of course now I've got my eye on the queued list of patterns that I'd like to start. Perhaps 2012 will be the year I clean that list up. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Potter Pattern Done!

Eighty nine pages later, I have finally come up with a pattern for the Ron Weasley Blanket. I put a tremendous number of photos into it to make it a decent attempt at explaining how to make it and I'm afraid the pattern is quite lengthy.

Here is a link to check out the monstrosity that is The Ron Weasley Blanket Pattern.

I've never written a pattern before so I'm sure it's got errors but I figured I'd have a go at it since no one has come up with a detailed pattern for this popular project yet.

If anyone does decide to use this pattern, I would love to see pictures!