My Knitting Life

Fast and Easy Blocking

I need to finish this project in a hurry, but it is in serious need of blocking. Here’s a trick I do whenever I don’t want to plunge my project pieces into water and wait 36 hours for them to dry.

Put a towel (or two) on the floor, smooth it out, and then pin your pieces out to the dimensions listed in the pattern. Pin, pin, pin. (I was seriously hoping the squares on the towel were 1″ square, but that would have been too easy!)

Take a spray bottle and mist the pieces to your satisfaction. It’s not necessary to soak them, but they should be something between slightly wet and fairly wet. (Sorry, describing degrees of wetness is not my forte!)

I pinned and misted these around 4:30pm this afternoon, and hope to be able to sew the seams and do the finishing starting tonight or early tomorrow morning. What pattern is this, you ask? It’s Lexie (link takes you to Ravelry) by Elsebeth Lavold. If you like this yarn, you can buy it here: Quixotic Fiber You need 3 or 4 skeins depending on the size. I’m sure this LYS would appreciate your business!

Free Knitting Patterns

Off Piste Cable Sweater

A few years ago I bought a 6 skein set of gradient yarn at a fiber festival in Idaho Falls. Those skeins sat around and I admired them, but now in my motivated state to knit up the yarn that I have, I started to knit this yarn in a few patterns, but none of them seemed right. So I decided to just start knitting a sweater, without having a pattern. You can find the link below to this pattern. It’s really more of a formula for making a top down sweater.

Off Piste Cable Sweater Link:

off piste cable sweater pattern

Interested in this yarn? I bought it from Blue Savannah. Check out her offerings on Etsy!

My Knitting Life

End of an Era (or, It’s Not Done Until You’ve Blogged About it)

Blanket on chair

Here I present the end of an era. It’s the end because I started this leftover sock yarn blanket in the fall of 2008. After almost 9 years, a lot of changes have happened. It’s inevitable. The kids grew up, we moved almost across the country, went from a house to a condo, and now we own e-bikes, for crying out loud! Change happens! It is time to knit other things. Or, finish other things, because of the way my year went, with teaching almost a full schedule at school, and then throwing teaching 3 graduate classes for SLC teachers on top of that! I have about 5 projects that are mostly finished, but need a little more attention.
Back to this blanket-afghan-throw thingie. I wasn’t sure how big I was going to make it; I was just enjoying the process. But 8.5 years later, I’ve decided to finish. And by finish, I mean, squaring it off, not adding any height or width to it, and most importantly, edging it in i-cord! The edging, you see, is like a stopper; it prevents me from adding more rows. Smart, huh? Done.

Blanket on wall

But at the end of this crazy-sock- leftovers-turned-into-a-blanket era, I have a crazy urge to come up with something else “scrappy” because I’ve still got a small tub of sock-yarn leftovers. Maybe in a year I will have a new pattern to show.
I briefly entertained the idea of putting this on Etsy for a ridiculous sum of money. I was thinking something over $2500, just to see if anyone would “bite.” But that’s cheap. Way too cheap. I calculated my labor at $10/hr (hey, I’m a skilled knitter!), 30 minutes per block which takes into account tucking in loose ends and knitting the i-cord edging. So, with 380 blocks @ 30 minutes per block, that’s 190 hours. Multiply that by the $10 per hour, and the labor cost on this blanket is around $1900.  That doesn’t include the yarn. And it takes a lot of sock knitting to accumulate a great variety of yarn. (That was my excuse, anyway). So, the next time someone knits something for you, they don’t do it to save money or time. They do it because they LOVE you!

For now I’ll just sit on my balcony on cool mornings and enjoy the warmth of this throw.

 

My Knitting Life

African Violet

I guess I like purple. It’s not an overkill thing, but if there’s a choice of yarn, I always lean toward the purple. I don’t always buy the purple, I just lean toward it.  So, when my LYS had three skeins left of Brown Sheep’s Serendipity Tweed yarn in the African Violet Colorway, I knew I had to have it.
Hmmm, now what should I knit with it? I know, I’ll knit Hey Teach from Knitty. That was my first idea. I started knitting and finished half of the back. The next night when I was about to pick up the project again, I decided to surf the web. Unfortunately for Hey, Teach, I noticed that Knitty First Fall 2011 had just been e-published! Oh, My Gosh! I found Leaflet by Cecily Glowick McDonald. In 2.3 minutes, I had ripped out the back of Hey,Teach, in order to start Leaflet. Not to worry, Hey, Teach, because I’m going to come back to you some day…some day soon with the Steel Blue colorway of Serendipity Tweed. But first, I need to finish Leaflet! Here are some of the notes I posted on Ravelry:
I know, I know. The pattern calls for Aran Weight yarn, but I want to use Worsted Weight. What did I do? Well, I didn’t check gauge until I was about 4 inches into the project, and there was a small problem. The row gauge was perfect which is great, because this is a raglan sweater, and the raglan increases should make for a sleeve hole that’s not too tight and not too droopy. BUT, the stitch count was off. I need 15 stitches per inch, and I was getting 16 inches per stitch, meaning that the circumference of the sweater would be too small. So, on this top-down sweater, I worked one more body increase above the medium size because I calculated how many additional stitches I would need to obtain the medium size.  I’ll not bore you with the math, but if you have a non-Barbie mind and can wrap your brain around numbers, you can PM me and I’ll give you the numbers.
6.29.2011 I’m just a few rows from the bottom ribbing. I keep trying this on to make sure it fits, and it does!

Knitting Patterns For Sale · My Knitting Life

Nine Patch Mitered Square Blanket

I continue to work on this blanket in a mitered square. I originally was going to use only superwash worsted scraps for this blanket, but once I got started and decided to make my own pattern, I decided I should BUY yarn for it! But I haven’t bought that much, and I’m waiting on some more superwash at my fabulous LYS: Knitting Today! Check it out in my links!
You can buy the pattern for just $1.00 on Ravelry!