Taking on too much

I was not knitting (or crocheting) much for quite some time but fortunately, I have gotten back into it.  This is good because (a) I enjoy it immensely and (b) it keeps my hands busy so I am less likely to snack while watching TV.  The problem is that I get excited about new projects then jump into them with both feet, buying materials and making plans even when I have a plethora of unfinished (or even unstarted) projects taking up space in my home and brain.

In the past two weeks, I have started one project in earnest and bought yarn for two more.  Additionally, I have a project on my spinning wheel along with several on crochet hooks or knitting needles strewn about my apartment.  I know for sure that I have at least the following:

  • a beaded lace shawl which has been in progress for years
  • a double-knit scarf that has one direwolf head knit so far
  • most of a bunny in various scattered pieces
  • the legs and tummy of a sky bison whose back I could not figure out
  • a doll sweater that is unfinished because I ran out of yarn, leaving the sleeves on DPNs and a stitch holder
  • a colorful cotton blanket meant as a wedding present for my cousin who got married three years ago
  • A sweater that I started at least five years ago for which the body is complete but I have started and lost the sleeves no fewer than three times
  • A pair of fair isle mittens that I haven’t touched in probably ten years

There may well be more, but those are the ones that occur to me.  I don’t even want to think about the multiple quilts, dresses, pillowcases, and curtains worth of fabric I have bought and done nothing with for a long time now.

Anyway, all of these piles and shelves and boxes of shame do not keep me from making new plans.  I decided recently that I want a Captain Marvel sweater.  After spending a lot of time looking at pictures online of Carol Danvers’ movie and comic costumes, I sketched out an idea for which I am pretty excited.  I even have some yarn (superwash wool) in blue and yellow already.  Of course, after finishing my bear stack, I needed something to do right away, so I turned to a bag of yarn I had lying around.

blob_medium21.jpgEven though there are a ton of great sweater patterns out there, even if limited to free patterns and those I already own (in book form or otherwise) I felt the need to design something unique for the beautiful turquoise merino yarn my parents bought me on a trip to New Zealand.  I was disappointed, however, to find that on the first ball I used, there were many places where a ply was cut, requiring me to cut the whole yarn and join it to the project in order to prevent future unravelling.  I hope that it is not indicative of the next eleven balls I have.  At first I tried spit joins, but they did not work very well, so I just have hanging tails for now.  Pattern-wise, I am using The Incredible Custom Fit Raglan Sweater for advice.  I am making a V-neck with cables.  The one on the back increases with the raglan increases, which is kind of awkward but I think it is working.  I plan to have some 2×2 ribbing on the sides, probably in lieu of shaping.  At the front, I will pull from the body of the sweater to twist with the cables when I get that far – at least I plan to.  So far, the sleeves just have a simple cable running down the length but once I separate them from the body, I am thinking about doing something more complex although I am not totally sure what yet.  There is a cable in the Vogue Stitchionary that inspired me but I changed several things and recharted it, so I am calling this cable my own even though I am sure it has been done before – haven’t they all?

thumbnailWhile I have not yet finished the blanket I started for my cousin who was married in 2016, I have already started planning a blanket for my cousin getting married in June.  I decided that I wanted to try that picture crochet thing but not with a photo because that seems a little too cheesy plus I would feel guilty if it did not turn out to be a good likeness.  So, I ran a map of the world through a pixilation thing and came up with a seven color chart.  I ordered acrylic yarn from KnitPicks when I saw that they had a coupon code for 15% off and threw in enough superwash wool to make that Captain Marvel sweater of which I have been dreaming.  So, I am getting $90 worth of yarn (and one impulse book) delivered next week even though I am nowhere near done with the sweater I have already started.

So, I guess I need to get to work!  I also keep planning to make curtains for my windows but instead, I wake up with the sun, so I do not have the highest hopes regarding my stick-to-it-iveness.  Still, hope springs eternal!

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Yooper hat knitting pattern

with tag
Really completed, with a tag and everything.
side blue
An awkward photo of me but that’s to be expected. The hat looks kind of helmet-y but I was going for something that could be worn under a hood, so I think it works.

I have not been keeping up well with this blog although honestly, I’m doing better than I thought I would, by which I mean I haven’t totally forgotten about it.  I am calling this a pattern but even as I type this, I am not sure I can actually come up with coherent instructions.  I did not keep good notes while making this hat.  I do think that my original plan worked out pretty well although I probably should have knitted a few more rounds before decreasing.  It fits me but I won’t know for sure if it is actually too short until I give it to its intended recipient.

ponytail_hat_2_medium2I don’t actually like hats.  Despite knitting them fairly regularly, I almost never wear them.  They tend to look weird on me, although I do have a hat with a hole for my ponytail that I wore occasionally until I lost it.  What I liked about that hat is that my ponytail going through the back held it in place so that it didn’t come down in the front and cover my eyes.  I decided to try a different route to the same end and add some earflaps for good measure.  I spent kind of a while pondering the whole idea before I decided to just grab some yarn and have at it!  I did have a couple of false starts but eventually I decided on double knitting because I figured that earflaps should be extra warm.  When I got to the hat itself, I kept on with the double knitting because I decided it would look weird otherwise – and if you’re double knitting, you might as well make it reversible and different on each side.  Of course, double knitting provides the additional challenge of finding subtle ways to weave in yarn ends since there is no wrong side, but I like to let issues like that be problems for “future me”.

done white
The white side is puffier than the blue side and looks all wrong when not being worn.

What I did not count on was the difference between my tension when knitting and purling.  Like many people, I purl more loosely than I knit.  At the beginning, I did not realize this was a problem because I worked the earflaps and the start of the back of the hat in rows, back and forth.  When I added the front, however, I joined it in a round, although it still took a few inches for me to catch on to the problem and even when I did, I persevered.  In the end, I decided that the white was definitely the inside and I put a label on it although that could easily be removed if a mostly white hat was desired.  Anyway, let’s see if I can remember how I made it.  By the way, a “Yooper” is someone from the U.P., or upper peninsula of Michigan.  It is notoriously cold there, so it seemed like a good name for a doubly thick wool hat with earflaps.

Yooper Hat Pattern by Kalyani

Now available on Ravelry

Materials: Patons Classic Wool (worsted, 220 yd/100g) 1 ball each, Color A & Color B.

Needles: Size 8 circular and / or DPNs

Gauge: 4 sts/inch (double knit)

NOTE: When working the first and last stitch of a row, hold both strands together and treat as one stitch.  For all other pairs, treat each strand as its own stitch.

Earflap (make 2)

Holding a strand of A & a strand of B together, cast on 5 stitches

Row 1: s1 (A & B), wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, k1 (A & B)

Row 2: s1 (A & B), wyb pick up & k1 A, wyf pick up & p1 A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb pick up & k1 A, wyf pick up & p1 A, k1 (A & B)

Row 3: s1 (A & B), wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, *wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Row 4: s1 (A & B), wyb pick up & k1 A, wyf pick up & p1 A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Repeat last 2 rows 5 x more until there are 17 pairs of stitches between the edge stitches

just starting
The inside and outside are much more even when knit in rows than in rounds.

Row 15: as row 3

Row 16: s1 (A & B), wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Repeat last 2 rows 1 x more

Cut yarn (leaving enough to weave in) on 1st earflap only.  Do NOT cut yarn on 2nd earflap.

Back

Setup:

With 2nd earflap still on needle, s1 (A & B), wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, *wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Use attached yarn to cast on 19 stitches (holding a strand of A & a strand of B together)

Join second earflap, s1 (A & B), wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, *wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

earflaps
I guess it does look a little like a bra.

NOTE: From this point forward, the former edge stitches of each earflap which abut the cast on stitches will be treated as two stitches and only the first and last stitch of the whole row will be treated as a single stitch.

Row 1: s1 (A & B), wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Row 2:  s1 (A & B), wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, *wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, repeat from * to last st, k1 (A & B)

Repeat last 2 rows 2x more, after row 6, DO NOT TURN!

Main Hat Portion (or whatever you want to call it)

NOTE: From this point forward, the hat will be worked in the round.  You can use double pointed needles or a circular needle to do this.  (All of my circular needles are too long for hats so I work with an extra loop sticking out between stitches, whatever works for you!)  Also, with the exception of the first stitch of round 1 which helps to close a gap, no more pairs of stitches will be treated as a single stitch.

in progress
I did a weird thing with the first stitch because there are an even number, I think it worked out though.

Setup:

Cast on 21 stitches (holding a strand of A & a strand of B together)

Place marker for beg / end of round

Join the work by positioning the beginning of the last row on the left needle, being careful not to twist stitches

Round 1: s1 (A & B), wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to end marker, sm

Round 2: *wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, repeat from * to end marker, sm

Round 3: *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to end marker, sm

Repeat last 2 rounds 1 x more

Round 6: *wyb k1A, wyf p1B, repeat from * to end marker, sm

Repeat last round 11 x more (in the photo, I only did it 9 x more but the hat is a little short)

Round 19: as round 2

Round 20: as round 3

Repeat last 2 rounds 1 x more

Round 23: *[wyb k1A, wyf p1B] 13 x, pm, repeat from * to end marker

mistake
Fortunately, I was able to correct this on the next round so there is not a weird bit of blue in the white space. Avoiding this is why the strands have to be moved together back and forth during the work.

Crown

p2tog
A p2tog with color B actually decreases one of the knit (color A) stitches.

Round 1: *wyb k1A, wyf p2togB, wyb k2togA, wyf p1B, [wyb k1A, wyf p1B] to marker, repeat from * to end marker (6 x total)

Round 2: *wyb k1A, wyf p1B, repeat from * to end marker (slipping all other markers), sm

Repeat last 2 rounds 5 x more

Round 13: as round 1 (36 sts remain)

Round 14: *wyb k1 A, wyf p1A, wyb k1 B, wyf p1B, repeat from * to end marker (slipping all other markers), sm

k2tog
A k2tog with color A actually decreases one of the purl (color B) stitches.

Round 15: *wyb k1B, wyf p2togB, wyb k2togA, wyf p1A, wyb k1B, wyf p1B, wyb k1A, wyf p1A, wyb k1B, wyf p1B, sm, wyb k1A, wyf p2togA, wyb k2togB, wyf p1B, wyb k1A, wyf p1A, wyb k1B, wyf p1B, wyb k1A, wyf p1B, repeat from & to end marker (30 sts remain)

Round 16: as round 14

Round 17: *wyb k1B, wyf p2togB, wyb k2togA, wyf p1A, wyb k1B, wyf p1B, wyb k1A, wyf p1A, sm, repeat from * to end marker (24 sts remain)

decreased
The decreased stitch sort of disappears between its neighbors.

Round 18: as round 2

Round 19: as round 1 (18 sts remain)

Repeat last round 2 x more (6 sts remain)

Cut both strands of yarn.  Thread each strand through all 6 sts of the same color and pull tight (keeping color B inside the hat).

Weave in ends, which I find to be a particular challenge on a reversible object.

Abbreviations

top white
I think the decreasing swirl looks nice in white.

 

  • beg – beginning
  • k1 – knit 1
  • p1 – purl 1
  • pm – place marker
  • s1 – slip 1 stitch
  • st – stitch
  • sm – slip marker
  • wyb – with yarn in back
  • wyf – with yarn in front

First blog post

I am just trying to figure out how blogging works, as I have never done it before.

20161221_201336

I suppose this will be a knitting blog, or perhaps a craft blog in general.  I like to make things with yarn, fabric, paper, you name it.  Theoretically, I plan to learn to solder at some point as well.

I will start now with pictures of a scarf I made for an office Secret Santa.  I decided to chart her initials and make an illusion knit scarf.  Once side is white on purple, the other is purple on white (well, off-white).  I also added fringe for the first time.  I think it turned out okay.

I would like to include more than one photo because illusion knitting is cool and magical but even though I chose “gallery” as the post format, I only see the option to set a featured photo.  Well, hopefully I will figure this out eventually.

20161221_201322

Okay, I decided to just try pasting the second image inline with the text.  Hopefully that will work.

Also, yes, those are my feet, I am standing on the bed and that is my knee in the main picture because I am wearing a skirt and seasonal knee socks.  I don’t apologize for my whimsical sense of style!