Wednesday, 23 February 2011

WIP Wednesday

I'm actually really excited about this post today. You can tell, because I'm posting it in the morning, having made sure all the photos I wanted were already online last night. No waiting around till this evening for me!

Plus, it's roleplay night tonight again this week, so I won't have time to do it later.

The super secret project is still technically a WIP, but it's finished to the point of just needing to be blocked. Nothing new to share here, though, as any photos showing progress would give away too much on the project. As ever, though, you can check out the project page on Ravelry; I will upload the new pics tonight for this one.

I'm a little nervous about blocking it, though, if I'm honest. I've never done it before! I'm so scared I will somehow ruin it. With lace projects, is it advisable to block first, then weave in ends? Only I've seen on the absolutely incredible "Blocking - before and after" thread in the Ravelry forums how much lace projects grow when blocked, and I figure if you've already weaved in ends, that's going to restrict the growth somewhat? That said, I'm more nervous about blocking the Avalon top when it's finished, as that's 50% wool, 50% acrylic. I guess I have to steam block that.

More exciting, however, is the progress on the Avalon top. Last week I was working on motif 5 (out of 7), so didn't really feel like I'd got very far. Work on it had been slow, as I'd been focusing more on the secret project, as I have a deadline to meet on that one. But I took it along to roleplay night last week, and made some good progress. I finished off the motifs (joining the final motif and closing the yoke was... interesting, to say the least).

Here is the yoke at that stage, seven motifs joined and the three round top yoke edge completed. At this stage, the pattern said "weave in all ends now" and I put off working on it for another couple of days, returning to the granny rectangle until I built up the courage to continue. I hate weaving in ends.

But last night I was determined, I had the house to myself most of the evening as J was driving back from his parents' house. If I'd thought about it, I could have gone along to the local knitting group and finally met everyone, but it didn't occur to me that it was Tuesday until it was too late to think about going. I put on some mindless TV (the Channel 4 program about cosmetic surgery obsessed people being confronted by people with facial disfigurement, part interesting, part freak show telly. Compelling viewing, actually) and got out my tapestry needle.

Weaving in the ends wasn't as irritating as I thought it would be, actually. Very quickly I was done, and able to move onto the lower yoke section.

I had some issues with the fsc underarm bits, but managed to get my head around it and get it done. I only had to rip back the once, when I got to the second arm hole and realised I'd only skipped 9 ch5 spaces instead of 10 on the first one!

I finished last night halfway through the final round before the main body pattern repeat starts. So one armhole is not complete:

While the other is:

Once this row is complete, that's all the complicated bits done, I think. Now it's just a case of repeating the body pattern row until the top is long enough, and doing the border at the bottom (a repeat of the arm of the motifs), and then doing it again (albeit with far less stitches) for the arms. Having my dressmakers dummy is making it a lot easier for me, as I can check to see how it looks without putting it on and having J take pictures, plus it gives me somewhere to store the WIP where it's not going to get lost/damaged/dirty/be in the way.

And I think it's quite an interesting decoration for my living room!

One more WIP today, I've started on my first ever pair of socks. I had a lot of sock yarn left over from the super secret project, more than enough for a pair of socks. I'm using the Ultimate Crochet Sock pattern, which I discovered while searching other finished projects using the King Cole Zig Zag. The specific Ravelry project that caught my eye was Takara's First Sock Attempt, which uses a similar colourway to mine. I haven't started a project page for them yet because I'm still unsure about them, but here's some pics to give you an idea of how it's going.

They look quite an odd shape, but I've tried them on over my toes already and they don't look so weird once they're on. I'm doing the largest size, which I think may be slightly too big for me, so these may end up being socks for J. I need to measure his feet and find out.

So that's my rather exciting WIP update done for the week, head on over to Tami's blog and see what else everyone's been up to.


  1. WoW! What an exciting post. I love the dress making dummy. It sure does look like a major help. Lace intimidates me...mostly because it requires patience. Your work is gorgeous!

  2. The yoke is BEAUTIFUL! What are you planning to attach it to?

  3. The socks are looking great, wil have to give that pattern a go.

  4. Looks like some great projects. I had not really thought of crochet socks, I think i might have to give some a go

  5. With blocking lace, I find it best to weave the ends in BEFORE blocking but leave really long tails that you cut once it is blocked. That way there is room for movement before you trim the ends.

    Hope that helps.

    The crochet stuff looks really complicated. Once day I'll get the courage to give a garment a go. Until then I'll stick to little motifs and blankets.

  6. @Unforth - it's a Doris Chan sweater, I've updated the post to include the link to my Rav project page

    @CC - cheers for the blocking advice, I shall give it a go at the weekend. I'm finding crochet projects often look far more complicated than they are - this top looks really difficult but it's actually pretty simple (although I'd be screwed without the pattern charts!)

  7. The yoke is stunning. I can't wait to see the finished project. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on your socks. I've never done crocheted socks and as for kniting, I only pulled off one and never did the second.

  8. WOWOWOWOW, the yoke is beautiful! Amazing job!! I can't wait to see it further along next week.

    Congrats on the socks. I started to crochet a pair of socks a few months ago and got to the gusset and heel on the toe up (might have been the same pattern) and it was WAY too big for me (and I have big feet!) but way too small for my husband. Someday I'm sure I'll just frog part of it and start over, but I've learned to knit since so will probably just wait to knit a pair instead.

  9. crochet socks look strange when off but shape ever so well on. Beautiful projects btw.

  10. I am so impressed with how your Avalon top is looking so far. Reading about the construction in progress is interesting because I've only ever knitted garments. I agree with CraftyCripple in that I weave in the ends of my lace projects before blocking, but save the trimming of the yarn ends until after blocking. Your socks are looking very pretty. Can't wait to see how you work the heels in crochet.

  11. The Avalon top is coming together gorgeously! I'm so glad that the yoke came together correctly (and that the end-weaving-in was less irritating than anticipated.) And good luck with the blocking of the secret project! I've never blocked anything either, so I sadly can't offer any tips.

  12. Don't be nervous about blocking, it usually only improves projects! I'm adding a 3rd vote for weaving in ends before blocking, but leaving a long tail to trim afterwards. You will be amazed that the ends completely disappear this way.
    Your crochet yoke looks so intricate and amazing!

  13. That yoke is incredible! I don't know how to crochet, but projects like that make me wish i did. I can't wait to see it when it's finished. :)

  14. I'm still in awe of your skills at making the Avalon top. Great job!

    I also weave in ends before blocking on all my lace projects. I leave a little bit of an end sticking out to trim after blocking, but when I have trimmed them more closely i haven't noticed any problems that way either.

  15. Wow! The Avalon top has such an interesting construction. I love garments that are sort of like puzzles, and in the end - voilĂ ! Really gorgeous work.


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