Knitstant Gratification

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

Bears OppAtt

Posted by Andi on November 15, 2014

Bears OppAtt
Pattern: OppAtt by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Hearthside Fibers Vanilla Sox in the Rivals colorway, .63 skeins
Needles: US 1
Date started: September 28, 2014
Date completed: November 9, 2014

These socks were the result of a football challenge with my friend Mimi, who is a Packers fan. The goal was to start the socks when the Bears played the Packers the first time, and finish them by the time the second Bears-Packers game ended. That game was last Sunday night.

I had actually finished most of the second sock a couple of weeks earlier, and was waiting for the day of the second game to do the toe decreases and kitchener stitch. And my initial plan was to do it while watching the game, but in the end I decided not to. After all, the Blackhawks were going to be playing at the same time as the Bears game (and of course hockey takes priority over football in my life). So I decided to finish the socks in the morning instead.

That was a good call. I was watching the Blackhawks game, and had my Twitter feed open as per usual, when I started seeing very angry and depressed Tweets about the Bears game. At one point I flipped over to the football game during a commercial in the hockey game, saw the score was 35-0 and it was still the first half, and decided I had seen enough. I watched the rest of the hockey game and never turned the football game back on.

Even though the Bears lost both games to the Packers, I did finish my pair of socks first, and therefore I won!!

I learned a new skill working on these socks – cabling without a cable needle. I knew it was possible, but never bothered to learn how to do that. The OppAtt pattern has instructions for it. It doesn’t actually tell you to cable traditionally, it only says how to do it without a cable needle. Perfect! Now I know how to do that! At times I thought this yarn might be splitty, but I think that was a function of cabling without a cable needle. Most of the time when the yarn split it was when I was trying to do that, and I was probably inserting the needle through the yarn. When I was just plain knitting or purling I didn’t seem to have any problems.

These socks didn’t take a lot of yarn — only 255.2 yards. That brings my total knit to 10,078.7 yards. At the time I had finished these socks I had purchased 9,301 yards of yarn, meaning I have knit 108% of the yards I purchased. Since then I received a new skein of yarn so I’m down to 104%, but still ahead! I have at least three projects I want to finish by the end of the year, and as of now I have no plans to buy more yarn. I have the yarn for all three projects. I’m on track!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Whirlwind

Posted by Andi on November 8, 2014

Whirlwind
Pattern: Whirlwind by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in 300007, 9.56 skeins
Needles: US 10.5
Date started: September 21, 2014
Date completed: November 2, 2014

I was inspired to knit this sweater because the Puck This! group on Ravelry is currently doing a cozy cardigan KAL. Many of the women are making Snowbird, but I didn’t have the right yarn for that. I wanted to make something with this yarn since I already had a sweater’s quantity. A member of my knit group gave it to me a while back, and I hadn’t made anything with it yet. So I started looking for cozy cardigan patterns that would work with this yarn, and I stumbled upon Whirlwind. It was a new pattern (I guess it still is technically), so I am excited to be one of the first ones to knit it.

This was a pretty easy knit. It’s mostly stockinette. The cable in the back pulls in a bit, so there is no need for waist shaping. Easy peasy! This would be a great pattern for a first sweater project. The “hardest” part was picking up for the collar/button band (if you use a button). Although the pattern tells you how many stitches to pick up, it’s not as if there is any shaping or anything, so I just picked up the number of stitches that looked best to me. That was the only modification I made.

Whirlwind

The pattern has an optional single button hole, which I didn’t use. I had planned on using a button I got at Michigan Fiber Festival in 2013, but ditched that plan for several reasons. First, the button is really pretty and I want it to be the focal point of whatever garment I am wearing. I envisioned a single button cardigan where the button was near the top by the collar. This button was down lower, so I didn’t think the button would get the attention I wanted it to get. Second, it was going to take me a while to figure out how to alter the button hole to fit the button. The button is larger than the pattern calls for, so the button hole in the pattern wasn’t going to be adequate. Third, I remembered I won this great shawl pin (the one in the picture) from Knitter’s Pride, and I thought it would be perfect. So there you go!

I mostly knit accessories, so this has been a banner year for me. This is the fourth garment I knit this year! It will probably be the last. The projects I currently have on the needles are accessories, and everything else I plan to knit in the near future are also either accessories or for use in the home. But still, four garments!! Three for me!!

This sweater used 956 yards of yarn from my stash. Yay! That now brings me to 9,823.5 yards knit in 2014. I have purchased 9.301 yards, so I’ve knit 106% of the total yards purchased. Oh, wait. I just ordered another skein of yarn. I haven’t added it to the total yet because I haven’t received it yet. I still think I will be in the black, so I don’t care!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Soufflé Girl Socks

Posted by Andi on November 1, 2014

Soufflé Girl Socks
Pattern: Soufflé Girl Socks (Doctor Who Inspired) by C.C. Almon
Yarn: Pandia’s Jewels Snug in Soufflé Girl, .59 skein
Needles: US 1.5
Date started: October 24, 2014
Date completed: November 1, 2014

Man, I finished these socks quickly! That’s what being sick and unemployed will do for you. These socks are the result of the third and final installment of the Doctor Who Companions Sock Club. There is going to be a second edition of the club, but I didn’t sign up for it. I wanted to, but the timing wasn’t right for me. I would have loved to join it again.

All of the yarns I got in this club were beautiful, but I really liked working with this particular yarn because the colors are so autumn-like. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I love the colors of autumn, but I tend not to knit with those colors during the season very much. I knit these at the appropriate time!

I love, love, love the cable.

Soufflé Girl Socks

I would love to integrate a similar cable into other knit items.

I bought some yarn recently, so I’m back in the red as far as yards in/yards out go. I won’t post about the yarn in much detail because some of it is for a Christmas gift, and the the one skein for myself will be knit very soon so I will just post about it then. Anyway, these socks took 272.6 yards of yarn, bringing my total to 8,867.5 yards knit in 2014. Since I recently purchased 1,100 yards of yarn, that means I’m back to having knit only 95.3% of the yards I have purchased. I’m still knitting, so I will be Back in Black shortly!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

They have returned!

Posted by Andi on October 28, 2014

Last week I was off work and sick. Sick enough that I couldn’t really do much outside the home, but not sick enough such that I was bored and antsy. I needed to do some knitting because that’s all I could really do besides watch TV (and I did a lot of that), but I was briefly out of things to knit. I still hadn’t blocked the body and sleeves on my Whirlwind sweater, so I couldn’t start on the collar/button band. I’m holding off on finishing my OppAtt socks until this coming weekend. I finished Tim’s Boomerang (see previous post). I didn’t feel up to winding a new ball of yarn, so there was only one thing I could work on.

Three new hexipuffs  #knitting

Hexipuffs!! I knit three hexipuffs using yarns from recent finished objects — two pairs of socks and a shawl. I really should be more on the ball with this. I have several others yarns from FOs that I haven’t turned into hexipuffs yet. I probably should have continued making hexipuffs, but once I had the energy to wind a new ball of yarn I did that and started a new pair of socks.

I count each hexipuff as using 10 yards of yarn. Adding these 30 yards to my current total, I have knit 105% of what I had purchased.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Amazonas Boomerang

Posted by Andi on October 25, 2014

Amazonas Boomerang
Pattern: Instructions from DramaticKnits’ Foliage Boomerang
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in WD Amazonas, .96 skein
Needle: US 6
Date started: October 7, 2014
Date completed: October 20, 2014

I knit this as part of a Boomerang KAL the Dramatic Knits podcast is doing. I could have made one for myself, but I decided to see if my boyfriend wanted one. He has heavy scarves to wear during the winter, but nothing light for cool (but not cold) days. After our heating bills were so expensive last year, we decided to reduce the temperature on the thermostat. Sometimes it gets a little cool in the house, so this will help with that as well.

Amazonas Boomerang

I gave Tim about nine skeins of yarn from my stash to choose from, and this was the colorway he chose. Of course it’s been much warmer the past few days, so he hasn’t had a chance to wear it yet.

This pattern is really easy. It only has two rows to memorize. It was also a quick knit. The number of days it took me to complete it is misleading, as I was knitting a pair of socks at the same time, and I also went a few days without knitting during that time. I might make one for myself, and I might use this as a pattern for quick gifts.

The exciting thing for me about this finished object is that it put be back in the black as far as yards in/yards out goes. This took 494.7 yards of yarn, bringing my 2014 total to 8564.9 yards. That is 104% of the total yards I have purchased. Yay!

Of course, as I typed the above paragraph this song became stuck in my head.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Dreary Shmeary

Posted by Andi on October 19, 2014

Back in August I purchased this lovely skein of Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback (their sport weight base) in one of my favorite all time colorways (and colorway names): Jazzercise Leggings.

Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback

This wasn’t just stash enhancement. I bought this yarn with a purpose — to make a super brightly colored hat for those really gray, dreary days we have here in Chicago as the seasons change. I was thinking of making a simple Sockhead Hat, casting on fewer stitches because this is sport weight yarn and that pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. But then I decided to look for a pattern that actually calls for sport weight yarn. Besides, I’ve already made two Sockhead Hats, and while they are easy and fun, I wanted to do something different. And I found one!

Dreary Shmeary Hat
Pattern: Fractured Light (Hat) by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback in Jazzercize Leggings, 0.59 skein
Needles: US 4
Date started: September 1, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014

The Fractured Light pattern is a free pattern on Knitty.com. I saw some FOs on Ravelry made with highly variegated yarn, and it still looked great, so I thought I would give it a try. I love how it turned out. There isn’t any pooling until the very top (which isn’t visible in the photo) where the decreases start. I love how this turned out. I get compliments on it whenever I wear it. I love it!

I actually finished the hat on September 8, but as you can see above I didn’t really complete it until much later. The hat used almost 60% of the skein, so I still had a fair amount of yarn left. The Fractured Light pattern is really for two things: the hat plus a pair of fingerless mitts. Since I had so much yarn left, but not enough to make another hat, I decided to take a shot on the fingerless mitts. Thus, I waited until I knew for sure I was going to make and keep the fingerless mitts so I would know how many buttons I needed to purchase.

Dreary Shmeary Mitts
Pattern: Fractured Light (Mittens) by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback in Jazzercize Leggings, 0.41 skein
Needles: US 4
Date started: September 18, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014

When I finished the first mitt I weight the amount of yarn I had left to determine whether or not I had enough yarn to make both. Sure enough, the yarn I had left was the same weight as the first mitt.

The game of yarn chicken was on!!

As I was working on the second mitt I realized I made an error on the first mitt. Once all of the thumb gusset increases are completed, you are supposed to knit a few more rows before separating the thumb stitches from the hand stitches. I didn’t do those extra rows — not on purpose, but I guess I just didn’t read the pattern right. I debated whether I should rip back the first one to put those rows in, or make the second one like the first one. Given that I was already playing yarn chicken, I decided to make the second one like the first one.

I know that if I had followed the pattern correctly I would not have had enough yarn to make both mitts. Here is what I had left after making both mitts.

I played yarn chicken... and won!!! #knitting

There was also a lot more pooling on the mitts than on the hat. I don’t mind pooling as it’s a way to tell something is handmade… to a point. I’ve seen pooling I haven’t been okay with before, but I like how these look. If I really didn’t like it I would have changed needle sizes to see if I could make it go away.

So, onto the buttons. I had a really hard time trying to figure out what kind of buttons to use. I didn’t think brightly colored buttons matching the yarn was the way to go. I thought it would cheapen the whole look somehow. I wanted the buttons to be noticeable (otherwise why have them?) but I didn’t want them to clash or look silly. When we were at the fabric store Tim found small silver buttons in the shape of skulls with rhinestone eyes that looked really cute with the yarn, but they didn’t have enough of them. I was about to go with some plainish black buttons that I wasn’t really happy with when I found these. They are transparent and very light purple, which is great because you can see the colors of the yarn through them, and they match because there is purple in the yarn. I thought there was a good balance there.

These were the last of the FOs I finished on that day (the Vertex Cardigan and Come Along Pond socks were the others… it was a prolific day). As of that day, with all these projects added together, I have knit a total of 8,070.2 yards since the beginning of the year. I received a new sock yarn shipment right before completing these projects, bringing the total amount of purchased/acquired yarn to 8,216 yards. Doing the math, I knit 98.2% of the total yards I have acquired so far this year. When I discovered that I was thrilled to be close to even, especially since I currently have three projects on the needles so I will be back in the black soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Come Along, Pond

Posted by Andi on October 11, 2014

Come Along Pond Socks
Pattern: Come Along Pond Socks (Doctor Who Inspired) by C.C. Almon
Yarn: Pandia’s Jewels Snug in Come Along Pond, .67 skeins
Needle: US 1.5
Date started: September 1, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014

Inspired by Amy Pond, these socks are from the second month of the Doctor Who Companions Sock Club from Pandia’s Jewels and C.C. Almon. The are knit from the toe up, and have both cables and lace. The socks are mirror images of each other, and the cable runs up the outside of each foot.

Come Along Pond Socks

The rest of the sock is supposed to be lace.

Come Along Pond Socks

But I messed it up.

Since the socks are knit from the toe up, you only do the pattern for half the sock, as you do stockinette stitch for the bottom of the foot. After you finish the heel you go all the way around the leg. The pattern for the first installment of the club also had a cable up the outside of the foot, but when you started the leg it had two cables, one on the outside and one on the inside of the leg. You just knit the same stitch pattern twice around the leg.

Instead of reading this new pattern closely, I assumed it was the same thing. When I finished the first sock it had two cables, one on the outside and one on the inside, and the rest of it was lace. I didn’t start looking really closely at the pattern until I had already started the toe of the second sock. There was an extra chart for the right sock, and I wanted to see in advance what was different. That was when I realized I made a mistake with the first sock. It would only supposed to have one cable, the one on the outside of the foot. The lace was supposed to be repeated throughout. I had two cables. What to do?

I considered ripping back the leg of the first sock and doing the pattern correctly, but then I decided not to for several reasons.

1. I liked the cable part better than the lace part, so a sock with more cables was fine with me.
2. I was about to travel for several days, and I wanted to be at the beginning of a sock when I left so I could just work on one and not worry about cutting the yarn, weaving in ends, or anything like that. My plan was to start the toe of the second sock, and not start the stitch pattern for the foot until I had left. Ripping back the first sock would have messed that up because I didn’t have time to reknit the entire leg before my trip.
3. I’m doing the who Stashdown yards in/yards out thing, and I didn’t want to knit all those yards twice. Besides, see reason 1.

Seriously, if I didn’t like how it looked I would have ripped back and figured out another project for my trip. But I did like how it looked so I left it that way. The second cable isn’t a mistake, it’s a design element!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Vertex Cardigan

Posted by Andi on October 4, 2014

Vertex Cardigan
Pattern: Vertex Cardigan by Carol Feller
Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino in colorway 137, 1.65 skeins
Needle: US 5
Date started: August 19, 2014
Date completed: September 27, 2014

This cardigan was sort of a long time coming. I bought this yarn two years ago (but it seems like longer) when an LYS was having a going out of business sale. I bought three skeins. That’s an odd amount for me, so I’m thinking it must have been the last three skeins in that color, but I’m not sure. For the longest time I was thinking of making a shawl with it. At some point I saw this pattern in an issue of Interweave Knits and decided it would be a better use of the yarn.

There is quite a bit to say about this yarn. First, even though it’s called Ella Rae Lace Merino, it’s actually fingering weight. I knew that when I bought it, so I was able to start looking for appropriate patterns. Caking the yarn was really frustrating. I did all three skeins because I didn’t know if I was going to use two full skeins or not. All three skeins had cuts in them. I wound one of the skeins into two cakes, and two of the skeins I wound into three cakes. Even beyond that, when I started knitting I found other weak spots where I broke the yarn and started again so the sweater wouldn’t unravel. I was so annoyed when I was done caking the yarn that I started looking at reviews on Ravelry. I found one or two other people who talked about cuts in the yarn. Many people complained about the name being misleading – they thought they were buying lace weight yarn (at least I had that right). The other complaint some people had was that, in some cases, skeins from the same dye lot looked very different when they were knit up. Thus, I alternated through the entire sweater, which was really irritating.

All that said, however, the yarn is so soft and has a lovely drape. It feels silky even though it is 100% merino wool. The colors are so pretty, and look consistent throughout. I don’t know if that’s because I alternated or because the colors were consistent across the skeins. Because of the cuts in the yarn, I was able to alternate with partial skeins at a time, mixing them all together even more.

Vertex Cardigan

The pattern is seamless. You do the yoke area and the fronts first, then work on the back. Once the back is as long as the two front panels it’s joined after the underarms and knit in one piece. It was interesting construction, but not confusing. The pattern tells you to measure across your back at the underarms to determine size, and I was worried the whole time that it would not come out right, but I think it did. I’m happy with the back.

The front doesn’t have a closure, and actually doesn’t close around me. It doesn’t seem to close on the model either. I looked at FOs on Ravelry, and found that it closes on some people and not others. I didn’t look closely enough to see if people just made garments with more positive ease, or if they altered the pattern to make the fronts wider. I wore this on Saturday when I took the photos (I just kept it on the rest of the day), and I think this is going to take some getting used to. I’ve never had a cardigan that doesn’t close, and even though I knew it would be like that, it still feels odd now that I’ve worn it. Also, I’ve never been much of a vest or short sleeved sweater wearer. I made this to wear over tank tops so that my shoulders could be covered a little, and it works really well for that.

This is the first fingering weight garment I have ever made. With all the fingering weight yarn I have in my stash, and all of the things I’ve knit with it, I’ve never made a garment – only accessories. I think this was a great test because I have other fingering weight sweaters I want to make, but wasn’t sure I would have the patience to make something so large in such thin yarn. This went great. It is mostly stockinette stitch, with some increases and decreases to make the bias panels. It didn’t take much thought. It was my mindless knit. I worked on it while watching television and whatnot. I feel more confident that I can start, and actually finish, other fingering weight garments. I think I have to keep it basic, however. If it had cables or lace I might get tired of making the whole thing, but if it’s my mindless project I should have no problem.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Regular Season Sock Knitting Showdown, or Go Bears!

Posted by Andi on September 28, 2014

Ready for the Frenemy Football Knit-a-long. Obviously my yarn is on the right. #GoBears

It is finally here.

As you may recall, my friend and I bought skeins of yarn in the colors of our favorite football teams. I bought the beautiful skein on the right to support my Bears. She bought that skein on the left to support the enemy Packers.

We created some rules for our football KAL.

1. Cast on at the beginning of the first Bears/Packers game of the season (which starts in about 10 minutes)

2. We will knit the same pattern. We chose OppAtt by Jeannie Cartmel. “OppAtt” is short for “opposites attract.” Bears fans and Packers fans are kind of opposites, right?

3. The socks need to be finished by the end of the second Bears/Packers game of the season, which is on November 9. That gives us just over a month.

So there you go. Updates forthcoming.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Time to Finish

Posted by Andi on September 20, 2014

Yes, I’ve been knitting, and I’ve actually been productive. But I have several things that are almost finished, but not quite there.

I finished knitting my Vertex Cardigan four days ago, and haven’t washed and blocked it yet. I think I will wash it this afternoon or tomorrow. I tried it on in its unblocked state, and I’m not sure what I think of it. I will have to block it to see what I think. I was going to take a photo of the unblocked sweater, and then thought, why? It will look so much better after I block it, so you will have to wait to see it.

While I was working on that cardigan I decided to take my skein of Leading Men Fiber Arts Callback in Jazzercise Leggings to make the Fractured Light hat and mitts by Kristin Kapur. I finished knitting the hat 12 days ago, and yesterday I finished knitting the first mitt and started the second one. I’m waiting until I’m all done to buy and sew on the buttons. I posted a picture of the brim of the hat to Instagram. This photo is nowhere near as bright as the colors actually are – they are eye searing!

Planning for my flight in a few days by finishing the brim of this hat so I can knit in the round on the plane.  #knitting #ggkcraftypad

A friend commented and said those aren’t my colors, and they aren’t. But I love this skein of yarn so much, and I can’t wait to finish the project and wear the hat and mitts.

My concern is the buttons. These colors are so bright I have no idea what color buttons to get. Maybe black? Maybe the dark purple? I don’t want to use metallic buttons – I think that would be too much. I should finish the second mitt today, so maybe tomorrow or next Saturday I can run to the fabric store and see if I can find buttons I like. If you think you know what color buttons will look best please let me know.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.