Killing off a Curse

My last post was fermenting for about a month before I finally finished it off and exposed my WIP trauma to the world. I can report that while a few FOs have wended their torturous way (Raspberry Beret and a different Phoenix), a few WIPs still languish (the gloves and the quilt top).

My lucky number Eight project, mentioned at the end of my last post, was a radical choice and very taunting of the crafting gods. The back story was that I had a wedding to go to and you may recall how much I loathe clothes shopping for myself so I went to a Personal Shopper and picked up this dress:

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Swit-swoo!

And this coat to go with it (Spring weddings not being known for their balmy weather)

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Bit-a-bling!

Of course it needed a shawl and, as luck would have it, I had just the yarn in my stash.

DH gone mad!

Noro Silk Garden Sock

The Crafting Gods were smiling upon me, obviously. So, naturally, nothing would do me but to taunt them and pick a shawl pattern by a designer I’d previously flagged technical-editing issues to. Others in my knitting circle have also run into difficulties on some of her patterns (mainly from the same book) so there’s a bit of a standing joke amongst us of the “Curse of Kirsten”. Selecting this pattern could potentially result in me running a gauntlet, crafting style, as my fellow crafters do their best to disguise their “we told you so” looks and “why do you do these things to yourself” comments.

Or could I possibly break the Curse? Yes, you know me by now: I’m arrogant enough to imagine that’s exactly what I’ll do.

The pattern was a lot of fun and played nicely with the self-striping yarn (though, admitedly, it would be better in a solid or semi-solid).

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It goes up and down not around and around

I got a funky 70s-esque shawl out of it. And a lot of compliments at the wedding.

The Crafting Gods had to get my hubris in check by making sure I ran out of yarn. And though they kept me guessing until the last stitch of the row, there was thankfully enough to get a few rows of the edging complete.

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Cutting it fine!

And the Curse? Sadly, the pattern did have small technical-editing issues. Significant enough that it might confuse a crochter but not anything that couldn’t be got over with a liberal dose of common sense. I can’t say the Curse won’t rue another day. My guess is this designer has got so popular and in demand she is unable to give as much time to cross-checking the technical-editing of her patterns (or has possibly outsourced some of the design work?). It’s sad but it puts me off purchasing any of her other publications or patterns.

But at least my lucky number Eight was lucky after all!

ETA by popular request (yeah, I look like I’m about to start a reel – that’s accidental! – or possibly ingrained!):

The Ensemble!

The Ensemble!

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When Mojo is a Mo’fo’!

Seven!

No less than seven WIPs have turned bad on me lately.

Count ’em: SEVEN !

ONE…
I started gloves for DD’s teacher. The pattern (from my library) is I-chord gloves by Meg Swanson. The yarn (from my stash) is Textiles A Mano Caricia in Nightfall. The pattern is written for worsted weight. The yarn is fingering weight. Ergo, the project needs maths.

The maths is not really the problem. The measurements for the maths is the problem. The model for the measurement i.e. my husband, specifically his hands, has been travelling a lot lately.

So this project languishes.

TWO…
I decided, while I was waiting, I should get on with one of my design ideas. So I cast-on an experiment. It went like many experiments do… in cartoons: it made odd jolting movements before juddering to a halt.

It has been ripped out and is no more.

THREE…
I met one of MCs new teachers and immediately decided she was a slouchy beret kind of gal. So I started Phoenix (from my library) in LuLu’s Yarns BFL Sock (from my stash).

I thought the Tunisian Crochet / linked crochet stitches would play nicely in the mottled yarn. I swatched some of the band and the eyelet pattern and concluded I was sadly mistaken.

Phoenix in Phlames!

This Phoenix smoulders and has not risen from the ashes of my defeat

FOUR…

In desperation at being thwarted by four WIPs at once I decided to fall back to socks. However, rather than go with just vanilla socks to get my mojo back, I had to try another experimental idea and cast-on the socks in a weird way.

That prototype crashed rather spectacularly. It’s so bad it will be a challenge even to rip it out!

FIVE…
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a quilt top for a blanket for a baby grandchild of a friend of my mothers. The blocks for the quilt top demand a bit of accuracy around the depth of seam. My sewing machine didn’t feel like complying so I’d completed 90% of the blocks by fudging it. I’ve just found the instruction booklet for my sewing machine and figured out how to set the 1/4″ seam.

Now I’m wondering should I rip out the other blocks and redo them with the correct seam allowance. Or fudge the last six blocks and fudge sewing the blocks together. It’s hard to know which would be more challenging to do. It’s pretty depressing that WIPs in knitting, crochet AND sewing are ALL conspiring against me 😦

SIX…
Having worked into a dead-end on all the things I need to make it was time to retrace some steps and get back on track. I decided the slouchy beret was the easiest to tackle. A new pattern – Pizzelle Beret by Linda Permann (from my library) would also be a great slouchy beret. But it had to be in a solid yarn. I decided on Textiles A Mano Caricia in Sea Glass – green which I had got with Nightfall (above) when I was in Janel Laidman’s Illuminations Sock Club. They were intended to be used together in colourwork sock patterns so it made sense (to me) that if I was using one skein for a pair of gloves for one teacher I should use the other skein for a present for another teacher. Perfectly logical, no?

And then I got all illogical. The more I worked on the pattern the more the yarn – despite being luxurious, with 10% cashmere – began to remind me of Baby acrylic double-knitting yarn that I *used* to have in my stash yonks ago. I got so illogical, I had to stop working on the pattern even though I was really enjoying it.

Pizzelle in Textiles A Mano Caricia "Seaglass" colourway

I’m prejudiced against this colour

SEVEN…
Since there was nothing wrong with the pattern I decided to poll a few other colour options on twitter.

Alternative colour options

I opted for the Raspberry colour (bottom left) because someone suggested “Raspberry Beret”

After making good progress I realised I had somehow managed to set up SEVEN repeats rather than the six required in the pattern. There was no redeeming this and the whole hat had to be ripped back to the start.

So there you have it: I’m being thwarted by no less than seven WIPs at once!

What’s my answer? Why, Start another WIP, of course! Lucky number EIGHT, eh?