Queue Check Deluxe — November/December 2016

Queue Check Deluxe — November/December 2016

When I first started doing these Queue Check posts a couple of years ago, it was at least partly to try to get myself to focus, but in the earlier posts I was still ping-ponging around between projects, with new ideas about what to cast on every month. Lately, I’ve been so disciplined and, well let’s face it, so slooow that the posts have been more WIP status than queue planning. Honestly, I’ve been scared to distract myself from the sweaters at hand because I want them so badly. But after this week of Winter ’16 Wardrobe Planning posts, I feel like I can safely start projecting into the future again.

DECEMBER PLANS: I swore to myself I would have my striped sweater finished before it came around to Queue Check again. I was convinced I’d be finishing it last weekend, but I wound up (happily) with houseguests, so that didn’t happen. But after the Oct-Nov slow spell while I had so much else going on, I’ve been making headway on the sleeves lately. It’s amazing how quickly things can go when you actually work on them! So I’m hoping ol’ stripey will be done by the end of this weekend, and the next time you see it will be a FO post. (That’s Shibui Pebble, and an improvised top-down raglan.)

After that, all attention and energy will be in seeing how quickly I can move my Channel Cardigan along (yarn is Clever Camel, undyed). Even though the first sleeve went very quickly, I know this sweater is a lot of knitting — the collar alone with take some serious time. But I want to see how far I can get with it before Christmas, because …

Then I have a road trip, and I’m thinking of seeing if I can knit a Carrowkeel within the space of that trip. I’m pondering using Arranmore in Cronan but haven’t seen the color in person yet, so can’t be sure.

And then it’s a question of next priorities heading into January. These three of the six sweaters I proposed on Monday are what’s elbowing their way to the front of my brain:

Queue Check Deluxe — November/December 2016

ABOVE LEFT: I am really stuck on this idea of a big cardigan-coat. I’m haunted by Jenny Gordy’s, and also obsessing over this Lauren Manoogian number. I’m considering the possibility of using my Sawkill Farm trove for it, held double, and will swatch soon and see what I think about that. It could actually be a really quick project at bulky gauge, and extremely useful.

ABOVE MIDDLE: I’ve never been anything but serious about St. Brendan, but last night I went so far as to order the yarn.

ABOVE RIGHT: is the simple pullover I’m needing and dreaming of, and there’s nothing I want more than to have Junegrass on my needles. But as I said Monday (and so many of you have said in the meantime!) I can solve the pullover problem more quickly by sewing a Linden or two. So that’s high priority and this Junegrass pullover will likely be in line right behind St. Brendan. And then I also eventually want the same sweater in a nice rich camel.

This week has been amazing for me in terms of really getting my head around what’s in my closet, how to wear it, and what I need and want to do next. In fact, it’s opened my eyes to the fact that I have what I’ve always wanted: a small collection of highly combinable pieces. (I.e., Garanimals for grown-ups.) So my challenge now is to keep adding very thoughtfully, keeping it reined in while still indulging in and enjoying the process of making clothes and augmenting a wardrobe.

In addition to the above adjustments/additions to my knitting queue, here are the other to-do’s that came out of it all—

SEW:
– nice “sweatshirt” or two
– denim shirt?? or light-blue shirting (or buy?)
– black/ivory striped sleeveless tee
– white underlayer top of some kind

FIX:
– re-sew buttons on grey vest
– block black sleeveless turtleneck out a bit larger
– mend the mended jeans
– mend light-blue sleeveless chambray top

BUY:
– new jeans
– black silk band-collar top?
– tan/cognac shoes, clogs or ankle boots

Also: Do another clean-out of the things that aren’t getting worn and find them happy new homes.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: October 2016

Queue Check — October 2016

Queue Check — October 2016

The only thing that’s changed since my last Queue Check is there are a whole lot more stripes to my striped sweater than there were a month ago. I’ve got just a few inches of body left, then neckband and sleeves. I haven’t touched my Channel cardigan in the meantime, so it’s still just the one part-sleeve, but it won’t be long before I’m wearing the stripes and knitting the Channel. And I continue to believe these will be the two best sweaters I’ve ever owned, handmade or otherwise.

I made a point on Instagram the other day about listening to the knits I’m able to neglect. That’s not this cardigan — it is patiently waiting and I can hardly stand not knitting it — but the grey sweater I started with my Sawkill Farm last Nov does fall into this category, compounded by my trio of gorgeous grey yarns for which I need to come up with just the right long-term uses. So between now and next check, while I knit away on Channel, that’s what I’ll be pondering.

YARNS: top is Pebble held double (given to me by Shibui, part of the Top-Down Knitalong); bottom is Clever Camel

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: September 2016

Queue Check — September 2016

Queue Check — September 2016

Since last month’s Queue Check, I’ve finished the black Linen Quill cardigan, sidelined the purple tutorial sweater until winter weather warrants its completion, and decided to scrap my Pebble cable sweater in favor of stripes! In the time between putting the cable sweater on hold and eventually deciding what to do instead, I worked on the first sleeve of my Channel Cardigan (top, in Clever Camel*), which is just absolute heaven. The yarn is heaven in the palm of your hand; the fabric is magical to watch develop; the knitting looks as if it’s already been blocked, it is so perfect and gorgeous; the stitch pattern was easily memorized long ago, so it’s easy to pick up and put down at any time. I mean, every stitch of it is paradise — to the point that I briefly considered starting over in the lighter shade of camel, but Jen talked me out of it last weekend. As much as I want to be wearing it, I could happily knit this sweater forever.

Which is part of how I came to realize I had a problem with the ivory cable sweater. Every time I got a few minutes to knit at night, I reached for the Channel. Obviously it’s incredibly hard to compete with, right?, as end-o-day knitting experiences go. But I felt like my knitalong sweater should be something I wanted badly enough that it did compete for my attention. Well, I’m happy to report that this striped Improv sweater (bottom, in Pebble) is every bit as satisfying. This yarn, in stockinette? How many is too many times to use the word paradise in one post? Watching the stripes develop is just as fun as the cables. It’s going faster because of the difference in gauge. And I am SO HOT TO WEAR IT. I cannot wait to have this one, and am definitely reaching for it over Channel, so I’m feeling very very good about that decision to start over. Even if it did put me in jeopardy of being the last panelist to finish!

As much as I’m trying to not to think beyond these two sweaters right now — since it will likely be Thanksgiving before Channel is done — I’ve had an advance look at a collection coming out very soon that makes my brain hurt it’s so good. There is one cardigan in particular that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for weeks, since I saw a snapshot from the photoshoot. In the final images, I can see it’s not the same shape I guessed it was from that glimpse, but it will be when I make it! I’ll be able to tell you more about it soon. But if my unwavering fixation is any evidence, that would seem to be next in my queue.

*By the way, Clever Camel is back in stock and Jones and Vandermeer have renewed the discount offer. Use code FRINGE at checkout on their site for 10% off Clever Camel through October 15, 2016.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: August 2016

Queue Check — August 2016

Queue Check — August 2016

My phase of serial monogamy seems to have officially ended. It was nice while it lasted, but now instead of completing any knitting projects, I just keep casting on new ones! There are currently five sweaters and two hats on my needles. One sweater and both hats are officially registered with Wool Protective Services as orphans at this point, but that leaves four active sweaters:

1) The black Linen Quill cardigan is the longest I’ve ever taken to complete a simple top-down sweater. In my defense, other sweaters with hard deadlines have pulled me away from it. But this continues to be the sweater I most urgently need. So in Stockinette Situations for the foreseeable future, this is the one I’ll reach for.
Current status: body is complete and one sleeve barely started; needs sleeves, pocket and button band

2) The purple Lettlopi pullover that was the basis of the new Improv pattern and revised tutorial would be the quickest one to finish, and it would be nice to have a photo to post and something to cross off! But it’s the least pressing in terms of being even remotely wearable, much less needed. Motivation will come blowing in around Thanksgiving.
Current status: body nearly complete; needs a second sleeve, another pass at whipstitching the neckband down, and some seams

3) The long-awaited Channel Cardigan in Clever Camel is finally on the needles! This is the one I simply want the most desperately — and I can’t stop fantasizing about somehow having it for my travels in early October — but I know it’s going to be a long road and I’ll have to be patient.
Current status: just half of one sleeve, with a dropped ply in the fisherman’s rib to be dealt with

4) My Top-Down Knitalong sweater in Shibui Pebble is a joy to knit and I know I’ll absolutely love wearing it, but I expect to be working on it for awhile!
Current status: yoke is just past the neck join, long ways to go

On the sewing front, rather than making those 5 things I said I wanted to complete before summer ends, I apparently decided to make 3 of 1 thing! I’ll post those FOs soon, but the other 4 pieces remain in the queue!

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: July 2016

Queue Check — July 2016

Queue Check — July 2016

I feel like I’ve had so little time for knitting lately and yet I’ve made progress on my black top-down cardigan (just the hem ribbing to finish before I turn to the sleeves), knitted the sample for a pattern publishing in October that I can’t show you yet, and have quickly taken a big bite out of the new sample sweater for the top-down tutorial in preparation for the upcoming Fringe and Friends Top-Down Knitalong.

What have I still not gotten to do? I can’t even say it out loud again. But the minute the new tutorial sweater is done, and before the knitalong begins, it will be cast on. I’m hellbent on having it to wear to the Knitting With Company retreat in October, so I better make inroads before the knitalong begins!

Both sweaters pictured are improvised top-down raglans; top yarn is Purl Soho Linen Quill in Kettle Black (a gift from Purl Soho); bottom yarn is Lettlopi in Color 1413

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: June 2016

Queue Check — June 2016

Queue Check — June 2016

I can’t believe it’s the last day of June already. I don’t have much to show for myself — the black cardigan has just barely advanced beyond where it was when we debated the shaping. (I’m going classic, by the way — thank you for all of your input.) But the slow progress is partly to do with my needing to spend time on another project I can’t tell you about yet! Which I can at least say is coming along beautifully and I’m very excited about it. The only other thing I have to say about the cardigan at this point is how awesome it is to have cast on with two strands of fingering and made it nearly to the ribbing before needing to wind any more yarn.

The poor neglected Channel Cardigan plans, though. Is there still any chance I’ll be wearing it by Fall?

It depends a little on what I decide about this year’s big Fringe and Friends Knitalong. I’m cooking up something I think is going to be tremendously fun, but it will also throw a wrench in my well-planned queue. As will a few recent acquisitions of incredible small-batch yarns. So I have a lot to think about and plot around, and I’ll have more to say about all of that soon! But just as a heads-up for now: I’m thinking of starting the big knitalong in mid-August this year. Make a note!

(Field Bag and brass removable stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co., of course)

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: May 2016

Queue Check — May 2016

Queue Check — May 2016

Of the three sweaters I was planning to cast on in last month’s Queue Check, one is finished and one is actually not cast on yet. I hurried up and got the camel yarn for my Channel Cardigan intending to start it on the drive to Florida, but once in the car realized I couldn’t do the actual cast-on as I hadn’t brought any waste yarn and the needles I needed weren’t in my case. I am an undying fan of the tubular cast-on that BT uses in their patterns; I’ve probably said this a hundred times before but it is so much better than any other “tubular” version I’ve encountered. So no way was I going to skip over it for expediency in this particular case. I want every detail of that sweater to be perfect.

With Flex finished and Channel in waiting, that leaves my Linen Quill cardigan (improvised top-down) as the object of my current affection. I cast this one on in the car, wished like hell I’d brought it with me on the boat, and then set it aside to finish Flex — knowing that if I set Flex aside for even a moment, I might not pick it back up again. This one is just a dream to knit. The yarn is so pleasing in my hands and I’ve never done a cardigan top-down before, so I’ve had fun with the yoke calculations and shaping, and just got the sleeves separated over the weekend. Once it’s fully into the boring stockinette body phase, I’ll cast on Channel so I’ll have the two to choose from, according to circumstances.

I also have one little must-knit project for June, which I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about. So I’ll tell you about that when I can!

On the sewing front, TNNA (the yarn trade show) is coming up in a couple of weeks and I’m hoping to make a new dress before then. Because truly all I want is dresses and sweaters right now.

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PREVIOUSLY in Queue Check: April 2016