Knit Meter

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

And Now For The Truth

And I don’t think it’s going to be pretty.

This year I have knitted 8169 meters and crocheted 507 meters in completed garments. This is a little more than last year. This does not include the mitred squares, this year I made three complete squares and am more than half-way through a fourth.

I frogged four projects, all of which were restarted and I undid two finished projects (with a third in progress) that I never wear but wanted to reclaim the yarn for something else. In addition to these items, I made one pair of socks (the first since 2016), one gnome, one charity hat, one pair of adult mitts, 15 baby or children items and 7 shawls or shawl type items. I started the year with five projects on the needles and have completed all but one of them.

Now for the shock – 8676 meters went out but how much yarn came in? As usual there will be plenty of justification but it is made worse by the high meterage yarn I was given at the end of the year; the 1682 meters I received in the gift exchange plus I was sent a huge skein of yarn that is 975 meters and as I haven’t finished my Advent that is 1989 meters waiting to be counted.

What made the big difference in my stash this year was a yarn store going out of business and having a fantastic sale. My friend and I went one day when everything was 70% off. After ringing us up, the owner told us what the total would have been before the discount – frightening. Although it would have been easy to purchase a lot of yarn because it was such a good deal, I restricted myself to yarn that I really could picture myself using. Having said this made a big difference to my yarn in, it also made a big difference to my future yarn buying as I bought very little on the San Diego Yarn Crawl and at Stitches SoCal.

Here’s the number – my total yarn in for the year was 18349 metres in 64 balls of yarn! Of that 4000 metres was gifts and 7500 metres (32 balls) was from the sale.

All I can add to that is to say thank you to my husband for another great year.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Knitting

I have four great-nieces. Both my nephews have two daughters and they range from 6 ½ years to 9 months. When I went on the San Diego Yarn Crawl this year I purchased some alpaca yarn specifically to knit mittens for them as children’s mittens do not take long to knit.

The problem about making things for absent children is the size. I was able to use my granddaughter as a model for the oldest child (as an aside the mittens I knit for her last year are way too small) but for the others a certain amount of guesswork was involved but I definitely wanted them to be too big than too small. I chose a pattern from Tin Can Knits as they seem to be able to produce patterns that fit children. Although the thumb positioning in the smaller sizes looked a bit weird but a friend who knitted a pair after seeing that I had used the pattern said it was fine. Anyway, I used the World's Simplest Mittens pattern by Tin Can Knits to knit mittens for the three oldest children.

For the youngest I decided that thumbs are still to fiddly so I made Cabled Toddler Mitts.

I had purchased two different colours of alpaca from Atlas Alpacas and I used a different colour for each sibling. I’m not going to show you three pairs of mittens that are the same so here is a photograph of the tiny pair in the Bordeaux colourway and a picture of the largest pair in the Fig colourway.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Charity Hat

This year has not been a good year for charity knitting/crochet. I wanted to use up all my ends of yarn before making a decision on future makes. This resulted in many starts and some horrendous looking hats. I have a separate container for all my non-sock left overs, which, for some reason also contains my oldest yarn. When I was getting out a ball of that to continue working on my cardigan, I had a quick look at other yarn and took out a ball of navy worsted weight yarn that was about ¼ used and decided that should become part of my charity knitting/crochet.

On a recent car trip I started a hat – the Better Late Than Never Beanie – which I have made many times. I had been trying to make this pattern work with my many leftovers by working each round in a different colour. Ugh. With this yarn as the main colour throughout, I used a different colour for each single crochet round and a presentable hat was produced.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

More (and less) Yarn

This week my knitting group had their annual yarn gift exchange. This is the type where the gift is wrapped but not labeled and you take it in turns to pick a gift or steal one that has already been opened.The guidelines for the gift have been a skein of good quality yarn. There hasn't previously been a price limit as participants have usually taken a skein from stash. After last year's exchange a couple of friends banned me from taking part as I would always end up with the White Elephant.

I did take part as I had a full skein of yarn left over from a project that I thought would make a great gift. I ended up choosing three times as I was stolen from twice. (A friend says she always chooses something that has been stolen once so that she does not have the stress that it will be taken from her.) I decided not to steal from anyone, there was some lovely yarn but not in my colours, but go for the mystery and I ended up with two ballsof Noro Taiyo Lace. These balls of yarn are 841 metres each, so my stash has gone up way more than it was reduced by the skein I gave.

The interesting thing is that although this was not the prettiest yarn in the exchange it is the yarn that I am most likely to use. As is usual with Noro the two balls look completely different but are the same.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

More Gift Knitting

This is not the last of my knitted gifts for the year as I have made some things for Christmas but here are a couple of items I made for babies.
Luckily in each case the sex of the baby was known so I did not have to worry about the parents being concerned about boy or girl colours.

I made a hat for a person I come into contact with on a professional basis. You do not know how hand made gifts are going to be received in such cases, but you can’t usually go wrong with a hat. And I was right. The mother loved it.

This is a pattern I have made a couple of times before, it is not hard but does have some interest, also as it is all garter stitch it is stretchy so no need to worry about if it will fit. Although I have knit this pattern before, all through the knitting I was doubting if I even liked it, to the point where my husband said to make something else. I did not like this until it was completely finished. The yarn was left over from a cardigan I knitted earlier this year for my niece.

The second item I made was for a colleague of my husband’s who is expecting a boy in January. The yarn was purchased on the San Diego Yarn Crawl especially for the baby. It is an American organic cotton as I did not know the parents feelings towards fiber for their baby. This is the forth time I have made this pattern – Easy Baby Cardigan – I decided against the hood as I thought that might be too heavy in cotton. I am really pleased with the buttons. When the only choice for in person button shopping is Jo-Ann’s I often have to make do but this time I got what I wanted.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Happy Advent

Does this mean new knitting? Of course!

Two years ago I knit an Advent pattern with a friend, I used left over yarn and she used an Advent kit. Last year I cast on three projects on 1 December – you can read about those here.

Of those three projects, I finished one on 30 January, one on 10 February and one I didn’t finish at all. This was the complicated mystery and I ended up frogging it because I had made a really obvious mistake and that made me realize I would not have enough yarn.

I frogged it on Thanksgiving and cast on this year’s mystery by the same designer. Looking at the first day’s clue, which came out for me on the afternoon of the 30th, this is going to take longer than 24 days, but it is started. That was a recent decision to make the mystery as I did not know she was going to do it again until near the end of November. But what I (and my 2 friends) had been thinking about for a while was each buying a yarn Advent calendar. Due to our tastes and availability, we ordered from three different dyers so it is going to be fun seeing the different yarns. I ordered from Canon Hand Dyes and the theme was Antique Rainbow. I hope I like it!

My angst has not been towards the yarn but in finding a pattern that I think will best show off this unknown set. Ambah O’Brien produces an Advent pattern each year, it was her design that I knit two years ago. This year she produced two patterns, and, although I like them both, they were not for me right now. So that meant a search for just the right pattern, which is difficult when you don’t know what the yarn looks like. My criteria were a shawl, rectangle, some pattern, that would not be obscured if the yarn was highly variegated, would show off a rainbow, would use most of the yarn, was a decent width. There were a number of patterns that I declared were “the one”, but each time I kept looking. My search of patterns on Ravelry was initially limited to patterns with more than one colour but as 1 December approached I expanded my search to include all patterns that were rectangular shawls. I came up with two patterns, unintentionally by the same designer. I chose the one I thought would show off a rainbow best and I could make wider - Chaukor.

Now it is the 1st, all I have to do is open the first packet and cast on. Except I’m on vacation, so a bit of hiking and lunch first. I’ve waited this long, I can wait a few more hours.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Stitches SoCal

This event was this past weekend in Pasadena and I went on Friday with two knitting friends. This year we took the train which was fun because we could all sit and chat and knit. (Or crochet as was the case.) Taking the train did make for a long day as we were limited by the train times whereas with driving the time you leave is based on the time you want to arrive. But it was nice not to have to worry about driving home in fog like last year.

We had all purchased quite a bit of yarn when a yarn store closed down in the summer so we were not going with definite buying plans but we had been planning this for a while and wanted the day out.

One of us did not buy any yarn, which was a surprise because she is the most prolific yarn buyer, but she did buy some knitting themed earrings and a book. I bought some yarn and some stitch markers.

The first yarn I purchased was a souvenir purchase. This is yarn from Quebec, Canada that I have seen in pictures but not in person. It is fun self-striping yarn. I purchased the Go Habs Go colourway and have already found a fun pattern.

The other yarn I purchased was a kit for a cardigan. Excuse the bad photos but I do not want to take it out of the packaging. The kit is for the Comfort Fade and I was told that the pattern would be sent to me. I hope that will happen this week.

I’m still working away on my WIPS and when I have finished my oldest project I will cast on one of the yarns purchased this weekend.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Some Gifts

These two projects were finished in July but I hadn’t shown them until now as they were both gifts.

Firstly, a quick little baby hat for a friend who used to live near me but (conveniently for knitting purposes) moved to Washington state. Which makes it a no brainer for baby knitting. She is very much into reuse, reduce, recycle, so I knew she would have no problem that the yarn I used to make her new baby a hat was yarn left after knitting a hat for someone else. The skeins of Red Heart Soft are just under 150 grams so go along way. This is the fourth project from this particular skein and I still have some left. Yes, it’s acrylic, but it is soft for a baby and machine washable and dryable so convenient for parents. Using leftover yarn, it seemed appropriate to knit a pattern that I had already made. The first time I made the newborn size but this time I made the 6-12 months size so that it could be worn in the winter.

The other gift I made was a birthday present for my niece. After deciding that I did not like what I had first made with this yarn, I decided to make a shawl that would show off the colours and thought it would make a great gift for my niece. The pattern is Sun Glitter shawl and there are two variations – garter stitch or stocking stitch. I decided to go with stocking stitch to get a slightly bigger wrap and to show off the colours better. It is a good pattern for variegated yarn.

Before I show a picture of the finished item, here is a photo of it in progress, I just knit from the bottom of the original project. It also gives you a chance to see how loose the original project was, which I had shown at the end of this post.

And the finished item.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

But What If They Really Are Racist?

The pointed attacks in the yarn industry have died down. I think because a big finger-pointer was finally shown to be a hypocrite. Those already attacked are continued to be vilified except now plenty of people are coming to their defense and saying stop. Professionals have weighed in to describe the behavior as bullying which I think finally gave people the courage to stand up and say enough.

It is interesting watching what is going on. Both “sides” are claiming bullying but neither “side” has denounced it in its entirety only when it is aimed at the person(s they support. Both “sides” have mocked the fundraising requests (usually by Ko-Fi) by individuals.

But while all this is going on – “you’re bad”, “no it’s you”, “it’s not bullying it’s accountability”, racists are, at the least, being forgotten ,at the worst, being given voice. Because anyone who has been attacked by a social justice warrior must be an innocent victim. But that’s just not true.
Whether you just want everyone to get back to their knitting, are a strident SJW, or mock everything they do, it is time to really look at the individuals you are supporting. What have they said and written. Is any of it worrisome but because they have been attacked you have seen them as an innocent.

What are you going to do about those who are exclusive and racist because now you have given them the power to continue.

Saturday, October 19, 2019


So now I have photos of my finished project, thanks to my friend taking some at our weekly get together. I have two things to say about this project – 1) I love it; 2) it was a leap of faith while I was knitting it that I would like it. I started the project on 1 January and it quickly became my easy project so was not consistently worked on. The yarn is Gleem Lace from Fyberspates in a beautiful tonal grey, I purchased in the summer of 2017 for a mystery knit along that did not work out. I finally frogged it in December last year as part of the WIP KAL. The pattern is Viajante by Martina Behm, available for purchase through Ravelry.

This photo shows why you have to trust the pattern

– it is basically a big tube and as I don’t like to work with really long cables on my circular needles I could not try on as I went. Martina has a video showing different ways the item can be worn – flat as a regular shawl/scarf or wearing the item like a poncho with the point at the side or the back. Either way I love it.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Two Finished Objects But Only One Picture

When I wrote about the WIP challenge I said that the first project I wanted to complete was the one I started on 1 January. And I have done that, although that is the project without photos so you will have to wait a bit for information on that project.

I also finished the second sock as that was the closest project to being finished.

The pattern is Monkey which I first knit in 2008. I knit the current pair as an informal Knit Along with two friends. And as is the way with these things, the person who suggested this has still not finished hers. The yarn is Quaere Fiber Tweed Sock which I bought way back in 2016 and was waiting for the right pattern. Which wasn’t happening as I wasn’t knitting socks. This is the first pair of socks I have made since these ones I made for DH at the end of 2016. I made one modification to the pattern. The pattern has a stocking stitch heel, and I changed it to a slip stitch heel with a garter stitch edge.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019


I am sure that there are many women who complain about mansplaining but are adept at whitesplaining. In my last post I said we don’t need saving, we certainly don’t need white people to explain racism.

What have I seen recently? A white woman calling a person of color a nazi because the POC did not agree with the views of the white woman; a white woman feeling uncomfortable with Morgan Freeman’s idea on how to end racism because what he said wasn’t right; a minority being told that they weren’t doing enough for BIPoC.

I have also read where someone said of course they like Jews, their pets have Jewish names. I’d like to think they were being ironic but in light of other things they have written and said I was inclined to believe they were serious.

But while all this ‘splaining has been going on, no hand has been given to minorities but it has allowed anger into these spaces to match the anger of the so-called allies resulting in BIPoc/BAME persons being verbally attacked. But “that’s not my fault, I’m protecting those poor black people”.

I really should finish with that statement but I wanted to add just one more thing that I read recently. “I believe firmly in empathy and understanding and forgiveness.” Isn’t that great? Except the person writing that did so in respect of their expectations of another person – not that that was how they were going to live their life.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Plus Ca Change – Turbo Version

Way back in 2007 I wrote about the nastiness of the online world. Of course nothing has changed but now it comes with a cause. And in the knitting world the cause de jour is racism. Firstly, why any knitter would be surprised that there is racism in the yarn community when there is racism throughout society, I don’t know. Secondly, racism is bad and should be combated by everyone. Thirdly, the convenient moniker of BIPoC (or BAME in the UK) does not accurately describe my family who are subjected to overt and covert racism.

So what should be done about racism in the yarn world? Obviously it is easy to recognize overt racism – offensive words, being treated differently. But what about unintentional racism? An event is all white people; not because minorities have been excluded but because they have not been included. The organizers have not been deliberately racist but the result is still the same – no minorities. But once you start to include them, minorities are more visible and (we hope) will be included more and more.

But this isn’t happening. It was to be hoped that when the racism issue was brought to the attention of white yarn people they would give a hand to their fellow citizens. Do I see my family represented in your pattern photos? Do I see any minority in your business? No. But what do I see? I see your words. I see you posting for any infraction real or perceived that a white person has committed. I see your words full of hate and vitriol whether an event is seen as all white or someone has used the N word. And how is this helping minorities? It’s not. These people, who say they are allies, do not want to give a helping hand to minorities because then what they would do? They need to be seen to be the good guy who’s speaking out for the underdog and if the community becomes more equitable, they lose their control and sense of power. But this is dangerous and offensive.
Dangerous, because when you attack everyone in the same way, and people come to their defense, real racists get the benefit of the doubt and continue their nefarious ways.

Offensive, because you haven’t asked the oppressed group what they want. Who gave you the right to be our savior? We are not your project and we do not need saving. And this is why you aren’t doing anything to bring us up. Because you want to be lauded. You were the one to stop the dyer, you were the one to make the designer apologize. But you weren’t the one to include a person of color on your pattern page; you weren’t the one to include the black person on your table at the yarn festival, you weren’t the one to make sure minorities were included at your retreat. Because you’re the savior, the big I-am, shouting at everyone on Instagram that they are terrible people for not doing these things. You’re living off the high you get from your hubris and self-importance.

But at the end of the day, you are just a bully who cares about one thing - yourself.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Finished Item

But not one of the WIPs. This was a quick project I made in August. I have been making an effort to work with yarn I have been given and this is a project I made with yarn my son gave me for my birthday. The yarn is Flicker by Berroco and is 87% alpaca, so very soft. Looking at Ravelry to see what other people had made with this yarn, I decided that a shoulder cozy would be a fun and useful item. I have made a couple of patterns by one designer and decided it was time to change it up so I purchased a pattern with a simple design from another designer. I ended up changing the pattern quite a bit but now I have basic pattern I can easily change because there are more in my future.

The pattern is Shoulder Cozy by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Their pattern is a simple garter stitch design using two stands of yarn held together. I used one strand of yarn and alternated rows of stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch, also I worked the decrease rows at different points in the pattern and worked a different cast on and off. But now I have a basic pattern for this type of garment? accessory? and I know there are more in my future.

Monday, September 23, 2019

WIPing Away

As I have written a few times, my ideal number of current projects (WIPs) and the actual number of projects rarely agree.

Tomorrow the third annual knit along for finishing WIPs starts in the Yarniacs group on Ravelry. The first year the aim was to finish projects that had been started for other knit alongs. Last year it was expanded to include all works in progress and I did very well in completing or frogging projects. Although looking back, many of the projects were small, but it did mean that I started 2019 with only four projects on the needles, three of which I had started on 1 December. I do not think I will be able to achieve that this year as I have many projects that are not very far along but I am going to try to work on one project until it is finished and then pick up another. (In all my counts of works in progress I am not included the mitred squares.)

I currently have ten WIPS. Here they are in one big bag; then laid out, from left to right, in order that they were started; and finally showing each project.

1. My oldest project was started in March 2018. I started it as I wanted to get my oldest yarn on the needles. It is a cardigan in worsted weight yarn so if I finished it by the end of the year I actually have a chance to wear it in our “cold” months.

2. Next is the Advent shawl I started last year. This needs to be frogged as I made a mistake and that made me check my yarn and I realized I would not have enough to finish. I haven’t frogged yet as I want to show it to my knitting friends.

3. My new year cast on – Viajante. This is a very easy but large knit. The only reason it isn’t finished is that it only gets worked on when I need an easy knit.

4. Socks. This is the second sock. The pattern is Monkey which I have knit before but three of us decided to all knit it. I agreed as long as there was not a deadline for finishing.

5. Pi shawl. I started this on Pi day in March and thought about finishing it on Pi day in July. When I knew there was no way that was going to happen, I made it into a year long knit. I work a few rows each week to keep up to date and will continue to do that through the WIP KAL.

6. A shawl I started on vacation in June. This particular vacation I only took new projects and I completed one. The yarn and pattern are lovely but I will likely save it for vacation knitting next year.

7. Another project to get yarn on the needles. In this photo I am showing projects but not yarn so you cannot see the two yarns I am using in this project. I wanted to tone down one of the yarns, and I have certainly achieved that.

8. My Palm Springs project. The variegated yarn is named Palm Springs and was dyed especially for Stitches SoCal 2018. So I had to wait until we were in the Nine Cities area to cast on. We were actually in Palm Springs in September so that was when it was started although I did not progress as much as I would usually as we had grandchildren with us. We will be returning before the end of the year so hope to get close to finishing.

9. This year I wanted to make an effort in using yarn that I had been given; so I always have a project with gifted yarn on the go. I finished one such project recently (final pictures still to be shown) so another project had to be cast on.

10. I haven’t crocheted anything for ages and I find it is a useful project when I am a car passenger. I have started and pulled out a number of hats this year. On the yarn crawl, stores are supposed to give out free a knit and a crochet pattern. I liked the crochet pattern from one store so much that I started it on a car journey last weekend. Although I love the yarn and pattern, which aren’t showing in this photo, this will be a long term project.

So there it is, all my WIPs. When I first thought about what I wanted to work on during this knit along (which goes through to the end of the year) I set a target of 5 projects. Which was very ambitious considering that most of the projects are not a quarter complete. Also there will be some cast ons during this period as I want to make Christmas presents and have an Advent cast on. Initially, I thought to start with the project closest to being finished (socks), then I thought I should start with the oldest project, but I have decided that the project to work on first, is my new year cast on. It is likely that I will want to start something new on 1 January 2020 so it would be a good idea to have finished the project I started on 1 January 2019. It is an easy knit but a big one.

Saturday, September 14, 2019


I do have a finished item to show, but before I post photos of that, I thought it would be fun to show some pictures of animals that provide wool.

This weekend (Thursday to Sunday) is the San Diego Yarn Crawl. This is its seventh year and the fourth time I have participated. Unfortunately, shops have closed and moved so now it is a trek to get to more than one place. (You have to visit at least three locations to be eligible to win a prize basket.) My knitting partner in crime had entered a fastest knitter competition, so of course, that was one of our stops and she wanted to see alpacas so then we just added another shop on the route to ensure we got three stamps. Purchases were made at each place so we weren’t just going for the freebies.

The alpaca farm we went to, neither of us had visited before. It was not part of the crawl in the first year when we went to every location. We were not disappointed – where do I start – animals or products? Firstly, I have to say that alpaca fleece is not particularly suited for where I live as it is a very warm fiber; but, oh, is it soft! I resisted some fiber to spin myself; there are two more yarn events coming up before the end of the year; but next year? I did purchase two skeins of alpaca that were on sale as I thought they would make great mittens for my great-nieces in the UK. And they had jam, so I purchased a pot for my husband.

We were very lucky as a baby had been born the day before. I will post some photos but the baby and his mama were completely black and difficult to photograph.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Difference Blocking Makes

I am going to show two projects before and after blocking so that you can see the difference blocking makes to a garment. One is a finished item and the other is a work in progress.

The main reasons to block are:- to open out the stitches (in a lace pattern); to set the stitches (you hear people say the stitches will even out after blocking); to prepare the edges for seaming or picking up stitches. There are a number of reasons why knitters (crocheters) do not block:- like the item as is; do not have time; do not have space; don’t know how; and the big one – worried you won’t like the end result.

When people hear the word blocking in relation to their knitwear many think of Shetland shawls that are a scrunched up mess on the needles but after an extreme block end up as a huge lightweight shawl. Scroll down to the last two pictures in this post and you will see an example of scrunched up and post blocking, also the pictures in this post. And these aren’t the two projects I was planning to show you.

Before I show you those, let’s talk about when and why I block and when I don’t. (And I can see some more projects jumping in here.) When don’t I block? When I like the project just as it is. There are certain types of projects that I don’t block – hats and socks. Usually they are fine the way they come off the needles and as they stretch a little in wear any pattern will show up then. Also a project that is all or mostly garter stitch I prefer its just off the needles smooshiness. A good example of a shawl that needed blocking but I needed to be careful with as it was mostly garter stitch is this one - there was a lace panel that I didn’t want to close up and I wanted the puckering resolved but I did not want to lose the texture of the garter stitch plus I was worried about colours running.

But back to the projects I mentioned at the beginning. Let’s start with the finished item. I have a few single skeins of fingering yarn that I really like but have no idea what to make with them as I am not keen on making more one skein shawls. I have been trying to come up with ideas to use them together without much luck until I had a brainwave. Fingering weight held double is DK weight and one skein of fingering weight held double is roughly equal to one skein of DK weight and I had a pattern which used three different colours. This is a good example of pre and post blocking as well as a feature I don’t like about crescent shape shawls. The pattern is Odyssey Shawl by Joji Locatelli which she has provided at no charge.

Here is a picture of mine as it is ready for bind off.

Two things you will notice, at this point it is an upside down triangle and although, it is mainly garter stitch, there is a small lace pattern. I worked the picot bind off as stated in the pattern and all the points would need to be pinned out. I did not take a photo of it pinned out for blocking, but basically, what I did was to pin the top edge out straight and spray it with a water bottle, pinned out the picot bind offs and sprayed those and then sprayed the lace sections. I wanted these to stand out in the shawl and not be bunched up in the section of reverse stocking stitch.

This is the finished project. And it shows the hump that most of these style/shape of shawls end up with. I knew this would happen but next time I am going to really think about the start of a shawl before diving in.

The yarn I used from top down, is Sweet Georgia CashLuxe Fine, Stunning String Studio Luxury Fingering, and Blarney Yarn Twist. The first two were gifts and both contain cashmere. The last yarn does not but I did not have any more yarn containing cashmere in my stash and this colour goes well.

The other project I wanted to show pre and post blocking is a work in progress. It is a lace patterned cardigan made in a worsted weight yarn. I swatched in pattern and blocked the swatch but I still wanted to measure it correctly while in progress. I threaded a lifeline and took it off the needles and blocked it. After measuring, it went back on the needles and I continued knitting. This really is a good visual of before and after as it is the same garment.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Closest You'll Get To a Dog In This House

At the beginning of the year when I was making baby clothes for my nephew's baby, I thought it was about time I made something for my granddaughter. I knew what I wanted to make but didn't have any yarn so I ordered some Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. It is lovely and soft and I enjoyed knitting with it. The black yarn is a fingering weight left over from an old project that I held double. The pattern is from a book published in the UK in 1989!

Although she really liked it, I shouldn't have prevaricated in finishing it as it has been too warm for her to wear it. Hopefully this winter.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Spiderman Climbs Aboard

I'm almost caught up with showing all my finished projects. In July I caught up with all my finished sewing projects, and as for knitting, two items are gifts and can't be shown yet so I really only have two projects to show. But they can wait as I want to keep up with my sewing projects.

At the end of May, my son turned up with this Spiderman fabric.

and requested I make a bag for his son, preferably a rucksack style bag. Ugg, I hate such requests. Is it the right kind of fabric, did you buy enough, do I have a pattern, am I in the mood for making what you want? The pattern part was easy; a while ago I had downloaded a pattern for a backpack. When I had some free time I checked how much fabric was required and what else was needed. The pattern said 5/8 yard each of main and lining fabric. I had a yard of the main fabric which I could have used for both main and lining but Spiderman would have been sideways inside the bag. As I needed to buy some sort of cord for the straps, I decided I'd buy fabric for the lining as well.

I was pleased to find some different Spiderman fabric at Jo-Ann as I have not seen any there before.

I am not going to link to the pattern I used as it was not well written but I can adapt it if I make another. Luckily, little boys don't care about that and are just happy that you have made something for them.

Friday, August 9, 2019

I Ran A 5k

With getting behind with writing about my finished projects, I forgot what is probably the most important one – running an official 5K!

I had been running on a treadmill at a gym and completed the Coach-to-5k program when some out of town friends said they were going to run the half-marathon in the San Diego RocknRoll Marathon and did we want to take part. My husband suggested I sign up for the 5K. And I suggested it to my knitting buddy, who had just started the Coach-to-5k, and that was it - we were committed and we had a year to train/plan. As I had already completed the Coach-to-5k, I found another program, None to Run, just to change things up. My friend found a running group.

I completed the None to Run program just before a vacation and it was really hard to get back into running. I was on again/off again at the beginning of the year. But I had this big race coming up. Husband had a sensible suggestion – don’t worry about running for the times the programs say, run for distance even if you are doing the walk/run intervals. So that is what I did so I knew I could complete the distance in the time allotted.

The day of the race arrived – a very early start. I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I could do it. We started off running together but about half way through my friend wanted a walk break. I kept going because I was determined to run the whole thing. And I did! Looking back I could have run faster as I wasn’t exhausted when I crossed the finish line but I will know that for next time. (And I have signed up for next year.)

The sense of achievement is amazing and has definitely spurred me on to keep going.

(And the friends that originally started the whole thing were a no-show.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Catching Up With Sewing Projects

I knew there were a couple of dresses that I had not shown here, but going through photos I found two other sewing projects that also I had not talked about.

Firstly the two dresses; both made for my granddaughter. I am really pleased by the first one as I drafted the pattern myself. I could not find a pattern in this style, so I measured a shop bought dress of hers and made my own pattern. I wasn’t sure how to work the neckband but found an example in a book I got at the library.

The second dress, she chose the fabric herself and I found a simple commercial pattern. Unfortunately, the fabric has shrunk so much in length in the washing process, it is now worn as a nightie.

Which brings me to the next make – which is a nightie. I was given the fabric, and it seemed suitable for nightwear. It is hard to fins commercial patterns that are not overly frilly. This was the least I could find. I didn’t have quite enough fabric but that did not matter as she is not very tall. She loves this and I can see myself making another.

And finally something for myself – a bag. My sister gave me a fat quarter for my birthday last year. I knew it would become a bag, but which style? Finally I opted for my standard drawstring bag but using as much of the fabric as possible. (Note to self – next time make bag a bit wider.)

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Little Stash Enhancement

I have purchased very little yarn this year. Partly because I don’t NEED yarn, but also, because I am enjoying knitting with what I have. Quite a few of my skeins are earmarked for specific projects. Earlier in the year I bought a skein of yarn in an online sale to go with yarn already in my stash which will become a big shawl. And in March I purchased yarn to make a jacket for my granddaughter; which has been knitted and worn. Including a couple of gifts and the yarn I sold, up until a few days ago, more skeins had left my stash than gone in.

So what happened? A closing down sale. A yarn store is closing its doors after many years in business. Although this is sad, I don’t think it will have much of an impact on me as I didn’t frequent them often. But they did carry the brand of needles I like. I had no plans to go to the sale but on Friday I had a number of errands to run and happened to drive past the store. Why not pop in and see what is left?

So yes, I bought some yarn. I could have spent a long time looking at yarn and patterns on Ravelry but I was conscious that later in the year is Stitches SoCal and I want to save some enthusiasm for that event. I bought 6 skeins of yarn and some needle tips. Only one skein do I not have a plan for – the grey sparkle sock yarn. Grey is a good neutral to have in my stash. The skein on the far left is more turquoise than the photo shows and is to go with two other yarns in my stash for a specific project; the two blue skeins are for a specific project. The gradients follow on from each other and I have an idea of the pattern I will use, but it is not definite.

I am pleased with what I got as it is not too overwhelming and I will enjoy making things with it.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Tale of Two Appias.

I like lacey cowls that cover my shoulders as evidenced by the two Starshowers I have made. As seen here and here.

So it’s no surprise that I wanted to make another with this yarn that I bought on the LA Yarn Crawl last year.

But I decided to change it up a bit and purchased another of the designer’s pattern – Appia. I swatched on three different size needles and worked the project on size 4mm needles. (I had worked the two Starshowers on size 5mm needles.)

I really like the final project.

Of course, I had to make another one and used yarn that had been in my stash since July 2017 but I couldn’t think what to turn it into.

I decided it would be my vacation project and that I would use 5mm needles. Except I messed up when packing my needles and didn’t have any 5mm needles with me. Rather than going down to 4.5mm I worked the project on 5.5mm needles. I don’t like the end result and wonder if it would have been better made on smaller needles. Here’s a picture of the two Appias side-by-side and you can see that the new one does not have any drape.

I had not sewn in the ends so I have started a new project right from the end of the old one.