Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for January, 2010

When Black Friday Comes

Posted by Andi on January 24, 2010

My Black Friday gift to myself was a hank of Draygone Yarnes sock yarn in the Chicago Blackhawks colorway. I had been coveting it, and for the longest time there was just one hank on her Etsy site. Finally, on Black Friday, I broke down and bought it. I took a lot of time and care choosing a pattern. I finally chose Vortical from the Winter 2008 issue of Knotions. Today I finally finished the first sock.

Vortical Socks

I love it! The spiral goes in opposite directions on each leg. Now that I have this one down pat I fear that I will have a hard time on the next sock. It’s going to take a little though I think.

Vortical Socks

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FO: Tardis Dishcloth

Posted by Andi on January 17, 2010

Tardis Dishcloth
Pattern: Tardis Dishcloth by Lorenia Lemas
Yarn: Lion Brand Lion Cotton in Morning Glory Blue, about .33 skein
Needles: US 7
Date started: 1/16/10
Date completed: 1/17/10

This was part of Tim’s Christmas present. I promised to make him two Doctor Who-themed dishcloths. This is the first one. The second will be of a Dalek.

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FO: Adults-Only Devil Hat

Posted by Andi on January 17, 2010

Adults-Only Devil Hat
Pattern: Adults-Only Devil Hat by Kitty Schmidt from the book Stitch ‘N Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease in Cranberry, 1 skein
Needles: US 5 16" circular and DPNs
Date started: 1/10/10
Date completed: 1/16/10

Given the problems I’ve had with hats being too big, I went down two needle sizes to ensure this one would fit. It does!!

Adults-Only Devil Hat

I have completed my Hat Trick with half the month left to spare! My goal for the Hat Trick was to use yarn I already had and patterns I already owned. Not only did I not want to spend any money, but I wanted to use resources I already had. There are always free patterns available, but I wanted to use patterns in books and magazines I had already paid for.

So this worked out well. I used patterns from one book and two magazines I already owned. I used yarn left over from one project and stash yarn I got when I first started knitting. A successful destash!

Adults-Only Devil Hat

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FO: Relm

Posted by Andi on January 16, 2010

Here is my second hat of Hat Trick January. My goal was to knit the three hats out of yarn I already had and patterns I already owned.

DSC02350
Pattern: Relm by Jared Flood from the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Knit.1
Yarn: Red Heart with Wool in Fleck, 1 skein
Needles: US 6 and US 7 16" circular needles, US 7 DPNs
Date started: 1/2/10
Date completed: 1/10/10

I got this yarn the first year I learned how to knit. I had planned to make a bag out of it, but never did.

Here is a close up view of the cables:
Relm

I think it’s a pretty hat, but notice that I’m not modeling it in the photos. Why? Because my head is so small and this hat is so slouchy that it will not work on me. It looks like a chef’s hat. It’s ridiculous. So I asked a woman I work with who has a bigger head and rounder face than I do (my face is long, not round) if she would like it because it would likely be more flattering on her. Once I wash it I will bring it to her and she will decide. It’s just too much on me.

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2010 Knitting Resolution

Posted by Andi on January 10, 2010

I know someone who last year did the 52 projects in 52 weeks thing, and saw some buzz around Ravelry from people who are planning to do that in 2010. It very nearly sucked me in. That sounds like a great goal. Perhaps it would help me destash. Upon further thought, however, I determined that this wasn’t the right New Year’s Knitting Resolution for me.

Why?

1. I don’t think there are enough small projects that I need or want to make. There are a few. I still plan on making Fetching, and have yarn for it. We want to have a lot more dishrags on hand (and part of my boyfriend’s Christmas present was to knit to Doctor Who themed dishcloths, which I haven’t made yet). Maybe one or two little baby things. But enough for 52 projects? I didn’t want to be focusing on so many smaller things I am not passionate about at the expensive of larger objects I am passionate about, just to get 52 done.

2. I tend to turn my hobbies into work, and in so doing I cause myself a lot of stress. A perfect example is my desire to see as many films that are nominated for Golden Globes or Academy Awards before the actual award show occurs. I was successful a couple of times, but I haven’t managed to pull it off in a few years. The first year I was unsuccessful after pulling it off I was trying really hard, but I just wasn’t enjoying it. I was spending a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to see films, as some were only on a few screens and not yet on DVD. At the time I was still a poor grad student, and finances were a concern as well. On top of work stress and school stress, I turned something that was supposed to be an enjoyable pastime into something stressful. I had to give up. Crazy, isn’t it?

I fear doing the same thing with knitting. Holiday or gift knitting doesn’t count. We all get behind sometimes, and finish knitting that gift 10 minutes before leaving the house to give the gift. Or maybe it doesn’t get finished in time at all. That stress can be productive. But I fear that pushing myself to finish 52 projects in a year will turn into the film thing. I have a wonderful, challenging career, but it requires a lot of hard work, long hours, concentration, and stress. My goal is to turn some of that off when I’m at home, and destress a bit. I don’t think knitting 52 projects in a year would help.

Baby steps.

So I came up with my own resolution, which isn’t quite as ambitious, but still has me moving forward as far as my knitting productivity goes. I cut it in half. 26 finished objects in 2010. Nineteen is the most I’ve completed in a year up to now, and given my desire to make dishcloths (as mentioned above) I think 26 is quite doable.

I feel like I’m cheating a wee bit, though. It’s January 10, and I have three finished objects already. Two were started in January, but one, the Texter Gloves, were primarily done in 2009. All of the knitting was complete. I just had to sew on the thumb caps and weave in loose ends. It took an hour or so. But it still counts as a 2010 FO. And then there’s the Big Sack Sweater. I finished the actual knitting about a year ago, maybe longer. It just needs to be seamed. Four seams: the sides of the body and each sleeve. That will take an hour or two, but the dozen or so hours it took to knit the pieces was already done. Even still, that leaves 24 true FOs to complete in 2010.

So, here we go.

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FO: Texter Gloves

Posted by Andi on January 3, 2010

Texter Gloves
Pattern: Texter Gloves by Kim Hamlin
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Maple Grove, 1 hank
Needles: US 3 and US 5 DPNs
Date started: 12/5/09
Date completed: 1/2/10

These gloves were made to match the hat and scarf set I made.

It’s a good thing I made gloves before, because I totally had to recreate the pattern.

I made a gauge swatch that was right on. I even washed it! Yet when I started knitting, the gloves were too small. The fabric was pulling, creating spots for the cold air to get through. In order to compensate I went down in needle size and cast on the number of stitches for a medium in order to try to get the small size. That seemed to work, except for the fingers. The fingers were still way too tight, so I increased three stitches on each finger.

Ah, the fingers. I should back up a bit. For this pattern the fingers are worked in i-cord, then a new stitch is added. I thought this was a cool idea, and it seems that others on Ravelry who made the same project were able to get this to work, but I couldn’t. It just looked so sloppy when I did it, and there was still a big gap. It didn’t work at all. Back to the drawing board. Instead of making the gloves from the fingers down, I did the pattern backward and knit from the cuff up. That seemed to work better for me.

Finishing was sort of a nightmare though. I mean, it could be worse, but coming from someone who hates finishing, this was rough. There were so many loose ends to weave in. There were so many holes between fingers. Just when I thought I did a good job closing them all up, I would try a glove on and find that one didn’t really close. I really could have had these done last week, but I just couldn’t deal with it. I finally finished them last night because my fingers were sore from knitting. I had to so something else.

Texter Gloves

I sewed one thumb cap on more neatly than the other. Oh well. They seem to work well. The thumb easily comes off when I want it to, but doesn’t seem to when I don’t want it to. The thumb cap also stays back well, which is good because I also didn’t bother with the loop and button. These will be functional. I think they look nice. But if every glove project is going to be like this I don’t see a lot of gloves in my future.

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Happy 2010! It’s Hat Trick Month!

Posted by Andi on January 2, 2010

Happy 2010 everybody!

I’m participating in the January Hat Trick KAL/CAL in the Puck This! community on Ravelry. I’m using it as a way to destash some old acrylic yarn that has been in my stash for years and years. I cast on my first hat yesterday while watching the Winter Classic pre-game show, and finished this afternoon while watching Food Inc.

Koolhaas
Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn: Caron Wintuk in gray
Needles: US 5 and US 7 16" circular and US 7 DPN
Date started: 1/1/10
Date completed: 1/2/10

I was originally making this pattern for myself. I chose the women’s size, and even went down a needle size because I have a small head. It technically fits my head, but was way bigger than I would like, so I had my boyfriend try it on. He liked it well enough, and so now it’s his.

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