Monday Yarn Stash Motivation

Digging through your yarn stash is dangerous, especially when you’re tolerating enjoying never-ending garter stitch within a current WIP.

As Artson multiples like an out of control wool blob on my lap, the only thing keeping me going after seven solid days of knitting (650 yards down, 650 to go!) is some yarn lust.

When I was finalizing the design, I went digging through my extensive adequate yarn stash deciding whether or not to add some complimentary Malabrigo colors I had left over from a few projects I’ve completed over the years. Eventually, I decided to keep it simple and utilize my original palette.

However, I’ve reached the mid-point of a project where the knitting ADD starts to kick in and I’m yearning for another project to be on my needles and in between my hands. In true yarn obsessed fashion, I’ve placed a proverbial carrot directly in my field of vision in an effort to keep me focused on finishing Artson and moving to another project as soon as possible.

Here’s a peak at what’s keeping me going:

yarn stash MadelinetoshDK yarn stash Madelinetosh DK yarn stash MadelinetoshDK

 

Beautiful Madelinetosh DK I picked up at Vogue Knitting LIVE! last year from StevenBe’s booth.

While I’m enjoying catching up on some television while executing some mindless knitting, utilizing this inventory from my yarn stash will be my very first time creating a project with Madelinetosh. Let’s just say I’m actively drool testing the baby blanket.

It’s a good thing I’ll be wet blocking this blanket once it’s completed . . .

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.

Baby Blanket Bliss

I have been wanting to knit a log cabin blanket for a very long time, and I decided the baby blanket I would be making for baby Artson needed to fulfill this desire. As a knitter who spends most of his time knitting for others, I have to be inspired on some level. Selfish? Nah. It is in the best interest of the intended recipient. Why? If I’m not a just a smidgen selfish, the gift will never be completed. Inspiration is the fuel needed to complete anything – this is doubly true for 1,300 yards of garter stitch.

Rather than take to my computer to draw an illustration of the design, I decided to do things the old-fashioned way. Here is what I came up with after some consulting with Mr. Joseph:

baby blanket sketch
Knitter’s first sketch.

I wanted the design to be log-cabin inspired, but did not want the eye to be drawn to the starting point. To combat this, I designed the bottom half with one color scheme, flipped and mirrored it, and designed the top half with another color scheme.

Both sides of the baby blanket will be knit from the three squares to the halfway point of the center stripe – “C” above . From there, I will graft the live stitches together to create a seamless halfway point.

Here are some photos of the blanket itself. Since Wednesday, I’ve been able to get to square number six, which is 50% completed in this photo:

baby blanket
Five squares complete. Baby Blanket vs. Me.

IMG_1283-EditIMG_1266-Edit

I’m really loving the way the colors and pattern are coming together. It’s a very different baby blanket than the one I knit my nephew a few years bag. Begrudgingly, I’m going to credit it to the sketch and the gauge swatch. However, if you try to call me out on it in public, I will deny I ever admitted such a thing and claim this blog was hacked against my will. Portuguese = stubborn until the end.

I’ve been knitting since this morning and am involuntarily taking a break to clean this house. Even the cats are avoiding certain sections of this place – it’s become that neglected. I’m hoping to get through it as quickly – and thoroughly – as possible (is there such a thing as aerobic house cleaning?) so I can get back to my knitting and complete the first half of this baby blanket tonight.

It’s a cool 65 degrees on this overcast July day, and I’m taking it as a sign: I meant to sit on the couch with a cup of tea and knit until my fingers go numb. Knitters are the only people who relish in cool days like this in the Summer – it feels like a cool Fall day. I’m ready for sweater weather. Let the weekend knitting continue.

 

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.

Get Your Gauge Swatch On

I despise knitting a gauge swatch. Hate it. I just don’t do it. Swatching takes all the fun of out knitting. Period. Yup – I’m a knitting rebel. Knitting a gauge swatch is for complete newbs. Duh.

Logically, I’m aware of the benefits of knitting a gauge swatch; I’ll get the garment size, drape, and density I crave if I just knit a sample square, block it, and measure away. Change your needle size accordingly and you’ve got it. Guaranteed success.

To counteract this “suggestion”, I even convinced myself (and anyone who would listen without argument) I had a miraculous skill called “perfect gauge” at one point. I can copy any designers gauge – no problem.

I don’t swatch. I don’t check gauge. “No. Knitting. A. Gauge. Swatch. Ever.” should be on t-shirts and bumper stickers.

Except on Tuesday. On Tuesday, I swatched. On Tuesday, I measured gauge.

Now, before you judge me for flipping over to the square side, let me explain:

A few years ago I knit a baby blanket for my nephew, Quentin, with a pattern created from my inexperienced mind. I had just learned how to knit three months prior, and was excited to start on my first designing adventure. I cast on a random amount of stitches and knitted feverishly. My inspired brain thought it would be groundbreaking to make four separate squares and stitch them together (did I mention the only projects I had completed before this were scarves?).

I ended up with a baby blanket – which dimensions should hover around 36″ x 48″ – almost double the typical size: 60″ x 60″. I should’ve known something was wrong when I had to pick up skeins eight through ten. Ah, well.

Rather than editing the blanket, I gave it to my sister (around four months after my nephew was born – I’m also always on “time”). She giggled a little at its size, and graciously accepted the gift, pitying my novice pride in the final product. We laugh still on how it swallows my nephew, who sleeps on a twin bed.

Flash forward four years later, I refused to make the same mistake. Baby Arston will have a proper baby blanket, with proper baby blanket dimensions.

So, as much as I wanted to do dig into the scrumptious Malabrigo I purchased for this project, I grabbed some needles and I swatched. I measured. I drew out a design. I’m shocked. To dispell any rumors, here is the evidence I submit to you as proof:

knitting a gauge swatch
The Swatch
Swatch with friends.
Swatch with friends.
Swatch with friends and needles.
Swatch with friends and needles.

There. Proof. In five years, this is the first time I’ve starting a project by knitting a gauge swatch – and I’ll probably never do it again, unless it proves to be a vital component once the blanket has been completed. I know I’m being stubborn. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

 

About Hunter Liam

Hunter's grandmother had him making buttons and threading her sewing machine at the age of three. Ever since then, he's been obsessed with making things with his hands as a form of creative expression.Knitter, spinner, designer, writer, photographer, dancer . . . or just a creative soul with ADD.