Dear Stew,

You really have a lot of WIPs! So many of them are lace shawls too. I think the WIP schedule you have is excellent – how is it working out for you? I can’t wait to see Catríona and the gloves finished. I’m sure there’s two sets of feet looking forward to the socks too!

My current WIPs are:

Midnight Leaves – a beaded lace shawl I started in January. I’m knitting it in the most gorgeous royal/midnight blue Malabrigo lace. I know the yarn felts really badly but I couldn’t say no to the colour! I’ve only 2 of 14 repeats of the pattern left to knit and then the heavily beaded edging. It’s the beads that have really slowed me down on this – even using the crochet hook method. It takes a lot of concentration and good lighting so it don’t often get to knit it.

Secret Socks – A slip-stitch pattern that I find really fiddly. I’m still on the first sock, though I’m almost at the toes. It’s knit with the ‘Arizona’ colourway of the sock club you sent me. Lovely yarn and really variegated so it’s perfect for socks. I nearly ripped this sock back to make plain vanilla socks, but I’ve decided to finish them. Any day now.

Baby cardigans – I’ve two of these on the go! I’m really enjoying the small easy knits at the moment. Mostly stockinette or garter stitch, mostly easy peasy knitting and mostly finished within a few days – what’s not to love!

I’m knitting a merino sock yarn Puerperium that buttons up the side. I just need to knit the second sleeve cuff and add buttons. It’s really cute but I was alternating skeins and made the change-point too snug so the button band puckers up around the neck. Oops!

My current go-to project is another Garter-Yoke baby cardigan. I had a ball of DK-weight acrylic knocking around my desk and just decided to cast this on. I hope I have enough yarn for sleeves, as there’s only one ball. I’m sure a sleeveless vest would be very cute on a baby though.

Apart from that I have two full bobbins on the wheel, a spindle in use, new alpaca fluff to spin and a pile of items waiting to be blocked. I like having a few different types of project in progress so I can choose what to knit depending on my mood. In particular I like having some lace, a sock, a garment and something small or easy or quick (like a hat or a baby knit). Which means I can cast on a jumper or cardigan for me!

More about my plans and queue next time! How are you getting on with your WIPs?



My Scary Works in Progress List

Dear Cathy,

I’ve decided I need to deal with my chronic startitis and start to work down through my mammoth WIP list. In order to give you an idea of the scale of this, lets see the list, shall we?

Group of half finished knitting projects

1 A vest: I’ve been working on this since early 2011, but the end is finally in sight. The pattern, Catriona, used to be available for free, but the website that hosted it has had a revamp, so I can only find it as a paid pattern now. Which would have been less of a problem if this project hadn’t hibernated for so long that I changed laptops. I had to revive the old dell and pray for a backup, which I thankfully had, along with a chart I had made from the written instructions. I’ve split for the arm-holes, but I now have several inches of back and forth before I can shape the shoulders and bind off. The yarn was from the January sales, a bag of DK wool from Rowan. Yum!

2. Socks: These are for himself, since he wore through the soles of his last pair. This yarn has nylon though, and now I know where to check for future holes. I’m only on the leg of the first sock, but I’ve made Cauchy before. The yarn is Hedgehog Fibres ‘Graphite’ from my trip to the studio in Cork last month.

3. Socks, again: For me! I love this purple sparkley yarn. And the twisted cables of Aaragorn are working up so nicely. Unfortunately, it’s one of those ones where you have to have the charts to hand, so it’s not a good mindless or travel project.

4. Gloves: Lovely pattern, great concept, lovely yarn (more Hedgehog Fibres sock), hate fingers. At least once these are finished I get the pleasure of picking out the perfect ribbon to lace them with.

5. Shawl 1.0: The big one. This is my failed Ravellenic Games project, though I got very far. Unfortunately now it’s unwieldy, and the chart is pretty much unmemorisable. It’s going to take a while to get this finished, but I have about six months.

6. Shawl 2.0: Om nom nom, angora fuzzy nummmmy! This is my fourth time with Nightsongs, so it’s an easy knit, but the yarn does set my throat tickling.

7. Shawl 3.0: This one is going to be interesting. It’s quite big, so more of a wrap up at home shawl, but should be super cosy. The yarn is from colourmart, so it will need a seriously intense wash when I’ve finished to get the oil out. I’m hoping it will brighten and fluff up nicely.

8. Shawl 4.0: Ah laminaria, my arch knitmesis! I’m going to frog this, wash the yarn (colourmart again) and start over. Probably the same pattern. Probably.

9. Shawl 5.0: This is just getting silly! Ok, this one is a big shetland style shawl. Very nice yarn, should be a straight forward but challenging knit. I bought some nice Addi lace needles just for the occasion.

10. Shawl 6.0: Citron, ah Citron. I have to figure out what needle tips I was using for you and see if they’re free again. This is part of my problem, borrowing needles from one project to use on another. This is the danger with such a crazy WIP list.

11. Shawl 7.0: This one I’ve thought of frogging, but I’m thinking better of it now. I don’t do many long rectangular shawls, so this is a bit out of my mental comfort zone. If I recall correctly, the pattern for this is reasonably memorisable, and the final effect will be worth the time.

12. Dishcloth: I’m pretty sure I have a dishcloth hidden in the bottom of my knitting box… eh, one of my knitting boxes.

13. Master Level 1: This is possibly the scariest UFO, my master knitter swatches! I’ve been making excuses all year, with travel commitments (which, in fairness, I’ve had a plenty). I did a couple of the basic swatches, so I know a bit more about what I’ll need to deal with.

14. Scarf: Just using up some of my left over Cascade 220 in a big blue scarf. Memorisable as anything without being completely boring. I have no excuse for this one other than statitis and project hopping.

15. Mittens: Another scarily old project, some fair isle mittens that I started over two years ago. In theory there is enough yarn for the two mittens and a matching hat, but I’m a bit skeptical about that.

And these are just the knitting projects on the needles. I haven’t even counted spinning projects, lucet projects or things sitting waiting for blocking, end weaving and, in some cases, being sent off to their intended recipients.

As you can see, my knitting life needs some major organisation. I came across a group on Ravelry where people pick seven projects and assign each a day of the week. That way you get to work on a little of everything and don’t get bored. I’m going to do my own adaptation where I assign five projects to the week days and leave the weekends as wild card days. That way if I’m on a roll with something I can do a marathon session. Or if startitis gets too strong, I can whip up a hat and scratch that particular itch.

So here’s my plan.

First I’m going to frog Laminaria. The leave it and don’t cast it on again until I’m waaaaay down my WIP list. Then my five projects are going to be

  • Monday: Catriona
  • Tuesday: Socks
  • Wednesday: Shawl 1.0
  • Thursday: Dishcloth (since that’s one I have a chance of finishing quickly) followed by gloves
  • Friday: Scarf

So what’s on your needles?


Hello world!

Welcome to Fibre Friends! Here Stew and Cathy write about what they’re knitting, spinning or otherwise crafting. We’ll talk about patterns, yarns, projects and designers.

Until then make sure to check out the best fibre craft website there is: www.ravelry.com