Monday, January 22, 2018

Big Things in 2018?

I'm nearing the finish line with my fabulous Yarn Quest 2017 "Heroes of Yarnia" scarf. I was keeping up with the MKAL but then something went awry with my knitting brain and I set it aside, and then I jumped back to my design ideas, and now I'm back at the double knitting.

One of the reasons I'm back on the double knitting bandwagon is Ravelry's newish (it came out a few weeks ago) challenge feature. Have you checked it out? There's a tab in your projects and you can set it to however many projects you want and you can adjust it anytime. The cool thing is it pulls your queued projects and WIPs that have deadlines entered for this year so you can see your plans in one spot. That's new too, being able to add deadlines to WIPs or projects that you don't have queued. And it's not just items in your plan that count in your finished tally, anything finished with a finished date in 2018 counts.

So this handy tool has lead to me cleaning up the old WIPs list and setting real goals for my projects. I hibernated a couple things that I'm tempted to frog, but would probably regret doing so. I gave HoY a deadline of Feb 1; more than year since I cast-on. I want to wear it! And I need to stop procrastinating about it. I can happily say I'm 36 charted rows away from finishing :) That feels good.

My reason for the Feb 1 deadline is twofold: A) I want it done and I'm darn close, and B) the Ravellenic Games are just around the corner!

Yes, it's that time and an even numbered year! Ravellenics time! And I've set myself two tasks. The first is to frog, Aerial Unwind ;) , my Find Your Fade shawl. Love the pattern, love the wool (Sock it to Me Dankai) but together they're not doing anything for me. I know there are better pattern fits for the yarn so I'm reclaiming it! Power to the Frog Pond!

And seeing as how I haven't done anything overly insane lately, (and yes, I'm including the whole ebook idea; hang on I have an update on that too!) I went looking for a pattern I bought ages ago. Like 1999-2001. Seriously, ages ago. It was for an Irish dance dress to fit an 18 inch doll. It was in the style of that time too; no drop waist, flouncy skirt for this one. Gorgeous single panel front on the skirt with full skirt behind, an embroidered/Swiss darned border around the edge and cuffs. Very similar to what I'd wear when we got our dresses done when I was dancing with ICoR. So I googled. I went through all 173 pages of knitted doll clothes in the Ravelry database. The pattern and website are nowhere to be found. And seeing as how I'd stayed up all night (it was around 4:30am at this point), I decided I'd design one and use it as my Ravellenics major project. I even have some sparkly yarn just right for the task (Bernat Satin Sparkle, btw; really nice to work with and it's acrylic so sold at Walmart and other easily accesible places). I've even swatched* a few types of pleats to get the shape I want. (*swatching is considered training, as long as you don't cast-on the actual project). As a brief aside, if you're in need of an excellent video tutorial on box pleats, I highly recommend this one from Purls Soho.

I'm going off what I recall the other pattern looking like and what my ICoR dress was shaped like. And I have had a couple requests, so if all goes well the pattern will be made available through Knit-Dance-Repeat Designs on Ravelry. Another appropriate design for my little endeavor :)

Ok, speaking of my little endeavor and goals and planning and all that good and sometimes not so fun stuff! The ebook of designs based on the seven basic solo dances in Irish dance (aka "All the Jigs and Reels") is progressing. I have set myself a goal of having the final 4 prototypes done by June 1st. Then it's tech editing everything and some testknitting and hopefully it'll be released in time for some late summer/early fall knitting time so there are warm woolies ready before the cold hits again. That's the plan at this point in time. And everything is going really well with all the designs except one. No shocker it's a hardshoe dance giving me trouble but it's the treble jig not the reel, unlike dance class! Ha!

The collection consists of a cowl, a tam, mittens (bonus fingerless mitts with this too), a cloak (options for 1 or 2 colors and hood or collar), a toque, and a scarf. All the designs involve cables; the cloak can be done with intarsia (2 color version), the toque has short-rows in the ribbing, and the scarf incorporates double knitting. I just need to find what the treble jig wants to be represented as. At this point, it may be legwarmers. Does anyone besides dancers wear them anymore? The pondering continues as I forge through the swath of knitting that is the body of the cloak. It makes a nice blanket on the lap on these cooler days (-9°C, feels like -17°C with the wind here today) and that with a cuppa tea and my feline supervisors makes it quite cozy :)

Well, dear readers, that's all my news!


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