Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for August, 2015

I’m still knitting, but…

Posted by Andi on August 30, 2015

…I’m not finishing anything. With the exception of some time when I was too busy, I’ve really been in the mood to knit. The problem is that I wasn’t in the mood to knit any of my current WIPs.

I have a few projects I’ve been knitting on regularly. The project that has been on my needles the longest is Nuvem by Martina Behm. This is a pretty easy knit. It’s just stockinette stitch with some increasing. However, it keeps growing, and it now takes over 30 minutes to knit one round. I’m using two circular needles to knit it, and I feel like there are so many moving parts on the project (weird given how simple it is) to stop knitting in the middle of around, so I pretty much only start a row when I know I have at least a half hour to kill. My plan is to use all the yarn I have for it. I just attached the second of three skeins last night, so I’m one-third of the way through. I tried to use a Russian join, but that didn’t work too well. I think I did it right, I think the yarn wasn’t strong enough.

I had (yes had, past tense) been working on Bonny by Tin Can Knits. I was using a lovely silk lace weight yarn that I swear is cursed. This is the third project I’ve started with this yarn, and it’s the third project I gave up on. At first it was going well. I started it at the Blackhawks Convention since it was an easy project in the round. I added some ribbing because I feared the stockinette edge would roll up my body.

Blackhawks Convention knitting: Bonny by Tin Can Knits. Added k2p2 rib to the bottom to prevent rolling. #knitting #BHC2015

The yarn is gorgeous. It looks purple, and it is, but in the right light you can see it’s also gray.

So what was the problem? There were two. First, I didn’t get gauge, and was going to have to do a lot of math to figure out how to make it my size. That’s isn’t a big deal. If the second problem hadn’t occurred I would have done the math. Second, I snagged it. Because it is knit in a loose gauge, as I was pulling out the snag I couldn’t get those stitches to look even with the others around them, and I feared it wouldn’t block. Also, silk yarn is smooth and I thought wool yarn, even if it was snagged, would’t snag as much because it’s stickier. So I decided I would switch to some wool lacy weight yarn I have in my stash. I still haven’t frogged it, but that’s coming soon. I just didn’t want to look at it anymore.

Next is the Eowyn socks by Claire Ellen. I like these socks, but there are lots of charts and the pattern is huge. I didn’t want to print all that out, especially because I think the charts are small. I have only been working on this one at home, where I can sit next to my computer monitor and zoom in on the chart. I finished the first sock last week, and started the cable on the leg for sock two this week.

I could have kept it at that, but I didn’t feel any of those projects were good for airplane travel, either because of the large pattern or I didn’t have them on needles I wanted to risk taking through TSA. That meant it was time to cast on a new project. I chose Haruni with wooden needles and some yarn I got at a fiber festival a few years ago. It’s perfect for a travel project so I didn’t want to work on it at home – save it for the days I’m traveling. But that’s the only project I’m actually enthused about knitting, so I’ve been working on it more. Unfortunately the rows on this shawl are getting longer. Right now it takes about 10 minutes per row, but pretty soon I’m going to be done with the first chart and the second chart includes a lot of increases. Soon it’s going to take too long to finish a row to be good for traveling. I’m weird, if it isn’t basic stockinette I don’t like stopping in the middle of the row and put away my knitting. Perhaps I just need to get over that.

What I really need to do is pick one of these things and finish it so I can say I finished something.

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Working the System

Posted by Andi on August 1, 2015

I started sewing my hexipuffs together a while back because I was experiencing arm pain that was exacerbated by knitting, but not by sewing. I guess the movements were just different enough that sewing didn’t increase the pain. I’m nowhere done knitting as many hexipuffs as I need to finish my blanket, but since sewing didn’t hurt I figured it was a way to stay crafty while I wasn’t knitting.

Prior to that point I hadn’t thought much about how I was going to sew them together. I knew I wanted the hexipuff placement to seem random — not have too many solids next to each other, or too many variegated hexipuffs next to each other, or too many in the same color family next to each other. Other than that, though, I hadn’t thought much about it. But when I started sewing it together I realized I had to come up with something because I tend to knit two hexipuffs out of each leftover fingering weight skein or mini skein I have. I didn’t want the same hexipuff to be too close together.

It was time to create a system.

Hexipuff system

The first thing I did was to separate my hexipuffs into two piles — one that had the first of two and any single hexipuffs, and a second that were duplicates of the hexipuffs in the first pile. I put the first pile into the blue bag and the second pile into the beige bag. When I choose a new hexipuff to add from the blanket, it always comes out of the blue bag. I will not touch any hexipuffs in the beige bag until the blue bag is empty. That way, no duplicate hexipuffs will be near each other.

The skull project bag contains my leftover bits of fingering weight yarn, and bits of leftover fingering weight yarns others have given me. I try to get two hexipuffs out of each leftover. One goes in the blue bag, and one goes in the beige bag. If I still have more of that yarn left over it goes into another bag (not in the picture) where my fingering weight scraps that have been used are stored.

You can see six hexipuffs in the picture. Those are the most recent hexipuffs I made. I had to make them. The skull bag was getting too full. I had two fingering weight projects on the needles at the time, so I knew more leftovers would be going in soon, and I was already having a hard time zipping it. I went through all the leftovers in there, and found that I already had knit one hexipuff out of each of those six yarns, so I would only have to knit more more to remove them from the bag. After I took the picture, I put those six hexipuffs into the beige bag.

I have to be honest. I have so many leftovers from other people that they don’t fit in the skull bag. I have to start working on those, as well as what’s in the skull bag from projects I made.

The last bag is the blue and white bag, which I keep the polyfill in.

So there you go. It may seem cumbersome, but it helps me keep track of all of the moving parts of this project.

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