Knit Meter

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Bad Is It?

Tomorrow Knit Meter will reset the numbers to show that I have knitted/crocheted the grand amount of zero. I will change the yarn in and out to zero too. It would be nice if I had a project close to finishing so that I could start the beginning of the year in credit but I think it will be a couple of weeks before a finished object appears.

So looking at the numbers, it would appear that 2014 was not a good year for reducing stash as there was 12858 meters of yarn in and 10243 meters used. But like any good statistician, I need to manipulate the numbers. Firstly I will deduct the yarn that arrived on 26 December that I had won from a blog. That will make yarn in 12018, still too high. I could deduct the yarn I purchased this year that I knew that I wouldn't knit until next year. If I deducted all the yarn I bought on sale to make into charity items in 2015 then the yarn in will be 11226 or 10386 if I also deduct the prize yarn. Still not quite enough. But if I deduct the yarn I was given that I showed you in the last post then I can bring yarn in down to 10155 meters, less than yarn out. Which goes to show that you can prove anything with manipulation of numbers!

This time last year I wrote that I wanted to use up stash. Looking at these numbers it doesn't appear that I have managed to do that. But actually I am very happy with my yarn accumulation. Most of the yarn purchased this year has had a purpose and mostly it has been for gifts or charity. I also went through my stash and sold some and swapped some. My sock yarn has dropped so that now I have just three amounts earmarked for socks and four earmarked for other projects. So I am pretty happy with my stash. This year I will knit mostly from stash but if there is something that I really want to make then I will not worry about buying yarn.

In 2014, I had 68 items on the needles nine of which were crocheted and four were frogged. Of the remaining 64, 12 were for charity and 28 were for other people. Of the nine items on the needles at the start of the year, I finished six and frogged one. This does mean that I still have two items on the needles that were there this time last year. One of them is the never ending project that I am not even going to make any predictions for as I obviously cannot keep to them. Although, surely, I should be able to finish both of these before the end of 2015?

I am starting the year with eight projects on the needles, including the two old projects. That is one less than last year but still not a good number. Although I am going to change the wording to eight unfinished projects. As one is a soft toy that I am (slowly) in the process of finishing. (I am not fond of sewing up toys.) One is a bag that is finished but I am thinking of adding a sewn lining so it does not count as finished in my book. One is a project that I am thinking of frogging but as I have no other plans for the yarn I haven't bothered to frog. Which means there are five projects on the needles. Which still sounds too many especially as I know I will be adding to them this week with all the January knit alongs.

This time next year I hope to be writing that the two old projects are finished; that I have less then eight unfinished projects; and that yarn in was less than yarn out.

But whatever I write I know that each year I will be thanking my husband for another wonderful year.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Yarn In

In the interests of full disclosure, I am counting all yarn in even if it is a partial ball. Especially if it is yarn that I was coveting. :)

A newish member of our knitting group has amazing yarn; many from small dyers. She was knitting a pair of fingerless mitts with flap with a spectacularly striped yarn in a neon colourway. Amazing yarn but not currently being dyed although the dyer Wild Hare Fiber Studio has other great colours for sale.

I am such lucky person, that Sheila gave me the left overs. About 55 grams. Score! I was tempted to make socks - as you know I am a sock knitter. But this yarn deserves to be shown off. So it will become fingerless mitts. Very soon I hope so that they can be worn this winter. Ha!

Yarn out is recorded when I have posted photos of finished objects quite often there is a delay because I am waiting to take photos or for gifts to arrive or decide on the perfect post. Before the end of the month, I will record all yarn out for this year so that there will be a complete record for 2014, even though I know there are a few things that have not been fully revealed.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Warm Heads In Calgary

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have been knitting for the family still in Calgary. Although these were finished in November, I had to wait for the parcel to arrive in case they read this blog.

Firstly there’s a hat just because I liked the yarn. I found a pattern on RavelryChunky Triangle Rib Hat by Gretchen Tracy. Although I cast on way fewer stitches as the pattern cast on of 70 stitches seems way to many for a bulky yarn. I also left off one pattern repeat (3 rows) as I did not have enough yarn. No great photos but I am pleased with the finished hat. It can either be worn slouchy or the brim turned up for a normal hat.

The one thing I love about my son’s girlfriend is that she loves all the handmade items I make for them. She had been at a fair and they had children’s headbands, rather than buy one, she asked me to make one. I asked the colour and was told purple. As you can imagine, I didn’t want to buy yarn but if I was going to make something it should be in the colour requested. I have some purple in my stash but I did not think it soft enough for a headband so I decided Red Heart Soft in the grape colorway was purple enough. I looked at many, many headband patterns on Ravelry and decided to just knit my own. I used the yarn double with appropriate sized needles and knit in single rib, when I got to half the circumference, I put a cable in, half the stitches crossed over the other half, continued in rib to match the length of the first half, seamed and voilà a headband.

Now two members of the family had head coverings, I didn’t think my son should be left out. I had seen a pattern, shortrows sideways hat by Kristi Porter after making one disastrous attempt at buying yarn I did get some other yarn. Again I had to guess on circumference as my son has a big head.

Lastly, I was requested to make some blue booties for the baby boy they were expecting. I had blue yarn in my stash and decided that I would try a different pattern from my standard. I chose Baby Uggs by Autumn Street. I followed the pattern knowing they would fit the baby at some point. The baby came early and is small so at the moment they are like leggings with feet.

I have been madly knitting smaller ones.

I still have a few things to photograph, November’s socks are finished, the shawl with beads is finished, and there are two baby cardigans just waiting for front bands.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yarn Explosion

Last year I added Knit Meter to my blog to record how much I knitted and crocheted. Also, I kept a total of balls of yarn in and balls of yarn out as I was trying to use up my stash. This year I added meters in as this seemed a better comparison of my stash (hopefully) reducing. For example, I could knit up a skein of lace yarn at 1000 metres and buy a ball of bulky yarn at 70 metres. The difference between in and out would remain the same but the actual amount to be knitted would go down.

The year was going well, even after the purchases on the yarn crawl both the metres out and balls out exceeded the in numbers. That all changed this month when I need yarn to make a baby blanket and it coincided with Michael's yarn sale. Some of the yarn was more than 50% off, meaning that I could not reproduce the price with a coupon. I purchased all the yarn I needed for the blanket (I think, more on that later) plus I bought enough yarn for the monthly challenges in Operation Gratitude.

Having done that I wouldn't say there was no stopping me but more yarn purchasing occurred. I had to take my husband to the airport so on the way back I stopped in at a store that I knew sold locally dyed yarn as I wanted a yarny gift and saw bulky yarn that I thought would make a great hat. (The good news is that the hat has been knitted and every centimetre used, so that at least is zero gain.)

Then a friend wanted to visit a yarn store a bit further north because the Yarnover Truck would be there. All I can say is that yarn fumes given off in the confined space made me make some strange decisions. I wanted to get some striping yarn to make a hat. They had some wonderfully soft yarn, merino/cashmere/nylon, in a great mix of colours but light fingering weight. The softness and colour were so right that I convinced myself that I would knit a hat in fingering weight yarn. This is so not going to happen but having decided I was going to knit a stipey hat I purchased some more yarn at a local store. A hat has been made but the whole ball was not used. So for this hat there will be 2 balls in and no balls out.

So instead of decreasing, my yarn supply is going in the other direction.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Have Some Finished Items

Lately it feels as if I am knitting away but have nothing to show for it. But when I was rounding up photos for posting here, I was pleased to note that there are four different projects to show.

First is the crocheted baby jacket that I showed an almost finished photo in my last post. I am not too happy with the top of the stripes and as there is a good chance I will make this again, I might make some changes to improve this. Looking at the notes on Ravelry, I am not the only one to comment on this. The pattern only has two buttons but I did not do a fantastic job of picking up edge stitches and there were three gaps/holes that I decided would work as buttonholes. I had bought the buttons a while ago when they were drastically reduced. I had intended to use two for this and two if I made it again. At least I had three buttons but annoyingly I am left with one. Hubby said I should send it with the jacket, like you get spare buttons when you buy clothes. This is a gift for my nephew's little girl.

And here is the scarf I made in September for Operation Gratitude.

This was my last item made for Operation Gratitude this year. I am in the process of boxing everything up to mail before the end of the month. By that I mean I got a box from the Post Office but it is not big enough so now I have to go back to get another one. Which I did except I couldn't find anywhere to park so I have to choose a better time to go.

I finished the socks I started for the September challenge. To try to use up as much yarn as possible I made them longer than the original pattern. There's no way with this yarn I could make matching socks but the yarn is variegated enough not to matter.

And finally I made a hat for my Grandbaby. Apparently the one I made at the end of last winter no longer fits so I whipped up something quick to tide her over. This is a quick garter stitch knit. (Although as it is knit in the round, it's like knitting stocking stitch flat.) With ear flaps and a rolled brim and decreases to give it interest.

That's everything off the needles; what about everything that's on the needles?

As I am desperately trying to use up sock yarn, and I finished a pair of socks, I cast on for the November challenge. I'm halfway through one sock but it would be nice to finish the pair before the end of the month so I can start another pair for December's challenge. This would be doable if I wasn't knitting things to send to Calgary. Because it is cold up there. Also I have reached the cast off stage of a shawl that has been on the needles for a while but finishing has been delayed as I needed contrast yarn and beads.

The shawl I showed in my last post is finished and blocked, just needs the ends sewn in. And photos of course.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vacation Knitting

We've just been away for a couple of weeks and we drove. This meant I didn't have to worry about packing the right amount and right type of projects, I just filled up my project bag and threw it in the car.

I don't knit in the car but I know many people who do, so when we went to San Fransisco in the summer I decided to give it a try. As we would have some long drives on this trip, I thought I should work on the crochet project I had started on the flights to and from Spain earlier this year. I had put the project aside as it is a Christmas present so no hurry, that is until now.

I managed to get quite a bit done until disaster struck. On one of the car journeys the crochet hook broke. I was still using the plastic hook that I had used on the plane and it just snapped in half. I briefly considered carrying on with the hook but that wasn't going to work. So I had to wait until we found a Walmart to buy a new hook. And they had just one in the size I wanted and it was in a set of three but at least I could continue with the project. If not for that mishap it would be a completed project. But it has dropped down the pile a little as I want to finish the shawl I started on vacation.

I really didn't want to wait too long before casting on the shawl pattern that I purchased at the San Diego Yarn Crawl. The pattern calls for 1 1/3 balls of yarn so I wound one ball to take with me. I really enjoyed working on the shawl, sitting outside, drinking my morning coffee with a view of the red rocks. I finished the ball of yarn right at the end of the vacation which worked out perfectly. (I had back up knitting just in case.) I wound the second ball so I could continue with the project at knit group on Friday. It will be a good project for working on at knitting group. It is almost finished - only six more rows before the cast off - so it should be a finished item in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of finished items, once again so many projects but only one finished. Since my update in September I finished a scarf for Operation Gratitude. I'll show it off when I have some other finished items.

A couple of phone shots of the vacation knitting,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Yarn Crawl

The San Diego Yarn Crawl was a couple of weeks ago. Last year a group of us went to all the stores and one alpaca farm in one day. It was exciting and fun but this year a friend and I decided to make it low key and visit just the shops we really liked and miss out on the alpaca farms.

The other difference was that this year I intended to buy yarn! A recurring theme of this blog is to knit all my yarn and one of the reasons was so I could buy lots of yarn at this year’s yarn crawl. Although I had given myself permission to buy yarn, I wanted the purchases to be planned so that I didn’t end up with a load of yarn in my stash that I didn’t know what to do with; I especially was not going to buy sock yarn unless it was for a project other than socks. (So hard when there is such lovely sock yarn available.)

I made a list of a few projects I wanted to make and how much of what type of yarn was required. And then in the very first place I bought yarn not on my list. Uh oh. Our first stop was The Yarnover Truck and they had yarn specially dyed for them by Zen Yarn Garden and the colorway is named California Love and there was a shawl pattern designed by Anthony Casalana especially for Serenity Silk Single in this colour. So that was it, I had to have the yarn and the pattern. That really could have been a slippery slope to portend the rest of the day’s purchases but I mentally crossed off yarn for a shawl that was on my list and everything was copacetic.

Next stop was Yarns at Border Leather where my plan was to buy baby yarn. Which I did, but I also made a truly unplanned purchase - a skein of alpaca/wool/nylon in pinks and greens that I decided would make a lovely scarf or cowl for a gift.

After a spot of lunch we headed up to South Park and The Grove. This is an interesting shop as it sells many different things from different vendors, almost shops within a shop. There I bought a stitch marker and a handbag and a yarny gift. And resisted buying any yarn for myself. Then it was a quick hop up to North Park to a fairly new store, Arañitas Yarn by Sofia. This was a small shop but with lots of natural lighting. I didn't buy anything there. And then we were on our way home.

Except we decided to stop off at Common Threads where I purchased some Madeline Tosh Sock. Not for socks but to make a cardigan because I am crazy to want to knit a cardigan in fingering weight yarn. Also at Common Threads I won some yarn in their door prize.

It was a fun day out, spending the day with a good buddy and meeting up with other friends and yarn at the end of it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Small Update

I haven't posted for a while so I really thought I had a number of finished items to show you. But that's not the case and I am rather disappointed as I have only two finished items. That's a pretty poor showing for over 7 weeks since last post. And to make matters worse these are both small items.

Without further ado here they are:

Firstly the hat I made in August for Operation Gratitude. Yarn is Vanna's Choice that I bought earlier this year especially for charity knitting; the pattern can be found here.

And the other item is a baby cardigan. My old next door neighbour will become a Grandmother for the first time and as I know the parents I had to make something. Another Easy Baby Cardigan, this time without the hood. I do like this pattern. I used the yarn left over from the mitts but I did have to buy more of the cream colour and, of course, I know have some of that left and I don't know if there is enough to make anything.

Off the needles but not finished are:- a scarf for Operation Gratitude, it is blocked and just needs the ends to be sewn in; the toy I mentioned last time, stuffing has been purchased; and some fingerless mitts that need seaming but with our current temperatures I haven't had much incentive to finish them.

On the needles are way too many things. I started a pair of socks for the September challenge. They are fiddly so I need an easy project now that I have finished the baby cardigan. Also yarn has been purchased as I went on the San Diego yarn Crawl. I will update numbers when I post about the crawl. In the meantime I can delude myself that yarn out is still greater than yarn in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Important Thing Is The Marriage

Not the number of shares the video of your proposal/wedding dance received.

There are so many videos popping up of first dances at weddings I wonder if guests are disappointed when a slow dance stays a slow dance and does not suddenly turn into a choreographed number.

Today on Facebook another one appeared. A marriage proposal. Friends and family dancing? to a song that girlfriend was (forced) to listen to on headphones. Although she seemed happy by all this literal song and dance I did not feel like watching over 5 minutes of You Tube one-upmanship. They do not make me sentimental or weak at the knees. Instead I feel sad that all this effort is put into the production but not into the marriage itself. At the end of the day when it is just the two of you, do you give her the same attention as you did for the proposal; does she respond with a smile on her face? Or are you searching social media for the next big idea or hoping yours will be the next trend setter.

And what about her? How did she feel about this public declaration; is this something she would have loved or was she cringing inside but you were too wrapped up in the production to truly think about what your love would really want. There is a reason why marriage proposals on Jumbotrons are turned down. And now the song and dance are over, real life has set in, is she expecting a big production for upcoming events or is she dreading that there will be further You Tube moments.

This is sounding cynical, but with the high divorce rate it seems that more effort is put into the proposal than keeping the marriage alive.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Plethora of Photos

I have quite the collection of finished objects to show off. It is better to take photographs outside but it can’t be really bright but not too overcast either. And this week it has gone from really overcast to major sun in the blink of an eye.

I have seven finished projects, of varying sizes, to show you. Which is a great number of finished items but I still have many WIPs (works in progress) not helped by casting on two easy projects recently. One of these is a project I had to cast on so that I had something at book club and the other one was so that left over yarn didn’t sit in my stash. I have also been working on the shawl/wrap that has been on my needles for ever.

I am going to show these in finished order, oldest to newest.

Firstly is the this-close-to-finished shawl, started in August 2013. I’m not sure why it took so long, there was a delay in finding beads and adding beads to a project takes time but it’s finally done and I love it. It is so light. The yarn is TOFUtsies which is a sock yarn that I was given. I had used this yarn for socks but it did not wear well, a search on Ravelry came up with this pattern. I have another ball of this yarn that I was given and that will become something lacey too.

Next off the needles was a hat I started so I had something to work on at book club. I had a ball of yarn that I really didn’t know what to do with so it became a baby hat. Unfortunately it didn’t use the whole ball but I wasn’t going to undo the whole project and knit the next size. The pattern is Barley by Tin Can Knits, a free pattern in many sizes and the yarn is Lanaloft by Brown Sheep. Not sure what I am going to do with this as it is baby size but needs to be hand washed.

I had a busy day at the end of June and finished three projects.
A shawl made from some special handspun given to me when I left Calgary; a purse which was meant to be for the May Grey Knit Along, using yarn left over from these socks; and a knitted scarf for Operation Gratitude using yarn I had won also shown in the post with the socks.

Then it took me until the end of July to finish another project. Another hat for Operation Gratitude and a day later a pair of socks which were for the July challenge – self-striping. The yarn had been in my stash for a little while and I had tried using it with a different pattern in a previous self-striping challenge.

The skirt is completely finished but it will be a while before photos are taken; I have started to sew together the toy but I need to buy more stuffing; I will make a hat for Operation Gratitude and, depending on the pattern, a tea cosy; the easy projects shouldn’t take too long, so I hope to have a few more finished items to show this month.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

They're Coming To Take Me Away

I made another bag but that in itself is not the reason to cart me off to the funny farm. I made the bag to replace another bag that was not really suitable to its purpose.

I have a bag in which I keep my knitting notions plus a small bag which holds cable needles, sewing needles etc. This bag is the right size but the design is not practical. It is a roll that husband got from an airline and it is not practical because things fall out of the ends.

So having fabric left over and a 50% coupon from Jo-Ann for zipper purchasing and a different pattern, I made a bag. The size of the bag was determined by the amount of fabric I had but I checked the bag would be the right size before starting. The outer fabric was left over from the bag shown bottom left in this post. I purchased a zipper the same colour but used lining fabric left over from a different project as there wasn't enough of the original lining except to make a tab on the end of the zipper. Instead of interfacing, I used fusible fleece on this bag but for a larger bag I think the fusible fleece would need to be applied to both the main fabric and the lining.

I am mostly pleased with this bag apart from not doing a very good job of matching seams for the boxed corners. I love the zipper being extended but next time I would sew it into the bag a little further, although I was replacing a bag because things fell out, I don’t think the little gap will be a problem. The size and design would make a great cosmetics bag.

So why do normal people, especially my husband, need protecting from me? This bag was designed to go in my larger notions bag and it seemed like a good idea to make it out of the same fabric. Except, all weekend every time I opened the big bag, which was happening often as I was finishing projects, I would shout that it had had a baby as I produced the smaller bag. And could I do this once or even twice, no I had to do it every single time.

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Second Oldest Project

is finished

I’m not sure if I should begin with the start, the finish or the middle. Why did I start this project, and why did I choose to finish it and what exactly do I mean by the middle? And that is where I am going to start.

When we moved two years ago I went through all my sewing and yarn supplies/stash and was ruthless in my decision making as to what to keep. I then invited a knitting friend to go through it all to take what she wanted and I invited a sewing friend to do the same. Everything else that I did not want to keep went to Goodwill.

Very good but what does this have to do with projects? In my supplies I had projects that were not only unfinished but looked like they never would be. An example the quilt shown here. But the biggest, abandoned seems too weighty a word and forgotten isn’t true, how about ignored, project was a sewing project cut out but not sewn that I resolved to work on. I decided two hours once a week would be a good target as often with sewing an hour isn’t long enough.

So how come I had fabric cut out but no sewing? Let’s go back to our previous move the one from the US to Canada and then just a bit before that when Jo-Ann had a sale and I bought fabric to make PJs and a robe for myself. I made the PJs but then the move was set up. I vaguely remember cutting out the robe before the house went on the market because I could then work on it during all the waiting time. What was I thinking? We bought, sold and moved in three weeks. Those of you who haven’t given up reading are asking “why didn’t you sew it when you moved to your new house?” That would be the obvious thing to do except we moved at Christmas. And for Christmas my husband gave me a robe he had purchased while on a business trip in China. So there I was with a pattern all ready to go but it would have been rude to have made it.

Now all these years later it is finally finished. I don’t know when I started the two hours a week but I know I wasn’t consistent with it. Also the two hours wasn’t cast in stone. If I came to a convenient stopping place before two hours I would but it was a good target.

Now my new second oldest project which is something I started in Canada will take up the time slot.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Waiting For Photos

At knitting group I was asked how many projects still needed to be cast off. Casting off is not the problem taking artsy farty photos of the finished items is what is not happening. There are five finished projects which are awaiting their debut. One of which being the shawl, but there is also June's charity project, another shawl(ette) and two small projects.

As for those not-quite-finished items. The skirt is still one of those. I blocked it this week but the ends have to be sewn in. There is also a toy that needs to be put together and then yesterday I finished a sock so the toes needs to be kitchenered and the ends sewn in and I finished a hat which has a lot of ends to be secured.

I finally purchased beads for a shawl that has been waiting for a long time but that will be slow going and I started a baby cardigan for a friend's grandchild that is due later this year.

And to help with the stash I sold another ball of yarn. I still have three I wouldn't object to selling but no worries if I don't.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

And There's More

Still no picture of the shawl but I do have photos of the hat and gloves I made for a gift and of the socks.

The hat and gloves were for the daughter of old friends of my husband. She has graduated from high school and will be going to university in upstate New York. Coming from the Bay Area hats and gloves are a definite requirement.

The white isn't as blindingly white as shown in the photo but that's about the best picture that I took. I had to buy three balls of yarn for this project but only completely used one ball. The yarn is machine washable merino so I will use what is left for a baby cardigan for a baby due later this year.

And here is the hat. This really was a last minute finish so I have just one photo. The evening before we left I showed finished hat to husband. He didn't like it. So then quickly took and texted pictures to my youngest friend for her opinion - she also didn't like it. This is the before photo.

I managed to removed the tassels and undo the kitchenered seam at the top without cutting any yarn. I was then able to work decreases for a more conventional hat. This is the final result.

And then there were socks. One of the challenges for May was fauna. So I cast on Wonderland Socks. They are illusion knitting with a cat. This yarn was in my stash, purchased, who knows when, for a completely different project. This pattern took exactly 50 grams of each colour. (So two more balls out of my stash :) )

And then to help my numbers, I sold some more yarn. So my yarn in is lower than my yarn out. Can I keep it that way until the San Diego Yarn Crawl?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Photographic Evidence

I promised photos a while ago and here they are. Although I have pictures of only three projects as I need to employ the services of my husband to take a photo of the shawl.

I am going to do this in order of finishing. First off the WIP list were these mittens.

I have had the pattern - Fiesta Mittens by Lucy Neatby for quite a while and even bought yarn for them on last year's San Diego Yarn Crawl. But like all good plans, I changed my mind. The white yarn - Koigu Premium Merino - was purchased for this project but the blue yarn - Jawoll Magic by Lang Yarns was left over from the socks shown here. The other yarn I did buy for this project, I swapped with a friend. So I don't have to think what to make with it now it had not been used for its original purpose. (Yes, I do know that I have to think about the yarn I got in the swap.)

I did not like the patterning on the thumbs in the original pattern so I changed their position and knitted them in one colour.

Next off the needles was a soft toy. The pattern was the very first thing I queued on Ravelry. I don't know why I queued it or why I made it but I like it and maybe a child will play with it one day. It was in my queue for so long because I didn't feel inclined to buy yarn especially to make it. Going through my leftovers one day, it clicked that the yellow yarn could be used for this. The yarn is Caron Simply Soft Baby Sport and the black yarn and stuffing were also in my stash.

The third item to show off is the tea cosy for May. Here is where I showed it in pieces. And now it is finished. I worked the tie as an I-cord rather than crochet. Two reasons - 1) it is neater; 2) I needed something easy to work on at knit group.

At the end of May, I said the finishing of the skirt might be delayed because I had to knit some gifts. This was the case and the skirt hasn't been touched but I did finish a pair of gloves and a hat for a gift and I have nearly finished the second sock. Also I need to buy some beads so that I can start working on a shawl again that has been on hold for a very long time.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sewing Sunday

Although I have not written about it for a couple of months, I have been sewing. Bags of course. Usually I find a pattern on the internet, follow the instructions and then improve them for the next time. This is definitely the case with these two bags.

The first bag I made just because but it has turned out to be just right for some binoculars which do not have a bag or case. The problem with this bag is the zipper. I think that the blog writer photographed the bag at various stages and then wrote the instructions. The width of the bag is the same as the actual length of the zipper so the zipper teeth are in the seam this is made worse with my bag as I used a chunky zip.

The second bag, although also made just because, I hoped would work as a project bag. There are a couple of mistakes that are entirely of my own making:- despite my trying not to do this, or so I thought, the pattern on each handle faces in opposite directions; I machined the turn up edge of the lining which then meant it didn't stretch which meant it didn't quite fit the bottom of the bag. I am trying to not let this bug me and just use the bag.

When I make this bag again, and I can see my husband shaking his head as he does not understand my need to make bags, I will make the handles a bit narrower, I will place the pockets lower in the bag, and I will make side seams on both sides of the bag so I can add things in both seams if I want. With this bag I added a D-ring on the outside and a swivel hook on the inside.

And in case you are wondering, the base of the bag is a table mat.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Life, um I mean my stash, took an exciting turn on Monday; I sold some yarn and my stash went down by 5 balls. But yesterday it went back up to the same number as I had to buy yarn for gift knitting. Oh well, I better get knitting.

Monday, June 2, 2014

We're All Looking For A Quick Fix, But........

I was browsing the new groups on Ravelry at the weekend and one of the groups I took a closer look at was Knit N’ Fit 3-week Challenge. The idea of the group to motivate each other in reaching personal health goals in eating and exercise.

The premise sounds good so I looked at the posts made by the group leader (who is in her twenties). She starts off with a post about putting on weight and the decision to get healthy, all good so far until she mentions one plan where she lost 15 pounds in three weeks, most of that in the first 14 days. What? This is not someone who is so morbidly obese that a slight reduction in calories will result in that sort of weight loss. How limited were her calories to lose almost a pound a day, (she said most of the 15 pounds was in 14 days) and how come she wasn't losing weight after that. My guess is that her body had adjusted to the reduced calorie load because it was too low.

I then looked at her other posts and amongst these she spoke about keeping carbohydrates in moderation and in one recipe there was much more protein than carbs. Once again someone has confused all carbs with bad carbs. ie refined carbohydrates are not good therefore all carbohydrates are bad. The majority of our calories should be coming form carbohydrates but that shouldn't be white bread and sugar. In the same way as fat is essential in our diet, it shouldn't be obtained through high calorific trans fat.

What is sad about this group and the host is that she means well and it is good to motivate others for fitness and health but not when your information is just plain wrong.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

And Then There Was One

Last week I wrote that I should have four completed projects and I do. Although the unfinished project is not the one that I was expecting but I'm not complaining because four is what I wanted and four is what I got. And when I say finished, I mean finished, blocked and ends sewn in, all that's missing are the final pictures.

I did finish the shawl. As Monday was a holiday, I decided it would be a good time to not do the normal Monday chores and spend time blocking the shawl. I am so glad I did because I love it. (This was the project I didn't expect to finish.)

I'm glad I wrote a list because I actually embroidered the face on a toy. I didn't enjoy it but I did it. The item I didn't finish was the skirt. I picked up stitches along the waistband and I just need to insert elastic and cast off. I could finish it this week except there are two gifts that have to take priority. I am not going to promise myself that it will be finished in a week's time but it will be worked on as soon as the gifts are finished.

Look out for a post with photos. Actually I'll make that a priority after the gift projects.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Have A Little List

I listen to ABC radio. The A stands for Australian. I like listening to it during the day as it is night time in Australia so there is not too much chatter. It can get a bit confusing though when they give the day/date as one time I panicked a little as I thought I had forgotten my sister's birthday. But, of course, the radio station was already on the next day.

The other day they played The Daleks performing Gilbert and Sullivan. It was funny for, let's say, 30 seconds. Would a Whovian play it for longer?

Anyway, I thought of that when I was writing my list of projects I have to work on this week. It really wasn't practical to keep referring to Saturday's post for what I should be working on so I wrote a list. Nothing fancy, just in the order they appeared in the post and just what the item is. I wrote the list last night and I could immediately check off 1 1/2 projects. :) The list is not in the order I have to work, just an aide-mémoire, but seeing it in writing has me convinced to work on the project that I was most likely to put off. Especially as I like to see things completed that were on my to do list.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Finish Something Why Don't You

I need a plan.

A couple of things happened this week that made me realise that I need to finish some things.

Firstly, I had book group this week. Not only did I have to finish the book but I had to cast on a new project to take with me. Secondly, a friend and I were going to have a fun knitalong for May Gray but I couldn't start it yesterday because both sets of needles in the size I wanted to use were on other projects and one of those projects just needs to be cast off.

The problem is that I like to do something else while I'm knitting, read, watch a movie, chat with friends, but the finishing stages of a project require more concentration. Action is required to actually finish some projects otherwise I will keep adding to them.

So here we go, the projects that are almost finished but not quite.

I have three projects that are actually off the needles but need finishing touches. There's the tea cosy which needs seaming and a drawstring tie. This isn't an abandoned project because I have worked on it each week this month. The tie would be perfect for working on at knit group. I finally finished the cast off for the close-to-being-finished shawl. Now it needs to be blocked. This is something that takes time and cannot be hurried so I will have to block (ha pun?) off some time on my calendar. The third item not on needles but not finished is a toy that needs a face. I find with these things that the embroidery does not take any time, its making sure each feature is in the right place that takes time and care.

Then I have two items that are two rows away from being finished. Firstly the previously mentioned project with the needles I want. It is a sewn bind off in dark wool which won't take very long but I need to do it in daylight. And the other item is the skirt I have been working on for a long time - it's stocking stitch in the round so saved for things like book club - I need to pick up stitches around the waist band, insert elastic and cast off.

So really, apart from the shawl, these projects won't take too long to finish, I just need some daylight hours.

Plan, simple really, pick one project a day and finish it, starting with the easiest. Then I should have four completed projects to report on next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tea Cosy Tuesday umm Thursday?

Last week I said that I had joined in the fun for the May cosy and that I had even made all the parts. I thought I had posted photos of the parts - but no. So here are photos of the front and back of the cosy, which were knitted, and the crocheted flowers. These were the parts completed by last week. And then there is a picture of the flowers sewn on. I do have some buttons that I could sew into the middle of the flowers but they would completely cover the yellow centre and then what is the point of the centre being a different colour.

I still have to embroider the stems and leaves and then sew up the sides. A completed project to show next week?

I do have a completed project to show off this week. It is an oddball blanket which I signed up for as the requirement was for variegated yarns - any pattern - and I had some in my stash. I decided to use a purpley colour left over from a previous blanket. I wanted a pattern a bit more interesting than straight stocking stitch so I found the knot pattern in one of my stitch dictionaries. It is a simple pattern; the knot is worked by purling three together, then knitting the same three stitches together and then purling them together again.

I haven't signed up for any more blankets but I have not ruled out not working on any more.

I completely used up the yarn on my part of the blanket so that counts as a ball out plus I sold two skeins of yarn in my stash so I have reduced yarn in by two balls and associated meterage. Talking about stash, following some brain storming with knitterly friends I am now looking at some yarns in my stash in a different light, also there are some yarns I might sell. This is making my stash seem less of a burden and actually something I can reduce.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finished Friday

I was all excited about this post as I thought I had a few projects to show off but it turns out that I only have two. Even so two is better than none.

Firstly socks. This is another pattern - Lindsay - from Sock Innovation by Cookie A and is the third pattern from the book that I have made the others being Rick that I made way back in 2009/10 and Wanida that I finished recently.

I want to show some close ups of the yarn. I purchased it at the end of 2011 because I liked the way it was dyed although I had no idea what to make with it as I thought that plain stocking stitch would show it off best but I did not want to knit plain socks.

The colourway is named Christmas Lights and the yarn 80% merino, 20% nylon feels soft. Unfortunately the dyer is no longer dying yarn.

I followed the pattern as written although I was a bit wary about the garter stitch heels and toes but as this is knit at fine gauge they did not come out bulky.

If you're thinking that one looks bigger then the other - you're right. I blocked only one so I could see if there was any difference.

The other item finished was a hat for Operation Gratitude. It is a crochet pattern that can be found here. I used two colours of Vanna Choice yarn that I had purchased recently. I used the size hook stated in the pattern rather than the hook size on the yarn label which I would usually do. So my hat isn't very slouchy but is a good hat nonetheless. This was a quick crochet.

At the beginning of the week when I said I had won some yarn, I forgot to post a photo. So here is the yarn I won from the Operation Gratitude group on Ravelry.