Sparkly socks and other wonders

Finished Object Alert! Plus Sparkly Sock In Progress

Quick note: This post is late! I actually wrote it more than a week ago, before my laptop died and took everything with it. Now I'm trying to catch up with all of you! Here's the latest…with more to come soon. –Sandi

Your comments on
the last post about wild WIPs were inspiring and sometimes pretty funny. Apparently, attempting to corral and manage our unruly WIPs is an ongoing struggle for all of us, whether we are one-at-a-time knitters (who may just happen to store FUTURE projects in neat ziplock bags, complete with instructions, yarn, and cable needles), or the take-no-prisoners sort of knitter, who is knitting All The Projects At Once (like yours truly).
I'm happy to report that my organizational strategy has been working so far. (OK, two weeks isn't really a good test of the system, but still.) Projects are still in their bins; I've managed to work on several WIPs without having to tear my house apart and check all my linen drawers for circular needles. I've also moved some of my traveling WIPs to my project bags; the bags are stored on hooks in a corner of my TV room, as you can see in the photo at left.

I have even managed to FINISH a couple of things. Remember "finishing," that part where there are no more stitches on your needles and you can actually wear or use what you made? It's AMAZING how something can go from a project that travels with you everywhere, from doctor's office to car to sofa to airport and back again, to something you can actually USE. It goes straight to your head, that finishing stuff does. You feel as though you have actually accomplished something.

For example: Look at these purple beauties!
Those are called "socks," and if I put them on my feet, my toes aren't cold anymore.  The pattern is based on Ann Budd's formulas in Getting Started Knitting Socks. I wrote down what I did, and this sock pattern is now my go-to fave for quick DK-weight socks. (Yarn: Indigodragonfly's merino/cashmere/nylon DK.)

I also finished weaving the fabric and one of the straps for a woven tote bag I am doing from Sara Lamb's Woven Treasures. (I know, it's not knitting, but it is YARN, so it counts as a finished object.)

To celebrate this shortening of my work-in-progress queue, I naturally cast on for a new project. Sparkly socks! With lace!

The pattern is Bettie's Stockings, by Hana Jason. I've had this pattern on my must-knit list for a while, after seeing several pairs wandering around Rhinebeck last fall. (The stockings had legs in them, of course. They weren't zombie stockings or anything, walking around the booths under some sort of dark magic. Just to be clear, so you don't send the nice folks with white coats to come and get me.)

The lace pattern is really fun, a variation on the dropped-yarnover theme. There is something about intentionally dropping stitches that is very satisfying to my inner ten-year-old. At regular intervals, you scoop your needle under the column of dropped stitches, gather them up with a new stitch, and voila! A little butterfly-wing design appears. Very pretty. 

I'm also in love with this yarn, a soft, rich handdyed merino/silk/sterling silver blend from Shameless Twist called Precious. It has real sterling silver in it, but it's not at all scratchy, not even a little bit. I admit to carrying the skein around with me in my handbag (protected in a plastic baggie) for a while, just to take it out and admire it, letting it sparkle in my hands. The combination of the deep colour and the sparklies is pretty much making me this yarn's slave. (I may have to write the dyer and tell her the yarn wishes to be called "Mistress" instead of Precious, as in "Yes, Mistress.")

I loved all your various storage ideas and tips! (And yes, I did read Every Single One of the many comments from last time. Thank you all for your ideas!) I particularly liked seeing how each of you dealt with your own special circumstances, as what works for some folks might not work for other folks, depending on all sorts of factors. For example, although I would dearly love to have those open fabric bins on shelves for my stash and projects, the three cats who own me would also love those open fabric bins to play in, explore, take naps in, and use as scratching posts. Every needle, every scrap of yarn must be completely stowed away, lest one of their furry Majesties decide that it belongs to them, rather than to me.

I think managing a stash and an assortment of projects is in and of itself a work-in-progress. My favourite comment this time came from knitviv1:

"Thank you all for taking the time to write so that I, another disorganized, yarn addict, can find peace and acceptance in my knitting life. Even though there is a grand plan of getting my WIPs and ridiculous yarn stash under control, I can now freely admit that I just don't want to take the time to actually do it. All your ideas using plastic gallon bags and phone apps will help me greatly until the time comes when the grand plan can be accomplished. And if not, so what? Knit on!"

Knit on, indeed!

If you have more ideas or suggestions for how to wrangle all those Works In Progress, let us know!  

– Sandi

Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. You can find her blogging here on Knitting Daily each week.
Want more? Visit Sandi's personal blog, wiseheart knits. Or, if you're on Twitter, you can follow her: sandiwiseheart.

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14 thoughts on “Sparkly socks and other wonders

  1. My WIP pile includes the slipper-socks for my granddaughter (age 5) that will really only take a couple of days to finish, the fingerless gloves for my sister, the baby afghan that I’ve started over three times because I got tired of the particular pattern, a pair of socks for me (a year old, 1/2 done), my first pair of socks that I started… oh… 5 years ago? [I’ve made about 4 other pair in the meantime], and — wait for it — a black and silver sleeveless shell using yarn donated to me by a friend. I started that shell 7 years ago and have the back and 2″ of the front done. Oh yes, and a child’s sweater that is already outgrown, so will go to the homeless shelter when it reaches completion.
    SO — how do I organize it? The socks and mitts are in a small tote bag I carry with me most of the time. The baby afghan is in a stand-alone knit tote that is by the reading chair. The child’s sweater is in a sling-type purse that comes out with me sometimes…. and the sleeveless shell is in a box in the corner of the closet.
    All my straight needles are wrapped — in size order — in a silverware cloth wrapper. My circulars are looped with twist-ties. And my dpn’s are in an o-l-d knitting-needle fabric holder that rolls up. All the needles are in the top drawer of the spare dresser, along with a few balls of crochet thread and a bag of crochet hooks. Yarn is sorted into 2 bags (worsted weight and “less”), a box for bulky yarns, and a box for “stuff I bought this year, but haven’t designated for a project.” All the yarn, bagged or boxed, is in a corner in my closet.
    Believe it or not, this is more organized than I have ever been in my life!

  2. Question about the Shameless Twist “Precious” — are you having any problems with the silver tarnishing? I looked at some stuff awhile back called (IIRC) something like “Starry Night” but was worried about that (that and the price made me leery of using it for socks….)

  3. Sandi, I think “Precious” will work just fine as the yarn’s name if you’ll give it a Gollum-like inflection: “We wants it, we needs it, we must haves our Precioussssss!”

  4. Dear Sandi,
    I have missed reading your articles in Knitting Daily. Will your work be back soon?
    I have printed off several of your how-to articles and keep them as references.

  5. Hi Sandi,

    Please come back!! We miss you!! If you are no longer writing the blog – could you please ask someone to add an explanation? I am ampng many who check back at least once a week in great hope that you have added another wonderful entry! Hope everyone in your life is well

    Carol Ann Burden
    Nova Scotia

  6. We miss you, Sandi! I keep checking back to see your new thoughts on the common problems of knitting and of life that we all share. Hope to see a new article soon.

  7. Sandi Oh Sandi, where are you?????? I keep checking for new posts but nothing yet. Hope all is well with you and it’s just that you’ve been on a fabulous extended vacation!! Come back soon, miss you, you are a hoot and lift my spirits when I read your knitting, etc.. adventures.

  8. Hey folks,
    I found her…click on the highlighted link above “wiseheart knits”—something
    was said on that site that Sandi is no longer blogging on Knitting Daily. I don’t
    know why….