Celtic Memory is thoroughly ashamed of herself. Appalled would not be too strong a word. Lack of moral fibre, lack of any restraint whatsoever, a complete inability to stick to one thing and get it done. Or even two things. Or three.
This morning the sun was shining brightly through the window as it occasionally does during an Irish summer. It hadn't done so for a few weeks, and the resultant illumination was a nasty shock. The number of WIPs piled, draped, perched all over the dining room was frightening. No, really I mean it. Far, far too many. Socks, scarves, jackets, vests - how had things come to this pretty pass? I hauled no fewer than seven (count 'em, seven) out on to the table and into the merciless sunlight.
That, by the way, in case you're wondering, is the total of WIPs actually on view, touchable, ready to hand, in one room. No mention is being made of WIPs ageing in quiet corners, living out their lives in forgotten baskets or plastic storage boxes elsewhere in the house (or indeed car). We're only talking here of the ones on the top of the iceberg.
Enough!, I cried. There will be no more of this. Every single one of these WIPs currently on view will be finished, completed, ticked off the list before ANYTHING new is started. And by heaven I have every intention of keeping to that resolution. Forget New Year promises, this is a mid-July crisis and it's got to be sorted right NOW. No two ways about it. And why am I telling you? Well, not just so that you can enjoy a good laugh at my expense - no, I'm hoping that by coming out of the closet and confessing, I'll put myself in the position where I have to do something or look a right eejit. You'll be watching me, I'll have to!
Here, then, are the Seven Deadly WIPs.
Item One: A wrap, shawl or stole in light soft mohair boucle in a particularly gorgeous colourway of greens and turquoises and blues. It has an angled edge which pleased me exceedingly when I worked out how to do it, and when finished it will look devastating over a dark jacket or sweater. Simplicity itself to work, ideal for TV watching or long journeys.
Started: Last February, in a fever of enthusiasm, when I bought the hand-dyed skein.
Progress: about halfway. Hard to tell - there's a lot of yardage in this ball. It gets finished when the yarn does.
Item Two. A cabled cropped jacket in a blue mousse merino used double or treble or something, can't remember without going to look. Got some ideas from Elsebeth Lavold's Ragna sweater, but mostly this is my own design and I was very excited about it. There are several separate pieces or flaps which come together about six inches up the body, and the sleeves also have slits at the cuff end. Once the second sleeve is up to where it should be, the whole lot will go on one needle for raglan shaping to the neck. Haven't decided what to do then.
Started: Around January, I think.
Progress: More than three-quarters done.
Item Three. Zauberball socks in progress. This is Nancy Bush's Conwy pattern and very nice it is too.
Started: After UK Ravelry Day, where I scored the yarn, that very evening in fact. Because I was travelling, I didn't follow my usual practice of winding the yarn into two equal balls and working both socks at the same time, so there is a distinct risk of Second Sock Syndrome.
Progress: You can see for yourself. Not much more of the foot to do on Sock One. So what's keeping me?
Item Four. Tofutsies socks. These are my mixed media socks, with the tubes worked on the sock machine and then the tops, toes and heels added afterwards. (By the way, the Tofutsies, though a little fine for my liking in handwork, is just great on the sock machine, so I'm in the market for some more if anyone has any to trade for some of my hand-dyed).
Started: June sometime. The tubes take about ten minutes to knit (don't you just hate people who have sock machines?)
Progress: Again, you can see for yourself. One sock complete with ribbing, toe, and afterthought heel. Second has toe and most of the ribbing done; still the delicate and worrying task of snipping a stitch and unpicking the heel stitches so as to work the afterthought remains.
Item Five. The Noro Shawl. The pattern is the Weavers' Wool Mini Shawl by Peggy Pignato and the Silk Garden Sock shows off to excellent advantage in the simple design. Of course, at the beginning, you forget how many stitches there are going to be by the time you get even halfway...
Started: After UK Ravelry Day, again having scored the yarn.
Progress: Hard to tell. Another good yardage ball, so we'll see how far we get before it's time to cast off.
Item Six. The Mermaid Vest, inspired by Jane Thornley's beautiful Sunset Vest. This one demands so many different yarns, it was taking up space in a wide basket.
Started: Last summer sometime, when somebody had the bright idea of a Jane Thornley KAL.
Progress: You can see it on the right of the picture; had been working upwards from the bottom in stripes, but when I'd laid it out to take a picture, I realised that this was begging to be worked sideways - far more effective. Frogging will be quite a problem, since there were several yarns used in each row. But it would be a real showstopper when done. MUST get on with it, and never mind that it's a recipe for frustration, tangling and long long late nights painstakingly undoing knots.
Item Seven. The St. Enda cropped cabled jacket. This one really embarrassed me. I suddenly decided that what I should be doing was knitting items I actually needed in the wardrobe rather than shiny new distractions, took some thought, and settled on a good crop jacket in a dark colour. A staple, something like that would be, could wear it anywhere, with anything. Went virtuously off to the stash to find an appropriate yarn and pattern, saw some rough notes for St. Enda... and realised that I'd done this already, last year.
(To tell the truth, I've done it more than once. There are several charcoal or black jacket WIPs hanging around, but I haven't had the strength of will to look for the others - afraid what I'll find. And yes, there is a cream cashmere/silk St. Enda sweater also OTN, but in another room, therefore not counted during this penitential exercise.)
Started: At least a year ago, I would suspect.
Progress: Back up to the armholes. One front, with integrated side slit and pocket, plus cabled button band, almost up to the same point. Another front (this time with buttonholes), and two sleeves to get to home base, after which the entire thing will be worked as one raglan piece to the neck. Which may well have a cabled strip collar.
Seven deadly WIPs. Each one begun in a white heat of lust, greed, envy, whatever. Each one laid down just for a minute while something else caught the eye. Each one left to languish.
It's not good enough. Here comes the vow.
I, Celtic Memory, do hereby undertake most solemnly not to take on, examine, get distracted by, even consider ANY knitting (or crochet or quilting or weaving or spinning, you can't get out of it like that) project until each and every one of the seven listed above has been fully and totally completed (and yes, that does include sewing up AND the attachment of buttons, yes, even blocking where necessary).
In confirmation of which, I hereby append my X.
Hang on though, there is some achievement to report. Late last night, and well before expected completion time, the EZ Ribwarmer Vest MkIII made its appearance!
Simply cannot believe this got finished, and that it actually fits! Cut down on stitches and rows to get it to size, and might go down even more on the next try. Had intended to work i-cord all round the edges, which would have taken several more days, but in the end went for a simple crochet effect, which did a very good job of evening out the bulges which tend to appear where the short rows turn the corners.
Here's a back view. You might be able to see the rain battering at the windows. If I'd only slept late this morning, I'd have missed the sunshine altogether, wouldn't have noticed the burgeoning WIPs in the gloom, and you wouldn't be reading this now.
The next posting will chart progress. And perhaps a little sneak peek at The Seven Deadly Temptations which will do their utmost to upset that progress...