Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for January, 2013

Hat #4: Twist and Slouch Hat

Posted by Andi on January 31, 2013

Twist and Slouch Hat

Pattern: Twist and Slouch Hat by Kristina Taylor
Yarn: Sophie’s Toes Merino Sock in Commitment, .75 skein
Needles: US 4
Date started: January 20, 2013
Date completed: January 26, 2013

My fourth hat!! I love this hat. It’s so cute.

This hat starts with a provisional cast on. The hat is knit from the bottom up, and it’s just a basic stockinette stitch hat. Then the provisional cast on is removed, and the band it knit flat. I was surprised how long it took to knit the band. It took me almost a full day.

I think if I were to knit it again (and that’s a strong possibility) I would start with the band and knit up. I was able to figure out how many stitches I needed to get the correct length of the band, so I think I would cast on that number of stitches, decrease instead of increase, then at the right time join it in the round. I think that could work.

This pattern comes from my favorite book, Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – because my stash is mostly sock yarn, this is by far the most useful book in my knitting library. I was able to use three skeins of sock yarn this month on this challenge, and I have enough left over for hexipuffs!!

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Escargot

Posted by Andi on January 27, 2013

Escargot
Pattern: Escargot by Veronica Parsons
Yarn: Queensland Collection Super Aussie in Dark Brown (.26 skein) and Sky (1.08 skeins)
Needles: US 7
Date started: January 7, 2013
Date completed: January 26, 2013

I did manage to complete four hats during the January Hat Trick. This is the second hat I started, but the fourth hat finished. It needed to be blocked before the spiral could be tacked down. Trust me, it didn’t lay nice like that until it was wet blocked!! It really only took a couple of evenings to knit, but then after I blocked it I was lazy about finishing it. The hat sat in its blocking position for more than two weeks before I finally got around to finishing it last night. It’s a shame, really, because I could have used it this past week. It was pretty cold here in the Chicago area. You may not be able to tell because I’m not wearing the hat in the picture, but it’s lower in back than in the front, so it would have helped keep my neck warm on those bitterly cold days. Oh well, it’s ready now. As a matter of fact, this is the second hat I made out of this yarn. The first hat has an open stitch pattern, so it isn’t warm enough for the coldest of days. That’s what we had this week. Oh well, I just wore my Sockhead Hats.

This is the same yarn I used to make the Titled Shadows Cowl and that I am using to make the Flocked Mittens, so I will be all matchy matchy when everything is finished.

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Clue #3 – Done!

Posted by Andi on January 26, 2013

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL

Clue #3 in the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL was posted last Sunday. It included the hand and thumb. Clue #4 is going to involve undoing the provisional cast on and seeing what it coming from there. I love how my gauntlet looks so far. I can totally see myself wearing these on a regular basis. I can’t wait to see Clue #4!

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Third hat started, second one finished

Posted by Andi on January 20, 2013

Green Sockhead Hat
Pattern: Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshy in green and black (bought at the Dream In Color Warehouse Sale)
Needles: US2
Date started: January 9, 2013
Date completed: January 19, 2013

Yeah, I was driving.

After knitting up the first Sockhead Hat and seeing how easy it was, I decided to do a second one. I have a ton of sock yarn in my stash, so I had no idea which skein to use. I focused on variegated yarns because the stockinette stitch would allow the colorway to be the star of the hat.

Around the same time I was pondering what yarn to make this hat out of, I was also pondering a trip to the yarn store to buy some green yarn. According to Pantone, the color of the year is emerald. Since green is one of my two favorite colors, I thought I should immediately buy some green yarn and make some accessories. For once in my life, I was planning on being trendy.

Then I remembered I had this skein of yarn. Green and black, my two favorite colors! It’s been in my stash for two-and-a-half years. I bought it at a Dream In Color warehouse sale. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Every once in a while I look at the Dream In Color colorways to see if I can figure out what this one was supposed to be, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Maybe it was just an experiment. Oh well, lucky for me!

It really didn’t take me the full 10 days to finish this hat. I stopped to do most of the knitting on the second hat started, third one finished that I will post about sometime in the near future. I would say it took three or four days of regular knitting.

I’m now off to start hat #4. It will not be another Sockhead Hat.

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Clue #2 – Done!

Posted by Andi on January 19, 2013

I’ve been really lazy about posting. Sorry about that. But I have been knitting a lot, and I do have knitting to share.

Last Sunday, clue #2 for the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL was released. Unlike the first week where I knit clue #1 while watching Downton Abbey, I knit clue #2 while watching the Golden Globes. I didn’t actually watch last week’s Downton Abbey until this morning. But I digress.

I took a photo of my progress after clue #1, but the photo did not turn out well. So here’s my progress after clue #2. This first photo is of the lace panel.

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL - Clue 2

This photo is much better than the one from clue #1, but it still doesn’t show the lace as well as it looks in real life. This next photo is of the other side, so you can see how the yarn pools in stockinette stitch.

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL - Clue 2

I’m loving this yarn. I can’t wait for clue #3 tomorrow night, which I will be able to knit while watching Downton Abbey. And right after that, I get to flip over to the Blackhawks game. Yay!! I’m going to have an awesome Sunday night!!

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First FO of 2013 – Sockhead Hat

Posted by Andi on January 9, 2013

Sockhead Hat

Pattern: Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure
Yarn: Evermore Studios Sugar Baby Sock Yarn in Chocolate Gradient
Needles: US 2
Date started: January 1, 2013
Date completed: January 5, 2012

Not only was this my first FO in 2013, it was made entirely in 2013. This hat was so easy to make. Ribbing, stockinette, and some basic decreasing. The lighting isn’t great in this picture, but I love the color as well. It reminds me of pouring milk into coffee.

I have a little head, so I prefer the ribbing folded over as you see in the picture above. Here is how it looks without it folded over:

Sockhead Hat

This is my first hat for the January Hat Trick, where we try to knit three hats in January. I cast on a second one Monday night, and will cast on a third tonight. My goal is four, because there are four hats I want!

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Tonight’s the night!

Posted by Andi on January 6, 2013

Downton Abbey, Series 3 premiers in the US tonight. And, just like many other knitters who love Downton Abbey, I’m going to take part in the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool.

I spent a lot of time and energy trying to choose a yarn for this KAL. I did not decide to jump in until after the Christmas at Downton colorway of Lorna’s Laces Sportmate, or any of the other appropriately sized yarn bases, was sold out. They made more, but the yarn won’t be available in time to cast on tonight, so I decided to use something else. At first I considered ordering another yarn, but ultimately decided to go with something in my stash.

I had several sport weight yarns in my stash to choose from, and was having a hard time deciding because I didn’t actually know what I was going to be knitting. All I knew was that it was an accessory that wasn’t a hat or socks. After narrowing my choices down to two yarns, I kept asking myself which I would want to use for a scarf, gloves, cowl, etch. Ultimately, I decided on this:

Studio Jane Yarn

It’s hard to see in this picture, but the yarn is black with two different purples. One is more of a bluish purple, while the other is a reddish purple – almost maroon or so. We had gauge info in advance, so I made a swatch.

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL gauge swatch

This picture is a bit bright, but you get the idea. At first I was going to use DPNs, but now I’m thinking of using the magic loop method. I will use the same size needle, but the DPNs are metal and the circular needle is wood, so I’m not sure how well this will work out.

Clue #1 was posted earlier today, so I already know what the accessory is. I think I made the right yarn choice. So shortly before Downton Abbey starts tonight I will cast on. I figure the counting will require too many cognitive resources, so I want to make sure I’m done with that before the show starts.

Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, THE NHL LOCKOUT IS OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!

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Last FO of 2012 – Albert Goldman Socks

Posted by Andi on January 4, 2013

Albert Goldman Socks
Pattern: Serendipity Socks by Ellie Putz
Yarn: Fleur de Fiber Arden in Potlucky
Needles: US 1
Date started: November 10, 2012
Date completed: December 31, 2012

This is the last project I finished in 2012. I literally finished and blocked them on the night of December 21.

This is actually a poor picture. The color is off. Here is what the color should really look like.

Fleur de Fiber Arden

The length of time it took me to finish these socks is a bit misleading, as I put them down for quite a while to work on Christmas knitting. This was actually a very easy to memorize pattern, and the socks knit up fairly quickly when I was working on them.

You may wonder why I call these my Albert Goldman socks. If you have seen the film The Birdcage, you would know. Albert Goldman is a character played by Nathan Lane, and at one point he’s wearing bright pink socks. The yarn reminded me of those socks.

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Hexipuffing, Month 16

Posted by Andi on January 2, 2013

Hexipuffing, Month 16

I knit eight more in late November/early December, bringing the total to 132. I made a few puffs with new yarns from finished objects and new scraps given to me by others. It’s going slowly. With the hat trick this month (knit three hats in January) and the Downton Abbey KAL, I’m not sure I’m going to get any puffs made this month. Progress is slow.

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Christmas Baking

Posted by Andi on January 1, 2013

I did a little less baking for Christmas this year than I had last year. Tim made a carrot cake, and I didn’t have time to make another dessert, so I made two types of cookies.

The first batch of cookies I made were ginger snaps. I made the dough the Saturday before Christmas. According to the recipe, the dough is to chill in the refrigerator for an hour before being rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. So I made the dough, put it in the fridge, and waited. It took it out and started rolling it out, and it was still so soft. Clearly an hour wasn’t enough, or so I thought, so I put it back into the refrigerator to chill overnight.

Sunday morning the dough was much harder, so I started rolling it out. However, in the few minutes it took to roll it out, it became really soft again. Seriously, there was no get the shapes cut by the cookie cutters out and onto a baking sheet without totally mangling them. I followed the recipe exactly, but this dough would not hold shape enough to get a spatula under it after only a few minutes. Frustrated, I rolled the dough into cylinders and put it back into the refrigerator to chill yet again. This time, when I took it out, I just used a knife to cut the dough off the cylinder. They are a bit deformed looking but tasted really good.

Gingersnaps

They were very flavorful. I would be willing to use this recipe again flavor-wise, but I would either cut the dough with a knife or experiment with just dropping dough onto the baking sheet.

The second type of cookies I made was the crescent cookies my grandmother used to make for every holiday. They are my dad’s favorite cookie. I made them last year for the first time and was worried they wouldn’t turn out like my grandmother’s did, and he would be disappointed. But he loved them. So I made them again this year. I put some out on Christmas eve for our guests to have, and brought the rest over to my dad’s on Christmas day.

Crescents

These cookies are very easy to make, with just a few ingredients. I might make them more often. They are so easy and tasty. Every year I try to make other cookies, but these simple ones always turn out the best.

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