Friday, April 13, 2007

Lost: My Focus

Call it a swatch, call it a coaster, call it what you will. But these are the only "FOs" I have to show.

I am knitting (and crocheting), but the only things I manage to finish are swatches. Here is a reasonably comprehensive list of what's on my needles:

Three pairs of socks
Two sweaters
Two scarves
Three blankets
Two pairs of mittens

She cannot resist the siren song of the shell stitch!

Also, I have started and nearly as quickly abandoned several other projects (the Cable-Down Pullover from the Spring IK, Tiffany mittens, Chevron scarf, Pomatomus socks, etc., etc.). The reasons for aborting these are varied and predictable: gauge totally off, colors all wrong, yarn not working for the pattern, size ridiculously too large. I especially seem to be having problems with socks (sob!), as many of the patterns I really want to knit have not been working out for me. I knit too loosely. I have trouble getting gauge. These socks would fit someone with a wicked case of edema. Waah waah waah.

Helen asked about the patterns in this book, so I thought I'd share my $0.02 about it. I do really like the book. It's very attractively photographed and clearly laid out. On each left hand page is a knit stitch pattern and on each right hand page, a crochet pattern. One really nice feature of the book is that the table of contents includes a thumbnail picture of each stitch pattern, which makes browsing the book very easy. The book includes some very introductory information on color theory and choosing colors, as well as appendices in the back that illustrate how to make the basic knit and crochet stitches.

I only have a few little quibbles. First of all, the book contains "200 patterns" because each stitch pattern is illustrated in two sets of colors. Granted, with some of the patterns the look can be very different and how many ripple patterns can there be, but still. To me, that's more like 100 patterns. I wish the book included detailed information about the yarns that are used in the pictured swatches. And I really wish the knit patterns had charts. Some of them are lacy, and I just prefer to knit lace from a chart. But, all in all, I think the book is inspiring and well-executed, and I'm glad I added it to my burgeoning craft bookshelf. If you both knit and crochet, I'd say it's definitely worth purchasing.


- Baby Lug is here! Go see!
- I'm sure you probably already know this, but Sockapalooza 4 signups are open!
- Greetingarts loves blue-green and so do I.
- At risk of appearing to be stalking Alicia, I will point out that there is a free crocheted baby blanket pattern that is too sweet up at Posie Gets Cozy.
- A little late, but if you are either (1) wondering what to do with Peeps or (2) in the mood for a lovely tune by the Roches, visit alt-gramma and indie mom at Speed of Dark.

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Blogger pamela wynne said...

Sure, but with the peg board, that loss of focus still seems so *organized*!

11:29 AM  
Blogger Yarnhog said...

Okay, I'm stressed just reading about your unfinished projects. What does that say about me (aside from the fact that I am a complusive control freak, which we already know)?

11:43 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

That's a lot of projects! Good luck with them all. I'm impressed by your organizational peg board.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Erica said...

So glad to see that someone else is suffering from the same malaise. At least yours is attractively styled, instead of scattered randomly about the house. Sigh...

12:18 PM  
Blogger Dr. B. said...

The shell stitch. Right! That is a good one. And your color combo is beautiful!

I think Eleven Thousand Things in Progress Syndrome is going around. We're right there with you.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Helen said...

Thanks very much for the book report. I think I'll keep dithering for a bit longer :)

3:01 PM  
Blogger PCR said...

Girl, you are out of control! I want to see you working on some of these WIPs at SnB.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I must have passed my case of "start a million projects at once" on to you. Sorry.

5:49 PM  
Blogger msubulldog said...

Wow, that's a lot on the needles! It's good to hear from you, though. :)

6:55 PM  
Blogger knitannie said...

Hey Laura, speaking of not mentioning the yarn in swatches.... What's the yarn in the second photo down which I assume is going to become the baby blanket, am I right?

7:15 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Well - at least your UFO's are very organized. :) I love that yarn too - what is it??

8:29 PM  
Blogger gray la gran said...

ooooh ... you better shake out all that yarn to see if you have a little pixie hiding in there! if so, treat the pixie to something that will appease its appetite, so you can get on with your knitting and crocheting.
lost mojo sucks! ... ask me how i know.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

That is quite the swatch display! Impressive!

11:38 PM  
Blogger Carson said...

My gourd, you're so organised!
You have a peg board to hang all your swatches.

3:28 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I've noticed that loss of knitting focus/mojo seems to sweep the knitting world as an epidemic every so often -- bloggers everywhere are suffering from it right now (myself included). I'm not trying to say you're not special, just that you're not alone! And the good news is that we all get over it eventually. In the meantime, at least you're keeping your fingers limber (bright side)!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Liz K. said...

You only have to visit nonaswatches to know that swatching can be infinitely inspirational! It's not just about having actual projects. Celebrate your swatches!

10:09 AM  
Blogger ali said...

I love the pegboard- I may have to do that in my designing area...
As for all those projects, at least the blankets don't need to be so 'right on' for gauge, right?
Keep at it, gauge can be an elusive thing, but as you know from the edema socks, it's pretty crucial for many projects!
And that shell stitch really is looking lovely...
Happy knitting (and crocheting),

4:12 PM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

Edema socks, so useful!!

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Asa said...

Thanks for the heads up on the pattern book. Don't give up on those WIPs.


11:26 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

At least the swatches look lovely?

Here's hoping your mojo returns speedily!

9:43 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Ooooooh, I love those swatches! So pretty, so inspirational!
Although, I think the beauty you see on the peg board may be what is messing with your 'focus'.

3:12 PM  
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5:16 PM  

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