Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for December, 2014

Mosaic Mitts

Posted by Andi on December 31, 2014

I started the Mosaic Mitts back in March as a way to truly stash bust. All of the yarn I was using was leftovers from other projects.

Running out of yarn

The yellow came from a sweater I made for Tim several years ago. I think I used the red to make a baby hat and mittens for a friend who had a baby a few years ago, but I didn’t like how they turned out so I made a blanket instead. I think I tossed the hat and mittens, but I had some of the red left over. I figured I had the least amount of red, so it had to be the color used the least.

Onto the green. I thought the green came from a multicolored hat I made for myself several years ago. I chose it to be the color that gets used the most in these mitts because I have a second skein of that yarn in my stash. If I was able to just use the part of the skein I made the hat from that would have been great, but I did have extra. Or so I thought.

So I started these mitts in March, and finished the first mitt in maybe a couple of days. It was a quick knit given how intricate it looks. This pattern uses slip stitches instead of stranded colorwork, so you only knit with one color on each row. Easy!

I got partway through the cuff of the second mitt and was running out of the green yarn, so I went into my stash to get that second skein. That’s when I made a terrible discovery. It wasn’t the same green. It turns out the green I had been using wasn’t from the hat I made for myself, it was from a hat I made for a friend. And they were both Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn, both in shades of green, but not the same green. I did not have any more yarn from the hat I made my friend. It was gone.

Ugh, how did I not check before I got started? What was I going to do? I put the mitts into hibernation and ignored them for a few months. Sometime in the summer I realized I have a bunch of different shades of green in Cascade 220 that I am going to use to make my vegetables. I didn’t need too much yarn to finish the knits so I could finish the mitts, and still have enough for whichever vegetable I was going to make out of the skein. Certainly one of those had to match better than the Wool Ease! So I checked. None of them matched any better. The mitts went back into hibernation.

As the year was coming to the end, the mitts started nagging on my mind. Anyone who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I’ve been counting the yards of yarn I acquire and the yards of yarn I knit, in the hopes of knitting more than I add to my stash. I really wanted to finish the mitts by the end of the year, and if I had a replacement yarn I knew I could finish them quickly. After I finished my holiday gift knitting I started pondering what to do about the mitts.

I should add here that I thought about going to the store and buying another skein of the same green. The dye lot might be different, but it was probably the closest thing I could get. But given the whole yards in/yards out thing, I really didn’t want to buy an entire skein and only use a small fraction of it. I quickly dismissed it.

Anyway, so I was thinking about it again, and I realized that I had two shades of green left over from some Christmas stockings I made a few years ago, with an extra full skein of each. I got them out of my stash, and found that the fern color was the closest to the yarn I had been using as I had come across so far.

Best substitute I have

This picture actually makes it look more different than it is. The lighting is off. You know, these mitts are for me. They aren’t a gift. I’m not going to be wearing them in fancy situations. So I figured, screw it, I’m moving forward.

I brought the yarn to a get together one of my friends from knit group was having the Saturday before Christmas and worked on them there. I showed the other knitters, and they all agreed it was close enough. When I didn’t hold them directly next to each other they almost looked the same. So I carried on, and sure enough I finished the mitts that evening.

Mosaic Mitts
Pattern: Mosaic Mitts by Sandy Cushman
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Avocado, Yellow, (a red with unknown colorway name); and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted in Fern, .3 skeins, 120.5 yards total
Needles: US 4
Date started: March 10, 2014
Date completed: December 20, 2014

Yeah, they look different. But when I’m wearing them and they are on each had on opposite sides of my body it’s hard to tell. You would have to look really closely to notice the difference. Well, if you are reading this you now know they are different and would be able to tell. But let’s play a game. Let’s see how many people who don’t read this blog notice.

I was glad to finally finish them. They are very warm, probably the warmest fingerless mitts I have. I love them.

Now, the yardage. These mitts took up 120.5 yards. That’s 120.5 yards of true stash yarn, leftovers that I wasn’t sure when, if, or how I was going to use.

I’ve been looking for more and more projects like this — multicolored projects that only take a small amount of yarn in any one color. Perfect for leftovers!


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Finally, What I’ve Been Working On

Posted by Andi on December 27, 2014

I hadn’t posted much about my knitting progress until I finished my Jozi socks because what I had been working on was mostly Christmas presents. The presents have been given, so now I can post about them without spoiling any surprises.

Bigger on the Inside
Pattern: Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley
Yarn: The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Cobalt, 2.38 skeins (523.6 yards)
Needles: US 3
Date started: November 2, 2014
Date completed: December 22, 2014

This didn’t take nearly as long as the date completed suggests. I actually finished knitting it on November 30, I just didn’t get around to blocking it for a few weeks. This was part of Tim’s sister’s present. We got her some Doctor Who t-shirts, and I made her a Doctor Who shawl. I tried to find yarn that was as close to TARDIS blue as possible. This picture doesn’t show the yarn color correctly, but we were in a rush to take pictures and wrap the gift so I didn’t have time to find better lighting.

Here is a close up of the lace and TARDISes.

Bigger on the Inside

You may notice that this photo is taken of the wrong side of the shawl. I didn’t even notice that Tim was holding it backward until the shawl was already wrapped, so there was no chance to go back and take another picture.

This shawl has an interesting construction. The lace portion is knit first, and the bottom is actually the side of the shawl. Once that is done, the work is turned and you pick up over 300 stitches to start the TARDIS section. I had to wake up early on a Sunday morning, have a cup of coffee, and work on that part in silence. Once I picked up all the stitches the rest was cake.

Neapolitan Socks
Patterns: Vanilla Latte socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes and OMG Heel Socks by Megan Williams
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply in Brown Rose Marl, 1.16 skeins (192.6 yards)
Needles: US 0
Date started: December 1, 2014
Date completed: December 14, 2014

Originally the shawl was the only Christmas gift I was going to knit, but I decided Thanksgiving weekend to make socks for Tim’s mom. We found the yarn on Black Friday. I had been hearing lots of good things about Patons Kroy, how well the yarn wears, so I hoped they would make a good gift.

Normally, when I use self-striping or variegated yarns I don’t care if the socks match exactly. To me it’s part of the fun of having hand knit socks. But I know not everyone holds that view, and because these were for a gift I decided to try to get them to match. I used the OMG heel because all of the shaping is under the foot. In order for there to be some additional interest in the sock I used the stitch pattern from the Vanilla Latte socks. The stripes came out pretty close. It’s not perfectly exact, but Tim and I hoped his mom would think they were close enough. I really like how they turned out. I may have to buy some Patons Kroy to make some socks for myself!

This year I had the right balance of gift knitting. I made some gifts, but they weren’t the sort of things that I had to rush to finish. There was no stress over knitting too many gifts and not having enough time. I had plenty of time to get these done.

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Posted by Andi on December 20, 2014

Pattern: Jozi by Clare Devine
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Solemate in Cermak, .76 skeins
Needles: US 1
Date started: November 9, 2014
Date completed: December 19, 2014

Finally, a project I can talk about! I haven’t posted much because most of my knitting has been focused on holiday gifts. Those are all done now, so I’m back to knitting for myself. I started these socks in early November, then put them aside to work on gifts. I was able to start working on them again on a trip to Denver this week.

I made these socks as part of the Where I Live KAL from the Pink Hair Girl Podcast. She is from South Africa, and recently released a book of patterns inspired by South Africa called Mzansi South Africa on my Needles. The idea behind the Where I Live KAL is to make something that is somehow inspired by where you live. This is my project.

I live in the Chicago area. The yarn I used comes from a Chicago company. The colorway name is after a road that goes through the Chicago area, and is in my town. The road is named after Anton Cermak, a former mayor of Chicago. He was of Czech ancestry, and so am I. When the road was named after him it ran through a part of the Chicago area that had a large Czech-American population.

This is the first time I’ve worked with the Solemate. I liked knitting with it. It has a lovely sheen. The purpose of Solemate is that it is supposed to keep your feet warm when it’s cold and keep them cool when it’s warm. Today is the first day I wore them and I’ve been inside most of the day, so I can’t say how they work as far as temperature control goes. They are comfy, though.

These socks used 323 yards of yarn, bringing my total to 11,420.4 yards knit so far in 2014. I acquired 11,073 yards of yarn as of the time I finished these socks (yes, I got more yarn since then, but that’s for another post) bringing my percentage up to 103%. And although I bought more yarn, I can assure you that not only is the total acquired still lower than what I have knit up, but that I’m still knitting so that total is going to grow!

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