Decisions, decisions

I'm at loose ends this morning.

I finished a project in the wee hours of the morning (no, you can't see it yet - it's meant for another rare Friday FO) and am still basking in that self-satisfied glow that comes from being really pleased with what you've just knit.

Okay, just a sneaky peek!

Okay, just a sneaky peek!

(Personally, I think this is the 'high' that knitters chase. That smug, chuffed feeling of having turned string into something wonderful and useful and fabulous. It's our superpower! Also not to be confused with the knitters' 'high' of euphoria that comes from casting on something new, which as we all know is something else entirely...)

As thrilled as I am to be finished a project, I am completely paralyzed in terms of what to work on next for the month of March. And as we know with my WIP count, there's no end of options to choose from.

These colours remind me of those large, ornamental cabbages

These colours remind me of those large, ornamental cabbages

Option 1: Handspun and a WIP
Continuing on with the inadvertent garter stitch theme of 2015 would be returning to Rachel's latest beautiful design. I'm also conscious of the fact that I haven't knit with an SweetGeorgia in a while so this handspun in Spring Garden fits the bill. And since the shawl is already started, hopefully a WIP wouldn't take too long.

My SweetGeorgia handspun is all about gardens - this colourway is Midnight Garden

My SweetGeorgia handspun is all about gardens - this colourway is Midnight Garden

Option 2: SweetGeorgia Half-and-Half
Another SweetGeorgia and handspun option is the Lady Pearl vest. It would be a new cast on, but a perfect layering piece for the transitional weather we've been experiencing here in the UK. I'd use my SweetGeorgia handspun for the body and their Superwash DK in a complementary colour for the yoke.

Still a little more swatching to go to see if I'm on gauge

Still a little more swatching to go to see if I'm on gauge

Option 3: More Handspun
I've been itching to cast on for the Gradient Pullover and have been swatching diligently the beautiful handspun that Rachel made for me for this project. While I want plenty of time to finish it before September so I can wear it to this year's GLYC, I've also been thinking that this sweater is a great summer project for me and would work into the Yarn in the City pre-GLYC 2015 and Pop-Up Marketplace KAL that we're planning on having. (Note to self: come up with a better name for the KAL!)

Hmmm... do we think I could finish this in time to wear at the Edinburgh Yarn Fest?

Hmmm... do we think I could finish this in time to wear at the Edinburgh Yarn Fest?

Option 4: Malabrigo March
It is March after all, and I've not knit with any Malabrigo in a while. Handily, I have a WIP that was cast on in early 2013 that could potentially be a quick-ish knit. The Helix Vest by Shiri Mor has cables to really take advantage of the smooshy Malabrigo goodness, is sleeveless  and it helps with working on my WIP problem.

Do I dare try to tackle lace again?

Do I dare try to tackle lace again?

Option 5: A Different Challenge Entirely
This option fits in with being part of the Cold Sheep thread that I've joined on Ravelry. There are a  number of challenges to help keep people motivated and on the straight and narrow! The Rock Island shawl by Jared Flood is something I've been planning on knitting for AGES and there's a mini-KAL happening on the thread with this project. My hesitation here is that it would mean starting something new, I'm not sure I can knit a whole lace shawl in a month to qualify for the challenge (and I'm competitive like that!) and I'm not confident my lace skills are up to par. But, it would be using more deep stash, which would be awesome.

Help me choose won't you? Pretty please?

Wicked WIP Wednesday

I often joke 'there's no rest for the wicked!' when things are busy but oh my gosh it's just been full on since the holidays ended!

When things are this crazy, it can be difficult not to be distracted from all the 'ooh shiny' of new projects or patterns. It's a huge occupational hazard to be keeping up with knitting sites and chat boards on Ravelry when there are all kinds of tempting goodies are on offer!

Case in point - Rachel's new shawl design that I blogged about last week. It's brilliant, and straight-forward, and I think I'm in love with the simplicity of it. Of course, I'm on the miles of garter stitch body at the moment but even the lace bit looks to be not very complicated either (and we all know how I feel about lace!).

Still, I've been managing to sneak in a row here and there while on buses, or at a morning coffee with the mums after the school run, or one last row before I fall into bed after working late, so the shawl is growing slowly but surely.

While I'm still at that point in a newly cast-on project where it's all I want to knit, I'm wondering if there isn't some truth to Rachel's theory that knitting handspun projects just progress faster. Like knitting stranded colourwork or stripes, there's that urgency and motivation to get to the next bit to see how it's going to turn out - and that's more or less how I'm feeling about discovering how this handspun is going to look when it's knitted up.

Only time will tell! What lovely distractions are keeping you from your own work, or knitting?

FO Friday: Spinning Edition

One of the things I took the time to do over the holidays was update my stash on Ravelry and make sure that any new yarn purchases were logged and that my projects were all up to date.

Apparently I started spinning this little braid of  SweetGeorgia Superwash BFL  fibre back in April 2014. Colourway is Spring Garden.

Apparently I started spinning this little braid of SweetGeorgia Superwash BFL fibre back in April 2014. Colourway is Spring Garden.

But you know how once you get started organising something you seem to keep going? Well, I did. And it meant that two days later I had completely logged and photographed my entire spinning stash. Needless to say I won't be adding any fibre to the stash this year - there's more than enough there to keep me going for quite a while! 

Letting the bobbins rest before finishing. I debated between plying them or leaving them as singles.

Letting the bobbins rest before finishing. I debated between plying them or leaving them as singles.

It was inspiring to see all the goodies in there and as I'd barely touched my wheel in 2014 I'm making it one of my goals for 2015 - to spin more. So I dusted off my trusty Sidekick and spun up the last 50g of superwash BFL that I started earlier in 2014 onto a second bobbin. It didn't take long, and it was lovely to peddle and have all the muscle memory come back with my spinning.

Happily, while I was waiting for the bobbins to rest before plying, Rachel came over wearing a brand new shawl that she's designed and knit in her own handspun and I decided it would be perfect for my newly spun yarn! We debated plying versus not - the Spring Garden colourway has lovely lengths of green and purple and white that I'd like to leave unmarled. Since I've never finished any of my handspun as singles before (and really, it was the only way I was going to get the needed yardage) that's the way I decided to go.

All paired up and ready to go!

All paired up and ready to go!

The two bobbins resulted in approximately 390 yards of fingering weight yarn (about 18-20 WPI). I plan on pairing them with some 100% linen from my stash for the lace border in a complementary mossy green. Can't wait to get started on this!

And with extra BKFF thanks to Rachel for sending over an advance copy of the pattern!

Midnight oil

I honestly had every intention of going to bed at a reasonable hour last night. And then I ended up setting up the bulky flyer on my spinning wheel in anticipation of plying up that delicious SweetGeorgia panda fibre and of course I had to test it out.

Two bobbins of SweetGeorgia panda deliciousness plied together!

Two bobbins of SweetGeorgia panda deliciousness plied together!

Suffice to say, I stayed up far later than was wise but managed to drag myself away from the wheel to come back to it after a light trip to the gym this morning. It's resting on the bobbin right now but tomorrow I'll measure it on the niddy noddy and get it soaking in some yummy Unleash-scented SOAK wash.

Any guesses as to how much yardage I may be dealing with here?