I never have time to…

do it right, but I always have time to do it over.

This thought has been circling this week. I have made progress on my current WIPs but, I haven’t completed any of them. And while normally this would stress me out having these items drag on past a months time I haven’t exactly felt that full state of panic set in just yet. The most pressing one to complete would be Zilver which hasn’t really been worked on much in the last 13 days except to complete the last of the textured section as per the pattern.

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If you recall I mentioned I have a lot of this yarn left and would like to use as much of it as possible so, I’ll probably add another textured section or two.

Next up, is Winter is Coming and I’ve competed the 4″ of ribbing and am about an inch into the stockinette (plain knitting since it’s in the round) portion.

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While the yarn hasn’t gotten better my acceptance of it has, so it’s not as unpleasant to work with; the initial shock has worn off. However, the true star of the last week almost two is K2’s vest. Along the way of reaching the twelve inches needed to begin separating the front from the back—in order to do the decreases—a few things occurred.

I finally (I hope) did my math correctly and realized that I have about 28 stitches more than I intended. I can’t recall how I was able to look for what I needed but following the formula mentioned here. I realized just how wrong my calculations were. Thankfully I had originally intended to make a 40″ chest in order to give him plenty of growing room before the next vest was requested.

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With me so-called knitting for the 36″ chest (because of my miss-calculations) it will end up (after steam blocking) as that 40″ chest. Happy accident no less. But, in realizing this came the horrible thought that I just might not have the amount of yarn I will need to make that plain vest after all. Ever determined not to buy more acrylic yarn planning with my new numbers ensued.

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I knew for instance I wanted to do a shawl collar. So after a quick sketch on paper I transferred the image to my phone and using SketchBook I begin fixing and tweaking where I saw the vest ending up.

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But, again I had the issue of not enough yarn to do this so back to the drawing board (literally). What I came up with is this:

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After I realized I could do the color work I had originally wanted without it overwhelming me AND I should use up plenty of the acrylic I have on hand things got underway. Using the pattern (it’s more template than pattern) that I got from Vest Master Pattern. I realized I had more than enough wiggle room to do as I pleased. For instance, when it’s time to do the decreases for the arm shaping it simply says to decrease without telling you what type of decrease to use. This is all in order to help you better understand your knitting and be the “master” of your own pattern/project. More on that later. For now, I have put the front and back on two separate cables with the proper US9 – 5.5mm needles (one is a Knit Picks Harmony) and the other, the needle I’m actively using (US9 – 5.5mm Hiya hiya). I’ve just completed the initial back decreases and I’m onto the 7 inches of knitting section.

As long as I take it a section at a time and take good notes (in order to duplicate whatever I do to the back onto the front) I think all will be well. What crafting modifications have you guys been up to as of late?

 

 

Contentment

at times can be hard to come by. Especially when you are working on projects that the yarn turns out to be less than stellar and shattering your expectations.

k1 sockhead yarn

I mentioned at the time of making this yarn  the difficulties I endured just to get it at this point and it wasn’t an easy journey. Being still relatively “green” at spinning I didn’t understand the difference in how your spinning technique could greatly affect the outcome. As a result this fiber spun up into a rope like consistency which is quite unpleasant to work with. So the Sockhead hat I have agreed to make for K1 is a slog fest that I’m not even totally sure I want to give her once it’s complete.

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The empty space in the above picture and the distance from said handspun is indicative of how I feel about working with it. If I can’t get it to soften up a bit once it’s complete then I just may nix actually giving it to her.

On a brighter note contentment has been found with Zilver.

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I’m on the last of the repeats and have way too much yarn leftover so I may add another before I bind-off. On an experimental note I decided to add speckles to Deep Blue Seas and the completed red of Purple Sunrise. I figured out a better way to do this AFTER I did it but, I’ll fiddle with that once I complete the orange.

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By the way I was looking through the blended fauxlags of the colors and found enough orange to make up the 2 gram difference I lost while trying to transfer the spun singles onto a bobbin.

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In the words of Mr. Burns on Simpsons,

“Excellent!”

Beginnings

can be an overwhelming experience when you although anticipating such an endeavour are dizzy from the speed of which it occurs.

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A little under two weeks ago I showed you guys three different fiber types. Two was still in hank form and the other was already swatched and properly blocked (steamed blocked for the acrylic) for my new adventures. This project is more than seven years past due and the recipient is in eager expectation of its completion. Back in December I had thought I was ready to cast on and bind off asap but, I had a major setback to the reality of it all. Finally when I realized I had a template at my disposal (Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design) I amended my expectations. And set about making my own design.

(I showed the knitting graph paper pictures a few post back) Day one of knitting K2’s vest was going great I had nearly completed the back of it and was just a few inches away from doing the armhole decreases. Then I had the light-bulb moment of actually measuring the width of the thing. (I don’t even know why I didn’t do is sooner.) It came out to 22″ in width. Which doesn’t sound bad but when you factor in his actual chest measurements is 36″ and I was already making the 40″ size in order to accommodate his growing a 22″ back meant in total the vest would be about 44″ around. That’s huge! So, after re-calculating the logic of making a vest that whatever size I make it will come out 4″ bigger than the stated gauge of choice size I regrouped.

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I then realized that the 36″ chest (his actual size) would be the best one to knit because it would turn out to be that 40″ chest I was aiming for. Perfect! While I was on a roll I decided it would be quicker to knit in the round instead of two flat pieces I’d later have to seam (I’m not a fan of seaming). Perfect again! Then I realized that I had stressed myself on this sweater vest so much that instead of doing my argyle design I’d made; make it all around plain. Why? So that I can get that initial hurdle of meeting his 7+ year request over and then have the proper experience to back that up further with my own design. The relief I felt at this decision was almost palpable.

Thrice perfect!

Your stitch markers may be the problem

I did it. I officially cast on more than just one project in so long that I couldn’t tell you without looking through old blog post to find out myself. K1’s sockhead named Winter is Coming (after the yarn colorway) is not at a point worth showing. I cast on fewer stitches than I did for K2 because K1’s head is an inch smaller.

Today I decided to get the preliminaries out the way and cast on Zilver. While knitting the set-up rows and the first few rows of the pattern I noticed something annoying. I kept having to forcefully push my stitches up the needle just to work them and this was every so many stitches. The pattern calls for four stitch markers and they were placed appropriately. Now, I’ve mentioned the positives of using Hiya hiya needles and thus, I try to use them any chance I get (which is for nearly every project). So I knew the problem wasn’t a needle one. After the umpteenth time of doing this I though perhaps I should change the markers I was using.

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Initially I was using the purple locking stitch markers and that was the cause of the annoyance on my US8 needles. I also was using as a beginning of the row marker the Eeyore stitch marker. I swapped those four out for the cheap (can be found at any chain store) plastic rings. My knitting became more enjoyable and I stopped fighting the stitches in order to work them.

We all have personal preferences when it comes to needles but, not always is the problem with your knitting a needle one. Maybe switch up those fancy stitch markers for some cheap basic ones before buying a new needle out of frustration and your knitting experience just might improve.