2018 and the year-long knit-along

My blanket for the #21 Square of the Month KAL Afghan by Hannah Wallace

Knit-along Blanket

The yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice.*

My knit-along experience:
I enjoyed exploring many new knit stitch patterns this year. The knitted squares were joined using the flat single crochet method (a tutorial by ChemKnits). Since I made the blanket twice as big as the knit-along pattern, the blanket fits a queen size bed lengthwise but could be a little wider for a better side drape. I may add additional squares to increase the width or add more rounds to the single crochet edging.

The things I would do differently was to make sure I had all the yarn I needed before modifying the knit-along pattern and joining the knitted squares earlier rather than waiting for all of them to be completed. Knitting a square or two a month with yarn I already have is doable and great for exploring and learning many knit stitch patterns. At the end of the year there’s a completed blanket. This year was a year I learnt new stitch patterns, learnt a new joining method, tried different knitting and crocheting techniques, and took part in a year-long knit-along.

Thanks to all knitters and non knitters who read this blog.
Coffeeteaknits


*Click here to read about how this yarn supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Revisiting minimalism and the craft of knitting

My January 2016 blog post (Minimalism and the craft of knitting) was about my focus that year to knit as much as possible with the yarn I already had. Since then, I have completed several projects using the yarn I had and have also limited my yarn purchases. Still the amount of yarn I have left is not comfortable for me. So after more than two years of trying to practice minimalism in the craft of knitting, the time has come for me to let some of the yarn go.

I read a few knitting blogs on some yarn de-stashing tips and the KonMari method seems to be the one mentioned most. I will try to use this KonMari method but unlike this method I will do this gradually not in one or days. Since I didn’t get all the yarn in one day, discarding or donating most of it in one or two days doesn’t work for me. At the end of this process, I would like to keep yarn that I have specific projects for. One of my goals by the end of 2019 is to have all my yarn fit in two clear storage bins (not including project leftover yarn or yarn already in use).

My journey of letting go of yarn will include:

  • sorting the yarn (synthetic and natural fibers, project leftover yarn etc.) and donating some to knitting charity etc.
  • organizing yarn and making sure I have enough yarn for knitting patterns (including modified or personal patterns) before I begin new knitting projects – most of my limited yarn purchases this year was because I didn’t have enough yarn to complete the modified blanket pattern for the year-long knit along by Hannah Wallace.

I will repeat these steps a few times during 2019 till all my yarn fits in a couple of storage bins. I know all this sorting and organizing will eventually decrease clutter and reduce stress, but at the moment it seems to be taking my time away from actually knitting those unfinished projects.

Do you have any other helpful tips on de-stashing yarn?

It’s time to seam the knitted squares together

Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
October 2018 square: Stitch pattern for the square is different from the knit-along pattern.
Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®.
Project details on my Ravelry project page

Square for October 2018

All the squares for the year long knit-along have been completed and now it’s time to join them all together to make the blanket. As a knitter who prefers seamless knitting, I have to review and learn some of these seaming methods.

Some methods to join knitted squares include*:

  • I-cord knitted joins
  • Sewing (mattress stitch, back stitch etc.)
  • Crochet (slip stitch etc.)
  • Knit as you go joins
  • Some other oh so creative methods mentioned here by Mason Dixon Knitting

It’s time for me to seam the knitted squares together so that the blanket is finished by the end of this year.


* Tutorials for all these are available on YouTube

When a knitted hat is more than just another hat

Hat with Lion Brand® Yarn Heartland® yarn

Hat in Glacier Bay colorway

This hat was knitted to support Lion Brand’s #HatNotHate campaign to increase awareness of bullying and its impact on the community.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
September 2018 squares: Stitch pattern for both squares are different from the knit-along pattern.
Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®.
Project details on my Ravelry project page

Square 1 for September

Square 2 for September

 

When knitting is more about the craft

When knitting is more about the craft and less about the yarn, more knitting time can be spent exploring and learning the various knit and purl stitch patterns as well as enjoying the process and benefits of the versatile craft of knitting.
It has been so with me this year with the square a month year long blanket knit-along. Since I’ve modified the pattern so that the squares are twice the size of the squares in the knit along pattern and all squares have the same number of rows and stitches, I’ve spent much time exploring the different knit stitch patterns and selecting the ones that would fit with this modified pattern. Most of all I’ve been able to explore and enjoy the creative process involved in the making of this knitted item.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
August 2018 square: Stitch pattern for both squares are different from the knit-along pattern.
Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®
Project details on my Ravelry project page

August 2018 Square 1

August 2018 Square 2

How to avoid completing those lingering knitting projects

How to avoid completing those lingering knitting projects:

  • Cast on a couple of new knitting projects that may or may not become finished projects by the end of this year.

New knitting projects

  • Learn to Crochet by watching several tutorials on YouTube and then proceeding to cast on not one but two projects to practice the craft,

Single Crochet Dishcloths

Single Crochet Dishcloth 1

Single Crochet Dishcloth 2

then practice single crochet in a round circle,

Practicing single crochet in the round 1st attempt

Practicing single crochet in the round 2nd attempt

and then start another two single crochet blankets.

Crochet blankets

All the while that lingering unfinished knitting project quietly waits for the day it will become a finished project!

The lingering unfinished project


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue

July 2018 square: Stitch pattern for the square is different from the knit-along pattern.

Square for July

Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®
Project details on my Ravelry project page.

A summer to complete some lingering knitting projects

For me summer knitting is mostly for cooler and rainy days. This summer I would like to finish those lingering knitting projects. I finished a seamless top which I had started almost a year ago. This top was going to be a long sleeved pullover using the yarn I already had but when I started knitting the sleeves with the variegated yarn the stripes were much wider than the body. I did not like this banding pattern on the sleeves so I decided to make it a short sleeved top. See more on the  project here.

Seamless Top

Another project to complete this summer is this top down tunic that I started almost two years ago.

Do you have any long lingering knitting projects that need to be completed?

Keep cool and happy knitting this summer!


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue

June 2018 square: Stitch pattern for the square is different from the knit-along pattern.

Square for June 2018

Yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice®
Project details on my Ravelry project page