Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for June, 2014

Jet Pack Bag

Posted by Andi on June 26, 2014

Jet Pack Bag
Pattern: Ditty Bags by Maia Discoe
Yarn: Frog Tree Pediboo in 1199, .36 skein
Needles: US 3
Date started: June 22, 2014
Date completed: June 23, 2014

I have a jet pack for work. No, not that kind of jet pack. It’s a little device and cord that I can use to access the internet remotely. I keep it in my work bag, but it kept falling to the bottom. Whenever I needed it I either easily found the cord but not the jet pack itself, or vice versa. While I was on a work trip last week I saw that one of my colleagues had hers in a little fabric bag, the type you get when you buy jewelry. I thought that was a great idea, and mentioned to her that I should make a drawstring bag for myself.

Although this technically took two days to complete (I finished the i-cord on Monday morning), this could have been done in one day. I decided to make it on Sunday. First, I went running and was so hot that even after taking a shower I was still sweating. I thought it would be best to knit something small as opposed to the sweater I’m working on. Also, once I got into the body of the bag it was straight stockinette in the round (there was an optional stitch pattern that I chose not to do) which was very easy to work on while watching the USMNT tie Portugal that evening.

It ended up being the perfect size. I might make these any time I have leftover sport weight yarn and use them to put gifts in.

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Still going, and going, and going…

Posted by Andi on June 22, 2014

Remember when I used to knit hexipuffs every month and post about how many I made each month and how many I had total? Yeah, I do too. And then I slacked off. I don’t know if I got busy knitting other things, whether the allure of the hexipuff wore off, probably a combination of the two. But for whatever reason, my hexipuff productivity dropped significantly. Remember when I said I wanted to knit five hexipuffs a month this year? Before last weekend I had only knit two.

I might finally be back on the bandwagon. It took not knowing what project to work on, but I might be getting there. Last Sunday we went over to my father and stepmother’s house for Father’s Day. I knew we would be sitting around, so I wanted to bring a knitting project with. I didn’t want to bring the sweater I’m making because it’s a gift and I’m not sure if the recipient is allergic to dogs or not. My dad and stepmother have two dogs. I had started another sock, but that was just to get it on the needles so I had a travel project available this past week. I didn’t want to get too much done on that. So I decided to take my hexipuff fixings, and I actually made four!

New hexipuffs #knitting

I made these out of four fingering weight yarns I’ve used recently. Clockwise from top left, I used the yarn from my Safari Socks, the yarn from my Kai-Mei socks, the yarn from my Sallah Cowl, and the yarn from the Shallows infinity scarf I made for a charity auction. One more hexipuff and I finish my goal for the month!

Going by the five a month goal I had, by the end of June I should be at 30 hexipuffs. I’m at six. At some point I would really like to catch up. The sweater I’m making has a deadline, and of course instead of making that today I will be casting on something else, so who knows when I will catch up. It will be the perfect project for hot summer days, though, so perhaps my hexipuff production will be dependent upon the weather.

I count each hexipuff as about 10 yards of yarn, although I’ve never specifically measured it. That’s what the designer said, so I’m going with that. Therefore, I’m counting these four hexipuffs as using 40 yards of yarn. That means I’ve now knit 123% of the yards I bought so far this year (4,737 yards knit, 3,857 yards purchased).

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Cowl Neck Vest

Posted by Andi on June 21, 2014

Cowl Neck Vest
Pattern: Cowl Neck Vest by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, from the book Knit Red: Stitching for Women’s Heart Health by Laura Zander
Yarn: Dream In Color Classy, 3.56 skeins (yarn was purchased at the Dream In Color warehouse sale and didn’t have labels, so I don’t know the color)
Needles: US 9 and 10
Date started: March 2014
Date completed: June 14, 2014

I was hoping to finish this in time for the Geeky Girls Knit March, April, May sweater KAL, but I just missed out. Oh well.

I had been wanting to knit this sweater for a while. I even bought some long sleeved t-shirts that I thought would look great with it a while back. At least I already have something to wear with it.

My favorite part of the sweater is the buttons. I almost didn’t get these buttons. My mom came with me to the fabric store to help me pick them out. I saw these buttons, but I only saw six and I needed 10. A bit later my mom held these buttons up and asked if I liked them. I said yes, but that there weren’t enough. Then I realized she was standing in a different spot than where I found these buttons. They were in two different places, and it turned out there were more than enough. There was no more looking after that.

Finishing a cardigan #knitting

This is my first cardigan with buttons. I had no experience with sewing buttons to yarn, so my mom helped me a bit. I sewed all but the first button on. They are all sturdy and look fine.

This yarn had been in my stash for a long time. I got it at the Dream In Color warehouse sale. They had put five skeins in a package and were selling it all together for $50, which is very cheap. I bought it in the summer of 2010. I still have about 1.5 skeins left, so I might make a hat or cowl or something. This project used 890 yards of yarn, and right now my yards out/yards in total is 122%! I have finally knit more than I have bought this year! The timing couldn’t be better. I just joined a sock club and will be getting three skeins of sock yarn in the coming months.

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Splish Splash

Posted by Andi on June 13, 2014

For years we’ve been buying those plastic poofy things to use in the shower, but for a while now they have been bothering me. They work great, but I hate all that plastic that ends up being thrown out. So I decided I was going to knit something for us to use in the bath. At first I was going to knit some scrubbies, but I heard they never quite dry and can get musty. Then I turned my attention to bath mitts.

Little Fishy Bath Mitt
Pattern: Little Fishy Bath Mitt by Alison Ziegler
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream in Warm Brown (.33 skein) and Sunshine (.27 skein)
Needles: US 8
Date started: May 27, 2014
Date completed: June 8, 2014

I made this one for Tim. I left the eyes off because Tim thought it was creepy, and the cuff is kind of tight so I thought sewing on the eyes would be more difficult than I wanted to deal with.

I made this one for myself.

Sunspot Bath Mitt
Pattern: Hannah’s Gifft Bag/Bath Mitt by Marlene Sigel
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream in Warm Brown (.36 skein) and Sunshine (.42 skein)
Needles: US 8
Date started: June 8, 2014
Date completed: June 10, 3014

This can be used as a bath mitt, but the photo on the pattern shows it as a gift back with soap. Here is what it would look like as a gift bag.

Sunspot Bath Mitt

I’m using the bow to hang it from our shower caddy.

The plan was for Tim to use the fish and me to use the other bath mitt to see how we like them. Then we will wash them and switch. After using them a couple of times, Tim likes the fish, but I’m still getting used to my bath mitt. The bath mitt is wide and my hand moves around in it, so I end up taking it off my hand and using it as a wash cloth. Perhaps I will get used to it, but if not I might as well just knit wash cloths. I have a couple more bath mitt patterns I might try out as well. I will continue to knit whichever mitts we like using.

The nice thing about both of these projects is that they don’t use a lot of yarn. I used the same skeins to make both, and still have enough yarn left over to make another fish.

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Safari Socks

Posted by Andi on June 10, 2014

When I bought new self-striping yarn on my birthday, I figured I would want to knit toe up socks and use a gusset or short row heel because, well, I don’t know, just because. Then I realized it had been forever since I knit a pair of toe up socks. You know what that means. Time to practice!

Safari Socks
Pattern: Gusset Heel Basic Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from the book Socks from the Toe Up
Yarn: Regia Silk Color in 0183, 1.44 skeins
Needles: US 1
Date started: May 26, 2014
Date completed: June 9, 2014

According to the pattern you can use whatever toe you want. I used Judy’s Magic Cast On. I had trouble with it in the past, but this time I was able to cast on and knit on the first go! For both socks! Yay me!

I couldn’t remember if I had made a gusset heel before, as opposed to the short row and slip stitch heels that the book I got the pattern from also explains. Honestly I was too lazy to look. I think I have done because I have a vague recollection that I did a few pairs of socks when I first got this book on purpose to try out a few of the different toes an heels. But I don’t have an independent recollection of doing the gusset heel. Here it is!

Safari Socks

I like that it’s just plain. We’ll see how it wears. It’s super easy. I use the magic loop method so I only have two needles. You increase the gusset stitches on one needle, then turn the heel. That’s it! One of the things I hate about top down socks is picking up the gusset stitches. I don’t know if I hate it enough to go through the cognitive effort to turn my top down patterns into toe up sock patterns, but if I have a choice I may go with toe up for that reason alone.

This isn’t the first time I tried to use this yarn. Way back in 2009 I tried making Jaywalker socks with this yarn. I remember working on them while I was watching the Winter Classic. That was the year it was at Wrigley Field and the Blackhawks played the Red Wings. But I digress. Anyway, as much as I like the way the colors striped and pooled on my Safari Socks, that’s how much I hated it on the Jaywalker Socks.

WIP - Jaywalker
WIP - Jaywalker

These pictures actually make it look better than it was. It was hideous. I frogged those socks, and the yarn sat in my stash until now. According to Ravelry I added this yarn to my Ravelry stash in August 2007, which is the day after I got my Ravelry account (#7614). So I’ve had it longer than that. It was about time that I used it.

The total yardage used on this project was 313.9 yards. After finishing this project I have knit 96.3% of the total yards I have purchased so far this year. I should say that includes one other finished object, which I finished before the socks but haven’t posted about it. That was a small yardage project, though, and I’m too lazy to do the math but it would only reduce the percentage by a few points. I’m so close to having knit all of the yards I have purchased!!

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Garden 2014: It starts!

Posted by Andi on June 8, 2014

It was a late spring this year, so we were a few weeks later in planting the garden this year. We finally got everything planted a couple of weeks ago. We are trying a few new things this year, such as zucchini, along with all of our old standbys.

This week a few plants started to sprout. Cucumbers, peas, zucchini, and radishes. It looks like the first radishes might be ready in a couple of weeks!

Radish plants #garden2014

In the past few years Tim would preserve some of the cucumbers and radishes by making refrigerator pickles. This year we finally bit the bullet and bought canning equipment, so we can can anything that is left over. My goal is to grow as much as we can of anything we can, and preserve the rest.

We also went to the farmers’ market yesterday for the first time this year. While we got a bunch of stuff, what I’m most excited about is the strawberries. I bought a quart, way more than I can eat, so I can make strawberry ice cream tonight and still have some left over to eat.

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