2022: Wk of Mar 20 – 27; Test Knit Completed, Circular Needle “Case”

TEST KNIT BABY SWEATER FO

I finished!! Well, except to put the buttons on. I finished it last night and it’s currently blocked but still drying! I’ll be mailing it out to my stepdaughter in a few days.

Now I’m working like crazy to get the Rainbow speckle socks finished as I want to send them with the sweater. I’ll post a photo of the finished socks next week.

CIRCULAR NEEDLE HOLDER

I am so tickled with myself. I was looking at the Knit Pro circular needle holder online not loving the floral fabric of the case when I realized to could create my own “case”. I bought a fun fabric circular needle holder from Twisted Yarn and Fiber at the Wool Festival last September. It was great for bringing all my circular needles down to Florida with me. But anytime I wanted a needle, I had to dump them all out and then try to figure out what size the needles were. So I ordered these cute and colorful mesh bags from Amazon to hold the needles by size. I’m using wipeable stitch markers from Katrinkles so that I can write on the stitch marker what sized needles are in the bag. The mesh bags fit inside the original needle holder. Totally loving how compact and portable this is and how easy it will be to find the size needle I want.

MALS

Just thought I’d share some MALS I’ve found. I know you aren’t surprised that I’ve added MALS tracking to my knitting plan/calendar/spreadsheet. It’s just a simple list in a spare space on the calendar so I can be reminded of what MALS I might be able to participate in that month. There’s the monthly sock MALS of Grocery Girls and GotWIPS. AGirlAndHerWool is also doing a sock KAL over the spring months of Apr-Jun. Since she is a yarn dyer, she is doing a twist on sock knitting by focusing on doing speckle yarn one month, self striping another, and verigated another with the idea of commenting on what you learn as you use different color styles to make socks. Whereas Grocery Girls and GotWIPS require the socks be started and finished within the month, AGirl can be done anytime and any order although you are limited to one FO per month. Then M1Yarns is doing a spring tee/tank MAL. My knitting plan is blowing up (surprise surprise) as I move projects around to fit MALs. Fortunately I am already knitting a speckle sock and had planned to knit a self striping sock and AGirl verigated sock so it’s just a matter of moving them up on the schedule. It’s all part of the planning fun (or funniness of a “plan”). I had already planned to knit a tee this spring. Poor hubby’s sweater is getting delayed even more.

THIS WEEK’S KNITTING PLANS

Now that I’ve finished the test knit and will soon have the socks finished, I can look forward to what’s next. I also have to consider that we start our trip back north this week. I do want to put the next pair of socks on needles. That will be the self-stripping sock yarn that I brought to Florida but will be my trip home knit. My neice’s baby blanket will get attention as well.

IN OTHER GOOD NEWS

Since my daughter is getting married in Charleston, SC in May, we have rented several beach front/near homes for all the out of town children as well as ourselves to stay in. My sister has also rented a beach house with her “kids”. So I wanted to get at least one beach canopy. What a pleasent surprise that we found a use one being sold at the “garage” sale the condo complex held yesterday. It’s a huge canopy (12’x12′) that the owner used to sell her wares at art shows. It even has 4 side panels if I want to create more shade. It’s can be 2-3′ taller than this picture. They had lowered the legs. I got it for $50!!! She cut the price in half when I said I needed it for my daughter’s wedding.

HEADING NORTH

Well, we head north Friday. I’m looking forward to spending Saturday with my daughter and son-in-law. (I’ll get to drop off the beach canopy!!) Sunday we head over to the Biltmore Estate for two nights, a Christmas present from several of our kids. The gardens should be amazing.

I hope everyone has a great crafting week. I’m thankful I have much to look forward to as I sadly say good-bye to Florida friends.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Mar 13 – 19; Yarn Road Trip and WIPs Update

YARN ROAD TRIP

What a fun day we had at Four Purls Yarn Shop in West Haven, Florida!!! Every yarn base and color of Emma’s yarn was stocked in addition to several other brands of yarn. I did manage to control myself and only bought one skein, 150g, of Hella Hank that I will use to knit a Ranunculus sweater.

10 Questions Colorway

I would have bought the Slubby Slub for the Ranunculus but they didn’t have enough of the colorway I loved (10 Questions). They had a store sample made with the Slubby Slub and it really looked great. What a unique yarn but it took 2 skeins to make the Ranuculus. We took a class on making bobbles and the Latvian braid. I’m looking forward to adding a Latvian braid to the top of my socks or the cuff on my sweaters/tops.

Bobbles and Braids

My friends certainly made the trip worthwhile for the store and bought a lot of yarn. For them it was quite the treat to be able to touch and see yarns in person versus having to buy yarn online. I forget how lucky I am to living in a city with many yarn stores. A new one just open and I’m looking foward to attending a knit night there.

BABY BLANKET

I have made a little progress on my neice’s baby blanket. It’s a nice mindless knit for watching soccer games or social knitting. This will be my car knitting (if I get any) for the drive back north. A “design element” was created by my mistakenly mismatching the yarn weight of the white yarn with the color yarn. I actually like how it brings the white stripes forward and slightly puckers the colored stripes. Baby blankets get all bunched up anyway so laying flat isn’t really a requirement.

BABY SWEATER TEST KNIT

I finished the sleeves. This weekly I’ll be attaching the sleeves and finishing the yoke. Almost done!! I like to knit sleeves 2 at a time so that I’m sure they match. This pattern sadly on one row of the pattern requires carrying over the last stitch of the backside to the front. This is impossible with magic loop 2 at a time. So I told the designer, Anne Hanssen, that it would be good to warn knitters that they can’t do 2 at a time until after they have completed the cuff pattern. That said, I did my typical “wing it” and didn’t do the carryover. Somehow I was 1 under on the stitch count anyway (lots of complaints of that row is poorly written). The pattern calls for slipping 2 stitches and then putting them over the next knitted stitch. I just slipped 1 and passed it over. It looks fine.

Test Knit Sleeves – 2 at a Time

Swirl E Rainbow Speckle Socks

I’m hoping to get these socks done the same time as I get the Baby Sweater done. They are a suprise gift for my step-daughter to be included when I mail her the baby sweater. I love the Swirl E pattern with this yarn. Fingers crossed I can get everything done so that I can mail the package by the 31st. Our days in Florida are coming to an end. I would really like to put them in the mail rather than pack them for the drive back to Ohio.

Swirl E Pattern with AlwaysBeKind Chirstmas Lights Yarn

Back to Ohio

I have really enjoyed wintering in Florida but I’m looking forward to returning to Ohio come April. It’s getting hot and more importantly humid here in Florida. I spend the winter sitting on our patio everyday. Now it’s getting too hot to sit outside. Hence I’m looking forward to once again sitting outside on our deck and knitting. My son has sent pictures of the outstanding job this contractor did on filling our former pool. I don’t have to dread looking out the window to see the concrete mistake of last summer. We now have a very large lawn that his dog is loving. We will be planting some fruit trees (sour cherry, pear??) when we get home.

Many of my Florida activities will be coming to an end anyway as all us snowbirds leave. I just can’t imagine living some place where more than half the population is only there for 3-4 months. The knitting group that went to the yarn store are year round residents so I’m optimistic the group will continue and I’ll be able to rejoin the group come December. Thanks to the “gifted” yarn, I plan to leave 3 tee projects plus a “walking sock” project in the condo we are renting next year rather than hauling the yarn back and forth. I have a vacuum sealed bag that I’ll store the yarn in. Hubby is happy I shouldn’t need to bring much yarn with me next year beyond WIPs I want to finish.

Another great week of retired life. Hope your days are going well too.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Mar 6 – 12; Oops Metric vs Imperial Measurements

BABY SWEATER TEST KNIT

Well this is embarassing! Being an engineer I consider myself pretty proficiant in the metric system and converting between metric and Imperial. After writing this post about how frustrated I was at how long it was taking to knit this baby sweater, I realized today that the length was 19 cm not 19″!! For us Imperial number users, 19 cm is 7.5″!! So everything I knit today was not needed. The sweater is at 8.5″ so not too oversized. I’m thinking I’m just going to leave it a bit long rather than rip out the 11 rows (~1500 stitches). Yes this is a test knit but I don’t care. Lesson learned. When the pattern gives metric and Imperial, cross out the metric so I don’t get confused!! (Heard back for the designer. The extra inch is okay. I don’t need to rip back!!)

On the plus side, I’m happy to know that I’m closer to being done than I thought. I bought buttons today. Glad that I’ll have time to work on other projects beside the sweater this week. Turns out only focusing on the sweater was boring.

SOCK/BLANKET KNITTING

The baby sweater got almost all my attention this week since I thought I had so much knitting to do on it. I did work on my pair of fingering weight yarn socks during our morning walks but sadly it’s getting so humid in Florida that the yarn sticks to my fingers. Not sure I’m going to be able to knit the fingering weight yarn on my walks afterall. The socks will get a lot of attention this coming week as they will be my “car knit” as I’ll get to knit on our “girls” road trip (see below).

My neice’s baby blanket got a little bit of attention as I’ve started a pink stripe. Not worth taking a picture. I hope to have more colorful stripes to show by next week.

KNITTING ROAD TRIP

I have been fortunate to find a small group of knitters here in Florida. The six of us meet weekly. There are not a lot of yarn shops in Naples, Fl (one) so we are making a road trip Monday to a yarn shop 2 hours away, Four Purls. It is run by the parents of Emma’s Yarn. You may have heard of the yarn on podcasts. We will shop for about an hour, go to lunch and then we arranged to have a class on bobbles and latvian braids. I have no interest in bobbles (I think it’s a fad which will “date” items plus I just don’t like them) but I’m looking forward to using the latvian braid on collars and/or cuffs. I’m looking forward to having a “girls” day. It’s my plan to simply buy one skein of “souvenir” yarn. I sure don’t need another “sweater” quantity. Maybe mini skeins??? April is right around the corner where I’m committed to “queue up” my stash so that I can see how many years of projects I already have on hand. Any bets?? I have a feeling I’ll be generating at least a 5 year knitting plan (I see a new excel extended knitting plan in my near future).

PROGRESS KEEPERS

While shopping for baby sweater buttons, I decide to try my hand at making some progress keepers. I have found that I prefer the leverback clasp to the lobster clasp so it was an opportunity to make more in the style I prefer. Plus I’m always losing my progress keepers so a few more is a good idea. Here are the ones I made.

It has turned into a good week now that I know I’m further on my baby sweater than I thought. It should be no problem to finish by the end of the month afterall. I’m looking forward to the week ahead. Hope you are too.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Feb 27 – Mar 5; Cast-ons and Winning Ways Continue

PODCAST GIVEAWAYS

I shared 2 weeks ago that I had won a giveaway from a podcast, MC Knitting Adventures. The really cute project bag arrived this week. I would call it a 2 skein sized bag. Bigger than a sock project bag but smaller than an adult sweater project bag. I’m going to use it for a baby sweater project.

Seems my winning ways are continuing. This past week I won another project bag from a podcast, Frivolous and Frugal!!! This time for my Stephen West shawl I just finished. I’m very excited because the bag is combination cute fabric and clear plastic. I love being able to see what’s inside. I use clear cosmetic bags as my notions bags so I can see exactly where everything is. I use clear pill containers for my stitch markers so again I can see what markers are in what portion. I use clear zippered bags to hold my yarn in my “yarn wall” so I can see all the pretty yarns I own. I like that the project bag will show off the pretty yarn inside.

Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket??!!

BABY SWEATER TEST KNIT

My good luck just keeps on. An opportunity to test knit a baby sweater for Anne B Hanssen popped up in my Facebook feed. Knitting a baby sweater is on my goals for this year. I thought the pattern was cute and since I’ve been “gifted” quite a few skeins of baby yarn here in Florida I “applied” to test knit. I’m very excited that I got selected to knit a 9 month size. My granddaughter is currently wearing 6-9 months so it’s perfect timing. This will be a bit stressful as it has to be finished by the end of the month but since it’s small, I should be able to do it.

TEST KNIT VS TECH EDIT

Ironically I had just watched Andrea Mowry’s “I’ll Knit If I Want To Episode 50th” this week and it included her thoughts on tech editing vs test knitting vs sample knitting. I thought it was great. I think too many new designers “abuse” their test knitters by expecting them to be free tech editors. I agree with Andrea that if you find more than 1 or 2 errors or poorly written instructions, the pattern is not ready to be test knit. Guess I’ll get to see how it goes with Anne Hanssen. Test knitters are already finding a lot of errors in her pattern. I had to print out the pattern versus use Knit Companion so I could make all the corrections. I’m sure glad there are plenty of knitters ahead of me finding these errors.

FOs and Cast-ons

I did finish both pairs of socks this week. So techincally I have completed a pair of socks for February and for March, My goal of a pair of socks per month is looking good!! My Starry Night socks were a bit of an experiment as I knit 64 stitches instead of my usual 68 stitches (US 0 needle). Turns out 64 is too tight for my foot. I can wear them but prefer the 68 size. I was worried that I had made the foot to long but that fortunately wasn’t the case. I’m going to see if they fit my daughter better as I believe she has a narrower foot. If not, I can wear them but in the future I’ll go back to 68 stitches. I also did ribbing on the arch for a tighter fit. Again I don’t think I’ll do that again.

Fixation and Deep Dyed Yarn Socks

So I got to cast-on a new pair of socks!! I brought some fun yarn that I really want to knit but it seemed silly to create more “scrap” yarn as I know I don’t need all 100g to make a pair of shortie socks. So I decided to cast-on the leftover rainbow speckle yarn and it’s lime green and orange minis for toes and heels. The contrast toe is a bit long but I want to use up all the yarn. I have found that I can use fingering weight yarn for “walking” socks as long as it’s light colored so I can see it (I do have to wear my reading glasses). The Starry Night socks just had too much dark blue to knit while walking. The Swirl E pattern is very simple and I love it with this yarn.

AlwaysBeKind yarn in Swirl E Pattern

Secondly, I cast-on the baby sweater test knit which will dominate most of my knitting this month. I did swatch and found I could not get gauge with the yellow DK baby yarn I had intended to use. Going down a needle size made it hard to knit and no way did I want to knit something while fighting the yarn the whole way. Fortunately I had also been gifted some Sport weight baby yarn (the yarn weight called for in the pattern). It’s actually much nicer yarn as it is wool and 12% cashmere instead of acrylic. But it is dark grey, not exactly a spring color. I’ll just have to get cute spring buttons and maybe add some duplicate stitch. The yarn has a tight twist which will really help show off the lace pattern. I had to go up a needle size to get gauge but what a surprise – after knitting a few rows of the sweater I thought it looked a little big. I checked the circumference of the sweater and found the sweater was knitting up larger than it was supposed to be. So I’ve dropped down a needle size. I’m not supposed to share photos until the pattern releases but at this point there’s not much to see so I will.

GIFT YARN FINDS A HOME

Thank you for all the suggestions on what to do with my unwanted “gift” yarn. A suggestion to look on Facebook for a local “Buy Nothing” group was a huge success. Had no idea there would be so much interest in free yarn. I was able to get rid of all the yarn I didn’t want in less than a day. I think hubby was disappointed I gave so much away but I still have PLENTY to make at least four summer tops plus LOTS of baby yarn in addition to a sweater’s worth of wool tweed a Cincinnati friend wants. I also kept some dark charcoal alpaca yarn as my stepdaughter wants me to make the Stephen West Spiraling Cables shawl for her. I have plenty of the autumn colored yarn but will do the cables in dark charcoal instead of tan like mine.

What I Kept

It was a great week!! Hope yours was great as well.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 11th year. It’s my second in the group.