Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for August, 2011

FO: Right-Twist Cable Rib Socks

Posted by Andi on August 31, 2011

Right-Twist Cable Rib Socks
Pattern: Right-Twist Cable Rib Socks by Ann Budd
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock in Elderberry, 1.32 skeins
Needles: US 1
Date started: July 18, 2011
Date completed: August 30, 2011

Right-Twist Cable Rib Socks

And, touching upon my post from yesterday, I did not knit a hexipuff tonight. The fact that I didn’t knit at all doesn’t diminish the victory 🙂


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Project Management

Posted by Andi on August 30, 2011

The biggest challenge I have with knitting has nothing to do with knit stitches, purls, cables, or even fair isle.

It’s project management.

Here’s an example using my current situation. I currently have 4 projects on the needles:
1. A pair of socks
2. A lace weight cardigan
3. A double knit scarf
4. The Beekeeper’s Quilt

My goal was to finish the lace weight cardigan in the late summer/early fall when it’s not too hot out but maybe gets a bit cool at night where a loose knit sweater will be nice. Well, it’s late summer and it’s not done. I had been making good progress. It’s bottom up, and knit in one piece to the underarms, then the back, then the two fronts, still all in one piece. Then the sleeves. I’ve finished the bottom, and have started the back. So what’s the problem? I am at the neck shaping, meaning I have to use two balls of yarn. So it’s an at-home project until I finish that part. It really shouldn’t take very long. But I haven’t done it. Maybe this should be my goal this weekend, because once I pick it back up I really don’t take a long time to finish it. Why haven’t I finished it? Because I just can’t be bothered monkeying around with two balls of yarn when there are other things I can do.

My goal for the double knit scarf is to have it done by winter, so on its face it seems like the cardigan should be the first priority. However, I really think it’s going to take me much longer to finish the scarf than the cardigan. So why am I not working on the scarf tonight? Because I can’t look at the chart and watch television at the same time, and right now watching Rafael Nadal is more important than knitting the scarf. I can work on it while talking, so I sometimes take it to knit group, but I haven’t really worked on it there either. Why?

Because I’ve been working on the socks. Normally I don’t do a lot of sock knitting at home. Some, but not a lot. For me socks are my portable project. Those times I choose to knit on the train instead of reading, I’m knitting socks. I take a sock project on all of my business trips. Ah, the trips. They make project management even more difficult. I do not take scissors or a darning needle on the plane with me, so I don’t really want to finish a sock while I’m out of town. I like to have just cast on a project, and knit a couple of rounds. That way, I probably won’t finish the sock when I’m gone. No need for cutting or for kitchenering toes. All knitting, all the time. Since I like to have just started a sock before leaving, sometimes that means scrambling to finish a sock and cast on another one before I go. I thought I was going to be leaving on a trip in a few days, so I’ve been trying to finish this sock (which is the second sock in the pair) and decide what the next project could be so I could start it before leaving. But my trip was canceled, so that’s not a problem. So I should put the socks aside, right? Work on the cardigan? No, because I want to finish these socks before the end of August, since that’s my goal for the Sock Stash Knitdown I’ve been participating in. That should be no problem. I will finish the sock tonight. And since I don’t travel again for just under two weeks I won’t cast on another sock project until the weekend after next. That should leave plenty of time to work on the cardigan and scarf in the meantime, right?

Wrong, because I’m addicted to knitting hexipuffs. Even though I vowed the Beekeeper’s Quilt would remain in the background, only making puffs when it is convenient, it has quickly become an obsession. And let’s face it, by the time I finish the sock tonight I won’t break out the cardigan, and I’ll still be watching tennis so I won’t break out the scarf. I will make another hexipuff.

With all of these projects, some needing to be finished by certain times but perhaps not convenient projects to knit in any given situation, I spend an inordinate amount of time analyzing my spare time, what I’ll be doing with it, and which knitting project is most compatible at any given moment. Honestly, I wish I was as good at knitting project management as I am at time management at work.

So I’m saying here, now, publicly, so that I actually do it. No socks this weekend. I will be working on the cardigan and the scarf. And maybe a few puffs, but just a few. Not eight like I made two weekends ago. Cardigan. Scarf. Focus.

(But maybe a few puffs.)

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WIP: Gerda’s scarf

Posted by Andi on August 25, 2011

You might not realize it from reading this blog, but I’ve actually been doing some knitting. Here’s one of the projects I’ve been working on, Gerda’s scarf. It’s the scarf of the scarf, hat, and mittens set I’m making. It’s double knit. Here is what I like to call the main side, since for all of the projects I’m using the light blue as the main color and the brown as the contrast color.

Gerda's scarf

And although I’m sure you can guess what the other side looks like, here it is.

Gerda's scarf

This is going to take forever, and I’m not working on it as often as I should. I’m having a bit of a project management issue, but that’s another post for another day.

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My best sorbet yet

Posted by Andi on August 16, 2011

A few weeks ago I made lychee sorbet using canned lychees. The recipe said to save the syrup from the cans, but then only called for 1/4 cup of it to be used. Apparently I was supposed to dump the rest of the syrup, but I had so much of it left that I figured I could come up something to do with it.

Also a few weeks ago I made pear cider sorbet following this recipe, which was really good. What I thought was interesting about it was that it didn’t involve making a simple syrup first. Instead, a small amount of sugar was added to the cider. I wondered if I could do the same thing with the lychee syrup, and today I gave it a shot, and made my favorite sorbet yet.

Lychee Lime Sorbet

Heavy syrup from 2 20-ounce cans of lychess (minus 1/4 cup used previously)
1/4 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 2 limes

In a bowl combine the heavy syrup and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add lime zest and juice. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Note you may have to stir to distribute the zest more evenly.

This sorbet was so good that I could have eaten it all in one sitting. Instead I forced myself to put some of it away.

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Just what I needed – a new hobby

Posted by Andi on August 14, 2011

Yesterday I attended the Boot Camp class at a local bead shop. The class combined an intro to wire class and an intro stringing class into one session.

First we learned how to make a bracelet with each bead on its own wire. It took a few tries for me to get the loops right, but I’m confident I could make another one.

My first bracelet

Next we learned how to make earrings with coiled loops. My coils are still uneven, but it will take practice like anything else. Even still, I’m happy with how my earrings turned out.

My first pair of earrings

We ended with the easiest project, stringing a necklace. It was the easiest in terms of physically putting the necklace together, but it was the hardest in that we were given a bunch of beads and had to decide what we wanted the necklace would look like. As I started out I didn’t like what I was making, but once I got most of the beads on I started to like it. Once it was finished I liked it enough to wear it.

My first necklace

The last thing I need is a new hobby, but I thought this could be useful. Now, if I ever buy a new dress I know I can make jewelry to match. I can also make gifts that aren’t knitted. And, it’s a different skill, and learning a new skill is always good, right?

A week ago today I saw this live:

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Jumping on the beekeeper bandwagon

Posted by Andi on August 13, 2011

It appears to be one of the hottest patterns on Ravelry. Although it’s not on the list of the most active recently published designs, it seems that every single one of my friends, including myself, has either favorited or queued this pattern.

Of course, I’m talking about the beekeeper’s quilt.

As soon as I saw it I knew I would be making it. I use sock yarn a lot and have a ton of leftovers. I also thought this would be a great project for knitting in public, such as knit group, because it won’t get big until I start joining the hexagons together. It will be so satisfying to finish a hexagon so quickly!

Like everything else, I think I’m setting my sights a bit too ambitiously. The quilt in the photo is 3’x4′, but I think I want to make mine bigger than that. I want it to be the blanket I wrap myself in when sitting on the couch in the winter. But we’ll see. I have a feeling it will take a couple of years to have made enough hexagons to see how big it is starting to get.

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128/365 Arctic Monkeys at the end of the rainbow

Posted by Andi on August 8, 2011

Arctic Monkeys at the end of the rainbow
Grant Park
Chicago, IL
7 August 2011

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127/365 Perry’s

Posted by Andi on August 8, 2011

Grant Park
Chicago, IL
6 August 2011

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126/365 Wye Oak

Posted by Andi on August 8, 2011

Wye Oak
Grant Park
Chicago, IL
5 August 2011

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125/365 20th Anniversary

Posted by Andi on August 8, 2011

125/365 20th Anniversary
Lollapalooza 3-day pass wristband
4 August 2011

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