Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

It’s not like riding a bike October 21, 2014

If you don’t use a skill, you start to forget things.  I used to knit all the time, 2 hours a stretch and then some most days, and my work showed it: nice even stitches and nary a mistake to be seen.  Then I got sick at the beginning of the year.  The first project I knit, one of the prototypes for a soon to be released pattern, confounded me until I finally figured out what the problem was.  It’s still not perfect, I have to play around with gauge, but I got through it.  The second project I knit, the Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit Along Shawl, went fairly well.  The charts weren’t complicated and I probably had to fix a few mistakes but all in all I was satisfied with the end result (it still has yet to be blocked).  The third project I worked on was the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit Along.  With this one all hell broke loose.  I had to use multiple life lines because I kept making mistakes on the charts.  I had to use a highlighter so I could keep track of where I was in the chart.  Right now it’s sleeping because I have to frog four rows to correct a mistake I made.  There was at least one aborted attempt at knitting a sock that I just couldn’t concentrate on.

I decided I liked the look of a shawl that someone in my knitting group made and offered to test it for her.  I read what I thought were the important parts of the instructions and got to the last section of knitting the shawl before I realized I had done it completely wrong.  I frogged it and started over but kept making simple mistakes so it’s just as well she didn’t use it in her pattern launch.  That brings us up to Christmas knitting and my first project on the needles, Color Affection.  After reading through all the mods people made to the shawl, I decided that I was going to use yarn overs in the borders and knit front and back rather than the make one left and right that the pattern called for.  I set to work, got a few rows in, screwed up and frogged it.  Started again thinking I had the pattern in my mind and things seemed to be going well except that my gauge was all over the place.  I’m a tight knitter usually and was trying to knit loosely so there were these patches of really loose stitches all over the place.  It’ll come out in blocking I told myself.  I was two rows away from finishing the first section when I thought it would be a good time to count my stitches.  My count came out to be 29 too many stitches and an even number to boot.  I reread the instructions and found out I was supposed to be doing double increases on one row and single increases on the next three rows.  I just finished frogging it.  I am using Tosh Merino Light and if you’ve ever had to frog it you know what a PITA it is.

Up until I stopped to count stitches I thought I was doing really well.  The gauge differences would work out a bit in blocking and it’s intended recipient probably wouldn’t notice them anyway.  I was happy.  I was finally knitting something and enjoying it.  Having to frog all that work has been a huge blow to me.  I’m going to have to dig out my row counter or keep a note pad near by so I can keep track of the increases.  My concentration is shot now and it will probably take me a few days to really get back into knitting it again.  This is not a complicated pattern.  I posses all the skills necessary to complete it and complete it well, it’s just that I keep making simple mistakes with big consequences.  I have a sock swatch that I have to measure and I’m almost afraid to do it wondering that even if I got gauge could I maintain it?

I know I should count myself lucky that I had that time when all things knitting went well for me.  I’ve had legitimate reasons for why I haven’t been able to knit much this past year but those reasons aren’t gone yet and I’m going to have to resort to using tools I thought I had completely outgrown.  It’ll get done and to the best of my ability, but it’s going to take a while for me to get back to where I was in my prime.  Thus endeth my, “Oh woe with me,” post and my hubris that I could just pick up where I left off.

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’tis the Season October 16, 2014

…for warm, wooly knitting.  Here are a few of my patterns available as free downloads from the Knitty Keen Ravelry Store that should help keep you warm in the coming months.

 

Knot Cap

knotcap

This is a simple knit hat with a unique design in that it’s knit from the top down.  It includes sizing from preemie to child with several brim options.  It’s a quick knit and the perfect thing to keep your little one’s head warm in the cold weather.

 

Neck Warmer Cowl

neckwarmer

 

Yet another fast and easy knit sure to bring warmth all winter long.  It’s a simple stitch pattern, just enough to keep it interesting and a perfect size for people who don’t like the bulk of scarves or larger cowls.

 

Joe Schmoe Men’s Fingerless Gloves

josschmoefingerlessmitts

For the man in your life who values the simple things, these fingerless mitts are a must.  Sized for a men’s medium/large and using fingering weight yarn, they’ll provide warmth without the bulk of worsted.  Instructions include a variation to have a longer finger cuff.

 

Thanks for looking.  Coming soon (at last) will be my snowman ornament pattern so keep an eye out.  TTFN!

 

Where has all my mojo gone? Long time passing. October 8, 2014

I’ve been sick for much of the summer and the beginning of fall so knitting just has not been happening.  I am now ready to start my holiday knitting and pray I have enough time to get what I want done.  Here’s what’s been doing.

 

Scrappy (or not so Scrappy) Shawl

Here’s a picture of the finished object from the pattern page on Ravelry.  There are several and definitely worth a look.

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I was supposed to be a tester for this pattern and while I gave input, I misread the instructions and did it the wrong way, then I did it the wrong way again, and finally I got it right.  Here’s my meager shawl.

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I’m still going to be plugging away at it but Christmas knitting is on the horizon so it may take a back seat for a while along with my sleeping Hitchhiker and Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.

 

Magic Yarn Ball Swap

I was treated very kindly as always and got some marvelous yarns.  Two skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Sealing Wax, A skein of Tosh Sock in Gossamer, mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket, and some other goodies as well.

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Christmas Knitting

As usual I have probably bitten off more than I can chew and some of these will be new year’s presents, but who is keeping count?

Color Affection for someone.  Here’s the finished object.

Color Affection Shawl

Here are the colors I’m using in Tosh Merino Light – Nutmeg, Golden Hickory, and Oak.

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And two mystery projects because I don’t know if their intended recipients read here or not.

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I also have matching sweaters I want to make my kids and a sock yarn monkey I want to make for my nephew.  We’ll see how much I can get done.  I’ll be knitting a gauge swatch for one of the mystery gifts tomorrow.  If you haven’t already, like my page on Facebook and keep up with what’s on the needles. TTFN!

 

Alas poor Saroyan, I knew thee well April 9, 2013

I was almost done, in the home stretch of the decrease section when I realized that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to finish it.  I had placed a lifeline after the 9th repeat in the straight section (I had tried going to 10 repeats), so I frogged back to there and tried it again.  No go.  Very carefully I picked up the stitches after the 8th repeat in the increase section.  The good news is that at least now I have the damned chart memorized so I don’t need the instructions to knit it and it’s become a bit more portable.  The bad news is that I frogged 16 repeats.  I weighed the yarn and thought I had enough, but I never weighed the skein in the first place so it must have been more than 100g.  I’m going to go with 8 repeats in the straight section and 8 repeats in the decrease section.  If I have to frog again I might just cry.

Severely diminished Saroyan

Severely diminished Saryoan

In other news, it looks like the ship has sailed for my green sweater.  It was in the upper 70’s today and it’s supposed to get up to 85 tomorrow.  It will be a more seasonable 60 over the weekend but there’s no way I’ll be finished it by then.  I will however be working on the sleeve on Thursday because I have too many WIP’s right now and I need to get it done because it’ll count for a hell of a lot in a yarn marathon I’m participating in (it’s fingering weight held double).  I also just started the heel flap on my Black Magic Socks so something is going right.

 

Frogging and FOs January 27, 2013

Reclaimed YarnThis represents what was once my almost completed Giselle sweater.  It was a good try but in the end it just wasn’t going to work for my body type.  My biggest problem with the pattern was the ratio they used for the bust and arms of the sweater.  I have a large bust but do not have the large arms that come with following the pattern as written.  The sleeves were huge on me and there was just no fixing that, so I frogged it.  I decided on making a top-down raglan sweater using The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater pattern.  I cast on for a 24″ neck with 5 rounds of 1×1 rib and then a few short rows to bring the back up higher.  I was going to go with an EZ EPS Sweater and got about 8 rounds of ribbing done before I found out I had twisted my stitches.  I’m a bit afraid that I’ll run out of yarn on this one, so a top-down raglan would suit me better and it’s harder to twist 108 stitches (although I did manage to do it on the first try).  The yarn is from School Products Yarn and is their Provence Lace Merino doubled and worked on size US size 8 (5.0mm) needles.   I’m going to NYC probably the first weekend in March and I really want to have it finished by then so I can wear it on my trip when I visit the store and hopefully score another cone.

Thing 2's MittensThis is a pair of mittens I made for my youngest.  I used US size 6 (4.0mm) needles and Peace Fleece from stash.  They are a little big on him (my own fault for winging them without a pattern), but he adores them and has asked me when I’m going to “needle” him a scarf to match them.  I think I have some navy Caron Simply Soft in my stash somewhere or I may need to head to AC Moore to get him some or Paton’s Classic Wool so I can get it made for him.

No Purl Monkey SocksI finally kitchnered the toe on the second sock and finished my No Purl Monkey Socks tonight.  I made the leg much longer than I normally do and it fits nicely.  The foot of the sock is a little long because of the way the repeats worked out, but only by a bit.  I should have finished these ages ago, but I haven’t been knitting as much as I should.  I used US size 2.5 (3.0mm) needles and Colinette Jitterbug 400 in Lilac.  I made a mod to the chart by adding a stitch to either side of the chart and consequently adding two rows to the bottom of the chart.  I’ll try to post the chart later this week.

 

 

 

First Finished Object of the New Year! January 6, 2013

Filed under: FO's,Knitting — knittykeen @ 9:18 pm
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Sock Yarn Slouch Hat

Sock Yarn Slouch Hat

US Size 2.5 and 3 Needles

Noro Kureyon Sock

I used a US Size 3 (3.25mm) 16″ circular needle and a US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) 40″ circular needle to work the pattern.  I changed the cast on to 150 sts and the increase to 50 sts.  I worked the rib for 15 rnds.  After the increase, I worked the body of the hat for 5″.  I decreased first from 200 sts to 192 sts, k 2 rnds, then followed pattern decreases except only doing 2 rnds between decrease rnds.  On final decrease rnd, I had 18 sts, so I did 3k2tog and 1k3tog on each needle (magic loop).

If I were to make this again, I think I’d do the pattern as written but use size 2.5’s instead of my size 3.  I definitely won’t be using Noro Kureyon Sock again since it just has no give and doesn’t lay well for this type of work.  I’m really unhappy with the way the ribbing came out although some of that I have to chalk up to using Norwegian purling on a round or two which doesn’t play well with the Noro.  I think I’m going to try it again but with a different tonal yarn as I’m not thrilled with the color of the yarn I used.  All in all, it was a quick knit — I cast on on Friday and just finished it tonight without working on it every waking moment.

 

To knit a sock December 30, 2012

Firstly, I wove in all the ends of my dad’s Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts, so I’ll be able to get pics of them today and post the pattern later this week.  Secondly, I’ve been having a doozey with some socks I’ve been trying to knit.

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This once represented a skein of the old Colinette Jitterbug (tells you how long I’ve had it).  There was a weak spot in the yarn while I was doing the cuff and I prayed it didn’t mean what I thought it meant.  I moved on and by the time I got to the fourth repeat of the No Purl Monkey socks, my fears were realized when I had two more weak spots within a couple of rounds — moths had gotten to my yarn. Granted, this was old yarn — I have no idea how long ago I even bought it and it was back when Jitterbug came in about 320m skeins, not the handy 400m skeins it comes in today.  I’m lucky.  I got two 30g balls, a 21g ball, a 17g ball and some odds and ends — more than enough to do a simple pair of fingerless mitts out of for myself (probably just the female version of the Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts pattern).

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This one hurts a little bit more.  I’m just finishing the fifth repeat of the No Purl Monkey socks in the new Colinette Jitterbug 400m yarn in lilac and I have made the decision that they are indeed too small for my feet.  I can get the cuff on, but just.  I’m going to have to frog it and start over again with 72sts to the 64sts I have here.  I did this for my mom’s socks, so I’m familiar with the change up.  It adds a stitch on each side of the first row of the chart (you have 4sts before and after the decreases as opposed to three) and it add two rounds to the chart, so not a huge change.  This should fit my foot so much better.  It’s hard to frog it, but at least it’s an easy pattern and works up quickly — I did the above yesterday afternoon and last night.  I’m bringing it with me to my mom’s this afternoon so I should be able to get some work done on it there.