I have to know – does anyone pace their knitting? To keep an even balance between things that are newly cast on, projects that are on their way, things that are nearing complete, and finished objects?
I…don’t. I went through a period of finishing a bunch (for me) of things, and nothing else is likely to be complete for some time. Part of this is gauge. When I cast on a hat that’s in dk or worsted weight, it’s typically not going to take me more than a few days’ knitting, and at that point, I charge through to the end. When it’s a pair of socks or a shawl, I know that the project is going to take a while, and I cast on other things to keep me from getting bored with any one vanilla sock or heavily-charted lace shawl.
First FO, which I’d been working on since April (sort of) was my second vanilla sock in the Regia Arne & Carlos design line, specifically in the Twilight / 3654 colorway. I did what has become my standard for vanilla socks for myself in fingering weight wool that’s pretty normally-thick: 68 stitches on size 1 / 2.25 mm needles, with a 2×2 ribbing at the cuff, and a reinforced heel flap and gusset. The yardage for a 100-gram skein of Regia is fantastic, and so I knit fairly long legs and still didn’t use up the entire skein. (In examining my stash of ends of sock-weight skeins, it looks like it will soon be time to pick a sock-yarn blanket that’s knit in a modular way to work on long term and use it all up.) I do not typically find myself drawn to self-patterning yarn, but I’m apparently very suggestible when it comes to what everyone’s doing on Instagram, and not only do I love the cheery yellow and coral patterns, I might have a second skein in the bright blue / Moon Night colorway, waiting to be a pair of socks for the husband.
Speaking of the husband. C gets a pair of socks every time he finishes a novel (and occasionally for anniversaries, like our second, which was the cotton anniversary per those sites that outline traditional anniversary gifts, and which resulted in a pair of grass green cotton socks for him), and as busy as he’s been with work and his parents, it’s been a while since he completed one. But he did, finally, and so a pair of socks was cast on. I’ve had some Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet in my stash for a while, with no idea how it would knit up. One of the colors is definitely for me, but after diving through my stash to find all the yarns I’d had earmarked for C, I pulled the Sunflower colorway, which is yellows and golds and browns and teals. So pretty! I love the way it striped in a spiral, and even more, I love how soft and smooth it was to work with. It’s 100% superwash merino, and that lack of nylon content does worry me a bit. But it’s lovely yarn that I’ve been enjoying the hell out of knitting, and when I checked on Ravelry, it turned out that I took exactly a month and a day from casting on the first to finishing the second, so they flew.
The next thing off the needles is that gotta-finish-now sort of knit – the Traveling Cables hat in a heathered, deep red shade of Cascade 220 superwash. One of my friends had mentioned how cold it was at her desk at work, and as someone whose desk is under a vent in my own office, I can relate. But knitters are a little crazy, and when a knitworthy friend mentions being cold, the very next thing out of our mouths is “do you want a hat?” Reader, she did want a hat. Not slouchy, and preferably in a red or berry color. Easy peasy. I’d had my eye on this pattern for a while, so I ordered some superwash yarn in a color that felt Lauren, cast on, skipped one of the cable repeats (horizontally) so that the hat would be fitted with the brim folded over, and cast off. It wasn’t an instant knit by any stretch – the ribbing for the brim wasn’t a standard 2×2 or 3×1 or anything, and every other round of the body of the hat had cables. But it was so satisfying to see the cables bend and curve around, so if the hat didn’t exactly fly, neither was it a long-term sort of project. I hope the recipient likes it!
The final thing off the needles for a while is a sock for my mother-in-law. Gosh, is this yarn a pain! I’m probably not using it correctly (it’s rated for much bigger needles on the label for starters), but I’m getting a gauge that’s perfectly acceptable for the Almondine sock pattern that I’m making. It’s a little thick-and-thin, there’s no wool in the yarn, it twists around itself in a strange 2-ply that bunches up on itself as I knit, and it’s driving me up the wall to the point that I nearly ripped the sock off the needles and tossed the yarn, and now that I finished the first sock I’m definitely procrastinating getting the next one cast on. The only thing I like about this yarn is the colors, which are just gorgeous; I also like the Almondine pattern, which is the same pattern I used for the socks I knit my grandmother for her 90th birthday – it’s pretty lace, and has lots of stretch. I hope I have the patience to knit the mate; and after this, since I can’t knit wool, I just won’t knit anymore socks for my MIL.
Still on the needles are a couple second socks (and honestly, I’m having a hard time not casting on a new pair just to have more than 2 socks going at once), a hat that’s in finer yarn than I normally use, and a second mitt. But I don’t think I’ll get another FO parade until considerably later in the year, so I’m determined to bask in the glow of this one for a while. And maybe think about pacing myself better for the rest of the year.