Knit Meter

Friday, April 24, 2020

My Advent Knit

On 1 December last year, I posted about my two Advent cast ons. One was a complicated lace pattern that I am still working on and I aim is to be finished by the end of November so I can wear it during Advent this year. Of course, if I can finish it before then, all the better.

The other project was the project from my yarn Advent calendar. This was a mystery yarn kit with 20 grams of yarn wrapped for each day for 25 days. I had thought about posting a picture each day of that day’s yarn, but that never happened. I have seen some people open their yarn each day and then take a photo of all the skeins together at the end. But I wanted to knit each colour on the day I opened it. I very quickly got behind so I opened each day when I was ready for it and not on the day it should have been opened.

It took a lot of consideration to come up with a pattern that I wanted to make and I thought woulf work with multiple colours and I could adapt to use all the yarn. Most of the Advent patterns used about half of each skein and I did not want to be left with a lot of yarn. The pattern I chose was Chaukor which was easy to increase the width and make as long as I wanted.

The colour scheme I chose was antique rainbow, although I like the end result, the knitting did get a bit boring during the colour progressions - I thought the pinks would never end. The set started with the purple yarn and finished with the blues. As you can see, this is huge and will be great for cooler evenings.

One of my friends has started to talk about an Advent for this year and mentioned that some dyers are preparing for Advent already. I’m not sure I want to go that route again. If I did I would not knit the whole skein of each yarn I got or I would choose a set with smaller amount of yarn. Or I could buy mini sets in advance and choose an Advent pattern to start on 1 December. We shall see.

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Oldest Yarn

Many, many years ago I bought yarn that then sat in my stash – not because I didn’t like it – but because I didn’t want to knit something and still have loads of yarn left over – or worse – run out of yarn.

I purchased the yarn on a quilt fabric buying trip with my sister-in-law. She took me to the big sale at Keepsake Quilting in New Hampshire and Patternworks Yarn was part of that building. (There have been so many changes of ownership since that time, and, unfortunately, neither Patternworks nor Keepsake Quilting are in business although Keepsake has an online presence.)

This trip took place in the late 1990s. I was not quilting then but have always been an avid knitter so was pleased that they had yarn. Although, at that time I did not buy yarn just because and definitely not without a pattern. How times have changed. I can’t remember what yarn they had, my sister-in-law bought a bunch of Christmas fabrics and I purchased just this one bunch of yarn. It was half-price and there were ten skeins. The yarn is Wensleydale Longwool by Berroco, worsted weight, in a navy colour. This yarn never got used because as I said previously I wanted a pattern that used most of the yarn with no danger of running out. In 2018 I decided that I was going to use my oldest yarns so I cast on; actually I did some swatching. I cannot remember why I chose the pattern I did, I’m guessing that I did a search of cardigan patterns on Ravelry. It is interesting that with my oldest yarn I chose a ten-year old pattern.

Once cast on it was ignored, after all the point was to get the yarn on the needles, and it took me a year just to complete the ribbing for the back. 2019 was the year for this project and I finished the knitting and blocked the main pieces by the end of November. Two things conspired to delay the finished object – the huge Advent shawl and having to pick up stitches for the front band and collar. I haven’t made a note as to when I did that, but the garment was completed apart from buttons on 7 March this year and fully completed on 10 March, a few days shy of two years. And then it was forever to take pictures because the weather in March was awful!

I am pleased with the end result. The pattern is Girl Friday published in Knitty in Fall 2009. The pattern says there is no ease, although it doesn’t seem that way from the pattern photo, also as it is knit in worsted weight yarn you do not want a clingy garment. I wanted more of an outer wear type cardigan and sized mine on a cardigan I wear a lot. I was worried that I would run out of yarn but pleased that didn’t happen, I used 8 and a bit of the 10 balls I had. I think a hat in the same pattern would look nice but the yarn is itchy (to me) so a hat wouldn’t stay on my head for long.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Quarterly Round Up

Not really; but I thought I would show the three hats I have made for charity. I made one each month, which was my goal and I used left over yarn which was another goal.

I get my ideas for hats from one of two groups on Ravelry; either the Operation Gratitude group or the Hat of the Month group. Both these groups have a knit and a crochet selection each month, although the suggestions from the Operation Gratitude group are not always hats; sometimes they suggest scarves which are also welcomed by Operation Gratitude.

In January I knit The Capitol hat. I used Red Heart Sport which has been in my stash for a very long time. I cannot remember what I used it for originally but I used up all the yarn I had in making this hat.

In February I crocheted a hat, Hump de Bump Beanie. It is similar to the Better Late Than Never Beanies – of which I have made five- but uses different stitches and is ideal for using up really small amounts of yarn.

Then March was another knitted hat, Checking on the Colonel. The pattern is written for worsted weight yarn and my supply is low, so I used sport weight yarn held double. I really don’t know what I originally made with these dark colours but I’m glad that I found them and can put them to use for charity. The hat felt stiff when I finished it, so I gave it a quick soak and block and that softened it up.

I haven’t started anything for April. Having started two projects to go with our self-isolating, I thought it was sensible to not start anything else.

I have been working on my second-oldest project. Last weekend I got to the end of the pattern and have enough yarn left for the picot bind off – except that’s just one skein of yarn and I have two. It is an easy 10-row repeat pattern so I am just going to keep going with the second skein. It is possible to finish it by the end of the month – we shall see!

Friday, April 3, 2020

And Now Unknitting

In my year-end round up, I said that I had frogged some completed items. One of them was this project I made way back in 2012. Although I liked the finished item, I never wore it as it was not quite big enough. I finally frogged it at the end of last year. After frogging the yarn was very crinkly so I soaked and hung it to dry and the yarn ended up wavy. Here is a picture showing the knitted item, after frogging and after washing.

The challenge in the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group for March was Self-striping yarn and there was a mystery KAL to go with the challenge. So I cast on. By the time I got to the heel, I knew the pattern wasn't for me. Looking at other knitters' socks, the pattern worked best with yarn with narrow stripes. This wouldn't have been so bad if I had liked the pattern but it was blocks of feather-and-fan with blocks of moss stitch.

I got as far as the heel, which I worked in a contrasting yarn, when I finally gave up.

I think I prefer this yarn as a scarf/shawl rather than a sock. The yarn originally comes knitted in a long scarf, so it would be strange to actually knit a scarf although it would be different from its original form. As there is not enough yarn for a shawl, as evidenced by the Hitchhiker, I'm thinking of a half-hap type pattern with the centre knit with this yarn and a plain yarn used for the lace edge. Also as I write this, the Sun Glitter Shawl was a fun one-skein pattern.

I have other yarn, no need to make a decision yet.