What’s on my Needles This Weekend

I had very good intentions about getting a post up last week but what I wanted to write about was not corresponding with what I had photos of and I had a lot going on last weekend so I took the week off.

I want to try something new with my monthly WIP post.  That is, I’m going to include a list of everything I’m actively knitting on (not that is sitting in the land of forgotten projects or that has been banished to the corner of the yarn room) and then I will  talk about one of the projects in more detail.  I can then double check my progress month to month because nothing seems to be leaving the land of forgotten projects!

So, projects currently getting my attention include: Little Purple Sailor Coat which is by Sublime Yarn and my Derecho by Laura Aylor.  The Derecho is my knit night project unless I have a deadline knit and it may get finished, some day.  I finished all my current deadline projects so found myself being able to chose whatever I wanted to work on this week so it was definitely nice.  I’ll talk more about the Sailor Coat, maybe next month because that’s a longer story.

The last thing on my needles is a newborn hat which I will be listing in my Frekol shop. This does not sound like the most exciting thing to talk about but I think there are a few notable points.

When I was first contacted by the folks at Frekol to open a shop my Etsy shop had been empty for quite some time.  I never got any traction with my Etsy shop and with all the changes I felt a shop my size was just getting lost in the shuffle.  I sold more things to friends or being contacted outside of Etsy.  Frekol is like Etsy but all the sellers are in the Cleveland, Ohio area so a bit smaller.  As I was thinking about reopening the store, I knit a couple of small Christmas ornaments which were little sweaters, stockings, etc. out of some sock yarn for gifts.  I loved knitting them, they used very little yarn and a light bulb went off – this is something I could knit and make a few dollars on.  I could also knit newborn hats which don’t take very much time or yarn either.  This would be a way to use up leftover sock yarn (I always have a lot because I have super tiny feet) and be able knit things I enjoy knitting, look good and had some built in profit.

It has also turned out that at my new job we have to take 1/2 hour break but we are also allowed to eat at our cubicles.  This means I eat as I work and then break for 1/2 hour and knit things to put in my store.  When I had my Etsy store, I never had time to specifically knit for the store so everything was listed as knit to order.  I was also doing much more complicated hats for babies and kids which still did not take much time (but definitely more time) or yarn.  These had a very low profit margin.  Now, I have products stocked and have time dedicated to knitting things just for the shop.  If I need to knit more it will only take a day or two instead of a week or two so I’m hoping these might start selling come fall when people are starting to think about Christmas.

When I was at the Great Lakes Fiber Show a couple of weeks ago I found some great yarn that is in the colors of the Cleveland Browns.  I’ve been focusing on finding yarns that are the colors of the local sports teams because we in Cleveland love our sports! (and if anyone knows where I can pick up some Cavs colored yarn let me know!!)  I could not wait to dive in.  I whipped up this little stocking ornament.  I then cast on a newborn hat and I love the way you can see the change in the striping based on the size of the object.

For my hats, I’ve been casting on 85 stitches on size 4 needles and knitting until it’s about 4 inches. I hate ribbing so I just knit and let the bottom edge roll up.  I then use the Knitulator found on the Eskimimi’s Makes blog to work my decreases.  This is a great (free) tool.  All you have to do is enter the number of stitches you have and then the number you want to decrease and it will work out the spacing so it’s even all the way around.  And, that’s it – hat done.  It’s great lunchtime knitting and it’s also good for meetings and waiting so I always have one in my bag now

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What’s on My Needles This Weekend

It’s hard this month to share much because it’s a lot of Christmas knitting but I feel that it’s a pretty safe bet that my brother does not read this blog so I can talk about the hat I’m knitting him.  When I was in Fort Worth in January and made the stop at Mad Tosh Crafts I found these kits for various Texas colleges that would knit up a scarf or hat.  They had TCU (Texas Christian University) kits (which made sense as the store is about 10 minutes from campus) so I picked one up.  Despite the fact that my brother was born and raised in the Midwest he has become southern quite fast so a nice warm cap would serve him well and he does work for the Athletic Department at TCU.  Now, if only I could knit a colorwork hat between January and Christmas!

According to my Ravelry page I started the hat in June and the first couple of inches knit up fine – standard ribbing and then I hit the problem section.

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The hat is knit flat, I’m sure due to the colorwork but as I continued to work I realized there was a huge issue with the chart. When it’s complete the white will spell out “Horned Frogs” which is the school’s team name.  As you can see the “g” is below the line so that’s what is in the picture and you need to start that and knit on it for a few rows before you find out if it matches with the rest of the words.  I should’ve realized it was a problem when my yarn was down at the “g” and I needed to start on the bottom of the “H” but I carried on and learned quickly that my letters were not matching up.  I counted, counted again, read the chart, double checked the written instructions and still got no where.  My next step was to turn to Ravelry.  The kit is put out Camas Creek Yarn and I found a group online and posted my question.  Basically, there were too many stitches and it did not tell you were to start the chart work.  I waited about a week and got no response.  I also sent a private message and not no response.  I finally tracked down an e-mail address on the website.

At first, I thought things were going to work out.  I finally got an e-mail response!!  She indicated she did not see an error on the pattern and offered to give me a call.  I responded with my phone number and some times I was available.  A week later she responded to my e-mail (after never calling) and explained the “g” dipped below the line (which I knew) and hoped that helped.  I gave up at that point.  Basically the pattern had you cast on 112 stitches and the chart for the colorwork was 74 stitches and there were no instructions on where to start the chart because obviously it needed to be centered.  I did the math myself and went on with my day.  The kit was really nice and the yarn was spot on for the colors of the school but I was disappointed with the lack of pattern support.

Once I finished the writing I decided to go ahead and join to knit the rest of the hat in the round.  I saw no point in continuing to work flat and having to purl back the long rows.  Plus, I was running low on yarn and needed to decrease the amount of the decrease rows to get it done.

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I used the Knitulator on Eskimimi’s site (you should check it out if you need to decrease or increase evenly across a row – it’s magic!) to figure out the decreases and just ignored the rest of the written pattern.  Good news is that it should be done before Christmas!!