Knit Envy

Only a knitter would go into their local doughnut shop on a cold morning like today and leave thinking, “I need to knit a shawl like the one the cashier had on”.

It was soft grey. A very simple rectangular shape with a simple ruffled border.

It looked nice and cozy and left me thinking that I really need a simple shawl that is actually warm.

I could totally knit it with no problem. The biggest problem is that when I start browsing shawl patterns I always find myself picking out lace instead of actual warm things.

Now I’m finding myself wanting to check Ravelry for similar patterns and hunt down some soft, neutral colored yarn that could go with any out. Which I totally don’t need to do because my stash is already out of control and my queue is ridiculously long.

Stupid knit envy.

OMG Knitting

One of my favorite things to do is to browse the patterns on Ravelry when things are slow. I will go through the most popular patterns or look for matches for yarn I have in my stash. I am still not a very accomplished knitter so there are a lot of things I am totally blown away by because either they are something I don’t know how to accomplish, I don’t have the dedication/concentration for, or that are amazing feats in pattern writing. I thought I would share some of the ones I have recently come across.

  1. Embrace Octopus Sweater – wow. The amount of time to create and implement this color-work boggles the mind.
  2. Celestarium – At first glance, this looks like a large, beautiful shawl with some random yarn overs and beads worked in. It is actually a large, beautiful shawl with a chart of the night sky, as seen from the North Pole. Not only is this incredibly impressive, this is not the first shawl of this type. They also offer one of the Southern Skies. An impressive feat of pattern making.

3. Deathflake Mittens – This pattern taught me that Norwegian’s are badass knitters. I love that this pattern looks like a regular colorwork but upon closer inspection has skulls. These are pretty awesome mittens, if you ask me.

4. Central Park Coat – I just love the style of this design. I especially love this fact that it is reversible.

5. Cathedral Rose Window Afghan – this isn’t knitting, it’s crochet, but it is still massively impressive. Look through some of the Ravelry projects to see some of the fantastic color combinations.

Hotel Knitting

I just returned from an institute with my graduate school in Denton. We had to go for a two day orientation for a class and, let me tell you, listening to lectures from 8am to 5pm for two days was a little torturous. I searched for the best knitting project to take. My favored project at the moment is the Comfy blanket, but with roughly a foot long and 40 inch wide swatch of blanket hanging off the cable, it’s not exactly a lap sized project anymore. Although knitters know we can knit and listen at the same time, non-knitters sometimes aren’t understanding. So I wanted to take a smaller project. I ended up pulling out a baby blanket I started… I can’t recall when. A year ago maybe? It’s a simple little garter stitch number worked corner to corner. Then you go back and add a fancy border. I’d love to link to the project but I got it from the Knitting Fairy and I can’t find it online. Actually, I can’t even find my print copy of the pattern right now, so once I hit the halfway point I need to go get another copy from her. The yarn is Cascade Cherub DK in Ballerina 504.

I ended up not even knitting the first day because the professor was getting such an attitude about people not taking notes. I’m not a note taker, ever. I never go back and read the notes I took so I rarely see a reason to do it, but whatever. Also, I think that by the end of my Master’s degree, I should be able to decide whether I’d like to take notes. I don’t need some overbearing professor dictating my actions.

The second day, our actual professor was gone and we only had the teacher assistants but I still didn’t knit much. The only time I really did any knitting was after I finished a mountain of homework but before bed at the hotel.

So I thought I’d share some pictures of where I spent the last two days. It was a pretty nice hotel considering how cheap it was.

baby blanket hotel hotel1

Some Beginnings

New Image

My Tosh DK alongside photos of two of my dearly departed dogs.

The other night I decided to temporarily abandon my Comfy blanket to work on a little baby blanket. I’m still waiting on the yarn for the Comfy to come back in stock. I have about twelve skeins of the Tosh Chunk I need for the Comfy, which means I’m only short by six. However, I’m nervous that I’m going to end up with noticeably different colors for the final six skeins, and thus have been delaying doing much knitting until they arrive. Thus, I moved to a project I have all the yarn for.

I cast on the With a Twist blanket in Tosh DK Thyme. The color is really beautiful. I’ve only done about 10 rows of the border, so it’s hard to say how I feel about the pattern so far.

Well my school semester started on Tuesday, which means my final semester of grad school has officially commenced. This weekend I’m going to a two day orientation for one of my classes. Which means I’ll be sitting in a lecture from 8am-5pm for two whole days. You know I’ve got to take some knitting. I really thought and thought the other night for the best project something to take. Something mindless, but interesting. Lap sized. And something I have all the supplies for. I’m having a hard time deciding. I’d like to take the Comfy blanket, but it is a little larger to knit discretely. The With a Twist requires a little too much attention right now. I browsed through the stash but nothing really stood out to me. I’ll have to keep thinking and decide what to take.

Besides my regular classes starting, I also have a comprehensive exam that I’ll be taking all of next week. Which means very little knitting will be done and, thus, very little blogging. It’s going to be a very busy summer for me, but I hope it’s all worth it when I get that diploma in August.

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

What Have I Done?

So I left work today planning to come home a read all night so I can start getting caught up on my to be read list.

What I actually did was eat fast food and fall asleep until 10 p.m.

When you sleep until 10 p.m., time loses all meaning to you.

Which is why I am shopping for yarn at nearly 2 a.m.

Perhaps the late hour is to be explained for the insane about of yarn I just bought. That and the fried chicken grease.

So here’s the damage:

6 Skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepard Worsted in Poppy 

I’m planning to make the #263 Neck Down Wrap Cardigan with it. I think it’ll look awesome in the bright poppy color. I am having some doubts about whether I should have chosen a more variegated yarn, like the example below to add interest. Thinking about my personal style though, I tend to wear more solid colors. I may already have a sweater in a very similar color… We’re not going to worry about that because that just means I already have jewelry to match.

 

3 Skeins of Tosh DK in Thyme. 

I’m planning to make the With a Twist Blanket for my future/someday/maybe baby.

Last but not least, 7 skeins of Tosh Chunky in Curiosity.

I’m planning to make the http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/comfy for my bedroom. The pattern actually calls for two strands of worsted yarn held together but I’m substituting for a chunky yarn and possibly making it a little bigger.

Fun fact, when I first learned to crochet (years before knitting entered my life), I decided to knit a purple blanket for my room. Everything in my room is purple, by the way. The pattern I chose was a sampler afghan. I bought at least 10 skeins of Vanna’s Choice yarn in two shades of purple and a linen color. I only made 3 blocks. Now there are two storage boxes of purple Vanna’s Choice in my craft room closet. I have no desire to finish that blanket. So, why am I buying yarn for a new blanket? Hopefully I’ll actually make this one. The chunky yarn should knit up pretty quickly and I have been really wanting to do a basket weave type blanket. I’m just hoping the yarn looks more purple than blue when it comes in. It’s hard to tell online and I am very picky about the purples in my bedroom.

 

This enormous purchase got me started in Eat.Sleep.Knit’s Yarnathon! I already passed the 1 mile and 5 kilometer marks, meaning I earned a welcome package and earned $20 store credit. Which means I get to go back and buy even more yarn! And then earn more prizes and more credit. Then buy even even more yarn! Then more more prizes and more more credits! And the buy even even even more yarn! So on and so forth until the bank repossesses my house because I can’t pay the mortgage and I am forced to turn my yarn stash into some kind of shelter and live under a bridge.