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.