Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for July, 2009

Anyone can design something… even me

Posted by Andi on July 27, 2009

I designed my first pattern over the weekend. Is that true? I guess that depends on what you consider design to be.

Maybe my Double Knit Piano Scarf was the first thing I designed. But I don’t really think I designed that. I saw someone else with a double knit scarf of a piano keyboard, and I found a stitch pattern of a keyboard and just double knit it. Maybe if I had come up with the stitch pattern for the keyboard, then I would have designed it. I don’t know. As it happened I really don’t think I did.

Over the weekend I was inspired to design something original. I was seriously considering entering the Berroco Sock Star Competition. I took out my two balls of Berroco Sox and started playing around with them. I came up with a sock design that was simple, but I really liked it. I was seriously considering entering it in the competition.

Then I made a mistake. I noticed it about four rounds after I made it, and given the design it was really difficult to fix. I tried dropping the stitch down a few rows, hoping I could fix it that way. No such luck. The only option was to frog it. Then I had to decide, after a whole weekend of work, would I start over and send my design in? Ultimately, this afternoon, I decided I wouldn’t. I still plan on starting the socks over. Maybe once I’m done I’ll post the pattern here. But there are a couple of other WIPs I wanted to finish by the time my entry had to be sent, and I would rather focus on those. For example, I will be attending a wedding the week the entries are due. I’m working on both the Whisper Cardigan and Icarus shawl, and I would really like to wear one to the wedding. I have no chance of finishing either one of them if I were to perfect this sock pattern. I was proud of myself of coming up with something I thought was cool.

I guess designing my first sock inspired me today, because all of a sudden I looked at a cardigan in a new light. I bought it at Old Navy just before I started my job. It’s gray, has 3/4 sleeves, and ties in the front. Even though I’ve worn it many times in the past year, today I noticed that it had a bit of the zig zag that the Jaywaker sock has, but it also has this other bit that would be made by yarn overs, k2togs, and some purl stitches. I was thinking of trying to figure the second bit out, and then make a pair of socks or a scarf in the same stitch pattern.

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On my toes

Posted by Andi on July 24, 2009

I got Wendy Johnson’s book Socks from the Toe Up for my birthday. I really like Wendy’s blog, so I had high hopes for this book. I really like it. So far (as you will see below) I’ve been able to understand the way she explains everything, and I really like the patterns that are included.

Since I’m trying a new technique, I figured this would be the perfect time to make a new pair of socks for my boyfriend. He still wants plain socks, generally white (though he has starting pointing out some other colors when we are at the LYS, and sometimes even points out varigated yarns he likes!), and I figured I wouldn’t mind making white(ish) plain socks when using a new technique. I allowed him to choose the heel he wanted. He chose the short row heel, so I’m using the short row toe and heel pattern.

The short row heel starts with a provisional cast on. I’ve been knitting for six or seven years now, but until a few days ago, I had never used a provisional cast on before!

My first provisional cast on

I got through the toe, but there were holes. I realized that I hadn’t always succeeded at picking up both wraps on some stitches, so I tore the whole toe back and started over. I was more careful to pick up both wraps the second time around, and it turned out much better.

My first toe-up sock - short row toe

At that point it was pretty easy to start working in the round.

My first toe-up sock - ready to start the foot

Compared to the way my kitchener stitched toes look on the cuff down socks I’ve done in the past, this looks way neater. It was also cool to see the toe take shape. I haven’t worked with short rows much, so it was interesting to see that little pocket form.

I went on a business trip this week, and was able to get quite a bit done on the plane. I got most of the foot done on my first flight, and got most of the way through the heel on my second flight.

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In which I spend too much money, but not really.

Posted by Andi on July 19, 2009

As I said in my last post, the last time I went to an LYS was to buy a 12″ circular needle. And only a 12″ circular needle. Walk in, get the needle, walk out.

Yeah, right.

The circular needles are kept behind the counter. When I walked in the woman working at the store was helping other customers, so I hung back a while. I saw a new book on a table and looked at a couple of pages of it. I walked over to the sock yarn and lace weight section and nosed around a bit, but didn’t pick anything up. That was a good sign, or so I thought.

I was looking at some worsted weight yarn, when I noticed a hank of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in the Maple Grove colorway. I’ve been wanting to make something out of that colorway for a while, and figured one day I would make some socks or something.

Then I went into another room, and ran into one of the gals from knit group. We talked for a while. She showed me a beautiful sock pattern she wanted to make. As we were talking I noticed some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky in the Maple Grove colorway. I pointed it out, saying how much I liked it, but really, what would I make with it? I’ve always been wary of making an entire sweater out of varigated yarn like that. A hat? A scarf? Oh well, I left to get my needle.

I walked back to the front of the store, and that book caught my eye again. It was Knitted Gifts by Ann Budd. I started looking more closely at the patterns in the book. That was when I found the Curry Spice Hat and Scarf. I’ve been wanting to make a hat, scarf, and glove set to match my brown winter coat. I wanted the hat to be a beret. Where was a beret and scarf set. The yarn was self-striping, but then I thought, hmmm, maybe this will look good in the Maple Grove colorway! I wasn’t sure how well the stitch pattern would stand out with all of those colors, but it’s the colors I really wanted to show off.

This was great, but were there any other patterns in the book I liked enough to make the book worth buying? I had been having problems figuring out what hat and scarf to make, and what yarn to use, but I didn’t want to buy the book if the only patterns I liked were the hat and scarf. I started looking at the patterns more carefully when I found the best pattern ever.

The Texter Gloves.

There is nothing more annoying to me in the winter than having to take my gloves off to change the volume on my iPod. I considered making those mittens where the finger part flips back, but I didn’t really want a pair of those. Here was a pattern for gloves where the thumb flips back! This is perfect! This now makes the book worth the money.

So I picked up enough Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky in Maple Grove to make the hat and scarf. The glove pattern calls for sport weight yarn. (Un)fortunately the LYS didn’t have any Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Maple Grove. Oh well, the hat and scarf will keep me busy, and I figured my bank account would be more than happy to wait for that purchase.

With my book and yarn in hand, I finally went up to the counter to get the circular needle. On the counter I found the new issue of Knitscene. I started flipping through that and found so many cute things I wanted to make that I had to get that too.

I went in to buy a 12″ circular needle, and left spending $113. Oops.

Were these things impulse purchases? Yes. Sort of. Maybe not?

I mean, I planned on making matching hat, scarf, and gloves. I finally found patterns I liked and yarn I liked that matched my coat. Is it an impulse purchase if it’s something I was planning on making anyway? I think not!

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Whispering again

Posted by Andi on July 16, 2009

Last week I went to one of my LYSs to get a 12″ circular needle to use for the sleeves of my Whisper Cardigan. (What else I left the LYS with is another story, which I will save for another post.) Last night I decided to cast on again.

My boyfriend and I decided to sit outside last night. I brought knitting, and he brought his Sudoku puzzles. He forgot something and went back to the apartment while I went to find a nice spot by the lake. I sat on a bench, and took out my project bag. I removed the yarn, I removed the new needle…

Wait a minute, I forgot a stitch marker! How am I supposed to knit in the round without one?

Frantically I searched my project bag again. How could I have forgotten to pack a stitch marker? I started digging through my purse to find a suitable substitute, and came up empty. I whipped out my phone to call my boyfriend to bring a stitch marker to me. Just as it started to ring he came around the corner, already back.

I pouted for a minute because I didn’t want to go back inside (if this was the most upsetting thing that happened to me yesterday it must have been a good day). I went to put the needle back in the bag, as I resigned myself to going back upstairs, when I noticed something on the back of the package.

My new needle came with a stitch marker!!!

I hadn’t noticed this when I bought it. The circular needles are kept behind the counter, so I just asked for it and it was put in the bag. Last night was the first time I took it out, and I never looked at the back of the package. My luck!!!

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason, when working with circular needles in the round, I always have to cast on at least twice. I always end up twisting the stitches. This doesn’t happen much with DPNs, and it seems no matter how hard I try to keep them straight it doesn’t work as well for me on circular needles.

The second time was the charm, and I spent the rest of last night and part of tonight (while watching Into the Storm – great acting by Brendon Gleeson) working on my sleeve. I love my 12″ needle!! It’s so cute and wee!!!!

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FO: Blackrose Socks

Posted by Andi on July 14, 2009

Blackrose Socks

Pattern: Blackrose Socks by Suzi Anvin
Yarn: Dream In Color Starry in Gothic Rose, 1 hank
Needles: US 2
Started: June 10, 2009
Finished: July 14, 2009

Blackrose Socks

Originally I was making the Marlene socks with this yarn, but for a variety of reasons I frogged those. It took me so long to get to that point that when I decided to cast on a new pair of socks I wanted to make something that was easy yet interesting. The one panel of lace made the pattern interesting, while the stockinette stitch made it quick. Perfect!

Blackrose Socks

I loved working with the Starry. I have three more hanks, and I can’t wait to use them!! It was difficult to photograph the silver bits. These pictures don’t do the yarn justice.

Blackrose Socks

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I stopped whispering

Posted by Andi on July 9, 2009

I started the whisper cardigan about a week and a half ago. I have some beautiful JaggerSpun Zephyr in Emerald, which I thought would look great. I got gauge right away. It was going well.

Until I finished the first sleeve. I wasn’t paying very close attention as I was knitting it, but as I finished the sleeve I noticed that there were some pretty bad ladders on the sleeve. I’m guessing it was due to using a lace weight yarn on size 7 DPNs. Either that or I suck at knitting. Anyway, I’m going to buy a 12″ circular needle tonight to start over.

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