Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for April, 2013

FO: Stockholm Scarf

Posted by Andi on April 27, 2013

Stockholm Scarf
Pattern: Stockholm Scarf by knittedblissJC
Yarn: Michell & CIA Indiecita DK, 4.84 skeins
Needles: US 9
Date started: March 22, 2013
Date completed: April 17, 2013

This cowl/infinity scarf/whatever you want to call it is as soft as a cloud. It is quite possible the softest yarn I own. The yarn is undyed alpaca yarn that a member of my knit group brought back from a trip to Peru.

This pattern is written to be knit flat. I knit it in the round, and got messed up at first. I went through Ravelry comments for the pattern and found those who had already figured out how to knit it in the round. It meant casting on two fewer stitches than I thought, and swapping two rows. Thankfully I had only knit four rounds before I realized there was a problem.

The great thing about this pattern is that it is reversible. I have other cowls where, if they hang open a bit in front, exposing the wrong side, it looks weird. Because this one is reversible it doesn’t matter if someone can see the wrong side because it looks exactly the same. I never thought of that. The only other cowls I’ve seen where that works were knit in the round and are giant tubes. This is great.

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YarnCon 2013

Posted by Andi on April 19, 2013

Wow, I haven’t posted in quite a while. I have been very busy lately and, between work, vacation, and developing a new exercise program for myself, I haven’t had much time to blog. However, a lot has been happening, so here we go.

YarnCon was two weeks ago. It was a two-day event this year, and I went on Saturday morning. I got there before the doors opened, but not early enough to get one of the free goodie bags.

Normally when I go to an event like this I walk around and look at all the booths before finding anything. Usually I have a strict budget, so I want to make sure I’m getting what I really want. I don’t want to spend money on a few things, then find something I like more and not have the money for it. That was my plan for this year as well, however, I did buy one thing immediately. I always check out the Piddleloop booth to see my friend Jen. Even if I didn’t know her, I would still love the bags made by her and her sister. This year they had a handful of Hello Kitty bags. If you know me well, you know I love Hello Kitty. As a matter of fact, when I was in Las Vegas earlier that week I saw a fantastic Hello Kitty tote bag in a shop in New York New York, but didn’t buy it because I could not justify spending $74 on a tote bag. So I was able to buy a much more reasonably priced Hello Kitty project bag! And really, can you have too many project bags? Isn’t it cute?

Hello Kitty Piddleloop Bag

I looked around the other booths for awhile and pondered my future purchases. I then listened to a talk by Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm. She discussed how she went from being a news producer to owning sheep, and starting a fiber CSA. It was so interesting, and even though it’s clearly very hard work, has me wanting to ditch everything and start that alpaca farm I want so badly. There was a booth next to where she was speaking that was selling copies of By Hand Magazine. It’s a fairly new magazine, and Susan Gibbs is the editor-in-chief. It’s great. It includes recipes, knitting patterns, carpentry, gardening, among other things. I love the two issues I bought, and plan to buy future issues.

Next, I bought yarn. There was so much beautiful yarn, that in order to narrow the possibilities down I decided that I was only going to buy yarn from vendors I haven’t bought yarn from before. That eliminated three vendors.

The first skein of yarn I bought was from The Wool Dispensary. I almost bought some of their yarn at the last YarnCon, but ultimately didn’t. I chose a skein of Useful Stimulant sock yarn in the color Badass Unicorn.

The Wool Dispensary Useful Stimulant

This is not a great photo. The yarn is brighter than it looks above. It was such a beautiful purple that as soon as I saw it I knew it was the skein I had to buy.

Next I went back to the magic and moonshine booth where there were so many skeins of beautiful colorful yarn, much of which was self-striping. The yarn that intrigued me most were the handkerchief trick yarn cakes. These were yarns with longer blocks of color. There were so many colors to choose from, but I ended up buying perhaps the least colorful skein they had.

magic and moonshine handkerchief trick

Guess why? Blackhawks colors, of course!!

There was so much more I wanted to buy, including a wire knit bracelet kit and felted earrings. I hope those vendors are there next year.

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New peppers

Posted by Andi on April 2, 2013

At the end of last summer Tim’s dad gave us a pepper plant that had been in his parents’ back yard. I’m happy to report that the plant is still alive.

It started flowering a few week ago, and I became excited about the prospect of new peppers while it was still too cold to get our garden going. Tim said that even though there were flowers we likely wouldn’t get peppers, because we weren’t sure how they would be pollinated if they weren’t outside.

Lookie, peppers!!

New peppers

Tim used a skewer to pollinate the flowers, and we now have 10 little peppers. Maybe we’ll be lucky and be able to keep this plant for a few years and get lots of peppers from it, even though it’s inside!

Speaking of the garden, we still have to figure out what we’re going to plant this year. Last year was so hot and dry that a lot of what we planted failed to grow until we replanted toward the end of the summer. We have to decide whether to try certain things again, like the eggplant, or try new things.

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