Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for January, 2014

First FO of 2014

Posted by Andi on January 26, 2014

Normally on January 1, while watching the Winter Classic, I would be casting on my first hat in my attempt at the Puck This! hat trick. I decided to forego the hat trick this year for several reasons. First, in going through all of my knit accessories I realized I have a ton of hats, many of which I don’t wear. Do I need more? Second, all the hats I had in mind would have required me to purchase the patterns and appropriate yarn, and since I’m trying to use what I have in 2014 as much as possible, and in light of the fact that I have a gazillion hats already, I really didn’t need to purchase patterns and yarn for yet more hats. And third, I didn’t know if I would have time in January to knit three hats, and I would be annoyed with myself if I didn’t pull it off.

With all that in mind, this is what I cast on while watching the Winter Classic:

Plot Twist Shell
Pattern: Plot Twist Shell by Amy Kaspar
Yarn: Cascade Eco+ in Peony Pink, 1 skein
Needles: US 10
Date started: January 1, 2014
Date completed: January 17, 2014

Yes, this shell only required one skein of Eco+ for my size, but it used almost the whole skein. I really thought I was going to run out of yarn before binding off. I actually started knitting faster and realized it was out of hope that the faster I knit the less likely it would be that I would run out of yarn. Yeah, like that’s logical. Anyway, it all worked out.

The pattern was a free pattern I received from a local yarn store during the Chicagoland Yarn Crawl last summer. For those of you reading who aren’t from the Chicago area, around the time of Stitches Midwest the local yarn stores in the Chicago area host a yarn crawl. Each store has a free pattern, and most stores have 10% off. There are also chances to win gift baskets at the participating stores, and additional prizes if you visit a certain number of stores. I went to five stores, but forgot to take the free pattern at one of them. Anyway, this is one of the patterns I got.

What I like about this is the various ways I can wear it. I can wear it with a long sleeved shirt as you can see in the picture. I can wear it sleeveless. I can also wear it under a jacket. I think I will get a lot of use out of it.

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Wherein Tim gets new gloves

Posted by Andi on January 25, 2014

In my attempt to be frugal, especially where knitting is concerned, I’m making a concerted effort to use patterns I already own and yarn from my stash where possible. Sure, there are tons of free patterns out there, but I own so many already that I want to use what I have where I can. That’s not to say I will not buy a new pattern or new yarn. I mean, I’m not going to use just any fingering weight yarn for any sock pattern. I want the yarn and pattern to match well. However, I’m just trying to see if I can find that perfect match up with items I already have.

So when Tim wore a ton of holes into the gloves I made him a few years back, I started searching my pattern library for a pattern for men’s gloves. Once I found a few, I searched my stash to see if I had any yarn that would work well with the various patterns I found. Here’s what I came up with.

Go Anywhere Gloves
Pattern: Go Anywhere Gloves by Kristin Spurkland
Yarn: Fiber Optic Yarns Foot Notes in Sapphire Batik, .45 skein
Needles: US 2 and US 3
Date started: January 18, 2014
Date completed: January 25, 2014

I bought this yarn last year when Frances and I went to The Fold instead of Greencastle because of flooding. I bought this yarn with Tim in mind. He loves bright blue. I figured I would make him a pair of socks out of this yarn, but when I found a glove pattern that used fingering weight yarn I figured this would be as good of a use for this yarn as any.

One thing I didn’t particularly like about this pattern is that it used fingering weight yarn, but the main part of the glove is knit with a size 3 needle. The resulting fabric isn’t very dense, and when the glove stretches a bit on the hand it can be drafty. The last pair of gloves I made for Tim were made out of worsted weight yarn and size 4 needles, making a thick and non-drafty fabric. However, these gloves aren’t Tim’s primary source of warmth. Tim wears a thin glove for dexterity. These new gloves will be worn over the thin gloves for a bit of extra warmth. Since that’s the case, these work out great. But if he didn’t have a layer under them, they would let too much cold air in.

He seems to really like them, and likes the fact that most of the blue part of the yarn is the same color as the Tardis. Overall, success!!

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Resolutions, 2014 Edition

Posted by Andi on January 2, 2014

I have several new year’s resolutions this year, and I can break them down into three categories: exercise, knitting, and life.

Exercise

I haven’t discussed exercise much on this blog, but it’s something I’ve tried, with various levels of success, to do more frequently last year. I started by doing strength exercises, and then I started running. After a while, probably because I was training for my first 5k, I skipped other forms of exercise in favor of running only. That became the habit, so when it’s been too snowy or icy to run, I’ve not done exercise. In order to find a good balance and continue moving forward with my goals, I resolve to do the following:

1. Run 300 miles. I ran 116 miles during the approximately six months of running I did in 2013. Some of that is walking because I sometimes do intervals. I was able to do longer distances in later months than I did in earlier months, so I think if I run the whole year 300 miles should be possible.

2. Exercise at least three days a week, no matter what. Most weeks I hope to exercise more than three days, but I think in order to really solidify exercise as a habit I have to make sure I exercise regularly during really busy weeks. Next week will be a good test as I will be traveling a lot and won’t have a lot of time. I won’t want to wake up earlier than necessary because I’m going to be tired. I need to find ways to work exercise into my schedule during weeks like that. I’m sure I will feel better if I do.

Knitting

1. Finally make the amigurumi vegetables. I’ve had the yarn for a while. It’s time.

2. Use more stash yarn. Some yarns have been in my stash for a long time. I need to start using them or get rid of them. I spent some time matching patterns with yarns. A couple of months ago I frogged some UFOs to salvage the yarn, and got rid of some nasty yarn. This serves two purposes. First, it will help me be more frugal (see below). Second, I vowed my stash would fit in the two sets of drawers I have, and guess what, it could now fill up a third. That’s ridiculous. I need my yarn to take up less space.

3. It’s not really knitting, but I want to develop my crochet skills.

4. Start making hexipuffs again. I haven’t made a hexipuff in months. I want to make at least 5 a month. It really shouldn’t be difficult.

Life

1. Read 12 books. I want to start reading more. I have so many books I haven’t read, and I still want to read them. It’s time to get started. There are three books I’m currently reading, but I’m not very far into any of them, so they will all count toward the goal.

2. Be more frugal. I’m pretty good at managing finances, but there is probably more waste in there than I would like. Trim the fat, so to speak. I want to get the biggest bang for my buck and save the rest. One part of that, as mentioned above, is knitting from my stash. I bought those yarns because I like them. They aren’t there for decoration, they are there for me to use. It’s time to use them. That’s not to say I won’t buy any yarn this year, but I’m going to be pickier about it.

So that’s it. I think that is manageable.

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A bright orange hat for the new year

Posted by Andi on January 1, 2014

I had put the orange hat I was making for Tim aside for quite a while so that I could complete some gifts and other projects. I finally turned back to it a few days ago, and I managed to finish it before midnight, making it my last FO of 2013.

Honeycomb cable reversible hat
Pattern: Honeycomb cable reversible hat by Dove Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted in color 479
Needles: US 6
Date started: October 13, 2013
Date completed: December 31, 2013

This hat has an interesting construction. To explain fully, here is a picture of the reverse side.

Honeycomb cable reversible hat

It starts as a bottom up hat, with the ribbed cuff on the reverse side. The main body part of the hat is the cable part. You decrease like normal and have one hat. Then you pick up stitches around the cuff, knitting in the opposite direction of the first hat. You start with the cabled cuff, then continue to the main part of the ribbed hat. The whole thing ends up egg shaped until you fold one side into the other.

For some reason I thought it was going to be a bit tight on Tim, but it fits him well. He hasn’t decided which side he prefers.

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