Monthly Archives: September 2010

Aaaand it’s also time for my quarterly Stashdown post. I am just spamming y’all with posts these last two days, kittens. Many apologies for that. At least it will be 3 months before you see one of these boring number posts again.

2010 Q1 Stashdown

Yardage in: 6,681
Yardage out: 9,766
Net stash change: -3,085
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.462

2010 Q2 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,014
Yardage out: 7,498
Net stash change: -484
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.069

2010 Q3 Stashdown

Yardage in: 7,591
Yardage out: 10,588
Net stash change: -2,997
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.395

2010 Totals so far:

Yardage in: 21,286
Yardage out: 27,852
Net Stash Change: -6,566
Ratio (yds out/in): 1.308

All-in-all, I’m pretty happy with how I did this quarter, even if I didn’t stick to my goals 100%.

I did finish all of my WIPs and get them off of needles (I had started the quarter with 3 languishing ones), and I did end the quarter very much in the green (even if the ratio wasn’t as impressive as I would have liked). So yay for that.

However, I had hoped to have no yarn come into my stash other then club yarn, and that turned out to be unrealistic. A project fail made me have to find suitable yarn and purchase for it. Then I liked the yarn I purchased so much that I had to find more; it would seem that Rowan may be discontinuing it, since all of their retailers are marking it down and moving it out. I managed to find a full bag on destash, so it all worked out and I’m already contemplating which of several t-shirt patterns I’m going to knit with it. I also had to purchase some yarn to use for some upcoming projects. Sometimes, it takes more yarn to use existing yarn. Oh, the vicious cycle!
For Quarter 4, I’m hoping to continue decreasing the amount of yarn I stash. I already know I’ll have my club coming in, a skein I snagged at an update which is due sometime next week, and a custom yarn order from a dyer I haven’t tried yet. If I’m lucky, I may have another skein or two coming in from my New Favorite Dyer. But on top of that? I’m not going to stash and I hope to work through enough yarn to keep my yardage at a closer to 2yds out for every yard in ratio.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed the Stashdown process and it’s been educational to see my yarn purchasing and using habits. It’s been integral to helping curb impulse buys and made me more mindful of the yarn I’m stashing. I’ve completely stopped purchasing yarn just because it’s on sale and “such a deal.” I’ve even passed up many an Indie Dyer offering I never would have in the past. If I can’t think of something to use it for and be excited about that, it doesn’t get bought.
Even if Yarn Snobs doesn’t continue to track in 2011, I very well may, since it’s been such a positive experience for me.

September Wrap Up

And once again, another month has come and gone. I’m still debating if I’ll continue to track my yardage in 2011 or not. I still have a couple of months to think it over.

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
September: 3046 yds

Year to date: 15,416 yds or 8.76 miles

Whoah. Look who seriously upped her productivity this month. I’m not sure what clicked–it definitely was not the sticky, oppressive heat most of the month–but I took off and knit like a crazy woman the entirety of September. About 1,000yds of that is a crochet blanket project, but that leaves 2,000yds of actual knitting. Mind boggling.

I do not expect to come anywhere near this number in October.

5 of 5

Pattern: Generic 68 stitch toe-up sock
Needles: US size 2.5
Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight-Amethyst
There it is: 5 of 5. I knit as many pairs of socks as was my goal for 2010. This is looking to be one goal I will exceed, as the sock knitting urge is coming over me again. That is very likely because this pair was a bit of a let down.
The socks themselves fit well but the yarn? Oh, the yarn. The yarn was gifted to me by an…eccentric acquaintance at our last duty station. I’ve been meaning to give some big box “inexpensive” yarn a try, so when she gave it to me, I decided that I had been saved from the bother of seeking some out. Good thing, right?
I’ll tell you what kittens, I would never buy this yarn and am so glad I didn’t pay money for it. Even at $3.99 per skein retail, it’s not worth the money. At its 2/$5.00 sale price? Not. Worth. The. Money. It may be THE saddest yarn that has ever lived. For a blend that claims to be 50% merino, it has no spring or elasticity to it. And wearing the socks as I type, I can vouch that my feet are neither toasty nor cozy. I am drafty and clammy. Yarn fail.
It felt soft enough in the skein. But once I was working with it, it was icky and plastic-y feeling. All around, this yarn just felt, looked, and acted CHEAP. And let’s face it, cheap isn’t exactly a good thing. Bargains are great; cheap is bad.
And since I’m in the mood to do so, I’m going to nitpick a point: this yarn is not “self-striping” as a lot of misguided souls on Ravelry have called it. Self-striping yarns have long color repeats and true, horizontal stripes. This yarn self-patterns and creates spirals that mimic stripes going up the foot. I am not a fan of self-patterning yarn. I’ve used several now and none of them have won me over.
I hope my next pair of socks will at least keep my feet toasty and happy.

WIP it

Kittens, I made sure that this last Wednesday in September, there would be a WIP post.

I think I did a much better job with the color adjustments this time. That bathroom lighting turns everything yellow. Not such a good look for me.
So far, I’m pretty happy with this, but even with getting a size close to my upper bust measurement, the lace panel is a bit too wide. When I knit this again–it’s too adorable not to!–I’ll make sure to knit the lace panel in a size smaller then my UB measurement. This top is about 41″ in the stockinette section and the lace seems to have stretched about as big, even without blocking. I need something smaller then 38″. It’s still good and definitely wearable.
The only way to do this and not seriously wonk up the shape of the transition from lace to stockinette is going to be some creative increases on the ends and to shape the armhole, I think. I’ll save that for when I decide to purchase some yarn and make it another time.

Blog Silence

Kittens, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been hiding and why for two weeks now, I’ve missed a WIP it Wednesday. Truth is, my WIPs have not been going so well…at least not the interesting one, anyway. In the last two weeks, I have started a tank top, realized the in-stash yarn choice was DREADFUL, binned the project because frogging would result in lots of small balls that no one would want, destashed that yarn, bought new yarn to cast on in, cast on again, realized after a little after a day that it was too large, frogged, had to run out to get a smaller crochet hook, cast on again, and…

That brings me to now. I am on the third cast on for my project and this one is looking to be the charm. Had my first attempt turned out, I would have had a tank top (finished) about 10 days ago.
Because of my project angst, I neglected this blog. Hopefully, it will get rolling again here and I’ll start catching up on the last month’s FOs.

FO Catch-up

Anyone who has been following this blog for awhile knows that I am horrible about blogging my FOs. From time to time, I have to make a series of posts documenting them and proving that yes, I really did finish that and ages ago…I’m just too lazy to finish weaving in an end or two and then take a picture sometimes.
Yesterday, I made it my mission to finish weaving in the 5 ends preventing me from blogging 2 pairs of socks.
Meet 3 of 5. Why yes, I am still giving Borg-like designations to my socks this year. Heh.
I called these 4 Times Over, because I restarted the first sock 4 times before I realized that my perfectionism was going to kill me and the project. Self-striping does not seem to guarantee that the stripes will match up perfectly, no matter how hard you try.
These particular socks are toe-up and were cast on size 2.5 needles with 10 stitches per needle (knit with Yarntini self-striping nylon/merino sock), then increased every row to 20 stitches per needle. From there, I increased every other row until I had 32, making these 64 stitch socks for the foot and the ankle. For the heel, I knit in two false rows in another color and did an afterthought heel, which worked out pretty well for me, but I may try other types in the future. (I could not find the actual tutorial I learned from, but there are a ton of them out there. The one I linked was for top-down socks, but it’s essentially the same for toe-up.) As I worked my way up the leg, I ended up with 96 stitches total and ended with 2 x 2 rib.
Overall, they’re not bad. I’m not in love with them either, but what I do not like about them, I’ll use for future socks and improve upon the design. And believe me, with my new-found love of self-stripey sock yarns, you will be seeing a lot of generic toe-up ones coming from me in the future.

Pattern: May 2010 SKA Mystery Sock by Cookie A (ravel it)
Needles: US size 1.5, two circulars
Yarn: Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin – Turkis
4 of 5.
These were a total blast to knit, and it’s a shame they took me so long to finish. With moving and all the stress that happened early this summer, I lost my oomph to finish them with about 1/2 the second sock to go. Once I was moved in and started to settle, I picked these back up and finished in a couple of days.
These were knit with 2 leg repeats instead of 3. If I knit this pattern again in the future, I’d start off on a larger needle size, maybe 2, and squeeze in the third repeat. I’d decrease my needle size down the leg in order to get back to size 1.5, since those worked pretty well on the foot.
Other then that, I just followed the pattern for these. It was really easy to memorize the twisted stitch cable pattern and cruise on them.
And there we have it: 2 finished pairs of socks for this Monday morning. I need just one more to meet my goal of 5 for the year.
Now if I can just weave in the ends on those cardigans and get them blogged….

WIP it Wednesday

The end is near, kittens. The sleeves are knit and while the picture isn’t terribly clear, they go just past my elbow. The back is almost complete; I have about 10-12 rows of ribbing left to do and a cast off. Then, I have to decide if I’ll add a pocket or not and then pick up and knit the ribbing on the front and back.
All of this has been done in a week, and what a week it’s been.

Weekend WIPing

Because once was not enough this week, and I really am trying to blog more often. (Please forgive the off colors of this. I managed to clean them up a bit, but they’re not as good as they could be. Bathroom lighting is no one’s friend. If I do this again, I’ll spend more then 2 minutes trying to fix it before getting overwhelmed and declaring it, “good enough!”)

I just finished the first 2 cakes of yarn and am pleased with how far they stretched. This fits beautifully as-is; I’m hoping it won’t grow too much when I go to block it. I’m glad I did not do as many increases as I figured I would need based on the math. If I had, this would be quite big even before blocking. The math always worries me, because clearly, it would have led me astray in terms of fit before blocking. After blocking, my superwash wools almost always loosen up about 1/4 stitch per inch, so I figured that into things when I was calculating to get my range of increases needed. I guess I’ll know after the wool hits the water.
Now that I have an idea of just how far two skeins of Sundara Sport will stretch, I’m changing directions and attacking the sleeves. I have 4 left, but I want to be sure that I’ll have enough to get the sleeves how I’d like and that will make it easier for me to tackle the body length because they’ll sit a little better. This whole “design” is being made up as I go, so I figure I may as well tackle each element when it’s convenient, rather then doing things in a traditional order: body, ribbing, and finally, sleeves.
Be watching for Wednesday, kittens: I suspect quite a bit more of this will be done by then.

WIP it Wednesday

Wow, another week has come and gone. It’s that time again:
This is almost the exact same knit I just finished up. Only it’s sport weight yarn knit closer to its normal gauge rather then fingering weight knit much more loosely. And it will be longer. With some longer sleeves. Maybe some thick ribbing that will fold over? Some cute little pockets?!
Right now, I’m on a basic-and-very-wearable kick when it comes to knits. It’s allowing me to use up yarn that I’ve otherwise been unable to use. I bought this Sundara Sport back at the end of last September and it’s been sitting in my tote ever since. In my defense, the color was way different then the picture posted, which threw me for a loop. I loved it, but couldn’t use it for what I had originally intended. It is just too dark and variegated. On site, it looked like it was a semi-solid blue green in the brightest shades that can be seen in the progress picture, what came to me was closer to this:

Those blue-green shades are definitely in there, but there is also a lot of dark blue and some black. Somehow, they mysteriously didn’t show in the dyer’s pictures.
Anywho, after finishing up my other cardigan yesterday, I realized that this yarn would make a lovely heavier weight version and the plain stockinette would show off all of the lovely color changes in the yarn.
I’m making this sweater with the intent of replacing my current movie theater cardigan:

This is one of the few 2008 sweaters I still have hanging around in my closet. The arms on it are horrible and ill-fit, I didn’t know to alter the upper body so that the shoulders are not so large and hanging off onto my arms, half of the sweater is knit with twisted purl stitches (among other errors like all of tiny holes caused by M1 increases [you can actually see one of them in this picture on the left sleeve]), and this particular color of Cascade 220 has an obnoxious yellow core which sometimes peeks through. But it’s made it… solely because it is comfy to wear in an air conditioned theater and easy to pull on and off.
Hopefully, I’ll go from looking like Crazy Knitter Lady to Chic Knitter Lady next time I’m at the movies.
Whenever that is.