Knit Meter

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Christmas Knitting for Me

This year I decided not to get a yarn Advent calendar, although I enjoyed opening yarn packages every day last year, I did not enjoy the pressure I put on myself to knit them every day and to use up all the yarn.

However, I still wanted some fun knitting for Advent so I joined a mystery knit along and purchased a surprise yarn packet to go with it. I could have used leftover yarns and when I first started the knitting I did question myself as to why I did not but I am really pleased with how they all went together. I started this when we were on vacation and thought I could easily knit another at the same time as the clues were every other day. But when we got home and back to reality, I’m glad I had not started another.

At various times I was behind but did manage to finish the little fellow on the 24th.



The skeins were 20 grams each and I have plenty left over but I have plans for them in the new year.

Monday, December 28, 2020

A Bit of Christmas Sewing

This was the only handmade gifts this year. When I visited quilt shop in New Hampshire last year, so much I could have bought but didn’t. I did buy off cuts from fabric cut into jelly roll strips, I purchased two for 99c each.

I started the first one last year and made a jelly roll race quilt and added borders. Then the grandchildren went away for Christmas; now I had a whole year to work on them. So what did I do? Left it to the last minute to decide that the grandchildren would get quilts this year. My excuse for the delay was that COVID hit early in the year and there was no way I was going to Jo-Ann’s to purchase the extra fabric required. This thought stopped me entirely from starting the second quilt.

Having made the first quilt as a jelly race, I wanted the second quilt to be different as the strips were the same. I found a pattern for a star quilt using 2-½ inch strips. The down side of this was that as the strips were from left over cuts, not every strip was the same size. The advantage of making things for children is they don’t care how well something is made. Just if they like it and if it is comfortable.

I forced myself to Jo-Ann’s – twice in fact. Purchased two sets of fabric for backing and three sets for borders. The left over strips were used for the binding. I had plenty of batting in stash. Luckily it was batting that did not require a lot of quilting so I was able to minimally quilt these. (The weekend before Christmas.) I have decided that I no longer wish to hand sew bindings onto quilts. With these I sewed them to the back and then folded over to the front and sewed close to the fold line. I think the look is fine and much sturdier than hand sewn.

I knew I wouldn’t have enough of the backing fabric for one quilt but as I had fabric left over from the border I added that.





The children love them; although I think they prefer the back to the front. Oh well. I enjoyed making them.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

I Knitted Some Lights

This is not my idea; I saw it on Instagram, taking a string of lights, knitting them into a rhombus and then hanging them on the wall. The hardest part of this was finding strings of lights that were long enough. Although not my favourite place to order from, I found some on Amazon. Needles were easy as I have plenty of straight needles.



I cast on 20 stitches (e loop) and then just knitted until I ran out off lights. (I started with more than 20 stitches and just dropped a few at the end of the first row. I wish I hadn’t done that as I have two lights that are not part of the shape. The finished size is about 11” x 7”. Every row is knit but it is not smooth knitting so I worked just a few rows each day, overall it took about a week.



I’m not really sure what I think about them. Obviously I thought it was a fun idea, but I didn’t enjoy the knitting part and I’m not sure what I think about the finished item. My granddaughter loves the colours, my grandson thinks it’s odd. Rather than use as a Christmas decoration I think this would be fun to hang in a craft space or room.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

I Sewed Something

Although I haven’t shown any sewing for a while doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any going on. With grandchildren learning at home my time for sewing has been reduced but after I finished the year quilt, I sewed a quilt top. I don’t have any pictures of the completed top and I am not at home to take one but here is a photo of the quilt in progress. All the fabric used is leftovers but I will have to purchase some fabric for the backing.



Now for my favourite to date sew. My granddaughter is supposed to wear a school t-shirt on Fridays but she is a dress girl and did not like having to do that. I said I could turn it into a dress if she wanted. That never happened but she didn’t forget what I had said. We were going through my fabric to see what she liked and there was a piece of fabric that she had chosen that had not been used.


The next thing I know Dad and granddaughter give me this so I can turn it into a dress with the fabric. The size was fine for wearing as a t-shirt but not as a dress if you want to showcase the unicorn and the fabric. I debated getting the same t-shirt in a smaller size and if this wasn’t the time of COVID I would have done. 


The body of the t-shirt needed to be shorter, so that meant cutting top and bottom and the width of the shirt needed to be reduced. These cuts also meant I had to adjust the armholes. First I made a paper template from the t-shirt of the sleeves and neckline then I cut the bottom of the t-shirt to just under the design. I cut closer to the design than I had intended despite working out seam allowances etc. Next the sleeves were cut off and the neck re-cut and bound. The pink fabric for the binding was a stretch fabric I had been given and kept even though I didn’t know what I would use it for. (It has been the lining in at least one bag.) And then came danger! Not only did I use my serger to sew the side seams. I had the blade in place to cut as I sewed. Sleeves were bound and the top was finished.

The skirt was simple. Two pieces of fabric seamed, hemmed and gathered. But how to join to the top? For some reason I did not want to join cotton fabric directly to the t-shirt and I did not want exposed seams. Once again the pink material came in handy. I cut four pieces the width of the shirt plus seam allowances and made two circles. The skirt pieces were gathered to fit the circle and placed between the two pieces. Then I sewed the right side of the top to the right side of the band. On the inside I was going to hand sew the band to the inside to enclose all the raw edges. But I did not feel like doing that and wondered how well it would stand up in all the machine washing. In the end I zigzagged from the right side and that worked well.

What have I learnt from this? I can make things without a commercial pattern. It might have been easier to have purchased a pattern to use for the top part of the dress. Don’t cut the neck opening as wide. Cut the waistband wider so that it is easier to cover the raw seams.

Having finished it I was still worried that my granddaughter wouldn’t like it. After all I didn’t know what she was envisioning and the t-shirt part was now quite different. 

But she loved it and had to wear it every day.



Monday, November 23, 2020

A Finished Item and An Update

I finished my oldest project. This was a Pi shaped shawl that I started in March 2019 and when I missed various Pi dates I gave up finishing it on a special day and knew it would be finished eventually. The edging took a long time because it was fiddly and boring. A 20-row repeat with 5 beads on every wrong side row, knitted sideways and attached to the shawl as you worked. And, of course, once the knitting was completed I had to block the shawl. It was already big before blocking and I knew I would need space and time to do it. I finally had the time last week, space was more difficult but achieved.

I love it! The yarn is 70% merino/30% silk lace weight yarn and the beads add some weight. The beads were purchased from Fusion Beads. And they turned out just the right colour; which is always a risk when purchasing on line. As I didn’t know if the beads would be damaged by water, rather than soaking the shawl and then pinning it out, I pinned out the shawl and then sprayed it. This worked very well and meant I was not working with a damp object. The shawl did not need blocking to be made bigger, just to show off the design.

I really like gradient yarns but am disappointed in the yardage. This was a set of four skeins, each just under 300 metres. I worked until I ran out of yarn and then started the next skein. I started the edging with the fourth colour and had just enough to finish. (Which was a relief. Although I had about half of the third colour left, I did not want a two colour border.)


And now for an update on my WIPs. When the challenge started at the end of September, I had ten WIPs, after finishing this shawl, I am down to six. Three of them I am not going to get finished by the end of the year. One is the cardigan that I have put to one side, one is a crochet project which I do not work on very often but I have decided that I want the finished item, and the other is the complicated lace Advent shawl. Although I thought I could get that finished I was not happy with the commitment of working on it every day. I thought about frogging it, but looking at pictures of finished ones, it is very beautiful when blocked.

Of the three remaining, the simple project is very close to being finished, maybe the knitting will be completed this week. I decided how to join the quarantine squares and I have been working away on those. Depending on how wide a border I decide to add, this might be finished by the end of the year. The final project is the Palm Springs project which I did work on quite a bit when we went away and might get finished on our next trip.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Yes, More Socks

One thing about not knitting socks is that I still had sock yarn in my stash. And some of this yarn will look best knitted into socks. The yarn used in my latest finished project being such an example. The yarn was purchased early in 2016 when I didn’t know my sock knitting was going to fade to nothing.

This particular yarn is from a UK company and I had seen it in many podcasts so I had it sent to my sister so I could pick it up on a visit. And then it sat in my stash for over four years! (We won’t mention yarn that has been in my stash longer than that!) The yarn is from West Yorkshire Spinners in the Kingfisher colourway and it really needed to be socks. So as it appears that I am knitting socks again and as October’s challenge was self-striping yarn I cast on. Actually it took me a while to choose a pattern. I thought I would work one of those fancy patterns where the stripes end up all over the place but decided simple was best and chose Solar.

I used contrasting yarn for the heels and toes, a left over given to me for my blanket. This saves the stripes being messed up by the heels but I am liking it as a feature and should do it more often. Also with this particular pattern I only used half the main yarn so there is enough for another pair when I eventually run out of sock yarn!



Thursday, October 29, 2020

Another Finished Item

I have been slow in posting finished items, mainly as I had to take photos. Here is a cardigan I finished in September.

I purchased the yarn, Zen Yarn Garden Superfine DK, at Stitches SoCal last year specifically to knit this pattern – Comfort Fade - as they had a knitted sample at their booth which I was able to try on. It was a surprising purchase for me as I am not a fan of fades patterns but I loved the colours and I still love them knitted into my own garment. The yarn is 100% merino and is incredibly soft.

I started this on 27 January and did not finish it until the end of September but I was not working on it for all of that time. I had two very distinct breaks. Firstly, after a few days I decided it would make more sense to finish my Girl Friday and see how that fit before continuing. The sample I had tried on was too big for me and very baggy around the armholes. The other big break in knitting was after I had picked up the stitches for the collar. I knew I was going to make changes but was putting off doing it. So that was another couple of months of no knitting.

The changes I made to the collar were to work the colours in reverse order from the pattern, instead of ABCD, I worked DCBA. Also, having seen two Comfort Fades in real life, I did not like the big collar at the back of the neck and this was the reason for my procrastination, what changes did I want? In the end I started the short rows at the third section, only worked two sets, but worked the same total number of straight rows.

The other change I made was to work the bottom edging in garter stitch and not rib. This is the only place on the garment where rib appears and it looked odd to me. Also I didn’t like the way the band pulled down from the rib.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

All The Hats

I completed a hat for charity earlier this month – Helix Stashbuster – 


and now all my hats are packed up ready to be sent off. This year I made seven hats but one did not turn out to be adult size. I have to either find a children’s charity that takes handmade hats or I may frog it.


These are the six hats that will be going to Operation Gratitude. The green hats were made with a new skein of yarn otherwise all the rest were made from leftovers. The Helix hat was perfect for that and I was able to use small amounts of yarn in that. For that hat I used two main colours, a variegated and a plain and then the third colour was any small amounts of yarn.





Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Why Am I Knitting Socks?

Good question! When I started to knit socks (for myself) on a regular basis I was living in Canada where winter shoes – and therefore, socks – were worn for many months. And, of course, you are starting from nothing and gradually building up a supply. Also it is easy to buy a skein of yarn for socks because you know 100 gram skein of fingering yarn is plenty for a pair of socks – no angst of buying enough to knit a garment.

When I stopped knitting socks it wasn’t a conscious decision, oh, I’m not going to knit socks anymore, they just didn’t get knit and it was surprising to find out that I hadn’t knit any socks for two years, and just one pair in 2019. Which brings us to now and my second completed pair of socks for this year. The first completed pair this year used leftovers; this pair uses yarn from a completed project.

I used the yarn that I frogged from this project. Although I liked it knitted into a Hitchhiker it was just not big enough and never got worn. I tried to turn it into socks earlier this year during a mystery KAL but the yarn and pattern didn’t work well together. I am much happier with my second choice. The pattern is PB & W  and I chose it as part of Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge for September. They were completely finished on 30 September, so, of course, a new pair was cast on on 1 October because, apparently, I am knitting socks again!



Wednesday, October 7, 2020

WIPing Time of Year

The annual finish your WIPs KAL started on 23 September and, as usual, I have a number of projects to finish. I have ten projects in progress (plus mitred squares) which is too many but the funny thing is that that is the number I had this time last year. So maybe ten is my lucky number? Three of my current projects were on the needles this time last year, although one is very close to being finished. One is the crochet project which was intended as a long term project, the third one is my Palm Springs project which should have been finished by now, except our trip earlier this year was cancelled. We do have a trip to Palm Springs coming up and the project will be worked on then.

This leaves seven projects that have been around for less than a year. Although the oldest one of those was started at the end of November. It is a complicated lace shawl designed for Advent last year. I really would like to get it finished by the end of the year which is just possible if I can knit 1 or 2 rows each day. I started a cardigan in March and that has been set to one side. It is not a well written pattern and I will pick it up again when I have finished this batch of WIPs. This leaves eight projects to finish in just over three months. The good news is that I have already finished two of them and, as mentioned, one is nearly finished. And another is a hat which is at the decreases, so another project not far from being finished. Four projects remaining. Two of these are the aforementioned Palm Springs shawl and complicated lace. The other two are a simple shawl which has become my go to project when supervising children and the squares I knit when the virus first really hit. I just need to make a decision as to what to do with them. I know I want them to become a blanket and that I want it to be bigger than just the squares so do I sew the squares together and then add borders or do I border each square and then sew them together. I had thought about a hybrid – sewing the squares together in rows  and then adding borders between each row and a final border around the whole thing. Actually writing it out clarifies my thoughts because what I think the problem is is that I do not have yarn in stash in a colour I want to use. Hmm, looks like I might have to buy yarn.

Of course, finishing any WIP depends on me not starting any new projects and I have already started a pair of socks on 1 October and there is a Christmas gift I want to make and a small advent project. But I have decided not to cast on any new projects with sale yarn until the new year.

In summary: - 10 projects. 2 are longer term; 2 already finished; 2 close to being finished; 3 likely to finish by the end of year; 1 that could be finished if I make a decision. Can I finish 8 projects in just under 14 weeks?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Yarn To Go With Yarn To Go With Yarn

In October 2016 I purchased the colour of the month from Candy Skein. It was lovely yarn and I tried to turn it into socks but the yarn and pattern didn’t go together. The yarn sat in stash but I had a feeling that it that it would need another yarn to go with it. I purchased a skein of grey yarn at Stitches SoCal in 2018. Now I had two skeins of yarn waiting in stash! 

I was given the pattern Lilli Pilli as a friend was trying to encourage me to take part in a knitalong but at the time I could not decide on yarn. With that pattern in mind I purchased a skein of yarn in the sale specifically to go with the two skeins. And that was the next sale yarn I decided to cast on. The yarn is Belle by ArtFil. I used that yarn in Verdon. It is a slightly thicker fingering weight yarn and there is less meterage than many fingering yarns so I was concerned that I would not be able to work the complete lace sections but I had just enough yarn to finish the last lace section but not enough to bind off. This was another project where I wanted to preserve the squishiness of the garter stitch but also open up the lace. I laid it out and pinned the lace sections and then sprayed them with water.

It is a long shawl but not very wide – which seems to be the trademark of this designer. 




Although my plan is to cast on another project with sale yarn whenever I have finished one this time I decided to finish my Comfort Fade Cardigan before starting a new project. I was close to finishing this and it was easy garter stitch but I wanted to change the collar so I couldn’t just pick it up and go. Having finished the Lilli Pilli it was all go with the Comfort Fade and now I am ready to bind off.

I have been working a few rows each day on my oldest project and I hope to have the knitting finished by the end of the month. I also have a sewing project to share.

Monday, August 31, 2020

August’s Hat

Here we are on the last day of August and I am so close to having two projects finished. In the meantime I’ll show the hat I made for charity this month.


I was not inspired by any of the suggestions in my two go-to groups so I picked an older suggestion that had not previously made. This turned out not to be the best of ideas and was frogged. Back to square one and time running out. OK, an exaggeration, it was only the end of the first week. I could have gone for my standard Better Late Than Never beanie pattern, but chose a pattern that I have made before and requires more concentration because I wanted to quickly crank out this thing.

The pattern is Brain Waves Beanie which I made in 2017. It is not a hard pattern but does require concentration as you are working SC, HDC, and DC in groups in each row. I definitely felt I got into a rhythm this time rather than keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. The yarn is left over from a hat I made earlier this year and now I have used up most of the dark green. There is still quite a bit of the light green left but it is not recommended to use it for the main part of a hat for Operation Gratitude so it is going to take a while to use it up.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

My Year Quilt is Finished

Last time I wrote about this quilt was February last year when I had finished the last squares and was deciding what to do with them. Looking back at my posts, I am surprised that I have not written anything about my choices and the process.

In my post I said that I had purchased fabric to make the squares all the same size. I started out by adding a small border to the largest square and then sized all the squares to that. As the point of the quilt is the individual squares, I placed sashing between the squares. But I also wanted a quilt I could use so then borders were added and then it was sandwiched and then it waited. Another quilt waiting to be quilted. 

In the end I repeated to myself “finished is better than perfect” and just got on with it. Also I told myself that I couldn’t sew anything else until this was completed. (I broke this self-imposed rule when I had to make masks.) The action of quilting was hard because of the weight of the fabric so each session was no more than two hours. But a little here and there added up and I had a finished quilt. As I was not working on anything else I kept the walking foot on my machine the whole time as it is fiddly to change. (This has made me think that it would be nice to have a basic machine that I can keep set up just for quilting.)

There was no plan for the quilting. Just some circles with the darning foot and a lot of straight lines with the walking foot. As I got closer to finishing I started to think about the binding. The fabric I used for the back of the quilt was extra wide and I had just enough in the length to make a self-binding. I trimmed the backing to ¾”, folded in half, folded this over the edge of the quilt and then machined. As this is a quilt for us I did not miter the corners. I tell you, machining binding is the way to go.

I am really pleased with the result.




Oh, and as the impetus to finish this was so I can make some clothes for the family with fabric I’ve had for a while, what did I do? Start a new quilt completely from scraps!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Who Is the Most Patriotic?

A common theme I have found in this war of SJWs and anti-SJWs, is that “they” are just not patriotic or “they” don’t love their country.

I find this interesting because, just because someone has a different opinion does not make them any more or less patriotic than you. But is that correct in the true meaning of the word? I decided to look up the meaning of patriotism and came up with some interesting ideas. There was one local government page whose examples of patriots were; military, police, firepeople, police, nurses, doctors, schools and volunteer who helped after a disaster. If you stuck to that definition then there would be not be so many patriots. 

I also found this definition, which I thought interesting.

What is patriotism? [1]

  • Special affection for one's own country.
  • A sense of personal identification with the country.
  • Special concern for the well-being of the country.
  • Willingness to sacrifice to promote the country's good.

The last definition fits in with the description I showed first. But what I find of interest is the third description – “Special concern for the well-being of the country” and this is why I do not believe you can call someone who has different views from you unpatriotic. I would argue that the majority of residents have concern, they just show it in different ways.

But what would the founding fathers think? Yes, I have read this as an argument for sticking with the status quo. I think the founding fathers would think good on ’em, for anyone collecting signatures for a ballot, protesting for change, stopping work. Remember this country (the United States) was founded on a revolution because they were not happy with the people in charge (yes, a gross over-simplification) and they knew that not all citizens would like the decisions that they or future governments would make so in the First Amendment they gave the people “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

So why is it unpatriotic, when it is a part of the Bill of Rights? 

I have written about hypocrisy previously and, of course, the nay-sayers are just the same as the people they decry because they love to complain about government, it’s just different forms, so that’s OK.