2017 PROJECT CHA CHA – (Belated) JUNE UPDATE

Dear Connie,
The illicit shawl from May was completed this month, so no harm – no foul.

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The Laminaria shawl turned out beautifully once it was blocked, and I’m really happy with the project.  It has already made its way to a friend of mine, and she loves it.

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It definitely put the love of lace back in me.

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There was a vacation at the end of June, so I needed another trip project. My daughter had bought some self-striping yarn for me as a Christmas present, so I decided to make something out of it for her.  (I’d link the yarn, but it’s a mysterious Japanese product…)

The pattern is “Started From The Heel,” but I couldn’t resist calling these the “Started From The Bottom Now We Heel” socks!  The construction, true to the name, is a cast-on at the heel, increase into a square, two of the corners meet over your ankle, then you work it in two separate directions in the round towards toe and leg.  It’s fun to try something a little different, and Leah really loves them.

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Apart from all these unauthorized projects, I did actually make some progress on the Project Cha Cha front. For the two large blankets I have in progress, I’d set up a series of mini-achievements – steps along the way that would mark a sort of completion and count towards a new project if I wanted.

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The Mosaic Blanket has been in progress since the beginning of 2012. (I guess you could call it a slow cloth?) The funny part of this is, after I finished the 2nd row and laid it out next to the first for a picture, I was able to see how much my gauge has changed. (That’ll block right out…right?)

So at our mid-way point, I can say I’m not doing as well with Project Cha Cha as I would like, but maybe doing about as well as I expected.  But the first half of the year has been full of trips and as you well know, you need a proper project for the trip!  After the trip in July, I should be done for a few months and I can buckle down on some of the more intense UFOs haunting my stash.

2017 Stats as of 5/31/17:

  • 15 projects on the needles
    • 12 from before 2017 (One Step Forward)
    • 3 after (One Step Back)
  • 14 projects off the needles
    • 9 from before 2017
    • 5 after
  • Pre-2017 project completion, as of 1/1/17: 46%
  • Pre-2017 project completion, as of 6/30/17: 70%

~ Lindsay

2017 Project Cha Cha – May Update

Dear Connie,

I have made no progress on the effort to complete two projects for every new one.  I’ve been blowing off Project Cha Cha entirely and working on yet another unauthorized project!

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Casting on The Laminaria by Elizabeth Freeman was a Mother’s Day gift from me to me, and I’ve been enjoying the dickens out of it.  I’m working it in Mrs. Crosby’s Train Case in the colorway Great Tailed Grackle.  The picture above is outdated; I’m currently on the 7th of 8 repeats of the Blossom Chart.  But knitted lace is not a lot of fun to photograph before it’s blocked.  The real star of this project has been Mistake-topus.

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Mistake-topus joined the Laminaria effort as I began the Transition Chart. Her job is to live at the bottom of my pattern and catch all my mistakes with her many arms. And I have kept her busy…

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First there was an incident that was accompanied by a glass of red wine and resulted in some lace surgery.

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Then there was the time when, distracted by social media platforms who shall remain nameless, I failed to count to the astronomically high figure of 12 with any consistent success.

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And of course, the time I managed to run a lifeline through about 50 stitch markers while I purled the last row of a repeat.

The long and short of it is that I’m really enjoying the pattern and the project, though I’m plagued with guilt over not knitting the things I’m “supposed to” be knitting. I’ll get back on track after this one is blocked.

I promise.

For realsies.

2017 Stats as of 5/31/17:

  • 15 projects on the needles
    • 12 from before 2017 (One Step Forward)
    • 3 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 5/31/17: 68%

~ Lindsay

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.

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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.
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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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:

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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…)

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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!!

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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