Knit Meter

Friday, December 31, 2021

Year in Review (2021)

What I like when I come to write about my year of crafting is looking back to the end of last year to see if what I am making has changed and looking at my plans at the start of the year also to see if they changed.

One thing I definitely didn’t take into account was a yarn store closing, resulting in a big addition to my stash and two projects being started as soon as yarn was purchased. Although it could be argued that this was balanced out by no big events in 2020 and 2021. And there was the sudden decision to start another left overs blanket.

I had 43 items on the needles in 2021. Four of these, including the mitred squares, were from previous years. I then cast on four new things on January 1st. Having got rid of a load of WIPs it makes sense to create a load more, right? And creating numerous new projects is an idea worth repeating as you will see in my 2022 plans post.

Of those 43 projects, only one was frogged and I am impressed that I made the decision in the same year that I started it although I did not have plans for the yarn. Seven of the total were crochet projects and only three were gifts but nearly all the hats (14) were for charity.

In 2021 I completed 7 shawls or wraps, 16 hats and 1 headband, 1 garment, 6 pairs of socks, 1 toy, and 3 dishcloths. The total is close to the total number of finished items last year although made up of smaller items. In all I knitted 7960 metres and crocheted 2024 meters. This was less than the total in but not surprising due to the closing down sale.

I really did not have big plans for 2021. I completed the two specific items – Advent socks and project from frogged yarn. I wrote that I was not going to buy yarn for hats but that changed as I made hats for a specific charity that required a specific type of yarn. The other type of knitting that was not planned was the dishcloths. I had that on my radar for 2022 to use up all my scraps of dishcloth cotton but I found myself in December with no mindless knitting but not wanting to start a major project before the end of the year. So I decided to make some dishcloths. It was surprising how many dishcloths I could make from scraps.

Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A Recurring Theme

Initially I thought the theme was cheeky cast ons but it could be WIpping Wednesday or velcroed cats. Although that last one is a theme of my life. As soon as I sit down she is there. And by there I mean on my lap her body stuck to mine. This is why humans don’t have T-Rex arms – so our arms can go around cats and still work.

The theme I was thinking about was finished WIPs and cheeky cast ons. The WIP I finished was the crochet toy. I did not work on it consistently as I could only work on it when the recipient was not in the house and it was fiddly. The good thing about this finished item is that the recipient loves it and I am pleased that I don’t have to think about it anymore. It was fiddly because it was small pieces at a tight gauge with not tightly spun wool. Add to that a not brilliantly written pattern. I have drafted and re-drafted a post about patterns in general and composed a post in my head about this pattern in particular. Currently they are too long for a post but I hope that a post or two will appear at some point on the subject.

I purchased this pattern as a kit at the closing down sale and I am glad that I did not pay full price. Anyway here are a couple of photos. One of all the pieces and the other showing the finished dinosaur.

As for the cheeky cast on, which I started on vacation, that I am happy with. The yarn is left over from this project and works really well with this pattern which is WandererCap. I worked the rib with leftover yarn from the last hat shown here, working until I had insufficient yarn to finish a full round.

I am showing three photos of the hat so you can see the top and also how the yarn changes through out.


And as for WIPping Wednesday. I am down to three WIPs – one of which I have put aside. I am working the sideways border on the shawl and binding off the long band on the jacket. Neither of these are easy to pick up and put down in small chunks of time but slow and steady wins the race.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Finished Object, a Frog and a Sneaky Cast On

The finished object is the Advent Socks which I worked as a year long project. The pattern (from December 2020) was set up for one sock to be knit over 12 days. I knit one section on each sock every month. At the end of part 10 (October) I knew I was very close to the required length. In November I worked the few rows required before starting the toe shaping and then just decided to keep going and finish both socks so that would have to be one less thing to worry about in December.

These are not the best socks  have knit. Although I used sock yarn, as it is all leftovers, there is a difference in thickness and make up of each yarn. Also my swiss darning (duplicate stitch) is not wonderful in some places. But as the pattern is worked all around on the leg and foot they are double thickness and cosy and I was not concerned about exact fit. But I am very happy with them and will wear them around the Christmas season. The socks are made entirely from leftovers. On both socks I used up all of the original main colour but had other options to add in. 



I did not intend to frog the next project especially as I was using yarn that had come from a frogged project. I started a shawl on vacation in May and it was designated my vacation shawl but the yarn and pattern did not go together so I (metaphorically) ripped off the band aid and the shawl is now back to yarn. I really want to use this yarn as it was a gift (and I like it) but I think I am going to wait until I see just the right project and not try to force the yarn to fit in with something.


I was on vacation and did not want to take one of my WIPs because they weren’t at a convenient point to just pick up and knit. So I grabbed some needles and yarn for easy poolside and reading knitting. I completed a hat and a bit. The completed hat is the Molly hat and the yarn is more than likely YOTH Big Sister. (It was part of the big load that I was given from a friend of a friend's stash.) As this hat will go into next year’s charity pile, I worked the pattern as written and did not worry about the slouch which, generally, I am not a fan of.  The first photo shows the pattern and the second photo shows the colour.


I then used leftovers to cast on the Wanderer hat. Although this is intended for vacation knitting, if I can fit it in I will finish it before the end of the year just so that I have one less WIP.

Excluding the hat I cast on for vacation knitting, I have four WIPs plus two blankets and I am really excited by this number. In September the number was nine plus two. I am not working on one of these projects at all so that leaves me just under four weeks to finish three projects. As my husband said, that's one week for each project with some extra days leeway.

Of course, none of this is going to happen as I am writing this with a cat “velcroed” to me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

It’s WIPping Wednesday

Was I going to write regular posts about my WIPs when there seems to be little change? It is the season for WIPs so I think I should.

Everything is moving forward but no finished items to show. This is partially due to some unknitting. At the weekend I worked on the toe of one sock. I was about half-way through it and realized I had not changed needles. I have used a size smaller needles for the cuff and heel and would do the same for the toe – only if I remembered though. I wanted to start the toe shaping before finishing the colourwork pattern, which was only three rows and then I continued in one colour. When I looked at it the gauge was definitely too loose so it was pulled back to the end of the colourwork. Of course, I didn’t have the smaller needles to hand. If I had I expect I wouldn’t even have been in the frogging position. So what could have been a quick finish is waiting for the next opportunity.

I started the frill on the dinosaur, it wasn’t hard but so fiddly, which I write every time. I have not worked on it this week as the intended recipient has been at our house. This is another project that is so close but so far.

The jacket is coming along nicely. It is my easy knitting so can pick it up at anytime. I finished the second sleeve and picked up stitches for the hood and am half-way through that. I still am not sure if it will be finished by year end as although it is easy knitting there is a lot of it.

I have not picked up the complicated shawl as I am waiting for more yarn. I ended up buying some from someone on Ravelry who had some leftover from their project. I could continue working the border with what I have left but I am being prudent and waiting until I get the other yarn in case there is a difference in tone. There shouldn’t be as it is a commercial yarn but having got this far and taken a long time I might as well wait.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A Cheeky Little Cast On

My last post was about how well I was doing with my WIPs, so what did I do? Cast on a new project. To be fair it is a gift and it was a very quick baby hat.

When I was going through my leftovers to find leftover lace weight yarn my husband asked if I was going to make the new baby a blanket. I do not feel inclined to send a blanket to Japan but I said I would make booties. The problem with booties is that mothers either love them or hate them. So I decided on a hat. After a lot of thought that is. I have made many baby hats more than once as they are just so cute but I decided to make a different pattern, using leftovers of course.

The pattern is Gather by Tin Can Knits; the yarn is Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK from Sublime Yarns. I worked as many complete rib rows as I could with the white yarn and then changed to the pink for the pattern. The hat is the total length as stated in the pattern but I though it looked a bit short in comparison to the width. But the baby was not big at birth, so I am sure it will be fine for a while as long as it doesn’t take forever to get to Japan.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

WIP Update

I used to regularly write about my WIPs but I think I stopped when there wasn’t much change from week to week. I had a look through my posts and the last regular weekly update was in April 2014. I do not intend to make this a regular weekly feature but as we are in WIPping season it is time for an update.

I currently have six projects plus two blankets. The two year long projects are close to the end. The socks are at the toes and the shawl is at the border. It is sideways knit border and not hard after all the lace but I am pretty certain I do not have enough yarn. I worked about 1/6 of the border, weighing yarn before and after and I used about a gram. (Now I wish I had more accurate scales than 1 gram.) The yarn is discontinued so I cannot purchase any more. I have contacted a couple of people on Ravelry who have left overs from their own projects and I will write about how that went when I finish the shawl. I could take out a couple or four rows of the lace pattern but that is not a task I want to undertake, so I may have to work the border in a contrast colour. I have some leftover lace weight yarns in colours that will contrast nicely; just have to decide which one I am going to use.

I have been working on the crochet toy, and is it fiddly! It is nearly finished, just have to work out what the instructions mean for the frill around the head and I am done. Oh, apart from sewing all the little bits to the body. That should be finished by the end of the year.

I have nearly finished the second sleeve of the jacket. I have blocked the body and will pick up and work the hood and pockets before I sew in the sleeves just to make the knitting easier. I’m aiming to finish it by the end of the year but once it’s all sewn together there is still a big front band to knit.

I have been true to my word and not touched the lace cardigan nor the vacation knit so that I can finish the other projects.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A Quick Little Cast On

Since I started the WIP challenge, I have not cast on anything new. But two things combined to cause me to make something. Someone had posted a picture of a cute headband and there was a birthday coming up. I decided that was an acceptable cast on; otherwise I would be spending time shopping either rin person or online. The only limitation was colour.

I may have mentioned that I was given a lot of yarn from a friend of a friend’s stash and I took it on the basis that I could do anything with it. In there was a 50g skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light in a greenish colour. It was hard to capture the colour with my phone. (I am having problem with my phone capturing true colours, but that’s a whole different story.)

Pattern is Headband with a Twist and is available fro free on the designers website. I used just under 30g and it would be perfect for leftovers.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

When You Have A Choice of Beautiful Sock Yarn

What do you do? Knit a pair of socks from leftovers and take four months to do so! The yarn is left over from this project. I used about half skein of each and they are so beautiful I knew they needed to be used in another project. One of the options for July’s Sock Knitters Anonymous was Slipped Stitch Colorwork. Searching through Ravelry, I found this pattern 

I wasn’t sure if I would have enough yarn to just use two colours so I did use the third colour for the cuffs, heels and toes. Weighing the yarn after completing the project I would have been cutting it close so I saved future me from “do-I-have-enough-yarn angst”.

I don’t know why it took so long to finish these socks but when I had not even finished the first sock by the end of July they got pushed to one side. With the incentive of the WIP knitalong, these socks were the next project to be focused on and I completed them within the month of October. I am really pleased with them and they are lovely and soft.


I am now down three projects from the original eight. I am on target to finish the two year-long projects and have picked up the garment as my next project. The knitting on this is not hard but I am changing much of the pattern to fit with my gauge and measurements. The body is complete and I am now working on the first sleeve. After both sleeves there is a hood or collar and the front bands. I really would like to get it finished by the end of the year.


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Another 5k – Rock n Roll Running Series San Diego

I first ran this in 2019 and was so psyched by it that I immediately signed up for the 2020 run. Not surprisingly it was “cancelled” but earlier this year they announced it would be taking place as usual and then a day later the date was changed to October.

All these changes made it hard to train and get enthused for the race as there was no way to know if the date would be changed again and the race was not exactly the wonderful experience I had in 2019 but I ran and it was faster than 2019.

The 5k course was changed this year. Previously the start and finish lines were close to each other and the way the course looped, it was easy for spectators to see most of the race. This year they changed the start line so that it was a good walk to the finish line. This meant that there were no spectators along the course to cheer us along and as the one road we ran up was only half-closed, we were not cheered on by the residents.

Having said that; I am glad I ran it and that it was faster than previously, and my husband was there to stop the negative self-talk. But I am not sure if I will take part again. The downside is that I have to drive to San Diego twice, once to pick up my bib and then again for the race. One way to San Diego is longer than the actual race and with the change of course, the excitement is missing.

I have a 10k race in February that was supposed to take place in October last year. I am going to wait until I have completed that to decide what I want to do regarding what distance I want to participate in and where I want to do it.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Finished Hats

This year as well as making hats for Operation Gratitude I made hats for Hats for Sailors. This is a group that makes hats for US Navy members serving on board ship. They provide hats for a different ship each year and this year they were asked to provide hats for the USS Carl Vinson, an aircraft carrier with at least 6000 personnel. As it was such a big undertaking and the ship is based out of San Diego I thought it would be a good cause to support. There is no limit on pattern or colour but you have to use superwash wool. As I did not have any I approached my friend Heather, owner of Ewe Ewe Yarns and purchased various colours and weights of her yarn. I liked that I was keeping it local. Although I didn’t think about keeping the patterns local.

I ended up making five hats. I do have enough yarn to make one more hat but I wanted to make sure that these hats were labeled and mailed in time.



I have numbered the hats in the order I made them.

1.      Pattern Tamarugo Yarn Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted

2.      Pattern  Freshwater Yarn Ewe Ewe Fluffy Fingering held double

3.      Pattern  Sailors Rib Cap Yarn Ewe Ewe Yarns Heather’s Heathers

4.      Pattern Barley Yarn left over from hats 1 and 3.

5.      Pattern Ankers Hat  Yarn Ewe Ewe So Sporty.

I also finished another hat for Operation Gratitude. I needed an easy project and I had these partial balls of yarn that I had been given and Angel Hat is an easy pattern that I have knit before. The yarn is Extra by Blue Sky Fibers and is deliciously soft. 


It will keep a serving or retired military member warm. I had not remembered that I had posted photos of my other Operation Gratitude hats as I finished them otherwise I would have posted this one sooner. I thought I would be posting photos of them altogether.

This year I have made 10 hats for charity which is equal to one per month. I am now going to take a break and concentrate on WIPs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

One Down

I was a little disappointed not to have finished my projected two projects in September. But I have now finished the socks I started on 1 September. I did finish the hat, but when I tried it on it was small for an adult. I could have left it and given it to one of my nieces or donated to a different charity but I really wanted this to be my last hat for Hats for Sailors. I pulled out the knitting as far as the first decrease row and then knit another pattern repeat before starting decreases.

We are at the start of a new month and time for a new sock knitting challenge but I am being very sensible and not starting any so that I can finish my WIPs; one of which is a pair of socks left over from July’s challenge. I am only on the foot of the first one but they will be my knitting for this month and maybe I can get them finished.

One of the challenges for September was the theme literature. I chose Bertie Wooster’s Faux Pas by Becky Greene.

I now have quite a few skeins of sock yarn following the “little” shopping spree earlier this year when the yarn store closed. I looked at projects on Ravelry and saw that it worked in dark colours and chose Theodora’s Pearl Fingering by Dizzylettuce. The colourway is Purple Haze which seemed very appropriate as the pattern is inspired by Bertie Wooster wanting to wear purple socks.

The pattern had been originally published as a mystery and then the clues combined. In the combined clue the designer has four rows of cuff pattern but does not say to repeat those therefore my project does not have a cabled cuff. As these socks included cable stitches I started with a size larger than usual to make sure they fit on my muscley calves When I got to the foot I could not easily change the pattern to a smaller size so I changed to a size smaller needle. 


Thursday, September 23, 2021

It’s That Time of Year Again

Time to work through the WIPs. It’s amazing how they build up even if I am working on them with plans to finish by a certain date.

I was surprised to count up 11 works in progress. Although that number includes two blankets which I don’t include in my list of projects to be finished anytime soon. But this number (including blankets) is the same as this time last year and includes two of the same projects. How many of these projects can I complete by the end of the year?

As previously mentioned two of the projects are long-term blankets and one is a shawl that is vacation knitting. That leaves eight projects. Two of those have been year-long personal KALs and are on target to finish in December. Two are projects started this month – socks and hat which should be finished this month. Which leaves three months to finish all the other projects. Gulp. One is a crochet project, which I really want to finish soon; but it is a toy and rather fiddly. I should set time aside each day to work on it. I also have an unfinished pair of socks which are not hard but are patterned on every row. I could work on that when I have finished the crochet. The remaining two projects are garments. One is very lacey. I have completed the body up to the armhole and am now working on the first sleeve. I haven’t been working on it because I was working on the complicated lace shawl and didn’t feel like working on two lace projects. With all my other projects, it is unlikely that I will finish this year, so I am not even going to think about it. The other garment is easy knitting and I can concentrate on that after finishing the hat and socks.

I actually think this is doable if I don’t start anything else. I can’t promise that as I want to make some Christmas presents but I need to not look at the sock knitting challenges for October and November.

Considering I started the year with three WIPs, how have I ended up with nine projects and as I ask every year is that really my magic number? 



Friday, September 17, 2021

Metaphorical Lemonade

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had visited Jo-Ann’s for fabric purchasing. What I didn’t say was what an awful experience it was. Prices shown on the shelves were not what rang up at the cutting counter. They tried to convince me that the knit fabric for the pink dress was $20.00 per yard. On my last trip there to purchase the fabric for my granddaughter’s PJs, there was someone having the same problem with shelf pricing not matching the scanner. Part of me was relieved that it wasn’t just me who had this problem but mostly I was annoyed that Jo-Ann’s couldn’t get a simple thing like showing the correct prices on shelves. This is more time wasting for the employees than going through the store and removing the out of date signs as every time a customer questions the price the employee has to check. I am sure the moral of the staff is a reflection of how they are treated by management.

Anyway, there was no problem with one of the pieces I purchased. The shelf price and the scanner price were the same. Except – yes you knew something had to be wrong – when I laid out the fabric it looked really short and when I measured it the length was not what I had asked for. I checked the receipt and I had only been charged for what I had been given. But what was I going to do now? I could have taken the fabric and got a refund but before resorting to that I had a look at my other patterns to see if there was enough to make a different top.

A while ago I had got a free PDF pattern online and printed it out thinking I would turn an old skirt into a top. That didn’t happen but as I had the printed pattern it was easy to check if it fit my fabric – and woohoo – it did. The pattern is a simple sleeveless top with a pleat down the middle. I am not a fan of that style as the pleat tends to bulge out so I made the pleat at the top and sewed down for about two inches and did not sew down the pleat at the hem. The pattern says to make your own bias binding from the fabric or use pre-made. As I was not expecting to make this top I had not purchased any binding so make my own it was.

Oh my gosh, this was not the best fabric for the first time for making bias binding – slippery and frayey and barely holding a crease. And then sewing the narrow strip of slippery fabric onto slippery fabric – ugh! No wonder I sewed one edge per day and for the armhole edges I placed the garment on parchment paper to stop the slide of the fabric on the machine.

Despite that, I love the end result. The fabric works really well with the pattern. 



Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Couple of Finished Items

Although I’ve been rather quiet over here, I have been knitting away. Life has been a bit hectic. Usually I have both grandchildren every other week, but I wanted some one-on-one time with each child so I have had three weeks of child care. I took advantage of working various crafts with my granddaughter. I really wanted to teach her how to sew but she was rather nervous so I left that project to last. First there was looms and Lego and baking.

We had prepared at the beginning of the week by purchasing a pattern and fabric for PJs. Once she started sewing, she loved it and when the PJ bottoms were finished, she was going through my fabric stash and sewing pieces together to make bags.

The items I finished were a sewn dress and a knitted cowl. The dress was the one mentioned in my last post.

The fabric and pattern have been sitting for two years. I had been putting off making it because I was worried about what size to make, I think this was also a subconscious thought of being unhappy with my body. (This is entirely my own thoughts and nothing to do with anyone else.) Having lost some weight last year I decided to just go for it and am pleased with the outcome although having made two dresses with the same pattern I am likely to make some minor changes next time. And, yes, there will be a next time as I purchased some fabric when we went shopping for PJ fabric.

The knitted cowl I finished is not really a cowl but one of those drapey items that sit on my shoulders. They’re not a shawl or a poncho so I don’t know what to call them but they mostly come under the cowl name. Having finished the large pink shawl I needed an easy project and this fit the bill. I can’t remember how I came across this pattern – Across the Waters – but it seemed perfect for yarn that I had had in my stash since 2017 and was waiting for that perfect pattern. The yarn is Astoria Berries from Candy Skein and the stripes are left over from this project. I did swatch and used 4mm needles which I have used for this type of garment and yarn previously but I think I could have used 3.75mm as stated in the pattern.

As is often the case, although these items were finished a little while ago it took time for photos to be taken. In the end I settled for selfies so that I could get this blog post written.




Thursday, July 22, 2021

European Pi Day

I have actually fully completed a shawl that I started on US Pi Day – March 14 - in time for 22 July.

This shawl is a half-circle but not a Pi shawl as the increases were not made by doubling the stitches as the rows were doubled but I really wanted a pattern that would not be obscured by the yarn that I was given way back in 2016. It is a lovely colour but the variegation and the black could easily obscure most patterns. It is lace weight from Tempting Ewe Yarns.

The pattern is Knitting by the Pool by Romi Hill which I have had since 2019. I’m guessing it was one of the patterns she gave away in her Easter Egg hunt. I used just over 500 metres of the yarn, my skein was 800 metres but I did not feel like making adjustments to this pattern to use more yarn. The end result is the main thing. I love the loops on the edge of the shawl, they were worked by making stitches into a yarn over on the previous row, neater than usual way of working picots. And a looped edge makes it much easier to pin out when blocking.

I cast on this project specifically for Pi Day but I will not be casting on anything new to replace as I have a few high concentration projects on the go.