Sunday, July 12, 2009

Seeing Off The Seven Deadly WIPs

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.





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...

35 comments:

Helen said...

'm trying to do the same thing...It's sort-of working. Sort-of. I did start a Hemlock, because the Loaghtan wool was yelling at me out of the cupboard and I couldn't ignore it any longer. Now if I can finish the darn Must-Have cardi...

Cornflower said...

Go on, Jo, you can do it .... and we're all here to make sure you do!

Windybrook Spinner said...

The rib warmer is wonderful. I went through something similar a few months ago, but there were only five WIP's. I managed to finish them all and it was a great feeling. Best of luck!

Linda said...

It can be disheartening, or a least confusing. So many wonderful things to do, then so many things begging to be done. How to choose when they are all wonderful? For what it's worth, I made the Weaver's mini shawl or mini weaver's shawl, whatever it's called, and it is my favorite shawl. Fits so comfy and looks great. Stays put easily.

Onward, Jo! You can do it. Hope I can. lol

Brianna said...

I totally admire people who have WIPs going constantly! I can't seem to get un-anal enough to do it!

Jean said...

Ok, maybe I don't feel so bad about my unfinished socks, I need to be more organized about them as I don't always use the same size needle that is on the pattern and tend to forget which size I used. So I'm not sure that some of the other socks will get done. Your blog is so entertaining and you have some beautiful projects. Ther mermaid vests is fascinating -I do hope you post a completed photos of this one. I am quite curious!

bkat said...

Oh, Jo, you are SO FUNNY! Surely you have a few more sunshine days to look forward to before summer draws to a close. Find your sunglasses and put them on so you won't be too blinded by all those WIPs!

More importantly, heartiest congratulations on completing the Rib Hugger. I knew you could do it!!! It is charming, even without the I-cord. You were a real sport about the challenges that it presented, and I hereby award you a small virtual trophy for this knitting success!

Three cheers from Idaho to Ireland!

Evelyn said...

OOO, that's tough love! I think maybe one or two of those (maybe the mermaid one?) should just be frogged and forgotten. And if you finish 2, you should definitely reward yourself with a little something. A skein of cashmere, perhaps...

KiniaCat Crafts said...

Congratulations on the Ribwarmer (quite spiffy!) and on the pledge to complete the 7 dynamic WIPs.
They look lovely and we're looking forward to viewing the completed projects!
Good knitting and finishing to you, KiniaCat.

Susan said...

Tofutsies for hand dyed?? no problem. How much do you want?..lol I am building my retirement stash. Check the web for colour #'s and I would be happy to send you a packet.
I am learing of looking into bags in my "yarn room" afraid of what I may find... This has reminded me of a vest that MUST be knit for a fall gift. HMMM now where did I put that? Drop me a line re the tofutsies...suzanknits@sympatico.ca

Ruth said...

Uh huh. Yeah. OK. And WHERE is the gansey? The one we were all going to knit, the one on Ravelry that everyone was determined to make? I don't see it!

Mine, of course, just needs the ribbing on one sleeve, the other sleeve picked up and knitted. the sweater I started last December.

Just wait until you find a gorgeous new yarn. Mwahahahaha!

skepweaver said...

All right! Rib Warmer achieved! Great job, Jo.

Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) said...

Congratulations on completing the ribwarmer, Jo!! That's one charcoal/black vest for your closet!

CraftyGryphon said...

Good luck, Jo! You can do it! (And if you can't, it's okay. Sometimes the yarn whispers to me, too. We won't get into how many unfinished objects I have...)

But I'll keep my fingers crossed for you (when I'm not knitting, that is)!

LaurieM said...

Oh Jo! I think your only sin is in being too hard on yourself. What happened lately that made you feel like you have to beat yourself up?

Do you knit for pleasure, or what?

KiniaCat Crafts said...

I'm very tickled that I could help to inspire a knitter of your caliber to knit for the Sock Museum! (I'm living vicariously through better knitters!)
Keep in mind - if all the museum socks have been claimed or they don't have one that appeals to you - you can suggest a pattern/historical sock that can be added to the museum.
I wonder if they have any socks for the museum knit via an elderly, restored sock machine?
Much good luck to you!!

Brianna said...

I have been in a bit of a knitting funk lately, and I believe it's due entirely to UFO guilt. The last time this happened, it led to a wicked case of finisheritis which, though far from complete, miraculously lasted through the frogging and complete reworking of an afgan *and* a sweater. It was liberating and has led to a whole new series of beautiful UFOs ;) I hope it is a great relief for you as well!

Lynda the Guppy said...

You can do it! I have faith. LOL

And in case you need encouragement, there's a group on Ravelry called "2009 Basket o' Shame Along". I'm in it (I'm fishwithsticks if you can't find the group. You can get there through my profile). Our goal is to admit to the items in the Basket of Shame and to finish them by the end of the year.

Come join us!

tmjackson said...

Good luck, and the vest looks beautiful!

Knitting Out Loud said...

I say the more WIPs the better! A project for each season, weather, time of day, mood, attention, and on and on...

Alexandra said...

Hallo Jo,

I'm writting to tell you that you have an award on my blog. I like your blog and your works are great inspiration for me although I've been knitting seldom only :)

Regards, Alexandra

MLJ1954 said...

Ah, but you do such beautiful work. And the yarns are lovely. And, I can see why you would get distracted from one to the other . . . I am convinced that I have knitters ADHD, oh, look something shiny (or soft or luscious) . . .

SunshineDreams said...

I'm glad it's not just me...

Sarah-potterknitter said...

Good luck! All of those are very worthy of becoming FOs.

Suzy In Oklahoma said...

Thank you! I feel so much better ..... I only have 3 WIPs right now! I'm still pretty new at this, all things considered, so at least I know that I'm "normal"!!

Roggey said...

I think I hit my limit at 5 WIPs and then I have to finish at least 3 of them before I start something new...but it's so hard to be good! My fingers are crossed for you!

Nancy Knitski said...

Oh I am in good company!

lilymarlene said...

Just had a hugely entertaining half hour catching up here. I'd love to go to Iceland with you....! What a place!
And thanks for making me feel lots better about my WIPs. I haven't got as many as you, so I can stop worrying. After all, we do need a bit of variety when we sit down to entertain ourselves with needles and yarn. Who for goodness sake only watches one type of TV programme in an evening? This is similar....

lea-ann mcgregor said...

which will you start working on though?? When I listed my "Top Ten UFO's", the helpers made me figure out which was the closest to being done and I started there. The snowball effect of finishing things was incredible. I'm glad to say only one UFO is now pending and put away until another day and I have started a new top ten list, not of UFOs but new project I'm starting for the season. UGH!

Dianne MacDonald said...

Oh my, I don't think I want to even guess how many WIP's I have, much less count them! You have inspired me to find my unfinished rib-warmer and start knitting on it again! I really enjoyed reading your blog.

BB said...

Because instant gratification is helpful in encouraging WIPs to become Finished, I suggest you start with the Tofutsie socks.
And yes, quite envious of your sock machinery.

EGunn said...

If you do manage to avoid temptation, you will have some beautiful FOs! Can't wait to see them. =)

Kathy said...

Yes - I understand completely. I had a languishing WIP - a set of fingerless mitts from a single ball of lovely laceweight merino. I had worked on the first and got worried about having enough yarn. I finally put it on a piece of waste yarn and weighed the unfinished mitts vs. the remaining ball of merino. I figure when they weigh the same, it's time to stop the first and start the second. That way, I won't have to frog too much .... Perhaps you could do this for your socks...

DeAnn said...

Kudos, and how is it coming along? You have inspired me to do the same. I started a grow or go policy. I now have new old yarn from the frogged projects, nicely washed and re-skeined. Several finished projects. A few (hundred:)shelved projects with the pattern included this time.
Jo, have you thought about putting an rss feed on your website? If you have one I have not found the subscribe button, which isn't suprising looking back at all my knitting mistakes, in the frogged tangle.
Have a great week, can't wait to see the progress on the finished projects.

Martha said...

Love your blog....and feel a bit of a kindred spirit when it comes to WIPs....Starting if SO much fun--finishing, not so much....
How about an update on how it's going....I'm looking for inspiration to do the same....