Buckle your knitted seat belts, y'all.

OHAI. I've sat down a couple of times to write this post, but then I think nahhh and then toddle off and cast on something else, digging that blogging hole deeper and deeper until I'm pretty sure that there will be at least one project left out of this post.

Really, I feel like I just went on a casting-on bender and now it's the next morning and it's time to fish the keys out of the toilet, screw the arms of my glasses back on, eat some crackers, put on some pants, and head out to try to find the car. (This is just a metaphor.)

Let's see. Okay. I haven't talked about these yet, the Socks = Love. This picture is sucky, but even more sucky is the fact that after I took it, I spent two hours locked out on my balcony in several layers of pajamas and my husband's sneakers when it was 25F. (This is not a metaphor.)

Knit Picks Stroll in Black, 72 sts, size 1 nickel-plated needles. These are taking freaking forever, a fact that's not helped by the fact that I'm knitting pretty tightly and therefore they have some significant negative ease going on, which Husband says he likes, but makes the length downright impossible to eyeball, and I've had to rip out THREE TOES (sock toes, not Husband toes) and I'm still going. The cuff length looks good, too, until he puts them on and then they stretch width-wise and get shorter length-wise. Grr. Note to self, try 80 stitches on the next pair, if you ever finish this pair.

Next: I might have mentioned that I spent a serious amount of time after Christmas giddy at the possibility of casting on any project I wanted and upon sharing my giddy indecision with Husband and him saying that I should cast on whatever I've wanted to knit the longest, I decided to cast on a Hemlock Ring Blanket. I'm not ready to claim that it's what I've wanted to knit the longest, because that would take an archaeological dig and some creative historicism, but three skeins of Cascade Eco in Natural have been in my stash since a WEBS sale, oh, at least three years ago for this project, so it has been marinating for plenty of time.

So then I spent about seven hours (I exaggerate) winding the ball, knit 25 rows, and then haven't come back to it. I also, while photographing this project, spent an hour (I do not exaggerate) getting a back window of the apartment cracked about 4 inches, then generally making a public spectacle of myself, straining various muscles and using distinctly unladylike language while perched on the ledge of the window before realizing that there were locks preventing it from opening any further. I bruised both of my palms and also got a wicked splinter. I didn't cry, though, mostly because I was afraid the tears would freeze.

So then I got a hankering for a pair of socks on the needles. Next up in my sock queue was a pair of Springgrass socks made from Sunshine Yarn Soft Sock in the Grassroots Overdye colorway. It's been in my stash forever, and when I saw the Springgrass pattern (also forever ago), I immediately planned that pattern and yarn would go together. So I balled the yarn, called up the pattern on Ravelry, and hit a roadblock: it was toe-up and I wanted to knit cuff-down. Well, whatever, I'll just knit it backwards. That's worked before. But it had taken me a bit to even figure out that it was toe-up and not cuff-down, and then the pattern was not charted, just directions. Well, whatever, I'll just follow the written directions, that's worked before. La la la. Knitting knitting knitting. After half a repeat it was clear that the pattern didn't look great with the level of variegation in the yarn, and also the yarn seemed to be a little too thin for it and would therefore yield too small of a sock. So I frogged, decided to go with about 5 rows of garter for the top of the cuff, added a purl stitch here and there, and tried again.

Got about a repeat and a half in when I decided that that wasn't working and put it aside. I went looking for a sock pattern that called for a higher cast-on number so I could go down a needle size. I also wanted to go with the garter at the top edge because I thought it looked smashing, but I ended up chucking that plan and casting on for the larger size of Pyroclastic, which is in the latest issue of Knitty.

And get this: I decided to use size 00s.


Isn't that a pretty picture? It'd better be, because the 00s let me down - I was hoping I could use one to pick the lock that automatically locks when the balcony door closes* but that turned out to be a pipe dream. Spending several hours contemplating the possibility that I would freeze to death if I had to spend the night out there, and calculating the odds that I could get a stranger to help me escape from my second-floor balcony/fire escape/but really fire cage, considering that the bottom of it was essentially a locked metal box, and cursing myself for figuring out that it is indeed possible to lock oneself on the balcony on the one weekend in two years that my husband was out of town for three days and not, say, sitting five feet from the balcony door -- all of those things were a small price to pay to prove that it is actually quite difficult to break into our apartment. Which it is. Well, it got a little easier when I did what it became clear was necessary and put a small gardening shovel through one of the panes and reached in to unlock that* lock. But then it got a lot harder, because with the big hole in the glass next to one of the locks, we figured we should fortify, and oh did we fortify.

Was I content with these new WsIP? I was not.

I made a shawl! The 10 Shawls in 2010 group is... making 10 shawls in 2010, and I got very excited to join them.

Really excited!

So! Very! Excited!

Well, okay, not that excited, I just wanted to show you those pictures. It's done, there was mis-counting and frogging and happy coincidences and all of the chicanery that is usually involved in me trying to knit things, but it's in the past and on the rav page and I prefer to leave it there.

Am I done? Sigh. I am not done.

I've also cast on for the Owlmittens by SpillyJane, which I'm loving and are awesome and I've only marginally screwed up so far, but I plan on missing the directions for the thumb soon and then having to frog about 15 rounds. Also, I haven't photographed them because Husband is back and there's no point in locking myself on the balcony again.

Alas, despite the four substantial new projects and four or so others that have been on the needles for awhile, there was still a small danger that I would finish something else this decade, so I went ahead and cast on for Juno Regina in Knit Picks Gloss Lace, the Malachite colorway. The plan for that, which I originally thought was genius, was to get it to the point where I could just midlessly knit the middle section on the train to and from Job-ish Thing. Instead, it has halted progress on everything else and had me seriously reconsidering my fitness for lace anything.

I am bad at lace. I miss yarn overs like it's my $80,000/year job, and can't read lace for shekels. There was some early talk in the group of non-lace shawls being not as challenging and therefore not as worthy of counting towards the 10 shawls, but it was eventually decided that any object that was significantly shawl-ish should count. Thank goodness, because while I've gotten to be a pretty proficient knitter and can generally turn out FOs to the approximate specifications of the patterns, I get through lace shawls on a combination of rage-fueled adrenaline, tenacity, and all my free time. And yes, of course I can see the benefit of challenging myself, but sometimes the rest of my life proves remarkably adroit at challenging me, and it's those times that a simple stitch pattern - or even, horrors, stockinette - is what I really need.

I can't think of anything else I've cast on. Let's get out while we can, shall we?


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