Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Lesson on Gauge

I have been practicing my continental knitting on a scarf which I started in December of 2013 and I finally finished it yesterday.  Yay!  As I pulled the scarf off the needles and held the two ends together, I was a little shocked...  look at the difference in my gauge between the part I knit last year and my gauge now!


The left side of the picture is my cast on edge which I did 14 months ago and the right side is the part I just recently finished.  Pretty crazy, huh?  I think the big difference is that (a) I changed the way I hold the yarn and (b) I got much faster.

I actually prefer the gauge on first half of the scarf - I think it looks much neater.  As I was speeding up near the end, my gauge got a little uneven and is much looser than I like.  I think I need to experiment more with finding the right hold that will give me enough tension to knit tighter stitches, but hopefully enough give to knit quickly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FO: Koolhaas II

Stashbusting alert!  I had a spare skein of Silk 'n Wool left over from my Back to School Vest.  I used to see this yarn every time I went through my stash and think, "This yarn is cool.  I should make a hat with it..."  Also, every time I would wear my Koolhaas hat I would think, "This hat is cool, I should make another one..."  And one day I finally put the two thoughts together and this hat was born.

yarn details
Moda Dea Silk 'n Wool Blend in Pewter
85% wool, 15% silk
worsted weight
hand wash cold and dry flat
cost: 80 g / 154 yds @ $4.19

project details
pattern: "Koolhaas" by Jared Flood, Interweave Knit Gifts 2007, pdf version available for purchase on Ravelry or on the Brooklyn Tweed website for $7 or on the Interweave Online Store for $4.50 (that is where I got mine many years ago)
needles: size 5 and size 7 nickle-plated circulars
gauge: gauge is so hard to measure here- but my best guess is 24 stitches and 32 rows over 4” in lattice pattern on size 7 needles (FYI: pattern gauge called for 26 st and 30 rows, but I didn't swatch.  I'm a rebel.)
yarn used: 1 skein
finished size: 7” tall and apprx 16” in circumference at brim
duration: Dec 31, 2014 - January 3, 2015

notes
  • This hat really needs at least one more pattern repeat to make it tall enough to cover your ears so it will be warmer for a winter hat - but, I was barely able to finish it as written with only one skein of this yarn, so I didn't have that luxury.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

FO: Frosty the Tiny Snowman

Considering all the snow we have had in Boston lately, Stacey could not have picked a more appropriate little cutie to go in our freshstitches Kit Club shipment this winter!  I even crocheted him on a day when I was snowed in and couldn't go into work.  The kit included the white and orange yarn and all the safety eyes used as the "coal pieces" to decorate the snowman.  I knitted the little hat with some scraps in my stash.  Stacey loves rainbows, so the colors were sort of an ode to her.


I am proud of this little guy because I crocheted him while holding the yarn in my left hand, which is a much more sensible way to crochet than holding it in the right hand, which I typically do.  It was weird to try something new, but after a while it started feeling more natural.  I'm going to force myself to crochet this way from now on!

And here is Roxy, displeased by all the attention this little guy is getting.


yarn details
white and orange worsted weight yarn
100 % wool
(from freshstitches kit club January 2015)

findings
polyfill stuffing
two 12mm black craft eyes
two 8mm black craft eyes
five 6mm black craft eyes

project details
pattern: "Frosty the Tiny Snowman" by Stacey Trock (kit club exclusive pattern)
finished size: 4.5'' tall (without hat)
hook: G (4.25mm)
gauge: slightly tighter than 5 rounds = 2.25'' in diameter
yarn used: had several yards left over from what was in the kit
duration: February 2-3, 2015

notes

  • I was going to be all clever and write down instructions for how I knitted the hat, but I waited too long to write this blog post and have totally forgotten what I did.  Sorry!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Continental' Crocheting in a Blizzard

Well, Boston got hit with another big snow storm yesterday, so I again find myself with some time off work and itching to make it productive.  Last week, I decided to devote my snow day to practicing my continental style knitting.  This week, I decided, why not focus on "continental"crochet?  Never heard of continental crochet?  That's because no one calls it that - everyone just calls it normal crochet.  I crochet in a very abnormal style - holding the yarn in my right hand and throwing it over the hook, just like you do in English style knitting.  No one ever really taught me how to crochet, I sort of just figured it out and it made sense to me at the time to hold the yarn like I do when I knit. I form the stitches correctly this way, so it's not like I'm doing it "wrong" - I'm just doing it the slowest possible way.  I need to learn how crochet "correctly", with the yarn in my left hand.  So I practiced yesterday, ALL DAY.

Look, here I am doing it!

(Yes, that is a number 12 on my thumb...  it is my Super Bowl manicure...  go Pats!)

It was so awkward for me to hold the yarn this way, but I managed to do it and I made a tiny little amigurumi snowman wholly working in this style.  I split the yarn a lot more often than I do crocheting with the yarn in my right hand and I feel like my tension is really uneven.  I definitely need practice, but I think this is an important skill to learn, so I'm going to keep at it!