So many knitters dread deadline knitting, and yet, we all create crazy deadlines for our knitting. It seems that most knitters hate deadline knitting but I kind of thrive on it.
I find when there is no deadline I have no incentive to finish the project (hence the number of UFO’s languishing in my house). It’s all well and good when the deadline is reasonable. For reasons unclear to me knitters lose all grasp of the realities of time and space when it comes to knitting projects. For me, there are 3 types of deadling knitting – 1. KALs; 2. projects for me; 3. gifts and/or commissioned pieces. I take KALs the least serious – I try to get it done but if I don’t it just joins the rest of the UFOs.
For projects with actual deadlines I go about it two different ways depending on the type of project. For shawls, other projects where the rows will continue to grow as the project grows I take the total number of rows in the project divided by the number of days I have to complete it. Bearing in mind that if I can jump ahead when the rows are short it will make up for the time when the rows become a slog.
On the other hand, if the project is a finite width I will time how long it takes to do a row and then figure out how much total time it will take to finish the project. And then I divide the total number of hours by the number of days I have to knit it. If I know I won’t or can’t get to it every day I will actually schedule the knitting in my planner so I know which days I need to work on it and how long that day I need to spend on it. This has worked very well when I’ve done mermaid lapghans. I can’t knit on those every day because the bulky yarn and large needle size bothers my thumb so I literally schedule time over the course of weeks I have to complete it.
I’m currently working on what I’ve been calling Project Crazy. I cast on the Arrosa shawl from the Spring issue of PomPom Quarterly and was just knitting on it when I felt like it. And then I found out I had a spring event where I would like to wear it so I went into deadling knitting mode. It’s currently the only thing I knit on and I figured out that I need to knit 4 rows per day to finish in time to block and wear. This weekend I’ve had some extra knitting time and so have really knit ahead as it were but I’m also nearing the end so those rows are getting long and I know next weekend me will really thank this weekend me for plowing through now. Either way, I know it will be done and will not be languishing so I do enjoy that aspect of deadline knitting.
Well, I’m working my way through the list of 17! I finished my 5th UFO this month which meant new cast on (more on that later!). Back to the FO’s, I’ll start with what else has been crossed off the list.
First up is The Turtles’ Journey Shawl by Heather Anderson. I started this as part of a KAL in 2015 and definitely did not finish it before the KAL ended. It reminded me of my trip to Hawaii and I just loved it. I used Blue Sky Baby Alpaca that was part of one of my rummage sale hauls. I had a lot of it so I decided to make the larger size (bad move!). This thing is gigantic and still needs blocking but at least the knitting is done. It’s a fun knit but does require concentration. And, while I thought that a picot bind off was my least favorite, I think a knitted on border is my least favorite cast off, especially on a shawl of this size!
Next thing I finished from the list is the Head in the Clouds hat by Jess Kallberg. This was one of those patterns that swepts through my knitting group like a 24 hour bug. It calls for Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails and is a really fun, really quick knit. Once I picked it up I finished it in a weekend. It would also be a good way to use up scraps or other mini skeins that you have hanging around.
Last, but certainly not least, I finished 2 preemie hats. I’ve talked about the Into the Wool Fiber Retreat I will be attending in September. As part of that retreat there are a number of pre-retreat KALs going on. The charity KAL is collecting preemie caps for a local NICU. So, no pattern involved here, I just found some acryllic in my stash and cast on and knit until it looked big enough. You will see my sizing varies, but so so the sizes of babies’ heads 🙂 I’m hoping to get a least one done per month leading up to the retreat.
I’m hoping to get a few more things done in April but I’m on track to get rid of that never-ending UFO list by the end of the year. I’m also hopeful that in April I can get back to my usual posting schedule and reading time – fingers crossed!
Another month and two more FO’s! That makes 4 for the year and I’m almost to five which means I can cast on something new. At this point, I’m still getting a finishing high so while I have my eye on a few things I’m planning on keeping it up.
My first FO is the Kindness Shawl by Jaala Spiro. This was designed for her Knit Circus gradient yarn, and as much as I really want to get my hands on that I stuck to my “use stash” rule. In my stash I had a gradient kit from Fiber Optics Yarn that I bought at Estes Park in the Wild Thyme colorway. I had been waiting for just the right thing for it and this was it! The pattern called for 415-430 yards of fingering and the gradient set had 450 yards.
This was my first time knitting with a number of mini skeins and I thought I was going to run out of yarn the whole time I was knitting. Those little skeins don’t seem to go so far but I had plenty. I wanted to make sure I used all the colors so I added an extra lace repeat and ended up with a teeny, tiny ball left so it was perfect! Wild Thyme goes from a blue/purple to a bright, light green.
The pattern is free! I’m not sure if it was the mini skeins or the pattern or the combo but it was a really fun knit. The nice folks at Knit Circus are running a KAL for the pattern and are donating to two different charities for the first 100 finished shawls through March 1st. Spreading more knitting kindness through the world.
I still need to block out the lace but it’s pretty even before blocking!!!
My other FO is a little less exciting. I’m hoping to replace all my worn out (and poorly knit) dishclothes. I did this one real quick – it’s the Citrus Slice Dishcloth by Bernat. I used some kitchen cotton from my stash. I saw on Instagram Colorado Knits is knitting a montly themed dishcloth each month for a friend and I loved this idea so I may get some more cotton and figure out some more monthly themes. I think this lemon slice is perfect for June!
So, quick list update:
- SBB Mitts – which was part of the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long – DONE!
- Rainy Season Mitts – a test knit I did last year but only had to complete one mitt
- Turtle Journey Shawl – a KAL I started in 2015
- Werifesteria Shawl – a KAL I did last year
- Striped socks – started these over the summer
- Shiney Penny Cowl – I cast this on last year with handspun I got from a friend
- Derecho – the bain of my existence, I cast this on in May, 2014
- I Smell Snow socks – these are my work socks and I started them late 2016
- Christmas socks – cast on during Advent 2016
- Peace Cowl – this was the Peace-A-Long that was held during December
- Pussy Hat – for the Women’s March!!! – DONE!
- Sunny the Snowman – new pattern by Susan Claudino
- Baable hat – cast on in 2016 because I could not resist the kit put together by Knerd Shop
- Kindness Shawl – this is a KAL being hosted by Knit Circus – DONE!
- Cabled Cowl – I had this picked out and ready to go with yarn I got in Hawaii in 2014
- Citrus Slice dishcloth – I need new dishclothes and I will talk more about this during the year – DONE!
- Head in the Clouds Hat – I bought yarn for this sometime last year so decided to get it cast on so it could be part of the 17.
Moving right along!! Bonus – no new cast ons this month and no yarn bought!! Yes, I’ve gone 2 whole months so far!!!