2022: Wk of Apr 17 – 23; Lessons Learned From Test Knitting and Yarn Advent Calendar

ANNE HANSSEN TEST KNIT LESSONS

I enjoyed knitting Anne Hanssen’s new tee that launched yesterday. But I certainly learned some lessons in the process.

  1. No more test knitting. I just don’t knit fast enough if the project has to be completed in one month, especially if it’s fingering weight yarn. This was my second test knit. I barely got a baby sweater finished in one month. Yes this was a somewhat cropped tee but I still barely got it done and had to abandon all other projects for the month. For me, it would be better to wait until the pattern is for sale and I can knit it on my own time schedule.
  2. Use those numbered stitch counters I bought!!! I apparently miscounted my stitches leading into separating for sleeves, etc. What an unpleasant surprise when I found out this week that I had 20 too many stitches in each row of the body. Turns out I ended up knitting a size larger than I intended. Fortunately it fits okay, just a little more ease than the pattern intended.
  3. Take the time to make a stitch count chart. I usually do this for sweaters/tee but skipped it since I was behind on getting the tee started. Making a stitch count chart has multiple benefits. It forces me to read through the pattern as I determine how many stiches each row should have. I think it would have helped me (coupled with using numbered stitch markers) to make sure I was making the raglan increases correctly. It also would have helped me know how many stitches per day I needed to knit in order to complete the tee in the required time.
  4. Either learn how to pick up stitches (!!!!) or take the time to do a provisional cast-on (as the pattern advised!!!) I’m okay with how the neckband turned out but I didn’t pick up stitches a) correctly or b) quickly. Can’t believe how long it took me to pick up stitches!! Then as I was nearly done I realized I hadn’t done it right.

All in all, I’m glad I got to knit this beautiful tee. I will definitely knit another one with less ease and a less tonal colorway to show off the textured sections better. I will use a provisional cast-on but I will also need to learn how to pick up stitches for the front neckband stitches.

Structure Tee by Anne Hanssen

I’m looking forward to someday knitting her Hope Cardigan which Anne gave me for doing the test knit. I will make it short sleeve and keep the sleeve in the lace pattern.

ADVENT CALENDARS

Just in case you might be looking for an advent calender…. based on my research the two “best prices” are Vicki Brown Designs in the UK and Wool Interrupted in Canada. Wool Interrupted is BY FAR the best price based on how much yarn you get. I am seriously considering buying a second advent calendar and saving it for December 2023. One of her choices looks to be lots of different bright colors (lower right photo) which is what I prefer over concentrated in one or two colors. She is using a bamboo/wool mix which should add sheen to the yarn. I’m concerned that she might not have the diverse set of colors as an option or the bamboo yarn if I wait till next year to order one. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it 😉).

She has really upped her game since I bought her 12 day calendar 2 years ago. She now offers multiple choices of color inspiration, better colors, and offers 8 days, 12 days, and 25 days calendars. All calendars include a full skein for the last day.

NEXT……

I am so looking forward to knitting new things. I need to fix the Heldig Tank I knit back in January for my daughter-in-law. It is too tight in the underarms so I ripped out the collar and will add length to the yoke.

Once I get that done I look forward to working on my socks and my neice’s baby blanket. Good knits for the drive to Charleston, SC in mid-May for my daughter’s wedding. I also plan to sign up for Patty Lyons online Brioche class as my next big project will be the Joji’s Newspaper sweater. I’ll be working on mini projects for the brioche class.

Hope you have a wonderful week.

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.

20 thoughts on “2022: Wk of Apr 17 – 23; Lessons Learned From Test Knitting and Yarn Advent Calendar

  1. The tee is beautiful. I did some test knits a few years ago but stopped as I couldn’t keep up and knit things that I wanted to as well. I’m taking the Westknits brioche basics course at the moment – I have only done one section, but he teaches so well!

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  2. Your test knit tee turned out good. Test knitting can be fun but it does cut into a persons ‘want to knit’ list. I did test knitting for a while but the designer I test for has since stopped designing. Good excuse to stop testing, right? Sorry to hear you need to work on the tank again. Hopefully it won’t take too long. The Canadian advent box you suggested is beautiful. How I wish someone would make one without wool. I would be happy with bamboo, alpaca, cotton, linen etc. Just no wool. (sigh) Someday maybe. Let us know how you like brioche knitting. I have heard both love and dislike of it.

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    1. I knit a brioche shawl a few years ago so at least I’m familir with the technique. But I wanted a review before I started the sweater. Plus Patty includes a video on fixing mistakes which I hope will be helpful.

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  3. I agree….not that I have ever test knit but I had “deadlines” all my life….at ho me and in my career so I don’t want them in retirement! LOL! It did turn out lovely though and really looks nice on you. It’s too bad about the Heldig tank but at least you know how to fix it…..I would be lost and have to start from scratch. The Hope Cardigan is lovely and it looks like you will be relaxing and knitting some favorite projects! Enjoy!

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  4. I do think the test knit tee turned out beautifully but I totally get your reasons behind not wanting to do other test knits. I have the same ongoing struggle. There are so many great Advent boxes out there right now. I am having a hard time resisting myself!

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    1. Thanks. I want knitting to be fun so I usually let folks know “it will be done when it’s done” versus for Christmas or birthday, etc. I’m feeling a little more guilty about buying 2 advent calendars (even though I swear one will wait till 2023). I just found some misplaced minis from the calendar I bought 2 years ago. Seems I had more minis than I thought – oops.

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  5. Your tee came out great! The colors are beautiful. I’ve done some test knitting in the past. I find it too stressful. It makes it seem more like a job than a hobby for me. The cardigan pattern is lovely. I broke down and ordered an advent calendar. Im trying not too look at anymore, lol.

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    1. Good luck in your resistance!! I just found our last night I have more minis from the advent calendar I bought 2 years ago than I thought. Oh well. I see Sea Glass tees/sweaters in the future for several of my “kids”.

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  6. The tee is so pretty, provisional cast on is much easier to do than I’d thought, so long as you have a really contrasted scrap yarn, so hopefully you’ll be fine next time. Test knits are never in my future, too much pressure for me, well done for giving it a go and seeing if you enjoyed it. I’d be tempted to have another go at brioche if I could understand how to fix mistakes and read the stitches.

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    1. I’ll let you know if I find the Patty Lyons online class helpful, particularly for fixing mistakes. Once buying the class, the tutorial videos are available whenever you want. You can even download them for when you don’t have internet access.

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  7. That tee is REALLY pretty! And I can see test knitting as being stressful, particularly a large sweatery project.

    I’m happy you have enough yarn leftover to lengthen the sweater for your DIL, its such a pretty color and pattern.

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  8. Your tee looks amazing on you. I took a look at the Advent calendars – they are beautiful but definitely out of my price range. I am thinking of asking a friend if she wants to do an advent swap where we each send each other mini skeins of yarn from our stashes. It is a thought.

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    1. I love that idea. A great way to use up leftover yarns. You could even maybe add stitch markers/progress keepers you aren’t using. Also use tea and cocoa packets for some days. I did that when I made advent calendars for my friends two years ago. You can buy fairly cheap charms at Michaels or Hobby Lobby that make great stitch markers/keepers. My friends thought it was the best calendar ever and really wasn’t that expensive.

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