State of The WIP

The state of my life is CRAZY! At least that's how things are in the office. Good crazy! Taking on a new job and trying to post every day may not have been a smart move and, as it is today, I have a beautiful FO to share with you and no time to write a proper post. Instead I'll show my current WIP, the beautiful Alabama Chanin market bag.


Sewing goes slowly, but I love the time I spend outlining each petal or stem. The plan is to fill the center flower with beads and add a little BLING to spice things up.
You will see bankers clips holding the edges of together. The idea came from Vicki and it was a superb plan. They're much nicer to my hands than pins and I like the weight on the edge as I sew. Excellent idea, Vicki!

You may be hearing rumors of a sweater swatch, which you should not discount. More details on all of the above when time allows.


WIP Wednesday

Although, no longer officially a WIP, we'll consider it so until there has been a proper photo shoot. 

Photo created by SketchGuru (thanks, Chris!)

To block this baby, I needed 2 blocking wires along the top (for a straight edge), 3 along the scalloped edge (to make it all the way around the half-circle), and two circular wires along the top edge of the border to keep the half-circle true. You can see the pins at the top of the shawl and at the top of the dark border. Although they are not necessary, wires make the job easier. 

I love this shawl, the yarn (Kim's Lucent), and the pattern. It took 3 months to compelte, but that's because I'm a slow knitter. It was worth every stitch! I promise a proper photo shoot as soon as possible.

The WIP Goes On

And on and on. A while ago Kim said she felt the border of Cactus Flower was never ending and it made me realized how much I had yet to knit. At this point I am 11 or 12 repeats into an 18 repeat border and, I must say, it is starting to feel endless. It wasn't until I'd reached the halfway point that my attitude changed to the "endless" feeling. 


Why had my attitude changed when I was now, actually, on the downhill side? Had I forgotten that I am all about the process? Oh yes, I love a finished project, but I also love being mindful of knitting while I knit. There is entertainment in each loop of the yarn over a needles and being conscious of the action of creating lace. Each nupp brings me joy (after it's completed) and each 38 row repeat gives pleasure, along with a feeling of accomplishment. The process of knitting is all about just that, the process.

By changing my perception, my new perspective has yielded much happier knitting time. Completing each row takes me closer to wearing this beautiful shawl over my shoulders and the advantage is I am enjoying each row as it happens. I no longer look at how far I have to go, but at how much I've accomplished.  It is the process that brings joy.


WIPing Right Along

Every once in awhile the desire to stitch comes over me and I set my knitting aside, and the Alabama Chanin project comes out to play. Stitching this piece has taken a little longer than I anticipated, but finally I'm finished with the running stitch outlines on the front of the market bag.


Truthfully, I became a little too enamored of the knots on top feature and may have  overdone it, but once again, I am reminded of the lesson that less is more. Next time I'll work to be a little more discretionary with my knots.

The feeling of excitement I felt was quite electric, as I started to cut away the fabric of the petals. I took a calming breath and cut into the first shape, watching as the gray fell away and the color behind came into view. I felt a bit of pride, as well as relief, because I can tell this finished bag is going to be grand.


When my hands grow tired of holding tiny, sharp scissors, I stitch on another piece of the bag. I have changed techniques and instead of running stitch with knots showing, I'm using the back stitch without visible knots. Thoughts of beaded petals are running through my mind, as I think of the amazing work of Mason-Dixon's Ann Shayne. Check out this blog post where Ann tells of her trips to India and Alabama, which were truly amazing in all aspects. Her resulting AC shawl is something to behold.

My stitching time is short, although I am now committed to find more time to work on this project. It would be nice if the market bag could be finished by the end of the year. There's a whole lot of hand sewing to do between now and then if it is to happen.  I hope you'll be watching my progress, as I need a little encouragement!

WIPing Wednesday

This post is about something that, as of late, has been a little foreign to my blog. Every week I spend Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon knitting with friends. Some weeks it's the only time I have to knit, but it still adds up to 4 hours of time. Plus, this past week, I knit all weekend at the Alta Knitter's Retreat and spent yet more time knitting with Kym.  I'mI feeling like good progress that's been made and hopeful the momentum will carry on. 

Of course, there has been my usual problem of repeating the same mistakes (over and over and over), which has slowed down progress, but it is the process, and I have shouldered through. In the all of it, Cactus Flower has  grown more quickly than I'd anticipated and you can count me thrilled. 


The main body was easy and fun to knit, although the nupps slowed me down a bit. Nupps aren't that hard to do, but I certainly had to pay attention. It was the two color section that gave me the most trouble, even though it's a very easy section to knit. I made it much (much!) harder than it should have been and take complete responsibility for being ditzy and not paying attention. 

The sideways knit lace border looked complicated and intimidating, but that is far from the case. The chart has been easy to read and the lace has proved very readable, too. Do you read your lace as you knit, checking your progress to see if your stitches make sense? Learning to see how the lace works from row to row has saved me through many a complicated lace shawl. I'm thrilled with the textures in Cactus Flower and the way the design sections flow together, which means it may end up another favorite shawl.

Gale's posting about her WIPs on Wednesday, so I thought I'd join her. I love the interesting and colorful projects she does.