Fri 12 Apr, 2013: All finished bar photography!
I have frogged my earlier blanket because all it seemed to have done was make the cats skid as they ran around my room. Now Pixel is on his own, I am re-knitting it as a snuggle-like square/rectangle to put on the bed for him to curl up on.
iv. All done!
iii. Finished all bar the intimidting-to-me kitchenering.
ii. Take two:
16 repeats, whilst wide enough that I can use my 80mc 3mm circ without needing magic-loop, is too wide for the ‘height’ of a cowl / neck-warmer and so I frogged and restarted with 10 repeats around. 122 to cast on, well, 244 once you take into account that I am using Judy’s magic cast-on (or my variant that does not need knitting tbl) to duplicate the stitch count and reserve a “provisional” cast-on using scrap yarn. I started the pattern on row 2 for the first repeat so that the eventual kitchener ‘row’ will be row 1.
i. The initial plan was:
Cast on 194 sts with provisional cast-on of another 194 (or use a cast on that you can kitchener to easily). Knit pattern in the round over 8 pattern repeats each side of the tube (x2 = 16 + 1 K st each side). When all yarn almost used up (or the tube is long enough, whichever happens first), finish with a complete 12 row pattern repeat and kitchener end to start.
The first mitt used up 19 g of the yarn (50.54 m) before sewing in ends and trimming them off, leaving plenty in the ball for the second mitt.
Baby Silk is 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Silk.
The two mitts took 12g of yarn each (so less than half a ball for the pair) before darning in and trimming the ends.
Used 2.25 mm needle(s) for toe, heel and sole with 2.5 mm needle(s) for the top of the foot and the leg, i.e. 2.5 mm for cables and 2.25 mm for stockinette and the slip-stitch heel. I found that using 2.25 mm for the whole of the foot made the top of the foot too tight and pulled-in. This way the stretch of the cabled portions is similar to the rest of the sock.
Started toes, two socks at a time (so that I get the lengths of foot and leg the same on both socks) on an 80 cm circ (magic loop). Changed to a 2.25 mm 60 cm circ for the sole and a 2.5 mm 60 cm circ for the top of the foot (two circs), still two socks at a time. Knit the cabled legs of the socks using a 2.5 mm 80 cm circ (magic loop).
The added advantage of doing the cabled areas of the socks on 2.5 mm needles is that cabling without a cable needle is much easier on 2.5 mm needles than it is on 2.25 mm needles using this splitty yarn. I do not use a cable needle these days because I do not have one smaller than about 3 mm and also because I find it too fiddly to deal with a losable loose needle, which is also why I prefer circs to DPNs.
This yarn may have been cheap at my LYS but it is not holding up at all well to the prototyping process of knit, frog, knit, frog, reknit, frog, knit it again and so on. It is becoming thinner and more splitty the more times I frog and reknit. Hopefully I have finalised the design and techniques now and I will not need to keep performing those iterations!
It turns out that 2.75 mm needles are not large enough for the leg. Frogging again. I love this design but am having no end of trouble making them fit. Next time I will try 2.75 mm from the heel flap onwards and then 3mm needles from the start of the leg. Or something. Or give up for a while. Maybe until I have some mono-colour or tonal fingering/4ply-weight yarn more worthy of this design.
I am, not through choice, an almost stash-less knitter. The stash that I have consists of a few yarns that I bought in a charity shop a couple of years ago, some alpaca 4 ply (fingering) and light DK / sport-weight yarn that I bought at the iKnit Weekender a few years ago, a few single balls of various weights and scraps / left-overs.
There are a few reasons that I am all but stash-less:
- We do not have room for any more yarn or fabric. We do not have room for much in this flat. To be perfectly honest, we do not have room for the things that we own and I have had to get rid of a lot of things that I would rather keep due to them being memory-anchoring pieces (my memory is very broken due to the cognitive symptoms of multiple sclerosis and having memory anchors removed in this way is triggering to my PTSD).
- We cannot, financially, afford for me to buy yarn that I am not going to use straight away and that I did not buy with an imminently knitted project in mind. I also cannot justify paying for patterns unless they are to be used for a gift ir some other similar end-product.
- When I am between yarn purchases I tend to use up any scraps, left-overs and oddments by knitting some generic improvised pattern (my recent finished-all-bar-kitchenering-the-end-closed sock yarn scarf is one example).
- I am a designer and so tend to use any yarn that I happen to have bought in a sale of cheaply at my LYS but not used up as yet to prototype another new design. Note to self, though: prototyping with dirt-cheap 100% acrylic sock-weight yarn is counterproductive and frustrating because, after the first iteration of knit, frog and re-knit, the yarn will be very splitty, pilly fraying and thinner than it used to be. It would be more useful and less frustrating in the long run to buy one ball of more expensive wool yarn to prototype a new design while I develop it.
Being almost stash-less means that:
- I cannot easily start a new project or try out a new technique without buying yarn and I feel the need to have a project in mind with a visible end-product otherwise I feel guilty for “wasting” money on the yarn. Yes, I have issues and baggage. Sue me.
- I am always a little jealous of people with stash. I already (see: issues and baggage) struggle with feelings of “why not me?” and other bitterness and I really dislike this about myself but I seem to be unable to stop the first thought in my mind when seeing someone else’s good fortune being, “I wish I could have that!” and not, “That is lovely! I feel so glad for them!”
- I design much more slowly than I might with more stash. Then again, I am also very slow and self-defeating about writing up patters, getting them test-knit and releasing them for sale. The idea when I started designing in earnest was that I could use the revenue from sales to buy yarn, needles and notions. Having only one pattern for sale for £ in my Ravelry Store does not do much to achieve this goal, hence calling it “self-defeating”. I am my own worst critic and sabateur.
So, while I would love to have the endless cash and space that I would need to have an endless stash, I live my knitting life in a manner that resembles a hand-to-mouth low-income buying-food-to-eat-it existence. At least there is food on the table and a roof over my head, right?
Tue 20 Nov 2012:
All finished bar sewing up, buying buttons, sewing on buttons and blocking. 93g used so just less than 2 skeins.
I have 3 skeins which should be plenty. I get gauge (6 st per inch) with 4 mm needles. I am knitting from the Schoolhouse Press Pattern #5 Elizabeth Zimmermann’s A – B – C – SJ Adult, Baby & Child’s Surprise Jacket version of the pattern ($10 from the Schoolhouse Press website). Paper only, no download, sadly.
Knitting a combination/cross-over of this pattern (EZ as pi Headphone Covers by Jocelyn Blair) and Headset Ear Covers by Kathie Popadin with some modifications of my own. You know me, I can rarely stick to a pattern unless I am test-knitting!
Using a drawstring instead of a hair elastic (which is what I assume that Jocelyn means by “headband” – a headband is hat diameter to me which would be much to huge). The only hair elastics that I have are a lot larger in diameter than my headphones.
What I actually did (both of the above patterns are free and so I am including my notes here):
- Cast on 9 using Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-on. I then transferred the stitches to one circ (80cm) and used magic loop but you could use DPNs as well.
- Draw the cast-on tail tight and sew it through each of the 9 sts a couple of times. Leave on the inside and/or trim.
- Knit 1 round.
- Kfb all sts in round. (18 sts)
- Knit 3 rounds.
- Kfb all sts in round. (36 sts)
- Knit 6 rounds.
- Kfb all sts in round. (72 sts)
- Knit 3 rounds.
- K2tog all around. (36 sts)
- Knit 1 round.
- Cut a long tail and pass it through all sts using a darning needle.
- Fit the cover to one side of your headphones and draw the tail tight. Sew the tail into the inside of the cover.
- Repeat 1-13 for the second headphone cover.
Now I just need to cover the microphone boom end…