Saturday, October 22, 2011

Peer Pressure...not just for teenagers

I confess there was a yarn transgression last night...

Our LYS, Creative Fibers in Windsor, CT, was having a "Booth in a Store" party last night, as they are not going to be a Stitches East this year. It was a fun time! There was food, raffles, knitting and crocheting, community, and yes...much yarn purchasing.

My original idea was to spend around $100 (probably a lot less) on some yarn for a baby blanket for yet another pregnant coworker--I'm convinced there is SOMETHING in the water at my workplace. Anyway, I didn't see the Encore colors I was looking for, but just then one of my friends saw a sweater displayed. I confess, I've been looking at the same sweater for months. It's make out of Misti Alpaca Chunky Yarn - very simple, but elegant. 

Before I could say "I'm on a budget!" my friend was summoning someone over to find us the pattern, which turned out to be the Bulky Neckdown Pullover for Women by Knitting Pure and Simple. I kept protesting that I really shouldn't spend this kind of money on a sweater for myself, but one of my friends suggested I try on the display sweater. I looked in the mirror and had to admit it looked good on me. Also, bulky alpaca will probably be just the ticket for surviving yet another winter in ill-heated spaces.

So...I ended up buying the yarn and the pattern. I don't really regret it, as I DID need another easy project as a take-along project, and it WILL make a nice sweater...

Who says peer pressure is only for teens???

Friday, October 7, 2011

Helpful Hint #20: Simple projects don’t necessarily require a pattern

I had a spiritual awakening the other day.

Once again, we have a coworker who is showing every sign of having a little bun in the oven. I’d love to knit her a baby blanket, but in keeping with my earlier post, I really want to make a very SIMPLE baby blanket this time around. I stumbled upon a blanket online that completely meets my needs–Stockinette Stitch with a Seed Stitch border. It looks like one can just either knit two worsted weight strands together or use a bulky yarn. It’s just PERFECT.

I remembered that I had this pattern in a booklet at home, but after scouring my entire book and pattern collection (this took a while); I came to the conclusion that I must have either tossed it out with the recycling or accidentally given it away with all my old knitting and crocheting magazines. I contemplating spending more $$$ to buy another one…but then I had my spiritual awakening. Wait for it…wait for it…


The way I figure it, I usually knit 2.75 per inch in Stockinette Stitch for worsted weight yarn, using Size 13 needles, and 2.75 x 30 = 82.5. Therefore, I’ll need to cast on 82 stitches for a baby blanket that’s 30 inches wide. Actually, to account for the differing Seed Stitch gauge, I will just cast on 8 less stitches (74), do 10 rows of Seed Stitch, and then add the 8 stitches evenly across the row when I get to the Stockinette section with 5 Seed Stitches on either side. I’ll keep going until I get to around 38–39 inches, then decrease 8 stitches evenly across the row before I do another 10 rows of Seed Stitch. DONE.

As far as colors go, I may go crazy and buy more yarn, or I may just take yarn I already have and mix and match for stripes.

There. I just saved myself money on a booklet that I’m probably going to find again someday when cleaning…