Category Archives: Oops

My Wall of Shame

She admits to inconstancy

OK, this article was just sitting here ready to go so I’m posting it now.  It was meant to be posted Nov 2007 but for some simple reasons, it never got posted.

It is no wonder that we knitting folk call ourselves knitting ‘ho’s, harlots and other less savoury names! We simply cannot stay true to one love project. The temptation of luscious yarns and interesting patterns has the effect of luring us away from one obsession to another.

Why am I going on like this? … Well, let me tell you. One day, while cleaning up my craft room, I realised that I had a few unfinished items laying around and for the heck of it decided to pull them all together. I was surprised to see this…

Wall of Shame

This is what I call my Wall of Shame. These are all the projects that I have not completed. Not just not completed but not touched in ages. Do I have good explanations why I haven’t finished them? Not really, it is just my temperament I guess. I get all excited about something else I see and have to start knitting it. Most of the time I do finish projects, but sometimes, to my shame, I just let them languish in a corner somewhere. They are always there in the back of my mind but somehow I never realized how many there were! Maybe they reproduced when I wasn’t looking. How else would you explain 4 different socks on the needles?

Pulling them together was a GOOD thing. Now they will not be so lonely. Now they have friends and neighbors to commune with. Now they have each other to complain bitterly to about the landlady’s lack of dependability.

Some of these items I do intend to finish, some I will frog and use the yarn for other more interesting projects.

To be quite honest these are not my only UFOs. These are only the ones in knitting and crocheting. I didn’t put on the pile my UFOs from painting, quilting, sewing, spinning, cross stitch or needle point in which I have at least one unfinished project. I will go now and hang my head in shame!

OK, enough of that! Let’s find creative ways to deal with this situation. I have been reading a lot about this on the web. Here are a few ideas I got from readings other people’s ways of dealing with this.

1. Work on a number of projects at once by giving yourself a set number of rows to do before you can move on to the next project.  This requires discipline.  You must do 15 rows of this lace shawl before you can move on to 22 rows of the easy scarf.

2. Try to keep to only one project but have an alternative if you get bored. Some projects such as lace, are so complicated that it is a relief to put them down for a short while and knit on a sock. Conversely working on mindless knitting may bore you so much that you really don’t want to finish.  Break up the monotony with something more complicated like colour work.

One member of a group I follow has this to say:

3. ” Joan Hamer has an excellent method for dealing with multiple projects at
the same time. Work on one the same night each week until finished,
then start a new one for that night. This allows for changing of needle
size, yarn material, knitting method (heck, you could put in a crochet
or x-st or beading night!) and keeps each project in work. You don’t
get bored, everything gets worked on and you get to feel virtuous. :)”

Even Sandi Wiseheart over at KnittingDaily has this problem. She took a poll and here are the results. Sandi really does a good job at exploring why we put down one project for another. If you haven’t read her article you should.

My projects will be divided into three piles; 1. to be frogged, 2. to be finished, 3. marinate a bit, I might finish later.

I do have one FO to show.

CreativeWhimsy's Dashing

This is Dashing by Cheryl Niamath

I’ve been very occupied with getting ready for the cold weather that is right around the corner and will probably continue to knit Hats and Mitts for awhile yet. Then this yarn-addict intends to finish off many of the projects on her wall of shame. Really, I will!

Today, don’t be ashamed, be creative!

Swatching Hell

Troubles in Lace Land

Well normally I don’t do the swatch thing. It really isn’t necessary for many things if you are close to the yarn weight and needle size recommended ( mittens, hats,scarves). Of course, the exception to this is making sweaters that actually fit the intended wearer and I have had problems with that even after swatching, but that is a post for another day.

For the MS3, I was not going to swatch. I actually had the same yarn and needle size as the designer and thought, ‘No problem’, I mean, it doesn’t really matter if you are off a few inches in any direction in a lace stole, I mean, come on.

Then after reading some of the groups messages I began to get a little worried. Some were having size problems and others were have problems with their beads and the list went on. So I decided to swatch.

Here is the result.

New Swatch

This is a very simple lace pattern that I have used before (see these socks) and was very easy to memorize, but look… Yes, there is a mistake in the (very simple!) pattern, but, after ripping out the swatch once and then making another mistake in about the same spot, I decided to leave it. I doesn’t affect the reasons for doing the swatch in the first place; testing the yarn and needle size to see if you like the resulting fabric. The pattern is not the one used in the Mystery Stole but will give a very good idea of how the yarn and needle will look. I like the combo I used and the colour of the beads, but I do not like the size of the beads. They seem too small!

This of course has been a nagging doubt in the back of my mind for a few weeks now. The pattern calls for 8/0 sized beads and I just took some seed beads out of my collection and thought they would do nicely. I had no idea as to their size. Now I do…

beads per inch

As you can see from the picture, they are 10 beads to the inch which makes them 10/0 beads, too small for the stole. Add to this that I had trouble threading them onto the crochet hook and yarn, well I may be dense but I’m not dumb! I need to get bigger beads!

A word of caution for those of you using the crochet hook method. If the bead hole is a little small and the hook won’t easily go through, do not force it! The hook may end up going through the bead with a little nudge but may break with the yarn forced through it and guess what! Yarn gets sliced up by broken glass! Go on, ask me how I know!

So I placed an order through an Ontario company and will have to wait a week or two for the proper sized beads… No Probs, I can wait! Then I looked at their FAQ’s… They say that 8/0 beads have 12 beads to the inch! What the ??

I have sent in an inquiry to the company but don’t expect to hear back from them for a few days! Oh woe is me. I guess I will have to wait and wait to start the MS3. Some folks even have the first clue finished already! (Moan and Groan)

I am going to knit socks now, to take the edge off while I wait!

How about some cute baby bibs crocheted for our neighbors’ new baby boy?

Bibs

How can anyone not knit or crochet for newborns? It is such a quick and satisfying project. Just ask the Yarn Harlot who seems to be addicted to Dream in Color baby sweater kits!

So, I am glad that I swatched. I learned quite a bit about handling the yarn and needles, and how to bead with a crochet hook. Most importantly I realized the beads were too small. All things I didn’t need to experiment with while actually knitting the Big Scary lace Project. So maybe swatching is a good idea after all.

Good creative knitting and have a great Canada Day!

Newfoundland Revisited

Whereupon reviewing her pattern
she discovered a goodly amount of imprecision, inconsistencies and inexactitudes.

To my utter horror and shame, I have come to the realization, that the pattern I posted for the Newfoundland mitts was not a good one. This, of course, being a great understatement of vast proportions. It was a terrible, horrible and misleading pattern (Bad Pattern!).

My Reasons; I had made changes (as I found fit), when I first used this pattern, however, as I originally knit the mitts with acrylic yarns, these alterations are not now appropriate! My Excuses; I have none, I know better… SIGH.

I have since posted a good pattern (found in the tab ‘patterns’ up in header) distinguishable by the word “revisited”. I am positive that this pattern is good as I used it this weekend to make this:

Newf revisited

Noro does look very good here although I’m a little disappointed that the pink was so over whelming. I still have enough left in the one skein to do another but because I’m a ‘little’ anal I want both mitts to match so I will be using a brand new skein of Noro # 154. The left overs will make another set of mitts with a grey wool.

Also made this weekend:

Baby Feet

… For a baby gift. Made with Patons Cottontots, it is very soft and cuddly like a baby! I love this little pattern but not too thrilled with my wobbly bobbles. I guess I need more practice. I might even do another for the actual gift. I guess I’m just a sucker for punishment!

I intended to crochet a pair of booties too but the urgency of my Newfoundland folly was harassing me and demanding critical attention, so I had to knit, check and recheck the pattern!

What ever you do this week… Keep on creating!

Oldie but Goodie

Newfoundland Mitts
This mitten pattern is an old favorite here in Atlantic Canada and is a nice warm mitt for frigid weather. I had a much marked up, old pattern sheet kicking about and when I was asked for a copy, I decided I had better write up a new one with updated language. You can find it on my Patterns Page, the tab is located up in the header picture above. Here they are in all their glory.

Newfoundland Mitts

I made these mitts about 6 or 7 years ago, when I started knitting again, after about that many years on hiatus from the crafty sticks. I was still a newbie, however, and used acrylic to knit these and many pairs for the children.

It was this particular pair, though, that taught me a lesson about yarn. One day, I went out to shovel my driveway, put on my newly knit mitts and realised that the cold immediately penetrated to my hands, the wind blew right through the mitts!

I couldn’t believe it. All those hours knitting mitts and they didn’t keep the hands warm. They didn’t even perform their main function. And the Kids! I felt really bad for sending them off to school in my hand knit mittens that wouldn’t keep their hands warm…

All yarns are not alike… Lesson learned (hang my head in shame).

I now knit exclusively with 100% or high blend wool or cotton. I always was a ‘natural’ nut (little or no plastic in my life!) and I have no idea what possessed me to use fake wool for knitting! It probably was the price, now that I think about it. I couldn’t imagine paying big $$ for yarn. I would have died paying $10 for a 50 gm ball of worsted weight yarn! Now, try and keep me and Noro apart!

I never did remake these mitts in warm wool. Maybe this season I’ll knit myself new ones… Maybe with Noro! Yeah, that would be neat!…. I’ll keep you posted

Keep on creating.

Oops, I Did It Again!

As we all know, those of us who knit anyway, knitting is not an exact science. A pattern is not a recipe where you get all the ingredients, throw them together and put them in the oven and everyone who uses it will get a delicious, edible casserole. Knitting does not work exactly this way although you would think it should! Knitting does include science but also a part artistry, a good part skill and also a large part luck.

The science is mostly math. Numbers of stitches per inch to figure out how many needed to cast on for a piece. Geometry for the shapes we contort the knitted fabric into to get a shape pleasing to our figures, limbs or digits.

The artistry aspect comes in when we choose the yarn for colour and weight. Maybe a hand painted skein or two or more solid colours. We choose stitch, pattern, length of garment. We choose amount of ease and drape.

The skill aspect is, of course, the many techniques learned by the knitter. It can either add a touch of finesse, or leave a ragged join; depending on skill levels.

Luck seems to be all other aspects that are variable and inconsistent. When I do a swatch for a project, I tend to trust it. So when it lets me down, I can only believe that it is the luck aspect being brought into play. Case in point, I was knitting Fetching for Hubby’s DD. I was using my first hand spun attempt and had no idea how it would do. I did a swatch and was amazed at how good it looked. The knitting actually helped the look of the single even where it was spun too tight! The gauge with the proper needle came to what the recommended yarn was before the author changed needle and made the gauge tighter. So I did the same thing, went to a smaller needle and made my gauge smaller. The glove ended up too small.

One Fetching Glove
Too bad because it was a very good looking glove. I just couldn’t move my hand much! I have since cast on the other hand and added another repeat of the cables and it should fit!

More fetching
Wish me luck!!

So to me, luck, fate, destiny, Karma are a big factor when you knit. To those of us with lots of experience, you can diminish the luck aspect but for those that are just starting out or have little experience, luck seems to hold sway. As you gain experience, you will be able to know when there is less chance of a luck thing about to happen or you can see it happening earlier and head it off at the pass. As for me, I have been knitting off and on for years and I still have problems with the luck thing. Sometimes, it is good and sometimes, like now, it is not.
It is not all bad news however, I have managed to produce something I quite like. I made socks for my DD for Christmas.

Lace Socks

I think she will like them! These socks were created using a Sockbug pattern called Sheri’s Lace Socks. I started the sock and found the lace to be inelastic and baggy. So I altered the pattern by alternating rows of lace with sections of 3×1 ribbing. The ribbing really helps to keep the sock fitting snuggly to the leg.

Partridge Heel

Here is a photo of the partridge heel I did for the sock. No special reason, I just wanted to try it out. It is more cushiony than the plain or double heel but I find the look of it distracts from the overall image of delicacy.

I hope your creative day works out more in the good luck way than in the bad.

Have a creative day!