WIP Wednesday- Lessons Learned

22 Jun

The One Where She Learns That Knitting Is Work:

So remember this Work in Progress from last week? This is the Orchid Thief Shawlette from last week:

Orchid Thief Shawlette in Breathless Columbine

Well, I knew I would still be working on it this week, but I had no idea it would look about the same:

WIP Orchid Thief June 22, 2011

So this knitting project has taught/ reinforced a life lesson: Not everything worthwhile is all excitement, sometimes it takes  discipline to get it done; and the finished project is that much more precious when you know you’ve conjured up the determination to complete it. That’s what I’ll say when I’m done with this: “See- I DO have the discipline and strong work ethic to finish what I started.”

The One Where She Learns That Simpler Really IS Better:

So I started another pair of socks for my dad, this time in the yarn I dyed myself. I picked out my favorite color (Cloudy Skies) and started the Jules Sock pattern. Over the course of two days, my stomach started knotting up and I dreaded working on the sock. I normally relish knitting projects for other people because I put all my love of them into the stitches, thinking about what they would want and enjoy. So what was the problem?

The problem was I hated how the yarn looked in the pattern. The pattern is a lovely pattern that would make a solid color yarn sparkle; but not a highly variegated yarn like Cloudy Skies. So I bit the bullet and ripped it out all the way to the cuff. Ouch! That was traumatic!

Then I started the sock in a basic stockinette stitch; and boy did this yarn sing! I love how it looks all knit up, and there’s no annoying color pooling or striping. It really looks like a cloudy sky!

Cloudy Skies Sock for Dad

This project has a second lesson, too. Alway measure. Measure Measure Measure. I made the toe too long, so I have to rip it out and do over. But that’s easy enough, and worth it so dad doesn’t have a shoe-full of sock at his toes!

The One Where She Learns That Quality Tools Make a Difference

When you have a budget (and who among us doesn’t), you learn that somethings don’t have to be the bestest most toppest quality. Like clothes- sometimes it’s OK to spend $10 on a Target sweater that is really stylish but will only last you one season. It’s OK because the sweater will be out of style next season anyway!

But sometimes having the right tools  can decide how successful you are at your endeavors. I’ve learned this about knitting needles (Hello Hiya Hiya Interchangeable needles– my best friends), and now I’ve learned this about yarn. Some yarns just don’t work for some patterns. Like the Smocked Dress I started last week using Berrocco Comfort yarn.

I’ve used this yarn before in a very colorful blanket I made when I taught myself to knit- and it worked great! But this dress pattern has smocking, which requires a good amount of stretching the yarn. And boy- this yarn has NO stretch. The result- an unsmocked smocking pattern.

WIP Smocked Dress June 22, 2011

The top of the dress is supposed to tighten up like the one show in the pattern, but my dress does not. I’ve tried shrinking the needle size with little effect. *Sigh*

Notice how bodice is tighter than skirt

So this Work in Project has languished on the needles this week. So uninspiring. And since the dress is too big for Liza right now, I’m not in a hurry to complete this project.

So I’m on the hunt for inspiration. (Whenever I think of inspiration, I always remember the quote by Chuck Close, “Inspiration is for amateurs” )




I could make myself a little fall sweater like Gilligan:

Gilligan Sweater By Carol Feller

I have enough remnant for some cute baby hats like these:

Froggy Hat by Amy O'Holleran

Just Ducky Hat by Pattie Pierce Stone

Pirate Bootie by Patricia Lillie

And I would love to with some of my lace yarn, but I don’t have the right needles yet. I’m saving up for the Addi Click Lace Interchangeable set. Have you seen this beauty that mom brought home to me from the Finger Lakes? I think I’m going to make a scarf out of it, but not sure yet.

Misti Alpace Lace Yarn

Where do you go for inspiration? Maybe, just maybe, you can leave me a comment and tell me where you go for inspiration? (I know- I’ve resorted to begging you for comments. Pathetic).

Thanks for stopping by!


6 Responses to “WIP Wednesday- Lessons Learned”

  1. Amy (from Tech) June 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    I’ll comment!

    I come *here* for inspiration. I read all your knitting posts via your facebook links but never comment because I am a horrible person. I’ll try to do better.

    Despite taking up knitting last year, I am still a beginner. I’ve realized that I knit because it relaxes me and I enjoy the process more than a finished product, so pretty much everything I’ve ever done is a WIP. I am in awe of your focus and volume of output.

    To me, it seems like you have made TREMENDOUS progress on your shawl. I started my first sock in May and have ripped it out twice. I may finish the pair by the end of the year. 🙂

    Oh, as for other inspiration, I peruse the pictures at Ravelry.

    • Robin June 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      Aww- Amy- thank you SO MUCH for commenting. You’re so sweet, and you make me laugh! I really like the process of knitting, too. Because I’m more interested in knitting than the final product, I give alot of my stuff away. We could go to one of the InTown Knitting Meetups together if you ever feel inclined to hang out with other knitters.


      • Amy (from Tech) June 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

        I’d be interested in going to a meet-up, so long as their isn’t a minimum competency requirement. Just message me on FB or email me and let me know!

  2. Sam June 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Knit me a hat woman… a big one because I have a giant head 🙂

    Not with duckies on it though… pirates might be okay.


  1. Plying the Arts Recap « little pebble - August 9, 2011

    […] it easy to put back on the needle and begin from there. Wish I knew about this when I started Orchid Thief! Lifeline in Green along the […]

  2. Brick House « little pebble - August 28, 2011

    […] Skies socks I started for him but never finished. Oh- speaking of never finished- I ripped out the Orchid Thief Shawlette and reclaimed that yarn for another project. Yes, I’m a bit disappointed, but now I have yarn […]

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