Knit Meter

Friday, July 27, 2018

June and July

My last post was grateful for sewing so that I had finished items to show and this one is all about the sewing too - quilt blocks.

I did not make a block in June as we were away for a couple of weeks and I just did not have the time to sew it. We're nearly at the end of July and I decided I better make the July block otherwise once I was two months behind would I continue with making them. As it turned out, I was able to make both blocks in the same day. Both blocks were made with scraps.

I am really pleased with July's block. It was another foundation paper piecing. They are so fun to make and you have the lines to sew on. This is a very summery block as it is a row of beach huts. Yes it is all scraps but the white was purchased for the bodice lining of the ill-fated Sofia dress.

As I had time left I made the June block as well as it did not have many pieces. But it was harder as there were curved shapes. I did not do as well with this as I did the umbrella in April but it will do.

When I have finished a block I look at the next one to work out what fabric I need and have everything ready to go. I will have to buy some fabric for August but I can purchase 1/8 yard at Jo-ann so I will not be adding greatly to my stash.

At the time of writing, I am very close to finishing one of my knitting projects and I have purchased a replacement needle for the Changes shawl. So who knows? Maybe the next post will be about knitting.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Thank Goodness for Sewing

As this means I have some finished items to show

Since my last sewing post I have made four more dresses for my granddaughter (two of which she didn’t like) and another shirt for my grandson. I also finished the dress I was making for myself which may or may not make an appearance depending on some decent photos being taken. Oh and that also applies to a skirt I made for myself.

I found a dress pattern in One-Yard Wonders and made a dress with Princess Sofia fabric. She loved the fabric but did not like the dress, I’m not surprised it was rather baggy, and she asked me to use the material to make the same dress pattern as the one shown in my May post. Which I obediently did. But it was too late, having not liked the dress the first time round she didn’t like the second iteration. But she did like the dress made with My Little Pony fabric. The Sofia dress was given to a relative.

The third dress I made for her was with Shopkins fabric that she chose herself. This is pre-elasticated at the top and the top and bottom edges are finished. I thought it would be relatively easy to sew a back seam and add straps so that the dress would stay up. Not so fast. When the top part is cut, you have to finish off the ends so that the elastic doesn’t all come out. Also I decided to neaten the bottom edge. And guess what? Even though she chose this fabric and had fun when I took photos with her in it, she does not like the dress as she does not like the green.

So undeterred by these failures we went to Jo-ann and I let her choose a pattern and fabric. I was impressed that she did this, as even as an adult it can be hard to picture a piece of clothing from an artist’s rendition. She chose a pattern with a few styles and fabric to make two of them. I wasn’t sure what size to make even after measuring against a dress she wears but decided too big is better than too small. It is a little big but with careful placement of the straps at the back it is not obviously too big. And the good news is that she loves it. So much so that she wanted to wear it everyday.

Then it was time to make another shirt for my grandson. He chose the fabric and was so excited when he saw it finished. In fact he was so excited he wore both shirts to school! I decided to add buttonholes to this one – the dinosaur one has snaps – the good thing about that is that my machine played up so much it was the final kick I needed to go out and get a new machine. But the bad thing was that when he took the shirt off he pulled like with snaps and I just managed to stop him before all the buttons came off.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Where Are The WIPs?

The last post showed finished items but we all know I have many projects still in progress. My last post of the Twelve Days of Christmas showed all my projects at that date. Since then I have started five projects (and finished two), completed two blanket squares and started three hats for charity (finishing one). Of the projects on the needles (hook) as at 6 January, two are finished, one was frogged and restarted with a different pattern and two will be frogged when I am ready to use the yarn.

So…. how many projects do I really have on the go? Yikes having just counted them on Ravelry I’m not sure I’m ready to admit that number. Should I tell you the total before the excuses why certain projects don’t count or should I deduct those first? Whispers. Eleven. Ack how did that happen? In June I had one charity project on the go now I have two. But, seriously, how did six become eleven? Firstly, let’s get the number down to a real number. I can deduct the two projects I am going to frog as I am not going to use the yarn until some more projects have been finished; also deduct the two charity hats because they have really become long car journey knitting; and deduct the mitred square blanket as that is appointment knitting.

Five from eleven becomes six. Is six my magic number? One of those six was on the needles at the beginning of the year and one was on the needles but a different pattern. I would like to finish both of those by the end of this year.

When I came back from vacation my Changes shawl became my main project. But I hit a snag, literally. One of my needles developed a split. As I am more than half-way through, I want to continue with the same make needle so a trip to a store has to be planned. (Although there a couple of yarn stores less than a half-hour drive I do not pass either of them in my usual day; add in that they are not open 7-days and you can see why a trip has to be planned.) Until I can get that situation resolved, Snow Day shawl has become my main project. I mentioned this project when I returned from my trip to the UK. I love the yarn and am now on the second skein of each colour.

Four projects hiding in these bags.

From left to right first is the Changes shawl.

Then the Snow Day shawl which I had to move into this bag when I started the second skeins of yarn.

Then the Nexus shawl which had all the love when I was on vacation but now has to wait for one or two things to be finished.

Lastly is my gradient yarn. I don't know when I last worked on it. It probably was relegated when I started the Changes shawl but I was surprised as to how much I had done.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Finished Items

At last I have something to show. The last post with a completed knitted item was in April. And it’s not as if I’ve been piling up objects to show you. By the middle of last year I had completed 16 items. Admittedly many of those were hats and baby items, but even so half-way through this year I am at 5 items. It has made a difference starting the year with nothing on the needles (except what I started at the end of December) so there were no nearly finished projects to boost the stats and there was the nearly finished project that I completely frogged. Add to that I have been making larger items with more than one skein of yarn.

Here are the two hats that I mentioned in my last post. Both crocheted and will be sent to Operation Gratitude towards the end of the year.

The pattern for the top hat is Dream Weaver Beanie, free pattern available on Ravelry. The grey and dark green yarns are Bernat Softee Chunky and the other two colours are Charisma by Loops and Threads. They are all yarns left over from hats I made in previous years. With the small amount of yarn left over I started another hat with the same pattern. I have to go through my stash to see what I have left over that will finish that hat.

The bottom hat is the one I started and finished in the car. It is a simple Granny stitch type pattern that is free on Ravelry but I was given on the San Diego Yarn Crawl. The purple yarn is Vanna’s Choice and I used that for just the increase section then I changed to Red Heart Soft. I worked until I liked the length and then worked the final round which is in single crochet. I’m sure everyone heard my whoop of delight as I finished that round as I had just enough yarn to darn in the end. Another skein out of my stash.

The final finished project to show you is the mystery shawl knit along started on 27 April. There was no official deadline for this KAL and no prizes but I did finish it within a couple of weeks of the last clue being released. This KAL was different from others in which I have participated as the designer was not a presence on the discussion boards and had not appointed any moderators to take on that role. Although this did not cause any problems there was one aspect where it felt like the designer abandoned the knitters. The pattern was free during the KAL and stated that it would become a paid for pattern when the KAL ended. They also gave two to three days notice before the pattern became a paid for pattern. I had no problem with this as I had kept up and downloaded all the clues but many participants did not and expected the updates in their library to work at any time. But they found that once the pattern became paid the updates didn’t work. But the designer has disappeared from Ravelry and has not answered any questions about this. To make matters worse they referenced stupid people on the edit page.

Anyway now I’ve had my little moan about the designer, here’s the details on my project. The pattern called for two full skeins of sock yarn and two half or 50g skeins. (OK another moan. The pattern stated weight required and not yardage although this could be found if you searched the Ravelry group. Many people ran out of one of the colours even if they had started with the correct amount. The designer did not answer any questions about this.) I used two skeins I had purchased at Vista Fiber Fiesta last year, some yarn I had been given after a small amount had been used and some left over yarn.

But I did not use up any of the four, so no skeins out.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Vacation Knitting and Yarn Stores

For a while I have started a new project when I have gone on vacation. It’s fun to start something new when being away from home.

A couple of weeks ago, preparing for vacation, I was faced with the decision of what knitting to take. I have so many projects on the go I couldn’t even think about a new project. Really, I had no inclination to start anything new so I grabbed a couple of project bags. I worked on my Nexus shawl and got as far as the border. Which is what I was aiming for. The border is knitted sideways and I will prefer working on it at home. Now I’m home I am back working on my Changes Shawl. I had decided not to take it on vacation because of all the different skeins. Having completed half of it I am really looking forward to the finished item.

For the driving part of the trip, I finished the hat I started way back in October. I also started and finished another hat and started a third hat. These were all hats I was crocheting for charity. I haven’t made anything for charity for a while and it seems that long car journeys are a good time to make a few things.

When I am away I do not make a point of visiting yarn stores but if I happen to see one I will pop in. I visited three this trip and drove past a fourth but decided not to stop.

All the stores were interesting in the way they greeted me. The first place, someone was sitting behind a big counter in the middle of the store; she acknowledged my presence but that was it. People who came in after me were treated the same way. Even one person who was obviously seriously buying yarn. This attitude did put me off and I did not buy any yarn.

The other two stores were similar in that they greeted me and said to let them know if they could help. And no other interaction. To be fair one owner was helping someone with their knitting. These stores didn’t have anything I couldn’t buy at home so nothing was purchased. It seems to me that customers complain about too much attention or not enough. I have thought what greeting I would like. Something along the lines of “have you been here before, let me show you what we have”, and then leave me to look.

I was disappointed in what the stores stocked. I know they have to cater for their regular customers but there was not anything different from what I see at home. They did have one locally produced and dyed yarn. Unfortunately it contained mohair to which I am allergic.