Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for January, 2015

Hat Trick 2015

Posted by Andi on January 25, 2015

I was really looking forward to January rolling around this year in order to participate in the Puck This! group on Ravelry’s January Hat Trick. The timing is perfect. I have yarn I want to destash, and I had some yarn I knew I wanted to use to make a hat. I have completed my hat trick. Here are my goals!

The Proverbial Cap
Pattern: The Proverbial Cap by Meg Swansen
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in 893, .62 skeins (136.4 yards)
Needles: US 4
Date started: January 1, 2015
Date completed: January 4, 2015

This was my first hat to make sure I got it done by the end of the month. One of my friends is collecting items for a charity auction next month. We knit red items because the theme is Go Red for Women. The had had to be finished by the end of the month. The first few rows took forever, and I thought this hat might take the whole month. However, after a few rows the pattern started to become more intuitive, and I was able to finish it quickly.

Hallgrim Hat
Pattern: Hallgrim Hat by Charles D. Grandy
Yarn: Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop DK in 444, .66 skein (169.6 yards)
Needles: US 4
Date started: January 4, 2015
Date completed: January 11, 2015

I bought this yarn when I was in Pennsylvania back in August with the intention of making a hat. I held onto this skein of yarn until January for that reason. I thought the cable in this pattern would be interesting and show off the yarn well. My head is small and I have really thin hair, so hats are often big for me. But the first hat fit fine, and I went down a needle size with this one, so I thought I would be fine. But, as you might be able to tell, it’s a bit loose. It’s not loose enough to come off, though, so it actually reduces hat head. This is that hat I will wear when I need to be in a professional situation or I’m going somewhere nice.

Karn
Pattern: Karn by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in 300007, 1.72 skeins (172 yards)
Needles: US 8
Date started: January 11, 2015
Date completed: January 17, 2015

I used this yarn to make a sweater, and I didn’t think I had enough left to make much other than a hat. I’ve had this pattern book for years. I started to make a shawl in it, but didn’t get very far and quit. I did a library search on Ravelry for hats made with aran yarn and found this one. The stitch pattern is interesting, but it was knit flat and seamed. I debated knitting it in the round, but decided to get some seaming practice. My seam looks crappy because by the time it came to seam it up I really just wanted to be done with the hat and didn’t take the care with it that I should have. The great thing that came out of making this hat is the fact that I determined that the yarn I had for that shawl I stopped making is enough to make a cute top in the pattern book, so I discovered something else I can make later in the year.

I was glad to get some yards out right away in the beginning of the year: 478 yards! However, a friend gave me some sock yarn leftovers for my Beekeeper’s Quilt, and I estimate about 1,008 yards of sock yarn was in that bag. So I’m at 47.4%. I have a lot of work to do!

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2015 Resolutions

Posted by Andi on January 18, 2015

I have made some knitting resolutions just year, just as I do every year. I made fewer this year because most years I make a bunch of resolutions and don’t stick to most of them, so this year I only have three.

1. Finally knit my vegetables. I need to get many skeins of Cascade 200 wound and ready to make vegetables. They will be the perfect project for the summer because they are small — no sweater or blanket on your lap in the summer!

2. Go through the bin of damaged knitwear, and either repair or frog as needed. As you may remember I had a moth or carpet beetle problem so that I ended up with small holes in some of my knitwear. They have all been washed and have been sitting in a bin with moth balls. I need to decide which things I’m going to repair and wear again, and which I’m going to frog. I never wore some of the shawls, and I figure I should repurpose the yarn.

I’ve been holding off on some of the repairs because in my mind they seem difficult — they are in places with intricate stitch patterns, and may involve more than one stitch. My goal was to start with a pair of fingerless gloves with an itty bitty hole in the inside of the thumb. The yarn is black so, which it will be difficult to work with, it will be difficult for others to see it.

However, I ended up starting with a sweater I recently made, which I found last week had a hole in it. This wasn’t due to a moth or carpet beetle, it just caught on something, or I wove it in poorly and the ends came out.

Sweater repair

Since it was pretty much just a dropped stitch I thought this would be an easy repair. And it was. I started by lifting the stitch back up.

Sweater repair

I threaded a bit of yarn through the stitch, pulled it to the wrong side, and wove those ends in. The hole was fixed, and I think it looks pretty good!

Sweater repair

So I have to keep progressing on the other things that need to be repair. Some will be basic fixes like this, and some won’t.

3. Yards in/yards out — knit more yards than I acquire. So far I’m off to a good start. I have three FOs, and haven’t purchased any yarn yet. The problem is, since I’m going to be frogging projects and repurposing yarn, that means more yarn is going to be entering my stash… again. I know there are at least three projects I’m going to frog, so I figure that is somewhere between 700 and 900 yards. Ugh! So I’m going to have to be particularly careful with purchasing yarn this year.

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Last 2 FOs of 2014

Posted by Andi on January 3, 2015

After completing my Christmas knitting and my Mosaic Mitts, I had to figure out what to knit for the rest of the year. I wanted to knit things that I could easily finish by December 31. I came up with two more things.

Outlier
Pattern: Outlier by Laura Aylor
Yarn: Needful Yarns Woodstock in the 5368 colorway
Needles: US 11
Date started: December 20, 2014
Date completed: December 24, 2014

This was a mystery knitalong that was described as something you could wear as a cowl or a poncho made out of bulky yarn. This yarn was left over from a sweater I finished four or five years ago. I had enough of the yarn to make a short sleeve one-button cardigan, but that idea started falling flat when I started wearing the sweater more often. I really didn’t want two garments out of the same yarn. So when this pattern came along, and it was free at first, I decided to give it a go.

There truly are many ways to wear this. You can wear it with the point on the side, much like a poncho, as I did in the picture. Or, you can move it about however you wish. I also thought it would be helpful to wear with my winter coat which had lost the top button — I would wear it with the point down in the middle in front. However, before I could do that, I got a new winter coat so that’s no longer an issue. Anyway, this is something that can be worn as a way to keep warm outside or inside, so that’s why I like it.

My First Möbius
Project: My First Möbius
Pattern: Jacky’s Birthday Moebius Cowl by Diane L. Augustin
Yarn: Tahki Yarns Pixie in the 003 colorway, 1.22 skeins (85.4 yards)
Needles: US 11
Date started: December 27, 2014
Date completed: December 27, 2014

This one had to be done, and here’s why. One of my friends from knit group hosted a pre-Christmas gathering at her home. If we cared to, we could wrap up some knitting-related gift and have an exchange at the party. I went to my LYS and bought a skein of yarn, and of course I felt totally smug because it was yarn I could buy and not have to count the yardage because I wasn’t keeping it. It as an excuse for me to go yarn shopping. How cool is that?

What I failed to consider, however, was that I might get some yarn in exchange. Which I did. Two balls of Takhi Yarns Pixie. It’s bulky yarn with only 75 yards per ball, so I figured I could make something out of it before the end of the year. I found this pattern in one of my knitting pattern-a-day calendars. I had never knit a möbius before, at least not on purpose, so I wanted to give it a try.

I had a hard time with the cast on at first, but eventually I got it. It was kind of cool to make. It takes a long circular needle which ends up being coiled, so it seems like you are knitting two rounds for every round, but you aren’t. Here is what it looks like.

Today I'm learning möbius knitting.

I’m happy with how it turned out. This isn’t really an accessory that can be used to keep warm, but it will still be fun to wear.

But that’s not all.

I started knitting a baby gift for a colleague whose wife is pregnant. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know about this blog, but I’m not going to post anything about it here just in case.

And finally, I still have a bit more knitting time available to me over the holidays, even after I finished these two projects. Lookie what I did!

Hexipuffs

Hexipuffs! Twelve of them!! I think that’s more than I made the rest of the year. I made maybe four of five of these on New Year’s Eve itself. Of course, now that we are in a new year, and I started another challenge (the Hat Trick, more on that later), I have put my hexipuffing supplies away.

And with that, on to my knitting totals of the year. I don’t know how much yarn exactly each hexipuff uses, but I think I remember the designer saying each takes about 10 yards of yarn, so I’m going with that. Thus, I was able to add 120 yards of yarn right there at the end of the year. That brings my total yards knit to 11,861.8. Do you know how much that really is? 6.7 miles of yarn!! As to how much I acquired, adding in the 140 yards of Takhi Yarns Pixie I got (the last to go into my stash) I acquired 11,213 yards of yarn. Doing the math, I knit 106% of the yards I acquired. I’m in the black for the year!!

I enjoyed keeping track of how much I knit and how much I took in. It really got me thinking of what yarn I have and what I can use. I will be doing the same challenge in 2015.

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