Knit Meter

Sunday, December 31, 2017

On The Last Day of the Year

I enjoy this round up of the year because it makes me realize I have knitted more than I thought and reminds me of the lovely yarn in my stash. This year I am even more excited because I do not have any unfinished projects that were on my needles at the beginning of the year. My oldest project was started on 1 August and has languished because the whole KAL experience was annoying. I have decided to continue with the project because I do like it and it will not become another never-ending project.

What haven’t I done this year? Socks. I haven’t knitted any socks this year. Although I did cast on a sock at the beginning of the year but decided the yarn and pattern did not go together. And it has been frogged. Although I have enjoyed knitting socks it was nice to take a break from the knit-alongs which were certainly beginning to feel like a chore and not pleasure, making the theme fit even if I’d rather be knitting something else. This does not mean I will not knit more socks.

Not knitting socks has made me much more mindful of the sock yarn in my stash. Single-skein shawls can turn out too small. Although the first one shown in this post is a lovely shawl and nice size, I didn’t want to make one-skein projects just for the sake of it. Yarns were paired to make this shawl an extra skein of yarn was purchased to make this shawl and extra skeins were purchased on the yarn crawl to go with yarns in my stash.

In the fall of 2016 I said I was going to take a break from charity knitting. I did not take a complete break and made 6 ½ hats. I am happier that I am not stressing myself to complete something every month. I am going to use up all the “hat” yarn I have in stash and then decide where I would like to put my efforts. I am also abandoning KnitMeter. I liked it as a way to record amount knitted and comparing it with amount bought but it stopped working for me earlier this year. i.e I could not log in and contacts to the owners were not successful. I have the information in a spreadsheet, I just have to decide how I want to show all the information.

I am very excited to report that by the end of the year, the number of skeins/balls of yarn started in new projects was more than the number of new skeins added to my stash and the total length knitted was more than the total in. I’m not sure when I was last able to say that my stash was going down.

Interestingly, looking back at 2016’s post, the number of projects in that year was low, but 2017 was about the same number. I had 30 projects started this year and I frogged 6 of them. And of those frogged projects there is only one where the yarn has not been used in another project. This may not be a year for a high number of projects but it was a year for finishing things. I started the year with eight projects on the go all of which I finished and even the frogged project was restarted and finished. It feels so nice to have new projects that I want to work on.

I am starting the new year with five projects on the go including the project mentioned at the beginning. Two of these I started in December and the other two are crochet projects for charity. I am enjoying working on all of them and I am looking forward to another year of stash reduction.

And another wonderful year with my husband.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

On The Fifth Day of Christmas

Why yes it is another shawl. But it is the last one of the year. I had this lovely skein of sock yarn that I could have knitted into socks but I just really didn’t feel like doing but I did want to use the yarn. I put out an ISO on Ravelry and was offered a skein at a good price.

Next, find a pattern. I considered Waiting for Rain - but was not sure about all the garter stitch, and then a friend suggested Wake and gave me the pattern. I love it. And it was my favourite until the blue and white one came along.

I worked extra rows to use up all the yarn and then there was a two month gap before I worked the bind off. Yes – two months. It’s because I thought the bind off in the pattern was new to me and I wanted to set aside a good chunk of time to do it. When I finally had that time and looked at the bind off in detail I realized it was my standard YO bind off so I hadn’t needed to wait after all.

Friday, December 29, 2017

On The Fourth Day of Christmas

Another shawl – and not the last. This one has appeared in previous posts as it was a Pi Day cast on and it was one of the many projects featured in August.

Let’s talk about the yarn first. I purchased it at the Vista Fiber Fiesta in October 2016. Apple Tree Knits was the featured yarn on the Yarnover Truck and they had some lovely gradients. As lovely as they were they were normal size skeins so I couldn’t see what I would make with them but they did have a lace weight yarn in 756 yard skeins – definitely enough to make a shawl. The difference with the lace weight was that it was a silk/linen/flax mix so the colours were muted. I chose my skein based on the colours of the wool skeins (which were very vibrant in the darker colours) instead of asking to see all of their lace weight skeins. Oh well.

Of course a gradient yarn needed the right pattern. And when I saw this pattern - Quadratische Decke Shawl I immediately wanted to make it and I wasn’t disappointed. The pattern also had the advantage that rows could be added in two places so I could make sure I used up all the yarn. Although I was conservative as there was no way I wanted to undo rows if I ran out of yarn. The pattern had an option to include beads but as I had just finished Shipwreck I was shying away from beads but I did add beads on the last rows.

Although I was unsure about the colour I love the finished item. The pattern is show cased really well.

I have now used all three of the skeins I bought at Vista in 2016.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

On The Third Day of Christmas

Today is my favourite shawl of those I’ve finished recently. And there are a lot of them as that is mostly what I am making at the moment.

The shawl started off as this.

And the blog post about it is here. I loved the yarns but did not really like the finished object for two reasons. The top of the shawl had a big hump. This can be a problem in varying degrees in many shawl patterns but was particularly pronounced in this pattern. The other reason is that I had quite a bit of yarn left over which I wanted to use and also meant that the finished shawl wasn’t quite big enough.

I did not want to rip out this project until I had found another pattern as I did not want the yarn to sit in stash; at least as a shawl I had something I could wear. The first pattern I tried did not work with the yarn as there were areas of two stripes of each colour and they blended rather than contrasted. I then chose Tokerau Shawl by Francoise Danoy which happens to be a free pattern on Ravelry.

The blocks of colour with different patterns were ideal for my yarn. I used the left over yarn first and then just knit straight off the previous finished object. Sure it was crinkly but I knew blocking would help. I still had blue yarn left over so I worked another pattern repeat with it and used the other colour for the garter stitch edge and bind off. Instead of picot bind off as the pattern, I worked a row of YO, K2tog before the last knit row and Icelandic bind off with a strand of each colour. The final result is what I wanted: a pattern that shows off both yarns, an item I can wear and no leftovers in stash.

Here is a photo of the shawl pre-blocking as there is quite a difference between off the needles and the finished object.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

On The Second Day of Christmas

After yesterday’s obvious choice, should I know show the Christmas presents or other projects?

Today is for my oldest WIP. Which is no longer the oldest as it is finished. Three cheers for me. This is a project I started at the end of 2010 with yarn I purchased in the summer of 2009. The yarn buying itself has a little story. For my birthday, my mother-in-law asked her son (my husband) to purchase a gift card from a yarn shop. He never managed to do this so when we visited in the summer she gave me cash. I said to her you really wanted me to have yarn, is there a store we can go to? Once there, there was too much choice – I actually put back a sweater’s quantity of yarn and opted for a yarn that I would be unlikely to buy for myself. And this is how I ended up with 1000 yards of 100% silk lace-weight yarn.

I’m guessing I didn’t cast on straight away because I didn’t have a pattern but I don’t know if the cast on happened because I found a pattern or because I was ready to cast on the yarn. The yarn is Andrea by Schaefer Yarn Company, who are no longer in business, and the pattern is Dogwood Blossom Wrap from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. At this point I am going to say that I am disappointed that even after adding extra rows I did not use the full skein.

I don’t know why I stopped working on this. But looking at my projects for 2011, I was still knitting twice-monthly dishcloths, monthly socks and rows on charity blankets. So I’m guessing it kept being set aside until it was almost forgotten. I do remember that once I found the right needles the knitting was more pleasurable. Metal needles were too slippy and wood needles too grabby. Karbonz just right.

Anyway, here it is in all its glory. Started on 28 December 2010 and completely finished on December 19 2017.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

On The First Day of Christmas

During this Christmas Tide I am going to take the opportunity to catch up on all of my finished items. Some of which I couldn’t show until after Christmas, some I didn’t have pictures and the one which was the advent knit-along.

It seems appropriate to start with the latter as I did finish it yesterday. I have many photos -not 25. I started taking photos every day but then changed to every other day after I had completed a colour. I worried that I wouldn’t finish on time as I got behind at one point but caught up when the rows got short again, so towards the end when I had some free time I worked ahead.

The pattern is ADVENTurous Wrap by Ambah O’Brien. There are two version, a fade and a striped. My friend bought an advent yarn kit to work a fade and I used stash and left overs to work a stripe version. I was able to completely use a ball of unused yarn in my stash and I used up a couple of left overs as well. I needed 12 different skeins of yarn. First time through my yarn I ignored those that I knew would bleed; I then paired colours so the colours on each triangle were the same but different; next I placed them in a pleasing order making sure those with lower yardage were at the start. Finally, I cast on both triangles with a black yarn.

As I finished the first triangle I was worried that the final project would not be very big but it is big enough to wrap around and wear as a shawl. I am pleased that I kept up with the knit-along and I like the finished item.

Monday, December 18, 2017

No Photos; No Blog Posts

I knew it had been a while since I posted but I didn’t realize how long. There have been finished projects but I have wanted decent photos before posting and then time just slips away.

Since the last post I have finished two shawls, a pair of gloves, and three hats. I won’t be showing the gloves and two of the hats just yet as they were Christmas presents.

I have also finished the knitting on the never-ending-project and it is now at blocking stage.

Since my last post I have started and re-started two projects and started a hat for charity. On 1 December I cast on an advent knit-along, and have managed to keep up with it, and cast on another project to work on when I have completed the day’s knitting for the advent.

I haven’t picked up the no-longer-a-mystery project for a long time as I can’t bear to take out what I have knitted but I don’t think I am going to like the finished item. Oh well.

There has been some stash enhancement. I bought some yarn at the Vista Fiber Fiesta

and I bought some yarn recently at a pre-black Friday sale to go with yarn already in my stash.