Knitstant Gratification

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

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.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

FO Catch Up

Posted by Andi on November 26, 2017

During the time I took off from blogging I finished some other projects that I haven’t had a chance to post about yet. This post is about those five projects, in chronological order.

Hopscotch Socks
Pattern: HopScotch Socks by TLCrafts and Design
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stopper in Imperfection (.76 skein, 351.9 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: March 19, 2017
Date completed: April 22, 2017

These were a test knit for TLCrafts and Design (who you should check out – she has beautiful patterns). It’s a lovely textured pattern that was pretty easy to memorize. It was well written. Here is a close up of the stitch pattern.

Hopscotch Socks

I love how these turned out, except for one thing. I must have forgotten how to use a tape measure when I was measuring the foot because they ended up much too long for me. The error happened on the first sock, and then I knit the same number of rows on the second sock without measuring again. I was careful to measure my gauge to make sure it matched the gauge in the pattern because this was a test knit, but wasn’t as careful with the length. Tim tried them on and they fit him, so he now has a new pair of socks. He’s worn them a few times and likes them.

My second pair of Rose City Rollers #knitting #knittersofinstagram #rosecityrollersocks
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Fresh From the Cauldron Freyr Sock in Always Keep Fighting (.44 skein, 176.0 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: May 21, 2017
Date completed: May 30, 2017

If this yarn looks familiar, it’s because I bought it to make my Find Your Fade shawl, which I posted about a couple of weeks ago. This yarn was one of two skeins I purchased specifically for that project. It was the second color in my shawl, which is on the narrow end, so it used less than half of the skein. In order to use the whole skein I decided to make another pair of Rose City Rollers. I love this pattern, and it’s going to be my go-to pattern when I have about 50 grams of sock yarn available.

New socks!!
Project: Halloween Socks
Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal Love Story in Romantik (.62 skein, 284.8 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: June 5, 2017
Date completed: July 24, 2017

These colors look like Halloween to me, so I decided to call them Halloween Socks. And yes, I did wear them on Halloween. I didn’t use a specific project to make these socks. They are vanilla socks. I used the round toe from the Rose City Rollers pattern, and the band heel from the book Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. It took a while for me to figure this heel out. The heel construction is much different than I am used to. It didn’t require picking up stitches for the gusset. When you finish the heel, it’s straight onto the foot. Once I figured it out it was simple. I’ve only worn the socks once, and washed them once, so I want to wear them a few more times to determine how well I like this heel and whether I want to knit it again. It seemed to fit fine the first time I wore the socks.

gramps
Pattern: gramps by tincanknits
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique White (.26 skein, 264.1 yards)
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Gold (.71 skein, 139.1 yards) and Cocoa (.02 skein, 4.6 yards)
Needles: US 6 and US 7
Date started: August 26, 2017
Date completed: September 9, 2017

I have been waiting forever for a chance to knit this sweater. A friend’s son was turning 1, so I thought that was the perfect opportunity. I had the leftover cream yarn, and quickly determined it would be the body of the cardigan. The problem was I didn’t have the quantity of yarn the pattern called for for the contrast color. I grabbed three possibilities, and decided to start with the Gold yarn. I thought the cuffs, collar, and button band should be the same color. I was glad I had enough to do the pocket trim in Gold as well. Here is the Cocoa:

gramps

Wee elbow patches!!! I love these so much!!! The mom put the sweater on her son right after I gave it her, so I got to see him wear it in person. He looked adorable!

I love tincanknits patterns because they go from small baby size to larger adult sizes. If I wanted to make one of these for me, or a bigger adult, or larger child, I’m all set.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the final FO. I made a cowl for a swap, and ended up forgetting to take a photo before I mailed the package. Oops! The swap was hockey themed, so I made the Bubble & Squeak cowl in Minnesota Wild colors. The main color was a sort of natural, off-white color. The three contrast colors were green, red, and yellow. I did the best I could to match the colors in the Wild logo. I had a decent amount of each yarn left over, and I used the red leftovers for the Red Sox Vertebrae I posted about last week.

So, now we’re up to date. I have posted about everything I have finished. I currently have more than one WIP (shocking! ha!) that I will catch up about soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A Trio of Vertebrae

Posted by Andi on November 19, 2017

Around the same time a few months ago I found out that three people I knew were expecting children. I’ve had to be a busy knitter to get three baby gifts done while Christmas knitting. In order to make it easy on myself I decided I was going to knit the same pattern for all three babies – something cute but fairly easy to that I wouldn’t have to worry about messing up and having to start over.

I chose the Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk. It’s so cute, but what I really like about it is that it’s kind of open in front, almost like a full length shrug. That way, if the baby is wearing a cute onesie or t-shirt, the sweater can keep the baby warm while keeping what is underneath visible.

This pattern takes 50 grams of fingering weight yarn. I chose Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock, and ordered skeins in several colors. It seemed like it would be sturdy yarn, and it’s machine washable, which is great when the baby spits up on it.

Here is first: Newborn Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn:
Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Hot Lime (.96 skein, 220.8 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: September 9, 2017
Date completed: September 17, 2017

This was sent to a former coworker who was expecting her second child. I thought this bright greenish yellow color would be a happy gender neutral color. The pattern knit up like a charm. I was a little nervous about running out of yarn, so even though the pattern has you knit the sleeves last, I knit the sleeves before the band. I figured I could always knit the band a bit narrower, which I didn’t have to do. The best part is that after baby Sophie was born, Mom sent me a picture of her wearing it. Yay!

The second one was a bit more challenging: Red Sox Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn: Dale Garn Baby Ull in Red (.64 skein, 115.5 yard)
Regia 4-fädig Trend & Color in unknown navy blue color (.24 skein, 110.2 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: September 19, 2017
Date completed: October 1, 2017

This one was for a coworker and his wife who live in Boston. They are Red Sox fans, so I thought I would knit this one up in Red Sox colors. When I purchased all the yarn (which I ordered online and didn’t see in person until it arrived) I ordered what was supposed to be a navy blue color and a red color. The red wasn’t very bright, but I wasn’t too concerned about that. The bigger problem was that the navy blue yarn (which had blue in the color name) looked gray. It wasn’t going to work.

I almost ordered new yarn, when I remembered that my mom made a pair of navy blue socks a while back. So I called her up to see if she still have the leftovers, and if so, if I could have them. She did, and she gave them to me. I was still going to use the red yarn I bought, but then I remembered that I had some leftover red yarn from a cowl I made that was closer to the correct color, so I went with that.

And it looks cute, right? The recipient thought it was cute (which is the most important thing). Can you spot where I had problems? Look at the sleeves. As with the first one, I knit the sleeves before the band. The first sleeve had another blue stripe closer to the cuff – so instead of it being all red on the bottom there was some blue in there. But I didn’t have enough blue to do that extra stripe on the other sleeve. I ripped back the first sleeve and colorblocked the bottom of each sleeve. It looks planned, but it wasn’t.

Because I had to use extra red on the sleeves, I was running short on the band. You can see this band is a bit narrower than the one above. I thought I was good, I started binding off, but I lost my game of yarn chicken. I ran out of red yarn when there was about an inch left to go. Thankfully I had some leftover self-striping sock yarn which had a very similar red stripe in it. I wound off the ball until I got to the red stripe to finish the bind off.

In the end, I think it looks great and I’m happy with how it turned out. Better still, after baby Louis was born, Dad sent me a picture of the baby wearing the sweater, and he looked great in it!

Vertebrae the third: Another Newborn Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn: Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Woodsy Green (.88 skein, 202.4 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: November 4, 2017
Date completed: November 8, 2017

Compared to the second one, this was a cakewalk. I had enough yarn, and it was very similar to the first. I chose this color because I thought it was a nice gender neutral color, and I thought the mom (who I know better than the dad) would like it. She told me she did, and promised to take a picture of the baby wearing it after he or she is born (and I didn’t even have to ask, she just offered!). He or she should be arriving any day now.

I highly recommend this pattern. It’s quick but super cute. If you stash a ton of fingering weight yarn like I do, you always have yarn to use. You can make a striped one to use up bits of leftover yarn. Give it a try!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

I Found My Fade

Posted by Andi on November 12, 2017

While I’m still in catch-up mode, I’m taking us back to the spring/summer. The Find Your Fade shawl seemed to be the most popular pattern during that time. Bloggers were knitting it. Podcasters were knitting it. Friends were knitting it. Indie dyers made kits. And, of course, I made it.

The original pattern was made with 7 colors, and although the pattern description on Ravelry said it would be easy to adjust the pattern to use however many colors one wanted, I was going to stick with 7 so I wouldn’t have to do that much thinking. I really wanted this to be a stash busting project, so I went through my stash several times to determine which yarns I had that would go well together. I took notes. I had narrowed it down to a few color families. Ultimately I decided on this color family.

I'm almost ready to start my Find Your Fade shawl. I will cast on today or tomorrow. #knitting #findyourfadeshawl

Of these 7 yarns, 5 came out of my stash, and I bought two. From left to right:

  • Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in Spritely Endeavors (.15 skein, 65.3 yards). The first color in the shawl requires less than 100 yards, once I chose four other skeins from my stash, I went through my leftovers to see if anything would work with those yarns, and found this one. It’s great when I can use my leftovers as part of another project, and not just make hexipuffs out of them.
  • Fresh From the Cauldron Freyr Sock in Always Keep Fighting (.38 skein, 299.9 yards). This was one of the two skeins of yarn I bought specifically for this project. This was another part of the shawl that required much less than a full skein of sock yarn, but I didn’t have any leftovers with enough yardage, nor a full skein of yarn, that I thought would connect the light green of the LMFA yarn to the next color.
  • Undead Yarn Vampire Strong in Zombified (.62 skein, 260.4 yards). This skein was in my stash for a long time. I planned to make a scarf out of it, but when I noticed I had so many green/yellow/black yarns in my stash, this became the anchor – I planned the rest of the shawl around this skein.
  • Another Craft Girl Strong Sock in Night Fury (.84 skein, 336 yards). I originally bought this yarn to make a pair of socks. Thankfully that never happened.
  • Succulent Fiber MCN Fingering in Lemon Pepper (.66 skein, 287.1 yards). I had such a light bulb moment when I realized I had this skein of yellow yarn with bits of black in it, and also had a black skein of yarn with bits of yellow in it (ACG above). Perfect!
  • Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in City Lights Speckle (.84 skein, 299.9 yards). This was the second skein of yarn I purchased specifically for this project. I had nothing to transition from the mostly yellow Succulent Fiber yarn to the white I was going to finish with.
  • Knit Picks Stroll in White (.8 skein, 184.8 yards). This last color did not require a full skein of sock yarn either. Full skeins are typically 100 grams. I bought a bunch of Stroll, which comes in 50 gram skeins, a while back to use as toes/cuffs/heels for socks. I figured I could use one skein for this.

I posted two WIP pics to my Instagram account. Here was the first one, showing the transition from light green to black.

Almost fine with section 8 #findyourfadeshawl #knitting #knittersofinstagram

The second was the transition from black to yellow.

Finished with section 9 #knittersofinstagram #knitting #findyourfadeshawl

For the most part the colors faded well. The Another Crafty Girl yarn (black with flecks of yellow) had the greatest contrast with the colors around it. As I was knitting it, I wondered if I would be okay with that. The colors went well together, but the transition wasn’t as seemless there. So I went onto Ravelry to look at what other knitters were doing. Some were making shawls with perfect fades. Others used solid color yarns, so the color transitions appeared as stripes. Both looked great, so I decided to continue.

I’m so happy with how it turned out.

It's done! #findyourfadeshawl #knitting

Look at it! It’s huge! I haven’t measured it, but I’m guessing it’s 9 feet wide. I worried that it was too big to be useful, but that’s so not true. It’s gotten colder this week, so I started wearing it regularly. It’s my new go-two accessory for my neck. I’ve worn it in a kerchief style with an open jacket. I’ve worn it with the point on my left shoulder and both ends hanging down in front and back of my right shoulder, which was perfect for keeping my right arm’s range of motion while keeping my entire upper body warm. I love it! I’m almost tempted to make another!

I cast on on April 25, 2017, and bound off on July 19, 2017. It took almost 2 months. Part of that is the sheer size of the thing. It’s a large shawl made out of fingering weight yarn (1,585 yards to be exact – that was a fun project to enter into my yards in/yards out calculations!). It was going to take some time. For the most part, it was a fun knit. Much of it is garter stitch, so it was easy to do while watching television. It was so much fun to get to a fade part, then starting another color in full, to see how it will turn out.

Two things stalled me a bit. First, around midway through I started to feel like it was slog, so I put it down for a while. It wasn’t boring, it was just a lot of time to spend knitting one thing. The other was the lace portion. I had to pay more attention to those sections, so if I got to a lace portion when I wasn’t in the mood to concentrate, I had to set it aside for a bit. I should say, before I started each lace section I was off by a stitch. Every time. I made an easy adjustment (an extra increase or decrease, I can’t remember if I had one extra stitch or one stitch too few). It wasn’t a big deal, but I never figured out what I was doing wrong.

Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern. It’s great for stash busting, and using fun colors. It’s pretty easy. It would be a perfect shawl for someone who wants to get into lace knitting because the lace portions are pretty intuitive while not being a basic yo k2tog, and it’s only in certain sections of the shawl.

Not only do I love this garment, it inspired two other projects. I will discuss those in the next post.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »