#88 Knitting Goodies & ’21 Plan Update

I joked in last week’s post about my buying of knitting supplies and indeed it has continued this week too. My coming to Florida has definitely resulted in weekly purchases. Week 1: I discovered that I forgot my stitch counting o-ring markers so I ordered a new set. Week 2: I ripped out my sweater and ordered a new sweater project bag as “retail therapy”. Week 3: I ordered white sock yarn when I discovered the white yarn I’d brought for my advent socks was the wrong thickness. I ordered red as well to use for berries and poinsettias. Week 4: I ordered a wooden yarn bowl as I needed something to hold the rewound balls while reknitting my “non” shellseeker sweater. I’m curious to see what I’ll decide I need in Week 5…. I do have a hole in a sock that needs darning……and I do like those darning eggs…..

I’m happy to report that Twice Sheered Sheep stands by their products and thus sent me a replacement for the row counter that broke. I have found these row counters essential as it has been the only row counter that really works for me. This time I got the cute ladybug as the charm at the end of the counter. The cat charm was cute but the tail would catch on my knitting.

Row Counter

This week I worked on my “non” shellseeker and I made a little progress on my daughter’s top. Even though the lace panel is a pretty simple pattern, I’ve found I need to concentrate. Trying to knit while watching Grocery Girls’ youtube resulted in having to rip out rows.

KNITTING PLAN MODIFICATION

A friend shared her plan for 2021. In addition to project goals, she included some knitting goals such as learning a new knitting technique. I decided to add goals to my plan. Indeed I already had some projects in my plan that reflected my knitting goals, such as my colorwork advent socks, but I like having the flexibility to change a project while still meeting a goal.

  • Make something brioche
  • Track number of stitches knitter per day/Develop progress keeper habit
  • Track stitches per project so as to set stitches goals as well as project goals
  • Make a hat
  • Make something with colorwork
  • Make Ravelry Queue match Knitting Plan
  • Clean out Ravelry Favorites

Also this week I volunteered as a sample knitter for AGirlAndHerWool. I love her premise of selling her skeins the size you want instead of 50g or 100gr only. Thus you order just the amount of yarn you need to knit a pair of socks for example. I saw a blog post of her 2020 Advent calendar yarns and can’t wait to order her 2021 one. So if I get asked to do a sample knit, that will get substituted into my plan.

#87 Knitting Plan Update #3

This week I ended up knitting more on my “non” shellseeker sweater than I thought. I keep putting off starting my daughter’s top. I know I’m a bit concerned that I know what I’m doing since it starts out knitted flat for the yoke and then stitches are picked up to turn it into knitting in the round for the body. I hate picking up stitiches and generally avoid those patterns. But I finally started swatching. The yarn couldn’t be more lovely to knit. The wool/bamboo fiber is sooo soft and the subtle sheen is gorgeous. I like that the dye didn’t absorb absolutely evenly giving the yarn a very slight variegated quality. Hopefully I”ll have more progress than a swatch by next week.

Swatch for Sara Top

I finished the cuff on my advent socks. I ran out of the first yarn so half the cuff is the white with black speckle and the bottom half is purple. I like it. Starting the first stripe is on hold. Unfortunately I realized that the white yarn I planned to use in several of the stripe patterns is too thick – more of a DK versus fingering. So I ordered some white sock yarn that should arrive this week. It was on clearance at the website so shipping cost as much as the yarn!! I think I’m going to have to track my shopping. Sure seems that I buy something for knitting almost every week!!

Cuff of Advent Sock

Reknitting my non-shellseeker has worked out well as a TV and social knitting project thus it’s getting good attention. I’ll be working on it as I watch the football games Sunday. After I finish the dark grey stripe on the body I’ll move to wider stripes but only a 50% increase (from 8 rows to 12 rows) instead of the 100% increase I did last time. You can still see the 100% increase on my sleeves as they still have to be ripped back.

Redo Non-Shellseeker Sweater

KNITTING PLAN ADDITION

With my daughter getting engaged, I’ve decided to try my hand at making a Christmas ball ornament and making my own chart!!?? I hope to make her a basic knitted ball ornament that simply says Engaged with the year. Hmm, now that I think about it, I should make wedding ornaments for my son and step-daughter who got married over the past 2 years. This plan really is blowing up quickly!! 🙂 All good.

FINAL NOTE

A treat this week was getting together with two sorority sisters that I hadn’t seen in over 40 years!!! Who could image that after going to college in Indiana that we’d meet again 40+ years later in Naples, FL. We are all snowbirding. What a wonderful outdoor lunch we had by the ocean with our hubbies.

Zeta Sisters

#86. KaBoom!!

I was soooo close to having my first FO of 2021. Ten rows!! So I tried on my non-shellseeker sweater to confirm that I liked the sleeve length before binding off. What?? I hated the way the stripes looked. While it looked great on my excel sheet, the huge stripes didn’t look so good on me. I went too fast increasing the stripe widths and too large an increase. I hadn’t tried on the sweater since just after I separated for sleeves. LESSON LEARNED – try on the sweater more frequently to confirm you like the way it looks, especially with a striped pattern!!!!

There went 6 weeks of knitting. To say the least I am now way behind on my sweater knitting goal for 2021. Oh well. The only saving grace is that at least now I’ve already started the sleeves, which I hate doing. So now it’s very simple stockinette so this is a pretty “brain dead” knit. And I do love the yarn so getting to knit with it longer isn’t so bad. Even though I like tunics, it was longer than I wanted so this is a chance to correct the length. Plus I had forgotten the pattern calls for splits between the front and back and I did want those so that will get fixed too. And yes, I’m standing on the bed. Our Florida rental doesn’t have a full length mirror.

Well this called for some therapy …. as in retail therapy. The only way I wasn’t going to hate knitting this sweater was to put it in a new pretty project bag with a matching needle case from Twisted Yarn and Fiber.

Until the project bag arrives, I also decided I need to cast-on a new project despite not having finished the sweater. So I cast on my Advent 2019 socks. These are a sock project that will be worked on sporadically over the year finishing before Advent 2021. It has 12 stripes of colorwork plus the toe/heel/cuff. I little more than a stripe a month. I’m looking forward to my first try at colorwork.

2021 is off to a rough start knittingwise but I’m trying to make the best of it. I just didn’t expect my plan to blow up so soon. The temperature sweater is probably the sweater that will fall off the plate but we will see. Hope your knitting year is going better than mine if you are a calendar year planner.

#85 2021 Plan Update – WK1

Year of Projects 2021

So far in 2021 I’m being pretty monogamous knitting only my non-shellseeker sweater. I’ve finished the body and now just have the sleeves before I’ll have my first FO of the year!! The good news (?) is that it’s cool enough in south Florida that I’ll actually be able to wear my new sweater. But I’m anxious to get my daughter’s top started. I need to get it done before we visit her on the way back north the end of March.

I’m liking my new idea of using a knitting calendar and yes, I’m off plan already in week 1. I did not start my advent socks. I really want to finish my sweater before casting on new socks. So it will be another week before I actually cast on the socks versus when I thought I would. So far I’m using the calendar to record how many stitches I knit each day. I’ve never used a progress keeper before so I’m working on the habit of setting one on each project and then moving it when I end my knitting for the day. I’m a data freak so anything that creates numbers that can then be graphed and analyzed is heaven to me.

TOOLS

I discovered this week that I forgot my o-ring stitch markers. I know it wastes time but I put a colorful o-ring stitch marker every 10 stitches so that I can easily keep track of increases/decreases or find drop/added stitches. Thanks to Amazon, I quickly got a new set. I ordered a size in-between the 2 sizes I already have (tiny for Size 1 and below sock needles and large for Size 8 and above for heavy weight sweaters or airy shawls) thus I don’t feel so guilty about forgetting them and having to buy more. Can you really have too many colorful stitch markers???

COVID

Covid has hit my knitting circle. One of my hometown knitting friends and her husband were diagnosed with Covid a week ago despite trying to be extremely cautious. Her husband still works and thus probably picked it up there. Now her husband is in the hospital due to low oxygen levels. I pray that he is able to gain strength and return home soon.

#84. 2021 Knitting Plan

Planning is so much fun! It’s the execution I struggle with but here goes. This year I did my traditional excel calendar form of plan. I learn by pictures so a list doesn’t work for me. I need a map, not a list of streets. But I will provide my plan as a list here in this blog since that’s easier in this format.

Additionally this year I’m trying using a calendar program just for my knitting. I will still have a Google calendar for all my personal activities but I downloaded Jorte on my kindle to use only for tracking knitting projects. I have each project with its cast-on date and estimated completion date in my calendar. I used color highlighting for each project and thus can see how the projects overlap each month. I will be able to easily assess my predicted cast-ons and completions vs actual. Unfortunately the calendar maximum display is a month when I’d like to see the full year. I’ll see if this provides any benefit to me or do I need excel to better “see” the full year. I’m suspecting excel will continue to be the preferred way for me to “see” my plan but part of the fun is trying new techniques – including project management.

And of course on the last days of 2020 I got new project inspiration. A knitting friend turned a striped sweater, Poison Oak on Ravelry, into a “temperature” project!! How fun! I’m not really into blankets or shawls, but a sweater….!!! Plus I love stripes; plus I love the shape of Poison Oak; plus it would be a fun way to use some of the minis I got this past advent…. Oh crap, something is coming off to do this sweater. Roselle Tee you are so 2022!

2021 KNITTING PLAN – Year of the Sweater (again)

Hats/Gloves – 1
I’ll be attempting to recreate a hat that a friend got from her German cousins. I’ve never knit a hat before.
* “German” Hat

Socks – 4
I plan to make 2 pairs of socks for myself using beautiful self striping yarns. I plan to make a pair of Christmas themed socks for my daughter’s boyfriend. The yarn is called Gingerbread House so it has lots of brown making it more masculine. The fourth pair is a pair of “advent” socks. The plan is to make a stripe pattern or two per month completing the socks by advent 2021. It will be my first time to knit colorwork. Plus I have a carryover vanilla sock to finish.
* WIP – Halloween Fixation Socks
* Hermione Quirky Socks
* Scatterby Harvest Socks
* Syncopation Gingerbread Socks
* Advent Socks

Sweaters/Tee – 6
I plan to make the Arisa Tee for myself and the Biscuit Tee for my daughter. I also plan to make the Sailormoon sweater for myself and a second for my daughter. The fifth sweater will be the 2020 HiLo (Poison Oak) sweater that I’m so excited about. Hopefully I’ll also knit a basic stockinette sweater for my hubby. Plus I have the nonShellseeker carried over.
* WIP – nonShellseeker
* Arisa Tee
* Biscuit Tee
* Sailormoon – Me
* Sailormoon – Sara
* 2020 HiLo (Poison Oak
* Men’s Sweater

I already have all the yarn for these projects as well as the yarn for several 2022 sweaters and socks. But I know that won’t stop me from buying yarn at next year’s Wool Festival in Sept or a visit to SimplySock for a girls weekend we are planning. An advantage to having worked for 33 years is that my hubby can’t complain about my knitting purchases (not that he would).

Personal Note

2021 is off to a fantastic start!!! My daughter called a little after midnight New Years to inform us she had just gotten engaged to her boyfriend of 4 years. It was a complete surprise to her (and us). We just saw them for 2 days earlier in the week on our way down to Florida. She completed her medical education in 2020 and started a fulltime job as a physical therapist so she is ready for the next stage of life.