Knitstant Gratification

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

Quick Sand

Posted by Andi on November 22, 2015

Quick Sand
Pattern: Quick Sand by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn: Berroco Captiva in Silver, 8.12 skeins (795.8 yards)
Needles: US 9
Date started: September 18, 2015
Date completed: November 14, 2015

I finished this lightweight sweater just in time for winter. And it’s my own fault. I actually finished the knitting 13 days before I wove in the ends. We had an extended autumn this year, so that’s 13 days I could have worn this sweater. Instead I only wore it one day – the day after I finished it. It was kind of warmer that day. That was it.

This sweater is knit from the top down, and uses an increase I have never used or even heard of before. As I started increasing for the yoke I noticed that the increases created holes in the knitting. I didn’t like how it looked. I wondered if other knitters had the same issue, so I looked at the finished projects on Ravelry and discovered that the holes from the increases line up and are actually a design element of the garment. So I kept going, and now I love the increase holes.

Quick Sand

The pattern calls for aran weight yarn. I was surprised to see that the Captiva yarn is classified as aran weight on Ravelry given how thin it is. I love the drape on this garment, which was knit on size 9 needles. I think if I had used a smaller needle the fabric would gave been stiff. However, on a size 9, the knit stitches are open, if that makes sense.

Quick Sand

This isn’t a sweater that will keep me warm on a really cold day, but it will be perfect for spring and autumn, or slightly cooler summer nights.

I haven’t started another sweater yet. I have a few sweater’s quantities of yarns, and I’m not sure which one I want to do next. I have a few things I need to finish first before I can start another sweater.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Dalkey Mitts and Cowl

Posted by Andi on November 6, 2015

Dalkey Mitts//
Pattern: Dalkey Mitts by Carol Feller
Yarn: Sophie’s Toes Merino Sock in Pumpkin Spice, .3 skein (105 yards)
Needle: US 3
Date started: October 3, 2015
Date completed: October 8, 2015

Dalkey Cowl//
Pattern: Dalkey Cowl by Carol Feller
Yarn: Sophie’s Toes Merino Sock in Pumpkin Spice, .54 skein (189 yards)
Needle: US 3
Date started: October 8, 2015
Date completed: October 26, 2015

I thought this yarn was cursed. I tried knitting several things with it over the years, but the projects never worked out. Earlier this fall, I decided to make one more attempt at a project with this yarn. I found these patterns in Carol Feller’s Contemporary Irish Knits book, which I love. When I realized I could get both a cowl and mitts out of one skein of yarn, I knew I had to try it with this yarn.

I really love the results. These pieces are perfect for autumn. The lace on the back of the hand and all over the cowl keep you from overheating when wearing it on slightly cooler days.

We’ve had unseasonably warm weather here lately, with highs in the low 70’s. The mornings are a tad bit cool, however. I don’t like wearing a jacket in the morning because it’s too warm to wear it on the way home. I wore the cowl and mitts the other morning for just a bit of added warmth, but unlike a jacket I can stick the accessories in my backpack on my way home from work. It was perfect and kept me from having a chill on a cool morning.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Eowyn Socks

Posted by Andi on October 10, 2015

Eowyn Socks//
Pattern: Eowyn Socks by Claire Ellen
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in Spritely Endeavors, .7 skein (304.5 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: July 24, 2015
Date completed: October 3, 2015

These socks took me a long time, not because they were difficult, but because I lost my motivation. I don’t know why I lost my motivation. There was a point in about late-August and September when I was really motivated to knit, but not really motivated to knit on most of my WIPs. The reason I finished the Haruni shawl so quickly was because I was actually enjoying knitting it.

Once I got back into these socks I really enjoyed finishing them. The second sock was much easier to knit than the first sock because I understood the pattern more. The second sock was more intuitive than the first sock. Makes sense. Once I picked the second sock back up, I finished it pretty quickly.

Can I say how much I love this yarn? This is the first sock yarn I have used that has some cashmere in it. It was so soft and nice to knit with. I can’t wait to wear them, though I fear they will spoil me!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I’m still here!

Posted by Andi on October 2, 2015

Wow, it has been over a month since I posted! I didn’t realize it had been so long. I was extremely busy for two of those weeks. I figured I would post when that was over, but I guess I didn’t.

Despite my silence I have been knitting. I finished two gifts for a friend who just had a baby, which I can’t post about yet because I’m waiting for confirmation that she received them (which I got when writing this post, so a new post about those gifts will be coming). I knit a couple of hexipuffs because my project bag was getting too full of new yarns. But I do have one finished object I can show.

Haruni, blocked and ready to go #knitting//
Pattern: Haruni by Emily Ross
Yarn: Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl in Orange Sherbet, .81 skeins (443.1 yards – this was not a standard size skein)
Needles: US 3
Date started: August 10, 2015
Date completed: September 13, 2015

This was such a fun knit. Seriously. I really, really enjoyed knitting this. It seems intricate, but once I did a few repeats it was so easy. This would make a great second lace knitting project for a beginner knitter. The only reason why I say a second project is because it might be easier to start a shawl that it stockinette at the top with just a little lace at the bottom – then jump into this. I seriously love this.

I knit the same size the pattern is written for, because I feared I would run out of yarn. It turned out I had a lot left over, and I probably could have done another repeat. Right now it’s a shawlette, but I would love to have bigger one as well.

The photo doesn’t do the yarn justice. I was focusing more on getting as much of the shawl as possible in the picture instead of trying to get the color right. It’s a tonal yarn that has a bit of a beige/gold color. The yarn was delightful to knit with, and I highly recommend it.

Expect a few more posts to come up in the near future. I finally have some content! I have some baby gifts to post about, yarn acquisitions, hexipuffs, and more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

I’m still knitting, but…

Posted by Andi on August 30, 2015

…I’m not finishing anything. With the exception of some time when I was too busy, I’ve really been in the mood to knit. The problem is that I wasn’t in the mood to knit any of my current WIPs.

I have a few projects I’ve been knitting on regularly. The project that has been on my needles the longest is Nuvem by Martina Behm. This is a pretty easy knit. It’s just stockinette stitch with some increasing. However, it keeps growing, and it now takes over 30 minutes to knit one round. I’m using two circular needles to knit it, and I feel like there are so many moving parts on the project (weird given how simple it is) to stop knitting in the middle of around, so I pretty much only start a row when I know I have at least a half hour to kill. My plan is to use all the yarn I have for it. I just attached the second of three skeins last night, so I’m one-third of the way through. I tried to use a Russian join, but that didn’t work too well. I think I did it right, I think the yarn wasn’t strong enough.

I had (yes had, past tense) been working on Bonny by Tin Can Knits. I was using a lovely silk lace weight yarn that I swear is cursed. This is the third project I’ve started with this yarn, and it’s the third project I gave up on. At first it was going well. I started it at the Blackhawks Convention since it was an easy project in the round. I added some ribbing because I feared the stockinette edge would roll up my body.

Blackhawks Convention knitting: Bonny by Tin Can Knits. Added k2p2 rib to the bottom to prevent rolling. #knitting #BHC2015

The yarn is gorgeous. It looks purple, and it is, but in the right light you can see it’s also gray.

So what was the problem? There were two. First, I didn’t get gauge, and was going to have to do a lot of math to figure out how to make it my size. That’s isn’t a big deal. If the second problem hadn’t occurred I would have done the math. Second, I snagged it. Because it is knit in a loose gauge, as I was pulling out the snag I couldn’t get those stitches to look even with the others around them, and I feared it wouldn’t block. Also, silk yarn is smooth and I thought wool yarn, even if it was snagged, would’t snag as much because it’s stickier. So I decided I would switch to some wool lacy weight yarn I have in my stash. I still haven’t frogged it, but that’s coming soon. I just didn’t want to look at it anymore.

Next is the Eowyn socks by Claire Ellen. I like these socks, but there are lots of charts and the pattern is huge. I didn’t want to print all that out, especially because I think the charts are small. I have only been working on this one at home, where I can sit next to my computer monitor and zoom in on the chart. I finished the first sock last week, and started the cable on the leg for sock two this week.

I could have kept it at that, but I didn’t feel any of those projects were good for airplane travel, either because of the large pattern or I didn’t have them on needles I wanted to risk taking through TSA. That meant it was time to cast on a new project. I chose Haruni with wooden needles and some yarn I got at a fiber festival a few years ago. It’s perfect for a travel project so I didn’t want to work on it at home – save it for the days I’m traveling. But that’s the only project I’m actually enthused about knitting, so I’ve been working on it more. Unfortunately the rows on this shawl are getting longer. Right now it takes about 10 minutes per row, but pretty soon I’m going to be done with the first chart and the second chart includes a lot of increases. Soon it’s going to take too long to finish a row to be good for traveling. I’m weird, if it isn’t basic stockinette I don’t like stopping in the middle of the row and put away my knitting. Perhaps I just need to get over that.

What I really need to do is pick one of these things and finish it so I can say I finished something.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Working the System

Posted by Andi on August 1, 2015

I started sewing my hexipuffs together a while back because I was experiencing arm pain that was exacerbated by knitting, but not by sewing. I guess the movements were just different enough that sewing didn’t increase the pain. I’m nowhere done knitting as many hexipuffs as I need to finish my blanket, but since sewing didn’t hurt I figured it was a way to stay crafty while I wasn’t knitting.

Prior to that point I hadn’t thought much about how I was going to sew them together. I knew I wanted the hexipuff placement to seem random — not have too many solids next to each other, or too many variegated hexipuffs next to each other, or too many in the same color family next to each other. Other than that, though, I hadn’t thought much about it. But when I started sewing it together I realized I had to come up with something because I tend to knit two hexipuffs out of each leftover fingering weight skein or mini skein I have. I didn’t want the same hexipuff to be too close together.

It was time to create a system.

Hexipuff system

The first thing I did was to separate my hexipuffs into two piles — one that had the first of two and any single hexipuffs, and a second that were duplicates of the hexipuffs in the first pile. I put the first pile into the blue bag and the second pile into the beige bag. When I choose a new hexipuff to add from the blanket, it always comes out of the blue bag. I will not touch any hexipuffs in the beige bag until the blue bag is empty. That way, no duplicate hexipuffs will be near each other.

The skull project bag contains my leftover bits of fingering weight yarn, and bits of leftover fingering weight yarns others have given me. I try to get two hexipuffs out of each leftover. One goes in the blue bag, and one goes in the beige bag. If I still have more of that yarn left over it goes into another bag (not in the picture) where my fingering weight scraps that have been used are stored.

You can see six hexipuffs in the picture. Those are the most recent hexipuffs I made. I had to make them. The skull bag was getting too full. I had two fingering weight projects on the needles at the time, so I knew more leftovers would be going in soon, and I was already having a hard time zipping it. I went through all the leftovers in there, and found that I already had knit one hexipuff out of each of those six yarns, so I would only have to knit more more to remove them from the bag. After I took the picture, I put those six hexipuffs into the beige bag.

I have to be honest. I have so many leftovers from other people that they don’t fit in the skull bag. I have to start working on those, as well as what’s in the skull bag from projects I made.

The last bag is the blue and white bag, which I keep the polyfill in.

So there you go. It may seem cumbersome, but it helps me keep track of all of the moving parts of this project.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Andi on July 13, 2015

Pattern: Doppler: Men’s by Marnie McLean
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Chestnut (8 skeins, 880 yards) and Hollyberry (1 skein, 110 yards)
Needles: US 7
Date started: March 1, 2015
Date completed: July 5, 2015

Let me tell you about this sweater.

I received the Chestnut yarn from a friend in my knit group about two or three years ago. She gave me this yarn and the yarn I used to make my Whirlwind cardigan. I had 880 yards of the Chestnut yarn, which wasn’t quite enough to make a sweater for myself, at least not one with long sleeves. I showed the yarn to Tim to see if he liked it, since a sweater for him would take less yardage than a sweater for me. He did like it, so we started looking for patterns.

Eventually Tim settled on Doppler, which comes in two versions: crew neck and turtle neck. Tim liked the turtle neck. I looked at the yardage requirements printed on the pattern, and was surprised it was so low, especially since the yardage for the women’s version was much higher. I wasn’t the only one who thought that was weird – someone had left a comment on Ravelry asking about that. The designer said the women’s version was knit out of a different weight of yarn, and that’s why the yardage requirements were so different. It gave me some pause, but I figured I had more than 200 yards more than the pattern called for, of course I had enough yarn! I cast on.

I knit the entire body and got through the sleeve cap of the first sleeve when I realized I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to finish the sweater. As I was working on that sleeve the skein I was using at the time seemed very low, but I kept getting more and more done on the sleeve, so I thought I might win this game of yarn chicken. If not, I would need more yarn.

Just in case I started looking at Ravelry. There were a couple of people who had the Chestnut yarn in the same dye lot in their stashes. One looked like she wasn’t very active on Ravelry, so I worried that if I sent her a message she would never see it. I can’t remember why I didn’t think the other would work out. Maybe I didn’t think she had enough? Or there was a project attached to it? I don’t recall, but I remember thinking getting someone else’s stash yarn was a long shot.

I asked the members of the Puck This! group on Ravelry whether it would look good to knit the collar out of a different color of yarn than the rest of the sweater. A couple of people said yes, but that I should try to incorporate that color somewhere else such as the sleeves. I thought that made sense, so I brought it up to Tim. I pulled the other colors of Wool of the Andes I have, as well as some other worsted weight yarns. At first Tim didn’t seem too keen on them, but then he picked the Hollyberry as well as a blue worsted weight yarn, and he would decide when the time comes.

So I kept knitting with the Chestnut yarn. I finished the first sleeve, but it became clear during the second sleeve I was definitely not going to have enough yarn for the collar, but I also might not have enough to finish the second sleeve. My original plan was to rip back the first sleeve by about an inch to make the cuff out of the second color, and thought I could apply that yarn to the second sleeve and I would be okay.


I ran out of yarn with maybe three or four inches to go in the second sleeve, two or three inches if you figure the bottom of the sleeve was going to be in the other color. Ugh.

Oh, I remember now the ultimate reason why I didn’t want to ask a Ravelry user for the yarn. I had no idea how much yarn I would need to finish the sleeve and the collar. I had already used more than 200 yards than the pattern had called for, so I had no idea how much yarn the collar was going to eat up. We made the decision to order more yarn from Knit Picks. Since I had no idea how much yarn I needed, I ordered three skeins. I knew I would need at least one, figured maybe two, but I really didn’t want to run out of yarn again. I was hoping the dye lots would match and we would have a one-color sweater.

The dye lots didn’t match up well enough. Oh well, I will be able to make a nice cowl for myself out of the yarn!

Back to the sweater. At first Tim picked the blue yarn, but I had a sense that it wasn’t what he wanted. I finally got him to admit that he only chose the blue because there was more of it, and that he liked the red better. I told him we would try the red and see how it goes. I had a little more than one skein of the red and hoped I would have enough.

I started by counting how many rows I needed to finish the second sleeve, then ripped back enough rows of the first sleeve to be able to make the brown portion of the sleeves the same length. I put both sleeves on waste yarn and knit the collar in Hollyberry first. That worked out. Then I knit the bottom of both sleeves. It took almost the full skein of yarn, but I was able to finish the sweater.

Tim likes the sweater. You may note he doesn’t look too happy in the photo. That’s because it was 85 degrees outside when I asked him to take the picture. He was a very good sport and didn’t complain once. I took the photo as quickly as I could so he could take the sweater off right away.

All in all I ended up using more than 300 yards more than the pattern called for. I looked at the comments on Ravelry and saw that someone else had the same issue (I did this while I was still knitting the sweater, before I ran out of yarn). The designer thought it could be due to the fact that the gauge swatch (which I did) was ribbed and supposed to be blocked with a little stretch, and I probably stretched it too much. Oops! I will have to keep that in mind if I make anything else where the gauge swatch is ribbed.

It ended up working out fine. I think the sweater is more interesting with another color, and it required me to be creative to come up with a solution. I really like how it turned out. I showed this picture to a few people who comment on how much they like the red in it, and I have to chuckle a little because it certainly wasn’t the plan!

So I used 990 yards of yarn for this pattern, but purchased 330 yards from Knit Picks in the hopes the yarn would match. I have now used up or destashed 6,747.4 yards of yarn, and acquired 8072.2 yards of yarn, which brings me to 83.6%. Not shabby anymore, at least until I bought two sweater quantities of yarn last week. More on that in an upcoming post.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Punky Cappuccino Socks

Posted by Andi on July 3, 2015

Punky Cappuccino socks
Pattern: C.C.’s Vanilla Cappuccino Socks by C.C. Almon
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in Punky, .62 skein (286.4 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: June 16, 2015
Date completed: June 27, 2015

I love these socks. I mean, I really love these socks. I love everything about them. I love the way the colors flashed. I love the way they fit. I love the way the yarn feels. I just love these socks!

I used the fish lips kiss heel for the first time with these socks. And guess what… I love the heel. It fits great.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the fish lips kiss heel is a short row heel that doesn’t involve wrap & turns. I wanted to give this heel a shot because no matter how well I make a short row heel with wrap & turns, I feel like the two sides of my heel always look different. I don’t like how it looks. But I like the ease of short row socks, particularly when knitting magic loop. I find picking up gusset stitches to be a bit of a pain.

The great thing about the instructions for the heel is that they come with instructions for toe-up and cuff-down socks. It also has detailed instructions for measuring your foot to determine when to start the heel. I have to admit I didn’t do that. I made these socks from the toe up, and since I usually start my heels when I’m 2.5″ away from the full length of my foot I decided to try that and it was perfect. It fits great.

I made a bigger cuff than usual, yet I still feel like these socks didn’t use enough yards – they took only 286.4 yards, bringing my total knit (or destashed) to 5,757.4 yards (I destashed some yarn as a prize this week). I’ve procured 7,742.2 yards, so I’m at 74.4%. Ugh. Not where I want to be.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Slowly Getting to a SABLE Situation

Posted by Andi on June 28, 2015

Last year I was so good about keeping my yarn purchasing under control, and this year I feel like I just can’t buy enough yarn.

And I’m not knitting fast enough.

A few weeks ago, when we were in Indiana, we visited Sheep’s Clothing in Valparaiso. It’s a lovely shop. We go there about once a year. While there I asked Tim to see if there were yarns or patterns he liked, or just colors… anything. I regularly do this when Tim comes to a yarn store with me as a way to prevent him from being bored to tears, and to get ideas of things he likes so if I want to knit him a gift I know what to get. The whole time we were there I kept asking if if he saw anything that interested him. No. I would pick up skeins of yarns in colors I thought he would like and asked if he liked them. No. Finally he said he saw two skeins of yarn he liked, and in particular he liked the color combination.

Cascade 220 Fingering in #8891 Cyan and #9570 Concord Grape

This is Cascade 200 Fingering in the Cyan and Concord Grape colorways. I told him I could make him a boomerang scarf out of these colors. He decided he wanted the cyan stripes to be wider than the concord grape stripes, so that’s why I bought two skeins of cyan and one of concord grape. I’m not sure when I will get to these, but at least there is a project associated with this yarn.

Unfortunately a local yarn store near me has closed. In the weeks before it closed its doors they had a huge sale. So what did I do? I decided to buy a sweater’s quantity of yarn. There weren’t many sweater’s quantity’s left. I was debating whether to buy two or three colors to make a multicolored sweater, but I couldn’t pick out a pattern quickly enough to make that decision. Then I looked at the yarns where there were enough skeins to make a sweater. I chose this one.

Cascade 200 in #9451 Lupin

This is Cascade 200 (the worsted version this time) in the Lupin colorway. I bought all six skeins, which is 1,320 yards (ouch). I can make a sweater to fit myself with that much yardage, but it will have to be basic or have three-quarter sleeves or something like that. Nothing with cables or oversized. There were some colors with more than six skeins, but I didn’t like those colors very much.

So there we go, 2,139 new yards of yarn entered my stash. In my defense I’m destashing 510 yards as a playoff pool prize, so I really only added 1,629 yards.

I first heard of the acronym SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) a few years ago, but lately it has popped up on my Twitter feed and in other places. I am no where near that point, but I just can’t knit fast enough lately. But that makes me wonder, if I didn’t buy any yarn until I use up my stash (with the exception of the several yards of leftovers from each project) how long could I knit? I don’t even know how many yards I have. Maybe three to five years? I don’t know.

It’s completely unrealistic for me to say I wouldn’t buy yarn until I completely knit down my stash. But I wonder if I could go a full year? Six months? Could I do it? I probably could if it wasn’t for gifts. Until recently much of the time when I bought larger quantities of yarn it was to make a gift for someone. Could I go six months and not buy yarn and just knit from my stash? I must be able to.

Here’s my goal. I do have a few gifts I already know I want to make. Once I buy the yarn for those, I want to go a year without buying yarn. This is cheating in a way because the gifts are going to be kind of time consuming. But can I go a year without buying yarn? That’s going to be the goal for 2016 because this is ridiculous already. Let’s hope I don’t buy 83490284392 skeins of yarn in the rest of 2015 to make up for it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

WWKIPD 2015 – I finished something!

Posted by Andi on June 14, 2015

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day. I didn’t even realize it until the day before when someone from my knitting group posted about it. I looked at a list of events in the Chicago area and wasn’t jazzed with any of them, so I took my knitting out in public to a place I wanted to go. I chose a new local bar, and knit there for a while. My knitting is pictured here with a delicious glass of cider.

Enjoying a cider on World Wide Knit In Public Day #wwkipd #knitting #2townsciderhouse #ginjaninja

This is the second sock. I got all the way to the toe decreases, but didn’t quite finish it before we left. I finished it shortly after I got home.

Rainbow Swirl Socks
Pattern: Rainbow Swirl Socks by Ann McClure
Yarn: Berroco Sox in 1483, .7 skein (308 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: April 24, 2013
Date completed: June 13, 2013

I think the pooling is kind of cool. The yarn has three colors: light gray, dark gray, and magenta. In any given spot of the pool there are two colors, which show up every other row. This is also the first sock I ever knit that called for a stockinette stitch heel flap. I’ve made other stockinette stitch heels, but they were all short row heels as opposed to heel flaps. We’ll see how it wear. This is pretty sturdy sock yarn, so I’m not concerned.

This yarn used up 308 yards of yarn from a fairly large skein, so I will have plenty of yarn left over from hexipuffs. That small amount of yardage is a fraction of the amount I purchased recently. I know, I know. Not good. So I’m at 62.8% right now. I have a sweater that is fairly close to coming off the needles, but that’s still not going to get me very far. I thought I was going to finish that sweater this past week, but I had a few days of hand pain from typing, and I had to work on the airplane during my trip, so I didn’t get a lot of knitting done the past week or so. But I’m plugging away.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.