A Knitting Bucket List

So…I was bored the other day and started meandering about in WordPress.  A blog post caught my eye…a post by The Mad Knitter called “Knitting Bucket List”.  Considering how many things I see and ooh and aah over, I wondered if I really had a knitting bucket list and if I didn’t…perhaps I should.  Sadly, while Ravelry has favourites and a queue, it doesn’t really have a spot for that, but I digress.

I think a bucket list should be “stretch” goals.  I mean, sure, my queue has lots of things I’d like to knit.  That’s what my queue is for.  For me, a bucket list would contain patterns that I love that would contain something I deem to be a real challenge for whatever reason.

So I started thinking…what would I put on my knitting bucket list?  The very first thing that sprang to mind?  The socks that made me become a sock knitter three years ago, and that I still have not got the courage to start: Kate Atherley‘s  My Vampire Boyfriend.  I fell in love with these the moment that I saw them, all pretty and red and heart-y and cable-y.  They are basically Rayna in a sock.  Yet…each time I contemplate casting them on, I freeze and cast on something simple instead.

How awesome are these?? (Photo by Sarah Fay from Knitty.com)

On the shawl side of things…I’d have to go with Lucy Hague’s Taliesin.  My friend Jocelyne linked to it on a Ravelry board that she and I moderate together and I literally gasped out loud.  Now this one, I actually have the pattern for.  Shireen decided she was going to knit it and sent it to me as a gift with the three word message, “Misery loves company”, a reflection on how hard it was going to be, not the finished item, of course.

Just look at all that Celtic knotwork! (Photo courtesy of lucyhague.co.uk)

Also on the shawl front is Cheryl Oberle’s Irish Diamond Shawl.  I fell in love with this one as my friend Caryn made one years ago and wore it to work with great frequency for a long time.  It’s so pretty but SO huge.  I expect I’d buy a commercial yarn just so that I didn’t have to worry about obtaining five or six matching skeins of indie dyed yarn to make up the prescribed 2200 yards of yarn.  I can’t imagine having to alternate skeins on this pattern.

The last thing on my bucket list?  A sweater for me.  This is another area in which I have no excuse.  I have a code that was a gift from my friend Jenn for a Custom Fit sweater by Amy Herzog, a set of Custom Fit measurements just waiting to be entered into the software and not one but two sweater quantities of yarn.  For some reason, I balk at the thought of casting it on.  I think I have lived for so long with the fear of spending all that time knitting something that won’t fit, that I can’t bring myself to believe those who say that the Custom Fit software makes all of those fears null and void.  I am a knitting wuss…there, I said it.  Someday, I’ll get brave enough to start.  Today is not that day.  Tomorrow is not looking good, either!

So…what’s on your knitting bucket list?

Evolution

In my short time as a knitter, I have frequently noticed that I can see a design and think (if I am honest with myself) “Now why would anyone want to knit that?”  I put the item out of my head and keep going.  Then later, I go back to the item and wonder what I ever disliked about it.

The biggest example of this that I can think of:  any object that fell into the entire category of cowls.  When I started knitting, I thought they were the silliest thing in the world.  After all, who wants to knit part of a turtleneck sweater?  Funnily, years later, I haven’t a clue what I was on about.  I knit a few early on for friends and remember thinking, “These are great!  You don’t have all that fabric under the front of your coat.  They can’t fall off and get lost…always a bonus.  They take up less yarn and are faster to knit than scarves.  And they are in the round, which generally means less purling.”  As someone who is highly purl-averse, this is not something to be taken lightly.

Calorimetry seems to have fallen into the category of something to which I once didn’t give the time of day but is something I am now seriously considering.  When I saw my friend Shireen on the weekend, she showed me one she had knit and it was pretty cute.  Because I wear ponytails a lot, especially on weekends, hats don’t tend to sit right.  (Plus I generally look like a giant dork in hats!)  And weekends are the exact times I need something to cover my ears when I take my dog, Kayleigh, outside or I just want to take a walk in the snow.  (Stop laughing…it could happen.)

And best of all, they take less than 100 yards of worsted weight yarn.  So now I am stashdiving, as I know I have a couple of small skeins of worsted weight yarn that I remember thinking, “These are so tiny…whatever will I do with them?”  Perhaps this is the answer.

I also found a small 50 g skein of single ply worsted that I handspun on my spindle.  After I soaked it and skeined it, I recall thinking “The yardage of this skein is so small.  Pity it’s never going to actually be anything”.

Fleece Artist BFL Handspun

Fleece Artist BFL Handspun

Now, maybe it will.

FO: Baudelaire

Wow…two posts in one day!  I realized that in my blog-absence, it seems I have completed quite a number of FOs and have not blogged any of them.  Thought I’d play catch up so there’s a chance these posts might be shorter that previous ones.  We’ll see.

Early this spring, my friend Liz had some friends over to lunch and opened her stash up for perusal.  I ran across a couple of skeins/wound balls of yarn I loved, and the ever-generous Liz said “If you will use them before I will, take them!”.  Since then, of the four I left with that day, three of them have been knit up.  This project was made with a partial skein of Colinette Jitterbug, a yarn I had always wanted to try.  Because the skein was a partial, and had some 265 yards according to my calculations, I decided that socks would be the project, but that they’d need to be toe-up, because let’s face it, who wants to get to the toe of a second sock only to discover you are a few yards short?

As the beautiful cherry red yarn was staring at me from my wound stash collection, the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group was hosting Cookie A month, and I inadvertently ran across one of her very few toe-up sock patterns, a Knitty pattern called Baudelaire.  Since I had knit precisely one pair of toe-up socks in my life, I hesitated somewhat, before deciding “it’s only yarn” and diving in.

I did these two at a time, on two separate needles, and that was the best idea I ever had, because it meant I learned Judy’s Magic Cast on once, and cast on both toes on the same day.  It also meant I didn’t run out of steam at the end of the first sock.  It’s strange; I seem to be okay doing simple socks one after the other, but if it’s at all complex, I seem to prefer doing them two at once.  Maybe it’s because I don’t forget things in the interim between the first sock and its mate.

I absolutely adore how these turned out, despite their somewhat short legs.

baudelaire

The yarn was super-dense, but a pleasure to knit with and just about impossible to split.  And the colour is spectacular.  I love the pattern, with its lace front and adorable little cables up the sides.  I very well might knit these again.

Pattern:  Baudelaire by Cookie A.

Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in (I think) Morello Mash

Who Was It Made For?  Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  Cast on 12 stitches on each needle instead of 8…I really don’t love sharp toes as they look odd and don’t fit me.  Also shortened legs due to limited yardage.

Did I Learn Anything New?  Re-learned toe-up socks.

Anything Else?  Not that I recall.

Would I Make Another?:  Absolutely.  I really love them.