Tag Archives: wip

WIP Wednesday: 24/04/13

Hello, friends, and welcome to another edition of What’s On The Needles (or sewing machine, or floor if I’m being really untidy)

Spring Shawl:

First up, an item that is no longer on the needles. Heh. I cast off on the shawl yesterday evening, and now just need to wait for an optimal time to get it washed and pinned out for blocking. I’m considering waiting until I can buy some blocking wires because I really want some and this would be the perfect use for them. But, I need to wait until I get paid.

Hey look, it's a knitted object without any needles attached to it. #knitting

unnecessarily twee spring shawl on Ravelry

Did I mention that I got a job? If not… I GOT A JOB. Trying not to spend my entire pay check in advance but it’s going to be tough. BUY ALL THE YARN AND KNITTING ACCESSORIES OMG *cough* anyway, moving on…


Yeah, this is the same picture as last week. And it doesn’t look any different, although since that picture was taken I’ve completed the fastening and added the lining. I went for snap fasteners and the crappy polyester; while I’d like to be a bit more sophisticated, it’s all just a bit too slapdash for me to go full-on couture. Next time. When I actually measure things properly.

Skirt is coming along nicely. #sewing

fancified pencil skirt on MSC

No more progress on anything else, but I’m just settling into the new work routine and finding it quite hard to get anything done at home, let alone the knitting. I mean – I’ve started to go on 6am runs because I don’t have the time in the evening. Well. Probably the time, but definitely not the inclination.

NB: if you find out who abducted me and replaced me with someone who goes for runs at 6 in the morning, please punch them in the head. It’s not natural. But at least I get to see lots of dogs being taken for walks. And you’ve got to admit – this is one hell of a running partner.

Can't get over how awesome it is to run with a view like this. :D

WIP Wednesday: BST roundup

Moving house meant I had to face a few uncomfortable truths about the number of WIPs I had squirrelled away all over the place. I pose to you a philosophical question; is a WIP still a WIP if it’s hibernating? Does it get included in the WIP count? How long does a WIP lie neglected until it goes into hibernation, or must hibernation be a deliberate decision?

We all must make these decisions for ourselves.

Unnecessarily Twee Spring ShawlRavelry link

This had a sudden burst of activity when I finally made myself sit down and figure out how to do the edging, i.e. I pinched an edging from another pattern. Said pattern is Lilah, from Knitty, and required only a little bit of tweaking to make it fit to my stitch count and the flower/foliage theme. I’m probably 2/3 of the way through the edging, so the end is in sight.

Burst of activity on my springy shawl thing. #knitting

Oxide CardiganRavelry link

This only just registers as out of hibernation – I’ve knitted about five rounds on the sleeves. The cotton content makes it harder to knit with cold hands, plus I keep destroying my fingers with oven burns, IKEA-furniture-assembling wounds and most painfully, shampoo bottle injuries. Those sleeves are about half-way done, after which I’ll need to finish the lower edge and pick up the button band.

Also, two-at-a-time sleeves: great in concept, but pretty difficult to check the length. XD #knitting

Hey look, yet another pencil skirt:MSC link [1].

I can’t help myself, I just love them. This one is a self-drafted number, with gathered detail at the front, faced waistband, and some sort of fastening that doesn’t involve a zip because I wanted a challenge (and didn’t buy a zip, apparently). This one’s quite high on the ‘likely to end up stuffed in a WIP bag for months because thinking is hard’ scale so I need to keep close tabs on it.

Attempting a skirt with gathered detail on front. Terrified of taking it to the machine.

In hibernation:

Still in WIP prison are the socks, dressing gown, and actually-finished-jumper-that-just-hasn’t-been-photographed. But one long-lingering project has actually achieved completion, and I’ll be sharing that soon. EXCITING. Perhaps.

1. My Sewing Circle. If there is another hip sewing site (one that focuses on WIPs rather than FOs, tutorials or shops), let me know. MSC seems pretty good so far but I’m willing to experiment.^

WIP Wednesday: oxide cardigan plus WOOORDDDDSSSS

I realised this morning that I’d neglected to take any photos of my current project. In fact the Rav page was entirely blank.

Time to fix this.

first photo of this WIP, oops. #knitting #wip #orange

This is a V-neck, raglan-sleeved cardigan (codename: Oxide), in a blend of 50/50 wool/cotton. It is going to have pockets and sparkly buttons.

I’ve been working on this for about a month, but due to NaNoWriMo, progress has been fairly slow. At first glance, knitting might seem incompatible with writing, but I’ve spent a lot of time with it on my lap, picking it up to do a dozen stitches while pondering a suitable word. It’s sort of a comfort blanket, really. Good for deflecting inner editor attacks. And cold legs.

You may remember my initial post about this cardigan, in which I demonstrated my typical, concise, pattern notation. Well, I’ve never met a pattern I haven’t changed, and this is no different. I discovered that I had mis-under-estimated my upper arm measurements, so had to amend for that. I also tweaked the neck shaping to give it more of a scoop, instead of the plain V I was initially planning.

ball o' yarn on my shoulder. totally not weird. #knitting #wip #orange

Looks like I’ve managed to get the underarm C/Os right. The past couple of raglan sleeves I’ve done, I’ve had to cast on too many stitches under the arms. They fit, but they don’t lie flat or fold very well. I think this (only four stitches cast on) will do nicely.

Other projects:

You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but NaNoWriMo is still ongoing and I’m still ahead. In fact I broke 40,000 words last night, which was nice. The end is in sight. Now if only I knew what was supposed to happen at the end of the book. sigh

Let’s not mention sewing. cough

Also the socks and shawl are still around. Somewhere. I think. cough again

So. How’re your WIPs treating you?

Ravellenic misjudgement.

So, ‘Knitting while watching the Olympics’ kinda turned into ‘Watching the Olympics while browsing Tumblr for amusing gifs and memes’.


I’m not sure what my favourite one was. Probably this one of Epke Zonderland’s epic high bar routine.

Zonderland's routine gif

Though, McKayla is Not Impressed certainly provided some hilarity.

Fortunately, the scarf I was working on was always an unofficial Ravellenics project, so I don’t feel the need to apologise to the public for letting them down. And the Paralympics are still to come, so I do get a bit more time to finish this off.

Day 'oops I forgot to keep track of days or even keep knitting :D #ravellenics

This is as far as I got, by Friday, I think. I stormed through the beginning section, only to slow down dramatically as Tumblr got more interesting, and as I realised I’d have to design an edging on the fly. It was going to be a tall order to finish off an entire scarf’s worth of edging by the end of the closing ceremony, even if I had decided how I wanted to do it. Triangles? Nupps? Flowers? Leaves? I have no idea.

This is why I should always plan a project from beginning to end before I start it. One day, I will take that lesson to heart and apply it to my life. One day.

Ah well.

As I wander off to research edgings for scarves with I-forget-how-many-but-probably-not-a-conveniently-divisible-number-of stitches, I’ll leave you with a pic of another visitor kitty, from another postcode, who is probably the floofiest of the floofy cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Another visitor kitty, this one with some serious floof.

Kitty body language is hilarious. This is my favourite ‘I sort of want the attention of a belly rub but I don’t want you thinking I am not the majestic creature I believe myself to be, so I will partially reveal said belly to invite attention but keep my jaws and claws ready to BITEATTACK if I feel you’re enjoying it too much’ pose.

PS I came away from the situation with no broken skin so HA HA HA, floofycat, I win. 😀

WIP Wednesday: advancing cable socks

I’ve gotten some good work in on the socks recently, despite the best efforts of the neighbourhood kitty.

Hahaha no.

It’s a good job she’s so cute.

Turns out, you get quite a lot of sock out of a skein of Wollmeise. 150g goes further than you think it might. I’m just over halfway through the skein, and about halfway up my calf.

You get a lot of sock out of a skein of Wollmeise. Only halfway through it.

I’m just going to keep going until I run out, I think. I’m hoping to get them to just-under-knee height, which will be perfect for my big boots and wellies. So seasonal!

This yarn (and pattern) has an awful lot of stretch in it. I’ve done no increases for the calf yet, but the cable’s not in the least bit distorted. I’ll probably put a few in, just for safety, but wow. I’m impressed. I’m doing the back of the leg in 3×1 rib, both because it looks better next to the stocking stitch panel, and so I can transition into a 1×1 rib for the cuff. I thought that would limit the elasticity but it seems not to be the case. Yay!

Ooh, and check out the latest visitor to my garden office.

Froggy! Or toady, idk, I'm not an expert.

Froggy! Or a toad, not sure which. I thought visitorkitty was playing with a leaf, until the leaf leapt about three feet across the garden in one go. So I distracted her for long enough for it to make a (very slow) escape down the garden. Hopefully it’s found a nice damp home down by the compost heap with all the slugs and spiders and other delicious froggy noms.

How are your projects going on this fine WIP Wednesday?

WIP Wednesday: My First Wollmeise


I’ve started the Wollmeise socks. I’m doing my usual structure: toe-up, with turned toe and heel. I was planning on a plain foot and then starting the cable centred just above the anklebone but the foot needed some elasticity, so I figured an offset cable would be better.

Coming along nicely.

The stitch pattern is called ‘Pleated Diamonds’ according to my stitch book. I’m sassing it up a bit by alternating stocking stitch and moss stitch for the centres of the diamonds. Lots of C4Ls and T4Rs, but it’s relatively straightforward. I’m working two at a time on two circs, so on the cable rows I’ve got needles and yarn and everything coming out of my ears. I think I’d term it ‘pleasantly involved’. 😀

I’m liking the ‘meise. I think it would work better on 2.25mm needles, but I only have dpns in that size and my hands are far too dry and cold to deal with being poked repeatedly by sharp pieces of bamboo. It’s a little less dense than I’d like, but I’m getting good stitch definition so I can let that slide.

The sewing WIPs are still sulking in the corner, but I’m back up to running 4 miles now so with any luck, the surprise!inch around my backside will piss off and let me enjoy (and finish) my dress.

NB you may notice in the picture above a hint of a fluffy sleeve. That’s my open cardigan which is made from yarn which is 70% wool, 30% alpaca. I am wearing alpaca in July. I thought the winter wear during Me Made May was bad but this is ridiculous. :-/

WIP Wednesday: Macbeth edition

This week I’ve mostly been disrespectin’ the hell outta Shakespeare.

Suck it up, Shakespeare!

Look at that. Shameful it is. I’ve gone so far as to make a Flickr tag specifically for the purposes of showing my contempt for everything the rest of the world holds dear. I am a disgrace.

Anyway. Let’s talk WIPs.

Leek is brought to you by Lady Macbeth… ‘out, damned hair, out I say’ because I keep knitting stray hairs into it (ew), and ‘what, will this sleeve ne’er be complete?’ because augh.

leek, WIP, STILL.

As you can see, I’m nearly there, but the knitting and the weather have conspired to kill my joints, so, ouch. Probably serves me right for all this dissin’ I’ve been doing.

In anticipation of the completion of this sleeve, however, I decided to treat myself with some dyeing. So, brought to you by the three witches, look upon my cauldron and tremble.

wool of bat is fine, but keep the baboon's blood out of it

This is some rather fabulous un-dyed sparkleyarn I picked up a while back. I thought it was about time I risked un-fabulousing it. I’m not sure what the colourway is going to be called… it’s supposed to be Silver-Footed Thetis but it’s looking a little bit too dark for that. I may have to revise it to Frightful Eris. Maybe even Wicked Erichtho. Only time, washing, rinsing and drying will tell which name is best suited. Three litres of boiling water takes a REALLY long time to cool down and I want to know NOW, dammit.

Sewing WIPs: I guess they’re Banquo’s ghost, lurking in the corner to drive me insane though invisible to everyone else. Shh, man. You’re making me make myself look bad. And I do a good enough job of that on my own.

Writing WIPs: I have about a bajillion short stories but they’re all… what’s the right word. Crap? No. Goofy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream of one day writing a serious, weighty masterpiece of literature but at the moment it’s all ‘lol what if [insert stupid and probably unoriginal idea here]’ inspired by forum posts and random thoughts. So, in Macbeth terms, let’s call them the Porter, the comedy interlude both in the Serious Business Of Knitting As Documented In This Blog and in the eventual course of my writing. Maybe. If I ever successfully harness the power of the roomful of monkeys in my brain.

WIP Wednesday: Leek

Hey! I remembered WIP Wednesday on an actual Wednesday! Woo!

I am a large part of the way through Leek now. Unfortunately, all the good bits are done, and I’m now on to the sleeves. I thought I was being smart by doing the button band early. Nope.

Note to self: sleeves are not an afterthought. In fact long sleeves comprise about 1/3 of the total area of fabric being knitted. Stop kidding yourself, and factor them into the knitting time.

Fortunately, iPlayer is full of awesome Shakespearean stuff at the moment, so I have plenty to watch while I knit. I got a good 6″ of sleeve done while watching Richard II, the first instalment of the Hollow Crown series (here’s an iPlayer link, if you’re in the right country, highly recommended), so I’m looking forward to the Henries. Though I will be amazed if I manage to tear my attention away from the screen long enough to get my decreases in the right place. Fine actors prancing around the screen, absent-mindedly chewing on scenery and declaiming their hearts out.

Back to the WIPs.


It’s taking shape, though a slightly different one than I intended. I complained a while back that my gauge changed completely between swatch and project, and I’m ending up with a cardigan bigger than I wanted. I fear I know why that occurred. I am currently using a 3mm needle, but I think I did the swatch on a 2.75mm. Oopsie. Still, it’s not looking bad for it.

Technically I have another couple of sewing WIPs in the form of the dress that I outgrew while making it, and the dressing gown I started in sunnier times and then put aside because thinking is hard. But the dress is going to have to wait until I can fit my backside back in it (note to self: this is why you need to run more), and the dressing gown… well, thinking is hard.

Also, as a non-fibre-artsy WIP, I have the next story for Short Story Saturday/Sunday written and awaiting some pruning because at 2000 words, I think it’s a bit long. I mean, that’s fine for a story, but far too long for a blog post. I see red pen and dramatic sighs in my future. Wish me luck!

Give me strength.

I began work earlier in the week on a flowery, cap-sleeved top.
To be precise, a Butterick B4799, view C, in an amusingly garish faux-Liberty print. This one, in fact.

The extremely subtle fabric I'll be using in my next project.

Huge picture required to do justice to the pattern.

I’ve had the fabric for ages, and not quite managed to work out what I want to do with it. Now that I’ve started this top… I’m still not sure. The fabric was fine flat, but once the started to take shape…

Yeah. Not 100% about this one. XD

Don’t like it.

I didn’t really know what to do. My crafting intuition screamed, threw its hands up in the air and ran away, and was urging me to do the same. It’s difficult for me, in these situations. My crafting intuition is always right. So many times I’ve ended up kicking myself because I haven’t listened to it. So now it’s hard not to immediately jump when it calls.

I was just about to throw in the towel, when an article in the Sew Weekly leapt out at me – 10 things I’ve learned: Loran. The first on the list was this:

Don’t judge the unfinished project. They can turn out either surprisingly well…or not. But finishing means you’ve seen the process all the way through and that alone is worth it.

Well. I’ve always been one to follow the urgings of the internet (see: any monthly challenge I’ve ever entered) so dutifully, I continued.

But I’m still not sure.

Still not convinced.

I suppose that, unlike the dummy, I will be wearing it with other clothing, so it won’t be quite so HAI I AM TEH FUGLY. It will be more psst I am teh fugly teehee now look at the rest of the outfit pls. Buuutttt I don’t know. I want to finish because the internet said so… but I also don’t want to prove my intuition wrong. If I can’t trust my intuition, what can I trust?

Fortunately, Leek is coming on a little better, though my gauge changed between my swatch and the actual thing so it’s coming out a little bigger than anticipated. A minor irritation, in comparison with the psychological torment already discussed.

This, however, is coming along quite nicely.

Any tips for keeping strong in the face of screaming intuition? Also any moral support and outfit suggestions welcomed. 😀

*Exactly* what I hoped would happen.

I mentioned the other day in my post Plugging the Gaps that I’d ordered some fabric.

Well, I couldn’t wait.

Ancient ribbon stash is somewhat grubbier than I'd hoped.

This is the beginnings of a Butterick B4685, view D (the yellow one.) I had a single metre of a plain cream cotton lawn in my stash, and though the necessary elastic hadn’t arrived, I dug out some lace and organza ribbon from my bag o’notions and made a start. I like the way the slight grubbiness makes it look a bit vintage; but it really isn’t. The ribbon came from Robert Sayles in Cambridge and the lace from Birmingham Indoor Market. Though… the ribbon must be 10 years old by now. Honorary vintage?

I’d hoped to have it finished for wear this weekend, but that proved an excessively ambitious thought. Still, it’s mostly taken shape:

Not bad for a day's work...

I’ll do a pattern review once I’m done with it. But for the moment, as it’s not finished and I’m now away for the weekend, I may have to call in a MMM cheat day.

Speaking of weekends away… after the horror of the last weekend I spent away without any projects in tow, I was careful to set up a new project well in advance.

All I could manage before my hands started hurting. :-/

This is going to be a raglan cardigan in a wool blend 4 ply, originally planned with short sleeves purely because I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn to give it longer ones. As it is a knitting pattern and therefore needs an esoteric name, it is currently codenamed ‘Leek’.

With regards to future projects, the fabric I ordered on Wednesday arrived at lunchtime Friday. I came back from the gym to find the delivery guy trying to give it to my neighbours. I retrieved it and hugged it close. One of the fabrics is even more intense hideous bold than I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to get on to that one. 😀

To conclude this rambling post, and explain what I meant by the title; it’s this. I hoped that Me Made May would spark my creativity, and give me a bit of a prod into turning some of those ideas into reality. It’s already doing both of those things! Plans and patterns that have been lying around for absolutely years are finally seeing the light of day and being turned into real, live objects. I’m really happy. 🙂