Posted in Completed Projects

FOs: Socks, Hat, and a Blanket

It’s Friday which means it’s time to share some FO’s! I have a few of them to share since I didn’t blog much last month.

I finally have a picture of the socks I finished early March. The pattern was fairly easy, but did involve some shifting around of stitches for part of the leg. Aside from that it was a fairly quick knit when I actually worked on it and wasn’t distracted with other projects! haha 😉

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

Pattern: Cadence Socks (Ravelry link) by verybusymonkey (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 1, 2012
Completed: March 5, 2012
Yarn: Ogle Design Fiber Arts in Ruby, 1 skein
Needle: US 1 Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: Followed the pattern exactly as written. Great free pattern! I think I’ll be knitting these again sometime so I have a pair of my own since these are a gift.

The 4th SSK KAL started in early March. I had just finished spinning Unwind Yarn Company Handdyed Moorit Shetland in the Midsummer Night’s Dream colorway. Since Unwind Yarn Company is also an SSK vendor, I decided I wanted to use the yarn I’d spun for the KAL. I had spun 126 yards of aran weight yarn (Navajo plied). One of the patterns for the KAL was the Robin’s Egg Blue hat, which I thought would be perfect for my handspun – right weight yarn and I thought the Shetland would make a good outerwear item. It knit up really quickly, but took me a few days to find a button, order it, receive it, then sew it on. I’m really happy with the finished hat and can’t wait to get some use out of it next winter.

Brown Egg Hat
Brown Egg Hat

Pattern: Robin’s Egg Blue Hat (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 9, 2012
Completed: March 12, 2012
Yarn: Unwind Yarn Company Handdyed Moorit Shetland in the Midsummer Night’s Dream colorway
Needle: US 10.5 Clover circular and DPNs
Notes: Added 1 inch to the “body” of the hat before doing the decreases to give it enough length to cover my ears well. I also sewed down the little button flap. Pattern didn’t call for this, but I thought it bug me if it weren’t secured. Seems more sturdy to me with it completely sewn down and I think it wears a little better (flap near where the button is sewn on doesn’t flare). The button came from Etsy from a shop called AskCheese.

My final FO from March is the Munchkin Blanket. This is a gift to a friend who has a baby on the way. I went with fun colors for this blanket and absolutely love how it turned out. If I were to knit it again, I’d likely choose a yarn that comes in smaller skeins so I don’t have so much leftover yarn. The construction of this blanket was great. Kept me interested and didn’t feel like a slog to get through. I spent last week working on this project. It went from one triangle and the start of the second, to a finished blanket!

Munchkin Blanket (front full)
Munchkin Blanket

Pattern: Munchkin Blanket by Amy Swenson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 11, 2012
Completed: March 31, 2012
Yarn: Cascade 220 – 1.25 skeins in 1911 (blue), 1.35 skeins in 802 (green), 1.35 skeins in 1969 (purple), and 1.25 skeins in 821 (yellow)
Needle: US 8 ChiaoGoo Red Lace circular
Notes: Pattern instructions could have been more clear and next time I would take out that first WS row completely, but aside from that, I would knit it again. Actually thinking of knitting 4 and sewing them together to create a big blanket, then knit a border around the 4 squares. See on my project page for more detailed notes.

Munchkin Blanket (Folded)
Munchkin Blanket – Mmmm squishy garter stitch!

What have you finished up recently or hoping to get finished soon? Looking at finished items from others often gives me inspiration to focus on one particular thing I’m working on and finish it up. Many other times it makes me want to queue and cast on more things! haha 😛

Have a good weekend everyone!

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Finishing Things, Starting Things

December has arrived and so has the cold weather! Not so bad of a thing when you’re a knitter, though. Been getting out the scarves and mittens to keep me warm this week. Since my last post, I’ve finished two things.

First thing I finished was the Mystery KAL hat from Woolly Wormhead. Didn’t take long since I was so close to being done. I made this my Thanksgiving Day knitting since it took less concentration then the baby sweater I was working on.

Limpetiole (Brim)
Limpetiole

Pattern: Limpetiole aka Woolly Wormhead Mystery KAL Hat B (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 1, 2010
Completed: November 25, 2010
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in color 81, one skein
Needles: US 6 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: No mods, followed pattern as written. Well written pattern that makes a lovely hat.

Limpetiole (Top)
Limpetiole

Here’s the thing about hats/berets and me: I don’t really wear them. I don’t know why I keep insisting on knitting yet another hat I end up feeling like I look stupid in. Might be time to either quit it or knit them with an intended recipient in mind. For now I’ll stash this in the “maybe I’ll give this away” pile (which isn’t really as big as my saying this might make it out to be).

The second FO I have to share is something I’m very happy to have done. I swear this felt like it took a lot longer then it did! At least it is done, I’m happy with how it turned out, it will be given to the person who requested I knit it early next week since it is currently drying, and I can get back to the other projects that I put on hold so I could work on this.

Trellis
Trellis

Pattern: Trellis (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 22, 2010
Completed: December 6, 2010
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK in brown, 2.5 skiens
Needles: US 6 bamboo straight needles
Notes: I found this pattern to be a bit fiddly and complicated for a baby sweater. Definitely not for someone who doesn’t like seaming. This sweater felt like it too a lot longer then 2 weeks to knit… I swear it felt like it took a month. I’m sure it didn’t help that I was kind of over the excitement of a new project (I’d never knit a baby sweater prior to this) shortly after starting! Mostly knit as written. I did change how the collar was worked. I worked it as a knit on boarder rather then having to knit it and sew it down. For right side collar: on right side row, work in seed stitch to 1 stitch from end, slip last stitch, pick up one stitch from edge, work as ssk. Work wrong side row in pattern. Repeat until the border is at the middle back of the neck. For left side collar: on wrong side row, work in seed stitch to 1 stitch from end, slip last stitch, pick up one stitch from edge, work as ssk. Work right side row in pattern. Repeat until the border is at the middle back of the neck.

Trellis
Trellis

As soon as I had the last button sewn on Trellis, I started a new stripy sock. I received this not too long ago and couldn’t wait to start a sock with it. The yarn is Perfect Day Yarns self-striping in the “Shew Woos Me” colorway. The picture below doesn’t do it justice, since I took it with my iPhone, but it’s really beautiful and I’m really enjoying knitting with this yarn. My stash definitely needs more of Sarah’s yarns! 😀

PDY Stripey Sock
Perfect Day Yarns Stripey Sock

I’m still working on my Opposites Attract Mystery Socks. Close to being done with both! Finished up clue 3 and now working on the last clue. Currently trying to figure out what to work on finishing up after those are done, but right now just enjoying knitting on the OA and Stripey socks.

Now it’s off to the gym with Matt to get our butts kicked by our personal trainer. It’s been about a month since our last appointment, so I have a feeling I’m going to be sore tomorrow! In a good way, of course. 😉

Posted in Completed Projects

Commission Knitting and Two FO’s

Where has November gone? I swear this month was just starting last week! I can’t say this month has been particularly busy, but I haven’t been taking pictures nearly enough to make regular posts now that it’s dark when I leave for work and dark by the time I arrive home. Definitely need a better light set up for the winter months.

A few days after I posted last, I was asked to knit some baby things for someone I work with. Booties, a hat, and a sweater. This put all my current knitting on hold since I found out shortly after starting that there was a sort-of deadline of ASAP because the recipient would likely be home for Thanksgiving to receive these items. (Turns out they won’t be and likely won’t be gifted until late December.) Patterns were decided on, yarn was purchased that weekend, and off I went.

Warning… I go off a bit on a rant here about commission knitting.

Normally I don’t do commissions. The biggest reason is that people really don’t understand the work, time, effort and skill that goes into knitting and greatly devalue it. The thinking is generally that “it can’t possibly take that much time or be worth that much.” I know every knitter/crocheter/crafter out there understands and gets this! Sadly, those that don’t make things by hand don’t always understand this. I’m not really sure I ever will take on a commission again, but I’ve at least learned a few things from it.

I thought that the person who asked for these items appreciated the work that went into them since we’d had discussions at length about how long knit items take, how much work goes into them, and the real cost of labor and yarn. I didn’t set a price up front because I wasn’t sure how long any of it would take considering the last time I made a pair of booties and a baby hat was over 6 years ago when I first learned to knit and the last time I knit a baby sweater was…. never. I wasn’t sure on yarn cost, either. Big mistake. It was a comment about how much she owed me for the hat and booties that made me realize that what I thought she understood about the time and work and cost that truly goes into a knit item wasn’t understood at all.

The comment was something about $6 for the booties, which was said while I was saying that we’d discuss price when I finish the sweater. Needless to say my jaw dropped at that, but I kept my cool and didn’t say anything about it. The yarn alone cost $8, plus another $5.99 for the pattern I had to purchase. At least the hat and sweater pattern are free, but she insisted on this particular bootie pattern. I didn’t use all of the yarn and could still use leftovers for some other project (no idea what since I don’t knit baby things often), but that doesn’t even begin to cover the time spent making them or the supplies. Took me a week of after work knitting time to finish the two booties (6-8 hours) and a day and a half of weekend knitting time to do the hat (4-5 hours). That doesn’t even count the time I spent making a bootie that ended up the wrong size and helped me figure out a way to not knit it flat and have that ugly seem in the back. Even if I estimate the lowest amount of time since I didn’t time myself, 6 hours at minimum wage (in Ohio that’s currently $7.30), that’s $43.80 and that’s JUST for the booties, not even counting supplies. I wouldn’t feel comfortable charging her that “real” amount at minimum wage. Alternately, you can figure it by yardage used – somewhere between $0.15 and $0.30 per yard, depending on difficulty of the pattern. Based on that, it would be $21 for the booties since I used approximately 140 yards. Not sure what will happen at this point or what I’ll charge.

Lesson learned, courtesy of this experience and wise words from Leslie: always decide on a cost before purchasing yarn or starting anything and if it’s something large, it’s a good idea to get a 50% deposit up front.

Anyhow… the booties and hat are done, which means I have two FO’s to share!

Moc-a-Soc (Front
Baby Moc-a-Soc

Pattern: Baby Moc-a-Soc (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 14, 2010
Completed: November 20, 2010
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK in brown, approx. 92 yards, and Plymouth Dreambaby 4ply in off white, approx. 48 yards
Needles: US 1.5 (2.50 mm) for the brown bootie part and US 1 (2.25 mm) for the off white sock part
Notes: I made changes to the pattern because I didn’t like the seam in the back or the fact that where they split in the front, there was knits on one side and purls on the other. Shoe: Starting flat, I knit the garter stitch portion as written through row 15. On row 16, I joined in the round and knit one round (instead of purling). On odd rows 17, 19, 21 and 23, knit as written. On even rows 18, 20, 22, and 24, knit (instead of purling since you are working in the round). Cuff: Starting where you joined (where the seam would be): k1, “p2, k2” repeat from ” to 1 stitch before the end of the round, k1. Repeat for 2 more rounds. This is where you split the center. K1, “p2, k2” repeat from ” 4 times more, k1. 20 stitches have been worked. Turn. Keep in ribbing pattern for 5 more rows. Knit 3 rows. BO all 40 stitches. Seam the bottom of the shoe. Since the sock is worked after seaming, I did not change that portion.

Moc-a-Soc (Heel)
Baby Moc-a-Soc – No seam on the back!

Baby Hat
Baby Hat

Pattern: DROPS Hat in “Extra Fine Merino” (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 20, 2010
Completed: November 21, 2010
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK in light blue, approx. 74 yards
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm) for the brim and US 4 (3.5 mm) for the hat
Notes: Heavily modified version of the hat. Used smaller weight yarn and needles. Left out the purl row after finishing the brim. Used the 18.5″ size to get a 16″ hat with the gauge difference. DROPS patterns aren’t my favorite since they don’t always seem very organized or specific (doesn’t tell you what kind of decrease to use, says things like “decrease evenly” etc), but for free patterns, they aren’t too bad to follow if you know what you’re doing.

Baby Hat (Top)
Baby Hat – Top

I started the sweater yesterday, but I don’t have any progress photos of it yet. Most of my other projects have been put on hold for these projects and some have even been frogged. I’ll update on those next time! 🙂