I've talked before about the test knitting group on Ravelry and how it can benefit both knitters and designers. I really like the concept. Before you decide to join and test knit a project you need to make sure that you will have plenty of time to get that project completed. It's another job. You give your word to finish on time and the designer is counting on you. I overloaded myself last December. I thought that I had a good plan and would have plenty of time to finish my Christmas knitting and still finish a couple of test projects. (I also used those test projects for presents- two birds one stone). I did not count on having stress related injuries. Turns out if you knit every spare minute in a day for weeks on end, your arms and fingers get really tired and my hand said enough already I quit.
There are some really terrific exercises that you can do to ease the tension in your fingers, hands and wrists. Those combined with a day or two off enabled me to complete my projects. One of those projects was a test knit, called the Elfish Sweater. I don't believe that the pattern has been published yet, or if it has it's name has changed. But here is the link to my project: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/abingham/elfish-sweater. It's an Elfish Sweater because the sweater had bright colored stripes and a pointed hood. I choose to skip the hood in my sweater (just not my thing) and used different colors for my stripes. It's a great pattern. It's finished with a zipper.
It's such a rush to finish a project. I love binding off that last stitch and seeing all my hard work completed. I give myself a few minutes and then I start to feel the loss of not having a new project on the needles and begin my search for the next thing. It doesn't matter that I usually have 3-4 things on the needles at any given time. Or that I have a pile of yarn, needles and patterns ready to get started. Sometimes I look through those piles and choose one to start-other times I get on Ravelry or start digging through my books to find the next thing "I have to start NOW:.
This week I've finished a couple of projects-including my first pair of anklet socks. I've done a few pairs of socks in the last year, although I've always felted them. So this is really the first pair of regular socks. I've got one done and the other is currently on the heel flap. That's what really sucks about socks-you finish one and then you've got to start the next one. I feel that way about sleeves too. I finish one and still have to do another one. It's that mid-way point of a project, that plateau, it can be disheartening.
I choose the "An Anklet a Day" pattern from Jessica Marks http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/an-anklet-a-day. I choose this pattern because it looked straight forward and because I had a skein of yarn with 191 yards which meant that most sock patterns were out for this yarn. It's a nice variegated Shi Bui yarn. I'm not a big fan of the toe finishing. It's a bit too pointed. If I make these again, I'll still do the Kitchener toe-but I'll do a full 20 stitches for a regular flat front for the toe section. See my first sock below:
I love watching the Olympics and seeing what the Human Spirit can do.