Knitstant Gratification

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

Archive for November, 2017

FO Catch Up

Posted by Andi on November 26, 2017

During the time I took off from blogging I finished some other projects that I haven’t had a chance to post about yet. This post is about those five projects, in chronological order.

Hopscotch Socks
Pattern: HopScotch Socks by TLCrafts and Design
Yarn: Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stopper in Imperfection (.76 skein, 351.9 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: March 19, 2017
Date completed: April 22, 2017

These were a test knit for TLCrafts and Design (who you should check out – she has beautiful patterns). It’s a lovely textured pattern that was pretty easy to memorize. It was well written. Here is a close up of the stitch pattern.

Hopscotch Socks

I love how these turned out, except for one thing. I must have forgotten how to use a tape measure when I was measuring the foot because they ended up much too long for me. The error happened on the first sock, and then I knit the same number of rows on the second sock without measuring again. I was careful to measure my gauge to make sure it matched the gauge in the pattern because this was a test knit, but wasn’t as careful with the length. Tim tried them on and they fit him, so he now has a new pair of socks. He’s worn them a few times and likes them.

My second pair of Rose City Rollers #knitting #knittersofinstagram #rosecityrollersocks
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Fresh From the Cauldron Freyr Sock in Always Keep Fighting (.44 skein, 176.0 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: May 21, 2017
Date completed: May 30, 2017

If this yarn looks familiar, it’s because I bought it to make my Find Your Fade shawl, which I posted about a couple of weeks ago. This yarn was one of two skeins I purchased specifically for that project. It was the second color in my shawl, which is on the narrow end, so it used less than half of the skein. In order to use the whole skein I decided to make another pair of Rose City Rollers. I love this pattern, and it’s going to be my go-to pattern when I have about 50 grams of sock yarn available.

New socks!!
Project: Halloween Socks
Yarn: Zwerger Garn Opal Love Story in Romantik (.62 skein, 284.8 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: June 5, 2017
Date completed: July 24, 2017

These colors look like Halloween to me, so I decided to call them Halloween Socks. And yes, I did wear them on Halloween. I didn’t use a specific project to make these socks. They are vanilla socks. I used the round toe from the Rose City Rollers pattern, and the band heel from the book Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. It took a while for me to figure this heel out. The heel construction is much different than I am used to. It didn’t require picking up stitches for the gusset. When you finish the heel, it’s straight onto the foot. Once I figured it out it was simple. I’ve only worn the socks once, and washed them once, so I want to wear them a few more times to determine how well I like this heel and whether I want to knit it again. It seemed to fit fine the first time I wore the socks.

gramps
Pattern: gramps by tincanknits
Yarn: Lion Brand Pound of Love in Antique White (.26 skein, 264.1 yards)
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Gold (.71 skein, 139.1 yards) and Cocoa (.02 skein, 4.6 yards)
Needles: US 6 and US 7
Date started: August 26, 2017
Date completed: September 9, 2017

I have been waiting forever for a chance to knit this sweater. A friend’s son was turning 1, so I thought that was the perfect opportunity. I had the leftover cream yarn, and quickly determined it would be the body of the cardigan. The problem was I didn’t have the quantity of yarn the pattern called for for the contrast color. I grabbed three possibilities, and decided to start with the Gold yarn. I thought the cuffs, collar, and button band should be the same color. I was glad I had enough to do the pocket trim in Gold as well. Here is the Cocoa:

gramps

Wee elbow patches!!! I love these so much!!! The mom put the sweater on her son right after I gave it her, so I got to see him wear it in person. He looked adorable!

I love tincanknits patterns because they go from small baby size to larger adult sizes. If I wanted to make one of these for me, or a bigger adult, or larger child, I’m all set.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the final FO. I made a cowl for a swap, and ended up forgetting to take a photo before I mailed the package. Oops! The swap was hockey themed, so I made the Bubble & Squeak cowl in Minnesota Wild colors. The main color was a sort of natural, off-white color. The three contrast colors were green, red, and yellow. I did the best I could to match the colors in the Wild logo. I had a decent amount of each yarn left over, and I used the red leftovers for the Red Sox Vertebrae I posted about last week.

So, now we’re up to date. I have posted about everything I have finished. I currently have more than one WIP (shocking! ha!) that I will catch up about soon.

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A Trio of Vertebrae

Posted by Andi on November 19, 2017

Around the same time a few months ago I found out that three people I knew were expecting children. I’ve had to be a busy knitter to get three baby gifts done while Christmas knitting. In order to make it easy on myself I decided I was going to knit the same pattern for all three babies – something cute but fairly easy to that I wouldn’t have to worry about messing up and having to start over.

I chose the Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk. It’s so cute, but what I really like about it is that it’s kind of open in front, almost like a full length shrug. That way, if the baby is wearing a cute onesie or t-shirt, the sweater can keep the baby warm while keeping what is underneath visible.

This pattern takes 50 grams of fingering weight yarn. I chose Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock, and ordered skeins in several colors. It seemed like it would be sturdy yarn, and it’s machine washable, which is great when the baby spits up on it.

Here is first: Newborn Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn:
Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Hot Lime (.96 skein, 220.8 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: September 9, 2017
Date completed: September 17, 2017

This was sent to a former coworker who was expecting her second child. I thought this bright greenish yellow color would be a happy gender neutral color. The pattern knit up like a charm. I was a little nervous about running out of yarn, so even though the pattern has you knit the sleeves last, I knit the sleeves before the band. I figured I could always knit the band a bit narrower, which I didn’t have to do. The best part is that after baby Sophie was born, Mom sent me a picture of her wearing it. Yay!

The second one was a bit more challenging: Red Sox Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn: Dale Garn Baby Ull in Red (.64 skein, 115.5 yard)
Regia 4-f├Ądig Trend & Color in unknown navy blue color (.24 skein, 110.2 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: September 19, 2017
Date completed: October 1, 2017

This one was for a coworker and his wife who live in Boston. They are Red Sox fans, so I thought I would knit this one up in Red Sox colors. When I purchased all the yarn (which I ordered online and didn’t see in person until it arrived) I ordered what was supposed to be a navy blue color and a red color. The red wasn’t very bright, but I wasn’t too concerned about that. The bigger problem was that the navy blue yarn (which had blue in the color name) looked gray. It wasn’t going to work.

I almost ordered new yarn, when I remembered that my mom made a pair of navy blue socks a while back. So I called her up to see if she still have the leftovers, and if so, if I could have them. She did, and she gave them to me. I was still going to use the red yarn I bought, but then I remembered that I had some leftover red yarn from a cowl I made that was closer to the correct color, so I went with that.

And it looks cute, right? The recipient thought it was cute (which is the most important thing). Can you spot where I had problems? Look at the sleeves. As with the first one, I knit the sleeves before the band. The first sleeve had another blue stripe closer to the cuff – so instead of it being all red on the bottom there was some blue in there. But I didn’t have enough blue to do that extra stripe on the other sleeve. I ripped back the first sleeve and colorblocked the bottom of each sleeve. It looks planned, but it wasn’t.

Because I had to use extra red on the sleeves, I was running short on the band. You can see this band is a bit narrower than the one above. I thought I was good, I started binding off, but I lost my game of yarn chicken. I ran out of red yarn when there was about an inch left to go. Thankfully I had some leftover self-striping sock yarn which had a very similar red stripe in it. I wound off the ball until I got to the red stripe to finish the bind off.

In the end, I think it looks great and I’m happy with how it turned out. Better still, after baby Louis was born, Dad sent me a picture of the baby wearing the sweater, and he looked great in it!

Vertebrae the third: Another Newborn Vertebrae
Newborn Vertebrae
Pattern: Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk
Yarn: Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Woodsy Green (.88 skein, 202.4 yards)
Needles: US 2, US 3
Date started: November 4, 2017
Date completed: November 8, 2017

Compared to the second one, this was a cakewalk. I had enough yarn, and it was very similar to the first. I chose this color because I thought it was a nice gender neutral color, and I thought the mom (who I know better than the dad) would like it. She told me she did, and promised to take a picture of the baby wearing it after he or she is born (and I didn’t even have to ask, she just offered!). He or she should be arriving any day now.

I highly recommend this pattern. It’s quick but super cute. If you stash a ton of fingering weight yarn like I do, you always have yarn to use. You can make a striped one to use up bits of leftover yarn. Give it a try!

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I Found My Fade

Posted by Andi on November 12, 2017

While I’m still in catch-up mode, I’m taking us back to the spring/summer. The Find Your Fade shawl seemed to be the most popular pattern during that time. Bloggers were knitting it. Podcasters were knitting it. Friends were knitting it. Indie dyers made kits. And, of course, I made it.

The original pattern was made with 7 colors, and although the pattern description on Ravelry said it would be easy to adjust the pattern to use however many colors one wanted, I was going to stick with 7 so I wouldn’t have to do that much thinking. I really wanted this to be a stash busting project, so I went through my stash several times to determine which yarns I had that would go well together. I took notes. I had narrowed it down to a few color families. Ultimately I decided on this color family.

I'm almost ready to start my Find Your Fade shawl. I will cast on today or tomorrow. #knitting #findyourfadeshawl

Of these 7 yarns, 5 came out of my stash, and I bought two. From left to right:

  • Leading Men Fiber Arts Show Stealer in Spritely Endeavors (.15 skein, 65.3 yards). The first color in the shawl requires less than 100 yards, once I chose four other skeins from my stash, I went through my leftovers to see if anything would work with those yarns, and found this one. It’s great when I can use my leftovers as part of another project, and not just make hexipuffs out of them.
  • Fresh From the Cauldron Freyr Sock in Always Keep Fighting (.38 skein, 299.9 yards). This was one of the two skeins of yarn I bought specifically for this project. This was another part of the shawl that required much less than a full skein of sock yarn, but I didn’t have any leftovers with enough yardage, nor a full skein of yarn, that I thought would connect the light green of the LMFA yarn to the next color.
  • Undead Yarn Vampire Strong in Zombified (.62 skein, 260.4 yards). This skein was in my stash for a long time. I planned to make a scarf out of it, but when I noticed I had so many green/yellow/black yarns in my stash, this became the anchor – I planned the rest of the shawl around this skein.
  • Another Craft Girl Strong Sock in Night Fury (.84 skein, 336 yards). I originally bought this yarn to make a pair of socks. Thankfully that never happened.
  • Succulent Fiber MCN Fingering in Lemon Pepper (.66 skein, 287.1 yards). I had such a light bulb moment when I realized I had this skein of yellow yarn with bits of black in it, and also had a black skein of yarn with bits of yellow in it (ACG above). Perfect!
  • Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in City Lights Speckle (.84 skein, 299.9 yards). This was the second skein of yarn I purchased specifically for this project. I had nothing to transition from the mostly yellow Succulent Fiber yarn to the white I was going to finish with.
  • Knit Picks Stroll in White (.8 skein, 184.8 yards). This last color did not require a full skein of sock yarn either. Full skeins are typically 100 grams. I bought a bunch of Stroll, which comes in 50 gram skeins, a while back to use as toes/cuffs/heels for socks. I figured I could use one skein for this.

I posted two WIP pics to my Instagram account. Here was the first one, showing the transition from light green to black.

Almost fine with section 8 #findyourfadeshawl #knitting #knittersofinstagram

The second was the transition from black to yellow.

Finished with section 9 #knittersofinstagram #knitting #findyourfadeshawl

For the most part the colors faded well. The Another Crafty Girl yarn (black with flecks of yellow) had the greatest contrast with the colors around it. As I was knitting it, I wondered if I would be okay with that. The colors went well together, but the transition wasn’t as seemless there. So I went onto Ravelry to look at what other knitters were doing. Some were making shawls with perfect fades. Others used solid color yarns, so the color transitions appeared as stripes. Both looked great, so I decided to continue.

I’m so happy with how it turned out.

It's done! #findyourfadeshawl #knitting

Look at it! It’s huge! I haven’t measured it, but I’m guessing it’s 9 feet wide. I worried that it was too big to be useful, but that’s so not true. It’s gotten colder this week, so I started wearing it regularly. It’s my new go-two accessory for my neck. I’ve worn it in a kerchief style with an open jacket. I’ve worn it with the point on my left shoulder and both ends hanging down in front and back of my right shoulder, which was perfect for keeping my right arm’s range of motion while keeping my entire upper body warm. I love it! I’m almost tempted to make another!

I cast on on April 25, 2017, and bound off on July 19, 2017. It took almost 2 months. Part of that is the sheer size of the thing. It’s a large shawl made out of fingering weight yarn (1,585 yards to be exact – that was a fun project to enter into my yards in/yards out calculations!). It was going to take some time. For the most part, it was a fun knit. Much of it is garter stitch, so it was easy to do while watching television. It was so much fun to get to a fade part, then starting another color in full, to see how it will turn out.

Two things stalled me a bit. First, around midway through I started to feel like it was slog, so I put it down for a while. It wasn’t boring, it was just a lot of time to spend knitting one thing. The other was the lace portion. I had to pay more attention to those sections, so if I got to a lace portion when I wasn’t in the mood to concentrate, I had to set it aside for a bit. I should say, before I started each lace section I was off by a stitch. Every time. I made an easy adjustment (an extra increase or decrease, I can’t remember if I had one extra stitch or one stitch too few). It wasn’t a big deal, but I never figured out what I was doing wrong.

Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern. It’s great for stash busting, and using fun colors. It’s pretty easy. It would be a perfect shawl for someone who wants to get into lace knitting because the lace portions are pretty intuitive while not being a basic yo k2tog, and it’s only in certain sections of the shawl.

Not only do I love this garment, it inspired two other projects. I will discuss those in the next post.

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The Places Where I Knit – Monkey Edition

Posted by Andi on November 5, 2017

This is my first post in almost 5 months. I assure you, I have been knitting, but much of my knitting has been on long-term ongoing projects or gifts that I’m not ready to post about. Instead of going back and catching up on all of my finished objects since late-May, I’m going to start with my most recent FO. And instead of just posting a picture of said FO, you will get to see it in progress in some of the places I worked on it.

Back in April I took a business trip (well, two business trips, but this was the second one) to New Orleans. There is a cute little yarn shop in the French Quarter called The Quarter Stitch. I wanted to buy yarn that would remind me of New Orleans, so I purchased this skein of yarn:

The yarn is Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Mardi Gras colorway. By the way, look at how cutely they wrapped it for me!

I bought some NOLA souvenir yarn yesterday at Quarter Stitch, and they packaged it so nicely!

So back in May, when Tim and I booked our trip to New Orleans (for fun this time), I already knew which yarn I was going to use for my travel project. All along I figured I was going to knit a vanilla sock because the yarn is so highly variegated. But one day I was chatting with my friend Mimi, who expressed surprised that I had never knit Cookie A’s Monkey Socks pattern, given how popular they are and how long I’ve been knitting socks. Members of my knit group had said in the past how great the Monkey Socks look with variegated yarn, so I decided to use that pattern.

I started knitting the first sock the night before we left for New Orleans. I knit the cuff and one pattern repeat, then put the socks away. The next time I picked them up was on the flight from Chicago to New Orleans.

20171015_102351

If I remember correctly I got the leg done on that flight. There was a bit of knitting in the hotel room, but that’s not fun. The next place I knit was in Jackson Square.

20171016_165355

I finished decreasing the gusset on that bench in Jackson Square. It was a lovely day to sit in the park with our coffee from Spitfire Coffee. We found a nice shady spot. It was a lovely place to knit. I highly recommend it.

Musical Legends Park was across the street from our hotel. I first went there during the trip in which I bought the yarn. We went there twice during our recent trip, including the afternoon we spent there.

20171017_162934

It’s such a great place. There is live music from open until close. There is a full bar as well as a Cafe Beignet counter. On this particular afternoon we grabbed a couple of coffees and listened to music for an hour while I knit.

We went home, and I knit on the plane.

20171018_191131

I didn’t finish the first sock on my trip, but I came close. I finished the first one and started the second, and worked on it the following week when I was on a flight to Philadelphia.

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks

I didn’t finish the second sock on that trip, but got quite a bit done on that flight. Much of the rest of the sock was completed on my flights to and from Denver this past week. I only had part of the toe left to do when I got home.

So… here are my completed Mardi Gras Monkey Socks

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks
Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the Mardi Gras colorway (0.8 skein, 340 yards)
Needles: US 1
Date started: October 14, 2017
Date completed: November 4, 2017

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I think the pattern does work well with highly variegated yarn, just as I had been told. Here is a closer view of the leg:

Mardi Gras Mockey Socks

The stockinette and reverse stockinette sections really show off the yarn differently. The pattern was easy to memorize. I have no doubt I will knit this pattern again.

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