Where are all the WIPs?

One of my favorite things about this knitblogging community is reading running commentary about works-in-progress–seeing how projects take shape, getting fresh impressions of how a particular knit goes rather than the sum-up feelings at the end, the vicarious thrill of others’ triumphs and the keen empathy when I read about a stumbling block. The creative process fascinates me, and I love to think that I might be able to offer others the same glimpses they grant me.

I was looking through past entries on a shawl I knit, the other day, and noticed two things I don’t like about my own blogging: When I do take notes, they’re never as detailed or useful a year down the road as they seemed when I wrote them, and my WIP posts are much less frequent than they used to be. Part of the latter, of course, is that I’m doing a lot of baby stuff lately. Most of the knitting is done within a week, so there’s only an opportunity for one or two posts at most for this stuff. But I think some of it is laziness on my part, too–it’s tough to get good pictures of WIPs, particularly something like lace or colorwork that looks (let’s be honest) less than appetizing pre-blocking.

Still, to increase my own satisfaction and reward from what I’m doing here, I’m really going to try to make an effort to (a) better catalog my thoughts and impressions and problems and solutions while I’m actually knitting a piece, and (b) post more WIP shots. So here we go!

I’m mostly focusing on gift knitting this week, but while I waited for the yarn to arrive in the mail I picked up the Cleopatra Wrap (ravelry link here) I started ages ago. I’m knitting it in the Sundara silk lace I received as part of the Seasons Club that just ended, and I put it aside after only 7 rows back in January because I couldn’t for the life of me follow the simple chart. While preggo brain is still definitely in evidence, I’ve come to my knitting senses again and found the lace both engaging and easy this time around. The pattern uses what I think is a really neat construction: You cast on, do the edging chart, place the live stitches on a spare needle, and then repeat for the second edging (followed immediately by the body). At the end, graft the stitches together.

This technique has three big advantages that I see at the moment: First, the edges of the rectangular stole match. Second, I get to use up all of that precious silk with no guesswork. Third, once you’re done with the first edging, a progress shot is really easy!

I’m a little stunned at how much more I like the lace when the points are pinned out vs. when it’s straight across the bottom. The points add such a grace to the piece that’s not evident when it’s just hanging from the needle. One thing this picture doesn’t show, though, is the way the yarn is knitting up. I was a little unsure about this first installment of Sundara’s club–the color (“copper over bamboo”) seemed too bright, too pink, not subtle enough. Something was off about it, wound into a ball.

It knits up much more nicely than the ball might indicate. The sheen is incredible, and when the yarn has a little bit of room around it in the lace, I see less fuschia and more of the subtle bits of “bamboo” peeking through. There’s depth without streaking, delicacy, shine. I just can’t wait to wear it. I can’t wait to pick it up again after my current deadline wip is finished.

So what’s the secret knitting, then? A birthday sweater for one of our most special friends who is turning 2. I’ll talk about it more next week after the reveal, but details are in ravelry and here’s a sneak peek:

And finally, here’s a knits-in-action shot for you. You’ll have to excuse the glazed, slack-jawed, post-nap expression! I woke up from my nap with Jacob the other day and NEEDED POPCORN. So I threw on my new favorite maternity sweater and stumbled downstairs like a zombie.

As it turns out, the shaped v-neck sweater I knit myself a little over a year ago can accommodate a belly, too.

21 thoughts on “Where are all the WIPs?

  1. WIP posts are hard – especially when you are knitting something boring. How many shots of plain old stockinette can you take? 🙂 The elephant sweater is just too cute!

  2. i agree that my blog is also lacking WIPs! how sad. perhaps i’ll be motivated to post more frequently thanks to you! also, i also love the lace with the points pinned out.

  3. WIP shots are hard to take. And with a lot of things there’s only visual interest when a phase change takes place (ie: back to sleeve). The rest of the time… meh.

    That lace looks fantastic though!

  4. I think I’m guilty of not doing any WIPs blogging because 1. I’m too lazy to take pics of my WIPs, 2. I’m too lazy to think of things to write about them, and 3. I’m too lazy. But really, it’s so hard for me to blog – it takes at least a few hours to do the whole process from pics to writing about them and post it that it’s just easier to wait until I’m finished with a project. That being said, I do like seeing everyone’s WIPs and reading about the process. You do it wonderfully!

  5. I know what you mean about WIP posts!

    That’s rad about your v-neck sweater. How lovely to be able to wear a handknit!

  6. The Cleopatra wrap is a stunner – I went right to ravelry and queued it!! Can’t wait to see it progress! Love your sweater too, sa-weet!

  7. You look great. I love that stole and hope to knit it this year, too.

  8. Oh I so agree with you about the pinning out really making the lace more appealing!

  9. That sweater looks great on you!

  10. I’m guilty of not WIP-blogging too. Mostly because when I have WIPs it’s so much more satisfying to, you know, knit them instead of blogging about them. Instant gratification being the operative word. 🙂

  11. What a satisfying post!Its great to read about process. Product is gratifying but lets face it knitters have to love process and there is so much learning to be done from following along as someone else works through challenges and then finally displays success!

    I’ve taken to keeping a notebook with me (pen attached) whenever I knit or read blogs. I can’t believe how useful the jottings are.

  12. The Cleopatra Stole is going to be gorgeous. Do you think it would look good in a variegated yarn? I have a hank of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace.
    I could not agree more about posting WIP shots. I have definitelly become lazier since the arrival of Ravelry.

  13. Your Cleoptra wrap is looking wonderful. What a great start! As far as WIP posts – I think we all try, but feel like “ohh we’re so close to an FO” and then we put it off like a diet we’re about to start. Thanks for the post.

  14. Gorgeous shawl!

  15. I’ve noticed the same thing with my blogging. Much less WIPs. I don’t know if it’s a Ravelry effect. By the time I’ve taken photos and uploaded to Flickr and Ravelry, I feel like I’ve already shared and get too lazy to blog about it. I do agree that I like to hear about the whole “journey” of a project though, and I should definately try to get back into WIP-blogging.

    Your Cleopatra wrap looks gorgeous! I’ve been on the fence about my skein lately, but that’s just stunning.

  16. One nice thing about hearing about your WIPs is so I know that beautiful things don’t just jump instantly, effortlessly from your needles! Puts my own setbacks in perspective to know that others are human, too. 🙂

  17. Sometimes WIP posts just don’t happen do they, things just appear! I am going to make more of an effort to post more infomativly. My blog is so all over the palce at the moment!

  18. Awwwww, you look wonderful!
    And I’ve just added the Cleopatra wrap to my ever-lengthening queue, thanks to you! It’s veeeery pretty.

  19. It’s so odd, I was just thinking today, after I posted a FO on my blog, that I miss WIP posts. I don’t do them any more. I got distracted along the way, became starstruck by blogs that are more like catalogues than diaries, and decided my own queries and bumblings weren’t blogworthy. Yet the blogs I like reading most are as much about the process as the product. I’m pleased I read this; heartening and affirmative.

  20. I love reading about other’s works in progress, but I generally stink at posting about my own : ) Thanks for making an effort to show us the process (I will try to do more of it, too).

    The Sundara yarn is stunning in the Cleopatra pattern – with a wonderful, subtle variegation that doesn’t obscure the lace.

    I have to agree, you look wonderful, and your shaped v-neck sweater works really well with a belly : )

    P.S. Great Beret and cooky flat-knit socks duo… and Jacob’s socks, too! …and everything else : )

  21. […] Amy recently blogged about the lack of WIP blogging lately, and I definately agree. I’m going to try to get back to blogging my WIPs, but for now here’s another FO. […]

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