Saturday, February 22, 2014

Call Me Crazy

I seem to be having a problem lately. In the past month, I knit a sweater that could double as a tent and a little dragon stuffed animal whose hands, feet and wings will have to be a different color because I ran out of yarn.

I'm usually much better about this. Playing "knitting chicken" makes me nervous, so I always get more than enough yarn. But the dragon is knit from the stash - leftovers from a shawl project. I thought it would be ok. I weighed the yarn and had 20 grams more than the pattern recommended. Great!

But after knitting the body I started to get the feeling that it wouldn't be enough. I knit faster. (Because knitting faster will totally make the yarn last longer?!) Once the body was done, I looked at my little pile of yarn and wondered what had gone wrong. 

I started the head, hoping that it would magically take less yarn than expected. It did not. I took stock of the situation. Is it possible that this is an optical illusion? Maybe I'm wrong and the yarn balls just look like they're shrinking at a freakish rate? What parts of the dragon absolutely had to match in color?

I decided that his tail was the most important part to match the body so I skipped over a page of instructions and started knitting. Honestly, I thought I was doomed. There was no way I was going to get a whole tail out of this tiny amount of yarn. But somehow I made it and even managed to make two tiny little dragon ears to match.

This is all that was left. No was was I going to be able to make arms, legs and wings with these sad little scraps.

I took stock of the situation. The pattern called for 40 grams of yarn. I had weighed my yarn and had 59 grams - more than enough. I even used the recommended needles. Clearly the yarn was at fault. 

I decided to go in search of the yarn on Ravelry to see if anyone happened to have a random skein that they would share with a desperate knitter. A few people had it in their stash - but none were listed in the "willing to trade/sell" area. I went to the yarn vendor's site to see if they would have any more of this yarn/colorway - and they did! Happy day. And that's when I noticed it - this yarn was listed as worsted weight...and my pattern called for fingering. Suddenly it all made sense. OF COURSE I didn't have enough yarn. Worsted weight yarn weighs more so I would get fewer yards per gram. (In my defense, I would definitely classify this as a light worsted weight...)

Since this was supposed to be a stash-busting project, I've decided that it's ok for my dragon to have appendenges in a different color rather than purchase an additonal skein that will also have to fit in the stash. As my husband so wisely stated - "Sweetie, he can be any color you want. After all, dragons aren't real." 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Fingerless Mitts & a Trip to a Fiber Festival

Hi Knitters,

I wanted to pop by and show off some pictures of my first pair of fingerless mitts. I actually finished them some time ago, but just haven't managed to get pictures on the blog. 

Pattern: Spring Foliage by Alana Dakos, found in her beautiful book, "Botanical Knits." (I can't wait for her new book, Botanical Knits 2, to be available. The photos look amazing!)

Yarn: Hermes Alpacas Autumn handspun, a gift from my aunt & uncle in Virginia. The yarn is an alpaca, merino, silk blend that is just lovely. 

They fit pretty well, although now that I've tried them out I think that I could have shortened them by about half an inch as they're just a little too long on my fingers. Either way, they're nice and cozy and are currently living at my desk at work. 

Today I helped out at my knitting guild's fiber festival, For the Love of Fiber. I met a lovely shop owner from Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, PA. She had a few things that I just couldn't resist. 

A little felt needlecase - design by frabjons fibers (handmade in Nepal - fair trade). I just love the colors and design!

She also had some lovely hand-dyed yarn. The yarn on the left will be socks for me (I think) and the yarn on the right will be a new pair of socks for the hubby. I'm planning to use the "Old Joe" pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. 

Here's something I didn't plan on getting: 

I just couldn't leave without the guy! The mug is by Christine Stangel, of C S Stangel Pottery, located right here in State College.

Overall, a successful trip. Unfortunately, we got another several inches of snow this morning so that slowed down attendance quite a bit. Hopefully people were able to venture out this afternoon. There were a lot of great things to see! 

Thanks for stopping by! I plan on snuggling up to the fireplace, watching the Olympics and knitting. A perfect Saturday. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lydia's 3rd Birthday

My little niece, Lydia, celebrated her third birthday today. Of course, she needed a little something from me! 

Pattern: Biscuit the Friendly Dog by Amanda Berry
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in "Fog Hyatt" colorway
Buttons: From my button jar!

I think this little dog has such personality. Hopefully he'll enjoy his new home. 
Check out my Ravelry page for more pictures.