2017 Project Cha Cha – April Update

Dear Connie,

I’m late in posting my April wrap-up because…well, I’m ashamed.

This month, I didn’t finish any of my old projects AT ALL!  Not only that, I started a new project that I hadn’t “earned” by the by-laws of Project Cha Cha!

(For those of you playing the home game, the by-laws of Project Cha Cha are that two old projects must be completed in order to earn the right to cast on something new.)

But cast on something new, I did.  Just before my trip to China, and in anticipation of much sitting around on airplanes and buses, I cast on a vanilla sock in exciting yarn.

2017-04-06 12.27.28

China is amazing and beautiful and HUGE.  We had a great time.  And, after a fashion, I finished those illicit socks.
2017-04-29 12.49.14These are the Yarn Harlot’s “A Good, Plain Sock” which is my go-to vanilla sock.  The yarn is Stitch Please, Sapphire Label in Psychedelic Onyx (although in honor of China, I’ve been referring to it as Rainbows & Smog).
2017 Stats as of 4/30/17:

  • 14 projects on the needles
    • 12 from before 2017 (One Step Forward)
    • 2 after (One Step Back)
  • 11 projects off the needles
    • 8 from before 2017
    • 3 after
  • Pre-2017 project completion, as of 1/1/17: 46%
  • Pre-2017 project completion, as of 4/30/17: 65%

~ Lindsay

P.S.  I may not do any better next month, finishing projects from last year, but there’s still stash being turned into objects and 11 projects finished since the beginning of the year.  And that’s pretty good.

2017 Project Cha Cha – March Update

Dear Connie –

This month’s wrap-up is going to be a speedy one, because in a few hours I’m leaving the house to spend a week in China. So without further ado…

This month I finished two sweaters. One was a win and the other was…a lesson learned.
2017-03-09 16.36.07
This is Vodka Lemonade by Thea Colman in Classic Elites Fortuna. I shortened the sleeves significantly because it means I’ll be able to wear it more in warmer weather.  I really love it.  I finished it by adding a closure with snaps, but still had some gapping.  So I bought a cute silver tie tack from these guys and liked the results to well I think I’ll be utilizing it for more open-fronted cardigans in the future.

2017-03-20 06.04.38

Which brings us to the Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig in madelinetosh tosh lace.  I’m only showing you the back view because the front is…no bueno.  The lesson learned here is that even though this is a well-written pattern and an elegant sweater on many a fetching young lady, it just is not right for my body type.  I never wear the Hitofude I made, so I should have thought better of doing another one (in laceweight, even!) but there it is.

I do have to say that, even after I unpicked the first bind-off for the neck, the yarn stood up beautifully.  I’m often hesitant to work with laceweight, because of it’s perceived fragility, but I was really impressed with this yarn.

And for my one step forward!!

2017-03-19 10.53.30

I don’t want to say too much about this now, because I want to dedicate an entire post to it, but this picture is my little duck (when she was a good deal smaller) in a sweater I always l always loved.  When Kate Davies published the Northmavine Hoody, I knew it was right up my street except that I wanted to alter the colorway a bit.  The swatch on the right is not superbly lit, but the I chose colors of Knit Picks Palette to match that old baby sweater.

2017-04-01-05-42-32.jpg

And as we leave March, we find my very first BLATANT VIOLATION of Project Cha Cha.  I’m going to be on a plane or a bus for a good part of the next week.  I needed (NEEDED, I  say!) a dummy sock to while away the long hours.  This is Stitch, Please Sapphire Label Self-Striping in Psychedelic Onyx, and we are in love.  Excuse the horrible lighting and crash zoom of my couch, because it’s before 6 am and I just took this.

I think you can expect a couple pictures of this sock as it traipses through China!

2017 Stats as of 3/31/17:
18 projects on the needles
8 projects OFF the needles
13 from before 2017, 5 after (1 ILLICIT)
Overall % completion 1/1/17: 46%
Overall % completion 3/31/17: 65%

~ Lindsay

2017 Project Cha Cha – February Update

Dear Connie,
As you know, my new year’s resolution for 2017 is to get some of 20 (I found another one since last month) projects that were lurking in my house OFF the needles!  The rules for are: two projects from pre-2017 must be completed prior to casting on anything new. Two projects down, one new one – hence the “cha cha”.

I’ve done pretty well this month, despite managing to locate a previously undiscovered UFO and add it to the overall tally AND thinking something was finished when it needed to be ripped out and re-done.  All told, I completed four projects, and cast on two.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t in that order…

There was this scarf…and this yarn…and at the beginning of the month I accidentally tripped and started it before I had finished any more projects!  I give you the Rainbow Sherbet Scarf:

2017-02-05-18-48-57

The pattern is Diamond Exchange (on Ravelry).  The off-white is a mystery Japanese yarn that was gifted to me and the rainbow is Knit Picks Chroma in Groovy.  I was so overcome with guilt at violating Project Cha Cha that I quickly finished…

2017-02-07-06-04-46-1


the Joker and the Thief Shawl in SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock (colors Honeyfig and the Party of Five mini-skeins in Graphite) and my Wispy Cardi.  No picture of the latter yet, because the bind-off around the neck was much too tight and will have to be ripped out and re-done.  I dutifully removed it from finished status and went in search of another project to atone for my misdeeds.

2017-02-13-17-34-17

This is Chloe by Alana Dakos – done in a sequined white cotton blend from one of the Japanese dollar stores.  I had made it in size 4 for my then 4-year-old, then neglected to complete the buttonholes until she was six.  Naturally this no longer fits her, and had been relegated to “doll clothes.”

Well, it was about this time that a friend asked me to make her baby a hat.  Because it’s a present, I won’t show the progress pictures until she’s got it in her hands.  Still, gift or no, a new project meant getting two more done before I could cast on.

2017-02-24-06-34-07

Thanks to long post office lines and excruciating ID card waiting rooms, I was able to complete two pairs of socks.  These purple ones are out of the Crazy Zauberball (color Fliederduft, which apparently means “isolated”) and have an afterthought heel.

2017-02-26-15-44-55

These blue ones are Lion Brand Sock-Ease Prints (colorway – the inventively named Blue Orange), and have afterthought EVERYTHING!  I have had these at my desk for over a year.  They’re my computer-based training, forgot to bring my knitting, go-to waiting project because I started by knitting a very long tube with ribbing on the beginning and the end.  Last weekend I severed the tube in the middle, added some toes to the new ends, then added afterthought heels.  Voila!  A new pair of socks!

That’s my progress this month.  Next month there might be a finished sweater…

2017 Stats as of 2/28/17:
17 projects on the needles
6 projects OFF the needles
14 from before 2017, 3 after
Overall % completion 1/1/17: 46%
Overall % completion 2/28/17: 60%

Onward – to victory!

~ Lindsay

2017 Project Cha Cha – January Check-in

Dear Connie,
My new year’s resolution for 2017 is to get some of the growing mountain of UFOs completed. I started at the end of December by counting up all the projects I currently had on the needles. As I unearthed more project bags and remembered hidey-holes, the scope of the job ballooned.

I had 19 projects on the needles, at various stages of completion! Naturally there was a spreadsheet, and some tallying of the various stages of completion…but that’s a little too clear a view into my neurosis, don’t you think?

The rules for the next year are: two projects from pre-2017 must be completed prior to casting on anything new. Two projects down, one new one – hence the “cha cha”.

2017-01-20-12-49-13

Completed Pomatomus socks

The first thing off the needles was the Pomatomus Socks. I used SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in Pistachio. They’re just a little bit loose on me, but it’s a very stretchy stitch pattern.

2017-01-28-11-00-17

Five knitted knockers!

Next I finished my kit’s worth of Knitted Knockers. I ordered 5 of these kits last year and some of the other ladies in my knitting group are working on them. This is such a great charity, and a very speedy project.

So, with two down I got to pick something new:

2017-01-31-04-57-17

Beginnings of a Constellate hat.

This is the Constellate hat by Hunter Hammersen. The yarn is madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in colorway Nighthawk. I thought the slipped stitches would show off the color changes in a fun way, and I’m not disappointed so far.

2017-01-31-04-57-28

Close-up of the Constellate stitch pattern.

2017 Stats as of 1/31/17:
18 projects on the needles
17 from before 2017, 1 after
Overall % completion 1/1/17: 46%
Overall % completion 1/31/17: 52%

Slowly but surely!
~ Lindsay

Pomatomus Knit-Along

Dear Connie,

Who put the Pom in the Pom-a-tom-a-tomus?

Who put the Knit in the Knit-a-long-a-ding-dong?

Sorry, this sock name just makes me giggle!  I know it’s after fish and their scales, but it’s funny-sounding.  So…in the wee hours of the Japanese morning I contacted you to let you know I was “feeling sock-y” and we decided on a Cookie A pattern.  Specifically this one!  First up: yarn selection.

I pulled my 3 skeins of SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock and picked the bright green, Pistachio.

2016-07-24 05.36.38

After a cursory review of the pattern, I knew I had to use my Signatures!  These wicked pointy size 2’s are my go-to for most socks, but as soon as someone says “through the back loop” they seem like the only choice.  (Plus, they didn’t have anything on them and I didn’t want them to think I didn’t love them…)

2016-07-24 18.23.23

Pictured here is almost a full repeat of Chart A – I wanted to catch the good light while I could!  This is one day’s work (this sock is addictive).  There are some mistakes:

  • I jacked the set-up row by misinterpreting the repeat instructions.  Instead of “yo, k2tog, (*p1, k1tbl)”, I did “*yo, k2tog, p1, k1tbl”.  There are a lot of extra yarn-overs!
  • Then I repeated the first row of Chart A unnecessarily…
  • And later I found a spot where I had neglected to decrease and I had to finagle a k3tbl.  Only with Signatures!!

2016-07-25 17.51.54

But here I am at the end of two repeats of Chart A and going like gang-busters.  Considering I have a complete repeat of Chart A before the heel flap, I think this sock is going to be quite tall.  Which is good, because I’ll be able to wear it with my boots without them rubbing on my shins.

Anywho, I’m so excited to be working on something with you again!

Love, Lindsay

All I can make are idiot socks

Dear Lindsay,

As I write this, it is Saturday morning here, but it’s a couple of hours into Sunday where you are, so I want to wish you a happy birthday. Enjoy that breakfast sausage; you’ve earned it.

As you can see, I’ve gotten nowhere trying to keep up with our KAL, but I have managed to do a bit of knitting. These are socks for my lovely friend who sends me the Advanced Reader Copy of books by an author you don’t read. She sends me the new book every year, several months before it’s published, and I read it, send it back to her, and periodically I knit something as a thank you. These are pretty standard top-down, 64 stitches around, on 2.25 mm DPNs but with a short-row heel (wrap and turn method) because I like the way W&T looks in self-striping yarn. She hasn’t said if they fit her yet, but I’m really hoping they do; I had to go by her shoe size.

2015-08-16 18.19.43

These are new socks for me. I broke down and got past the hyperbole and spent $1 on the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern. I dutifully made my cardboard foot tracing and used the formula to determine when to start the heel, and what do you know? It actually worked well. This sock is toe-up on a 2.25 mm circular needle, and I hit the sweet spot in length because I finished the bind off about 24 inches from where is started the toe, so I can make the stripes match.

(I’ve now edited and added the picture of the heel. It fits very well, and it meets my need for symmetry by looking virtually identical on both sides, something that most other short-row heels do not).

2015-09-13 12.52.172015-09-08 11.43.00

In looking at my Ravelry notebook, I’ve completed only 4 projects this year, none of them particularly challenging. I would love to be able to knit more, and I’ve started some other projects, only to frog them, and I’ve swatched a few things as well, but nothing’s come of any of the swatches. Someday, though, hopefully within the next 6 months, I will graduate with my BS, and I will have more time to knit and to read for pleasure. In the meantime, I’m making socks that do not require me to think and knocking off the occasional dishcloth or baby sweater. I will, someday, be ready to finish our epic KAL.

Did I mention that I’m starting to think pretty seriously about getting an MBA in Healthcare Management through WGU?

Anyway, I miss you a lot, and I wish you the happiest possible birthday.

Love,

Connie

The Agony of Defeat

Dear Lindsay,

I give up. I just can’t make the Slip and Slide socks work. I’ve changed yarn, changed needles, and changed my expectations, but no matter what I manipulate, either the socks are going to auto-amputate my feet just above the ankle, or the stockinette gauge for the sole is going to be such that I will walk holes in the soles within approximately 2 wearings. Neither alternative is acceptable, so I think I have to move on. Someday, I have high hopes that I will find a (possibly sport-weight) yarn that I can use and make these socks work for me, because they really are pretty and very fun to knit, but until that time, I think we should move to another sock in the book. I can’t have nothing on the needles for too long; I’ll get cranky.

How do you feel about The Mock Cables and Lace socks?

Love,
Connie

P.S. It feels like it’s about a million degrees here lately, and no rain at all, and yet I still want to play with wool. I may be a knitting addict. Obviously, though, the only 12 steps I need are the ones that lead me to the LYS.