Knitstant Gratification

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

Hat Trick 2017

Posted by Andi on February 12, 2017

Every January the Puck This! group on Ravelry holds its annual hat trick – try to knit three hats in January. I love participating, but I already have too many hats for myself. This year I made three hats for other people.

The first two hats were the same hat for different people using different yarn.

First goal of the January Hat Trick: the first of 2 #pussyhatproject hats I'm making for friends who are marching in Washington #tckwintercamp2017 #knitting
Pattern: Pussyhat Project by Kat Coyle
Yarn: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in Hot Pink, .51 skein (128.3 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: January 1, 2017
Date completed: January 3, 2017

I finished my second #pussyhatproject hat this week. It's was also the second goal of the Puck This! hat trick #knitting
Pattern: Pussyhat Project by Kat Coyle
Yarn: Baah! Shasta in Falling in Love, .74 skein (148.0 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: January 7, 2017
Date completed: January 12, 2017

These hats were made for two friends of mine who traveled from Chicago to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Women’s March. I decided I wanted to make the hats for people I knew. I was lucky in that I decided to do it early because I heard that a lot of local yarn stores across the country ran out of pink yarn.

I didn’t follow the pattern exactly. The pattern as written is knit flat, folded in half, and the sides are seamed together. I decided to knit it in the round instead. I guess that means I didn’t really follow this pattern, because there was another pattern out there that was knit in the round, only I didn’t know about it. I adapted this one. I also made the ribbed part longer so my friends could fold it over to keep their ears warmer. It wasn’t going to be super cold in D.C., but I wanted them to be able to wear the hats on cold winter days in Chicago too.

Hat trick completed! And Tim gets (another) new hat. #knitting
Pattern: Playing with Cables by Patricia Marzan
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Cranberry, .56 skein (95.2 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: January 17, 2017
Date completed: January 21, 2017

Not too long ago I made a red scarf for Tim to go with his new winter coat. I had yarn left over, so I offered to make him a hat, and he accepted. Tim is a big fan of cables, so I showed him a bunch of cabled hats, and he picked this one. Looking at the photo, you can see the right part of the hat has two of the same cable, and then on the left is a different cable. What you can’t see is that the cables alternate by two, so next to the cable on the left is another of the same cable. There are a total of 8 cables on the hat.

The hat trick coincided with the start of Winter Camp. During the month of January, campers get bonus points for making something for the head, so I was able to get bonus points for the first hat I finished.

A new wrinkle to the hat trick this year is that it didn’t have to be hats. It could be three of anything, because sometimes people don’t need hats or want to focus on something else. As such, next year I will probably try to make three of something else.

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Crafting Resolutions

Posted by Andi on January 28, 2017

I have made knitting resolutions for the past few years. I know we are almost a full month into 2017, but I thought it would be good to look back at my resolution for 2016, and look forward to 2017.

My results for 2016 were mixed.

1. Hat Trick: This is from the Puck This! group on Ravelry – make 3 hats in the month of January. I succeeded on this one. I finished all 3 hats.

2. More yards out than yards in: As a reminder, “yards out” doesn’t just mean yards I knit, but also any skeins I destash. Yards only count once an object is finished. Similarly, “yards in” doesn’t mean I paid for the yarn, but it’s any yarn that comes into my stash by gift or repurposing yarn. This was a huge failure this year for two main reasons. The first was the swap I did with my knit group, in which I took several skeins out of my stash, but swapped for skeins with more yardage. Oops. The second reason was that I bought yarn to make an afghan, and I haven’t made it yet. By the end of the year, 9,713.9 yards left my stash, and put 15,888 yards into my stash. That comes to 61.1%, which is awful.

3. 3 sweaters: I tried, but failed at this one. I made a sweater for myself which turned out horribly and I hate it. I finished a baby sweater, and also got more than halfway through the baby sweater I quit. I don’t think a baby sweater was in the spirit of the goal, but whatever.

4. Finally make my knitting amigurumi vegetables: Nope.

5. Use 12 skeins of sock yarn (doesn’t have to be 12 pairs of socks – could be shawls, scarves, hats, etc. Also, clearly I won’t use 100% of the skein, but I want to have a decent sized project from each): I did this! I made 5 pairs of socks, 2 shawls, a baby dress, and a scarf out of 12 skeins of yarn.

6. More hexipuffs. I would like to get through the scraps friends have sent me: I did finish making hexipuffs out of all the scraps my friends gave me. I also sewed about half of the hexipuffs I have into the blanket.

Now – my crafting resolutions for 2017.

1. Complete the hat trick: I do this every year, and because I’m posting this so late, I’ve already accomplished this one!!

2. Use 12 skeins of sock yarn: Yes, I’m doing this one again this year. I have so many skeins of sock yarn in my stash that this needs to be a goal every year. So far I have used one skein.

3. Finally make my amigurumi vegetables: I say this every year. But this year I mean it. Really.

4. Learn to crochet well enough to have one crochet FO: I have always wanted to learn to crochet well. I have crochet books, but do nothing. This year my mom gave me a crochet stitch dictionary for Christmas, and I’m using that as motivation to learn. Also, this is the reason why I have “crafting resolutions” instead of “knitting resolutions.”

5. More yards out than yards in: I definitely won’t be buying yarn for afghans this year. But I really, really want to succeed at this one this year. To that end I’m doing something drastic. I will not buy any stash yarn this year. I can buy yarn to make gifts for people. I am debating whether I can buy yarn to make something for myself if I have a specific project in mind. I think I will only allow myself to do that if I’m going to make said project right away.

6. Finish beekeeper’s quilt: I have a few new fingering weight leftovers I want to turn into hexipuffs. Then I want to sew everything together and see where the blanket is at size-wise. I figure I’m going to have to make a few half-sized hexipuffs for the edges.

7. Make 3 adult garments: I already have a sweater for Tim on the needles, and I have yarn set aside for 3 garments for myself, so I only have to do two of those. I already know what those will be.

So there you go. This time next year I will revisit this and see how I do.

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Last FOs of 2016

Posted by Andi on January 22, 2017

For completeness, her are my last finished objects of 2016. Yes, I know we are three weeks into 2017 already, but I just took a picture of the final FO today.

Marian Girl
Pattern: Marian Girl by Taiga Hilliard Designs
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love, .13 skein (136.6 yards)
Needles: US 6 and US 7
Date started: December 4, 2016
Date completed: December 12, 2016

My cousin’s significant other had a baby a few months back. As I detailed here, I started making another sweater for the baby well before it was born, hated it, and started over making a new sweater. This is the new sweater.

I loved knitting this. It was easy, but so cute. Here is a view of the back.

Marian Girl

I love how it flares out a bit at the bottom.

This sweater was not finished (or even started for that matter) by the time the baby was born, but it was finished in time for my mom to send it off with the rest of the Christmas presents for that part of the family.

A River Runs Through Mitt
Pattern: A River Runs Through Mitt by Aimee Pelletier
Yarn: Cascade 200 Superwash in 893, .54 skein (118.8 yards)
Needles: US 7
Date started: December 17, 2016
Date completed: December 20, 2016

I made these for a coworker whose hands get cold a lot. She is modeling the mitts in the above photo. Her nail polish was a wreck that day, so she didn’t want to show the tops of her fingers, hence the fists. The yarn I used in this project was left over from a shawl I made my mother a couple of years ago.

Last, but not least…

Alla Moda
Pattern: Alla Moda by Gina Bonomo
Yarn: Purl Soho Line Weight in 1110 Ballet Pink (1 skein, 494 yards) and 2040 Toasted Charcoal (1 skein, 494 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: August 22, 2016
Date completed: December 26, 2016

This took a long time to knit because I used it as my travel project for several months. I finally finished it at the end of December because I was so close to being done, and I wanted all of that yardage to count as “yards out” for 2016.

I bought the yarn for this project a few years ago from Purl Soho when I was on a business trip to New York. I loved how the colors looked together, and definitely knew I wanted to use both skeins in a single project. For the longest time I was queuing 2-color shawls, and going back and forth on which one to actually knit. I finally decided on this one because I thought it would be really easy. I didn’t have to carry a pattern around with me. I just continued knitting until I ran out of yarn.

There is one thing that disappointed me about how this turned out. In the picture, one of the colors is clearly gray. But the other is actually a light pink, and in the scarf it looks off-white. Even while knitting it I could tell the pink got lost. You can tell it’s pink if you look closely. Oh well.

That said, I love this scarf so much. It’s so light and smooshy. I almost want to make another one, but I would definitely use the Line Weight if I was going to. It’s stockinette, but after blocking it doesn’t curl as much as it did on the needles. If you need a striking but simple knit to use up some fingering weight yarn, I highly recommend this pattern.

So that’s it. The knitting year of 2016 is over. My next post will discuss whether I succeeded in my 2016 knitting resolutions, and what my 2017 knitting resolutions are.

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Knitting for Standing Rock

Posted by Andi on January 2, 2017

In late November, a Raverly friend posted a link to the Unplanned Peacock Studio website. They were selling skeins of bulky yarn at cost (quite a discount) if those who bought it promised to make a hat or cowl to send to the water protectors at Standing Rock. I thought it was a great idea, so I purchased a skein, which turned out to be a lovely shade of blue and white. The yarn page also had links to some patterns that would work with the yarn, so I picked the hat pattern I liked best and got started knitting.

Big Chunky Comfy Hat
Pattern: Big Chunky Comfy Hat by Erica Kempf Broughton
Yarn: Unplanned Peacock Studio Merino Bulky, .48 skein (57.6 yards)
Needles: US 10.5
Date started: December 6, 2016
Date completed: December 6, 2016

The hat actually looks much nicer than it does in the picture. It looks a little wonky because it’s ribbed and not stretched at all. Trust me, it looks really nice on. Actually, it’s inside out, as are the photos on the Ravelry pattern page. It turns out the hat is reversible, but it’s written the opposite way as in the pictures. When I started knitting it I had the intention of keeping it the correct way – the way it was written. But guess what – I liked it better inside out. So that’s the way I knit it.

I went down a needle size because I tend to be a loose knitter (something I’m working on), and was surprised to find that I only used about half the skein. The hat isn’t huge, but both myself and Tim. We both have smallish heads, but so do a lot of other people so I kept it as is, and decided to knit a second smallish adult hat.

Super Soft Merino Hat
Pattern: Super Soft Merino Hat by Purl Soho
Yarn: Unplanned Peacock Studio Merino Bulky, .46 skein (55.2 yards)
Needles: US 10.5
Date started: December 7, 2016
Date completed: December 8, 2016

This hat also fit both myself and Tim, so I felt comfortable sending it. I packaged both hats and sent them.

I loved working with this yarn. I don’t knit with bulky yarn often, so I got a kick out of finishing two hats so quickly. I also loved how the yarn knit up, so I looked at the other yarns on the Unplanned Peacock Studio website. They have so many pretty colors! There is one I want to make a sweater, but since I’m really trying for real this time to curb my yarn buying and knit from my stash it might be a while before I get to it.

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Antlers Scarf

Posted by Andi on December 18, 2016

Antlers Scarf
Pattern: Antlers Scarf by Micah P. Dammeyer
Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in 180 Cranberry, 2.98 skeins (506 yards)
Needles: US 7
Date started: October 2, 2016
Date completed: December 4, 2016

This was one of the projects that helped me get my knitting mojo back. Tim wanted a new scarf this winter, and I wanted to finish it before too much of winter went by. Luckily it was only cold one or two days by the time I finished it, so he will have it most of the winter.

Tim decided he wanted a red scarf, and he wanted machine washable yarn. My mom had a coupon for JoAnn Fabrics back in the summer, so I bought four skeins of Vanna’s Choice for him. Unfortunately they didn’t have four skeins in any one dye lot, so I bought 2 skeins from each of two different dye lots.

I wasn’t sure how long I was going to make the scarf. I used two of the skeins from one dye lot first, and then Tim tried it on. He wanted to be able to wrap it around his neck twice, and he could do that but then it didn’t really hang down at all. I used three skeins total, and I don’t think it’s obvious that one skein came from another dye lot. I’m going to use the fourth skein to knit Tim a hat in January.

Tim loves cables, so I wasn’t surprised he chose this pattern. It was actually pretty easy to memorize.

Antlers Scarf

It’s a good thing it was easy to remember and knit, because someone else asked me for one. I might be making another, which is fine because it was a fun knit.

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Where my knitting mojo went, and how I got it back

Posted by Andi on December 4, 2016

Despite the lack of content on this blog, I have been knitting. A bit. But I haven’t been very enthusiastic about it, at least not until last week.

I’ve always been a pretty productive knitter. I finish a lot of projects. And I’ve finished some projects even – mostly back in the summer. I’m not going to post about them all here, but they are all on the finished objects page.

But lately I’ve been a slower knitter. Less enthused. I didn’t knit every time I watched TV. I have one long-term project on the needles – a scarf made out of two skeins of fingering weight yarn. It’s simple, so I want to use it as a travel project and when I watch movies with subtitles. It’s not done yet, but I’m hoping it will be finished by the end of the year. But more on that later.

I couldn’t understand where my enthusiasm went. That had never happened to me before. I have loved knitting since I started knitting. Over Thanksgiving I figured out what the problem was. I have been working on a sweater for my cousin’s new baby, and I hated it. I mean, it was cute and all, but I really hated knitting it. Because it was a gift, I felt that if I was knitting I was supposed to be knitting that, and since I hated it, I wasn’t knitting much at all.

Finally, Thanksgiving weekend, I gave it up. I was working on the second sleeve, and discovered that I had missed two sets of increases somewhere. I put it down, and figured I would rip out the sleeve and start over. A few minutes later, I decided I wasn’t going to rip it out. I’m done with this sweater.

As soon as I decided I was done with this sweater, my knitting mojo came back. I started searching for new sweater patterns. I’ve been planning new projects. I signed up for Winter Camp, which inspired me so much earlier this year.

I’m back.

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Sail On Girly Girl Socks

Posted by Andi on June 25, 2016

New socks!
Yarn: Little Heart Yarns Joy Socks Self Striping in Sail On Girly Girl, .63 skein (248.9 yards); Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock in Elderberry, .14 skein (20.1 yards) = 279 yards total
Needles: US 1
Date started: June 7, 2016
Date completed: June 23, 2017

I love these socks! The main color is from LittleHeartYarns and it was a delight to knit up. I decided I wanted to use a contrast yarn for the heel so I wouldn’t break up the stripe pattern. I choose some leftover Wildfoote that I had from another pair of socks. I thought it was the perfect choice because it had a light blue, and a purple to match the pink, but also black so it wasn’t too matchy matchy.

I didn’t follow a pattern for these socks. I made my own vanilla sock pattern.

I cast on 64 stitches, and knit 15 rounds in 1×1 twisted rib.

For the leg, I knit a full 60 rounds. I knit the first (or front) half of the 61st round, and stopped to start the heel on the back of the round.

I used a fish lips kiss heel. I like the twin stitches much better than a traditional short-row heel. Plus, it fits great.

I knit back across with the main color, after making the heel, to finish the 61st round.

The foot was 47 rounds long, the I did a round toe from the Sock Architecture book by Lara Neel. It is the first time I used that kind of toe. Instead of using kitchener stitch to make a seam, you decrease until you can wrap the yarn through the stitches and pull – like a hat. I wanted to see how that kind of toe worked for me. It certainly feels different than the traditional kitchener toe or Judy’s Magic Cast On toe, but I haven’t worn these much yet (other than to try them on) because it’s been too warm.

I did my best to make the socks identical, but I failed in the foot at some point because the second socks has much more light blue in the toe than the first sock does. I either was off on my row count at some point in the foot, or maybe my gauge changed. I’m not sure. I don’t mind – it won’t show when I’m wearing them in shoes. I had to wind off a bunch of yarn to start off the second sock in the same place as the first, so I saved that for hexipuffs. I cast on at a color change, so I ended up with a super long tail. I cut those off, and will use that leftover yarn to sew my hexipuffs together. None of that scrap yarn will go to waste!

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Off the Wagon

Posted by Andi on June 16, 2016

I was so good at not buying yarn during the first part of the year, but YarnCon opened the floodgates.

First, one of my Ravelry friends opened her own Etsy shop. It’s called LittleHeartYarns and she dyes such beautiful self-striping sock yarn, among other things. When the shop went live I had to buy a skein. I bought some self-striping sock yarn in the Sail On Girly Girl colorway.

Little Heart Yarns Joy Socks Self Striping in Sail On Girly Girl

I tried to guess what it would look like. I figured it would have several light and medium blue stripes for each pink one, given the distribution of colors in the skein. I started knitting a sock, and discovered I was right! Here is the striping pattern:

I love, love, love how this yarn is knitting up! #knitting

I LOVE how these are turning out! I will post about the completed socks soon.

In May I was in Lafayette, Indiana. As I was finishing Tim’s new socks the cable on my circular needle broke off. It was a Knitters Pride Karbonz needle. I saw that a yarn store in Lafayette, River Knits, carries Knitters Pride, so I stopped in to see if I could replace the needle. Alas, they didn’t have the exact one I needed. So what did I do? I bought yarn!

I was excited to see that the store carries Opal yarn. I see a lot of Europe-based podcasters knit with Opal, but I don’t see it here in the US that often. I decided I wanted a skein. I chose this one:

Opal Love Story in Romantik

The colorway is called Romantik. I thought it looks like Halloween, so I plan to knit myself a pair of socks out of this yarn in October.

Tim was with me, and I asked him if there was anything that caught his eye, and he chose a skein of Berroco Comfort Sock yarn:

Berroco Comfort Sock in 1811

I was a little surprised he chose a variegated yarn, since he generally doesn’t like those. However, he was looking at the fiber content, and saw that it was 50% nylon and 50% acrylic. He read that nylon socks are better for diabetics (which he is) than cotton socks, and was intrigued by this yarn because it had a larger nylon content than most of the sock yarns I use. After buying this yarn I looked it up on Ravelry and saw that it had a lot of bad reviews. There were also good reviews, so we’ll see how this works out for us.

Finally, I went into a local yarn store shortly after going to the shop in Lafayette to buy some yarn for a pool prize. I’m not going to post about that because it’s not for me and it’s not staying in my stash. There was so much pretty yarn in there that a couple of weeks later I went back and decided to buy something for myself. I considered many skeins, but decided to get this Succulent Fiber MCN Fingering yarn in the Lemon Pepper colorway.

Succulent Fiber MCN Fingering in Lemon Pepper

I love the bits of gray in it. I can’t wait to knit with this.

So far that’s it. Even after all these purchases I still want to buy all the yarn.

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Cozy Cable Socks

Posted by Andi on May 30, 2016

Cozy Cable Socks
Pattern: Cozy Cable Socks by Terry Morris
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in Purple Rain, 1 skein (435 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: March 30, 2016
Date completed: May 30, 2016

I finally finished these socks for Tim. It took me longer than normal to finish these. First, I put them down to finish the shawl I wore to the wedding. Second, I messed up the stitch placement on the second sock, so I put this project in time out for a while. Third, because of all the cables I had to cast on more stitches than I would for non-cabled socks, so it ate up more yarn and required more stitches than I typically use.

I did not weigh the hank of yarn before I started knitting, but I always weigh my finished objects so I can figure out how many yards were used. When I weighed these socks this morning, they were 102 grams. It’s supposed to be a 100 gram skein. Weird! I didn’t have much yarn left – maybe just enough for a hexipuff. It’s a good thing there might have been slightly more yardage! So, when trying to figure the number of yards used, I just took what is supposed to be in a typical skein, so 435 yards.

It is difficult to photograph this yarn. In every kind of light it looks like a slightly different color. If you go to my project page you will see the socks are a slightly different color in each photo. It’s not quite periwinkle, it’s more purple than that, but not much. It’s a bit tonal and very beautiful.

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More Hexipuffs!

Posted by Andi on May 22, 2016

After I finished my Frost Flowers Stole I went back to knitting some socks I started for Tim. I had to put them on the side to finish the shawl on time. I was making good progress. I finished the first sock, started the second sock. I was moving right along when I realized that I was doing the gusset wrong. I didn’t have the stitches distributed on the needles correctly, so I was decreasing in the wrong place.

I just wanted to throw the socks down and forget about them, but I didn’t. I ripped back to where I had to pick up stitches to start the gusset so I wouldn’t forget what the problem was, or pick them up one day and forget it was wrong and knit even more. Then I put them in time out.

I needed something else to do, so I decided to knit some hexipuffs. Back at the end of 2015 I started knitting hexipuffs out of yarn a friend sent me. I didn’t get through all of the different fingering weight yarns she sent before the end of the year, so I spent the past couple of weeks making hexipuffs out of the different yarns she sent me.

More hexipuffs!

I have finally used up the yarn she gave me last night – except for two white balls of yarn that I’m saving for cuffs, heels and toes for socks.

It was so nice out yesterday that I was able to knit some of the hexipuffs outside! The weather has been really on and off here. We have one or two nice days, and then a week of icky days. But yesterday it was sunny and warm, and we spent the afternoon on our front porch.

It's a gorgeous day, finally, so I'm knitting on the porch.

After I finished those hexipuffs I filled my current hexipuff project bag with leftovers another friend, one from my knitting group, gave me. I will try to make two hexipuffs out of each leftover yarn she sent me too. I may or may not start that today.

Oh, and Tim’s socks. I did pick up the gusset stitches and did the first decrease row. I stopped there so that I can finish the gusset and work on the foot on my trip this week.

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