Knit Meter

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Won

Whenever I knit socks I almost always reference the group on Ravelry called Sock Knitters Anonymous that have monthly challenges and prizes.

I won a prize three years ago, a bag, and wrote that I was wondering whether to keep up with the group. The group has eleven challenges a year and looking at my projects, 2011 was the only year that I participated every month. So when I wrote that post 3 years ago I was already not fully participating. Looking at socks started since then I participate about half the time, but what happened as a subconscious decision is definitely the way I want to keep going. I will take part in a challenge only if I like a pattern that fits and have yarn that works with the pattern. I found in December I was really trying to fit pattern and yarn to a challenge which is why I ended up with a fail, so although I have yarn to choose from I am going to continue not forcing what I have fit the challenge.

And in case you're wondering, the moderator with the injudicious comments? She left the group started up a new, anything goes, group. Except anything goes meant as long as it was what she said and she was very rude to a participant and now hasn't been on Ravelry for nearly a year.

So is this post going anywhere? Yes, I'm here to tell you that I won again in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group, three years after my first win. The prizes are random number generated and I won for my socks completed for the November challenge shown in this post. I won a bag and three years ago I won a bag albeit by a different designer. Although I have plenty of project bags, I was excited to win a bag from Peg's Procrastinations as I had always admired them and even considered buying one before I started making my own. Peg very kindly let me pick a bigger bag than was allocated for the prize and I am very grateful as I have many small bags and as nice as it was to win a prize I just didn't want another small bag.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Let's Start The Year With Hats

Finished items! They may only be hats but they're completed items. One started this year and the other I was thinking of frogging but changed my mind when I saw that I was more than half-way through.

First the one started this year as it feels good to start a project and finish without it being set aside for something else. It certainly helped that this was a gift and I had a box full of things ready to send.

The pattern is Antler Hat by Tincan Knits; the same design team responsible for the hat pattern shown in this post. Yarn is Red Heart Soft as it is easy to care for and I used 4 mm and 5 mm needles.

The other hat is one I started right at the end of October for Operation Gratitude. I was going to unpick it as the slip stitch pattern doesn't really show up in this yarn but as I had only an inch to go before shaping, I decided it was worth continuing. The yarn is Charisma by Loops and Threads and I used size 6 mm and size 8 mm needles. The colour of the yarn is Dark Blue but it really did not want to be photographed.

I immediately cast on another hat so that I would have something simple to work on.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


A bit late but lets see what I achieved.

The projects mentioned in my last post are not included in any of these numbers.

In 2015 I had 53 projects on the needles, four of which were frogged, although there were more that didn't get past the first couple of rows so a project page was not made on Ravelry. (Two of these were projects started in 2014 that I finally decided to end.) Uh oh, two of the projects on the needles at the beginning of 2015 are still not finished. One of them has become the project that I work on at the outdoor concerts in the summer. Maybe this year is the year. The other project is not one that I can just pick up and work on for a short while. Like I set aside sewing days I need to set aside a day for this project. It would also be a good time to catch up on podcasts.

But in addition to these two projects, I ended the year with four other projects on the go. (Although I'm pretty sure I'm going to frog one.) One is a shawl that I would have finished before we went on vacation except I want to use all the yarn. I have reached and worked some of the border, which is knitted on sideways, now I have to decide how many extra rows to add before the border and which pattern to use.

The other two projects are cardigans, one of which is very lacy, but I should look at the other one and see if it is suitable for knitting group.

But (yes another one) I cast on a hat this year, so although not in the stats it needs to be finished first.

Ten projects were for charity and 18 were for other people. I only knit five pairs of socks, (plus the two frogged projects) but also used sock yarn in four other projects. I made 18 hats, nine shawls/wraps (two still being worked on) and four pairs of gloves; seven projects were crochet.

And how did I do for yarn buying? Notice I left this to the end. I knitted 9532 metres and crocheted 814 metres. This is about the same as 2014 which isn't bad considering December was a total wash out. I haven't got a final figure for the total yarn added but it is similar to 2014. In other words more yarn in than out. Yes, I'd like to use more than I buy, so let's get knitting.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Vacation Knitting

We went away for just over two weeks at the beginning of December and I made sure I had a good supply of yarns and patterns with me. But this trip was a total disaster for producing anything I liked.

The flights would be long so I thought that making a scarf was a good idea as scarves can be quite tedious to make. I also chose crochet as I would not be happy losing knitting needles. Having made the Tulips Hat for charity, I decided to make the Tulips Scarf. I had a good supply of Red Soft in my stash and made sure I had a collection of crochet hooks in various parts of my luggage in case any were taken from me especially on the return flight from another country. (Although I was never once asked about them.)

The first problem arose on the long flight. The cabin lights were dimmed for the entire flight and the overhead lights shone on my husband's seat and not mine. I was working with dark blue yarn and soon gave up. A missed opportunity but I should have been sleeping anyway. Then when I looked at it in the light of day, I did not like the edges of the scarf as they were uneven. I need to take a better look at it to see if it can be improved or if it is a design "feature".

In down time on our vacation I cast on a shawl, I thought this would be a quick knit and it would be nice to have a finished item and not add to my WIPs. The pattern I had chosen was Spytacular by Meaghan Schmaltz she of the hat at the end of this post. I have seen this design IRL in two different colourways so knew I liked it, it wouldn't require much concentration but it wouldn't be boring. I also had a skein of sock yarn, purchased at The Vista Fiber Arts Fiesta in October this year, which I thought would be perfect. In fact when I purchased it I had decided I wanted to make a shawl and not socks.

The first problem was with the knitting needles. I was using needles from my interchangeable set and one had a groove at the join of the wooden needle and the metal end and the yarn kept on getting caught. I am not sure if that played into my decision that I didn't like my project. So I didn't actually pull it apart, I just stopped working on it. There isn't a problem with the pattern nor the yarn; I just think they do not work together. The yarn will be better in a stocking stitch pattern to show off the colour - and yes it is likely to become socks.

And, of course, looking at this photo I wonder why I don't like it.

Not to worry I still had other yarn and patterns. So I cast on a sock. I used Oink Pigments in the colour Goldfish Bowl. I had looked at projects on Ravelry and this colour stripes, so I looked at self-striping patterns, inspired by the Ravelry's group theme of self-striping for the December challenge. I chose Borracha Socks. There are three things wrong with this sock that I know make me not want to continue. 1. The yarn does not stripe enough to show off the pattern; 2. I do not like the way the pattern changes the shape of the foot - see on the right side of the photo; 3. I'm convinced the sock will be too big. I have already chosen another pattern for this yarn which will fit a future SKA challenge.

At this stage I was pretty disgusted with myself for not committing to anything. Although I had another skein of sock yarn and a pattern as well as internet, so access to a multitude of patterns, I gave up on the idea of working on anything.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

December was a busy month and I've been writing an update in the spare minutes I have each day. The nice thing about being so busy, I can ignore the yarn in and out for 2015 for the moment. But I did take a screen shot of my blog yesterday so that I have a record of amount crocheted and knitted as KnitMeter resets to zero at the beginning of each year.

Having looked at what I wrote at the end of 2014, I'm not sure I have achieved much of my plan but it will be fun planning for 2016.