Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for December, 2011

Luxuries for myself

Posted by Andi on December 31, 2011

The last couple of months have been crazy. Starting a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving there was constantly something going on or some sort of time pressure I was under in just about every aspect of my life, including crafting. This week I was able to slow down a little bit, and at least as far as knitting goes, I focused on myself. Yes, I have a double knit scarf and mittens that I am in the process of making, and a pair of socks, but honestly each of those projects feel like just that at this point: projects. I’m no longer excited by knitting them. I want to wear them, but I’m really not in the mood to work on them. This week I made things I just wanted.

Kanji Loop
Pattern: A Grey Loop by Helen G
Yarn: Artfibers Kanji, approximately 250 yards
Needles: US 8
Date started: December 26, 2011
Date completed: December 28, 2011

This is a cowl that can be worn hanging or tighter around the neck if I twist it twice. I bought this yarn on a trip to San Francisco a few months ago. It’s a bamboo/silk blend, and I am hoping it’s something I can wear in the spring or on summer nights when I need a little warmth but don’t want a wool cowl. This project used up about half of the yarn I had, and I’m not sure what I can make with what is left over. I was thinking of making a scarf that would have taken up most of the yarn, but I really wanted to make this cowl instead. The yarn is very soft, so it makes a nice cowl.

After looking at other finished objects on Ravelry I decided to make some modifications. First, I didn’t do traditional garter stitch for the first and last four rows as the pattern suggests. Instead I saw that someone else included slip stitches on the purl rows (the project is knit in the round so there have to be purl rows when doing garter stitch), which she said prevents the project from rolling up on itself. It seemed to work for her, so I tried that with mine. The second modification involved the eyelet row, which apparently, as written, left big holes. Instead of doing the two row repeat I did the first row five times for each eyelet section. I like how it turned out.

DanDoh Scarf
Pattern: DanDoh Scarf ~ Knitted Hug for Japan by Yumiko Alexander
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted Weight in an unknown colorway
Needles: US 9
Date: December 30, 2011

The color isn’t quite right in this picture. The yarn is red, a dark purple, and black. A member of my knit group gave this yarn away on Monday and I took it. It wasn’t quite a full skein, so I wasn’t sure what I could make with it, but then I found this cute little scarf. This is a great pattern for small amounts of worsted weight yarn. The pattern called for 110 yards, and I used just under 100. It was quick – I finished it in one evening. It’s all ruffly and cute! This is the perfect pattern for last minute gift knitting. And it’s Malabrigo, a very yummy and soft yarn, so it’s perfect for a choker-like scarf.

Now that I got that out of my system, it’s time for me to turn back to the other projects I’m working on, the ones that feel like projects. They need to get done eventually, and as incentive to finish them I’m waiting on a few other things I really want to make until they are finished.

Happy new year, everyone! Stay safe out there!

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The last gift has been given

Posted by Andi on December 26, 2011

I only knit two gifts this holiday season. As you saw recently, one was a set of tea towels for my mom for her birthday, which is two weeks before Christmas. Now that Christmas is over I can finally post about the second one, a series of Doctor Who dishcloths for Tim’s sister.

Bowties Are Cool Cloth
Pattern: Doctor Who Bowties are Cool by holynarf
Yarn: Knit Picks Dishie in Pomegranate
Needles: US 6
Date started: November 4, 2011
Date completed: November 5, 2011

Adipose Dishcloth
Pattern: Doctor Who Adipose Dishcloth by holynarf
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid in White
Needles: US 6
Date: November 27, 2011

Doctor Who The Angels Have the Blue Box Dishcloth
Pattern: Doctor Who the Angels Have the Blue Box Dishcloth by holynarf
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid in Morning Glory Blue
Needles: US 6
Date: December 12, 2011

Doctor Who Don't Blink Dishcloth
Pattern: Doctor Who Don’t Blink Dishcloth by holynarf
Yarn: Knit Picks Dishie in Pomegranate
Needles: US 6
Date: December 18, 2011

Doctor Who Simple Dalek Dishcloth
Pattern: Doctor Who Simple Dalek Dishcloth by holynarf
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Solid in Sage
Needles: US 6
Date: December 19, 2011

I received some knitting-related gifts as well! My friend Angela gave me a bunch of Lorna’s Laces mini skeins and a hexi-bag made by Beth for use in making my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I also received knitting books from Tim’s sister and my mom, the two people I knit for!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

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We don’t have a Christmas tree…

Posted by Andi on December 23, 2011

…but we have a Christmas TV! Happy holidays!!

We don't have a Christmas tree, but we do have this

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I’m done!!

Posted by Andi on December 20, 2011

Last night I finished my Christmas knitting. Early. With five days to spare!

This is weird. This is very weird. I never finish my Christmas knitting early. Last year Tim got his sweater in January. Once I finished knitting a gift in the car on my way to give it to the person. I once finished a gift 10 minutes before leaving the house to give it to the person. And it wasn’t for Christmas, but there was the wedding gift that was a year and a half late.

It almost didn’t happen. I put in so much work finishing up my mom’s birthday present that I messed up my shoulder. It was in quite a bit of pain for several days, so I stopped knitting for six days. Thank goodness I didn’t have much more to do.

Now I’m really in the mood to make a cowl, one that I really want. Yeah, I should start back up on the double knit scarf or the mittens that I wanted ready for winter, but I just want to make something quick that I actually want to make now. But that won’t start any time soon. There is too much to do before the weekend.

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It’s cold outside

Posted by Andi on December 18, 2011

Time to warm up

Yesterday we made our second trip to the Christkindlmarket this year, and the above beverages were certainly needed to keep ourselves warm. It was cold!

Last year we went on Christmas eve, and although it was fun we decided that this year we had to go sooner so that we could buy some presents there. We were there last week with some friends and were able to scope some gifts out. Yesterday we went back to make some final decisions on what we would buy, then actually buy it. I can’t get into what we bought, but we saw many lovely things there.

And as always, the food and glühwein were incredible. If I worked near Daley Plaza I would be there for lunch every day. Just like last year I got leberkäse and potato pancakes. This year Tim got curry meatloaf, which was tasty.

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Finally, a finished object I can post about!

Posted by Andi on December 11, 2011

Trio of Lady Tea Towels
Pattern: Lady Tea Towel by Courtney Kelley from Interweave Knits, Holiday 2010
Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin in Island Coral, Swan, and Surf, 3 skeins each
Needles: US 5
Date started: November 6, 2011
Date completed: December 11, 2011

Today is my mom’s birthday. As part of her present I knit three dish towels. My mom remodeled her kitchen last year, and ever since I’ve been considering making dish cloths or dish towels that would look good in her new kitchen, and finally decided to actually do it for her birthday. The room is blue with white cabinets, hence the Surf and Swan colors. I thought the Island Coral color would contrast nicely, plus it matches the detail on some of the tiles on the walls. Plus, my mom likes coral.

Trio of Lady Tea Towels

I started the Island Coral towel first. I didn’t get to kick it into high gear until the week of Thanksgiving. I watched a mystery marathon on television with Tim’s mom and sister on Thanksgiving and the Friday after, which gave me plenty of time to finish that one up.

Trio of Lady Tea Towels

After that I pretty much only had weekends to work on the towels since my work weeks have been so hectic of late. I knit about half of the Swan towel last weekend, as well as a couple of evenings this week. As the week went on I realized there was a good chance I wouldn’t finish all three towels on time and started to panic. Friday night we had plans, and I took the Swan towel with to knit the last couple of rows and bind off on the train, so that when I got home I was able to cast on the Surf towel.

Trio of Lady Tea Towels

The Surf towel. What a nightmare. As I said above, I cast on when I got home Friday night after spending 4 hours outside in subfreezing temperatures. I was so cold I am surprised my fingers worked! I stayed up and knit as much as I could Friday night before I was about to fall asleep with knitting needles in my hands.

While I was having my moment of I-won’t-have-the-gift-finished-in-time panic where I realized I would have to spend all of my waking hours knitting to finish this project on time something occurred to me: On Saturday afternoon one of the members of my knitting group was having an open house where we could bring our knitting. That would seem like a good thing, right? A couple of hours set aside to knit, I can bring the dish towel! Yeah, but my mom is also part of the knitting group and was coming to the open house with me! I started to freak out and figured I would bring a project I’m making someone for Christmas when it hit me. My mom doesn’t know I’m making this for her! I can bring it to the open house and say I’m making it for someone else! My mom knew I was behind on gift knitting, so she’d buy it. I decided I would tell her I was knitting the towels for someone else for Christmas!

So Saturday rolls around, and there I am, sitting next to my mom at the open house, knitting her birthday present. She never asked who it was for, so I didn’t tell her. I just kept knitting. My mom brought an unwound skein of sock yarn with her, and like a dummy I offered to wind it for her by hand while we were sitting there. Like I had time for that! Thank goodness my mom turned me down. She assumed the towel was a gift, and added that if I needed to keep working on it I could bring it to her house the next day (today) when I came over. Um, yeah I was definitely going to be bringing it, but not working on it!!!

I knit all Saturday evening, staying up until 1:00 AM until I was certain I was far enough along to guarantee I could finish it today. This morning I started knitting at 8:00 AM. Later in the morning I called my mom and asked if we could go for dinner at 5:00. She said okay, asked if I was going shopping, and I said yes. Yes, I lied. (Though I did go to CVS to drop off a prescription on the way to my mom’s house — CVS is a store so that counts as shopping, right? Maybe I didn’t lie after all.) I think I got up three times, never for more than a few minutes. Finally, at 3:30, I finished the towel. After two full days of knitting my arms hurt so bad that it hurts to type this post.

But, it’s worth it. The towels are done and my mom liked them.

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Unauthorized Stash Enhancement

Posted by Andi on December 5, 2011

I had been so good. With the exception of YarnCon all of the yarn I had bought was for specific projects, namely, Christmas presents, shower puffs, and the amigurumi vegetables I’m going to make. I went to several yarns stores. Looked at many skeins of gorgeous yarn. Every time, I walked out empty handed or only bought yarn for the aforementioned projects.

And then, on Saturday, I went to Angela’s house.

She managed to catch two Wollmeise updates and pounced, and ended up with a skein of Lacegarn she was willing to part with. And guess who bought it from her?

Wollmeise Lacegarn

But look at how pretty it is! And it’s green! And it doesn’t matter that I already had 10 skeins of Wollmeise because none of it was Lacegarn!!!

I’m sorry. Wollmeise isn’t the easiest yarn for one to get her hands on, I was not going to pass up this opportunity!

Okay, this has nothing to do with anything, but while I was typing this post I saw the following commercial. I’ve seen it a gazillion times, but thought I would share it because it combines two of my favorite things: knitting (look in the background) and hockey!!

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She Wants Revenge and Peter Murphy, Metro, 11-26-11

Posted by Andi on December 4, 2011

I’m sorry for the lack of knitting content lately, but right now my focus is on holiday knitting. I don’t think those who I’m knitting gifts for actually read this blog. I do know, however, that people who know those people do read this blog, so I’m keeping mum!

Anyway, onto the concert. There was another opening act, but we missed it. She Wants Revenge was a fantastic compliment to Peter Murphy. I think most people who are fans of one act would like the other. I would pay to see She Wants Revenge on their own, so to see them with Peter Murphy was fantastic.

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge

I’ve been wanting to see Peter Murphy for a long time, and have recently passed up a few opportunities to do so. When I found this show was during a holiday weekend (therefore there was nothing that could keep me from going) I figured we had to go. He’s still really intense, and his set was amazing. One of the highlights was when he performed Bauhaus’ version of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust.” Amazing!

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy

More photos can be found here.

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