Knit Meter

Saturday, January 27, 2018

First Two of 2018

And they are both sewing projects. And the first one is almost a cheat as all that was required for finishing was cutting threads and sewing down a sleeve on the back.

It’s a slightly delayed Christmas project. Although it depends on definition of slightly. It's a project I started last year so not too long from start to finish; but the pattern and fabric were purchased many years ago, so a long delay between purchase and finish.

This was not hard but did require care.

The second sewing project is a bag. Yes I know - another bag. But there truly is a good reason for this. I was given a code for a free class on Craftsy and this included the Start Up Library. I chose the Sewing Class. Although I know how to sew, I thought it would be an opportunity to learn different or better techniques. The class covers two projects, one being a bag, and if I was going to do this class properly I was going to make the bag. I used tracing paper for the first time and added darts which I haven't made for a long time and finished seams with a zigzag stitch again something I haven't done for a while.

I have thought it would be fun to have a bag with a Christmas theme so that was the fabric I purchased.

There won't be any finished knitting projects for a while. Verdon is big and I'm not quite half-way through. I have been working two rows per day on my New Year's Cast on. So if I keep that up it won't be finished until the middle of next month. If I could muster some enthusiasm for crochet I could pick up those projects and finish them. I should set up a reminder as I could have a finished project for this month if I worked on the hat.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Jumped On That Bandwagon

A knitting bandwagon that is. I have made four of the five patterns on Ravelry with the most projects. I have no plans to make it five out of five but I have started another popular pattern. It doesn’t show up in the most popular as there are many variations – free and for purchase. I have started a mitred square blanket, also known as a sock yarn blanket or cozy memories blanket. I find it interesting that with so many variations out there, people are still publishing patterns for purchase. I’m not saying they shouldn’t charge for their patterns, just that I cannot see the need for more of this particular design.

I have not wanted to make a blanket with my left overs as either you have to sew a lot of squares together or you are working on a large blanket. I think that is why many people are gung-ho at the start when there are few squares but give up when you are picking up stitches on a heavy blanket. But I do have many leftovers from all the socks I have knitted. And there are many socks made before I started blogging and Ravelry only has projects from when I joined not older projects.

What to do with unused yarn? When there are so many sock patterns and I had so much yarn, why use remains to knit socks? Although one month I did join the challenge of making socks from left overs and I do wear the socks.
(And weird aside, I noticed in that post I used the expression gung-ho. I didn’t know I used it that much in writing but obviously when I talk about left over yarn.)

I make notes about ideas for my crafting. This may be things I would like to make on vacation or ideas for the next year. At some point I had written “Knit Wrap minis one a month/week”. I have no idea what “knit wrap minis” means. Had I seen a pattern for a wrap that used mini skeins? Anyway, I took that as a nudge to do something with my partial skeins of yarn. I had written that note a while before I started the Advent wrap, where I used 13 partial skeins but not completely used up any of them. So I needed a big project to make a dent in my leftovers. But I didn’t want to knit or crochet a big blanket. Let’s make it clear, I have nothing against the big blankets people are knitting or crocheting, I just don’t want to make one. But I do want to use my scraps.

On a podcast a presenter had made a combination mitred square/log cabin blanket. She had made blocks of mitred squares, edged them as a log cabin blanket and then sewn them together to make a blanket. As I want my blanket to be at least double-bed size so that it is usable this method will be easy to work and only become unwieldy when I sew the squares together. I just had to decide two things, how big to make each individual square and if there was going to be any thought to which yarns I used. Oh and which method for the center decreases.

I grouped my yarns by colour and will work squares based on a colour/shade. I wanted squares to be approx 4 inches and calculated how many stitches to cast on. I looked at various patterns and chose the knit 2 together and SSK decreases. I also started out with a knitted cast on as written in one pattern but have changed that to a cable cast on. The other thing I calculated was how much I would have to knit to have enough blocks for a blanket by the end of the year. I estimated that I would need to knit a block of nine squares every week. Having completed the first block, I am not going to keep that pace as I found that my other knitting is being neglected. So I won’t have a finished blanket by the end of the year but by the end of 2019?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas

There were projects.

Initially I was just going to show the project I started on Boxing Day. As I had knit an Advent project – started on 1 December and finished on Christmas Day - I thought it would be fun to start a project on 26 December and knit for Epiphany. Of course, it would have made sense to choose a project that I had a chance of finishing in 12 days and not to start another project on the first of the year. But I did neither, choosing a project that uses four full skeins of fingering weight yarn and as already reported a new project was started on New Year’s Day. But, as with the Advent project, it has been enjoyable working on just the one project.

With the new cast on, I have six projects on the go. Here they are, saying choose me.

And look four are in my own-made project bags.

The bag on the left contains my epiphany cast on.

The pattern is Verdon. It looks a bit strange at this stage but will end up as a rectangle. The first set of garter stitch stripes are from the ArtFil yarn I bought on the Yarn Crawl, the dark magenta is Caper Sock by String Theory which was a gift and the grey is Iachos by A Hundred Ravens which I bought especially to go with the three colours to make Verdon. This is the project that I was working on exclusively until the start of the year and is still my main project.

Working from back to front, the back bag contains Nexus.

I really liked the variegated yarn but did not know what to make with it. When I saw the Nexus pattern I knew that was it, but I needed solid yarn, which I purchased on the Yarn Crawl. This project is now on the back burner until I finish Verdon.

The next bag is a new bag that I was given for Christmas. It contains my new year cast on. Not much to see here.

I started on a long cable so that I didn’t have to change during the project but it is a bit annoying at this stage. If I can work two rows per day it will be finished in less than two months and I can still work on Verdon Of course that becomes a very big IF as the rows get longer.

Next there is a crochet project. Again with yarn I bought on the Yarn Crawl – the baby yarn. It was purchased with a specific pattern in mind, a baby cardigan, which was abandoned after working one front. As it was supposed to be a gift I quickly started another project but then I wasn’t sure if I’d finish it in time for Christmas so it was forsaken for projects that I had a chance of finishing. I think this will have to be a charity project as postage is so much to the UK.

The next bag is another crochet project. This is a hat for charity that I chose not to rush to finish . It is a new pattern to me - Dream Weaver Beanie. It is written for bulky yarn and I am using up partial skeins. Of course I would be further along if I hadn’t run out of yarn while I was out.

The front bag contains the shawl I started for a mystery knit along. I got to the end of Clue 3 and then stopped. I didn’t know if I wanted to continue with this project but clue 3 was a lot of work and I didn’t want to pull it out. I’m glad I let it sit for a while as I do want to continue with it but I'm not sure when I will pick it up again I have so many plans for yarn in my stash; maybe this is my new never ending project.

Friday, January 5, 2018

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas

My plans went awry.

I had these 12 days nicely planned out and then I added something which meant combining other ideas which left me with a day without plans. In my notes I have written frogged. But I have no idea what I was telling myself – write about the last project I frogged, the projects I frogged this year, all the projects I’ve ever frogged, the projects I might frog? So many possibilities and still the brain is blank.

Looking at the list of possibilities, the last project I frogged was this which was third time the charm but I had already written about it so why would I want to write about it again?

I undid six projects this year. Two of them being the aforementioned shawl, two are also attempts at using the same yarn which did eventually become something else, one is the sock I started, and the last is a crochet project which I restarted as another project.

Since joining Ravelry I have frogged 34 projects. Although the number is actually higher than this because I do not make a project page until I am a few rows in and I know there have been a few projects that have been redone after a few rows. Mostly socks – just consider it a gauge swatch. Looking at those projects there are only two yarns that have not been used in new projects.

And as for projects I might frog. Was this really what my notes were indicating? I know I was considering frogging the (no longer) mystery shawl but I do like what I have done so far and I put a lot of work into it that I don’t want to pull out. So it is still a project.

So sorry about this post and the multiple uses of the verb to frog. But I think I covered all the bases.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

On The Tenth Day of Christmas

More presents.

Having made gifts for my nieces and one’s boyfriend, I was on a roll to make more presents. When I was putting away new yarn, I came across yarn left over from the last hat shown in this post.
And knew it was ideal for another hat. As it is colourful and variegated, most patterns would not show but I did not want to knit a plain stocking stitch hat. I had already downloaded a free pattern that was simple stocking stitch interspersed with rows of garter stitch. (Although as this is knit in the round, rows of knit with a row of purl.)

I think you will agree that the yarn and pattern work well together. I worked the brim of the hat in the yarn left over from boyfriend’s hat for two reasons.:- I was not certain I had enough of the yarn to make a complete hat and as this is the part that goes next to the face I thought a plain colour would work best.

This hat was for my brother-in-law so I decided my sister needed a hat too. (These are not the parents of my nieces.) I had been given one skein of Anzula Cricket in a dark blue. This yarn is a merino/nylon/cashmere mix, lovely and soft and ideal for a pattern. Thanks to the joys of Ravelry I was able to search what others had made with this yarn and I opted for Beeswax Hat.
I don’t have a very good photo of it.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On The Ninth Day of Christmas

There were some Christmas presents.

Last year I made my niece and her boyfriend a hat each. This year I made them gloves. I was very organized and made them in the middle of the year. Because of this I was able to send them back with my sister when she visited so saved on postage.

I have already shown the first present I made way back in April, but here is a picture of it.

I made the hat as part of a KAL and having one completed gift (this for my other niece) is what I think prompted me to start some more; I’m glad I did because I made a few presents without any stress.

For my niece’s boyfriend I decided to use the same yarn as for his hat but I only had one full ball left. I didn’t think that would be enough but it was discontinued so I found someone selling it on Ravelry. I only needed one ball but she added in an extra ball for just a little extra. I now had three balls of yarn and I used not quite one and half. The pattern is Garter Stitch Mitts a pattern I have made before that I thought would be ideal as it is a stretchy pattern.

So having made something for her boyfriend it was time for my niece. At 2016’s Vista Fiber Fiesta I purchased two skeins of Candy Skein’s colour of the month – Poison Apple. The plan, which I achieved, was to knit a hat with the worsted weight, but there was no plan for the fingering weight. Having made matching gloves for her boyfriend I decided to use the fingering yarn to make gloves for her. The pattern is Podster Gloves.

And I love how they turned out in this yarn.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

On The Eighth Day of Christmas

Having mentioned charity knitting in previous Christmas Tide posts, now is the time to show the last hat that I made as it never got its own post although the start was shown in the August post of all the projects.

The pattern is Better Late Than Never Beanies and is the same as the one for the hat shown in this post. It is an easy pattern but the different colours provide some interest.

I sent 5 hats in total to Operation Gratitude. I could have waited until I had finished the hat that I was working on but decided not to put myself under that pressure.

Monday, January 1, 2018

On The First Day of The Year

It’s a new day, a new year and I would like to start a new project. I want to cast on with some luxurious yarn I bought at Vista Fiber Fiesta in October. Which I never showed on here. It seems that I am not very good at showing the yarns I buy at Vista.

The yarn is from Knitters Brewing Company a local dyer that I have never used before. A few days ago I said that I liked gradient yarns to be in a big enough skein to make something useful. This yarn is 870 yards so I will get a nice sized shawl out of it; added bonus the yarn is already wound.

I don’t know why I want to start a new project for the new year as I have five projects already on the needles. But I really want to start this yarn so I waited for 1 January as a sort of special occasion.

(Of the five projects on the go, two are take along projects and one is the annoying KAL. The two remaining projects plus this new one (if I cast it on) use yarn from either the yarn crawl or Vista Fiber Fiesta and my aim is to use all the yarn bought at those events before the end of the year.)