That Time the Fingerless Mitts Went Awry

Do you remember last Wednesday when I told you about the pretty fingerless mitts I was making? I had one finished and had just cast on the second one.

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Well, yesterday I was close to finishing the second mitt when I lost at yarn chicken. I ran out of yarn before I finished the thumb or the top ribbing on the second mitt. IMG_20180129_161849_473.jpg

I was not pleased. I was tempted to tear them out and put the yarn away for another project. I thought about just adding gray to one of the mitts. I asked Instagram for advice. It was one of those situations where I knew what the right thing to do was, but I needed someone else to tell me. The overwhelming response on Instagram was to tear back the first mitt and make both match.

I hate tearing out knitting once it is bound off. I find it so persnickety to pick out the bind off stitches. I considered throwing this in the bottom of my knitting bag for a few weeks, but decided to just get it over with.

On Tuesday mornings I have a 30 minute chunk of time to knit in the morning. Audrey is at swim lessons and Elliot is in the Learn and Play center at the Y.  This morning as Audrey hopped in the pool I started the ribbing at the top of the second mitt. When that was done I had 10 minutes before class was over – just the right amount of time to get the cast off stitches undone and get the mitt on the needles.

I had just torn out the bind off and was ready to pick up all of the stitches when my calm, pool side project fell apart. Audrey said she had to go potty. I started to bundle up my knitting and carefully put the project with live stitches dangling in my project bag. It was then that I looked up as a screaming Elliot and a frazzled Learn and Play worker came into the pool area. At that point I gave up being careful and just shoved everything in my purse. Elliot was fine – he just hadn’t stopped screaming and crying in the half hour he had been in the center so they came to find me.

Luckily I had nap time knitting this afternoon. I was able to untangle the mess of live stitches and get them on to the needles. Once the stitches were on the needles it was a fast fix. IMG_20180130_172830_300.jpg

I love how they turned out. I think I like the gray tips even more than I liked the plain pink. I look forward to getting these to my friend. I hope she loves them as much as I do.

What have you knit that you needed to change on the fly? Were you happy with the results?

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WIP Wednesday 4/52

I’m back to knitting! Most of the last week was spent catching up on daily squares on my blanket. I was a week behind, so there was a lot of catch up knitting to do.

Once I was caught up I got down to business. I finished the gusset on John’s second sock last night. I’ll post pictures of them next week.

I actually picked up my cocoon cardigan this week! I’m done sewing in the ends, and I hope to pick up the bottom band and start knitting it this week. In addition to being mouse brown and acrylic it is also HUGE. I keep telling myself it will be cozy, but I still kind of hate it.

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So big there is lots of room for a hoodie under it.

I’m also making some fingerless mitts for a friend. It is nice to have a quick project. It would be a lot quicker if I would focus on making them instead of having so many active projects.20180123_212541.jpg

I might be overdoing the knitting, as my thumbs have started to bother me again. I’m going to slow down and work on other things (like, I don’t know, actually cleaning my house or something). I’m still going to knit, just not as much as I would like to.

Happy knitting!

Yarn Diet

For the past three years I have resolved to end the year with  less yarn than I started the year with. I did not do well with that resolution. I had all sorts of rules around it that allowed me to cheat. Yarn from fiber festivals didn’t count. Yarn from local producers didn’t count. Yarn for projects I had to cast on right that minute didn’t count. Yarn that was on sale didn’t count. It got out of hand.

Last year I bought way too much yarn. I know that it is too much because I have two new places that I store yarn. They are both places that make me a crazy yarn hoarder. I have a plastic bag that my pillow came in tucked away under my bed. I took the pillow out of the plastic and immediately filled it with yarn. That is a sign that I have a problem. The other new storage spot is my wine cabinet. At one point last year I pulled a bottle out of the cabinet to make room for yarn. That is a sign that I need to buy less yarn. It’s also a sign that I don’t drink as much wine as I did before I had kids.

Saying I’ll end the year with less yarn that I started with isn’t working. Even if it was working it would be deemed a success if I ended up with one skein less than I started with. I would still have too much yarn. I need to get my stash under control.

I could say that I’m not going to buy any yarn this year, but that will be a lie.

I needed to find a structured way to manage the reduction of my stash. While scrolling through Instagram earlier in the week I was inspired. I saw a picture of a chalkboard where someone was keeping track of the yarn she used as well as how much yarn she had earned. I regret that I don’t remember who posted it, and a search through my feed to find it again came up empty (if it was you, please let me know so I can give you proper credit).

I decided to borrow that idea for my own use. For every 500 g of yarn I use I can purchase 100 g. That will give me the ability to buy yarn occasionally while working through my stash. I put together a spreadsheet to keep track of my yarn. I can access it on my phone whenever I’m tempted with a skein of luscious yarn.

I’ve linked to the spreadsheet below. If you use it, please let me know. It should be easy to change the formula to meet your stash busting goals.

 

Yarn Diet Spreadsheet

Thumb Update

You may have noticed that my knitting progress has significantly decreased lately. I have mentioned a few times that I have been experiencing painful cracks in my thumbs that make it very difficult to knit. Since Thanksgiving I’ve been knitting with finger cots to help protect my thumbs. It didn’t help much.

The cracks have gotten significantly worse over the past few weeks. What used to be one crack at a time has increased to seven cracks at a time. It hurts a lot. I can’t do the things I love – like knitting or writing – without pain. I also can’t do things that are part of my everyday life without pain – like washing dishes, unlatching car seats, washing hands, laundry…..well you get the idea. It finally got to the point where I decided that I should go see the dermatologist.

I was able to get in quickly, which I am thankful for. I got a steroid shot and a prescription for a steroid ointment. That should heal my thumbs and protect me from more cracking. I can get another shot in a month if I need it.

My doctor said that I should notice improvement by Monday. I’m not planning on being able to knit until then. I am fidgetey without knitting. It doesn’t feel natural to let my hands be still. So the next few days are going to drag.

Once my thumbs are better projects are going to start flying off my needles. I can’t wait. I’m even going to teach my friend’s daughter to knit (I fear it will just be me taking the needles and saying “Just let me do it.”). I have big yarn dreams, and only a few days to wait until I can pursue them pain free.

I hope you are doing well and staying warm this winter!

 

 

WIP Wednesday: 2/52

Shall we discuss how little knitting I’ve accomplished this week? It is pathetic. We’ve all been sick, and my knitting has barely been touched. I even went over 24 hours without picking up the needles once. That hasn’t happened since Elliot was a newborn.

Because of my lack of knitting I don’t have much to update you on. I am working on the leg of John’s second sock. It hasn’t progressed enough to bother taking a picture of it.
The only think I really accomplished this week was blocking Kirsten’s hat. I love it. I would probably steal it and make her another one if the color worked for me at all. I am now dreaming about splurging on some soft gray yarn for myself. I have enough navy yarn in my stash to make one for myself, but that won’t stop me from daydreaming about a gray hat.

I hope to have all sorts of progress to share with you next week. Have a great one!