Welcome, welcome, and I hope you enjoy the WIP parade episode 1. Here’ you’ll see almost all of my 6 active WIPs (plus a bonus one) and you will find out all about them.
I have lots of WIPs. You may know that already, but what you don’t know is what exactly they are and in what state of completion.
You probably don’t care either, but this is more about me being accountable for finishing my WIPs (work in progress plural) than anything else.
I can no longer publish these on Instagram because nobody sees them and what’s the point of doing so much work to post on that antiquated and backwards app when nobody will see your work anyway?
Here I have a lot more space to talk about everything, I can show photos of my WIPs without worrying about them being “aesthetic” enough to warrant the algorithm showing them to the people who theoretically follow my work.
So this is the first episode of WIP parade, a series which I hope I can keep up with over time (maybe once a month), in which I show you what I’m currently working on, sharing some behind the scenes from the design process, insights into how I deal with my projects and so on.
I know most people do this in video format, but that’s too much work for my tired brain at the moment. As a hyperlexic autistic person, writing comes naturally, talking does not. But we’ll see what the future brings.
For now, we’ll keep things in written format. There are many people out there complaining about this kind of blog disappearing with the advent of vlogs. This one is for them.
How do you put five WIPs into order, when you work on them in parallel and none is more important than the others?
Let’s see, maybe order them by how quickly I want to/am able to complete them.
Then the first must be the one I can’t actually show you. It is a magazine submission, my first submission to a magazine, I’m so giddy about it.
I have a few more rows left to work on it, the pattern in written and I only need to finish the sample, weave in the ends, block it and take photos.
The people at the magazine will take modeled photos of it, but I can’t wait to get it finished and ready to be sent on its way.
I’m way ahead the deadline, but that’s a good thing, they seem to have very loose deadlines (I assume for designers who have the courage to actually design garments, as it takes more time).
This is a source of anxiety for me, in fact, since I’m used to working for myself and for using my own style guide (that I have yet to write down, it currently resides in my brain), for using feedback from testers to improve the pattern. I’m also used to making two versions of each pattern, one in US terms, one in UK terms, but that’s not available right now and I’m wondering about many things.
But hopefully everything will turn out all right. I enjoyed the process and I’ll write a separate article all about submitting ideas to magazines.
I can’t wait to share this project with you (including the WIP photos) when it’s published.
If you read crochet magazines and would like to see one of my patterns in them, please suggest your favorite crochet magazines in the comments and I’ll see if they accept submissions from independent designers.
This one I can share and talk about, it is a shawl pattern that I’m making in collaboration with an amazing yarn dyer who lives in Denmark (we’re almost neighbors).
I’m talking about Rachel from PookYarns, I’ve shared my WIP with her hand dyed gradient yarn on social media before, but now I’m almost ready with the sample and will have a testing session soon.
I am in the process of writing a review for the yarn, but the WIP is also nearly finished, with about a quarter of the yarn left.
It started as a big cake that I’ve been carrying around in a little tray in a cloth bag, so it doesn’t flip over, and it’s very useful for moving around with a medium sized project.
I put the project in the bag, on top of the yarn, and go work in the garden when the weather is nice.
The tray is from Ikea, called Variera, one of those tray-type things that are used in the kitchen for organizing stuff. It’s a little heavy, but that means it’s also stable.
I’ve been thinking of making one of those cake bags I’ve been seeing, to keep yarn cakes safe while they deflate as you use up the yarn. What do you think, should I make one? Oh, a crochet one should be fun.
Now we’re in “no idea when this will be finished” territory. So I’ll just pick a WIP at random.
The closest to me is a Tunisian crochet WIP with cluster stitches to add some texture to the simple fabric. I have 7 more colors to add, then the “neutral” color and an edging.
I’m using a 5.5 mm hook and it seems a bit loose, but that’s just because of the yarn, it’s really not at all elastic.
I’ve chosen a selection of DK weight cotton yarns from my stash, in a rainbow, to make a baby blanket. The color with the smallest amount in it will dictate the maximum number of rows for each color.
I’ve just decided to make 16 rows per color, so as to use up all the colors and not end up with a baby blanket that’s too long.
Then I’ll make a little strip of edging all around, similar to the lace edging I made previously, and call it a day.
Well no, actually I’ll need to write up the pattern, make charts, get some people to test it and then publish.
But that’s work for future me. For now all I need to do is stick with this project and finish it.
This one is another Tunisian crochet baby blanket, also made from stash yarn, but this one is made with sock weight acrylic, if you can imagine that, with a 4.5 mm hook.
The yarn is supposedly “sock” yarn, but I hope nobody ever knits socks out of this yarn, synthetics are not great against sweaty things like feet.
I got the yarn a few years ago at a great price (is it great if it just sits in your stash for several years because you have no idea what to make with it?), thinking I’d make a blanket in Tunisian crochet with diamond motifs.
I made up a sketch, tried various stitch combinations, failed miserably and gave up on the idea. So now I’m making baby blankets. Ideally, I’ll get four different ones in different stitch patterns.
No idea if it will be worth it, but I’ve used up one ball of the 15 I have and it’s looking nice. There are three colors and I’m currently working with the golden yellow.
I’ve got at least 2 and a half balls left to add to this blanket and I’m making the edging in honeycomb as I go, so then I can stop whenever I want (8 rows before “whenever I want” to have enough yarn to make the top edging).
I’ll add this to the Tunisian crochet baby blanket collection that currently has only one design in it.
It’s a good project to take on a road trip or, more recently, train trip. We’ve taken to biking out to the middle of nowhere and returning by train, and this is a great use of my hands while waiting for trains, in trains, in between trains.
It will take a long time to finish in this manner, though, but I’m not in a hurry, I have all the other projects to finish.
This is a long haul project that might not be finished for a few months.
I started it in March (it’s now June, just so you know) while on the way to Romania to deal with paperwork.
We were on the road for a total of about 5 days and I started this and frogged it at least three times until we reached our destination.
In the end, I figured out the issues and started working on it in earnest, that is until I discovered a cone of cashmere blend lace weight yarn that I “needed” to work on on the way back, as it required less concentration.
I keep making mistakes on it and frogging back two, four rows at a time. It’s more complex than my previous filet crochet wrap pattern, not as symmetrical.
I made up the graph before leaving on the trip, hoping I’d at least use up one cake of the two gradient cakes that I planned to use for this.
I set aside yarn for fringe (have lost it in the meantime, no idea where it is right now), then took up a trusty 3 mm hook (that I’ve also lost in the meantime, notice a pattern here?).
The yarn is stiff and sticky, it’s a pure cotton gradient cake that’s not twisted, so I really don’t enjoy working with it. The colors are a bit washed out for what I was expecting.
The yarn is from Hobbii, currently called Sultan. I accidentally got two cakes in the same colorway a long time ago when I ordered stuff from Hobbii (it was before the pandemic) and didn’t really know what to make with them.
I first thought a mosaic wrap or shawl, but I didn’t know whether the yarn would be enough to make a large enough wrap, I really don’t like narrow or short wraps (even though I’ve made some, I still wish I’d made them longer, so I intend to stop making this mistake).
Then I decided on a filet crochet pattern with the gradient going from the middle out towards the edges, with a twisted fringe to bring it all together.
I’m now at the end of the first cake and can’t wait to finish up this sample, I’d like to see it blocked and flowing in the wind. But there’s a lot of work left to do until then.
I have so many other ideas for wraps made in filet crochet, even for triangle shawls, but I really need to finish one before I start another one.
I’ve still got a few of these gradient cakes in stash and am willing to make the most of them, even if they are a bit shorter than I now like.
Special mention – my knit WIP
I almost forgot about this one because it’s knit, not crocheted. I will talk at length about it in another post dedicated to it. After I make a few more rows, you know how it is.
This one is purely recreational, although I am learning a lot about lace, shaping, working with charts and so much more.
WIP parade – episode 1 wrap-up
So many ideas, so little time. Ah, but now that I’ve showed you my active WIPs, I might get a chance at finishing a few of them before I get distracted and start a new one.
There are hibernating WIPs as well, which I’ll present in future episodes, after I take them out of hibernation and actually start working on them actively.
There are also unfinished patterns with finished WIPs that I might present in a special episode and you can vote on which design you’d like to see finished first.
That might help me prioritize what to finish, as right now I’m using firm deadlines from collaborators and event organizers to help focus on finishing patterns.
As you might imagine, there are many things to do between finishing a sample and publishing a pattern.
I might have to write up that process as well, if you’re curious of all the steps necessary between getting an idea and having a published pattern.
Look at me, giving myself more work, there are at least three promises of future articles in this blog post only, see if you can find them all and pull at my ears when I forget to keep them (only if you are interested in the topic).
I hope you enjoyed this parade of unfinished projects that are slowly growing and I hope I’ll soon be able to start and FO parade (finished object) to show them off.
Thanks for joining me here and if you want to know when I publish the next episode, patterns, videos, “helpful” articles about crochet, Tunisian crochet or crochet design, make sure you sign up to my email updates.