Knitstant Gratification

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

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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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.

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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-f├Ądig 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!

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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.

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The Places Where I Knit – Monkey Edition

Posted by Andi on November 5, 2017

This is my first post in almost 5 months. I assure you, I have been knitting, but much of my knitting has been on long-term ongoing projects or gifts that I’m not ready to post about. Instead of going back and catching up on all of my finished objects since late-May, I’m going to start with my most recent FO. And instead of just posting a picture of said FO, you will get to see it in progress in some of the places I worked on it.

Back in April I took a business trip (well, two business trips, but this was the second one) to New Orleans. There is a cute little yarn shop in the French Quarter called The Quarter Stitch. I wanted to buy yarn that would remind me of New Orleans, so I purchased this skein of yarn:

The yarn is Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Mardi Gras colorway. By the way, look at how cutely they wrapped it for me!

I bought some NOLA souvenir yarn yesterday at Quarter Stitch, and they packaged it so nicely!

So back in May, when Tim and I booked our trip to New Orleans (for fun this time), I already knew which yarn I was going to use for my travel project. All along I figured I was going to knit a vanilla sock because the yarn is so highly variegated. But one day I was chatting with my friend Mimi, who expressed surprised that I had never knit Cookie A’s Monkey Socks pattern, given how popular they are and how long I’ve been knitting socks. Members of my knit group had said in the past how great the Monkey Socks look with variegated yarn, so I decided to use that pattern.

I started knitting the first sock the night before we left for New Orleans. I knit the cuff and one pattern repeat, then put the socks away. The next time I picked them up was on the flight from Chicago to New Orleans.

20171015_102351

If I remember correctly I got the leg done on that flight. There was a bit of knitting in the hotel room, but that’s not fun. The next place I knit was in Jackson Square.

20171016_165355

I finished decreasing the gusset on that bench in Jackson Square. It was a lovely day to sit in the park with our coffee from Spitfire Coffee. We found a nice shady spot. It was a lovely place to knit. I highly recommend it.

Musical Legends Park was across the street from our hotel. I first went there during the trip in which I bought the yarn. We went there twice during our recent trip, including the afternoon we spent there.

20171017_162934

It’s such a great place. There is live music from open until close. There is a full bar as well as a Cafe Beignet counter. On this particular afternoon we grabbed a couple of coffees and listened to music for an hour while I knit.

We went home, and I knit on the plane.

20171018_191131

I didn’t finish the first sock on my trip, but I came close. I finished the first one and started the second, and worked on it the following week when I was on a flight to Philadelphia.

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks

I didn’t finish the second sock on that trip, but got quite a bit done on that flight. Much of the rest of the sock was completed on my flights to and from Denver this past week. I only had part of the toe left to do when I got home.

So… here are my completed Mardi Gras Monkey Socks

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks
Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Mardi Gras colorway (0.8 skein, 340 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: October 14, 2017
Date completed: November 4, 2017

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I think the pattern does work well with highly variegated yarn, just as I had been told. Here is a closer view of the leg:

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks

The stockinette and reverse stockinette sections really show off the yarn differently. The pattern was easy to memorize. I have no doubt I will knit this pattern again.

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Havelock Pullover

Posted by Andi on May 28, 2017

So, it’s been just about a month since I posted, and I finished this FO two months ago. Oops! Better late than never.

Tim's new sweater. The mistakes bother me way more than they bother him. #knitting
Pattern: Havelock Pullover by Shaulaine White
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love This Wool Solids in colorway 353 Deep Prussia, 6 skeins (1260 yards), and Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solids in Cocoa, .49 skeins (97.3 yards; 1357 yards total)
Needles: US 6 and US 7
Date started: December 31, 2016
Date completed: March 30, 2016

There were problems with this sweater from the beginning. It’s amazing that it looks as good as it does. This was the second sweater pattern I was going to cast on. The first was knit in the round. I changed my mind and decided to do this pattern, which is knit flat in pieces. But I had the knitting in the round thing from the first pattern in my head, so when I cast on I started knitting the front in the round. That didn’t work out so well. I did a few rounds wondering why it seemed so small when I realized it was because it was only the front and supposed to be knit flat. Oops.

I did not knit a gauge swatch, but I did measure my knitting from time to time. I was on gauge, and if anything, it was turning out smaller rather than bigger. That was fine, because I was knitting the smallest size for Tim and there was some wiggle room – if it came out a bit smaller than the schematic it was going to be fine. That is, until I made the body of the sweater about .5 to 1 inches longer than the pattern said before binding off for the arms. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, and the extra length was probably good for Tim, so I didn’t rip back. That would come back to bite me.

When I got toward the end of the body I realized the sweater ate up much more yarn than I thought it would, and worried I wouldn’t have enough to finish. The sleeves have way less cabling on them than the body of the sweater does, so I thought maybe I would be fine. I was not fine. I ran out of yarn.

Before I did, I went into my stash to find some contrasting colors. I gave Tim a few choices, and also let him know we could go shopping if he didn’t see something he liked. He went with the brown, which I think looks really nice. I also gave him the option of having a brown or blue collar. He wanted brown so that it would pull the whole sweater together.

I really liked how the brown looked with the blue, and thought everything would be fine after that. But if you look closely, you will see that there is more brown on one sleeve than the other. I have no idea how that happened, and didn’t even notice it until Tim put the sweater on. Ugh. He doesn’t mind, he said he’d keep that side pushed up.

In the end I think it’s looks great. There are a couple of cabling errors that bother me, but Tim said he didn’t want me to rip back to fix them. They were fine by him.

Winter Camp ended so long ago, but I finished this long enough ago that it counted for Winter Camp. It was finished right before the buzzer, so to speak. I got extra points for using so much yardage – it counted as a black diamond project.

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Marching Back

Posted by Andi on April 30, 2017

I’m way behind on posting my FOs, so I’m going back to show three of my four FOs in March (now that April is almost over).

Shizuku
Pattern: Shizuku by Angela Tong
Yarn: Noro Kureyon in 219, 2.08 skeins (228.8 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: March 9, 2017
Date completed: March 15, 2017

This was a specific project to earn Winter Camp points. In March, you could receive bonus points for making something for your neck, and green was one of the of bonus colors. I almost made a fingering weight shawl, but then I remembered I had this Noro Kureyon in my stash, which had green in it. Plus, I already owned the pattern (it was in one of the knitting pattern calendars my mother gave to me), and had been planning to use that yarn with it, and it’s a scarf. Perfect!

This was a very quick knit. I did go a bit beyond the pattern. The pattern says when to stop increasing and start decreasing, but I kept increasing until I used a full skein of yarn, then started decreasing. Yes, I was playing yarn chicken, but I had some leftover yarn from a hat I made with another skein of this Noro, so I knew I had backup yarn if needed. It was needed. I think the skein I cast on with had a bit more yarn than the skein I stared decreasing with. Oh well. I love how it turned out.

Rose City Rollers
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Millends, .81 skein (173.5 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: February 26, 2017
Date completed: March 18, 2017

This yarn has been in my stash for years and years. I bought it off a member of my old knitting group in the city. She bought it from the Lorna’s Laces sale they have once in a while. It’s a small skein. Until the past few years, Lorna’s Laces sold this yarn in smaller skeins so that you needed to skeins to make a regular pair of socks (now each skein has more yardage, so you can get a full pair of socks out of one skein). I only had one skein, so I couldn’t make a regular pair of socks, but I figured I could make a pair of anklets. I’ve been wanting to try this pattern, too, so I figured it was a perfect match.

I love these socks. They are so comfortable, and the roll just barely peeks out of my shoes. They are perfect. I can’t want to make more.

Made for a friend who is attending the March for Science #knitting #craftivism
Pattern: GENEie Pussyhat by ChemKnits
Yarn: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in Hot Pink, .46 skein (115 yards)
Needles: US 6
Date started: March 31, 2017
Date completed: March 31, 2017

In another act of craftism, I made this hat for a friend who was going to attend the March for Science in Chicago. I loved that it combined the Pussy Hat shape with the DNA helix cable. I was even able to use leftover yarn from the first Pussy Hat I made for a friend who went to the Women’s March in DC. I am glad I was able to use almost the whole skein.

There is one more project I made in March – a sweater. But that deserves its own post.

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YarnCon 2017

Posted by Andi on April 16, 2017

I’m way behind on posting finished objects, but if I didn’t post about YarnCon soon I was never going to get to it.

With that, YarnCon was two weeks ago, Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. I went Saturday morning with a member of my knit group and one of her friends, and met up with other members of my knit group there. It was a lovely day with friends and yarn and lunch.

I really wanted to limit my purchases this year for a few reasons. First, I’ve failed at the yards in/yards out thing the past couple of years. I really want to decrease the amount of space my stash takes up. Second, now that I have a car payment I’m trying to spend less money on random things. At first I was going to limit myself to only buying yarn for my playoff pool prize – no other yarn – and that if I bought anything for myself it couldn’t be yarn. I ultimately changed that to allow myself one skein of yarn for myself.

When I first walked in I saw several skeins of yarn I thought was beautiful, and thought I was screwed. How could I choose? But after I calmed down a bit, every time I looked at yarn I said to myself, “If I can only buy one skein of yarn, do I really want it to be this one?” And when I used that strategy, all of a sudden I didn’t feel the need to buy all the pretty yarns.

The first yarn I purchased was for the playoff pool that is happening in the Puck This! group on Ravelry. It’s Backyard Fibers 100% Merino Sock in the Aegean colorway.

Backyard Fibers Merino Sock in Aegean

I thought it was so pretty, and kind of wanted it for myself, but I’m definitely giving it away (thus it doesn’t count toward my yards in!!). The magnet in the picture is from the Frozen Four, which is the semifinals and finals of the NCAA Division 1 men’s hockey tournament. It was held in Chicago this year, and since it’s hockey, I figured it would be a relevant addition to my playoff pool prize offering.

I bought only three things for myself – a shawl pin, buttons, and yarn.

YarnCon 2017 purchases

The yarn was the last item I purchased because I wanted to see all of the yarn offerings before making my decision, even though it was one of the first skeins I saw. It’s Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stopper in the Neon Pencil colorway. I’ve been coveting this color for a while now, and I really like their yarns, so in the end I went with that. Right now I plan to make socks for myself with it.

The actual first purchase I made was the shawl pin. It’s by Michelle’s Assortment, and made of copper. They were all beautiful, but I went with this one because I really liked the bead.

YarnCon 2017 purchases

Finally, I bought some wood buttons. I don’t remember the name of the vendor, but they were selling several types of buttons. These were 10 cents each, so I bought 10 of them.

YarnCon 2017 purchases

I meant to buy 10 different buttons, but when I got home I realized I had two of the same one. Oh well. It’s not really a problem because I was hoping to use these buttons for the Low Tide Cardigan I plan to knit, and I won’t need all 10 buttons for it. I can always use the duplicate on something else.

And that’s it! I’m pretty happy with what I got, and really happy that I got out of there having spent less than $50 for myself.

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