Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Indie Burgh Socks, or What I Did at the Blackhawks Convention

Posted by Andi on July 27, 2014

I swear I’ve been knitting. Really, I have. I’ve been slacking on a sweater, and I’ve knit two things I can’t really talk about yet. But I have finished something! I started these socks right after I finished the Electric Blue Anklets I posted about last time. Oh, and the socks really are even, I just didn’t make sure they were even on my legs when I took the picture.

Indie Burgh Socks
Pattern: Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl 2014 Socks by C.C. Almon
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in We’re Different Strohblume, .57 skein
Needles: US 1
Date started: July 4, 2014
Date completed: July 20, 2014

This is such a great pattern. It’s so easy to memorize, and comes in both toe-up and cuff-down versions, so you can make whichever one you want. I went with the toe-up version, which seems to be my sock of choice lately. I realize that I hate picking up the gusset stitches along the heel flap edge in magic loop. I don’t mind it on DPNs, but for some reason I really don’t like it on magic loop.

Last weekend was the Blackhawks Convention. There is a lot of sitting around or waiting in line at the Blackhawks Convention, so I thought this would be the perfect project to take. I had already finished the first sock by then, and was just starting the second. I got as far as the toe. I don’t know why, but when I’m doing toe-up socks and taking them somewhere to work on them, I want the toe to be finished first. I’m just weird that way. So I only had the toe of the second sock done before I went to the convention last Friday. I started working on the foot Friday afternoon when I was in line to get a wristband to get Jack O’Callahan’s (former Blackhawk and 1980 Olympic Team member) autograph.

Knitting in Jack O'Callahan's autograph line #knitting #BlackhawkConvention #operationsockdrawer

It grew from there. I arrive Saturday morning for the first sessions (about the Blackhawks baby boom) and took this picture. I didn’t put the whole sock in the picture, but you can tell that the foot was much further along.

Waiting for the first session to start. #hockey #knitting #operationsockdrawer

I even finished the gusset and turned the heel on Saturday. I was in the home stretch on Sunday. I just had a few more pattern repeats of the leg and the cuff to finish.

Day 3 of the Convention. Almost done! #knitting #operationsockdrawer #hockey #BHC2014

I really thought I would finish the cuff at the convention on Sunday. I was going to sit through two sessions in the same room, and I didn’t leave the room in between. Part way through the second session I started the first row of the cuff when I realized I really had to use the restroom. For a few minutes I thought I would wait until the end of the session, but at that point I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

I put the sock away and went to the restroom, thinking I would be back in the room in five minutes and I would finish the cuff. But as I was walking to the restroom and woman who worked at the convention approached me and asked if I wanted Brent Seabrook’s autograph. You couldn’t just wait in line for his autograph, you had to win a pass. I said okay, she handed me a pass, and I decided to do that instead. Only I realized I had nothing for him to sign, so I had to run downstairs to the market area to get a puck and run back upstairs to get in line. Once I got Brent Seabrook’s autograph the session was over.

I did finish the sock that day, but I didn’t start back up on the cuff again until I got home. The socks took 290.7 yards of yarn, bringing my total yards knit so far this year (including some yardage for one of those things I mentioned above that I can’t post about yet) to 5,131.5. At the time I finished these (it has since changed but this is also a story for another post) I had purchased 3,857 yards of yarn this year. Thus, as of July 20, I had knit 133% of the total yardage I have purchased so far this year.

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Electric Blue Anklets

Posted by Andi on July 5, 2014

Electric Blue Anklets
Pattern: Slip Stitch Heel Basic Socks by Wendy H. Johnson, incorporating Barely There Socks by Jill L. Schaefer
Yarn: Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in Sapphire Batik, .49 skein
Needles: US 1
Date started: June 14, 2014
Date completed: July 4, 2014

I got so much out of this one skein of sock yarn. First, I made Tim a new pair of gloves. Then I made a hexipuff. I still had a lot of yarn left over, so I figured I could make some anklets.

After knitting the first sock I got nervous that I wouldn’t have enough yarn left, so I weighed the first sock and the amount of yarn left over. The leftover yarn weighed more than the sock, barely, so I continued on. Even though I knew I had enough yarn by weight, as I got toward the end of the second stock I got nervous that it wouldn’t be enough. But it was fine. There is enough left over to make another hexipuff, but then this skein will be totally used up.

These socks used 205.8 yards of fingering weight yarn, bringing my total yardage this year to 5,131.5 yards. This includes a project I haven’t posted about yet, but it’s part of a swap package and I won’t be able to post about it until after my swapee receives her box. Now I’ve knit 133% of the yardage I have purchased so far this year. This is good, because the first installment of my yarn club should be arriving in a couple of weeks, and that will drive the percentage down. I must keep knitting!

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Jet Pack Bag

Posted by Andi on June 26, 2014

Jet Pack Bag
Pattern: Ditty Bags by Maia Discoe
Yarn: Frog Tree Pediboo in 1199, .36 skein
Needles: US 3
Date started: June 22, 2014
Date completed: June 23, 2014

I have a jet pack for work. No, not that kind of jet pack. It’s a little device and cord that I can use to access the internet remotely. I keep it in my work bag, but it kept falling to the bottom. Whenever I needed it I either easily found the cord but not the jet pack itself, or vice versa. While I was on a work trip last week I saw that one of my colleagues had hers in a little fabric bag, the type you get when you buy jewelry. I thought that was a great idea, and mentioned to her that I should make a drawstring bag for myself.

Although this technically took two days to complete (I finished the i-cord on Monday morning), this could have been done in one day. I decided to make it on Sunday. First, I went running and was so hot that even after taking a shower I was still sweating. I thought it would be best to knit something small as opposed to the sweater I’m working on. Also, once I got into the body of the bag it was straight stockinette in the round (there was an optional stitch pattern that I chose not to do) which was very easy to work on while watching the USMNT tie Portugal that evening.

It ended up being the perfect size. I might make these any time I have leftover sport weight yarn and use them to put gifts in.

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Still going, and going, and going…

Posted by Andi on June 22, 2014

Remember when I used to knit hexipuffs every month and post about how many I made each month and how many I had total? Yeah, I do too. And then I slacked off. I don’t know if I got busy knitting other things, whether the allure of the hexipuff wore off, probably a combination of the two. But for whatever reason, my hexipuff productivity dropped significantly. Remember when I said I wanted to knit five hexipuffs a month this year? Before last weekend I had only knit two.

I might finally be back on the bandwagon. It took not knowing what project to work on, but I might be getting there. Last Sunday we went over to my father and stepmother’s house for Father’s Day. I knew we would be sitting around, so I wanted to bring a knitting project with. I didn’t want to bring the sweater I’m making because it’s a gift and I’m not sure if the recipient is allergic to dogs or not. My dad and stepmother have two dogs. I had started another sock, but that was just to get it on the needles so I had a travel project available this past week. I didn’t want to get too much done on that. So I decided to take my hexipuff fixings, and I actually made four!

New hexipuffs #knitting

I made these out of four fingering weight yarns I’ve used recently. Clockwise from top left, I used the yarn from my Safari Socks, the yarn from my Kai-Mei socks, the yarn from my Sallah Cowl, and the yarn from the Shallows infinity scarf I made for a charity auction. One more hexipuff and I finish my goal for the month!

Going by the five a month goal I had, by the end of June I should be at 30 hexipuffs. I’m at six. At some point I would really like to catch up. The sweater I’m making has a deadline, and of course instead of making that today I will be casting on something else, so who knows when I will catch up. It will be the perfect project for hot summer days, though, so perhaps my hexipuff production will be dependent upon the weather.

I count each hexipuff as about 10 yards of yarn, although I’ve never specifically measured it. That’s what the designer said, so I’m going with that. Therefore, I’m counting these four hexipuffs as using 40 yards of yarn. That means I’ve now knit 123% of the yards I bought so far this year (4,737 yards knit, 3,857 yards purchased).

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Cowl Neck Vest

Posted by Andi on June 21, 2014

Cowl Neck Vest
Pattern: Cowl Neck Vest by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, from the book Knit Red: Stitching for Women’s Heart Health by Laura Zander
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy, 3.56 skeins (yarn was purchased at the Dream In Color warehouse sale and didn’t have labels, so I don’t know the color)
Needles: US 9 and 10
Date started: March 2014
Date completed: June 14, 2014

I was hoping to finish this in time for the Geeky Girls Knit March, April, May sweater KAL, but I just missed out. Oh well.

I had been wanting to knit this sweater for a while. I even bought some long sleeved t-shirts that I thought would look great with it a while back. At least I already have something to wear with it.

My favorite part of the sweater is the buttons. I almost didn’t get these buttons. My mom came with me to the fabric store to help me pick them out. I saw these buttons, but I only saw six and I needed 10. A bit later my mom held these buttons up and asked if I liked them. I said yes, but that there weren’t enough. Then I realized she was standing in a different spot than where I found these buttons. They were in two different places, and it turned out there were more than enough. There was no more looking after that.

Finishing a cardigan #knitting

This is my first cardigan with buttons. I had no experience with sewing buttons to yarn, so my mom helped me a bit. I sewed all but the first button on. They are all sturdy and look fine.

This yarn had been in my stash for a long time. I got it at the Dream In Color warehouse sale. They had put five skeins in a package and were selling it all together for $50, which is very cheap. I bought it in the summer of 2010. I still have about 1.5 skeins left, so I might make a hat or cowl or something. This project used 890 yards of yarn, and right now my yards out/yards in total is 122%! I have finally knit more than I have bought this year! The timing couldn’t be better. I just joined a sock club and will be getting three skeins of sock yarn in the coming months.

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Splish Splash

Posted by Andi on June 13, 2014

For years we’ve been buying those plastic poofy things to use in the shower, but for a while now they have been bothering me. They work great, but I hate all that plastic that ends up being thrown out. So I decided I was going to knit something for us to use in the bath. At first I was going to knit some scrubbies, but I heard they never quite dry and can get musty. Then I turned my attention to bath mitts.

Little Fishy Bath Mitt
Pattern: Little Fishy Bath Mitt by Alison Ziegler
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream in Warm Brown (.33 skein) and Sunshine (.27 skein)
Needles: US 8
Date started: May 27, 2014
Date completed: June 8, 2014

I made this one for Tim. I left the eyes off because Tim thought it was creepy, and the cuff is kind of tight so I thought sewing on the eyes would be more difficult than I wanted to deal with.

I made this one for myself.

Sunspot Bath Mitt
Pattern: Hannah’s Gifft Bag/Bath Mitt by Marlene Sigel
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream in Warm Brown (.36 skein) and Sunshine (.42 skein)
Needles: US 8
Date started: June 8, 2014
Date completed: June 10, 3014

This can be used as a bath mitt, but the photo on the pattern shows it as a gift back with soap. Here is what it would look like as a gift bag.

Sunspot Bath Mitt

I’m using the bow to hang it from our shower caddy.

The plan was for Tim to use the fish and me to use the other bath mitt to see how we like them. Then we will wash them and switch. After using them a couple of times, Tim likes the fish, but I’m still getting used to my bath mitt. The bath mitt is wide and my hand moves around in it, so I end up taking it off my hand and using it as a wash cloth. Perhaps I will get used to it, but if not I might as well just knit wash cloths. I have a couple more bath mitt patterns I might try out as well. I will continue to knit whichever mitts we like using.

The nice thing about both of these projects is that they don’t use a lot of yarn. I used the same skeins to make both, and still have enough yarn left over to make another fish.

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Safari Socks

Posted by Andi on June 10, 2014

When I bought new self-striping yarn on my birthday, I figured I would want to knit toe up socks and use a gusset or short row heel because, well, I don’t know, just because. Then I realized it had been forever since I knit a pair of toe up socks. You know what that means. Time to practice!

Safari Socks
Pattern: Gusset Heel Basic Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from the book Socks from the Toe Up
Yarn: Regia Silk Color in 0183, 1.44 skeins
Needles: US 1
Date started: May 26, 2014
Date completed: June 9, 2014

According to the pattern you can use whatever toe you want. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On. I had trouble with it in the past, but this time I was able to cast on and knit on the first go! For both socks! Yay me!

I couldn’t remember if I had made a gusset heel before, as opposed to the short row and slip stitch heels that the book I got the pattern from also explains. Honestly I was too lazy to look. I think I have done because I have a vague recollection that I did a few pairs of socks when I first got this book on purpose to try out a few of the different toes an heels. But I don’t have an independent recollection of doing the gusset heel. Here it is!

Safari Socks

I like that it’s just plain. We’ll see how it wears. It’s super easy. I use the magic loop method so I only have two needles. You increase the gusset stitches on one needle, then turn the heel. That’s it! One of the things I hate about top down socks is picking up the gusset stitches. I don’t know if I hate it enough to go through the cognitive effort to turn my top down patterns into toe up sock patterns, but if I have a choice I may go with toe up for that reason alone.

This isn’t the first time I tried to use this yarn. Way back in 2009 I tried making Jaywalker socks with this yarn. I remember working on them while I was watching the Winter Classic. That was the year it was at Wrigley Field and the Blackhawks played the Red Wings. But I digress. Anyway, as much as I like the way the colors striped and pooled on my Safari Socks, that’s how much I hated it on the Jaywalker Socks.

WIP - Jaywalker
WIP - Jaywalker

These pictures actually make it look better than it was. It was hideous. I frogged those socks, and the yarn sat in my stash until now. According to Ravelry I added this yarn to my Ravelry stash in August 2007, which is the day after I got my Ravelry account (#7614). So I’ve had it longer than that. It was about time that I used it.

The total yardage used on this project was 313.9 yards. After finishing this project I have knit 96.3% of the total yards I have purchased so far this year. I should say that includes one other finished object, which I finished before the socks but haven’t posted about it. That was a small yardage project, though, and I’m too lazy to do the math but it would only reduce the percentage by a few points. I’m so close to having knit all of the yards I have purchased!!

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Garden 2014: It starts!

Posted by Andi on June 8, 2014

It was a late spring this year, so we were a few weeks later in planting the garden this year. We finally got everything planted a couple of weeks ago. We are trying a few new things this year, such as zucchini, along with all of our old standbys.

This week a few plants started to sprout. Cucumbers, peas, zucchini, and radishes. It looks like the first radishes might be ready in a couple of weeks!

Radish plants #garden2014

In the past few years Tim would preserve some of the cucumbers and radishes by making refrigerator pickles. This year we finally bit the bullet and bought canning equipment, so we can can anything that is left over. My goal is to grow as much as we can of anything we can, and preserve the rest.

We also went to the farmers’ market yesterday for the first time this year. While we got a bunch of stuff, what I’m most excited about is the strawberries. I bought a quart, way more than I can eat, so I can make strawberry ice cream tonight and still have some left over to eat.

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Kai-Mei

Posted by Andi on May 31, 2014

Kai-Mei

Pattern: Kai-Mei by Cookie A
Yarn: Regia Line Steps Color in 5369, .7 skein
Needles: US 1
Date started: May 3, 2014
Date completed: May 26, 2014

This is the first Cookie A pattern I knit. It’s from the book Sock Innovation, which I got as a gift a while back. I picked the yarn first for this project. Since I’m really trying to work down my stash and knit with what I have, I chose one of the oldest sock yarns I had in my stash. This skein of Regia was purchased the same time as a few other skeins of sock yarn at an LYS that was having a moving sale. That was six years ago. I knit some of the skeins, but not others. This one was still left. I think I never knit with it because it is a bit boring, just a bunch of grays and not particularly pretty ones. I think I was wrong about that, though. You probably can’t tell in the picture, but in the light gray there are subtle variations, besides the bits of darker gray you can see. Anyway, I wanted to knit something interesting for yarn I thought was a bit boring. I also wanted to knit something out of this book because I had it for a while and hadn’t used it. So here we are.

I am an experienced sock knitter, but I have to say this pattern confused me a bit here and there. In order to get the lace to go from the side to the top of the foot, the gusset decreases aren’t in the typical places. I was sort of able to get my head around that, just followed the directions even though my sock-making instincts told me otherwise, and it worked.

Kai-Mei

There were also a few places toward the end of the pattern, getting toward the toe, where the instructions weren’t clear to me. I don’t know if it was written poorly or if my brain just wasn’t working. As I knit more patterns from this book I guess I will find out.

I’m putting a dent in my yarn. These socks used 321.5 yards of yarn, meaning I have now knit 86.3% of the yards I have purchased so far in 2014. Again, this doesn’t include the fingerless mitts, sweater, and the new sock I have in progress. I need to finish more of those up, because, um, I just joined a sock club. More on that later.

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Procurement

Posted by Andi on May 18, 2014

I managed to get a lot of knitting-related items lately.

First, last month I won a prize from the Geeky Girls Knit podcast and Knitter’s Pride. I knew I would get some Knitter’s Pride products, but I wasn’t sure what it would be. I thought maybe a set of needles or something, so I was surprised when I got all this:

Look what I won! Thanks @knitterpride and @cc_almon !!

I got a set of size US 19 straight needles, US 2.5 circular needle, stitch markers, and a shawl pin. I actually broke a shawl pin a few days after this package arrived, so a new one was timely! Thanks, Geeky Girls and Knitter’s Pride!!

My birthday was last week, and one of my friends got me three knitting books. The first is Adventures in Yarn Farming: Four Seasons on a New England Fiber Farm by Barbara Perry. While there are a few patterns and recipes in this book, it’s mostly a book about fiber farming. There are beautiful pictures. I might use this as a coffee table book.

The second book is Lace One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant. This book is full of small lace patterns. As I said many times, another book in this series, Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders, is one of my all-time favorite pattern books. As soon as I saw this one existed I knew I needed it. It’s very promising. I have a feeling I will make a lot of the projects in this book.

The third book is Literary Knits by Nikol Lohr. As you might expect, the projects in this book are inspired by books. Of the three books, the project I want to make most is in this one: the Gregor Sweater. It’s based on inspired by The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Yes, those are colorwork bugs. Yes!!

Finally, on my actual birthday my mom and I went to a local yarn store so she could get some new sock yarn. I figured I would break my rules and buy myself something because, hello, it was my birthday. I got this.

A new #oval shaped skein of yarn in spring colors for a dreary day. My birthday gift to myself. #ggkcraftypad

I generally don’t go for pastel colors, but it was mid-May and dreary and rainy that day, and I think I really wanted spring to come when I saw this. I’ve been stalking some patterns for self-striping yarns on Ravelry. This addition to my stash means I’ve had a setback in my yards in/yards out count. Prior to this purchase I had knit 88.5% of the yards I had purchased this year, and now I’m down to 78%. This doesn’t include the sock I finished today, the fingerless mitt I finished, and the sweater I’m half done with. I only count the yards when the project is complete. I should be back to where I was shortly.

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