I'll admit to being a mostly a product-knitter. I love a finished knit. I love the high I get when I finish a project. I love to wear the handknits, or give the handknit gift. I love knowing that I shrunk the stash. While I have multiple WIPs, most eventually make their way to the finish line. And while I really enjoy the process, really I do, for me, it really is about the FOs.
So here it is, the first of February, and I have no FOs for 2007.
Well, almost nothing.
By the end of last year, I was really cranking out the FOs, but this month, the finishing of projects is objects being sacrificed on the altar of my knitting ambition, with process motivating my knitting choices. I have two major projects on the needles, as well as two new challenges that have dominated my knitting time.
Major Projects: Dylan Goes Electric and Icarus
Mr. S's sweater plods along as only an XXL sweater can. The plan is to finish it in the next two weeks for a certain romantic holiday, when Mr S traditionally gets his annual special handknit...
Icarus stalled after completing the second chart. At the urging of StuntMother, I started knitting it using Boye Balene needles, and found My New Favorite Lace Needle. The combination of the pointy tip and the smooth, flexible needle was perfect. But once I got about 400 stitches scrunched up on the 13" straight, it just became too hard to read the lace enough to stay on track, and I started making mistakes. When I tinked back 4 rows (that's 1600 stitches, people!) after spotting a mistake, I knew Icarus had to go into a holding pattern while I awaited new needles. Not having any luck finding a US3 circular, I had to go with another needle.
An Inox 40" circular showed up this week, and I am now chugging along with chart 3. Lace is such a pleasure to knit, both in the process and in the final product.
Challenges: Colorwork and Test-Knitting
For about a week in January, I put all the WIPs on hold to practice colorwork in anticipation of my Latvian Wrister class at Loop with Beth Brown-Reinsel. I chose to knit the Kefeely Mitten pattern from Handknit Holidays as a sort of practice swatch, on the recommendation of Eyeknit, one of my classmates for a fantastic Sunday afternoon. It was preceded with a great lunch at TenStone with Jody, my new In Real Life friend. Both Jody and Eyeknit did a great overview of the class here and here, and they both finished their wrister. Jody even posted a tutorial about some of the techniques we learned. I did not finish my wrister, and I also frogged my Keefely mitten and have not picked it up since then. I learned a lot about colorwork from the class, but have not quite been bitten by the stranding bug yet. I do crave some stranded mittens, though, so I see these moving back into the queue promptly.
I also cranked out the socks in 2006, and I am genuinely surprised that I have not completed a pair of socks in '07 yet. Socks for me are the Holy Trifecta of Knitting Perfection: great yarn, an intriguing yet quick process with many new techniques to try, and a useful FO to enjoy and admire.
I did knit one sock this month:
I offered myself as a test knitter for Carol of Black Bunny Fibers and the Go Knit in Your Hat blog, and she started me off easy with a sock pattern for Black Bunny. It was my first chance to knit with BBF, and I highly recommend it. What really intrigued me was how the very electric-green sock was toned down and subdued a bit once knitted. The pattern is an eyelet rib, which creates a sort of ruffled effect and a very comfortable cuff.
This was my first experience test-knitting, and I focused on executing the pattern exactly as written, and checking it carefully for errors or ambiguity. As this sock is intended for use as a sample, I also wanted it to be completely error-free, so there was more than the usual frogging. I am often content with "good enough," especially with socks, but that would not do for my first professional knitting gig.
So, I've focused on the process. But when, oh, when will I get my jolt of an FO???