A finished project, a (crochet!) work-in-progress, and a knitting experiment for preemies
Hello and welcome to What I’m Knitting Wednesday! Although today it should probably be called “What I’m creating with yarn Wednesday” because to be honest… well, I’ve actually been doing a whole lot of crochet lately.
(I know, I know…)
Materials Used for These Projects
Most of the yarn you’ll see in these projects are from the Vault of the Unknown Yarns —i.e., they were donated and the labels have long since dropped into the trash. However, there are a few exceptions, which you’ll see below.
Some of the following links are affiliate links; for more information, see my Disclosure Policy.
- Rainbow Ziggy Lapghan
Assorted colored yarns
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Gray Heather
Needles: Knit Picks Options Nickel-Plated Circular Needles, size 15, 60” cable
- Granny Squares
Assorted colored yarns
Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Natural Heather
- Octopus for a Preemie Experiment
I Love This Cotton in Denims and Copper Spice
Needles: addi Turbo Lace Circular 40-inch Knitting Needle, Size 3
Finished Object: Rainbow Ziggy Lapghan
I finished my rainbow afghan in Michigan, where I traveled last month with my family to visit my in-laws. When I left Oklahoma, the temperature was in the 70s; we arrived in freezing temperatures and slushy snow in Michigan.
It was the perfect environment to knit (and finish) a blanket! (If not the perfect Spring Break environment.)
My younger daughter already wants it. Perhaps I’ll even give it to her eventually…
I also finished the mitered squares I was knitting for a prayer shawl/afghan for my church knitting group. I don’t have a photo yet, but I’ll definitely post it once it’s all been sewn together.
Work in Progress: Granny Squares
As I mentioned, my younger daughter loves my rainbow afghan so much she wants it for herself.
When she first said this, I thought, “Well… maybe I’ll finally dig out those granny squares I started crocheting ages ago, finish those up, and take that blanket for myself, and give Elena my blanket.”
But I hit a snag.
I can’t find those granny squares anywhere!
I’ve looked throughout every single knitting space in my house, and for the life of me I cannot figure out where those squares escaped to.
I’m rather upset about this. I don’t know how many squares I had, but I feel like I had at least enough for half an afghan. And now they’re gone.
Out of frustration more than anything, a few days after I realized my granny squares had gone missing, I began to crochet more squares. This time I made them a little larger — 4 rounds rather than three. I’m also making the 4th round the same color for all the squares, just to give a little more uniformity to a potential blanket.
I started these making squares last week, and I’ve already crocheted 10 of them! I had forgotten how addictive the little suckers are.
Work in Progress: an Octo Knitting Experiment
A few weeks ago I shared a preemie charity with you all called Octopus for a Preemie. When I first learned about the charity, the U.S. branch had a knitting pattern. Right about the time I published my article about it, however, they had pulled the pattern. The problem? The knitting pattern wasn’t conforming to hospital standards.
I know several readers — who, like me, are far more confident at knitting than crocheting — were disappointed.
Knitters in the group are in the process of developing a new knitting pattern. However, I couldn’t help wondering if I myself might be able to figure out a way to knit an octopus to standards.
So what if I’m not a knitting designer?
(I sure hope I don’t end up eating these words… )
I thought I had downloaded the knitting pattern from the group (before it was pulled), but I hadn’t. So I visited Ravelry, hoping I could at least find an octopus pattern from which I could start.
I found two.
The second one made the head far too round. The only reason I’ve hung onto it was its tentacles. I want to be able to knit those curly-q tentacles, and this pattern promises one technique for doing so.
I started to follow the first pattern instead before I realized it was a flat pattern that required seaming. Perhaps that would work, but given that the preemie octo crochet pattern is crocheted in the round, I thought it wise to stick with circular knitting.
So I decided to use this pattern as more of a guide.
I tried a “toe-up” cast-on (the kind you’d use for socks) so I wouldn’t have to worry about closing the top. I used the Turkish cast-on, which thanks to my research for this article I’ve been reintroduced to.
Then I increased 4 stitches per round, every other round.
In my first attempt at a preemie octo, I used size 5 circular needles. But right away, I saw several holes, or “gaps” as I prefer to call them. (Gaps are a big no-no in the octo standards.) So I decided to switch to size 4 needles.
However… on further examination, I realized the size 4 needles produced too many gaps as well.
I decided to start over entirely with another skein of I Love This Cotton yarn, this time using size 3 needles. Yes, size 3! Size 3 needles and ILTC yarn do not exactly play nicely together. But I thought it would develop a nice thick fabric that no Dum Dum stick would stand a chance of entering.
So far, it seems to be working!
Now I must warn you that using a size 3 yarn for heavy DK weight yarn is not exactly easy. It can be hard on the hands. But if this actually works, it’ll be worth the effort.
(Also, I highly recommend addi Turbo Lace needles for this project. They have extremely pointy tips — so pointy they’re almost dangerous, honestly — and that makes knitting such tight stitches much easier!)
Stay tuned! I would love to have this be a success… if it is, you’ll all be among the first to know!
Thanks for joining me today. Now it’s your turn: What’s on your needles? (Or, on your hook — crocheters are always welcome here!) Have you conducted anything like my octo preemie experimented recently? Or ever?