Monthly Archives: August 2010

August wrap-up

It’s that time again, kittens: yardage tally for the month.

Yardage Totals 2010

January: 1884 yds
February: 2850 yds
March: 2893 yds
April: 777 yds
May: 856 yds
June: 643 yds
July: 751yds
August: 1716yds

Year to date: 12,370 yds or 7.03 miles
For the first time since March, my knitting mojo was back this month, and I came within 45yds of knitting a full mile again! I can only hope that my next month will be as productive. It felt good to see a noticeable dent form in my stash, as well as realize that, at this rate, I could still finish IntSweMoDo. (I’m currently sitting at 6/12 finished sweaters.)

FO Friday

TGIF, kittens! To celebrate, let’s talk about a recent FO.

Pattern: Gothy Gauntlets (Ravel it)
Needles: US 2 1/2
Yarn: Rainy Days and Wooly Dogs Goth Socks – Goblin King
This was one of my fun cast-ons last week after I realized I’d had a bit too much pink for the time being. I needed some neutrals in my life, and my first shipment of my Goth Socks clubs was just the ticket: a colorway based on The Goblin King–black stripes with bronzey brown, silver, and a small touch of blue. How can you not love a color way inspired by David Bowie?!
Before discussing my mods to this pattern and my thoughts on it, I would like to take a moment to rave about this yarn and the club it comes from. Prior to Goth Socks, I had been involved in only one club. It was nice enough, but the yarn colors never matched our choices and I found myself continually let down because of it. As pictured on my monitor, they sang to me, and I kept focusing on what I thought I was getting but didn’t. Anywho. They just weren’t me and I ended up destashing or getting rid of every single skein from the 4 or 5 months I was a member. I swore off yarn clubs because I thought I could never be happy with yarn I hadn’t chosen for myself: surprises would never do. (Anyone who knows me in meat space can attest to my dislike for surprises and the unknown.)
Then, I started following the Goth Socks group on Ravelry and every month, the club yarn was something I would lop off a finger for. I lurked for awhile, pining after pretty striping yarns and gorgeous variegateds. I managed to score one skein of a club yarn from a destash, and then a striping color way from an update. (BTW, if you want one of these yarns, have a fast internet connection and be prepared to zip along. These are some of the worst updates I’ve been through, and I survived all of the Sundara cluster fuck updates from 2 years ago. All the yarn goes in under 2 minutes so you have to be there right away, grab your skein and check out. You’ve been warned.)When it was announced that Stephanie was expanding the club, I knew I had to have a spot. I managed to be on right when they came up and SUCCESS! I am now in the most awesome yarn club ever. My first two yarns have been Love, the very first one being what I made my wristlets out of. The second is a gorgeous semi-solid Absinthe green, and the spoiler for next month is that it’s a non-black striping inspired by Sailor Moon. Swoon. I have found my people and my yarn club. As if the colors alone are not great enough, this yarn is like buttah and there was not a single slubby bit, loose ply, over twisted section, broken section knotted back together…nothing. I have never had this happen with an indie dyed yarn. Ever.I am convinced that Stephanie is some sort of a yarn goddess.

Enough enabling; back to the gauntlets.

Since it’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I’m a tight knitter, I cast-on 2 needles sizes up from the recommended size in the pattern, and then I cast on 4 additional stitches to be safe. If I were to make these for me again, I would cast on one size larger and make it an additional 8-10 stitches…or keep the same needle size and cast on even more. I do like the fabric that the 2 1/2s produced with this yarn. I had to cut these short because of my large forearms and even with the compensations, I could not get them that far up. That made me a bit sad, but they’re a nice length as they are.

The only other pattern change I made was to make sure I had even numbers for the thumbs and finger sections, because as-written they were odd and I can not stand K1P1 ribbing that is not symmetrical.

These were easy and fast and would work great in any self-striping sock yarn. I will definitely make more in the future.

Probably in pink.

WIP it Wednesday

Yay! Two Wednesdays in a row: I might be back, kittens!
First, I should address the wrap sweater I’ve been blogging lately. After working on it steadily for over a week, it was chucked into the trash the other day. My…erm, creative…attempts to fix it resulted it screwing up the yarn pretty badly and I decided it had served as a learning experience. None of the pieces had the same row gauge and apparently when measuring, my stockinette must have stretched on me, because the first side piece was about 4 inches taller then the back piece. Then, the right side piece, which should have been identical to the left side, was about 3.5 inches shorter then that one. I’m not sure there are enough family-friendly words in the English language to describe my reaction to that. So I tried to fix it, first through simply turning up the hem. It ended up looking like this:
Yeeeah. Not so pretty, amirite? Just look at how obvious that uneven hem is…and you can see how low the waist shaping was, it was hitting my hips. While trying to dig the ends back out, that’s when the, “screwing up the yarn,” portion of the project occurred and I decided it needed to be binned.
Not to mention that it was already bordering too large and it hadn’t even been blocked yet.
And I tried to put in the waist and bust shaping as-written and they were no where near the right spot. Darn you, bottom-up knits. *Insert fist shaking here.*
Aaand I made the arm holes too deep and should have made them wider instead….
Just add in the fact that I’ve recently completed 3 pink sweaters and I’m craving neutrals and that poor thing didn’t stand a chance.
Oof. Problem child knit. Pretty, but a real pain in the ass.
So, I decided to treat myself to a brand spankin’ new cast-on before going back to working my way through already caked yarn. Sometimes, we all need a perk-me-up.
Hello gorgeous!
For the moment, these look like socks, but I assure you, they are not; they’re gauntlets that are very similar in stitch count and shape to socks. So far, I am loving the yarn and I’m trying to figure out just how long I can make them. My large forearms, like my large calves, make it difficult for me to make accessories too tall without a lot of fiddling, which screws up striping patterns.
I’m also getting ready to cast-on a sweater in this:
Hopefully, I’ll have a picture of it next week to show off. First, I need to wind it without a swift. Yeah, I should get on replacing mine, but I’m trying to wait a couple more weeks before ordering one.
Complicated gray seems to be the theme for the week.

FO: Flaming Snail

Before I get to WIPing today, I wanted to document a more recent FO.
Pattern: Abalone (Ravel it)
Needles: US size 7
Yarn: Sundara Fingering Silky Merino -Flaming Flamingo
This was a fast and easy knit once I got going. I had some issues getting started, namely gauge swatch issues. I’m not sure I want to add to my history of wanking about all the reasons swatching never works out for me. Because of these issues, I ended up with some unintentional edits to the pattern.
I decided to use a fingering weight yarn held double instead of a worsted weight one. I’ve had this Sundara sitting around caked for forever now, more then 6 months. (Thinking about it, it’s been caked for about 10 months….) I originally started a Coraline with it and hated having to try and alternate rows while working on that pattern; I knit too tightly for it to work out, especially when the first three stitches of every row had to be slipped.
I made my swatch, got my “gauge” of 5.5-ish SPI, did the math, and cast on. As I was knitting, I realized that my stockinette looked looser then what my gauge was supposed to be, so I checked it and sure enough, it was about 4.75 SPI. UGH. Instead of ripping out and restarting, I redid my math and found my new 100% number to increase to. As a result, my Abalone is a bit more shallow in the back and isn’t as narrow at the bottom as the pattern was originally written to be.
There isn’t too much else to say about it, really. I made the sweater a bit shorter then I’ve seen most of them made, because I didn’t want it to hit very low on my hips or butt. The pattern is really well written so that you can duplicate the results in the size that you need. I love patterns that are only a page long.

Could it be?!

An FO post? When was the last time I had one of these?

Pattern: Shalom Cardigan (ravel it)
Needles: US size 8
Yarn: Squoosh Fiber Arts Merino Cashmere Sport -Passionfruit
I completed this sweater back in February, kittens. I’ll try to remember as many details about this knit as I can. My project page on Ravelry doesn’t contain much, and, let’s face it, I have the short term memory of a goldfish most days.
This cardigan was less a Shalom as inspired by the pattern. Because honestly, there is very little in common between mine and the original; I used it more as a template and a road map.
I’ll admit this up front: I never cared for the original pattern and dismissed it as rather bulky and unattractive. That’s the nicest way I can put the sentiment and I’m leaving it there: it just wasn’t for me. But then, something happened: my Ravelry buds started knitting this sweater. And they were attractive! (OK, so the last one was knit around the same time as mine, but it’s another fine example of how when done right, the pattern could be very cute.)Why? They were knitted in a worsted weight and the sleeves were not so ridiculously winged out. And they had actual sleeves rather then just leaving the yoke hanging out there.
So I took inspiration from all the worsted weight Shalom I saw, and I got to thinking, “if they made it in worsted, and I prefer lighter yarn knit at a looser gauge…and I live in the middle of HOT-ALL-THE-TIME land…why not try this in an MCN sport at a worsted gauge?”
And that, kittens, is where this idea took off from.
While I was at it, I decided the sweater needed sleeves, more buttons down the front, and some of the twisted rib detailing in places other then the yoke. All simple enough to do. Because of my gauge, I did an extra column of the ribbing up top. All of these details made my cardi unlike the original it was based.
The rest is history.
The only thing I would change now, if I could, is knitting this a bit smaller. When I cast on, I was at the highest my weight has ever been and since discovering a food allergy, I’ve dropped 15 pounds. So what used to fit perfectly is now a bit loose. For the time being, it works, but in the future, I may have to play with taking some width out of it.

WIP it

Ah, so I’m back to you. (Yes, I’m reusing the photo because it looks exactly like this, but the twisted rib is on the opposite side. Miles of stockinette with 5 stitches of twisted rib. Only so many pictures I can take of that, kittens.)
This was on hiatus back in April and I’m finally working on it again. I’m hoping to finish within the week, and I should be able to make it. I have some doubts about this project: the body fits really well, but I had decided to elongate the armholes in an attempt to make them larger. I now realize that I should have bound off more stitches but left them the same depth. I may be getting…creative…with this.
I have nothing else on needles and this is the last of the UFOs I was hoping to work on and finish in August. I have 2 swiffer heads that need a round of crochet attached and those are finished as well, but I’m not in a rush, and they are not causing me any anxiety.


It’s a day late, but I figured that is better then no WIP post at all. I’m trying to get back into the swing of blogging now that things are settling down a bit.

This WIP is almost an FO. Just a little more drying time and some woven in ends and it will be.

My goal for August is to finish up 2 of my 3 languishing WIPs. This is the first. I was so stoked and keyed up that I finally jumped back into WIP #2 and made some good progress last night. If I keep up at this pace, it will take a couple of days to finish those. Not bad for the first week of the month, eh?

July Wrap-up

Yardage Totals 2010

January: 1884 yds
February: 2850 yds
March: 2893 yds
April: 777 yds
May: 856 yds
June: 643 yds
July: 751yds

Year to date: 10,654 yds or 6.05 miles

July didn’t end too badly; I’m still producing numbers that are low for me, but as has been the case, it’s still crazy around here. I’m happy to still be knitting at all most days, because without my mother’s help, I could very easily not be. I’m alone with two small children and had to set up a brand new household from scratch.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my yardage tracking. At the end of this year, it will be two full years I have done so. For 2011, I may stop, as I’m toying with changing my focus and how I view productivity*. These monthly tallies have been educational and give me a good idea of how much I truly knit: in an average month, it’s looking to be about 1,355 yds or .77 miles. They definitely help me by realizing how much I can realistically knit when I look at stashing; they help me be more mindful in my yarn purchases. I have hard numbers to look at, data, and the math geek in me loves that. However, I’m not sure I need to continue doing them after this calendar year is finished.

I’m hoping for a productive August, with some FOs finally!

* I’ve been giving a lot of thought to simplicity and “stuff” lately. Keeping track of yardage, to not slow down to just enjoy everything, seems counterproductive to that. We shall see.