Friday, March 17, 2017

Grey Hat

Early in January I took my daughter to Giant Tiger and we just happened to see these "Knit a Hat" kits that came with yarn, a faux fur pompom and circular needles. She decided she needed a new hat. Fine. She wanted it just like her brother's Roots hat, which is a fine ribbed slouchy toque. All the foreigners to my blog are like "Giant Tiger"? "Roots?" "Toque?" LOL. I explained that I could make it ribbed, similar to a black hat I had made her (also from a finer yarn) but it would not look the same. She was okay with a ribbed cuff and plain hat.

Of course, I had to do this on my SK155! Having just done a basic hat at New Year's, I had a good idea of a starting point. I think I did do a swatch though. Just to play.

 Yup. These are the only two photos I got. She says it's very warm and she wears it all the time.

Yarn In:  1542gr
Yarn Out: 74gr + 1374gr=1448gr
Balance: 94gr more bought than used
Costs:  $37.91/76days = $0.50 per day

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Newfie Mitts

I felt like dyeing yarn. Or maybe it was my daughter who wanted to dye yarn. I knit up a "blank" on my knitting machine and we spread it out on the table. She wanted turquoise stripes but we had a hard time getting it right--the top end of the blank
We were using some Easter egg dyes, and I had some Procion MX dyes. I discovered the Sky Blue was what she was really looking for, so she had fun at the other end. I used a full skein of Rowan Superwash Worsted. The mittens ended up taking most of the section she dyed. I have about 65gr left, which means if I knit mittens, each would be different. I'm tempted, but it is March 15  and surely winter has to be over soon! It doesn't look like it this week! A hat might be interesting.

I used the Newfie Mitts pattern again. As I wrote about the first pair, I made some changes to the pattern, regarding the thumb. I made the opening for the thumb where I'd normally separate the thumb gusset and the hand. This time, I picked up all around the opening, and one extra at each edge. Then I short rowed across the outer half of the thumb stitches, leaving one more stitch out of work each row, until I had just the middle stitch in work. Then I worked across all stitches. I wanted to get some extra length on the outer part of the thumb to be like a thumb gusset.

I realized after I had done it that I should have started with the middle stitch and worked outwards. I did that on the next pair.
Megan says she wishes the tops were all in the turquoise. They look a little fuzzy because she had already been wearing them before I got a picture. She says she really likes them, though she got a new coat during all this and now they totally don't match. So she wears them when she helps the new skaters at CanSkate.

Yarn In:  1542gr
Yarn Out: 83gr + 1291g = 1374gr
Balance: 168gr more bought than used
Costs:  $37.91/74days = $0.51 per day

Monday, March 13, 2017

More Mittens

We  were expecting a cold snap (uh, it was February, it's supposed to be cold) and I knew I couldn't knit up mittens in time, so I opted to sew some mittens. I have a huge sweater stash I'm thinking of parting with. I haven't had the best results sewing sweater mittens and I just don't like them as much as knitted mittens, so maybe someone else should have the stash. But sometimes there are things I might want to make that aren't mittens. I really want to try making slippers. I know I can't make back what I bought all the sweaters for, but they're not generating money just sitting there either.

These are for the kindie kids I supervise. The knitted mittens I've made have been on the smaller size and there's quite a few bigger kids. These look big to me, but apparently they're not (maybe a smidge long). The striped ones (a Gap sweater) are more popular than the other ones (a felted woven--I think--scarf.  They are a little stiff). I wanted gender neutral.

Not much else to say. My husband was able to fix my camera, saving me probably a large amount of cash, so I'm back in the game--though not much to show. It's been rather slow here. In fact, I finished the knitting part of something and I was heading to the rink, and realized I had nothing to take with me! I was going to just grab some more wool and make some more mittens, but I opted for a camo Baby Surprise Jacket. Why not. I have one in my "In Stock" box, so now I'll have two.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Yearly Comparisons

I think it's about time to do the yearly comparison recap post. How many years have I been keeping track of my yarn use? Let's find out!

Oh man. I thought I had more years with negative yarn addition to the stash! So close last year!

                    2016                     2015                      2014                           2013                            2012
Yarn In:    11 223gr                 9 989gr                 10 076                        16 153                         21 096
Yarn Out:  11 193gr                9 272gr                  8 061                         16 805                         16 849
Balance:           30gr +               717gr +               2 015gr +                       625gr -                   4 247gr+
Costs:         $507.27                 $430.10               $511.49                     $378.91                        $524.43

Five Year Totals 
Yarn In:       68 537gr
Yarn Out:     62 180gr
Balance:         6 357gr
Costs:        $2 352.20

Yarn In:     13 707gr
Yarn Out:  12 436gr
Balance:      1 271gr
Costs:       $470.44

This is so fascinating. I was so close to not having a positive yarn in for 2016. If I had gotten a couple things done before New Year's, then I would have. The first year I did this, I was not thinking very much about the yarn I bought. If it was a "good deal" then I bought it. Then my finances changed, and I started my little business. I tried to use up yarn as much as I could but it got harder and harder because clients had specific requests. Also, in those first two years (can't remember which one) I got a large donation of yarn from my MIL. I did re-donate much of it, so that's why my Out totals were high. I had tried to keep donations separate, but gave up. My costs didn't really vary too much. I can't believe though that I managed to ADD 6kg of yarn to my stash over 5 years! It adds up! I did pull out some to donate/sell, but it's so hard to cull through the stash. And of course, my box of  "In Stock" items has grown. No one wants to buy my in stock items!! There's some good stuff in there! I don't understand. Anyway. I highly encourage anyone who uses yarn to try this for the year. Note--I did not include purchases of patterns, dyes, needles, stuffing, etc. Just yarn.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Teddy Bear

I got a request for a custom teddy bear hat, that was urgent. Of course, I didn't know just how urgent until after I gave my quote. And then the photographer wasn't able to pick up and use right away anyway. But oh well, it was nice to have a little project to focus on.  I use some "Soft'Hair" that I had bought many years ago for a sweater. That project had been quite a challenge--the lace was worked on both sides of the knitting! I tried to tailor the sweater a bit because it was an oversized '90s pattern. I was nearly done and it got packed up and put away--I don't know why. A move? A pregnancy? Every time I'd see it, I'd think, what was I thinking--a worsted weight mohair sweater in ivory?! It was somewhat itchy and I could not imagine wearing it next to my skin. Then I needed the needles for something...

I agreed to the order before thinking of how to make it. My first thought was the pixie style hat, but I didn't want the point. While laying in bed, I thought maybe I could eliminate the point by short rowing like a sock.  My first attempt was a little too wedge like. I needed more stitches left out of work in the middle.  I don't see an easy way to download the picture from Instagram, so just go check it out

Or give me another minute and here it is:

I like those little ears, but that's not what I was going for this time. Maybe another time.

I love the end result. I can't believe how much it looks like the inspiration photo, though that photo doesn't show the back shaping, so I don't really know. From the front though, it's awesome. 

Is that not awesome? I'd love to make more!

Yarn In:  1542gr
Yarn Out: 27gr + 1264gr = 1291g
Balance: 251gr more bought than used
Costs:  $37.91/54days = $0.70 per day

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Last summer my niece asked me for a mermaid blanket. They're not that cheap to make in adult sizes but I considered it. I don't make a lot for her, and now that she's 18, she's kind of out of the regular gift giving stage. Plus, we just don't see that family much. Even though it was more than I would usually spend, I didn't have much else going on so I figured I might as well. She asked for purple and red. Ummm. Okay. I shopped around and really couldn't find much in a purple and red, and I was not going to do stripes (she did ask for thick and cozy). I did find this yarn, it's "Loops & Thread" Country Loom, in, I think "Kiss Me" which is red with hints of pink and purple, "Tapestry" (the purple) and Solarium (the green).
 The pictures are SO bad. It's not maroon at ALL. Take a look on Ravelry. I'm not really happy how I blended from red to purple. I don't think I spread it out long enough. But after many attempts at getting a nice gauge and fabric and size....I was ready for this to be over.
How can the green and purple be right, but not the red? Again, a smaller tail. I know I should do them bigger, but they just get heavy and weigh down the blanket, and eat yarn like crazy.

Rumour has it my niece loves it. I've yet to hear it from her, or anyone in her family (I did put on the card that they are to share it!). It didn't make it for Christmas, but that's okay, right? For the sake of my yarn totals, it would have been nice to have it count last year (716gr), but it puts my totals in a good balance for now :)

Yarn In:  1542gr
Yarn Out: 716gr + 548gr = 1264gr
Balance: 278gr more bought than used
Costs:  $37.91/52 days = $0.73 per day

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Newfie Mitts

There is some debate on the name of these mittens. Many call them Newfie, or Newfoundland Mitts. Others call thrummed mitts, Newfie mitts. Some call these "bubble knit" or honeycomb. No matter what it is, I have had this particular pattern printed out since 2008. It was time. I wanted more "unisex" mittens for the kindie kids. These yarns are a littler thinner, but I figured this texture would be good. I used an appropriate number of stitches and needle size to get the size I wanted. I was aiming for more of a size 6 since many of the mittens are too small for bigger kids. They ended up a little smaller, and since washing, well...they're a small 4, I think.

The pattern was pretty easy. HOWEVER. Reading the pattern was not. First up, you're working in rounds, not rows. Once you get into the patterned part, you are NOT slipping two with A. You just leave A at the beginning of the round, yarn at the back. You slip those stitches that had been knit with A, but for the five rows you work with B, the other yarn is just hanging out at the start of the round.  This is talked about in the comments, but I wish she would change the pattern!!!

Some kids have commented that the thumb is too small/tight. I'll comment more about that when I post the next pair I made from this pattern. Despite the poor pattern writing, I still recommend these mittens. As I said, I'll write more on the next pair because I did do some adjusting to the thumb. Sure, these have been knit for generations just like they are...but in my True Tracy Way, I had to make adjustments! 

Yarn In:  1542gr
Yarn Out:  38gr + 510gr = 548gr
Balance: 994gr more BOUGHT than used
Costs:  $37.91/45 days = $0.84 per day