Knit Meter

Thursday, January 26, 2017

What's On The Needles

After the recent finishing flurry, although, it could be argued that the finishing flurry was caused by a cast on flurry, I had a chance to look at what was already on my needles and choose what to work on next.

Apart from the new cast on of an easy hat pattern that is. I was worried that if the striped Encore went into the stash it would never get used so I found a simple but new to me pattern and got it started. Also I had finished the charity hat, which I call my handbag project, and started a new one.

I took the socks out of their project bag but I haven't quite made up my mind to frog them although I do have another project in mind for the yarn. So I picked up the cardigan and knitted some on that.

I have to say I was very happy when I picked it up as I knew I was at the sleeves but I had to wind the yarn and pick up stitches from waste yarn. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened the bag and not only was the yarn wound but one set of sleeve stitches were on the needle. I wish I could say that there are yarn fairies but this must have been something I did way before Christmas when grandchildren were asleep or with their parents. Anyway I was very happy to just be able to pick up the yarn and needles and start knitting.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Some Thought Did Go Into The Process

Although I seriously doubt it.

I decided to knit a hat for my niece's boyfriend. I chose a pattern before I bought yarn which is the black tweed yarn shown in the bottom right corner in this post. It is Monte Donegal from Plymouth Yarns; a mix of alpaca, merino, acrylic and rayon. It is a lovely soft yarn. The pattern I chose was the Antler Touque by Tin Can Knits.

So far so good until I looked at gauge. The pattern has a gauge of 18 stitches and the yarn is 20 stitches. I know the recipient has a big head and as I was already planning to knit the largest size, what did I decide to do? Go up a needle size. I knew this was crazy. I know that I tend to knit to the gauge stated on the ball bands of large yarn companies, I know that going up a needle size would make a looser fabric. BUT I STILL DID IT. And guess what, after casting on 106 stitches, joining without twisting, (I feel like that should be in all caps too), and ribbing a few rows I knew it was wrong and I should work with the recommended needle size. So did I re-cast on with smaller needles? No. I decided I needed a completely different pattern with a gauge that matched the yarn.

I came up with this pattern. I thought it was a cable pattern but two stitches go over two stitches whereas with a cable the stitches cross in front of or behind other stitches. After pulling the needles out of the original cast on and before ripping it out completely I stretched the rib to see how wide the hat was and it was plenty wide but I was so set on the other pattern it never occurred to me to just cast on the same pattern with smaller needles. I think I was worried about how much the cables would pull in the main part of the hat.

The pattern was a quick knit and easily memorized. I added more rib rows to the bottom and added an extra eight rows of pattern before the decreases. I used one whole ball of yarn. I'll include a photo to show how much yarn was left, against my laptop as reference. Which means I have one complete ball left over but that can become fingerless gloves at Christmas. The hat is amazingly stretchy so I am confident it will fit and the "cables" show up nicely even though the yarn is dark.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Baby Clothes Are In The Mail

I've already posted a photo of the blanket I made and last time I posted a photo of the yarn I purchased. Now we have a photo of all the items I made.

Starting at top right, going clock-wise, there is a Wee Bean. I have knit this pattern before - see here. This is a simple top-down baby jacket pattern. The yarn is Red Heart Soft and I had quite a bit of the Off-White left over from the Eloise sweater I crocheted a couple of years ago. Despite various other projects and this jacket, I still have one complete ball. The orange is also left over from that project. My original intent was to work all the garter ridges in the orange but after the first one I changed my mind but also didn't want that to be the only orange in the piece so I worked one row before the bind off and the bind off in orange and all the garter stitch edging on the sleeves in orange.

The hat is also a pattern I have knit before. Obviously I like it. It is small but stretchy.

Next project along is the cardigan I started after I decided not to work the two colours of Encore in the same pattern. It is another Taiga Hilliard design - Little Avery. Again it is an easy top-down cardigan. I had 20 grams of yarn left over so rather than putting it with the left overs and never using it, I searched for a hat pattern and made the Embossed Leaves Hat. This is also very stretchy. I really like this pattern and can see myself knitting it again in an adult size.

Next item is another top down cardigan knit with the Magic Garden yarn. This is another pattern that I have made before but this time I have marked my project page to not make it again as I do not like the pattern, which I remembered when I was knitting but not before. I continued anyway. I did not use all the yarn I purchased but chose not to make anything else as I think this is garment-yarn not next-to-the-skin-yarn.

And the final item is the blanket which I showed in a post earlier this month.

All these were mailed on Tuesday. I hope that they don't take too long to arrive - the last parcel I sent to the UK (different address) took a month - and I hope that the parents like the items.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Buy Yarn, Cast On, Frog, Repeat

At the end of last year I bought some yarn specifically for gifts. Common Threads in Encinitas was having a post-Christmas sale and I went with the specific purpose of buying yarn for gifts.

I got yarn for all of the projects I planned. Two baby cardigans and an adult hat.

The baby items are for the baby due this month so I started one straight away and when I finished it I cast on the next one. Except I didn’t like it. I was using two strands of worsted weight yarn together and the fabric was too stiff. So I ripped it out. I could have re cast on with larger needles but then the size would have been bigger than I wanted. I looked for another pattern where I could stripe the two yarns. The pattern I found was written for sport weight yarn so I had to do a lot of adjusting and about half-way through I decided I really didn’t like it. So it was pulled out. I wish I had made that decision before cutting the coloured yarn when I worked the sleeves. Oh well. Finally I decided to just cast on the white yarn and that is successful.

While the frogging of the knitting projects was going on, I was trying to crochet a baby hat. From the library I had checked out Crochet One-Skein Wonders For Babies and I thought I would crochet a small hat using yarn left over from the red hat. I have made this hat twice with the same yarn so did not want to make a third but thought that a different hat in the same yarn would like nice. Ha. So wrong. The first pattern I tried the gauge was too big, so I started again with a smaller hook but the pattern didn’t really show so my second attempt was pulled out. I tried another pattern in the same book and that started to come out too too big so I gave up.

And then there’s the socks I started at the beginning of January which I haven’t worked on for a while because of all the baby things I have been knitting and because I’m not sure if I want to continue with the pattern.

But all is not doom and gloom, next time there will be photos of finished items.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Final Projects of the Year

I finished two baby projects at the end of last year and here is one of them. (The other one is a hat that goes with a jacket that is awaiting buttons so I will post those together.) My younger nephew is expecting a baby in January. So, of course, I had to make a blanket as every grandbaby has got one. I had yarn left over from this blanket, so it seemed to make sense to find a pattern where I could use this yarn. I really liked this one but decided that there was not enough contrast with the colours I had but definitely a pattern to be considered for future babies. This is the one I decided on although the pattern is written for sport weight yarn which is slightly thicker than the 4-ply of my yarn but I used size 4 mm needles as that was the size I had used on the first blanket. Plus it is a blanket so getting the same gauge and size is not crucial.

With this pattern, the coloured wedges are achieved with short rows and almost immediately I was reminded that I hate the look of short rows in garter stitch but I carried on in the hope that the recipients would not be bothered by it in the same way that I am. I still have yarn left over but there will not be a third blanket.

As this was finished last year I included the yarn used in last year's total. Alas no yarn out yet for this year.

Monday, January 2, 2017


It’s that time of year again. A summary of my knitting and did the stash go up or down?

In 2016 I had 32 projects on the go. None of this number is a frogged project although one project was frogged and restarted. 8 are WIPS.
Of the six projects that were on the needles at the start of 2016, three are finished, one is the previously mentioned frogged and restarted and two are never ending.

Only two of these projects were crocheted; I made 9 hats for charity and 9 gifts. I completed 13 hats, five pairs of socks, three shawls, a cardigan, a toy and a baby blanket.

I am starting 2017 with eight projects in progress – one cast on at end of year, one waits buttons, one handbag project, one I should frog, pi shawl (aiming to finish on 14 March), the cardigan that was restarted and two never ending shawls.

I did not do well with yarn in and out. The amount of yarn in measured by metres was not quite double the amount used and balls of yarn added to the stash was three times the number out. But as a ball has to be completely used before it is recorded as out, this number does truly reflect that I am working through stash, so this year I will add another number – new balls of yarn started. I hope this will reflect better how much yarn I am using.

At the start of each year, I look at my stash (not physically, the list I have on a spreadsheet) and decide what plans I have for my yarn and what order I would like to knit it. This is not set in stone but can change when I get new yarn, there is a KAL or I just feel like knitting a certain type of item, project or yarn. In past years this has helped me decide to sell yarn. This year I changed the list quite a bit as I will be starting the New Year by knitting baby items as well as participating in a KAL.

Thanks to Ravelry and how I tag my projects, I can see how many projects I have each year and this is my lowest year since 2008. So I am looking forward to a productive 2017.