Personal projects in progress

Having gotten those emergency mitts out of the way, I’ve been thinking about what non-work projects I’d like to work on next. As ever, I have several in the works.

You know how people talk about being process vs. product knitters? I think it’s more complicated than that for me.

Here are the kinds of projects I tend to do (knitting or otherwise); often a given project will have more than one of these categories:

  • I want to use up some yarn or fabric in my stash.
  • There’s something I want to learn how to do.
  • There’s something I want to figure out how to make.
  • I need a straightforward knitting project at all times, either flat garter stitch or stockinette on the round that I can knit as a soothing autopilot project. (This is pure process knitting for me.)
  • I want to make a gift for someone (I always consult with them to see what they want).
  • There’s a thing I need that I don’t enjoy making, but I can’t buy what I want, so I’m going to make it anyway. This is a category of making that has existed throughout history, and it is absolutely all right to make things you don’t enjoy. I don’t resent making these things. I just need them. I try to figure out how to make the process as efficient as I can to eliminate the sticking points, and I try to make the result as durable as possible so I don’t have to do it as often. This is a kind of product knitting, but the results when I do this are never carefully fitted or complicated. (When knitting, anyway. Sewing is a different matter, for whatever reason.)

Here are the current unfinished projects at the top of my mind; there’s a bunch of other hibernating projects I need to sort out, but they can wait.

The necessary sweater

A large squiggle of purple knitting that doesn’t look like much of anything yet.

I need a sweater. I dislike knitting sweaters. I’m knitting one anyway because I can’t find a durable 100% wool sweater for sale in my size that I like and can afford. I’m copying a worn-out boxy commercial sweater that fits, except that I’m knitting it in the round, and I’m converting it to a V-neck. I knit a ton of gauge swatches, and I’m worried that my gauge changed once I really got going, so I’m about to wash the sweater on the needles and see how things look. I’ve already knit this part twice and I’ll knit it again if I have to. I started a bit below the armholes and am knitting upward, so this is mostly the yoke and neck section. Yarn is Kelbourne Germantown in Rhododendron.

Socks for me

I need to pick one of these for my portable project.

The foot of a green sock with textured cable patterns

Toe up socks, Sycamore stitch, Fortissima sock yarn. Don’t remember the color name.

The toe of a sock with a gradual shift between brown and blue.

Toe up sock, instep in reverse stockinette. This is a personal sock pattern I’ve made for myself before, and is the sock design that made me learn to do combined knitting. (Because that makes the gauge work out.)

Garter shawl for my kid

Shawl with variable width stripes: one yarn is shades of pale aqua; the other is a weird variegated yarn with aqua and a muted purple that makes me think of some seaweed.

Definitely in the soothing garter stitch category. Asymmetrical triangle shawl; Fibonacci stripes. Mystery fingering weight yarn bought at the local creative reuse shop. (Like a thrift shop for craft supplies.)

The colors make me think of the ocean.

Jean project bags (Jags?)

Three bags made from the tops of old jeans. The straps haven’t been attached yet.

I sewed the body part of these kid jeans into bags; I need to attach the straps still. (The legs had disintegrated beyond patching, you see.) They’re a good size for knitting project bags. I have vague plans to do a photo post of the whole process with one more pair of kid pants because it turns out that figuring out where to put the seam across the leg holes is trickier than I’d expected and I think it’s worth sharing because it preserves all the pockets. The end result is kind of quirky, but I like it. (Based on a bag a relative made for me.)

Sock Yarn Scrap Blanket

A shoe box contains a whole bunch of knitted squares stacked and placed on their sides, like books on a shelf. Four squares are lying flat in the lid of the shoe box.

I started this project at the very beginning of the pandemic (the very first yarn was bought at the reuse shop at the beginning of March 2020), and then it went into hibernation sometime in 2021. I need to lay out all the squares and see if I can be excited to knit a lot more. If not, I’ll knit enough to finish a rectangle, sew them together, and knit a border onto it. I’m pretty sure it’s already the minimum size I want.

Rag rug

A strip of fabric has been rolled up, folded back and forth twice, and stitched to itself to make a tiny flat strip, like a piece of a rug.

This is another necessary project, in a different way. I have a lot of worn out old t-shirts that I don’t want to throw out. There’s no more room in the rag drawer. I need some new bath mats and similar. My floor loom isn’t set up right now, so I’ve worked out a method for stitching rolled strips of t-shirt fabric together as simply and durably as I think I can manage, using blanket stitch. The above is the proof of concept, but I might have thought of a further improvement to make it a bit more durable.


I don’t have a particular mending project in mind right now; there’s lots of possibles. I mostly am mentioning it to remind myself to not ignore the mending pile!

Bonus Cat Picture

Black cat curled up asleep. One of her
front paws is draped over her nose, the
other three legs, and her tail. Her head
is pillowed on one of her hind legs; the
toe beans on that one are visible.

I love it when cats use one paw to hold all the other legs and tail in place like this.

What are you working on right now?