Knit Meter

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Started in France

and finally finished.

A couple of posts ago I showed you the finished but unblocked shawl that I started in December 2015 and finished this month. The initial problem was the needles I was using and then I started wondering if I really wanted to knit it at all. In my post-vacation post I said that the yarn would become socks. But as I hadn't a plan, the project never got ripped out. Finally I showed it to one of my knitting friends and she encouraged me to continue. The pattern is not hard but does require concentration because of all the knit two together through back loops. The pattern can be worked in one colour or extra rows added with another colour. I worked until I had completely used up the skein of yarn and then used some left over sock yarn to add another section. Blocking was easy as I just soaked and laid it out. (Rescued it from the cat and laid it out again.) It grew about 30%.

I am not really sure how to wear it but here are a couple of photos.

The yarn is Yummy Fingering Superwash Sock by Candy Skein and the pattern is Spytacular.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

And Now What's On The Needles

Despite finishing a number of projects I did not have to start anything new as there are still a few projects on the go. There is a new project I am eager to start but I told myself I had to wait until I had finished my "France project" and started the second colour in my Arlequin Shawl. This post shows the first colour and at the end of the post is the yarn I am using for another shawl - Quadratische. It is a complicated pattern and I try to knit a little on the days when I have time to myself. I am loving it so far.

I've been looking at blog posts for December and January and it appears I did not do a round up for the year, which surprises me as I recall that the knitting/crocheting for 2016 was the lowest for a long time. I was looking to see what I had said about two old projects. Anyway I have two very old projects, one of which is the project that gets worked on at the outdoor concerts, otherwise all the projects on my needles were started this year. In addition to the two shawls, I am working on a hat. It is a Christmas present but I started it as part of a Knit-Along. The KAL finishes on May 1 and it is highly unlikely that I will finish the hat by then but it is started. The problem is that I am not enjoying the knit which I think is due to the combination of yarn and needles, although it is yarn I have used often. I will get this finished by Christmas.

I am very excited about this low number of projects. The number of WIPs has been high for a long time because of the older projects but I have been finishing these gradually and finishing new projects I start. Will 2017 be the year I finish the two old projects?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Some Finished Items

I have four and a bit finished projects to show. The bit is a shawl that is not blocked.

First off the needles was my Pi shawl. A photo of it in progress was shown here and its unblocked state was shown here. The blocking was surprisingly easy. The shawl is big and I thought it would take forever to block although the instructions said to just block the centre part as the mesh was more than a circle. After soaking the shawl and laying it out I did not have to do anything else as the pattern had opened up. The yarn is Findley by Juniper Moon; I was given the pink and the red was in my stash and I used both completely.

I love the finished item; this is the only photo I have so far. The pattern is Shipwreck Shawl available free from Knitty. It is not a hard pattern, in fact the mesh pattern is rather boring. Adding beads broke up the monotony but I complained about that so much. I threaded the beads onto the yarn and that was really such a pain to thread them on the yarn and move them along. I wound my yarn on my swift and did it that way. I thought I would be able to thread the beads and have them on the yarn at regular intervals but that didn't work so I had to move the beads along periodically. It was annoying and made the project not very portable. I looked at project notes to see what others had done and a few had broken the yarn periodically to thread more beads. Some people had changed the way of placing beads. Instead of threading them on the yarn they had placed the beads as they knit. I like the finished effect on my shawl but it is not something I want to repeat for a long time.

Next item was the hat I started on my flight to vacation. I only had a few rows till it was finished. The pattern is Better Late Than Never Beanies available free on Ravelry. In the pattern the brim is worked in the contrast colour but I changed it on mine as Operation Gratitude do no like too much light colour on the hats. The yarn is Vanna's Choice (in stash) and this is my first crocheted project this year. For someone who said they were taking a break from knitting for charity I have made three hats this year.

I finally finished a cardigan that I started in April 2015, frogged and restarted in April 2016, and finished on 31 March this year. A two year project. It has been blocked and worn. The information on the yarn is in this post.

Next item finished was the shawl I started in France in 2015. That was the vacation where every project was a disaster. This is it fresh off the needles. I hope to block it this weekend.

Finally I finished a small hat that was my handbag project. The pattern is Swirl Hat, a free pattern on Ravelry. The yarn is Baby Alpaca Cherish by Plymouth Yarns in the boysenberry colourway. A friend had been to a knitting event and this was one of the giveaways that she had received and was passing on to her knitting group. The pattern is very easy as it is the same every row. This will be a Christmas present.

I have to add that I am very excited that at just past the first quarter I have knitted (crocheted) more yarn than yarn that has come into the stash.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Knitting Patterns

Today’s post is prompted by my recent purchase of two patterns. One I mentioned in my last post and at the moment I will not name the second one as it is by a well-loved designer and from much reading on Ravelry, hell-fire on anyone who critiques one of those designers; although anyone else is fair game. Typical on-line world in other words.

In addition to materials required, yarn, needles etc., from a knitting pattern I expect a good photo showing the item to be knitted in its entirety, a glossary of knitting abbreviations used, and a clearly written pattern. A pattern does not have to be long to provide all this. I also expect it to be error free especially if I have paid for the pattern.

Buying a pattern is very much a matter of trust. The knitter, the consumer, has to trust that they will be sent instructions that will enable them to make the item pictured on Ravelry or the designer’s website. (I am talking about knitting but this applies to crochet patterns. Also sewing and quilting patterns can be purchased electronically.) I was trying to think of another concept to compare it to and came up with going to a new restaurant. You know what is in the meal you’ve ordered but you have to trust that what is put in front of you is an edible combination of those items. A knitting pattern you buy electronically, you know what you want to end up with and hope that you have been given the correct information to get there.

So let’s look at the two patterns I purchased. Firstly the shawl pattern I mentioned last time. The Quadratische Decke shawl.. A pattern that I would say is for an advanced knitter. The designer states that it is an adaptation of a Herbert Niebling pattern, a German designer of fancy, complicated lace pieces. And looking at pictures of the original pattern, it is a major adaptation. I was about to write, I took a leap of faith and purchased the pattern. But I would have to write that every time I purchased a pattern so sounds rather redundant. Plus I have already written above about having to buy on trust. Although if you have already knitted a pattern from that designer you have an idea of their pattern writing style. When I paid for my pattern I received a PDF of 31 pages. The designer included information on all the test knitters with photos of all the test knits; a sample graph to work a test swatch, charts of all 8 patterns, some of which are enlarged at the end of the pattern. It is a very comprehensive pattern and any questions that have arisen are a matter of the novice knitter. I felt I got really good value for money. I am about half way through and have no issues with the pattern.

The other pattern is for a hat and the pattern includes two different styles. The beginning of each hat is different but the body is the same and the pattern is written to reflect this. The pattern starts with version A the instructions ending with continue with the body of the hat; and then version B ending with continue with the body of the hat; and then you get the instructions for the body of the hat. The hat has a pattern and the designer states from where she got the pattern so it is not something she designed herself but she did have to work out how to fit it into the body of the hat.

I have not got very far with this pattern. It is for a Christmas present but I started it as there is a KAL in a group on Ravelry so that was incentive to cast on. Although I have not got very far, I have found one mistake and one area that could have been written differently. The mistake concerns the needles stated in the requirements and the needles stated in the instructions. In the pattern instructions you are told to change needles but to a size that is not included in the requirements. Although the pattern was published three years ago, this discrepancy was pointed out only 5 months ago. The designer said she would update the pattern but she still has not done this. The designer is selling something she knows has a mistake but there’s no complaints because as I said at the beginning you can’t say anything considered negative about this designer.

The area that could have been written clearer concerns the cast on and following pattern. The pattern is a four row repeat with a definite right side and wrong side. The instructions state to cast on with the contrast colour and then you change to the main colour and the four row repeat. Except you are not told which type of cast on to use – I don’t have a problem with that – except some cast ons have a wrong and right side so if you start the repeat on row 1 you know have the wrong side of your cast on facing. Which is fine if that’s what you want. So with these two issues so early on it makes me wonder what else will come up in the pattern that I will have to amend because there is a mistake or less than clear instructions.

I am pointing out what you get with each pattern because I had to pay for both of them and I the difference in quality was obvious but the difference in price was only $1.00. At least the shawl pattern was the more expensive one but considering what you got the price differential does not seem enough. Is the hat pattern too expensive or the shawl pattern too low? My opinion is both. The hat pattern should have been a slightly lower cost and the shawl pattern should have been higher.

Please note these are my opinions based on the quality of the two patterns I received. Neither of which I got a chance to look at before purchase.