Finished Projects: Christmas Afghan

I wanted to show off a blanket I made for my grandmother this past Christmas. I started knitting around the end of October and bound off the last stitch on Christmas Eve, just in time to wrap it. It was knit was 4 strands of Berroco Vintage DK held together. The colors are Paprika and Black Cherry. I essentially made the pattern up. It’s just stockinette with a garter stitch border. I started with 2 strands of color A and 2 of color B for twelve inches, then 4 stands of Color A, 2 strands of color A and 2 of color B again, then 4 strands of color B and so on. It was incredibly simple yet turned out really beautiful, thanks to the rich colors and squishy yarn. I used size 17 needles so that I could get it done as fast as possible. The finished blanket measures 40×60 inches.

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Versatile Blogger Award

I want to thank Knit Three Together for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award. I am a bit tardy in getting this post together, but it takes time to pick out some really awesome blogs to nominate.

Now, here are 15 excellent blogs I would like to share:

  1. Knit the Hell Out – I love the most recent pattern, Ruffaluffagus and I look forward to knitting it.
  2. Mandarine’s – for the most gorgeous photos you’re likely to see on a blog.
  3. Peacefully Knitting – I loved the recent post about caring for your hand knits.
  4. Handmade Homemade Knit Stitch Design – I really liked the post about what knitters look like because I think anyone can be a knitter. I know I don’t tend to look like the stereotypical knitter.
  5. Knitting Sarah – I love all the beautiful pictures of handspuns.
  6. Feel Good Knitting – for all the pretty lace pictures
  7. Vu Chickens – I like the knit dolls and their outfits. I’m also partial to chickens because we raised them when I was young.
  8. Knotting Noodles – Cute name, cute blog design, and cute photos
  9. Craftie Allie – a fellow Library Science student, knitter, and dog owner, aka my kindred spirit.
  10. All the Pretty Fibers – drool worthy fiber pictures
  11. The Secret Life of Yarn – I loved the flip book of the Sunstruck shawl. And that there was a gorilla modeling it at the end.
  12. Fondant Fibre – everything on this blog looks like I would want to cuddle it (especially the rabbit).
  13. Friday Studios – awesome yarn colorways and cool yarn clubs.
  14. Seeing.Reading.Thinking.Writing – great book reviews and shares my opinion on the over abundance of YA trilogies.
  15. Jenny’s Books – a great site on books. I liked the review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone where she called George R.R. Martin’s world “super rapey”. Which is totally true.

Next, 7 facts about me:

  1. People who first meet me think I’ve very quiet and withdrawn (I’ve been called standoffish or snobby), but people who know me think I never shut up (which is true).
  2. I really don’t enjoy cooking at all. I tend to survive on take out and microwaveables. I only really cook when we’re going to have a potluck for something.
  3. My typical style is wearing a black shirt with colorful jewelry. Or really any solid color top and interesting jewelry. You’ll rarely catch me wearing prints.
  4. I’ve never lived in a household that didn’t have a cat or dog (or really, both). Growing up we normally had 3-4 cats, 3-4 dogs, and at various times we also had rabbits, chickens, ducks, guinea pigs, mice, and horses. On my own, I’ve also had gerbils, a hamster, and a cockatiel.
  5. I’ve only recently started reading Young Adult books after avoiding throughout my own young adult years.
  6. I love fairy tale retellings and adaptations.
  7. I’m addicted to Netflix and I will watch the same shows over and over. I have probably seen The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The IT Crowd 5 times over or more.

Accessorize

The newest addition to my collection of knitting accessories is this double pointed needle case by Atelier de Soyun on Etsy. It seems pretty well made and it’s really cute.

New Image5 Plus, the inside pockets are embroidered with the sizes. How nifty is that?

New Image4While sorting through my DPN, I realized that I have multiple pairs of a few sizes and none of some others. Not sure why that happened…

Miscalculation

I was so excited to start my Comfy blanket with my new, beautiful, purple yarn. The yarn came in and I eagerly went online to download the pattern. Now, the pattern called for two strands of worsted weight yarn held together. I had decided to use one strand of chunky. The yarn I intended to use was Tosh Chunky. However, when it came in, I realized it wasn’t really a chunky yarn. I checked Ravelry and they have it listed as an Aran. So that’s not nearly as thick as I was wanting. I shook my head, but decided to just go with it, and do two strands held together, like originally stated. However, this meant that I had about 2/3rds the yarn I needed.

Each skein of Tosh Chunky is 165 yards. The pattern on Ravelry stated that it needs 1444 yards. Since I had only planned to do one strand at a time of the chunky, not two worsted, I decided to half that. Since I wanted to be safe, I rounded up a bit and went with 7 skeins (1155 yds). So, when I realized that I needed to do two strands together, I went on and ordered 2 more skeins. Giving me a total of 1485 yards. All should be good, right?

I cast on, and started knitting. It hit me that my yarn wasn’t going as far as I had hoped. I had done less than 20 rows, and had nearly exhausted two balls of yarn. Considering that I only owned nine balls, that wasn’t going to work out. I check again on Ravelry. Yep, 1444 yards required. Hmmm…

So I popped open my pattern and looked…

Materials

Worsted Weight Yarn

44 Ounces (1250 grams, 3015 yards)

What the heck?!? That is not the same at all! That puts me at about nine skeins short of this blanket. Also known as, half the amount of yarn. I instantly rushed on to the website to order more… there were only three skeins left and (I was warned) they don’t match in dye lot. I ordered them anyway in hopes that the two strands held together will do a good job of blending the different dye lots. However, I am still missing six skeins that I need.

I could order them from another site, but because of the Yarnathon, I would rather get them from Eat.Sleep.Knit. Which leaves me waiting until more is in stock. I think it will all work out, but this leaves me feeling a little anxious.

Also, I’m stunted on the project because, since I will be blending dye lots, I don’t want to add on more yarn in the first lot without the new lot to blend with.

Luckily, I have plenty of other projects I can be working on but I’m sad that I can’t continue my pretty purple throw. I’m also sad about spending twice as much on yarn for this as I had originally planned but, c’est la vie.

The start of the Comfy blanket

The start of the Comfy blanket

Yarn Clubs

A discussion at knit night led me to a new discovery: yarn clubs.

  • YarnBox – There’s a new company starting a yarn-of-the-month club, called YarnBox. Basically, each month they are planning to send out a few skeins of yarn from an indie company. The idea being that it creates exposure for the small companies you might not hear of otherwise. You have no clue about the colors or fiber content you will receive. You only option’s are Not to Small and Not to Big, if you wanted to rule out lace or bulky weights. I tried to get a subscription for May, but they were sold out. I’m hoping to get in the June batch. If you visit the Ravelry page for the group, some people have started posting pictures of the May box. I think it’ll be an interesting concept.
  • Magnolia Society– Madelinetosh offers two club options. The Yarn Club is a subscription that sends you a sampling of yarns every month. You sign up, choose your color scheme (Jewel Tones, Neutrals, or Naturals) and then for three months you’ll receive a few skeins of yarn. The other option is the Sweater Club. This is kind of a way to do a payment plan on a sweater’s worth of yarn. You pay by the month, and they’ll send you enough yarn to complete a sweater in increments. In the end, you’ll have enough yarn for three sweaters. You do get to choose the exact colors that you want for each.
  • KnitCrate – These packages include a pattern, enough yarn to complete it, plus a few extra goodies. You can customize by either getting a Baby, Sock, Beginner, Intermediate/Advanced, Indie, or Mini kit, which will determine the types of projects and yarn included. Project examples include a hot water bottle and cover (April 2013) and a starter kit for the BeeKeeper Quilt (aka The Blanket Everyone’s Making). I think this is interesting and, if I attempt the Beekeeper it may be with their hit. However, I’m not sure I would want to subscribe because you never know what the project will be. For example, I really would have no desire for a hot water bottle and cover. But if you’re an all-encompassing knitter, this sounds like a great club.
  • Yarn-of-the-Month ClubThis club sends you two partial skeins of yarn every month. The idea is to knit a 5×5 square of each and you could piece them all together.
  • Sundara – With the Sock Club, you receive 3 skeins of yarn in different bases that you can pay for in installments. They have some seriously gorgeous yarn that I posted about recently.
  • Etsy – A search for “yarn club” will bring up indie run yarn subscriptions for handspuns.

Tiny Sweater

As part of my Yarnathon welcome package, Eat.Sleep.Knit sent me a mini-skein of Dream in Color Everlasting Sock and a pattern for a mini-sweater. I ended up knitting it with the addition of some MadelineTosh Sock. Unfortunately, I don’t know the colorway for either but the Dream in Color is the darker yarn and the MadelineTosh is the lighter. I made mine short sleeved because I ran out of the darker yarn. It’s so tiny I feel like I could dress a little mouse in it. So if you know a mouse that likes hand-knits, send them my way.

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