Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for December, 2007

2007 – my year in knitting

Posted by Andi on December 31, 2007

In 2007 I…

–Made my first gloves
–Started my first pair of socks
–Used superwash merino for the first time
–Managed to knit a sweater without my boyfriend knowing, and we live together.

In 2008 I hope to…

–Finally finish Poinsettia
–Finally finish Lys.
–Finish my first pair of socks, and hopefully make many more pairs.
–Make a double knit scarf.
–Design a Blackhawks scarf.
–Reduce my stash so it fits in the armoire.

I hope all of you have a happy and safe 2008.

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FO: Airy Scarf

Posted by Andi on December 29, 2007

Airy scarf

Pattern: Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson and Anna Williams
Yarn: Sofil Concorde in ivoire, less than 1 ball
Needles: US 10.5

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FO: Cobblestone

Posted by Andi on December 26, 2007

Cobblestone

Pattern: Cobblestone from the Fall 2007 issue of Interweave Knits
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Blue Heather, about 5.5 skeins
Needles: US 7 circular (short and long)
Size: 39.5″

Posted in finished object, gift knitting, knitting | 1 Comment »

FO: Cabled Pocket Shawl

Posted by Andi on December 25, 2007

EDIT If you are looking for the pattern for this shawl, see this post.

Cabled Pocket Shawl

Pattern: Cabled Pocket Shawl
Yarn: Lion Brand Chunky USA (discontinued)
Needles: US 7, 9, 10

Cabled Pocket Shawl

I’m really happy with how this shawl turned out. My mom, who was the recipient, seemed to love it, which made me really happy. This yarn is discontinued, and I can’t say I’m disappointed. I love many of the Lion Brand yarns I have used. I use Wool Ease regularly. But this yarn really hurt my fingers. The pain was worth it, though, to see the smile on my mom’s face when she opened the box! And to be fair, the garment softened up a lot after a machine wash.

Cabled Pocket Shawl

I feel like this project has come full circle since the start of my knitting days. As I stated earlier I’m sure, the main reason I started knitting was to make presents for people. Obviously this is one! After purchasing my first knitting book and making my first gift from it, I decided I enjoyed the craft enough to continue. I believe it was my second or third knitting book I got that had a pattern for a cardigan that I really wanted to make for my mom. I purchased this yarn to make that sweater, and I actually started the sweater twice. The first time my gauge changed while knitting and it was coming out the wrong size. I was a new knitter, so I guess this wasn’t a surprising development. The surprising thing is that I allowed it to happy again on a sweater I made for Tim even after that. But I digress. I started the sweater a second time, and I really didn’t like how it was turning out. Or, really, I didn’t like the sweater anymore. It had no shaping, so I knew it would just hang on her. And. the. whole. thing. was. in. seed. stitch. OMG. Bad times.

I put the yarn back into my small but growing stash, and forgot about it for a while. Then I got another knitting book that had a pattern for a cardigan, and I thought this yarn could work for it. And I gave it a shot, but again I wasn’t really happy with it, and I didn’t think my mom would be either. I frogged it (except for a sleeve, which I found when I was digging through my stash to find this yarn to make this shawl), and then forgot about the yarn again.

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew my mom would like it, and when I saw that it called for a chunky yarn I was thrilled. Finally I could use the yarn to make a gift for my mom, which was the whole purpose of getting that yarn in the first place. I feel like I was destined to make this shawl, and my mom was destined to have it.

Edited to add: I don’t have this pattern. I had printed it out long ago and lost it. It is available on Ravelry as a free download. If you have not joined Ravelry, it’s free too. Here is a link.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cabled-pocket-shawl

Posted in finished object, gift knitting, knitting | 12 Comments »

Happy holidays

Posted by Andi on December 24, 2007

DSCF2905

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!

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3 down, 1 to go

Posted by Andi on December 24, 2007

Christmas is almost here, and I finally feel like I can breathe easier.

Of the four gifts I made, three are finished and two have been given to their recipients.

First, I gave My So-Called Scarf to one of my coworkers.  I was going to wait until Thursday (the last day we both worked before the holidays) but I decided to give it to her on Wednesday.  I kept almost slipping up and inadvertently mentioning the scarf to her, so I thought it best to just give it to her as soon as possible.  On Tuesday we were talking and she asked how my holiday knitting was coming along, and I almost told her that I had finished her scarf!  Anyway, she seemed very pleased with it, and I was happy to see that she wore it to work on Thursday.

As far as Cobblestone goes, I have a few ends to weave in and I need to sew together a hole I left in one of the underarms.  I would also like to wash it.  Other than that, I’m done.  Yay!  Tim and I exchanged gifts on Friday (his idea) so he tried it on already and it fits.  I would like to have it completely finished and washed before I take any pictures of it.  He seemed happy with the design, as well as my choice of color.  I am happy about that.

I finished knitting the Cabled Pocket Shawl last night.  That was a miracle.  I had 10 cable repeats to do yesterday, and I decided to break it into chunks.  Do one repeat.  Go to the bank.  Do another repeat.  Make breakfast.  Do another repeat.  Make cookie dough.  You get the idea.  I thought that would keep me from burning out on the knitting while still getting other things done.  I’m surprised my hands didn’t fall off, with all the knitting and sifting I did yesterday.  Anyway.  This morning I sewed up the pockets, added the ribbing to the pockets, and wove in the ends.  I will wash it in the morning, in time to give it to its recipient tomorrow afternoon.

Finally, Branching Out.  I’ve just about had it with this project.  It’s not difficult, but I haven’t had the patience to work on it with all of the other stuff going on.  Besides gift knitting I’ve been busy at work, baking, shopping, doing dissertation stuff.  Really I just need a day to chill, but I don’t know when I will get that.  Enough whining.   I would really like to start this project again, but it just isn’t realistic in time for Christmas.  Admitting that I had bitten off more than I could chew was difficult, but in the end I decided to do a simpler project and do it right.  I switched to the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I hope to finish that tomorrow.

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

Queen of kitchener

Posted by Andi on December 21, 2007

Amazingly enough, I am almost done with Cobblestone.  As a matter of fact, I just have a few ends left to weave in and it’s done!

One of my co-workers suggested bringing it to work to work on it because my boyfriend’s just been home all the time.  So I did.  Instead of taking a little coffee break, I took a knitting break and knit a few rounds at a time.

After eating my lunch, before going back to work,  I tackled kitchener stitch.  And, as I’m sure all of you already knew but I wasn’t convinced, it was easy!!!  So easy!!  I had no tension issues.  It ended up looking fine.  Yay!

Now to tackle those last 2 gifts.

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Knitting in the news: School Credit

Posted by Andi on December 20, 2007

At an Ohio high school, students can learn to knit, among other things, for an art credit.

Tami Rose and Rebecca Pope and several of their students spoke about the visual fine arts curriculum at the high school. The teens are required to have an art credit, but not everyone wants to sing, dance, play a musical instrument, act or paint, Rose told the Board of Education Monday night.

To fill that need, classes available include arts and crafts in which students learn to knit, cross-stitch or make pillows and other items. Other courses introduce students to the history of art, taking advantage of the computer labs to go on virtual tours of museums, which encourages discussions.

Read the whole article here.

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Knitting in the news: Sock wars

Posted by Andi on December 18, 2007

Today the Wall Street Journal had an article about Sock Wars! The thing that is a little scary is when they mention someone in the article, and it turns out I recognize them from Ravelry, even though I’ve never spoken to them. The knitting community is large, but it’s a small world.

I hope to participate in Sock Wars one day. Hopefully they will keep at it until I’m a proficient enough sock knitter to not die immediately.

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The secret sweater may have to become not-so-secret

Posted by Andi on December 17, 2007

I have a bit of a dilemma.  I’ve been working on the Cobblestone sweater for my boyfriend Tim (whom I live with) behind his back for Christmas.  He may suspect I’m making something for him because one day he came home from school early and I was working on the sleeve.  I quickly dropped the sleeve under my desk where he couldn’t see it, and told him to leave the room.

Between knitting groups and the difference in our schedules I’ve been able to get most of it done.  I just have 2 more decrease rows and about an inch of garter stitch to do around the neck, and the knitting is complete.  Given that the inch or so of knitting comes after another decrease row it shouldn’t take very long.  But then I have to kitchener the underarms together.  I’ve never done that, so I wanted to take a block of time to do it slowly and carefully.

Here’s the problem.  Tim works days all week.  He will be getting home from work before me.  Then, after Thursday, he’s off until after the holidays.  He’ll be home all the time!  I can’t believe I’m complaining about his being home because normally we don’t get to spend much time together, but this is going to make finishing this sweater without his seeing it impossible.

I couldn’t go to my Sunday knitting group yesterday, where I thought I might be able to finish the knitting part, because we went out to visit my family.  There is another group that meets on Wednesday night.  I used to go to this group, but I haven’t been to it in quite a long time.  That would get me out of the house long enough to finish the knitting, then I only need to find somewhere to kitchener the underarms where I won’t be distracted.  Hmm.   The library?  Getting up extra early on a morning when I know he will be asleep?

My only other options are as follows:

1. Just admit to him that I’m making this sweater for him so that I can start working on it in his presence.  I really don’t want to do that, though.  Otherwise what was the point of being this stealth about it for all this time?

2. Manage to get the knitting done, don’t kitchener the underarms, and give it to him in an incomplete form.  Then I can kitchener the underarms after that, even if he’s around, and I haven’t spoiled the surprise.  Of these two options, I’m leaning toward this one.  I really dislike the idea of giving him something that is incomplete, but I know a lot of people have done it in the past.  And really, I can do the underarms in an afternoon.  It’s not like I’m giving him a front and back with no sleeves or something.

It’s a good thing Tim likes Lion Brand Wool Ease.  At least this way I don’t have to try to hide a blocking garment from him!  Can you imagine that???

This whole ordeal has been stressful.  I really don’t think I can make such an ambitious surprise for him again.   Maybe hats or scarves or socks, but never an entire sweater.  This is just too much.

Posted in gift knitting, knitting, work in progress | 2 Comments »