Knit Meter

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Spot the Mistake and Two Finished Objects

The other day I was packing up items to send to Operation Gratitude and couldn't work out why I had nine different hats when I knew I had worked one pattern twice. Checked Ravelry - definitely two hats, one pattern. Really confused until I looked closer at the photographs - one was inside out.

Here's the right side

which is the second one knitted and shown here.

And here is the wrong side

which I showed here not noticing that I was showing the inside. I think I prefer this side.

Last month I finished three items, one of which is a present so can't be shown yet. First is a baby cardigan knitted with Berroco Elements. Common Threads had a sale before the Yarn Crawl and this is the only yarn I purchased; once again I agonized over the pattern and ended up with Wee Bean by Taiga Hilliard. She has a lot of children's patterns on Ravelry, many of them free. I worked more rows between the buttonholes and continued them down the front, if I make this again I will space them out more, and added two rows of garter stitch just after the armholes. I bound off with just a few inches to spare.

The other finished item is socks (of course).

The yarn is Show Stealer by Leading Men Fiber Arts a merino, cashmere, nylon, sock yarn in the colorway "Fox Says What".

The challenge for November was all about fraternal and mirrored socks and as I didn't know how this colour would show patterns I chose a simple pattern - Zigzagular Socks. From the blurb on Ravelry - This pattern is my solution to the variegated yarn conundrum - that one where a gorgeous skein of yarn refuses to knit well in a pattern, but the thought of yet another totally stockinette sock is too monotonous to bear.

I have started to make changes to all the socks I knit:- work the leg in a larger size needle; have two or three garter stitches on each side of heel flap; work heel flap to length I like.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Some Socks

This was, and still is, a short post to show off a pair of socks I'd knitted. The writing took no time - yarn, pattern, photo - until I decided to add a photo of the yarn in the skein. I found three that looked good so why not make a collage I'd done that once before. And then I spent too much time looking at my photo editing programmes to make a collage. My post back in March 2014 said I just clicked a button. Do you think I could find any freaking lets-make-a-collage button; was I driving myself crazy looking at these programmes over and over and was I glad that hubby and I had a lunch date? Until later in the day when I was putting my sewing machine away (I did a little more sewing which has to be redone but that's another story) and remembered that there was old photo editing software on my old laptop. Fired the thing up and voila, hey presto, Bob's your uncle, there it was, the magic make-a-collage button. So now to the action.

As I have a little supply of sock yarn my aim is to knit something with sock yarn every month - doesn't have to be socks. So this should be my tenth sock yarn project of the year. Hmm, unfortunately that isn't the case; but it is the seventh so not too bad.

The challenge for October was under appreciated patterns. Which meant any pattern that was available to the general public, had been published more then three months previously and had less then 15 projects on Ravelry. I wanted to use this yarn - Celestial Strings Shuffle Sock and thought it would be a good idea to see if any of the patterns in books I owned qualified. I started with a cabled pattern from Think Outside the Sox but quickly stopped as the cables were not showing. I then turned to a pattern which I had wanted to work for the self-striping month but it did not qualify - Double Wing 'Agate' Socks. I really like how they came out. I finished them within the month and also entered them in a Pinktober challenge.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Some Sewing

I would like to do some sewing every week but I don't often manage to achieve that. So I am excited when I actually finish a sewing project.

A while ago I had purchased a jelly roll from Jo-Anns but had no plans until I saw a video from The Missouri Quilt Co. She used a jelly roll for this quilt based on a design by the 3 Dudes. A sewing day with my friend Jenny, got all the strips sewn together. Although I was disappointed with the quality of the jelly roll. It had been cut with the fabric folded in half and was not cut straight at the fold line. One of the reasons for buying pre-cut fabric is that it will be precisely cut.

I don't have any photos of the strips sewn together or cut into squares but here is a picture of a square after it has been cut on the diagonal.

The quilt needed backing and binding and this is where The Missouri Quilt Company came in again and I used self-binding baby quilt. You have to e careful to follow her instructions so that the mitered corners lie flat. After adding the backing, I inserted some batting and then sewed all round the seam.

I really love this quilt; it looks complicated but was simple. It is on its way to my nephew for his upcoming baby.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Yes I Cast On New Projects But I Also Finished Them

Insert smiley face.

Last time I wrote how happy I was to have finished five projects and not to have started five new ones. That didn't last long as there was a report of cold heads in Calgary. So over the course of four days I made three hats - two knitted, one crocheted - baby, toddler and adult. And they have been mailed.

I used Red Heart Soft that was already in my stash; the hardest part was choosing three patterns.

First off was Kiddie Cadet for the baby.

I didn't work the purl round just before the increases as I wanted a rounded shape.

For the toddler I crocheted a pattern that was already in my queue - Olivia's Butterfly. I started this with a size I hook as recommended on the yarn label but the hat came out too small so I restarted with a J hook and added three more rows of double crochet before working the butterfly chains.

For Mama I had a few patterns saved from when I had been asked to make her a slouchy hat and I chose Small Hills Hat. There were plenty of comments about that hat coming out small so I added 12 stitches - a complete pattern repeat. This pattern has instructions for a regular hat or slouchy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Finishing Frenzy

This week I have finished five items. And when I say finished I mean completely finished, ready to wear, ends sewn in, blocked, buttons sewn on. I feel so good to have these off the needles and not to start five new projects to replace them.

Here they are all piled up waiting for the photo shoot.

Let's go through them in order of starting.

It's a Clapotis. This was the project I mentioned at the beginning of May that I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue. Obviously I did - after much thought. It is an easy pattern and I like one of those on the needles; I had had a hard time coming up with a pattern for this yarn. I am pleased with the end result so glad I decided to continue. The yarn is handspun by a friend given to me when I left Calgary. I started it on 17 April while on holiday and finished it on 8 October. When I give finishing dates that is the date when the item is ready to wear not when the knitting is finished. For example with this project I finished the knitting on 2 October, sewed in the ends on 4 October and blocked it on the 8th. This is the second Clapotis I have made. I made my first one in 2009 and you can see it here.

This was started on 1 July as 3 of us were going to do a CAL. I was very slow with mine but finally finished it on the 9th. Luckily I had bought the buttons a while ago otherwise this still might not be finished. The pattern is Eloise Baby Sweater and I used Red Heart Soft that was in my stash because my intention was to make two of these. The first one I finished a year ago but I just didn't feel like making another one straight away. In fact if it hadn't been for doing a CAL with friends I doubt I would have made this.

I started this in July and deliberately made it a slow project working a few rows a day. I need a photo shoot with my husband to show off all my lovely shawls that I have finished this year. The yarn for this one is Regal Silk by Artyarns and it is sooo soft.

In August I started a top for my expected baby great-niece. A local yarn shop was having a sale and I was looking at patterns in my queue on Ravelry to get some ideas. In my queue was Super Simple Baby Tunic and Ravelry told me that it had been made with yarn in my stash - Sirdar Snuggly Baby Speckle which I had bought on the yarn crawl in 2013 and used to make this jacket. I had one complete ball left over but had no idea what to do with it. This little top was ideal. I converted the pattern to top down and knitted in the round as I wanted to use all the yarn. I added some white sparkly baby yarn I had in stash and the buttons were in stash also.

I don't have a photo of the last finished item as it really needs to be worn to show well. But it is Starshower, a shawl-cowl hybrid. This was a project started on vacation and also a KAL with a friend who was working a worsted weight version. I used sock yarn that had been in my stash since December 2011.

I was really happy to finish all these items as now my WIPs are at a low level. I need to make something for charity but will aim for something easy and quick.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Three Hats

In my first post this month, I mentioned I had made another Man Hat for charity but I noticed I had not posted a picture - so here it is.

I decided not to make one of the suggestions for July, instead I searched for a crochet pattern I could make with yarn in my stash. I chose Textured Unisex Hat crocheted on a size 6.00mm hook with Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice. The hat looked really big but fit me so I added a couple of rounds of single crochet on a size 5.00mm hook to make the edge fit better.

The knitted suggestion for August was Turn A Square by Jared Flood. I had knit this pattern before in 2011 and decided to knit it again for charity. It was knitted on size 5.00mm needles with Red Heart Soft from my stash.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Tale of Two Socks

I know I’ve only just posted but as I have a photo, I’m quickly writing about my socks before something shiny appears. These socks have a bit of story behind them as it was a classic case of love the yarn, can’t find a suitable pattern.

The yarn is called Opposites Attract by Barking Dogs Yarn

This is how the dyer describes the colours: Fun pairs of one split skein! The idea behind these pairs is to get a pair of socks whose colorway has reversed itself. One sock will have a large area of a main color with other smaller accent colors. The alternate sock is just reversed as in one of the accent colors used in the first sock will be the main color with smaller accent colors.

This seemed a fun idea so I bought some; way back in 2010. There were fewer colourways then and I chose Liz & Richard for a couple of reasons. The colours duh. Of the choices at the time these two went together well and Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were a British/American couple just like my spouse and me.

When the yarn arrived I knew there was no way I was going to make a pair of socks with it. Although the skeins were complimentary, I would not want different colour socks. So the yarn sat in my stash. After failing to convince a friend to swap for something of hers, we did some brain storming and decided it would work as a shawl(ette) and in August 2014 we started a mystery shawl pattern.

Both of us gave up pretty quickly although I did knit all the light blue and let it sit on the needles until May 2015 when I decided to use the yarn for a mystery sock pattern. I started off with the dark blue, loved other people’s socks, just not mine.

Now I was determined to use this yarn. The challenge for June 2015 in Sock Knitters Anonymous was Unusual Construction and I found just the pattern for the theme and my yarn - Pole Dance - each sock has both colours. To fit in with the trouble this yarn has been, I did not finish these socks by the end of July – the finish date of the challenge – I finished them in August.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Not As Long As I Thought

It feels like such a long time since I posted on here but I see that it’s only been a month. In that time one post was started and forgotten and 8 items have been finished. Impressive eh? Just not sure how I still have many items on the go!

I finished three hats, a cowl, 2 shawls, a toddler jacket and a pair of socks. I don’t have photos of all of them yet but I can show some off in this post.

I’ll just show these in order of finishing.

Firstly the jacket for a toddler.

The yarn is Cozy Soft Prints by Ella Rae which I bought on last year’s yarn crawl. I purchased two balls to make a toddler’s cardigan which should have been enough except I chose a pattern with a hood. (I should insert here that I took forever to choose a pattern because I wanted to make something different which is ridiculous really because I was just making a cardigan.) My friend had bought the same yarn on the yarn crawl and let me have her left overs. (She had made a hat.) With my two balls and her left overs I had just enough to complete the jacket.

Buttons were in my stash, from frogging this.

Next finished item was a hat for charity. It is another Man Hat. When I was away at the end of May, I took yarn to be able to make two of these. I cast this on when I had finished the first one and finished when I got home. The yarn and needles are the same except I used the Faded Denim colourway.

And then I finished a shawl. I had another skein of TOFUtsies by South West Trading Company that I had been given and as I liked this shawl so much, I decided another shawl would be ideal.

The pattern is Crooked Cathedral, available through Ravelry (of course). I had purchased this pattern in 2013 when it was on sale so I was pleased that I actually got to knit it. (I rarely buy patterns unless I am ready to cast on.)

I used size 4mm needles, I lengthened the first section according to pattern but not the second as I didn’t have enough yarn. I worked a beaded cast off. There was yarn left over but not enough for another row.

I have a poor photo of another shawl I finished. I’m showing it because I love this shawl so much. More information when I have better photos.

And another hat. This time because I wanted to try the pattern. One of my knitting groups meets every other Tuesday evening and I have started to go on a more regular basis. The organizer of this group is Heather of Ewe Ewe Yarns and her friend is Meaghan of The Unapologetic Knitter. Meaghan is originally from Calgary which must explain why she designed this hat. (Isn’t that a great photo of Meaghan BTW.)

I decided to knit this pattern because I have never knit two colour brioche: I certainly don’t need a thick hat. And if I’m going to knit something to try the technique and support a knitting group friend then it certainly makes sense to buy the recommended yarn and support another knitting group friend. I had never used Ewe Ewe Yarns before, so this was a good excuse.

This was a good learning project. I am disappointed with the neatness of some of my decrease stitches. I probably shouldn’t beat myself up about that as it was the first time of working decrease in brioche knitting. On the other hand, I am an experienced knitter and should know better.

And that’s it for photos. I still have to photograph a hat and the socks and get better photos of the shawl. I’ll try not to leave it so long.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

More Graduation Gifts

Having knitted a gift last year for daughter of friends', husband asked me to make something this year for the daughter of other friends who graduated high school. She will be going to Cal Berkely so I didn't have to worry about warmth just something that looked nice in the right colours. Cal's colours are dark blue and gold. Neither of which I had in stash; gold didn't particularly thrill me anyway. At Common Threads I purchased some RYC Cashcroft DK to make fingerless mitts. Then followed the search on Ravelry for the right pattern. I finally settled on Cupcake Mittlets. I used size 3.25mm needles which is smaller then the size recommended for the yarn but I liked the look and feel of the fabric.

Having graduated from University last year, her older sister is off to law school in New Hampshire - definitely needs a hat. Her school colours are white and blue so a skein of white(ish) Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande was purchased. This is the same yarn I used for my friend's hat. It is so soft and squishy and ideal for garter stitch. No problems choosing a pattern for this hat. I chose Qunicy, the fourth time I have made this pattern - I must love it!

This is the first one I made; and this is the third one.

The baby alpaca is thicker than the yarn recommended for the pattern so I cast on less stitches and knitted until it fit around my head. After picking up stitches I worked a round to adjust the total stitches then I worked the top pattern with five swirls instead of six.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Finished Baby Blanket

I finally finished and delivered a baby blanket.

Allegedly, this took me six and a half months to make but three of those months were procrastination in sewing the thing together.

The pattern is Learn to Knit a Log Cabin Blanket by Staci Perry and thanks to the joys of Ravelry I saw a project I liked which had changed the traditional log cabin format from a different colour on every strip to the same colour for each “round”. I chose white for the centre squares and three shades of blue for the other sides. I worked six white squares first then the next colour on three of them and then the next colour; and repeated this for the remaining three white squares.

When these were finished I decided that the remaining shade of blue, a navy, did not work well, so I had to try out different colours. (I did this by purchasing different colours and placing them next to the squares, not by actually knitting onto the squares.) I settled on red. In hind sight if I had wanted to have all shades of blue I should have used the navy for the centre squares and white for the joining strips. But that’s not important because I like the final result.

Why the procrastination in sewing the squares together? Because I knew the finished blanket wasn’t going to be perfect. Silly I know but there are certain parts on the blanket that I would do differently next time. And there is always a chance of there being a next time because I like this design but there are so many patterns available why knit one twice? (She says just having finished a hat pattern for the fourth time.)

The mother of the baby loved it which is the main thing.

The yarn is Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice and I used 5.5mm needles.

The other good thing about showing this finished blanket is that balls of yarn out now exceed balls of yarn in; which makes me happy. Now I just need the metres knitted/crocheted to exceed the amount in.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Finished Items

Last time I said I had some finished objects and here they are. Three of them anyway.

Let’s start with socks. A friend in Canada gave me some wonderful locally dyed sock yarn. Checking previous posts, I note that I have been remiss in not posting details. So here are a couple of photos of the yarn. It is Kick Ass Sock by Two Birds Knitting Co. in the colourway Flue by Ewe.

One of the challenges for April in the sock knitting group was Food and Drink and I found this pattern – Effervesce by purrlescent. (Funny thing, only now checking the pattern info do I realize that both the yarn and the pattern come from people in Calgary.) Amazingly the pattern was free. I thought it would take me quite a while to knit because of the cables but it turned out to be an enjoyable knit especially once I worked out which way I like to cable without a cable needle.

I changed the heel slightly so that slip stitches followed the pattern into the heel, with purl stitches in between and three garter stitches at each edge.

The other two items are both hats for charity. I was away at the end of May into the beginning of June and rather than wait for my return to start an item for Operation Gratitude I chose a pattern and yarn and needles to take with me. The pattern was Man Hat which I knit with Bernat Softee Chunky Solids on 8.0 mm needles. It is a broken rib pattern so an easy knit with a bit of interest.

The other hat I started on the flight when we went away in the middle of April. When I fly I take a crocheted item with a plastic crochet hook so that if it is taken away there is only one loose stitch and it is not a problem losing a plastic hook. I started the hat on the flight out and had trouble finding the end of the yarn so I had way too much out of the skein. I also messed up the joining the chain so at the hotel I pulled it out and started again but I did not work on it as I was saving it for flights. I had two plastic crochet hooks just in case and I meant to give one to my husband but I forgot which was rather annoying as they were both taken off me at security on the way home. I had a bamboo hook in the same size which I took with me on the latest trip. It actually was a nice hook and worked well with the yarn I was using. I worked on the hat on both the outward and return flight and finished the hat. When I got home I could not find the hook and I can only guess that it fell out of my bag on the plane. So this hat has cost me three hooks!

The pattern is Tulips Hat and I used Red Heart Soft.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So Much To Say

But I haven't said it.

Different things pop into my head to write about for this blog but they don't make it into print. I also have some finished projects but they also haven't shown up here.

Hmm... I think just writing this is the incentive I need to take photos.

Watch this space.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Two Hats

My friend very kindly sent me a photo of the hat I made for her. She likes it and I am really pleased that it fits. The hat is squishy garter stitch so not tight at all.

And I have crocheted a hat for Operation Gratitude. This month the suggestions were both from bulky yarn and I have some in my stash so it was not hard to choose the crochet option - it is called Area Code Beanie and is available on Ravelry. It was a really quick project that should have been finished in an evening, except the extra round of double crocheted that I finished with became single crochet half way around.

The yarn is Charisma by Loops and Threads and I used a 8.0mm hook.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I Can Show Some Gifts

except I don't have photos of one of them.

One of my friends is moving across the country so yesterday her and another friend and I went to lunch as a sort of goodbye lunch. Sort of as in the sale of her house fell through so she does not know when she will be moving. We decided we would just keep having lunches until the day actually arrives.

But as this was her "official" goodbye lunch, we had gifts for her. The other friend gave her different yarns with colours to remind her of different parts of California. I thought that was a really good idea, memories when she knits them.

I made her a couple of things. As she is moving to the east, she will need cold weather clothing, so I knitted a hat. I have made loads of hats but I wanted it to be a pattern I hadn't knitted before. You think it would be easy to find a pattern but for some reason it wasn't. I finally settled on a pattern from a book I happened to have checked out from the library - Circular Knitting Workshop: Essential Techniques to Master Knitting in the Round by Margaret Radcliffe.
The pattern is Jogless Garter Stitch Hat, which is knit in the round from the top down, in a helix pattern, so that there is no obvious seam. And I don't have a photo of it. The best I can do is a photo of the yarn. I used Baby Alpaca Grande by Plymouth Yarn, bought especially as I did not have anything suitable in my stash.

I loved the joglessness (love that word too) of this method of knitting and will try to remember for other patterns in the round that are other than one colour stocking stitch.

I also made her a project bag. She enjoys watching Downton Abbey and I found some special fabric on line with Downton Abbey on it. Rather than buy a set of five fat quarters where I would only use three, I bought 3 half-yards of fabric and made a slightly bigger bag. The third fabric had a stocking stitch knitted print.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Needles Are Occupied

The problem with having too many projects on the go is that you can spend all your time knitting and still not have a completed project to show off.

I did finish three things in April but one is a gift so no photos yet, one is the black shawl show at the end of this post, which leaves one item to show today.

My completed hat for Operation Gratitude.

The pattern was free on Ravelry when we started the knitalong but now costs $4.00. I used yarn thicker than the pattern so used the appropriate size needles and cast on 8 fewer stitches; I also worked way fewer rows and did not work the eyelet rows at the top.

I am pleased that I finished a charity project despite too much not finished. We went away for a week in the middle of the month and I started a new project; I am not sure if I am happy with it so it has been set aside for now as I am not sure what I would make with the yarn anyway. I am casting off a shawl but as I am beading the edge it is a slow process; I have started to seam another project and my straight forward project gets worked on periodically.

I had picked yarn and pattern for the Sock Knitters Challenge in April but they didn't get cast on until the end of the month but as they are entered in the challenge it is incentive to finish them. I took them to knit group yesterday and they were hard going but I realised that they are easier to work on when I don't have my contact lenses in as there is a lot of cabling. They went much faster this morning. Also I have been looking at the mystery sock pattern for this month. I have some yarn that I have not been able to match with a pattern and it looks like the mystery will be perfect. Yes that will create more thinks on the needles (and I started an Operation Gratitude item) but they will be finished eventually.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Not Good Photos But At Least There Are Photos

Shawl(ette)s have been piling up waiting to be photographed. My intention was to ask my husband to take photos one weekend but I never got around to it so a couple of weeks ago I took photos. But when I looked at them they were rather blurry so I took a few today with my phone. Not brilliant but at last I'm showing off finished objects.

In order of finishing:

This is the shawl mentioned in this post. My shawl is obviously smaller than the one shown in the pattern so I had another look at the one on display at the Yarnover Truck and that one has been stretched out much more in blocking.

This was on the needles way longer than it should have been because there was a huge delay in finding the second colour of yarn and then I had to find the right beads. The pattern is Branching Out Shawlette and is available on Ravelry.

I used less than 20 grams of the second colour, from 100 gram skein and I did not want it to just sit in the stash so I cast on another shawl.

I love it and it is a pattern that needs to be well blocked to show off the design. Even so, it is still a small piece but I must remember to wear it to show off.

I was given the yarn used in this shawl when I left Calgary. It is lovely and soft and I couldn't decide whether to make slippers or a shawl. A friend said a shawl. Way back in July last year I started one and then when it was close to being finished I frogged it, partly because I couldn't think what type of cast off to work. I definitely didn't want the yarn to go into stash as I find it hard to work with yarn I have already used, so this was cast on.

The pattern is Summer Flies, a pattern that I have already made as seen here and here. One day I would like to make this pattern bigger.

I have way too many things on the needles right now and I'm itching to start more and so far this month I have one finished item. Time to get back to the knitting in hopes of being able to share more at the end of the month.