Knit Meter

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Trio of Gifts

2014 is turning into the year of new projects. The only good thing about this is that I am finishing the projects I have started. Also I am using left over yarn.

This trio of gifts is two hats I have made for others and a gift of yarn for me. So it is a good thing that I am completing some projects.

Before Christmas my son told me that his girlfriend would like a hat. She had been looking at hats and he declared that his mother could knit one. Sounds familiar to all you crafters? Do you know how many patterns there are on Ravelry for slouchy hats? Neither do I but there are lots and after sending photos of a few to my son I gave up. So with the start of the new year and DH having a business trip to Calgary, I decided to just make her a hat without input from son. I chose the pattern, used yarn out of my stash and came up with this.

The pattern is Nell by Lisa Gutierrez available free on Ravelry. The yarn is Red Heart Soft in the colorway Berry. This was a quick easy knit; the only thing I am not sure about is the stretch of the brim. With the yarn I used and the twisted rib pattern I am worried that it will stretch and not go back into shape. I used just over 1/2 ball, so it is a good stash buster project.

Having made this hat for his girlfriend, I thought I ought to make something for my son. Even if I wasn't sure he would wear it. In this post I said that I wanted to make another one as a gift so that is what I made. This time I used the large hook size - 5.5mm and it made for a softer hat. I still added 3 rows of DC after the pattern but not a row of SC. And I used up all the brown that was in my stash - just love that - so I can count that as a ball of yarn out.

So to prove Newton's third law of motion, one ball out has to be balanced by one ball in and my friend Clair sent me this yarn.

The dyer is local to Calgary and this is her Esty shop.

It is a fingering/sock weight yarn; 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.

And to quote Douglas Adams "an increasingly misnamed trilogy" there is one more gift. I knitted some more booties. They are exactly the same pattern and yarn as these and these.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Simple Cardigan

This is a project that has been on the needles for a number of months. Probably from the end of June but I did not make a note of the exact start date. When I left Calgary, Myrna gave me some of her hand spun which she very nicely said reminded her of me.

To show case the lovely colours, I knew I would want to knit with a loose gauge and a shawl would not do justice to the yarn or any design I chose. I looked at a number of cardigan patterns and knew that I would have to make my own design.

I swatched. To get some idea of how the yarn looked on larger needles as well as to obtain gauge.
Firstly I knitted the waistband sideways, with the yarn doubled for stability. Every row started with a slip stitch to make picking up stitches easier. I knitted until it fit but left the stitches live; 1) in case I changed my mind about the design; 2) as I had not made up my mind about the type of fastening I wanted.

Still using the yarn double, I picked up a stitch in every slipped stitch and purled a row, on the next row using single yarn, I knit into every stitch twice by knitting into each strand of yarn. After that it was plain stocking stitch with garter stitch front bands and working some decreases inside the bands. I cast on stitches for the sleeves and worked raglan decreases and continued to decrease at front edges but less often. When there were just the 4 edge stitches left on the front I worked a few rows garter stitch for the neck and cast off.

At this point I had to make a decision as to to if I liked the cardigan so far. I had got this far without cutting the yarn so I would still be able to take it apart without losing any yarn. I continued.

Firstly I had to decide on the fastening at the waistband. I sewed 5 small buttons on one side and chained loop fastenings on the other.

I then joined the yarn to the stitches cast on for each sleeve. As I wanted to use up every bit of yarn, the sleeves were worked at the same time using the end from the outside and the inside of the ball of yarn. As I was not sure how many rows I would get out of the remainder of the yarn, I worked a garter stitch cuff and placed random decreases under the arms. When I decided there were enough rows of garter stitch I switched to stocking stitch which gave me a nice rolled edge for the cast off.

No pictures of me wearing it yet, but you get the idea.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oddball Blanket - Wild Turkey

It would seem that I can start and finish projects in 2014. Damn those 2013 projects that refuse to end. I have two more finished projects started this year, one of which I will show here.

It's another Oddball Baby Blanket. We have two weeks to complete a blanket and I usually get going on one as soon as it arrives so that it does not get forgotten. With this one there was no choice in stitch pattern as it is an all garter stitch blanket. Not my favourite thing to knit as it takes so long to knit but an easy no concentration project.

Both yarns were in my stash. Speaking of which, the observant among you might have noticed that yarn in is no longer zero. I need yarn to finish a project so it was definitely a needed purchase.

I'm also going to record meterage in as although I like balls in and out as a way of (trying) to make sure I knit more than I buy it doesn't fully reflect the growth or shrinkage of my stash. I am already showing meters knit or crochet so why not meters in?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

An Oldie

This is a project that I finished in 2008 but I didn't have any good photos to show, mostly because I hardly wore it. So when I wore it the other evening, I persuaded hubby to take some pictures.

The pattern is a Drops design using two different yarns. None of my local yarn shops had both the yarns so that I could choose two colours that matched. Eventually when a LYS was going out of business I bought all that they had of the Drops Silke-Tweed (which is now discontinued) and used it double.

I really enjoyed the knitting and pattern construction but initially it wasn't an easy item to wear. If you don't do it up it flares at the back and looks stupid (on me anyway) but how to fasten the front? The pattern shows it fastened with a button but nowhere in the pattern does it say where to place the button. I bought a brooch but this did not keep the jacket together after a short time. Then when a new store in Calgary had their opening sale I bought a couple of shawl pins and they work fine.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

First in 2014

A finished project already! Which is a good way to start the year, except I started the project on 1 January so it is not one of my WIPs. But the good news is that it is for charity and I used yarn in stash, so much so that one colour was completely used up. (Although I didn't feel that I used enough of any one colour to count balls of yarn out of my stash.)

I had mentioned about wanting to knit for charity again and have worked a couple of sections on Odd Ball blankets and also another group on Ravelry that had welcomed me. Well with the start of a new year I thought I would get involved with this other group that makes things for Operation Gratitude. Each month they have a knitting and a crochet pattern suggestion and this month was hats and they chose patterns that used different colours so people could use stash. A crochet hat is a quick project and using oddments was even better, so I made a hat.

Here are a couple of photos of the finished item. The first model is a lampshade as it really shows the hat well and the second model is my husband as his head is a better shape than the lampshade's.

The pattern can be found here. it is an easy pattern but beginners may need some help as techniques are not explained. All my colours are Red Heart Soft Yarn, left over from various blankets, and I am very excited that I had just enough of the blue to work two rounds and none left over to hang on to. The recommended hook size for this yarn is 5.5mm, I used a 5mm but the hat would look just fine worked with the larger hook. I also added 3 rows of double crochet (American terms) and one row of single crochet to make the hat longer. I used the instructions for the woman's size and I did not think it would fit me but it was amazing how as it got longer the fit improved, a good lesson for any hats I make from the top down. (As an aside, a similar principle to making toe-up socks, the toe of the sock shouldn't be increased to fit completely across the toes of the foot otherwise it will be too big once you start the main part of the sock.)

Once I finished the hat, I wanted to start another as a gift, but sense prevailed as I have all these other projects to finish.

OK I lied, I cast on a different hat pattern as a gift to work on during the play offs.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Left Overs

These are a couple of projects that I finished at the end of last year so didn't have time to make it into a blog post.

Both items are for charity and the first one is the start of a new blanket for Western Regions Oddball Baby Blankets. In the post where I showed the first section I had knitted for this group, I mentioned that I started a new blanket. What I always hate about starting a blanket is choosing a name. But living close to the beach in Southern California it wasn't hard to come up with Surf's Up, although I don't know how I will come up with a name the next time.

The blanket starts and finishes with a few rows of garter stitch. I knew I did not have enough of the turquoise to work the edge and 4-inches of pattern so I worked the garter stitch in an off-white. I think it sets off the pattern nicely. Both yarns were left overs.

I keep an easy project in the car to work on in those times I am waiting in the car without knitting, usually because I was picking up son or husband from work. The last project, a dress for a teddy bear, shown here lived in my car for almost 2 years. And the new project (a sweater for a teddy bear) was going the same way. So now whenever I stop at the beach I work on my car project. This meant this project took just over a year and I'm hoping that the next project (matching shorts) takes less time.

And I have a completed project for 2014 which will have it's own post.