Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for February, 2007

Stash Busting

Posted by Andi on February 25, 2007

Before Christmas last year I purchsed yarn for two projects. The first was for a blanket that I was going to make for my dad and stepmom for Christmas, and the other was a hat for myself. I bought more yarn than the hat pattern called for because I wanted to make a scarf to match, which became my first ever crochet project.

It turns out that for both projects I had way more yarn than I needed. I went to put the leftover yarn into the armoire that holds my stash, and it didn’t fit. It was full. I had to use two boxes to hold the leftover yarn that didn’t fit in the armoire.

Yarn stash

I decided then and there that I will buy no more yarn (except for this sweater, in which I have been buying yarn here and there until I have all of it; I will purchase what I still need with my tax rebate money) until all of the yarn fits in the armoire.

I must say that I did give into temptation once. I bought some Lorna Laces yarn that was in an orange and blue colorway while the Chicago Bears were doing well. I made myself a hat with it.

I started going through my patterns to find something to make that would put a dent into my stash. I found the Poinsettia pattern from the Fall 2006 issue of Knitscene magazine.

I had enough black yarn for the body of the sweater, but finding yarn to use as the contrast color was difficult. There was only one color I had that would contrast well with the black. Fuschia. This may not seem to be an odd choice, but I am not a pink girl. However, my boyfriend assured me that it would look great on me, and my friend Angela assured me that it would look punk rock and that it would be fine.

I’m having some problems with this pattern. I was able to make the back just fine. No problems. But I’ve been having a problem with the right front. I’m supposed to decrease to do the neck shaping, and then knit even until I reach 17″. Unfortunately I’m at a tad over 18″ by the time I finish the shaping. I already took it apart and tried again, and the same thing happened. I checked the pattern’s website to look for errors that addressed this, but there was nothing. I have decided to rip out just a few rows to get it down to 17″ and move on. Let’s see how that works.

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In the beginning

Posted by Andi on February 25, 2007

I thought that a great way to start a new knitting blog is to explain how I got started knitting in the first place.

 At some point in 2003 I was watching a morning show, and there was a segment on knitting.  I stopped whatever it was I was doing, and started paying attention.  There was a woman who was showing off some finished objects, and they were garments I would actually wear.  Up until that point I thought that knitting was something that older people did.  My mom tried to teach me when I was a little girl, and I just didn’t pick up on it.  Since then, all of the knitters I saw were older women who knit things that older women would like.  I didn’t like those things.  I didn’t know anyone my own age who was knitting at time, nor had I ever seen anyone out and about who close to my age knitting.  To be frank, I never considered picking it up as a hobby.

 I had a few thoughts as I was watching that morning show.  First, I thought that it might be a nice hobby.  Second, I thought it would be a nice way to give gifts.  I had recently returned to graduate school to finish my PhD, and money was an issue.  I figured that yarn was cheap (I had never been to a local yarn store before, and the only yarn I had ever seen was at Michael’s) and I could use my new hobby as a way to give gifts.

 Later that day I called my mom and asked if she would teach me how to knit.  I told her that I wanted to make a scarf for my boyfriend.  She told me to go to a bookstore and find a book that explains how to knit, and to find a pattern for a scarf I liked.  Then she would go over it with me, and take me to buy some needles and yarn.

The next day I found myself at Borders.  I started flipping through some of the knitting books, and the ones I was finding had all of those older woman patterns I spoke of earlier.  I was feeling discouraged.  After about 10 minutes I picked up a copy of Stitch ‘n Bitch by Debbie Stoller.  The first page I opened to was the one with a photo of the Alien Illusion Scarf.  It was a sign!  My boyfriend is a bit of a sci-fi geek, and I thought that the Alien Illusion Scarf would be the perfect scarf for him.  I flipped through the rest of the book, and I noticed that the patterns looked familiar.  It turns out that Debbie Stoller was the woman I saw on that morning show.  I fell in love with some of the patterns right away.  I also saw that there were instructions on how to knit in the book.  Great patterns and instructions, this was the book for me!

As promised, my mom took me to Michael’s to get some knitting supplies.  Michael’s didn’t have the green yarn I wanted, so I decided to make the scarf in black and white.  I bought some knitting needles, a tape measure, and a crochet hook.  I wasn’t sure what I would need the crochet hook for because I wanted to knit, not crochet, but my mom assured me that I should get it, and now I’m grateful!

I went back to my mom’s house, and she taught me how to cast on, how to knit, and how to purl.  It took me a bit of time, but I got the hang of it.  Soon I was knitting away.  It took me a while to finish the scarf.  It was my first project, and I wasn’t very adept at reading the pattern.  It took me a long time at first, but I finished it in time to give it to my boyfriend for Christmas.

I know what some of you are thinking.  The curse.  I read about the curse in Stitch ‘n Bitch.  I didn’t think it applied to me for two reasons.  First, I wasn’t making a sweater.  Second, I knew my boyfriend would appreciate the time and effort I took to make his present.  He had made me a present in the past, so I knew he would understand and appreciate my efforts.  And sure enough, he did.  He loved the scarf.  I hid the fact that I was learning to knit from him, so he was really surprised.  He still wears his scarf religiously every winter.

Alien Illusion Scarf

And I was off and running. I haven’t stopped knitting since, except for the time I had a knitting-related injury and was told by my doctor to stop knitting for a week. It nearly killed me!

Oh, and I guess there is a bit of that curse that haunts me. When it came time to knit a sweater for my boyfriend, I showed him many patterns and had him choose the ones he liked best.

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