Howdy, knitters! Welcome back to another edition of the Knitting Daddy blog. If you’re a return visitor, I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying your visits so much to keep coming back. If this is your first time visiting, I’m so glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy what you read here. You might want to start by reading my knitting origin story. After that, poke around and read the things that look interesting to you. As always, please feel free to leave comments and/or contact me using the contact info at the bottom of this post.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve updated the blog, and I apologize for my absence. I had some health issues pop up last week that knocked me out of commission for a few days. I’m back on the mend now, though. I even managed to get a little knitting done!
This week, I’m going to share the story of the first (and only (so far!)) sweater I knitted. It’s for Blueberry, and was quite an adventure. Before we get to that, though, let’s take a look at the things that have been happening in my knitting life the past couple of weeks.
These Past Two Weeks In Podcasts
I’m a little behind on my podcasts again — since I took several days off work last week, I lost valuable commuting time that I use to listen to podcasts. I did listen to episodes of Lost Geek Podcast, Knitmore Girls (2 episodes!), Curious Handmade, Knotty Girls KnitCast, Knit Circus, and Knitting Pipeline. As always, good stuff all around.
In Lost Geek Podcast Episode 33 (Sakura, Alpen Snow, and Challenge! KAL), Arlin talks about her recent trip to Japan. It sounds like she had a great time! She also talked a little about the Mastering The Knits podcast she’s following as she works through the Knitting Masters Program.
In Knitmore Girls Episode 280 (Colonel… Sanders?), Jasmin talks about finishing her Hitchhiker shawl. They also talk about yarn chicken, a fun sport we all play. In Episode 281 (Big skeins), Jasmin and Gigi review a couple of books about knitting animal hats. They sound absolutely delightful.
In Curious Handmade 26 (Warning! This episode may contain temptation), Helen made me want to visit London to enjoy all of the crafty and foodie things she described. She also introduced me again on the podcast since I introduced myself on the CH Ravelry board. It’s humbling to hear someone else talk about my knitting origin story.
In Knotty Girls KnitCast Episode 25 (RELEASE THE KRAKEN! (OR JEN TAKES A CONTROVERSIAL STANCE)), Jen and Laura have a fascinating geek culture discussion about theatrical costuming.
In Knit Circus 45, Amy and Jaala talk about the joys of warm-weather knitting.
In Knitting Pipeline 170 (Elizabeth Zimmerman and I-Cord), Paula talks about the many versatile uses of i-cord. Paula was also kind enough to read my comment about her Kindness of Knitters Blanket.
These Two Weeks On My Needles
Almost all of the knitting I’ve done the past two weeks have been on a Milo for Blueberry. I’m planning on writing about it more next week, but here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite.
Recently In Ravelry
In my last post, I mentioned that I recently won a skein of yarn. It arrived, and it’s wonderful!
This is Staple Sock by January Yarns in the Artifact colorway. I originally thought I’d knit a toy out of it, but I’m really starting to lean toward knitting a pair of sock for myself with it now. It’s a rich brown, with hints of reddish brown in it. I absolutely love it. Thank you, Dr. Kelly from Ewe University for hosting the contest I won. And thank you, Sarah from January Yarns, for the wonderful prize!
The 4-Year (Maybe?) 18-Month Sweater
When I started knitting, most of my projects were small. I knitted a handful of hats for Blueberry. It wasn’t too long after I started knitting that I wanted to do a larger project. I had bought a few pattern books from the local craft store and one of the sweaters cried out to me: Princess of Hearts by Deborah Newton. It was the cover pattern from Heirloom Baby Knits.
I started by looking for the yarn called for in the pattern. I checked several yarn stores and couldn’t find the yarn. So then I started considering substituting the yarn. Experienced knitters might already begin to see where this is about to go wrong. I was still a very new knitter (I’d been knitting less than a year) and really didn’t know everything I should be taking into consideration when working out how to substitute the yarn.
The nice lady at the yarn store was very helpful. She looked at the pattern with me and we found a nice substitution they had in stock. We pulled out a calculator and did some math. We compared how much yarn was in the yarn called for in the pattern, and how much was on each skein of the yarn in the store. We did some more math. Finally, we decided how much yarn I’d need and I made my purchase.
I didn’t swatch.
OK, experienced knitters definitely see where this story is going wrong. I was a new knitter. I didn’t think that swatching was really that important. I was ready to get going! So I just started knitting, using the instructions that would knit up an 18-month version of the sweater.
I started to think that something was wrong when I realized I was going to run out of yarn before I ran out of sweater. The math we did at the store indicated that there would be at least a half a skein of yarn left over when I was done, and here I am playing yarn chicken. With an entire sleeve.
I went back to the yarn store to see if they had any more yarn left. They didn’t. I poked around on Ravelry to find people who might have the same yarn and sent them messages asking if they’d be willing to trade or sell the yarn with me. No one responded. I started looking at online stores. I finally found an online store (WEBS, they’re awesome!) that had the yarn in stock. They even had the same dye lot! I was thrilled, and was able to finish the sweater. It looked great.
Once the sweater was off the needles, there was some assembly required — the sleeves needed to be sewn in. It was fun to learn how to do that, and it came out very well. Once it was all assembled, I put it on Blueberry to see how it looked.
The sleeves (that were supposed to be 3/4 length) completely engulfed her arms. The bottom of the sweater was dragging the floor. It was way too big. There was no way she’d be wearing it anytime soon.
Every couple of months, I take the sweater out and put it on Blueberry to see if it fits yet. It doesn’t. I’m kinda guessing that she might be able to wear it when she’s about 4 (she’s about 2 now). All things considered, as knitting disasters go, this one isn’t too bad: I was able to get all of the yarn in the same colorway to finish the sweater, and I’d rather have a too big sweater that Blueberry can grow into instead of a too small sweater that she can’t wear.
From now on, I swatch. And when I do knitting math, I do it at least twice.
Maybe she can wear it for Easter next year. Or the year after.
Have you been bitten by yarn substitution math? Or by ignoring to swatch? It’s OK, we all have. Share your stories in the comments and let us know how you handled it.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!