Sunday, November 18, 2007


As we all know, the knitting community has a calendar all its own, complete with distiinct seasons and annual celebrations. Following the Harvest Festival of knitting that is Socktoberfest, a bright spark over at the Angel Yarns forum came up with the genius idea of NOvember. NOvember is for everyone who has too many WIPs - and you know I've had a plague of WIPs lately. The simple rule behind NOvember is that you don't cast anything else on until you have finished your designated WIPs. All of them.

Beautiful in its austerity (a bit like Lent, ho ho), NOvember is really helping me plough through my WIPs, which, as you'll remember, consisted of a large Colinette Perugino throw, three (count 'em!) adult-sized sweaters and several socks. Here's what happened.

On first approaching the fearsome mountain of WIPs, I naturally took the cowardly option and started with the easiest possible thing, namely the socks. I worked on socks at home, and socks while travelling. Eventually, I had to admit all the socks were done, and that meant it was time to do some proper knitting on some of those large WIPs. Under normal circumstances, at this point I would have cast on a new pair of socks. I would have rationalised that I must have a travelling sock to knit on, because travelling without one is unthinkable. I would then have cast on some fascinating new sock pattern and been unable to leave it alone when at home, leaving the WIPs languishing in a corner.

NOvember dictated that no new socks could be cast on until I'd finished four much larger items. Do you know what that means about how long it will be before I have a travelling sock to knit on again? That's a blanket and three sweaters away! I have to read books about knitting on the train, because NOvember is not letting me knit anything that's not massive. I have new sock yarn & needles I want to play with. It is driving me a bit nuts.

However, like a strict diet, this 'no new projects' thing is undeniably working and we are now seeing excellent progress on two of the four large WIPs. The first is the Colinette throw, known as Perugino II, which I'll tell you about next time. You'll be amazed when you see how big it's grown. The second is my Basil sweater, knit in Rowan Summer Tweed. See that green V-neck jumper on the left! We're making that, but in popcorn yellow. Summer Tweed is a fairly luxurious silk/wool mix.

I've been working hard on this when I want a break from Perugino. Because I don't have any socks to play with, whenever I want to knit something I have to choose one of my WIPs and they are really benefiting. At the time of writing I've knit both sleeves of Basil and about half the back.

My mum came to visit this weekend, so I enlisted her help winding my remaining skeins of Summer Tweed into balls. We had great fun with the swift and ball winder.

I love a freshly-wound ball of yarn. That buttery yellow is a dream.

I'm going to need to start blocking sooner than I thought! The race is on now, between this and Perugino II Which will pass the finish line first?


Kay said...

Ooh, I love the look of that yellow sweater. How do you find the Summer Tweed? From sticking my hands into it at the LYS I think I'd like it, but I've heard so many blah comments about it, too.

Ahna said...

Love the sweater! As for commuting, I've been known to lug sweater projects along and just keep my knitting bag on my lap to hold the project while I knit!

I guess a blanket would be difficult though....