Knitstant Gratification

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

The Start of My Crochet Journey

Posted by Andi on March 31, 2019

In an effort to try to work on the things that have been hanging over my head, one of my goals this year was to finally start crocheting. I’m starting by knitting swatches with cotton yarn, one per month, to try different stitches. Today is the last day of March, the third month of the year. True to my goal, I have crocheted three swatches.

The stitch for January was single crochet.

Single crochet dishcloth

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this. The chain was too tight, so it was really difficult for me to do the first row of stitches. It was difficult to get the hook through the chain, as well as get the yarn through on some stitches. But once I was through with the first row, it went along fine.

The stitch for February was half double crochet.

Half double crochet dishcloth

This didn’t go quite as well. The chain was still tight. Also, I had a hard time knowing where to put the hook in to start a new row. I was supposed to put the hook in the second stitch, and I think sometimes I didn’t put it in the right place, which led to me losing some stitches and it being wider on the bottom than the top. I wasn’t very happy with this, but I could use it as a dish cloth. I probably should have done this one over again in March, but instead I moved onto double crochet.

Double crochet face cloth

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Look at this!! How hideous!! I had problems going from one row to the next. When I got to the three chains that started the previous row, I had a hard time knowing where to stick the hook. The middle, the actual stitches themselves, came out fine. It was starting and ending rows that didn’t work out. I started with 21 stitches across, and ended with 17.

Working with cotton was probably not a great idea, but I really didn’t want my learning to go to waste. The January and February swatches are already being used as dischloths. I will use the March swatch as a face cloth. So I will continue doing that.

As for knowing where to place my hook at the start and end of rows, I think it’s time for me to watch some videos. I’ve been learning from a book, and while I thought I was following all of the directions correctly, clearly I am not. For April, instead of moving on to another stitch, I’m thinking of watching some videos and trying half double crochet and double crochet over again.

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Trim the Fat

Posted by Andi on March 3, 2019

I realized I never posted my crafting goals for 2019. In order to do so, I need to take a step back to discuss my focus for the year.

Trim the Fat.

I mostly mean this figuratively. I want to cut my bad cholesterol through eating better and exercising more, which should mean I lose weight, but that’s not the point – I want to be healthy, not fit into a certain size. I really just want to trim the excess from many areas of my life in an effort to reduce stress and increase calm. Everything from systematically reducing clutter in my home to trimming social media accounts I follow. But this is a knitting blog, so what does this mean for my knitting?

First, I want to deal with the things that have been hanging over my head. Those things that I want to work on, but never seem to get around to.
— I’m starting this by working on the Topiary Wrap I started last year after frogging an awful sweater. This has been my focus so far this year. I’ve worked on this project the most.
— The Beekeeper’s Quilt. I’ve been working on this for years, and I need to make a point of getting this done. I’m not sure whether or not I will actually finish it this year, but I’m making a point of actively working on it. My current portable project is hexipuffs.
#yarnlovechallenge2019 day 11: pack #fiberuarychallenge day 11: fingering or bulky or... I'm posting a day late because I had oral surgery yesterday. I'm glad I am able to do both if yesterday's prompts in one post. Right now my "on the go" knitting is he
I have a kit I put together. I keep at least three bits of fingering weight yarn, some DPNs, a crochet hook, a yarn cutter, and some polyfill. This has been working well.
— My amigurumi vegetables. This is my goal for the summer. In order to motivate me to work on it, I already have a project in mind fo some of my leftovers.
— Dealing with the sweater I made last year where the top doesn’t fit. It’s a bottom-up raglan, and all I need to do is reknit from where the sleeves join the body. The rest of it is fine.
— My mending pile. I have a pile of knits with holes. Some I made, some were from an unfortunate moth incident a while back. For each item I need to decide whether I want to mend the item, frog and reclaim the yarn, or just dispose of it altogether. My goal was to do one item a month at least, but we’re in March and I haven’t started this. Honestly I kind of forgot about it, so I’m going to start it now. Any yarn I reclaim gets added back into my stash.
— Learning to crochet. I’ve been saying I’m going to do this for years, but now I really want to do it. I’m starting my crocheting a large swatch a month out of cotton, so my swatch can be used as a dish cloth (which we need more of anyways). At some point I will switch from swatching to other crochet projects, but I’m not there yet.

Second, my focus of the year can’t be “trim the fat” without reducing my stash. I will do this in two ways.
— First, I want to take more yarn out of my stash than I put into it. I say this every year. Some years I’m more successful than others. I really don’t want to buy too much yarn this year, and when I do I want to be very intentional about it. This probably requires its own post, so I’m not going to go into detail about that.
— Second, I’m going to focus on larger projects. The larger the project, the more yarn leaves my stash. Over the past couple of years I’ve stashed several sweater quantities of yarn, so I plan to make at least two, but preferably three, sweaters. For me. Tim gets more sweaters than I do. I want some of my own sweaters. This means I will have way fewer FOs than I normally have, but that’s okay.

Third, I don’t want knitting to be a stressor, I want it to be fun. Again, I plan to achieve this in two ways.
— Plan gift knitting well in advance. I only have one gift planned right now. I’m sure I will make more, but nothing at the last minute. I will start planning Christmas knitting in July, and give myself a month for any other special events such as birthdays or new babies.
— Outside of a few specific projects I’ve mentioned, I’m not making a list of projects I want to complete. I want to knit what I want to knit. Outside of focusing predominantly on multi-skein larger projects, I’m not going to say which ones I’m going to do in which order.

And that’s really it. This isn’t my traditional list, but I’m switching up how I do things. I figure this plan will help reduce stress by systematically reducing stash and the number of long-planned projects that keep getting pushed. Trimming the fat.

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I’m back, and looking back

Posted by Andi on January 1, 2019

Now that 2019 has started, let’s look back on 2018.

First, I haven’t posted in 9 months. I assure you I have been knitting. I just haven’t been posting about it. Life was a bit stressful, and during that time I considered blogging to be another stressor, not something fun. So I didn’t do it. I’m hoping to make it something fun again in 2019.

How did I do on my goals?

1. 9 pairs of socks

I chose 9 pairs of socks as my goal because I joined a sock pattern club that had 6 patterns plus a bonus holiday patter, and I had two pairs of socks I wanted to make for me and Tim.

I ended up knitting 11 pairs of socks – all 9 mentioned above, plus two pairs of socks I made for Christmas gifts.

2. Finish the brioche scarf I had started

Check. As a matter of fact, my last blog post was about that scarf. I gave the scarf to the recipient and she really liked it.

3. Make a brioche cowl

To back up, I took a brioche class in late 2017 (and another lesson in 2018). We received the pattern for the Funkasonic Cowl by Heidi Gustad, who taught the class. When the class was over I wanted to make the cowl. I did, and I love how it turned out. It’s so cushy and warm.

4. Make a matching hat and cowl set

I did that. I made Barley and Oats by tincanknits. I wear them both frequently.

5. Make my amigurumi vegetables

And here is where it starts going downhill. I did not do this. And I really want to in 2019 because I want to use the leftovers to make a shawl. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

6. Finish Viajante

So, I finished knitting the Viajante, but I never wove in the ends or blocked it. And it’s in my apartment somewhere, but I’m not quite sure where. That’s ridiculous. I need to find it. The whole point was to use it when I travel in the winter. It’s winter now.

7. Do something with the two sweaters I made but don’t work for me.

I did not make as much progress on this one as I would have liked, but I started. One of my projects during the Ravelenic games was to frog one of the sweaters. I did that, and started knitting Topiary by Michelle Wang. (Actually, I started with another shawl first, but that didn’t work out, and I’d rather forget about that so I’m not going there.) A few months ago I put this shawl down in order to prioritize other projects. When I finished my last FO of 2018 on New Year’s Eve, I picked up Topiary to work on the rest of the day. I’m on a bit of a roll with it right now, so this might be my go to pattern for now.

I haven’t touched the other sweater. I debated back and forth on whether I should frog it and knit something else entirely, or whether I should just rip back the part that was too big. I’m leaning toward the latter, but haven’t done it yet.

8. Finish my Beekeeper’s Quilt

Nope. I barely worked on it. I maybe made a few hexipuffs?

9. Take in less yarn than I take out of my stash

A big fat no. I did pretty well at the beginning of the year, and it started to go downhill. Worse, I bought a whole bunch of yarn toward the end of the year, including 2 sweater quantities. That doesn’t include the other sweater quantities I bought earlier in the year and didn’t knit.

I took in 16,767 yards of yarn, and took out (by knitting only, I didn’t destash anything) 9365.5 yards, which puts me at 55.9%, which is bad.

Weight is worse. I took in 5957 grams of yarn, and knit 2739 grams, for 46.0%. My percentage for grams is worse than yards because I knit with a lot of fingering weight yarns – more yardage per gram.

10. Finally learn to crochet

Nope. I intended to. I really did. But I just didn’t get around to it.

What thwarted my progress?

As I already mentioned, I put the Topiary down to knit on other things. And I really didn’t leave myself any wiggle room to add anything in. For example, I knit two pairs of socks for Christmas. I knit one birthday present, and two baby presents. I knit a scarf for a charity auction, and a small garment for myself. Looking back at my goals, I don’t think I could have accomplished them and made anything else. I’m keeping that in mind as I consider what my goals for 2019 will be.

As for the fact that I haven’t posted in 9 months, I don’t now if I’m really going to go back and update everything. I might if I feel like it. But really, I’m looking forward.

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Brioche!!

Posted by Andi on March 31, 2018

There are so many beautiful brioche patterns out there that I want to knit, so late last year I took a beginner brioche class at a local yarn shop. It was great.

It worked out really well because a woman who works for my dad had requested a scarf. Normally I don’t take requests, but she helps out my dad and stepmom so much that I wanted to do something nice for her. She wanted a black scarf, so I bought some black yarn and started looking for patterns. Then I realized I can use the scarf to practice brioche!

Scarf for Mouse
No pattern, basic one color brioche
Yarn: Knit Picks Mighty Stitch in Black, 2.72 skeins (565.8 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: December 23, 2017
Date completed: January 27, 2018

Instead of looking for a pattern, I used instructions for one color brioche on the handout I received from the class, I just cast on more stitches. After a while, the single color brioche became basic for me – I could work on the scarf while watching television or whatever. The problem was trying to fix any errors. Maybe it was because the yarn was black, or because it was one color, but it was difficult for me to see how to fix mistakes. When I made a mistake I had to rip back until I was comfortable that the stitches didn’t fall down more and grab all the stitch loops and yarn overs. That happened infrequently, but I was able to make it work. I finally gave the finished scarf to the recipient a few weeks ago, and she really liked it.

A two color brioche cowl pattern came with the class, along with the yarn, so I made that next.

Funkasonic Cowl
Pattern: Funkasonic Cowl by Heidi Gustad
Yarn: Why Knot Fibers Steady, 157 yards
Needles: US 8
Date started: January 27, 2018
Date completed: January 29, 2018

I don’t have a lot of information on the yarn, other than the brand. The shop balled up different colors, which were partial skeins (I’m assuming half a skein but I could be wrong) and we were able to choose two contrasting colors to make the cowl. I chose the green first, and chose this gold color because if you look at it really closely you case see some green speckles in it. I thought they would go nicely together, and didn’t even realize that they were basically Green Bay Packers colors right away. When it came time to decide the main and contrast colors, I decided to make the gold the main color, since green is the Packers’ main color.

This is such a great cowl, though. The yarn is so nice and smooshy, and it’s so nice knit up in brioche. It’s very warm. In the class I learned that two color brioche in the round is easier to learn than two color brioche flat, so this is a great pattern if you are just starting to learn brioche. Honestly, I want to make another one. It would make a great gift.

These two projects knock of two of my fiber goals for 2018. So far I have been on track with my goals. We’ll see if it continues.

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Barley & Oats

Posted by Andi on February 18, 2018

First thing’s first. I had a bit of an html problem with my last posts about my crafting goals for 2018. Only one goal showed up! You can find it here. The next few posts will reference it, so take a look!

I’m going to start with goal #4: Make a matching hat and cowl set.

Typically, I don’t mind wearing hand knit winter accessories that don’t match. I may end up looking like crazy knitter lady, but I think it’s cute and quirky and generally don’t care what others think.

There are times, however, where looking put together is important. For that reason, I wanted to make a matching hat and cowl set to go with my winter coat. I wanted something kind of basic but interesting to knit. I went with Barley and Oats by tincanknits. They are part of the same collection so they match.

As always, I was trying to bust some stash, so I went with some Berroco Lustra yarn, which has been discontinued. This yarn is very difficult to photograph because it’s two colors. For this, the main yarn is reddish, but there is a bit of blue in it that creates a halo. It looks different colors in different light.

Barley
Pattern: Barley by tincanknits
Yarn: Berroco Lustra in Montaigne, .52 skein (102.4 yards)
Needles: US 5 & 7
Date started: 1/8/18
Date completed: 1/15/18

This hat is mostly stockinette with a garter stitch section. The picture makes it look like it’s half and half, but it’s not. It’s maybe 2/3 stockinette and 1/3 garter, or maybe a little garter, but more along those lines. I like how the hat looks a bit different depending on how I put it on my head. Sometimes I have the garter section centered on my head, and other times it offset. It’s warm and cozy and I love it. I finished the knitting before I started the cowl below, but didn’t weave in the ends until 1/15.

Oats
Pattern: Oats by tincanknits
Yarn: Berroco Lustra in Montaigne, .66 skein (130 yards)
Needles: US 7
Date started: 1/11/18
Date completed: 1/15/18

This cowl is also warm and cozy. It’s very similar to the hat as far as the garter to stockinette ratio is concerned. I made the small cowl. I thought about making the infinity scarf version, but I wasn’t sure I would have enough yarn. Maybe I would have, I don’t know. The small cowl works better under my coat.

I do have a fair amount of yarn left over, so I’m considering making a pair of fingerless mitts to go over my gloves. I have a fingerless mitt patterns by tincanknits and will probably use one of those. I’m holding off for a couple of reasons. First, I do have gloves, so the fingerless mitts would be purely aesthetic and aren’t necessary. Second, fingerless mitts don’t tick off any of my knitting goals for the year, so I may wait to make those until I’m sure I’m making the progress I want to be making on my goals.

The last time I made a matching set it was a bit of a disaster, so I’m really happy that these worked out so well. I’ve worn them several times already.

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2018 Goals

Posted by Andi on February 9, 2018

Yes, I did make crafting goals for this year, just like every other year. And I made them before January 1. But I’m just getting around to posting them here today. I’m not sure “goals” is the word I want to use, but I’m not coming up with another one. These are goals I want to accomplish, but I’m not going to stress over it to get them done. I’m not going to knit until my hands hurt to reach a goal. I’m not going to sit for hours and not get up for a goal. I’m not going to let these goals cause me any stress.

My theme for 2018 is balance. I sometimes let stress consume me, and knitting is supposed to be a stress reliever for me, not cause stress. I have a plan for how to accomplish these goals, but if it goes off track, it goes off track.

Here we go!

1. 9 pairs of socks
I joined The Knitting Expat’s The Cosy Sock Collection 2018 Sock Club. It has 7 patterns (6 plus a bonus pattern that came out before Christmas). I have started this goal already. I would like to use all the patterns this year. I finished the bonus pattern, and will be casting on the first of the Cosy Collection today. The patterns come out every other month. The first one came out last week, then April, June, August, October, and December. The plan is to start each new pair shortly after the pattern is released, and once that pair of socks is done, I will use the remaining time until the next pattern comes out to work on the other goals.

So that’s 7 patterns. The other two will technically be vanilla socks, but not plain! A couple of years ago Tim and I each picked out a skein of Regia’s Arne and Carlos yarn to make festive socks meant to be Christmas socks. I still haven’t knit those, and would like to do that this year.

2. Finish the brioche scarf I’m currently making.

I wrote that in late December. I already finished this scarf. Details to come.

3. Make a brioche cowl.

See #2.

4. Make a matching hat and cowl set. The hat will be Barley, and the cowl will be Oats, both patterns by tincanknits.

See #2 and #3.

5. Make my amigurumi vegetables.

I know, I know, I say this every year. But it’s time. And really, as you can see, I’m flying through these goals, so this should be possible this year. The vegetables will be the perfect project for summer knitting, and that’s what I plan to do.

6. Finish the Viajante I’ve been working on for months.

This won’t be a problem. I’ve actually made fantastic progress on it the past week or two. I’m setting it aside today to concentrate on my Ravellenic Games projects (more to come in another post).

7. Do something with the two sweaters I made and don’t work for me.

One definitely needs to be frogged, and that will be one of my Ravellenic Games projects. I plan to sit in front of the TV, watching the Olympics, and unraveling this sweater and winding the yarn. I’ve picked two possible patterns to make with the reclaimed yarn. The real goal is to actually knit a sweater with it so the yarn doesn’t all end up back in my stash for the year, but that’s secondary. Frogging the sweater will be a big step.

The second sweater was the green raglan I finished a couple of months ago where the top was too big. I was going to frog it, but I may check my gauge and see if I can make an adjustment to just reknit the top. We’ll see. I don’t want that sweater to languish the way the one described above did.

8. Finish my beekeeper’s quilt.

I say this every year too. We’ll see. I did make a few hexipuffs at the end of 2017. I don’t need to make a ton more. Maybe if I just make a few hexipuffs after I finish each project I will get it done.

9. Take in less yarn than I take out of my stash.

This is always a goal, and I was successful last year. This year I’m doing something a bit different. Not only am I tracking the yards that come into and leave my stash, but I’m also tracking grams. I’m curious about which measurement will look better. As of now, it’s grams. But we’ll see!

10. Finally learn to crochet.

I had the same goal last year, with the addition that I would have a finished object. I don’t know if I will go that far. I’m thinking of starting with dish cloths. I can use cotton yarn to crochet large swatches, and use those swatches for dish cloths. We need more dish cloths anyway. I guess dish cloths could be considered finished objects, but when I said “finished object” last year I was thinking more along the lines of a scarf or shawl.

So there we go. How much of this will I complete? I don’t know. But so far I’m getting them done.

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Wrapping Up 2017

Posted by Andi on January 20, 2018

We are well into January now. It’s about time I wrap up my year in knitting. There are two finished objects I haven’t posted about yet, and I have to see how well I did with my goals.

First, the finished objects.

Last finished object on 2017: Clarice Mitts. #knittersofinstagram #knitting
Pattern: Clarice Mitts by Amy Sparks
Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Sport in Cobblestone Heather, .46 skein (125.8 yards)
Needles: US 5
Date started: December 3, 2017
Date completed: December 31, 2017

I decided to make a pair of fingerless mitts to use up some of the extra yarn I had to buy to completed the Hue Shift Afghan. At first I was going to use them as a white elephant gift, but decided that was a bad idea. But I had already started them, and decided to finish them. As I was working on them, I asked my boyfriend if he would like them. He tried on the first one when it was finished, and liked it, so when I finished them I gave them to him. He has been wearing them fairly regularly and still likes them, so that makes me happy.

Liesl
Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Mushishi in Greys, .93 skein (455.6 yards)
Needles: US 10.5
Date started: December 18, 2017
Date completed: January 8, 2018

Now, yes, I actually finished this in 2018, but that was just sewing on the buttons. All of the knitting was completed in 2017, so I count it as a 2017 finished object.

I bought this yarn using a gift certificate to a local yarn store that my father and stepmother got for me as a gift. They have given me two gift certificates to that store, and with all the yarn I have purchased this is the first FO.

I love this yarn. I don’t know if it’s dyed or not because the colors could be natural (there are some colorways that are clearly dyed, so I’m not sure). If it’s not natural, I love how it looks like it is. Here is a closer look at the yarn.

Liesl

I won the buttons in a contest. I thought they go perfectly. The middle button isn’t perfectly place, so I may tweak that. I was glad I already had buttons and didn’t have to go buy any. I have three left. Honestly, they are decorative. I keep it closed and pull it over my head.

The Liesl pattern has several options. There is a high neck versus a wide neck. I started with the high neck, but when I tried it on it felt like it was going to strangle me, so I ripped back and did the wide neck. There are two sleeve options: cap sleeves versus longer sleeves. I went with the cap sleeves. I only had one skein of this yarn and wanted to make sure I had enough for the body. Speaking of which, the third option was body length: more of a bolero length versus full length. I went with full length.

I’m really happy with how this turned out. I have worn it several times already. It’s very versatile. I’ve worn it with a dress and with jeans. It’s also a very quick knit. I highly recommend it.

Now, onto my goals. Just like every other year, I had mixed results.

1. Complete the hat trick.

I completed this one, even before I posted my goals for the year. The hat trick is something the Puck This! group on Ravelry does every year, where we try to knit three hats in January. I knit two pussy hats for friends who were traveling to the women’s march in Washington. The third hat was a red hat I made for my boyfriend. Check!

2. Use 12 skeins of sock yarn.

So, I technically reached this goal, but it takes some explaining. I consider using a skein of sock yarn to be using at least half of a 100g skein. Well I can’t say I did that, but I did use several 50g skeins, so when I put two of those together it is the equivalent of using a 100g skein. My Find Your Fade shawl really helped. I used 5 100g skeins (one I didn’t fully use, but then made a pair of Rose City Rollers with it, so… 5) and one 50g skein, so that’s 5.5 skeins. I made another (the first) pair of Rose City Rollers with a 50g skein I had in my stash forever, so that brings us to 6. I knit 5 full size pairs of socks, bringing us to 11. I knit 2 baby sweaters out of 50g skeins of yarn, two 50g skeins equal one 100 g skein, so that brings us to 12. Ding ding ding!!! And there was more. I knit a cowl out of fingering weight yarn that used bits of several skeins, but the weight of the finished object gets us technically to another skein. So I exceeded this goal by knitting the equivalent of 13 skeins of sock yarn.

3. Finally make my amigurumi vegetables.

Nope. Spoiler alert: it will be on the list again this year.

4. Learn to crochet well enough to have one crochet FO.

Another nope. I feel particularly bad about this one. This was something I really wanted to do.

5. More yards out than yards in.

Success! I took 10,523.6 yards of yarn into my stash, and let 12,184.2 yards of yarn out of my stash, for 115.8%. Yay!

6. Finish beekeeper’s quilt.

Another nope, but I did knit more hexipuffs.

7. Make 3 adult garments.

So, if you squint hard enough, this is a yes. I knit a sweater for Tim. I knit the green monster for myself that I’m going to frog or rip back and redo, but decided not to do that until 2018. I finished all the knitting, and it was an entire adult sweater. The third was Liesl. I have to admit, I scrambled to finish all the knitting on Liesl before the end of 2017 just to achieve this goal. But I did it!

A mixed bag, but I did quite a bit of knitting. In the end I’m happy with my projects this year.

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It Can Now Be Revealed

Posted by Andi on December 31, 2017

I only knit one Christmas present this year. Most years I knit more than one gift, but this one was a biggie so I knew I couldn’t get more Christmas knitting in. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you would have seen me post about it, but I didn’t blog about it out of fear the recipient would see it. But now that the gift has been received, I can finally post about it.

Here is the afghan I made for Tim’s mom.

It's done!!!! #knittersofinstagram #knitting #HueShiftAfghan

It is the Hue Shift Afghan from Knit Picks. I purchased a kit because my color sense isn’t good enough for me to choose 11 colors on my own and make it look good. I chose this particular set of colors (the Decor version) because I thought it matched the decor (no pun intended) in Tim’s parents’ living room the best.

I’m not going to go into an exaustive list of the yarns used and their yardages. You can check out my Ravelry Project Page for that. I can say that I used a total of 3,059 yards of sport weight yarn (Knit Picks Brava Sport), which at time I finished the project, wasn’t enough to put my yards out/yards in ratio in the black. Close, but not cigar.

Because of the size of the project, I started early and tried to pace myself. When I started in April, my goal was to make 3 squares a week. That way, I would have finished the squares about three weeks before Christmas, enough time to sew the pieces together and make the border. That worked for a while. Even when there were weeks where I didn’t have time to make three squares, I was usually able to make up for it in the following week. However, there was a span of a few weeks where I was focusing on making baby gifts and didn’t knit any squares. Once that was over I started knitting on this blanket exclusively for the reason below.

There was only one hiccup with this project. After I purchased the kit, I saw some comments on Ravelry from people who said they ran out of yarn. I purposely went down a needle size in the hopes it would save some yarn, but I was always conscious that I could run out. Once I finished the baby gifts above, I got worried that I might run out of yarn too close to Christmas to finish the blanket. I started knitting more quickly.

I got through most of the colors with more than enough yarn left, and ended up playing yarn chicken with a few colors. There were two colors where I maybe had 2-3 yards of yarn left. I ran out of one color, and had to order a new one. Thankfully the dye lots were really close so it’s not obvious where I switched skeins. I paid for expedited shipping to make sure I got it in time to finish.

I finished knitting the squares on Thanksgiving, and was able to seam the pieces together that day. It had been many years since I used mattress stitch with garter stitch, so I had to relearn that, but it worked out just fine. The border was easy and I finished the blanket in plenty of time.

I have been considering how I could use the leftovers, since there are only small amounts of any given color. I started making a pair of fingerless mitts with the extra skein I had to purchase (I only used 6 grams of it in the blanket). I might make a striped cowl or hat with the rest.

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To the Frog Pond with You

Posted by Andi on December 26, 2017

In my last post I discussed one of my WIPs at the time, the Humboldt Raglan. Well, I finished knitting it a couple of weeks ago. Here it is in its current form.

Humboldt Raglan

Why aren’t the ends woven in? Because they never will be. This sweater didn’t work out. I will be frogging it and using the yarn to make a new sweater.

What happened?

I set this sweater down for a long time as I was working on a long-term gift knit. I had just started the raglan decreases before I set the sweater aside. My gauge must have changed after I picked it back up, because the sleeves and body below the underarms fit fine, but the top was way too big.

It was just unwearable. When I had the shoulders right up against my shoulders, the body came down way too far, the sleeves looked too short, and the underarms came down so far that it looked like the sweater version of Hammer pants.

When I pulled up the underarms so they came right up against my armpits, the body fit appropriately. The sleeves hit my arms in the perfect three-quarter length place. However, the top above the underarms was really baggy. Ugly baggy.

I briefly considered ripping back and adjusting the raglan decreases so it would fit. But honestly, I was disgusted. I still am. I don’t want to do it. I’m done. Perhaps another knitter, or even myself at another time, would consider doing that. I just don’t want to make the adjustment. I would rather make something else.

So, this created a problem, albeit an artificial one that shouldn’t mean anything, but does to me. The yardage from this sweater (1375.5 yards) was going to put the yards out/yards in ratio in the black. It was also going to get me closer to finishing three adult sized garments this year. However, I typically don’t count something as knit until it is done and I know it won’t be frogged. If the yarn is going right back into my stash, why count it as used?

However, my boyfriend talked me out of that notion. He said I spent a lot of time on the sweater, I should count the yardage and the sweater goal, and let the yardage going back into my stash be 2018’s problem. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to frog the sweater after the new year. I’m going to let the yardage count this year, and I will start 2018 in the hole. That’s okay, though, because I’m going to reknit the yarn right away, so I won’t be in a big hole long.

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All the Green

Posted by Andi on December 3, 2017

I have to works in progress I can discuss at this point. The others are gifts, so I’m still keeping those close to the vest. Here they are, in the order in which I started them.

I started the Humboldt Raglan back in April. I had a sweater quantity of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport that I had originally purchased to make a jacket style cardigan, but when I went to start the knitting that sweater I realized I had no wiggle room – I had just over the yardage required by the pattern. Given that I’d played yarn chicken and lost on a couple of Tim’s sweaters, I didn’t want to take the risk. So I started going through patterns I already owned, and came across the Humboldt Raglan.

This project has been on the sidelines for a couple of months as I spent most of my knitting time making gifts on a schedule. But I did make a bit of progress over Thanksgiving weekend, and will pick it back up as my primary project soon when I finish the last of my gifts.

It’s not very photogenic at this point, but here is a picture of the lace panel down the front – unblocked of course.

Sweater knitting today. #knitting #knittersofinstagram

This is a bottom-up sweater, and I’m decreasing the yoke, so I should be done with this before the end of the year. I’m hoping to finish it in time for Christmas. It’s green, so it will be festive.

My other WIP is Viajante. Interestingly, I’m making this project out of a similar shade of green yarn: Wollmeise Lacegarn.

I started this as an easy, portable travel project. With the exception of some increases, it’s all stockenette stitch, so there’s not much to memorize. I cast on in time to work on it at the Blackhawks Convention. I’ve worked on it on and off, setting it aside for long portions of time. Much of the work has been done on airplanes, as this most recent picture of it shows.

The places where I knit, MSP -> MDW edition # knitting

It’s starting to get a bit bigger, so I don’t know how much longer this will be portable. As such, I have no idea when I will finish it. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the year, but I’m not sure that’s realistic.

The pattern offers two options for the bottom of the shawl/poncho – a lace edge and a ruffled edge. Most of the projects on Ravelry have the lace edge, but there are a few with the ruffled edge. I thought I would wear this on business trips, so I’m leaning toward the ruffled edge because I think it looks more polished. If you have seen both (or feel like looking at both on Ravelry), what do you think?

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