Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for October, 2007

Passing knitting on

Posted by Andi on October 28, 2007

My Aunt Joan passed away a few weeks ago.

From the needles of Joanie

She had been a knitter, but this wasn’t something I shared with her. I never saw her with knitting needles in her hands, nor had I ever heard her speak of knitting. I don’t think I found out she knit until after my grandparents died and the family was cleaning out the house. My mom showed me some cardigans she had made, and told me that she used to knit all the time.

A few days after her death my family went through some of her things, and found some garments she had knit. I was shown 4 garments, and I took three of them. I didn’t take the last one because it wouldn’t have fit me.

The first was a shawl.


Shawl stitch

This is an interesting stitch pattern. I thought it would be great for using while I sit on the couch and watch television in winter months.

The other two garments are sweaters. They are made with the same kind of yarn, but they are different colors and have different collars.

Green sweater

This sweater is a little darker than the picture shows. Here is the collar of the other:


Both of these sweaters are really warm, and will be great for those days where I don’t really want to wear a jacket, but it’s too cold for just a thin shirt. I love how the thickness of the yarn changes throughout.

What is this?

I’m glad I was able to have these things. We didn’t share her love of knitting while she was alive, but it’s something she was able to share with me after her passing.


Posted in family, knitting | 2 Comments »

Interweave Knits Winter 2007 Preview

Posted by Andi on October 25, 2007

The preview for the Winter 2007 issue of Interweave Knits was posted a couple of days ago. I’m just getting around to blogging about it now because 1. I wasn’t online most of the day it was posted, and 2. at first glance I wasn’t impressed, so I wanted to wait a bit and look at it again. After some time I like some of the patterns better, and have come to the realization that even if I wouldn’t make a lot of these garments for myself they would be fun projects to make as gifts.

The following are the patterns I would make for myself:
Brushed Lace Cardigan
Citrus Yoke Pullover
Logan River Wrap
El Sol Pullover
Gathered Pullover

Projects I might consider making for others:
Alicia Tabard
Bonbon Pullover
Forbes Forest Pullover
Tilting Cable Socks
Farrow Rib Cardigan

And maybe, one day when I become much more confident in my knitting abilities, I will make something like the Kilm Gloves.

Posted in knitting, patterns | Leave a Comment »

Seriously, I need to control myself now.

Posted by Andi on October 19, 2007

A woman who works at one of my LYSs said something that is very true: Yarn diets don’t work because if you keep yourself from buying yarn you will binge and buy a ton one day.

That is exactly what happened with the yarn diet I started a few months ago.  I was good for a while, but then I started buying and buying and buying.  I probably ended up with more yarn than I would have if I would never have put limits on it.

But now I feel that limits are needed.  Realistically I just can’t do it right now.   There are several reasons why I need to tighten up yarn-wise.

1.  I already have the yarn I need for all of the projects I will be working on until at least Christmas.  Outside of my works in progress there are two projects I have to start before Christmas, and I already have the yarn for them.  Well, I think I do.  I think I have enough stash yarn for one of them, but I’ll have to check that.  If I don’t have enough yarn for it I may allow myself to purchase more, but that’s for a specific gift.

2.  I keep getting yarn I can’t use yet, and it’s driving me to cast on additional projects that I really cannot handle right now.  I’m dying to make socks, but I have all of these other projects I must finish first.  I will bring up the sock thing again a bit later on in this post.  Anyway, my itchiness to start new projects means I’m becoming dissatisfied with what I’m currently working on (except the gloves), and I really need to finish those things.  I can’t buy yarn and get excited about new projects until I finish everything I have on needles (or off needles waiting to be finished) completed.

3. I have no space!  The armoire is full.  The box into which I was putting yarn that didn’t fit into the armoire is full.  There is random yarn lying about my apartment.  This is bad, and the situation must be brought under control.

4. I just don’t have the money right now.  In order to buy yarn I must spend money I could potentially spend elsewhere, like on concert tickets or knitting groups.  I realized this last night when I went to a knitting group for the first time in months and had a truly wonderful time.  I really liked all the women who were there, and I would like to meet with them, as well as some other groups, much more frequently than I currently do.  The problem, however, is because I’m a student I don’t always have the money to go out.  But sometimes I think going out is important, and being around other knitters who are all doing different things is really inspiring.  I’m not saying I’m going to go to a group every week, but I definitely want to go to a few a month.

So those are the reasons I really have to cut back on yarn spending.  I am giving myself two exceptions.  The first is if I really don’t have enough of that yarn in my stash to make one of my Christmas gifts.  I already know what gift I want to make, and I’m set on making it.  Second, if an LYS has an amazing sale, I might go get something.  But it has to be an amazing sale, like 70% off or the time I got enough wool for a sweater for $35.  But that’s it.  Besides that, no yarn until at least January 1, when I will reevaluate.

Oh yes, back to the socks I mentioned above.  One of the problems of not having room for all of my yarn is that it is laying all over the house.  This not only creates a clutter issue, but it also means I’m staring at yarn I can’t use all the time.  For example, as part of a swap I received a lovely hank of Fleece Artist yarn that I’m going to use for my first pair of socks.  This hank of yarn has been sitting on my coffee table since I got it over a month ago, but really I have nowhere to put it.  I see it every day.  I see its lovely colors, I imagine the socks I will make with it.  It doesn’t help that I have my new sock book on the coffee table as well (even though I do have the space to put that away).  So I flip through the sock book imagining the socks I will make with this lovely yarn and what they will look like, even though I won’t be able to cast on for them until after the holidays.  It just makes me feel bad, and makes me not want to knit what I have already.

The living room isn’t the only room in the house where this is a problem.  In the bedroom I have an open box of yarn that doesn’t fit in the armoire, as well as a few bags of yarn that don’t fit in the box either.  Some of the bags are transparent, and I can see the contents.  Like that lovely Dream In Color Smooshie yarn I’m going to use to make socks for my mom.  Or the $35 sweater yarn I’m going to make for myself that right now seems way more interesting that Poinsettia or Lys or any of my holiday gift projects.

You would think that seeing yarn I can’t wait to work with would motivate me to work on the projects I have so that I can finish them and start using this new yarn.  But it doesn’t.  Instead it makes me feel bad about what I’m working on.  The solution?  Hide the yarn!

I need to come up with a way of storing all of that extra yarn so that it’s not in plain view.  I already have boxes of other stuff stored under my bed, and my closet is full, so I really don’t know what to do with this yarn.  But it needs to go somewhere where it isn’t out in the open.  If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate them.

Posted in advice, knitting, stash guilt, yarn diet | Leave a Comment »

To felt, or not to felt?

Posted by Andi on October 18, 2007

To be honest, I have never, ever seriously considered making a felted object. That’s right. Even when I see a pattern for some really pretty felted object I never even give it a second thought. Why? Because I live in an apartment and don’t have my own dryer, that’s why. There is a laundry room on the first floor, but I have to pay to use it. It’s just not worth it to me.

Lately, though, I’ve been giving felting a second thought. It started a couple of weeks ago when I made this post, saying that I thought the Bitty Boo in the new Magknits was cute, but that I live in an apartment, making it difficult to felt. I received a comment that linked to this article in Knitty about hand felting. I’m sure I could pull of hand felting in my bathroom or kitchen sink. That piqued my interest.

Then this week I picked up a copy of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts. In it there is a pattern for a needle-felted messenger bag, as well as an article about needle felting. I had never heard of needle felting before, so I skimmed the article (I haven’t had time to sit down and read it properly yet), and it sounded interesting. I don’t know if it’s interesting enough for me to really get into needle felting, but again, it piqued my interest, and it got me thinking about hand felting again.

Finally, the kicker. I belong to the Crafter’s Choice book club, and I recently forgot to decline my featured selection. Guess what it was?

That’s right, Knitting Never Felt Better: The Definitive Guide to Fabulous Felting by Nicky Epstein. At first I was annoyed. I can’t felt here! But then I started flipping through the book, and there are so many beautiful swatches and a few really nice patterns in there that I became really excited. Not only are there basic, flat swatches and objects, similar to what I have seen elsewhere, but there are also directions on how to make shapes in your felting by attaching objects before felting and removing them after. I have decided that I can go to my mom’s house to felt when the time comes because this looks way too cool for me to not try it.

Posted in book, felting, knitting | Leave a Comment »

WIP – He’s driving me wild gloves

Posted by Andi on October 14, 2007

Today I finally finished the first of the “he’s driving me wild” gloves I am making for Tim. And I actually have pictures to post! I must apologize for the quality of these photos. Tim has a lot of work to do, and I was lucky I was able to get him to pose his hand long enough to take these two shots. Also, the glove hasn’t been washed or blocked yet. I will probably wait to do that until both gloves are finished, and do both at the same time.

Here’s the back of the hand:

He's driving me wild gloves - back

And here’s the palm:

He's driving me wild gloves - palm

I absolutely love this pattern. The ribbing on the cuff gets old (it’s a 5″ cuff), but with the cable on the back of the hand and the seed stitch on the palm it never gets boring. It’s my first glove, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. There is definitely room for improvement, but I’m satisfied. Tim is happy with the glove, and that is the most important thing since he’s the one who has to wear it.

Now I think I want to finish the half of the front of Lys I’m working on. However, I am definitely going to at least cast on for the second glove today. I will join it to work in the round, maybe knit a few rows of the cuff, and that’s it. I think I can avoid Second Glove Syndrome if I get started on it right away.

I bought two hanks of the Dream In Color yarn because I thought one hank for two gloves might be cutting it close. If I only use one hank I have to decide if I want to return the second hank or make something out of it. I’m sure I could make a hat to match the glove, or maybe make a scarf. Or something for myself or someone else. Or I can put that money toward another project. I don’t know. We’ll see. If I have to use even a little bit of that second hank I have to keep it, so I thinking about what to do with a full second hank is a bit useless at this point.

Posted in knitting, work in progress | Leave a Comment »

Yarn Con

Posted by Andi on October 14, 2007

YarnCon was yesterday, and I had a great time.

It’s weird. I am on Ravelry all the time, and I see people’s user pics, and then go somewhere like YarnCon and recognize some of them. Yet, when someone says to me that they recognize me from Ravelry as soon as they see me, I’m surprised. Clearly I’m not the only one who pays attention. But it’s kind of nice to see familiar faces, even though you’ve never met the people.

Anyway, YarnCon. I attended the pattern making workshop, which was really informative. Altering patterns is something I’ve always been afraid of. I don’t know why. It’s really not difficult, but I’ve never felt comfortable with it. It was nice to have someone explain it step by step and make it seem less scary. It’s freeing knowing that it really isn’t difficult or scary to make changes or design a sweater.

I also sat for the 1,000 Knitters Project. I’m number 179. 🙂

Finally, onto purchases. I really didn’t buy that much. I had to have those magnetic pattern things (if you were there you know what I’m talking about). Those are amazing! I bought a set of 3. I also bought one of the grab bags that a knitting group was selling. Besides odds and ends I got some ivory colored yarn, which I think is a DK weight, though I could be wrong and I’m too lazy to go check right now. I think I’m either going to make Branching Out out of it, or maybe some other scarf. I think it will be knit up soon because I’ll probably make a Christmas gift out of it. I also bought some pins.

But that’s it. I saw so much yarn I wanted to buy, but didn’t get any of it. I just couldn’t justify it. I took business cards from all of the vendors, so I may very well purchase from 3 or 4 of them in the future. Perhaps once I graduate and have a full-time job I can justify spending a ton of money on hand spun yarn, but right now I can’t. And that makes me sad, because there were 3 or 4 hanks in particular from 3 different vendors that I absolutely went crazy over. Oh well. I have the rest of my life to acquire yarn like that.

Posted in Chicago, event, yarn | Leave a Comment »

Reminder to Chicago area crafters

Posted by Andi on October 12, 2007

YarnCon is tomorrow at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse. It looks like there will be some interesting workshops and cool vendors. If you are anywhere near Chicago you might want to try to make it. It’s the first one, and I hope it’s successful so that they have it every year. I’m not one of the organizers or anything, but it seems like it would be something that’s nice to have in my city.

Posted in Chicago, event | Leave a Comment »

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007

Posted by Andi on October 10, 2007

A preview for Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 is up. I like most of the patterns shown. As a matter of fact, I don’t think there’s anything that I don’t like at least a little, or that I wouldn’t have fun knitting. However, one project stands out as one I would like to make: Big and Little Ski Sweaters by Donna Druchunas and Debbie O’Neill. Obviously I would be making the big one.

I’ve been wanting to make a Norwegian ski sweater, but I’ve always found that kind of project to be a bit daunting. It just looks so complicated, and I keep thinking I’m only up for one new challenge at a time. Right now it’s gloves. Next is socks. Then I was thinking lace. But I really like this sweater, and at first glance it appears that it might be a nice first Norwegian sweater project. And look at how comfy it looks!

Posted in knitting, Norwegian, patterns | 1 Comment »

WIP update

Posted by Andi on October 9, 2007

Not only have I not been in much of a knitting mood, I haven’t been in much of a blogging mood either. I have a post brewing in my brain, but it requires me to take pictures, and I’m also not sure how I want to say what’s in my head. I won’t get to that post until tomorrow night at the earliest, so instead, here is a WIP update.

1. He Drives Me Wild Gloeves – All I have left on the first glove is the thumb. Tim tried it on the other day and is happy with how it fits. There’s not a lot of extra room on the middle finger. While it fits, I think he would be more comfortable if it were a little longer. I think I will just try to stretch it a bit when I block it, and add a couple of extra rows to the middle finger on the second glove. Otherwise it’s perfect so far. I meant to finish the thumb last night, but I didn’t get around to it. I have a concert to go to tonight, so I don’t think I will get to it tonight either. Wednesday?

2. Cobblestone – I did a good job on working on this over the weekend when Tim wasn’t around. I’m almost done with the first sleeve. I’ve finished the increases, and just have to knit an inch or so more until I’m done with it. Then I just have the second sleeve and the yoke. I’m liking this knitting in the round for sweaters thing! 🙂

3. Lys – With the focus on the gloves and Cobblestone I haven’t worked on this in a while. I’m so close to finishing one of the front pieces that I should probably just spend a half hour or so on it this week to finish it up. I will feel a sense of accomplishment after that, and then I probably won’t start the other front half for a while!

4. Poinsettia – Ugh. I haven’t worked on this in months. All I have to do is finish it! I keep saying that I want to wear it when the weather gets cold. I know I can finish it in an afternoon, so I figured I would take a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and finish it. Unfortunately it’s been in the high 80s here for the past two weekends, which really does not put me in the mood to finish a black wool/acrylic blend sweater. The gloves are much better to work on in this weather. But it’s so close, I really should just finish it up and then it’s done and I don’t have to worry about it any more.

5. Bee’s Knees Socks – I think I’m giving up on this one. I don’t like how the pattern is written, and I really don’t feel like figuring out which stitches should be on which needles. Instead my first pair of socks will be made with the lovely Fleece Artist yarn I got in a swap that was organized in one of my groups on Ravelry. I can’t wait to get started on them!

So now that I listed everything I have worked on, what’s in the pipeline once these are finished?

1. My first pair of socks, mentioned above. I can’t wait to work with this yarn!

2. A Christmas present. I’m pretty certain that the person who will receive this gift does not read this blog, but just in case I probably will only write about it in vague terms until it’s been given.

3. Branching Out, which will be another Christmas present. In this case I know the receiver is not reading this blog, so I can post about it all I want. This will help me get rid of my ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, and get me started on lace knitting. I will need the practice. See #5 below.

4. Clapotis. Am I the only person who hasn’t made this yet? I bought the yarn for it over a year ago, maybe even two years ago. Perhaps I should get on that.

5. The Icarus shawl. My cousin is getting married at the end of next year. I have a sleeveless black dress I can wear to the wedding, but I will need something to go over it as it will be winter. I already know which yarn I want to use for it, and I’m torn about whether to get it now while I know the LYS still has it or to wait. I may get it now just to be safe. I have to wait until I get paid again, though.

Posted in knitting, project, ravelry, Stash Busting, work in progress | Leave a Comment »

It’s almost 90 degrees and I’m thinking about winter

Posted by Andi on October 5, 2007

It’s really hot and humid here today, unseasonably so.  So guess what I bought today…  That’s right, a winter coat!!!  Actually, I quite love it.  It was rather inexpensive as far as wool coats go, and it’s cute, and it makes me happy.

I’ve never had a brown winter coat.  That means I now need a hat, scarf, and gloves/mittens to go with it.  I have a cream-colored hat I made from Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop book that could probably work, provided I can find it.  If not, I have more of the yarn and can make another one, it only took an afternoon.  I have two or three scarves that can work too.  I’m not sure about gloves.  My nice black ones are in disrepair, and I don’t think I have any others that would match.

Isn’t it odd that although I’m a knitter and I’m making a pair of winter gloves for my boyfriend that I will probably have to buy a pair for myself?  There is no way I will get a pair done before I will need them.  Bah!

Posted in knitting | Leave a Comment »