Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for March, 2007

Looking backwards and forwards

Posted by Andi on March 26, 2007

I thought that since I created a new page with my finished objects from this year I should go back and post pictures of the objects I completed this year before beginning this blog.

The first is my Go Bears! hat:

Bears hat

This is the one that I made the first time I cheated on the “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule. The yarn was Lorna’s Laces sportweight yarn in the Go Bears colorway. The pattern was “Knitted Cap” from the Summer 2006 issue of knit.1.

The second hat is partially responsible for the creation of the “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoir” rule.

Carousel Hat

This is the Carousel Hat from Lion Brand. The yarn is Lion Brand Wool Ease in loden, gold, fuschia, and cocoa. I wanted to make this hat to wear with a wool coat that I have which is rather drab, so I thought a colorful hat such as this one would brighten it up a bit. I figured that I should also have a scarf to match, so when I purchased the yarn I bought two skeins of yarn in each color instead of the one skein of each the pattern called for. I made a scarf, and I sitll had a lot left over, and the leftovers wouldn’t fit in the armoire. Neither would the leftover yarn I got for the blanket I made for my dad and stepmom for Christmas. Thus, the no new yarn rule.

As I said, I made a scarf, but I am not posting a picture of it here. Why? Because it’s awful, and I will probably never use it. If you look at the carousel hat pattern, then look at the finished object, you will see that I didn’t include the crocheted trim. I tried the trim, but I couldn’t get it to work. This was the perfect time for me to learn to crochet! My boyfriend bought me the book Stitch n’ Bitch Crochet – The Happy Hooker book, and now was a great time to use it. So I crocheted a scarf in the same color as the hat.

And it was awful. I mean awful.

I am not very good at crochet. I hope this changes at some point. I would like to learn and get better, but I don’t remember knitting being this difficult for me at the start. First, I made my chains too tight, so I couldn’t easily crochet into them. As I got used to single crochet my stitches started to loosen up. This scarf was crocheted horizontally, so as it loosened up the rows got longer, which means that now the scarf curls up. Not pretty. But, it was a good introduction to crochet. The last few rows were pretty good, so maybe there is hope for me yet.

That was the past. Now, onto the future, or present as the case may be. My cut is almost healed. That means I can start working on Poinsettia agan! Now I really don’t want to, though, because it’s a winter sweater, and it’s such a beautiful day outside.


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Meet the new man in my life

Posted by Andi on March 24, 2007

No, I didn’t leave my boyfriend!

Meet BD – my new iPod:


I had to purchase BD because his predecessor Esther died one too many times, and had to be retired. Esther is an older model, so her pretty pink case did not fit BD. He came with a black iPod sleeve, but I wasn’t fond of it, so I decided to make a cozy for BD. As you can see, it’s not that great, and I’m not sure that I will use it:

BD's cozy

The pattern is Multi-Media Cozy from Knitting with Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man by Michael del Vecchio. There are two different cozy patterns in the book. Originally I wanted to make the other one, but I had such a hard time getting started that I scrapped it and made this one, and it became Stash Busting Project #2.

There are a few reasons why I don’t like how this turned out.

1. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Sportweight yarn for this project. I’m not sure it was the best yarn substitution, but because of my no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule, I was limited to what I already had on hand. Also, in order to get gauge I had to use a larger size needle than I would have liked, so I just don’t think it looks right.

2. I have a cut on my finger that affected my knitting, and perhaps I should have waited until it was healed to make this.

All that being said, I didn’t really care how this project turned out. I would have liked it if it were better than the sleeve BD came with, and maybe it is, but since I do have that sleeve it certainly wasn’t a necessity.

ON the other hand, this was a very important project to me. As I said in earlier posts, I plan to start making my first pair of socks sometime in the near future. It has been at least two years since I last used double pointed needles. Since this project was quick and easy and I wasn’t really invested in it, it was the perfect practice. I didn’t have problems using DPNs the last time I used them; however, since it has been a while, I was a bit rusty and it did take me some time to become accustomed to them again. Perhaps that is another reason why this didn’t turn out as well as it could have. But the practice was important, and I feel much more confident going into my first attempt at sock knitting than I might have been otherwise.

As a stash busting project this was a bit of a bust, however, because it took up little yarn. I still have a lot more of that yarn left, but not enough to make something substantial.

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Stop tempting me!!!

Posted by Andi on March 23, 2007

I have joined the Yahoo Groups lists for several local knitting groups, even though I hardly ever go.  Sometimes people post some interesting information like charity events or a pattern site or something.

 Today someone posted about a yarn sale at one of my LYSs.  My first thought was, “Great!  I’ll have to check it out on Saturday!”

 Oh, but no.  I can’t.  Because I’m living under the “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule.

Then I thought, “Surely I am allowed one cheat, especially for a great sale where I can get some great yarns for way cheap!”  Oh, but no.  You see, I’ve already cheated twice.

The first time I cheated on the “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule was at the same LYS. A friend and I went there to see if they had any yarn for Lys. The rule was already in place: no new yarn except for yarn for Lys. They didn’t have any. I felt bad about leaving the store empty handed, however, because the woman who worked there let us in a few minutes before opening because it was so cold outside. I thought that was very thoughtful, because she could have let us wait out there for 10 minutes, so how could I leave empty handed? I tried going through the sale bin, but nothing caught my eye. Then I found the prettiest sock yarn I had seen to date. So I bought that.

It was that same day that I was inspired to cheat again, although cheat #2 didn’t come until a few days later. The Chicago Bears were doing well, and only had to win one more game to get to the Super Bowl. In honor of the Bears, they had some Lorna’s Laces yarn in a blue and orange colorway called “Go Bears”. I almost bought it that first day, but once I got the sock yarn I put it out of my head. And then someone from one of those knitting groups posted to the Yahoo Group about the yarn, and said that not only is the yarn in Bears colors, but blue and orange are also the colors for University of Illinois. My mom gave me a University of Illinois hoodie for Christmas one year, and it’s so comfy, and this yarn would go great with it. So I went back and bought a hank and made a hat out of it.

So, yeah, two cheats already. No more. No going to yarn sales. No making anything I don’t already have yarn for. Not until I can fit the rest of my stash in the armoire.


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It has arrived!

Posted by Andi on March 22, 2007

The yarn for Lys has arrived!!!


Lys yarn

Please pardon the unmade bed, but I only had a few minutes to snap this picture. As you can see, the fig (purple) and blue gaberdine Softwist is already wound. These were purchased at local yarn stores.

I must give props to workers in one of those stores, Loopy. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my local yarn stores. But on the day I bought the fig Softtwist, one woman in particular went above and beyond the call of duty. As you can see, the two balls are different. One was wound on a ball winder, while the other was wound by hand. The second hank became hopelessly tangled while on the ball winder. I offered to just take it as is and untangle it while watching television. It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time I spent a couple of hours in front of the television untangling yarn or winding hanks (as I don’t have my own ball winder). But one of the women working there said that if I had the time she would untangle it for me. She said she was good at it.

It was tedious work, but she spent over a half an hour untangling my hank of yarn, and winding it into a center-pull ball. She managed to do this much more quickly than I would have, even if I weren’t watching television. I actually felt bad that I only bought two hanks of Softwist after all of her work.

I don’t think I’ve been in the store since. If I have it was only once, and I didn’t buy anything. Of course, this is because of my “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule, and it’s not a reflection of the very helpful service I received in the store.

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Oh no! All of my plans have been thwarted!

Posted by Andi on March 17, 2007

My goal for this evening was to knit gauge swatches for Stash Busting Project #2, and then spend tomorrow working on said project.  Actually, I did knit a gauge swatch tonight, but it didn’t go well.

 This afternoon, while making lunch, I cut the index finger on my left hand.  The cut is just to the right of my fingernail, and my knitting needle hits it.  I am wearing a Band-Aid which is providing some protection, but sometimes it would hurt.  Sick of the pain, I started knitting without that finger.  It just stuck straight up.  Sometimes I did it without thinking. 

 It changed my gauge.

So it looks like I can’t work on Poinsettia, Stash Busting Project #2, or anything else until the pain subsides.  I hope it’s soon.

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Oh, happy day!

Posted by Andi on March 16, 2007

One of my favorite days of the year is the day I get my tax refund. That day happens to be today!

So, finally, after many months of searching and waiting, I was able to purchase the rest of the yarn for Lys, the cardi I’ve been dying to knit.

Lys will be either the most expensive or second most expensive thing I have knit. I made a wrap out of Mango Moon recycled silk that ended up costing me about $100. I made three different yarn purchases for Lys, and although I haven’t added them up yet, I think it will come to about the same price.

Given my poor graduate student status, I tried to be smart in purchasing the yarn for Lys. I went to several LYSs looking for the yarn. That way I was supporting local businesses, and at the same time buying yarn gradually so that I wouldn’t break my budget. I managed to find two of the three different colors of Softwist that I needed at two different yarn shops. Unfortuanately I was unable to find any of the rest of the yarn at the shops.

That’s where the tax rebate comes in. I was able to order the rest of the yarn, in the colors I needed, online in one lump sum. I finally had the money to do it, and I saved on shipping by getting it all at once.

Finally, the best thing is that when I made my “no buying yarn until the whole stash fits in the armoire” rule, I made an exception for the yarn for Lys. So I don’t feel bad.

In more stash busting news, today I will make some more strides to fit all of the yarn in the armoire. First, I’m going to donate some old acrylic to my friend’s mom who is making hats for charity. Second, I’m going to start Stash Busting Project #2. More on that later!

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Speaking of socks…

Posted by Andi on March 7, 2007

I am now fairly certain that my next project will be socks. Ever since my last post I’ve been ready to finally start knitting some socks. I’m a little apprehensive to use my beautiful Trekking yarn for my first pair of socks. I want to get at least one pair under my belt before I start using the good stuff. My first pair of socks will be made with worsted weight yarn (which is already in my stash, of course) just so that I can have a pair that will knit up quickly (to see if I will lose interest) and that I won’t care if I screw up. But really, I just can’t wait to use my Trekking yarn.

The new Knitty is up.

And just as I’m getting excited about knitting socks, there are two sock patterns I can’t wait to knit: bmp and Clessidra. Of course I am not delusional, these will not be socks I will be able to knit any time soon, but my goal is to be able to make them maybe next year.

Am I the only one who thinks that Dashing is more attractive than Fetching? I’m really not a girly girl. Anyone who knows me would totally understand this preference.

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I really need to pay more attention to what I buy

Posted by Andi on March 3, 2007

Back in I think it was December I bought my first ball of sock yarn. I hadn’t intended to buy it, nor was I even considering making socks at the time. I was in one of my LYSs, and there it was, calling me. The colorway was beautiful, the yarn felt so nice in my fingers. I just wanted to eat it up. So, of course, I had to buy it. I didn’t even look at the label brand on the label, I just looked at the yardage and the price tag. I wasn’t even thinking about making socks. It wasn’t as if I went into the store and thought, “Gee, I think I should start knitting socks, perhaps I should find some sock yarn in here!” Oh no. I found this yarn and thought, “I need to have this yarn, thus I think it’s time I try knitting some socks.”

Flash forward to this afternoon. As I’m sure you can tell, this is a new blog. Although I have been knitting for a few years I have not really become a member of the online knitting community. I’m hoping to change that in the near future. Anyway, I recently started listening to knitting podcasts. Recently meaning I started listening to them last week. You can see which podcasts I have started listening to on the left side of this page. (By the way, if you know of any other knitting podcasts I should check out let me know.) I like these podcasts so much that I have downloaded all of the ones that are available, and started listening to them in order, starting with the oldest one I have. I’m listening to them frantically trying to catch up. I figure this is fruitless, but I’m trying.

About 30 minutes ago I started listening to episode 2 of Lime and Violet. They spent the beginning of the podcast talking about Trekking yarn and how much they loved it. Of course I had to see what this was, since I’m starting to gear up and make some socks. I found pictures of Trekking yarn online and thought, “Hmm, this looks familiar.” I went into my bedroom where I keep my stash and found that ball of sock yarn I bought.

Guess what it was. Trekking Pro Natura yarn color 1600. I’m sure most knitters out there would have known whether or not they owned Trekking yarn as soon as they heard Lime and Violet talk about it. But not me. Oh no. I’m oblivious.

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And we have a sleeve!

Posted by Andi on March 2, 2007

I finished the first sleeve for Poinsettia. 

Until most of the sleeve was complete I was still second guessing my decision to use fuschia as the contrast color.  Besides the fact that I’m very picky about my pinks, I was afraid the yarn would look cheap.  And it does, as well it should given that it was cheap yarn.  But you know what?  I like it.  It does look punk rock.  It does look funky.  And I do think it will look okay on me.

 It has become clear that this is not a sweater I will be wearing on a daily basis.  This is the sort of sweater I will wear when going to a bar, club, or concert, with a black skirt and the skull tights my friend Angela bought for me.  But I do think I will like it. 

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