Monthly Archives: December 2014


Knitting Christmas presents is a BAD idea

This is my first Christmas where I have been at a skill level where knitted presents were an option and at first I was totally pumped to knit EVERYONE something fantastic. Yeah…. No dice. My problems were multi-leveled.

  1. The huge disconnect between what I enjoy knitting and what people would appreciate receiving. I start projects based on what I feel like knitting, what techniques it uses, and how fun I think it will be to knit. The utility or likelihood of that item being used once finished plays a very small part in my choice of project, and this problem is magnified when it comes to giving items away as gifts. I may want to knit a cabled shawl with a hood but that doesn’t mean there is anyone I know who would appreciate and use that item.
  2. Starting too late. Things often take me longer to knit than I expect, and it has nothing to do with the speed at which I knit. I’m actually a pretty fast knitter. No, the problem is that I get sick of projects and am constantly switching between different projects with different techniques and different levels of difficulty. I may only work a total of six hours on a pair of socks, but those six hours may be spread out over a month.
  3. Crippling insecurity over whether what I knit is even good enough to give to anyone. I know that I love my projects, but I also see all the errors and mistakes and shortcuts. I’m fine giving myself imperfect things, but it seems really rude and jerkish to give others items I know not to be perfect.

 

#3 is my biggest problem at the moment. Right now I am working on a pair of mittens for my eldest sister. (I’m using the free pattern “Norwegian Mittens for Mimi” by Anna Mazzarella.)

Norwegian style mitten

Behold the embodiment of my insecurity

My sister is allergic to wool so I am making them out of acrylic, and in an unexplained attack of arrogance I decided that I should make a stranded pair of Norwegian-type mittens. Have I made mittens like that before? No. But CLEARLY the best time to try a brand new style is for a gift you need to finish on a set deadline. Honestly, what the hell was I thinking…

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What was i thinking!

So I started the first one and at first I was all “Hey! no problem!” but as I progressed through the mitten I became less and less happy with it. I finished it but it isn’t something I am proud of. I have some distortion due to some of my carries being too tight, and it just doesn’t look polished. Another problem is that I clearly (and very stupidly) made the cuff WAY too short, I think because I was impatient to start the stranded knitting. Yet ANOTHER problem is that I screwed up on the pattern on the inside of the mitten and it is all inconsistent and terrible looking. And I didn’t just screw up ONCE on the pattern, I screwed up TWICE! The bottom third is different than the middle third is different than the top third. Seriously. It looks awful.

 

So now I am stuck. Christmas is a week from today. I have enough time to do the other mitten (as long as I can eventually manage to make a left handed mitten) or I can bin these mittens altogether and just knit a basic (boring) pair of mittens for her OR I can just not give her a knitted item at all… I honestly don’t know what I am going to do, but time is running out. I’m also torn between trying to make the second mitten better, or making the second mitten with the same pattern screw ups so at least they match.

 


I hate left

I have tried four times to make a left hand version on this mitten. I cannot do it and it is infuriating. Seriously, who the hell can make a right handed mitten but not a left? This will be my third single right handed mitten that I have failed to make a mate for and the sense of failure I am experiencing is suffocating.

Today I hate knitting.


Gear shift knob cosy! Possibly my favourite project of the year!

20150316_165718Remember THIS post? Well, I wasn’t kidding. After I finished my Zig-a-zig Ahh socks and got them off the needles I started thinking about what to do for my car.

Behold the envy of all gear shift knobs!

Behold the envy of all gear shift knobs!

Last night I just went for it and did up a simple gear shift knob cosy. Super simple, super basic. Just used some scrap yarn (left over from this shawl) and it only took an hour or so.

The end result? MAGICAL! Holy hell, this is fantastic. One, I love how it looks. It pretties up my car tremendously. Two, I love how it feels. I love the feel of knit and having a knit gear shift is such a treat. Three, No freezing hand this morning! My gear shift sucked for either burning my hand in the summertime or freezing my hand in the wintertime. This has made it temperature neutral which is a relief.

 

The only not awesome part of this project is that it was an absolute beast to get on. I should have used a stretchier cast on because holy mercy it was a fight to get it to slide over. Once I got that part over it was smooth sailing though.

 

Up next…. head rest covers, maybe? We shall see. 🙂


Why don’t I own a proper yarn bowl?

A mixing bowl works as a yarn bowl... kinda...

A mixing bowl works as a yarn bowl… kinda…

I, an avid knitter, do not own a yarn bowl. Sometimes I use one of our mixing bowls to hold the yarn while I work but in general I just have the yarn on the couch beside me which is not ideal for many reasons. I decided today that a yarn bowl is really something I want. There are some decisions to be made though, or so it seems. Size, handle or no handle, lid thingy… The major one is apparently whether I want the yarn to come through a slot or through a hole. Personally I have no idea why you would ever choose the hole variety. What if you want to bring your project with you?? Because you flossed your yarn through the hole in your yarn bowl your entire project is essentially tethered to it. The only way you can separate your project from the bowl at that point would be to either finish the project or to cut the yarn. So a big fat “No” to the yarn bowls where the yarn is trapped in a hole. I also need to decide how big of a bowl I want since apparently they come in different sizes.

So now I’m actually looking for one to buy I am overwhelmed by the amazing options out there! A lot are just the standard bowls which can be nice and timeless, and then of course there are the ones that look like a cat and the yarn coming out of its mouth like some weird wooly vomit… but then I found this one….

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Look at this! Just look at it! Tell me this isn’t gorgeous! The creator (by CHPottery on Etsy) has other similarly gorgeous yarn bowls using the same Raku technique, which gives it the amazing colours. I just can’t handle how gorgeous this yarn bowl is. Plus, I really like how loopy the slot is. I feel like it would do a good job keeping the yarn and not having it slip out of the slot.

You know what I really want? I want a tiered yarn bowl. I do enough colourwork that more often than not I have multiple balls of yarn on the go in each project. Having a series of stacked yarn bowls would be an absolute dream and so far I haven’t found one online that would serve that purpose.


Time to get my knit together in my car I think…

While looking for patterns for a knitted teacosy for my sister I came across a “cosy” category for cars. Well, obviously I had to check it out because what I was picturing was a gigantic teacosy type thing to go around your entire car. I appreciate that wasn’t a terrible logical assumption for me to make.

 

Gear Stick Sock by imawale imawale

Obviously it wasn’t enormous car cosies (which was slightly disappointing), but what I did find was some brilliant items. Stuff like this Gear Shift Sock. This is a hugely brilliant idea for me. I drive stickshift and my god does that knob get extremely burny hot in the summer and extremely burny cold in the winter. A sock over it would solve everything!! Plus, pretty knitting!

 

Pimp your car by Florentine

I also saw Pimp your car which is to replace the material surrounding your gear shift. I don’t mind my black fabric around my gear shift but hey, if I can make it pretty knit why the hell wouldn’t I?!

In the process of getting all excited about these two items I also started thinking about knitting head rest covers as well, which I also think is brilliant. Or seatbelt sleeve things so that it doesn’t uncomfortably cut in to my neck. What a fantastic way to use up leftover yarn, amirite?! I also saw some patterns for steering wheel covers (like this) which I like in theory but I would worry about them being slippy and therefore a safety hazard.

The ability to knitify my car is making me crazy excited. I mean, seriously, why didn’t I think of this earlier?! I am 1000% doing this. It makes me wonder about other things I could/should be knitifying that I haven’t thought of yet.