Saturday, January 28, 2012

Out With the UFOs!

As I mentioned in the last post, my goal for the beginning of the year is to clear my slate of “works-in-progress” or “unfinished objects” (WIPs or UFOs in the knitting world). I have about six projects that I have let slide by the wayside and go unfinished. Usually it happens because I come across a snag in the pattern or I find another pattern that I fall in love with and have to start immediately! In the case of three of these projects, they are my own design and I got stuck on how to best carry out my idea.

For example, this lovely, lacey piece is a cowl but I haven’t figured out how to make a smooth join where each end connects. See that big ugly kink down the middle? That must go! I love how light and airy this piece is though, and it’s made of alpaca for incredible warmth and softness.
It will have such a lovely drape when it's all done!
I adapted this pattern from a blouse that I made for my senior thesis project. The yarn is all natural alpaca from Hidden Valley, a sheep farm and woolen mill, not far away from where I grew up in Wisconsin. I was blessed to have spent quite a bit of time there the past few summers, learning about the entire process from raising and shearing the sheep to dying yarn and knitting or weaving a finished project. Paul and Carol are a wonderful couple, so down to earth and passionate about their livelihood.

This next project will someday be a reversible headband topped with a big bow. The reversibility is what’s holding me up so far. I would love to be able to have the option to choose a grey or pink headband but my attempts thus far have been unsuccessful. The hot, hot pink against the cool grey is such a fun, cheerful winter combination.
This gorgeous textural piece will someday adorn our bed as a pillow.
Isn't that texture just incredible? Knit out of a super soft organic cotton yarn, I can't wait to lay my head on that!
The entire front is done. Now I just have to decide how to construct the back. I could knit the back or sew a fabric back on. The second option would allow me to make two matching pillows, given the amount of yarn I have. Having to find the perfect fabric to go with the pillows would give me an excuse to visit incredible Vogue Fabrics. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard it is one of the largest fabric stores in the U.S.! One of the Apparel Design classes at Madison went on a field trip to Chicago every year to shop for fabric and develop collections from their finds. I remember almost fainting over the gorgeous fabrics my classmates brought back. Whether the back of this pillow is made of purchased or knit fabric, I’ll have to visit soon!

This poor shawl is left over from my senior thesis. After graduation I became consumed by my internship, work, then my surgery, then planning a wedding! With all the excitement, I forgot all about this little cutie. All I have to do is sew these two pieces together and attach buttons.
 Also on my list of things to do this year is photograph my senior thesis pieces. I am so proud of them but I have no good way to display them yet. That will change soon I hope!

These little necklaces are kind of an ongoing project, but I have started four now and finished only one.
I’d like to have at least a few finished and on hand for gifts. I love this technique of knitting two strips with holes in them and weaving them through one another to create the look of a braid or cable. Perhaps you can see that the pink one is a single strip with holes every inch or so. This pattern is an alteration of the Cable Braided Necklace courtesy of the brilliant Olga Buraya-Kefelian.

Last on my list of projects to finish is this knit jacket for my Mama. We made a deal that she would buy the yarn and pattern for me if I would knit it for her. This was two summers ago and I still haven’t finished it! I remember rushing and rushing to try to finish it before her birthday but I didn’t even get close! I only finished the back, and most of the front left side!
I know I made quite a few alterations to the pattern. I just hope my notes were clear enough that I remember them all! Here is a photo of the finished jacket that Mom and I saw while visiting Magpie’s Cottage in Sheboygan Falls a year and a half ago when she first bought the yarn and pattern. It's not all that flattering on me, but I'm hoping the alterations will make for a perfect fit for my Mama.
Hopefully you’ll be seeing each of these patterns in all of their finished glory within the next few weeks and months. It will feel so good to be done with all of them!

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