Friday, February 20, 2009

Short Rows and W1

A couple days ago, I started a knitted ruffled cowl that is primarily done with short rows. It's one of those one-skein wonders from a big book of ideas and it caught my attention because I had some beautiful dark pink wool from Peru (Christmas gift) that was begging to be used.

Although I had read patterns involving short rows, I hadn't starting any because the "wrap one" step sounded confusing. The cowl was so cute that I decided to give it a try. If I didn't get the hang of it after 20 or so rows, I'd frog and find another idea for the yarn.

It was tough going for the first few rows because it seemed like I spent all of my time readjusting the needles only to knit a few stitches. I remembered that I could do the whole "knit backwards" thing, but I haven't practiced that much (just one night of experimenting), so I felt that would actually make things slower and less even than more efficient.

Last night, I really got into the groove and am now loving the way this project is turning out. Once the ruffles started ruffling, I was hooked. And it no longer seems like a huge chore to switch needles. The W1 move isn't even that bad, although I've caught myself a couple times in mid-purl before remembering that I was supposed to W1. I think I'll have this cowl done this weekend. Chances are incredibly good if we really get the 4-8 inches that it predicted.

Today, I decided to join a couple swaps over on I was really hooked on swapping the second part of 2008, but had to take a break from it after a really killer swap with some outrageous expectations. I knew when I signed up for it that I was signing up for a mammoth commitment, but by the end of it, I was really showing signs of fatigue. I'll not be doing anything that large again, ever!

The two swaps I joined now are much smaller and manageable. Knitted dishcloths and embroidery. The other good thing about these swaps is that they attract crafters who are typically very talented so the swaps turn out pretty even. It will be fun to see who partners are and start brainstorming the packages.

My other big craft to-do is something I dreamed up last night. I'm attending a wedding soon and really wanted to do something more than order off of the Crate and Barrel wish list. Of course, I don't want to be one of those people who gives the bride/groom something that is absolutely absurd or will live in a closet. With that in mind, I'm going for small and useful. Tea towels!! Who doesn't need a set of nice embroidered tea towels? I'm off to search for some fun designs -- I need cute pics of a kitten, a bunny, and a squirrel (long story) -- and then I'll be all set to select colors tonight.

Wow - reading this over makes it sound like I'm settling in for a long winter hibernation! I think I'll refer to it more as making sure I make the most of my time 1) if the snow comes and 2) during the Oscars. I love Oscar night and look forward to watching it with a fun dinner . . . maybe appetizer/small plate-themed . . . some champagne, and one of my projects



Glenda said...

Hey sonjabegonia, it was a nice surprise to see you pop up on the list of folks signed up for the new Embroidery Swap on Craftster. It's my first swap since the TTT4 swap -- is that the swap that had you burned out by the end of it? I know that the week-turnaround deadline for each design got to be a real booger for me at times. By the time I was done with that swap, I was ready to not embroider for a while!!

The tree you stitched on gatsbygirl's pillow was one of my favorite designs of the swap. I enjoyed being able to see that one in person :).


sonjabegonia said...

It was actually the 12 Days of Christmas Swap that killed me. The TTT4 swap was intense, but I didn't feel too stressed. The 12 Days swap was absolutely insane. I truly don't know why I signed up for that swap. I think I wanted a challenge, but in the end, it's kind of strange to make all of those dozens of items for someone you will probably never meet. Looking back, I wish I'd devoted that time to making more/better Christmas gifts for friends/family. Oh well, live and learn.

The embroidery swap should be fun! I'm already looking forward to the gallery.