Sunday, February 12, 2012

Attention: This Blog is Moving

So ... this is liable to be confusing and/or annoying, but this blog is moving. My husband has acquired webspace for his business, and has offered to host my blog, so I said why not. All of my old posts and comments are there, which is good, but it's an entirely new format and I have to get used to it. I hope you'll consider joining me at the new address, which is:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FO: Vineyard

The other week I was lamenting how it was above freezing, because I couldn't really wear my hat. Well, Mama Nature took pity on me and now it's 5 degrees out. Yuck.

I got a new toy for Christmas. It's a little photo studio: a lightbox, camera tripod and some lights. I'm still learning -- like seriously learning -- so the pictures aren't that great, but it's a work in progress!

I also fail at figuring out how many yards this used, so ... whoops. More than 1 and less than 1000.

Pattern: Basic loom hat that came with the Knifty Knitter loom set
Yarn: A partial skein of the coopworth/merino yarn from Mountain Vewe Coopworths I bought at VT Sheep & Wool 2010 (I have 53 grams left, but didn't measure it initially) and a partial skein of Cascade Lana D'Oro (the scale says I used 3 grams? that doesn't seem right)
Loom: Um. Either the green or the purple Knifty Knitter (okay, turns out I bought the purple one after I made this, so I'm gonna say green)
Timeline: 7.21.11 - 7.23.11


Yeah. If you're not completely blinded by that.

Opinions: I figured out how to make each color dominant on different rows, so I played with that to make a very orderly hat. Not sure I have the brim fold-up perfect, but oh well.

This hat is very warm around the ears, but the mohair makes it a bit scratchy. Wearing it today, I felt a little cold, but I think most people would in five degree weather. It's a good heavy-duty hat, and it wears beautifully when it's snowing.


Ah, yes, that's a more accurate color representation.

Random Thoughts: I finally got my green hat! Sort of.

Also, I need to work on this photography thing. Can you still see?

Monday, January 9, 2012

As Much As Possible: 2011 review

Okay, it's 8:05 in the morning on a Monday and math isn't my strong point. Let's review the goals and look at some numbers, shall we?

As Much As Possible Goals:

1. Not buy yarn. Yeah, that didn't really happen. The 2nd and 3rd quarters were the best, probably because it was hot. Also, damn you Vermont Sheep & Wool!

2. 1st in, 1st out. This didn't really happen either, but I did finish a project in one of my early purchases and started a sock in another, so I did make some progress.

3. Craft for charity first. I donated 17 loom hats to PatPat's Hats. While I didn't necessarily make them for charity, I was happy to donate them.

4. Projects for others before myself. Well, I made my sister's birthday hat and finished my husband's Binary Scarf and made a matching Binary Hat. I also made a lot of stuff for myself, but it's a work in progress, okay?

5. 2 skeins a month. Yeaaaaaaaaaaah no.

6. USE IT UP. I certainly tried! I'll explain why this was a weird goal when we look at the numbers.

1st quarter:

Stash in: 1003 yards
Stash out: 0 yards (I gave away a skein of yarn in March, but don't know the yardage.)

Net change: +1003 yards

2nd quarter:

Stash in: 480 yards
Stash out: 1431.4 yards

Net change:-951.4 yards

3rd quarter:

Stash in: 182 yards
Stash out: 2269 yards

Net change: -2087 yards

4th quarter:

Stash in: 1129 yards
Stash out: 1238 yards

Net change: -109 yards

2011 net change: -2144.4 yards, or approximately -1.2 miles


This was a fun year-long goal, but am I glad it's over with! For the most part, I didn't stick with my goals. I had a feeling I wouldn't, but I'm glad I made them. They gave me some direction.

I don't think I'll be dieting this year, but I do plan to purchase more mindfully -- a.k.a. no more random skeins that don't have set purposes! I received gift cards to both a big box craft store and my LYS for the holidays, and I do have projects in mind for both.

I do intend to continue keeping track of my input and output, but I need to do so in a more organized fashion. I didn't actually track the 1st quarter, which made things difficult. You'll also notice that the 2nd quarter involved partial skeins, where the other quarters didn't. Apparently I forgot I was counting partial skeins and moved to counting only full skeins. Even though I purchase whole skeins, I think I'll count partial skeins when they get used in projects, as it's easier for me to remember to count them at the time and not later, when they've been used up (because honestly, that can take years!). Did that make any sense? I have no idea.

Also, I know this count isn't quite accurate. I purchased a skein of Kauni in January, but don't know the yardage, and at least one of my Sheep & Wool purchases isn't included either. But they don't change the negative stash accumulation. I need to inventory better.

My current inventory says I have 8.61 miles of yarn, in case you were wondering. This is after the stashdown, and no, it doesn't include the Kauni or that Sheep & Wool yarn and I guarantee you it doesn't include the sweater quantity of sport-weight yarn.

I'm working on it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Treating Yourself

Many knitters and crocheters are just about half-dead right now, because they have decided to craft for the holidays. Crafters, I salute you and your selfless efforts.

Don't forget, though, that it's okay to be selfish. You've earned it. It's almost the end of the year, and it deserves to go out with a bang. Get your nummiest materials and make something nice for yourself!

Me? Oh, I have that skein of Jacques Cartier Qiviuk Majestic Blend, and I just bought Pettine by PicnicKnits, who also designed the Gaenor shawl that I've made twice. Pettine, like Gaenor, has you increase until you've used half your yarn, then you decrease. It seems like the perfect way to make sure I get the most out of my yarn -- and when you have a qiviut yarn (even if it's a blend), you damn well make sure you get the most out of it!

Is this qiviut next on the chronological list of yarn to knit? Nope. Is it anywhere near the top of the list? Nope. Do I care? Nope. After all, I've earned it. Have you?

Happy holidays, everyone!

Edit: I just realized I have 217 yards of a laceweight yarn. Um, we'll see how this goes. It might be a really expensive hankie.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Measure Twice, Cut Once

An alternate title for this post might be "Hubris: A Primer". Or "Pride Goes Before A Fall".

Actually, "Gauge: I Does Not Have It" is probably best.

I've been working on a matching hat for my husband's Binary Scarf, so I measured the gauge on the scarf, did the math, and started knitting. I got through two character repeats before it was long enough to put on his head to measure, and it was obvious that something was wrong. So I threaded on a lifeline and slipped it off the needles to assess the damage.


Ah, yes. That's going to be a slight problem when it's windy.

The gauge I (thought) I had measured on the scarf was 27 st/4 in -- maybe it is. I don't know. I had to change to my aluminum needles from my bamboo, so that probably didn't help. I was so high from my Binary success that I succumbed to the hubris and did not reswatch.

I'm getting closer to 18 st/4 in, which makes a lot more sense for worsted-weight yarn. So now comes the frogging, the recalculating of stitches, and a reconfiguration of what the darn hat was going to say. Here's hoping the second time's the charm.

Because if it's not, he's getting a cowl for Christmas.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

FO: Binary Scarf

I'm going to let you mull over the title of this post for a minute.

Yup. It's done.

Pattern: Binary (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Cascade 220. Black (8555) 2.85 skeins/627 yards. Green (8910) 1.67 skeins/367.4 yards.
Needles: US size 8 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Timeline: 1.1.10 - 11.27.11


Opinions: Oh, man. What to say? My first stranded-colorwork project. My first project using Continental and English style knitting. My first time knitting with charts. It was an ambitious project, but I managed to finish it.

The pattern is pretty well-written. I had difficulty on the first section (cutting the yarn every few rows -- not sure why I couldn't have kept stranding it?) and the fringe. There really weren't directions for the fringe, and her math and my math didn't agree, so I just did my own thing. Also, I wanted it to be authentic, so I put in an actual message using binary instead of just doing random digits, and did more repeats than she called for so it would fit evenly.

This is a very long, warm scarf. I used smaller needles than the pattern called for. Next time, I'll use the recommended needle size, even though I'm a loose knitter. The stranding really tightens it up. My version is 114" x 5", which makes it 9.5 feet long. Whoa!


Random Thoughts: Happy Valentine's Day 2009, honey! This yarn was purchased 1.27.09, even though I didn't start the scarf until almost a year later.

I like doing stranded colorwork. Who knew?

I don't like doing fringe.

He wants a matching hat now. We'll see.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Here's what I'm thankful for today: my husband.

If he hadn't asked for it, I never would have learned how to do two-handed stranded colorwork for the binary scarf.

He waited almost a year for me to start it and almost two years for me to finish it.

He offered to help me with the fringe.

He said it was okay that I made mistakes I couldn't fix (even the ones that screwed up the message).

He wanted to wear it before I even blocked it.

He threaded the blocking wires for me so I didn't have a panic attack.

Thanks, honey. You'll have your scarf real soon. <3