Bored with my projects

I haven’t updated in awhile because, well, I’m bored with my current projects. They’re taking too long, and as usually happens with my short attention span, I’m losing interest.  On occasion I’ve even found myself staring at my purple Dakota and wondering what I can do with it, but I stop myself from picking it up, because I have four projects that need finishing, dammit!

And really, “four” is a conservative number, given the other projects I’ve dropped before they’re completely finished. Even from where I’m sitting, I can see the tank top that is only half a back; the My So-Called Scarf that’s about six inches long that I’ve since forgotten the stitch for; and the red and white purse that has a few more rows to go before it can be bound off and felted. And I know, hiding behind those, are a couple of to-be-felted purses that need handles either kitchener-stitched together, or attached to the insides of the knitted bag. Not to mention the UMass granny square scarf; the spring-colored granny square scarf I started last summer; the felted purses that need holes punched for the i-cord handles; the log cabin blanket I haven’t picked up in months–oh, and that reminds me that I have a niece due to be born next month who’s going to need a blanket! Gah!

But first, there are two hats and two scarves to be finished. How to get my mojo back, I do not know. 🙁

Adventures in felting

I felted three bags last night–woot!  I chose the purple/turquoise Little Coco, the first Pink Lady bag (I still have to kitchener the handle of the second), and a Burly Spun bag I knit, oh, forever ago, that’s been waiting for felting for a long time.  All the other bags still need some finishing before felting.

I learned a couple of things. First, apparently Cascade 220 takes forever to felt, because the bags I felted last night were done after two wash cycles, and really, they probably didn’t even need the whole second cycle. The second thing is more of a refresher–the knit stitch really does shrink more from top to bottom than side to side.  The Little Coco came out a little shorter than I’d planned.  Oops? It’s still a perfectly serviceable bag, of course, just….short.

Now they are drying, and then I’ll have to figure out if they need further embellisments.

A finished project, suede-bashing, and more bags

Today I started another bag–I forget what number I’m on, and I’m too lazy to check my own posts.  It’s a Balloon Bag with double-stranded, variegated Lion wool–no base color this time to ground it, so the color explosion is pretty crazy, which means no beads on this one.  I may try to felt some of the others tonight–I have enough quarters and zippered pillowcases to run three bags together for three cycles, which should be enough to felt them.  I have to pick one to donate for the company’s charity auction at the holiday party, which is coming up really fast, so it’s time to risk the sub-par machines in my building’s laundry room. Fortunately I have enough purses stockpiled that if something goes horribly wrong, it won’t be the end of the world.  Damned annoying and frustrating, but not the end of the world.

Last night I finished the Lion Suede project.  I don’t think I’d ever get this yarn again, unless it was for the exact purpose of another one of these projects (which I can’t go into, since I think the intended recipient reads this blog).  Suffice to say, if your project is small, and you crochet instead of knit, and you want something soft, then the suede will work–but use it for anything else at your own risk (of frustration, of anger, of banging your head against a wall, etc.).  On the other hand, it was a nice break for my hands to crochet something after so many knitted bags. I feel guilty for saying this, but I think I like crocheting more than knitting. :-{

Let the Christmas season begin!

The tree is up and decorated, I’ve downloaded new (to me) Christmas music from iTunes, and I bought some of my first presents from the Black Friday online sales–the season has officially begun!

My holiday knitting is coming along nicely, although I ran into a glitch with the beaded Booga Bag–not enough yarn.  Curses! I always forget how very much yarn BBs use.  For the next one I’ll definitely be cutting back on the stitches, probably about 20% to start.  For now, I either have to hit a Michael’s for another ball of mustard Patons (*shudder*), or make the top third brown.  The second option would be my first choice, except the beads make it more complicated.  I don’t think the change in color will work with the beads, so until I can think of a third option that doesn’t require me going to a craft store during the holidays (*shudder*), I’ve put that bag aside and started on another Pink Lady bag, this time in purple and blue.  I started it yesterday, and worked on it a bit after dinner while chilling with my friends, so it’s already half done–yay!

In non-bag knitting news, I’ve had some requests from family and friends that I’ll need to squeeze in, perhaps after I finish this latest bag.  And I have to start felting soon, as well.  Must procure more zippered pillowcases so I can do as many as possible in the same cycles, and save myself some quarters.

That’s it for today–happy shopping!

Beading, felting, and gifting

Bag #6 is finished! Well, ok, it still needs the handles to be kitchener-stitched together, but that requires concentration with no distractions, so I haven’t got to it yet, but otherwise, the knitting part is done!  And it’s beautiful, if I do say so myself. I like using the variegated stranded with a solid color.  Sadly, this has made me less enthused to do a bag in a single solid color, which is not good, as I don’t have enough variegated and novelty yarns to mix things up.  On the other hand, I think I’m now sufficiently motivated to try beads on the next purse. I have a little bag of 300 pony beads I picked up almost a year ago that should do the job nicely to dress up a Booga Bag.  Now I just need to decide which color to use with the metallic gold beads–olive green, forest green, mustard yellow, or brick red?

In other news, I hand felted a purse for the first time yesterday!  It was the turquoise and white clutch, and I used a bucket and plunger in the tub.  I beat that sucker for about 25 minutes and just couldn’t do it anymore, even though it could’ve used another 5-10 minutes.  It’s felted, but you can still see the stitch columns (not the rows, though).  I haven’t decided if I’m going to do it again, or wait until I have access to a non-coin-operated machine.  I think I’m waiting to see how my back feels tonight (it usually takes my muscles about 24 hours to protest new activities).  But the finished product is still cute!  Needs some rhinestone buttons for embellishment, though.

For my final ramble, I’m still undecided on what to make for the young girls in my life.  The Elann birdhouse scares me a little, because it requires embellishment techniques that are new to me, and therefore scary to try on something that will be gifted to someone else.  Perhaps I should abandon the idea of felted purses and make them the kitty hats from Stitch ‘n’ Bitch?  I’d really like to do purses, but I just can’t find the perfect pattern.

This is the part where I’d appreciate any ideas or links from you, my reader. (Bolded to catch the eye of those (like me) who only skim posts without pictures.)  My intended recipients are girls ages 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10.  And maybe the two-year-old, too, I haven’t decided.  I prefer felted purses because I’d never get around to lining an unfelted purse, but non-purse ideas are welcome too.  No sweaters, because I need something quick.