Tag Archives: WIPs

WIP Management :: A Peek Inside How We Knit

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Last week we talked about our different perspectives on knitting.  It’s amazing how many different perspectives there are when it comes to how we approach this beloved activity.

Just as we all think of our knitting journey differently, we all seem to have our own approach regarding the handing of wips (works-in-progress). We each work at different paces and in different ways.

Some of us work steadfastly on one project at a time, stoically suppressing all urges to cast on the shiny new patterns with that springy new yarn.  We want to give our full attention to the task at hand and bask in the feeling of accomplishe=ment once it is complete.  Only then may we line up the next project.

Others cast on with abandon, eagerly gobbling up new inspiration and churning out more wips.  Why deny yourself the pleasure of that thrill that comes when you cast on for a new project?!  We enjoy knitting for the process, and may or may not be bothered by the fact that finished objects are few and far between.

A lot of us fall somewhere in between, working on projects until something more interesting comes along.  Then we eventually start slogging through the older projects because we want that finished sweater before it’s summer, dang it!

Want to know how the Stash Enhancers handle wips?  We’d love to share.

Sydney

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I have the ideal WIP line up at the moment. A lace project, a light fair isle project, and an auto-pilot project. I have a sweater going that is currently only miles of stockinette, so it’s been great when I need a grab and go project that I don’t need to concentrate on. Some of you know I’ve been on a sock kick, so I have a sock going that is just the right amount of lace where I will stay entertained, but don’t need to consult a chart for every row. And my final WIP is a 1940’s fair isle beret. There are only a handful of rows with fair isle; I’m knitting this to prep myself for an upcoming fair isle sweater, so the small bits of color work are perfect.

Liz

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I like to have several types of projects going. Typically one complicated-ish project, one mindless project that I can pick up and still have a conversation, and possibly another project or two. Currently I have 4 projects on-the-needles including my shop project. The first and most complicated is a sweater for me that has cables on both the front and back. Sonia and I are doing a Happy Street KAL together, so my Happy Street is perfect for just picking up and mindlessly knitting garter stitch (though, whoa, those rows are getting long!). I also have a baby sweater going as a gift for a friend’s baby.
Some days I work on all my WIPs and other days or sometimes several days in a row I get obsessed with making a big dent in a certain project and the others are ignored for a bit. The only time my WIPs make me a little crazy is if I have deadline knitting (holiday knitting, I’m looking at you…).

 Sonia

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Fun fact: I currently have just 1 wip, a rare occurrence! Oh wait, I do have a shop sample on the needles, but that’s been going for 4 months give or take.  Does that count?  Usually I have 2-3 projects on my needles at any given time.  Like the others I tend to have some auto-pilot project going alongside a larger or more involved pattern.  Add that to anything that’s serving time in exile or needs finishing, and the number is realistically 3-4.  After that I tend to actually feel a bit distracted and stressed by the unfinished-ness of too many projects.  And because I wholeheartedly believe knitting should be Fun, I will rip or slog through things to get back down to a comfortable number.

With only 1 project on the needles, I am spending a lot of time daydreaming about a Fall Sweater.  I have the yarn all picked out, and am stalking multiple patterns.  One day I will wake up and have that undeniable, gotta-cast-on-right-now moments, and then I’ll commit to a pattern.  Until then, I’m enjoying the novelty of being a monogamous knitter.

All of this is to say that we knitters are some interesting folks. We take something that is joy and function, art and craft wrapped into one cozy package, and we create a set of expectations  around it.  And that’s perfectly alright, whatever gets and keeps you excited about your projects.

Because without the thrill of discovering a new pattern and matching it to the perfect yarn, of stumbling through a complicated pattern and figuring out, and without creating something tangible from raw materials, what’s the point? You might as well go watch tv.

But while you’re at it, pick up some knitting, why don’t you?  You even have our permission to cast on something new for the occasion.

Everything’s better with a little knitting in your hands.

How do you handle your WIPs?

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It’s Just Knitting! Or is it…

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Every so often, a knitter walks through the doors of Stash, and she is terrified.

She is a competent knitter, but somewhere along the way she learned not to trust her instincts, to second guess herself, and to question everything about a pattern. She looks to us with pleading eyes, seeking permission, reassurance, and sometimes even step-by-step advice so that she can continue on.

We’re here to help, of course (and we have classes for these sorts of moments).  We want to reach new heights in our knitting, and getting through the tough parts is part of the adventure.  Yet I can’t help but wonder why the stakes are so high for some knitters.

It’s just knitting, after all! 

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And that’s the thing, I think, that seems to create a divide. For some of us, it’s just knitting: an activity to enjoy, play with, and feel challenged by. It’s nothing to get so upset over. It’s yarn. You can pull it out and start again!

That said, knitting can certainly be an emotional endeavor.  We are putting our time and emotions into each stitch, and that naturally creates a loaded situation.  For me, knitting is often the thing I turn to for comfort and a sense of control when other parts of my life feel hectic or upsetting.  I can create something from nothing, and more often than not it is beautiful.

Knitting can be challenging, for sure, and that’s part of the fun.  But unpleasant, confidence-shattering, endlessly frustrating?  No. Life’s too short for your hobbies not to be insanely fun.

Whenever I meet someone who’s not having fun with her knitting, I just want to hug her and tell her to start a new project.  A really, really fun one.

Is there a technique or situation in knitting that scares you?  Is it just yarn to you? We’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below!

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Featured Yarn :: Kenzie

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We have a fun new yarn at the shop! Introducing Kenzie by HiKoo, a versatile yet luxurious blend of New Zealand merino, nylon, angora, alpaca, and silk noils.

The yarn is part workhorse wool, part luxurious icing on the cake. It knits up easily into a versatile fabric, which will be easy to wear in hats, scarves, and sweaters alike. We are smitten with the playful flecks of silk that pop out of the semisolid colors. Fun and classic at the same time.

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A lovely trio of Free patterns accompanies this new yarn.  Sonia couldn’t resist the allure of combining two fun colors into a Tayberry Hat by Cirilia Rose.

With 10 great colors to choose from, it was hard to pick just 2.  Teal and orange rose to the top this time.  There may be more than one hat in our future…

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Which pattern will you knit first?

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WIP Wednesday

Monogamous knitters, shield your eyes! I’ve been in a casting-on frenzy over the last week and thought I’d share some of my WIPs. I know there are many knitters out there who only work on one project at a time, but I like to have a variety of things on-the-needles. A project for the shop, the latest KAL project, a sweater, and usually a small accessory or gift item. Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Okay, so this first one is soooo close to being a FO. It barely qualifies as a WIP, but it still needs ends woven in and buttons…so I’m counting it among my WIPs. I’m planning on using some wooden buttons from Wooly Moss Roots.

Please excuse the bathroom mirror shot…

For those interested, the pattern is Before Dark by Veera Valimaki and the yarn is Pigeonroof Studios Cassiopeia DK in Espresso. Sigh. This yarn is possibly the most luxurious yarn I’ve made a sweater from. It’s a merino/cashmere/silk blend and it has an amazing squishiness and shine to it. I can’t say enough good things about both the pattern and the yarn. We still have sweater quantities in a few colors of the Pigeonroof DK…but it would be awesome for smaller accessories, too!

Next up is a shop sample:

I think you all know how I feel about Swan’s Island yarn. In case you haven’t heard me rave about it…I love it. It’s organic, naturally dyed, and more importantly, feels amazing knit up. I’m using the worsted weight in a gorgeous brick red color to knit a Bedrock hat, which is part of West Knits Book 3. The hat has a fun construction, using short rows to make an asymmetrical brim.

And last, but certainly not least (and if I’m being honest, definitely not my last WIP)….my Spring Garden Tee for the Stash Summer CKAL:

I started on Monday night and I’ve made it through the neck shaping and am now happily knitting in the round and working on the raglan increases. The Be Sweet Bamboo is fantastic and it’s going to make a summer top that will certainly get a lot of wear (you know, after the warm weather actually arrives).

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