Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for April, 2015

In Which I Showed Great Restraint

Posted by Andi on April 26, 2015

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to YarnCon this year because of my schedule. I was out of town on Saturday and flew home on Sunday after a long, hard week and didn’t think I would have the energy for it. But on Sunday morning I saw pics on Facebook and Instagram of my friends’ purchases I decided I had to go.

There were so many beautiful things I wanted to buy, but I amazingly showed restraint. Here is what I got.

My #YarnCon haul. #knitting

I needed a sort of “in-between” size project bag – for something bigger than socks but not sweater-sized. I saw some Cubs ones and a Walking Dead one, but decided to go with this general zombie one from Art Institchtute. I could buy all her bags. Many have skulls!

The yarn in the middle is The Cyborg’s Craft Room Assockilate in the Neon Decay colorway. I wanted so many skeins of yarn in this booth, and after standing there for a long time I bought this one (I was limiting myself to only one). The yarns that drew me in at that booth had black with some bright colors. They looked like the colors you see in space photos.

The yarn on the right is Leading Men Fiber Arts Soliloquy in Into the Woods. It’s 657 yards of fingering weight yarn. I have several skeins of Leading Men Fiber Arts yarn, but I really wanted a skein of this yarn because of the yardage. Usually sock yarn skeins have 350-450 yards. This would allow me to make a larger project without having to buy two skeins of yarn and having a ton left over. I’ve been contemplating patterns to couple with this yarn, and have some narrowing down to do.

And that’s it! That was all I got. I saw so many more skeins of yarn, project bags, pottery, jewelry, buttons and other beautiful things, but I limited myself to these three items. I think this is the least amount of money I have spent at YarnCon in several years.

But there were several things I really wanted and skipped out on. The main thing I decided not to buy was some Bijou Basin Ranch yarn, specifically yak blend yarns. I’ve been wanting some of that yarn for a long time. It’s expensive because it’s a luxury fiber, but it’s gorgeous. I was going to buy some yarn — I settled on a yak/silk blend lace weight yarn — but I didn’t have a pattern in mind and didn’t want to buy a random amount. I think I might buy some of that yarn in the fall, when I have a specific pattern in mind. It will be mine, someday.

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Rosen Bridge

Posted by Andi on April 19, 2015

Rosen Bridge
Pattern: Rosen Bridge by Martina Behm
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace in 7120 Sea Mist, 3.76 skeins (1,643.1 yards)
Needles: US 5
Date started: January 6, 2015
Date completed: April 6, 2015

I was gifted this pattern from the hosts of the KnerdGirl Knits videocast around the holidays. I was thrilled because I almost bought it a couple of days earlier, but didn’t, so it was such a pleasant surprise when I found out I won it!

This is the first Martina Behm pattern I have knit. I love how sophisticated it looks, but it didn’t start out that way. As I was knitting it, the yarn looked more rustic than I would like, and while it still looked ruffly, I wasn’t sure I was happy with it. That was kind of discouraging because it involved knitting stockinette stitch with many, many, many yards of laceweight yarn. I was concerned I would spend all this time working on this project and not like the finished item.

But I do like it. In fact, I love it!

Rosen Bridge

Blocking made a world of difference. The rusticness of the yarn, while still a bit evident close up, was diminished and it started to look a lot more sophisticated.

The thing I love best about this project is that it can be worn multiple ways. It can be used flat and worn as a shawl, but because it was knit in the round it can also be worn as a cowl. Because of that flexibility, I bet I will wear it a lot next winter. And by winter, I mean winter. Because the yarn is 100% alpaca it is super warm and fluffy. I could only stand wearing it in the below picture long enough for the picture to get snapped because I was getting hot.

Rosen Bridge

I adore how this shawl/cowl turned out, but man, this was the project that would never end. The great thing, though, was that it was a super easy knit, perfect for knitting in front of the television. Oh, the number of hours I watched hockey while knitting this. There are a lot of cheers, boos, and yelling at the television knit into this project!

Now, the numbers. Right before I finished this I bought some yarn to make a jacket, and that was a lot of yards in such that I had only knit 33.4% of the yards I had taken in. However, adding the 1,643.1 yards nearly doubled my yards out for the year in one project. I know have knit 3,131.4 yards, which brought the percentage all the way up to 70.1%! Woo hoo! Even better, I was recently contacted by someone on Ravelry who wanted to buy my leftover yarn from a project. I sent 90 yards of yarn to her, so that makes 3,231.4 yards out compared to 4,483.2 yards in, for 72.1%.

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Sierra Socks

Posted by Andi on April 5, 2015

Sierra Socks
Pattern: Improvised using Sockulator app
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 100 in Sierra, .62 skein (288.3 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: February 22, 2015
Date completed: March 31, 2015

This yarn had been in my stash forever. I had this yarn before I joined Ravelry in August, 2007. I’m not sure when exactly I bought it. I finally decided I needed to knit this.

Because of how thin the stripes are I figured I had to make a plain vanilla sock. I didn’t use a particular pattern when making this sock. I just cast on 64 stitches and went from there. A Ravelry friend made an app that I was testing to calculate the heel flap and heel turn pattern instructions. It worked really well, and I’m trying it wit a new pair of socks as well.

I am a bit disappointed with the yarn. If you look at the leg of the sock on the right, you will see a very defined section of faux fair isle with a red that is as dark as the red stripe. But if you look at the foot and at the other sock, you will see that the red bits aren’t nearly as dark. In this picture it almost looks like white-ish stripes instead of faux fair isle, though it’s a little more apparent in person. I wish it was like the right sock the whole way through. Oh well, there’s nothing I can do about that.

These socks used up 288.3 yards of yarn, bringing my total knit to 1,498.3 yards. With all of my recent yarn purchases and repurposing, I have taken in 4,493.2 yards. Doing the calculations, I have knit 33.4% of the number of yards I have taken in. That is not good, but my percentage will be much better in the next few days when the Neverending Project is finally finished.

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New Yarn and New Old Yarn

Posted by Andi on April 1, 2015

There were a couple of weeks in the first part of March where I wasn’t knitting very much because of a repetitive stress injury. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t doing anything crafty, I just wasn’t knitting.

Besides starting to sew together my hexipuffs, I started my first attempt at repurposing yarn. I had this scarf that I really didn’t like much and haven’t worn in years.

Former scarf

I have a hat that matches it that I really like, but I was disappointed in how the scarf turned out. Since I couldn’t knit with my hands, I decided to frog the scarf and wash the yarn to get the kinks out. The yarn wasn’t in the best of shape and broke in a few places as I was unraveling it or balling it back up. I’m not sure if it was because of the moth issue from a couple of years ago or if I was handling the yarn too forcefully. Either way, here is what I was able to repurpose.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in Maple Grove

By weight, this is 1.88 skeins (262.2 yards) of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky in the Maple Grove colorway. I don’t know where the rest of the yarn is. I’m sure the leftovers are in my craft room somewhere, but I’m not sure I would use them together as they might look different now. After frogging the scarf I started looking for new things I could make with the yarn, and I think I settled on the Linen Stitch Cowl.

Around the same time, Knit Picks was having a sale on its green yarns in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t going to get anything, but then I remembered that I didn’t have yarn to make Emmery. I bought the pattern several years ago at Stitches Midwest, and never got around to buying yarn and making the sweater. I also don’t buy much sport weight yarn, so I didn’t have anything in my stash that would work. I figured this was the perfect time to get yarn for this project.

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in Aurora Heather

I choose Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport in the Aurora Heather colorway. I needed to purchase 12 skeins (1644 yards). In some ways this is a successful destash because I’m going to be using a pattern I’ve had for a long time that I paid for, but I had to buy almost a mile’s worth of yarn to destash a pattern! I’m hoping I already have some buttons in my small button stash to use.

I’m glad my hand and arm pain went away so that I could knit again because that means I have stopped buying yarn. I’m really in the hole yardage-wise now. Time to get knitting!

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