Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is It Summer Yet?

Here in southern Ontario, summer seemed to be taking forever.  Winter was very long, we often still had mitts on at the end of April, and there were some chilly days at the start of May.  We'd get one or two nice days, and then chilly again.  Now, we seem to have entered storm season--frequent threats of thunderstorms, sudden downpours, humidity, and even tornadoes.  I'm not sure what summer will be like, but I'm sure it will involve drinking water.  And what better way to do it than with a stylish water bottle holder?  Keep your hands free and never lose your water bottle again (okay, we won't mention how I hung my holder off the cup holder in the dark theater on our cruise, on the last morning while waiting disembarkment, and then forgot it...).

I recently found the water bottle holder on the far right in my "knitting junk drawer".  I pulled it out, and saw it only needed the strap sewn down (well, after pulling it out of the drawer, it needed a few more rows on the strap) and ends woven in!  Got it done, and all my in stock holders went for a photo shoot.  The holder on the right weighed in at 40gr.  Not a big user of yarn, but it can be a good stash buster.
I have posted pictures of all my in stock holders to Pinterest.   Please go have a look and consider following me.  I'd really appreciate it!

Yarn In: 4903gr
Yarn Out:  40gr + 1931gr = 1971gr
Balance: 2932 gr more brought IN than out
Cost: $284.07/176days = $1.61/day

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lilac Sunset

Way back in September, our neighbour, Matt, told my husband, Rob, that his wife Katie was pregnant and due in early May.  I appreciated the early notice, LOL, but that did nothing to help me get a gift done in time.  I justified it by saying it was already warm out and the gift was more like 3-6 months size!

I had no idea what to make.  Katie and Matt are young, modern, hip.  I wanted something a little nontraditional, but still "sweet".  I opted to choose a vintage sweater pattern, and make it in a modern, bright combination.  Originally, I wanted a grey or black for the solid colour, but nothing was working out.  I found this Loops & Threads "Graceful" back in late March and paired it with Patons "Sequin Lace" in violet.  Everything was going good with the sweater, though I had already missed the birth when I noticed a huge error with the first sleeve.  After that, it was smooth sailing. 

I wanted to use up all the purple, and thought some solid purple booties would be nice, and somewhat practical.  They turned out a little big, so I made a smaller pair in the Graceful yarn.  Wish I had a close up picture of that.  These booties are done in Brioche stitch, and in a solid colour, that's nothing interesting.  In a variegated though, it's rather neat.  I've made these before, so I won't get into the details.
 The hat.  I knew it had to be sideways, and it was going great, though my calculations seemed a little off.  I had to fudge the last wedge to get a bit more width.  Since it seemed short, I picked up around the edge and added a ribbed band to keep it snug.  That wasn't enough.  I wanted a solid picot/scallop turn back brim, with the idea that the bright colours would peak out through the large hole in each scallop.  It didn't quite turn out that way, but it's still sweet.
Part way through the sweater, I wasn't happy.  It took a bit, but I realized that the colour changes were way too short in the "Graceful".  I had wanted long changes, so it was a subtle shifting of colours.  The ball looked like that would be the case, but it wasn't.  However, I had gone too far to turn back.  Oh well.

The set got finished and gifted one day when she was outside with little Mia.  By not getting it done in time for the birth, I was able to add some lilacs from their bush, and some from our bush :)

Yarn In: 4903gr
Yarn Out:  119gr + 1812gr  = 1931gr
Balance:  2972 gr more brought IN than out
Cost: $284.07/174days = $1.63/day

Well, those calculations are a little off, since I popped back over to Michaels' and they still had some of that reflective yarn in the clearance!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I have been working on two pairs of socks for a looong time.  This pair, I don't know when I started, but according to this blog, the last pair of socks I finished was April 2012, so it was probably after that.  Last summer/fall I lost the second ball of yarn, and with my TracyKM Designs doing well, I just left the socks to simmer. It was located in mid-January, and I got going on the socks again, as my portable project.  I finally got them finished yesterday.  Though I wonder if they're too short.  I'm just done.  I've had this yarn forever (probably 12 years), and it's time they were done.
 They were started toe up, two at a time on one circular, and I had trouble getting the size right so I increased a few stitches on the last row.  Then I remembered I wanted some ribbing, but I had already done the toe.  I opted to start ribbing in the middle and gradually build it outwards.  However, between the extra stitches, and the switch to rib, the toe looked rather odd.  Bulbous.  I knew the ribbing would stretch out fine, but the toe seemed bulky.  But I kept  going.  Did a Fleegle heel, carrying an inch width's of ribbing up the back from the bottom of the heel.  As I went up the leg I increased at the back and incorporated the stitches into ribbing.
I decided when they were done to re-do the toe.  Snipped a thread, and ripped out a row, then back a couple rows to get to the wonky bit at the start of the rib.  It was annoying, since I had to thread the yarn through the stitches that had been increased.  Then I realized...I had to make sure to centre the ribbing again.  I thought I had it, but I guess this one was a little off.  It took me a couple tries to get the toes just right (they kept ending up too short), but they fit much better now.  And, no surprise, I have yarn left over from the toes--in fact, one whole toe's worth!  I actually have 29gr left from the pair, and since the balls were 45gr, the pair is only 61gr (I was hoping for closer to 100gr).  Which means, I could possibly make a pair of anklets?  I'll have to see how this yarn feels once it's washed.  It's a little stringy now.  The yarn is Lang "JaWoll Color" superwash.  It comes with a 5gr tube of matching reinforcement thread, which I didn't use.

Yarn In: 4903gr
Yarn Out: 61gr + 1751gr = 1812gr
Balance:  3091 gr more brought IN than out
Cost:  $284.07/168 days = $1.69/day

Monday, June 09, 2014

It's For Safety

I don't have a whole lot to post since I'm working on a stuffed "Toothless", the main dragon from "How to  Train Your Dragon".  I finished up the "Lilac Sunset" set for the neighbour, and will post that hopefully tomorrow (that's a "tomorrow" in Tracy language...could be Friday for all I know LOL).  But I want to keep up to date on yarn purchases.  I've done really well with not buying yarn; the last yarn I bought was May 2, I believe.  But I needed pipe cleaners for this dragon, and I didn't have cash so I didn't want to put $4 on I HAD to buy yarn.  Right?

Luckily, they had some good yarn marked down.  I picked up a few balls of Red Heart "Reflective" in grey and teal.  I liked this yarn because there is a plied strand of reflective thread.  Previously, Bernat had made a glow in the dark yarn that was neat, but like all glow in the dark items, it needs to be "charged up" and then lasts only about 30 minutes.  This Reflective yarn is like the material on coats and shoes.  When light hits it, it shines (reflects the light).  My husband often walks the dog after dark, so I was thinking of using it as a cuff on a hat.  The yarn, a 100gr, 88yd ball, was regularly $7.99!  I got it from the clearance bin at $3.99.  I see on Ravelry there was an orange colour.  That would have been great to get, but there was none at the store.  It looks like one ball will be JUST enough for an adult hat, but I think I'll use it just for a brim.  I like the dog coats made with it, but our dog is huge and I don't think he'd wear a dog coat.  Maybe I'll make him a bandana, or even just a little tie for around the leash.  I'd make a poop bag holder, but hubby refuses to take poop bags since the dog never poops while on walks.

I also got two balls of Patons Lace Sequin.  I love this yarn.  I got "amber" which is just a beige colour; I've used it before (the Zen Gnome hats).  I only got two because there was only two of one dye lot.  There were some other colours but mainly a turquoise, and I have quite a bit of turquoise yarn already.  I'm thinking I'll use this to make a drapey cardigan for myself.  Even though what I need is a black and a white cardigan LOL.

Wow, just looked at my receipt, and the Reflective yarn was actually $2.99.  Wish I had gotten more :(

Yarn In: 440gr + 4463gr = 4903gr
Yarn Out:  1751gr
Balance:  3152gr more brought IN than out
Cost: $19.15 + $264.92 = $284.07/160 days = $1.75/day