Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for April, 2014

Sallah Cowl

Posted by Andi on April 30, 2014

Sallah Cowl
Pattern: Sallah Cowl by Bristol Ivy
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Spotlight in Pipeline, .73 skeins
Needles: US 5 and US 10
Date started: April 17, 2014
Date completed: April 27, 2014

I had to knit this yarn up during the playoffs since it’s in Blackhawks colors.

This was a simple but interesting knit. Two needle sizes are used, alternating rows. This was the first project I have done in which my new interchangeable needle set came in handy. I put a size 5 tip on one end and a size 10 tip on the other end so I wouldn’t have to change needles every other row. It was great! The other great thing about the interchangeable set is that I was using the size 10 tips on another project, but I was able to take it off and put one of the end things on that cable so I could use the tip on this project. Perfect! How did I not get interchangeable needles a long time ago?

Now for the use of stash update. I bought this yarn at YarnCon earlier this month, so it was new yarn. The pattern is available for free on, so I didn’t already own the pattern. I used 292 yards of this yarn, so I have now knit 88.5% of the yardage I have purchased so far this year.

So now I’ve finished both of my playoff projects, and tonight is the last night of the first round. I even made a hat in between! I will be working on my Cowl Neck Vest through the rest of the playoffs.


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The Tale of the Cursed Yarn

Posted by Andi on April 27, 2014

Rock Creek Yarn Silk Lace

It’s so pretty, isn’t it? It looks so unassuming, all wound up in its hank. But don’t be fooled. This yarn is cursed. I have tried, not just once but three times, to make something out of this yarn, and have failed all three times.

Attempt Number 1: Upstairs
The pattern is simple enough, but I used the needle size called for in the pattern and it just didn’t look right. I would have had to go down two needle sizes for the shawl to look right. Honestly, I didn’t want to do that. The yarn is very thin without much of a halo, so I thought lace patterns with larger stockinette sections, such as Upstairs, wouldn’t be ideal for this yarn. I decided to move on.

Attempt Number 2: Grand Army Plaza Shawl
I really thought this would work. I really did. The shawl is lacy without stockinette, so it’s the perfect construction for this yarn. Things were going swimmingly well, except for one thing. The pattern includes p3tog, and the needle I was using wasn’t very pointy. Somewhere along the way I missed one of the stitches in a p3tog and didn’t notice it for a few rows. It ended up with a big hole in it. I had to frog it because I didn’t have another needle in the same size that was pointier. More on this later.

Attempt Number 3: Parquet Stole
I thought this one was going well, too. It is lacier than Upstairs, doesn’t have p3tog like the Grand Army Plaza Shawl. Should be golden, right? Wrong. Either there’s something wrong with the chart or I’m just an idiot and messed it up, but the lace isn’t coming out right. So this one will be frogged too.

I’m very angry with this yarn at this point. Clearly it’s the yarn’s fault it doesn’t work, not mine, right? Ha! Anyway, the Parquet Stole has been my travel project, but it won’t be anymore.

So now I have two decisions to make. The first is what my travel project is going to be. I have a few days to decide this one, but I already know it’s going to be socks. I’ve recently knit two other shawls and I have others in my queue that I want to do first, so socks it is.

Second, what am I going to do with this yarn? I will be honest — I considered throwing it away because we just don’t get along. But I’m going to keep it. It’s pretty. I get compliments on it when people see me working with it. With my new set of pointy interchangeable needles I think I can go back and make the Grand Army Plaza Shawl. It’s just going to be a while before we get there.

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Surplice Baby Jacket

Posted by Andi on April 23, 2014

Surplice Baby Jacket
Pattern: Surplice Baby Jacket WG50 SO43 by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Maple Grove, 1.17 skeins
Needles: US 3, 3.25 mm
Date started: April 15, 2014
Date completed: April 20, 2014

I made this for a coworker who is expecting and is due next month. She is having a girl. I had no idea what to make, and while I was going through my stash looking for a specific skein of yarn I stumbled across this yarn, which I forgot I had. I’m not one of those people who thinks babies need to wear pastel colors, but when I found this yarn and thought it looked kind of girly because of the pinkish tones in it, I thought it would suffice for a baby sweater. Now I’m not so sure because I’ve shown it to a few people who were surprised to see a baby garment in these colors. Is it just because it’s non-traditional, or is it because it’s just not okay? Oh well, this is what it is and i like it, and I hope my coworker and her husband do too.

This is the first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern I knit. The pattern was very vague. It was published in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Vogue Knitting, and I think what was written were the notes in EZ’s notebook. The schematic was a drawing. For several of the steps I had to think really hard about what it was telling me to do as it wasn’t obvious. Eventually I trusted the pattern, and sure enough, there were sleeves and it looked like a sweater all of a sudden!! The pattern says it is sort of adjustable, and that perhaps the fronts wrap around and meet in back when the baby is small. It grows as the baby grows. But it also called for buttons, which I thought would limit where it would close. On Ravelry I saw that many people knit i-cord and threaded it through the eyelets in order for it to be truly adjustable. I had more than enough yarn, so that’s what I did.

So, now it’s time for the yards in/yards out stats. This project was a deep stash buster, using a pattern I got in 2007 and yarn that has been in my stash since 2009 — 5 years!! I have now knit (not including WIPs) 2,670.6 yards, which is 78.6% of the total yardage I have purchased so far this year.

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Fields of Malachite

Posted by Andi on April 21, 2014

Fields of Malachite
Pattern: Fields of Malachite by Anna Dalvi
Yarn: madelinetosh tosh sock in Laurel, 1 skein
Needles: US 6
Date started: April 6, 2014
Date completed: April 20, 2014

This was a really quick knit. I think I waited as many days to block it as it took me to knit it. This pattern would be a fantastic first lacy shawl pattern for a beginning knitter. The chart was easy to read and it wasn’t complicated but still an interesting knit. And I seriously want to knit every pattern in the book this pattern is in — Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color by Anna Dalvi. The only thing I have to decide is whether I want to use the colors called for in each pattern. This one I figured had to be green, since malachite is green.

This was my first time using tosh sock. I initially had a cowl pattern in mind for this yarn, but I figured a shawl called Fields of Malachite would have to be green, and this was the green yarn I had that was closest in color to actual malachite. As I got toward the end I was really worried I would run out of yarn. It is expensive yarn, and I didn’t want to buy a whole skein for a few rows worth of yarn. In the end it wasn’t necessary — there’s actually enough to make a hexipuff or two! But I figured if I did have to buy more yarn I could still make the cowl. Oh well, I have plenty of other yarn.

I’m keeping track of how many yards of yarn I purchase this year, and how much yarn I knit up. I’m hoping I knit more yarn than I buy. After this project, 71.7% of the yardage I have bought since the beginning of the year. This was not a skein I bought this year. I had this yarn in my stash for about 11 months, which is pretty new as far as my stash goes.

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Playoff Projects

Posted by Andi on April 19, 2014

The NHL playoffs have started. This is my favorite time of year. I will watch as many of the playoff games as I can, and as such, I have to make sure I have knitting projects that are pretty easy so that if the game gets intense I don’t mess it up.

I have two projects going right now. Here is the first one:

Sallah Cowl

This is the Sallah Cowl. AS the colors suggest, I’m working on this project exclusively during Blackhawks games. As of this posting the Blackhawks have only played one game, so this is one game’s worth of knitting. I should finish the increasing and start on the body of the cowl during today’s game. This one might be a little tougher than I thought. It’s not difficult by any means, but it’s k-p-k-p over an over, like a 1×1 rib but it’s not ribbed. A straight stockinette project would have been a better choice, but it’s fine for now.

I have a second project that I knit during all of the other games.

Surplice Baby Jacket

This is the Surplice Baby Jacket. It’s garter stitch with some basic increasing and decreasing, perfect for watching hockey. I will finish this before the playoffs end.

I have a third project lined up because the above two projects are pretty small, and I should finish both before the playoffs end. I started the Cowl Neck Vest a while ago, and haven’t worked on it in a few weeks.

Cowl Neck Vest

It’s in stockinette stitch, so it will be perfect for those intense games.

I will be spending a lot of time watching hockey, but at least I will be productive at the same time.

Go Blackhawks!!!

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Posted by Andi on April 12, 2014

Pattern: Nori by Carissa Browning
Yarn: FibroFibers Nightfall Fingering Sock Set in Bottle Green, 1 skein
Needles: US 3
Date started: March 15, 2014
Date completed: April 6, 2014

I chose this patter because it was knit sideways. This yarn comes in two cakes, each of which goes from green to black or black to green depending on where you start. I also wanted a somewhat basic lace pattern because the change between the color flashes, it’s not a gradient, and I knew fancy lace would be lost in the colors.


I started on one side using the outside of the yarn cake, which was green. This pattern has a 12-row repeat, and I did enough repeats until there wasn’t enough yarn left to do another full repeat, then I started decreasing.


I was smart and used a lifeline in the process so that if I estimated wrong and didn’t have enough yarn to do another repeat I could just rip back to the lifeline and start decreasing from there. However, I was stupid and didn’t continue using lifelines after that. The lace pattern wasn’t difficult. But then, after doing a few decrease repeats, I discovered that I dropped a stitch, and it fell down far. I couldn’t just lift it back up because this pattern has lace knitting on both sides. I had to unknit at least 13 or 14 rows to fix it. I was hoping to wear it to YarnCon, but that delayed me enough that I didn’t finish it until too late. I starting using a lifeline after each pattern repeat after that.

Anyway, back to decreasing. When I started decreasing I pulled from the inside of the ball, which was black, in hopes that it would end up looking like the shawl version of a palindrome.


I didn’t use every bit of yarn from the first ball while increasing, so I tried to estimate how much to pull out of the center of the decreasing ball and remove so that the shawl would look the same on both sides. I don’t know if I didn’t pull enough black out of the center of the ball, or if the two balls didn’t have the same proportion of black or green, but if you look at the top picture you can see that there is less green on one side than the other. I even cut the yarn at one point and reattached the ball when it was more green, otherwise there might not have been any solid green on the second side. I was a bit disappointed by that, but when I wear if you can’t really tell since it’s wrapped around my neck.

Oh, and I used my brand new blocking wires for the first time on this project! This was a good first pattern to use blocking wires because there were obvious places to stick the wires through. It was so quick and easy. Why didn’t I buy blocking wires ages ago?

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YarnCon 2014: My Haul

Posted by Andi on April 6, 2014

YarnCon was this weekend, and of course I went.

I tried to give myself some ground rules. I was looking for a darning egg, a project back that is big enough to hold a sweater, a Cooperative Press book, and maybe some yarn. But I wanted to focus more on non-yarn purchases than yarn purchases.

Every time I go to a con or festival, I plan to do a lap around the whole festival and scope everything out before starting to spend all my money, then getting to the end and not being able to afford something I want more. This time I started out well. I made it through more than half of the booths before I bought something. But seriously, how could I pass this up?

Leading Men Fiber Arts

This is a skein of Leading Men Fiber Arts Spotlight sock yarn in the Pipeline colorway. One of the gentlemen at the booth told me it was a colorway dyed for a recent retreat, given the name I assume it was the Knitting Pipeline retreat, and there wasn’t a lot left. Those of you who know me well know why this colorway jumped out at me. BLACKHAWKS COLORS!!! With some enabling by my friend Mimi, I bought this before completing my first lap around. But BLACKHAWKS COLORS!!!

I bought one more item before completing my lap, but we were toward the end and it was something on my list to buy. The Carolina Fiber Co. booth had project bags that are big enough to hold a sweater! They had a few different fabrics, but I only saw one of this one and bought it right away in case it was the only one they had.

Knitdawk Rene Bag

I had to get it, because I love elephants. And yes, the makings for my Cowl Neck Vest is already in it. I’m not sure if the folks at Carolina Fiber Co. made this, or if they were just selling it. The tag said Knitdawg, and to find it on Etsy, but I couldn’t find it. If I do find it I will update this.

And I found a darning egg! It was hand carved by a man in Chicago. Isn’t it pretty?

Darning egg

I ran into some Stitch ‘n Bitch friends and showed them my darning egg, and some of them went over to the booth as well. I hope he sold some more.

As I was looking at the vendor list in advance I was really excited to see that Cooperative Press was going to have a booth. I have seen patterns from their e-books on Ravelry, and they look so cool. Also, the A Homespun House podcast is doing a Cooperative Press KAL, so I figured I would buy a book of patterns and participate in the KAL. There were so many cool books, and I wanted many of them. I finally decided to get Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color by Anna Dalvi. All of the patterns are shawls inspired by Egypt. I love every single shawl in the book and plan to make all of them. I might even cast on the first one tonight, but that’s a topic for another post.

Finally, I bought one more skein of yarn. When I arrived at the Hearthside Fibers booth I saw more sports themed yarns. I got this one.

Hearthside Fibers

I will be making new Chicago Bears socks for myself. There is more to this story, but that will be its own blog post down the line. I did find it amusing that both skeins of yarn I bought for myself had sports team colors. I did buy one more skein of yarn, but it wasn’t for me, so I’m not going to post about it here.

There were so many other things I wanted to buy, including half of the stuff in the Sun Valley Fibers booth and some Sophie’s Toes sock yarn, but I will have to wait. Perhaps I will see them at another festival, or order online one day.

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