WIP and UFOs

Here’s a pic of my knitting work in progress.  It’s one of the bell shaped sleeves.  whisper-cardiganIf you’ll recall, I am making the Whisper Cardigan from the spring 2009 Interweave magazine.  This little shrug has caused some mighty problems already, but mostly having to do with yarn selection.  The first time I wrote about this project, I had visited my usual “go to” LYS (local yarn store), Purl.  I spoke with a new salesperson there, asking for a similar weight yarn to the one used in the magazine pattern.  She guided me based on the guage of the yarn (6 stitches to the inch), rather than the weight of the yarn suggested.  And I could tell right away that the yarns she suggested were  all wrong, worsted weights instead of fingering…  The end result wouldn’t be lacy and whispery at all.  It would be a regular ole sweater.  But I went against my better judgement and listened to her “expert” advice and bought a beautiful wool/silk blend yarn.  To be fair, the yarn is beautiful and wonderful to handle and will definitely be a beautiful garment, whatever it’s destined to be.  BUT it will NOT be the whisper cardigan.  I cast on about four times with this yarn with different size needles and never came close to a whisper look.  This is just one of the many experiences I have had recently where I should have trusted my instincts.  Note to self: Must listen to and trust myself more often.

So what’s a girl to do?  But go to a new store.  Upon the advice of a friend I checked out a new store (to me) on the UWS, Knitty City.  This store is chock full of yarns and full of helpful staff (not that Purl isn’t, just giving a review here).  It was also packed with customers too.  A good sign.  They had tons of fingering weight yarns from which to choose.  I wanted my shrug to go with everything, so I knew that I would choose a cream color and found a creamy mohair/silk blend that’s just gorgeous, by Rowan, called Kidsilk Haze

Now I have the perfect yarn, but do I have the perfect needles?  NO!  After I had cast on a few more times (don’t ask), I was knitting on DPNs (double pointed needles) on my subway commute uptown when I noticed that I had dropped stitches all the way around.  I had been so careful, but still had dropped stitches.  And the more I tried to pick them up, the more I dropped!!!  ARGH!!    An emergency trip to the yarn store across from my office later (which I am sad to say is closing due to the economy) and I had circular needles on which to keep my stitches safe. 

So now I am about halfway done through one sleeve.  It’s actually quite fast knitting if you don’t redo the same four hours of stitching 8 times over.  😉  Also, this is my first time knitting with fingering weight and I thought it would be annoying, but I am finding that it’s quite enjoyable.  The resulting fabric is nice to feel as well.  I think I will really love this sweater and get a lot of wear out of it.   Yeah!

[Insert clumsy segue here]  Which brings me to my next topic…  UFOs.  Do you have a lot of UFOs?  I usually don’t.  As a general rule, I normally don’t start a new project until my current project is finished.  However, this winter was a different story.  I started two projects for myself that I have yet to finish, a bulky winter sweater and a pair of socks.  I have not finished them.  They were both started somewhat contemporaneously.  They both involve new techniques and some self design elements (because, silly me, why would you want to follow the pattern exclusively???).  So I think my problems in both instances have to do with my confidence level in my own design ability (which I would say is non-existent).  And now I have started a new project, but I think this one will definitely be finished as I am not going off the pattern reservation.  And I really need it, whereas I don’t need a winter sweater anymore now that spring is here (right?  spring is here now?). 

So my questions to you are:  1.  Do you have UFOs?  2.  If so, why or how did they become UFOs?  3.  Do you think you’ll ever finish them?

Re: Sewing…  Still wondering which BWOF pattern to use for my Kokka purple print fabric.  Any suggestions?


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