Year of Projects, Year 2: New Year, New List

After reviewing my progress in last week’s post, I decided to revise my list for the last half of the Year of Projects.  This may not seem as ambitious as my original list, but for right now it works for me.

I’ve been purposely vague about the exact numbers of projects, etc. because I would like to keep my Year of Projects participation fun and not obligatory!

So without further ado, here’s my new list.

1) Continue to reduce my yarn stash and track my yarn consumption.  I’m an active member of the Surmount the Stash group on Ravelry, but I’m always looking for new ways of tracking my yardage.  I started using KnitMeter yesterday, and I think this will be quite helpful.  I’ve already learned a lot from entering the projects I completed (and didn’t unravel) in 2012!

My goal is to have one less plastic bin of yarn by the end of 2013, so I guess I should be about halfway there by the end of the Year of Projects.  I have no idea what that represents in yardage!

2) Make more projects for myself.  I never seem to focus enough on projects for myself.  I’d like to make myself a pair of crocheted socks and a full winter accessories set (hat, scarf/cowl, and mittens or convertible gloves).  If I could do this by the end of June, I’d be pretty pleased with myself.

3) Learn at least one (hopefully more) new (to me) knitting technique or skill.  Some options I’ve been thinking about are entrelac, efficient use of DPNs (the horror!), circular knitting that starts with a small amount of stitches and increases rather than a large amount of stitches and decreases (like some of the great motifs from Knitting in Circles), and more advanced cast on, bind off, or colorwork methods.

4) Host at least 2 CALs or KALs in my Ravelry group.  I had a lot of fun with the Ripple Mania CAL last year and the Chubby Sheep CAL going on now in the Underground Crafter group.  I’d like to be more organized about how I approach these, though.  Maybe I might even write up a mystery project for a fall CAL…?

5) Donate crocheted (or knitted) projects to charity.  Crochetlist is a Yahoo group that I’ve been involved with on and off for years.  I’ll be hosting the September challenge this year (pet blankets for Bideawee again), and I’d like to donate my own projects to at least one of the other challenges.

Some possible projects are

  • Cotton washcloths and hand towels (a great way to use up some cotton stash) due at the end of April for Mothers and Infants Striving for Success (MISS Inc.), a shelter for women and children.
  • 6″ squares (and I think we all know that I love to make grannies) for Casting Off the Cold  by the beginning of June.  But I’m not sure about the cost of shipping to Canada…

I could also participate in a charity drive through the New York City Crochet Guild or to send some 8″ squares to Sandy for Bridge and Beyond.  And I’m actually hoping to find a charity that accepts crocheted toys.  I know that I can look charities up on Bev’s Charity Links or Lion Brand’s Charity Connection, but if anyone has a suggestion of a US based charity that accepts crocheted toys that don’t need to be made in any particular colors, please let me know!


Right now, this list seems incredibly ambitious since I have two samples due next Friday, another one due at the end of the month, and I’ve just volunteered to help out Crochet Happy with her January CAL.  But I’m sure once February arrives, I’ll be amazed at the small size of my list.  I can always add more things to it if need be!

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

Knit & Crochet Design Week, Day 3: Take measurements

(This post is part of my series for Knit and Crochet Design Week 2012.)

Designing a Simple Knit Beanie: Day 3

Today’s Design Week theme is yarn.  Since I already selected my yarn on Day 1, I’m focusing on measurements today.

When I’m making a project for myself, I usually take my own measurements.  But what about if the project is going to be a gift – or worse yet, a surprise gift – or a charity project?

There are many internet resources I use for measurements.  For hat sizing, these are my favorites.

  • Woolly Wormhead developed this table (as well as a more detailed PDF download) based on her survey.
  • Tot Toppers came up with this table after conducting a survey last year.  The Tot Toppers table has more detailed sizing for children and also includes information about other parts of the head, so it is extra helpful if you’d like your hat to include earflaps or other design features that move down further on the face.
  • Bev’s Country Cottage has many sizing charts for charity projects, including hats.  Bev’s sizing is more general and less detailed, so if you tend to get overwhelmed by numbers, it is the best place to start.  (Also, Bev’s chart includes more preemie sizes.)

Since I don’t know exactly who this project is for, I decided to make it large enough to fit me comfortably.  I took measurements of my own head using a tape measure, and the circumference (around the part where I’d like the hat to rest) was 22 inches.

Most crochet and knitting hat designs include negative ease.  (If you are unfamiliar with the concept of ease, TECHKnitting has a thorough explanation in this blog post.)

Yesterday, I decided to use the Sandstorm stitch pattern for my hat.

Sandstorm swatch.

My swatch measured 4.5 inches across.  I’d like the circumference of my hat to measure about 21 inches.  Why?  Well, I’d like a bit of negative ease, but not too much.  This stitch pattern isn’t the stretchiest, and it seems that many people are leaning towards hats that are slouchier, rather than snugger fitting, these days.

By doing a little math, I figured out how many stitches to cast on in order to make my hat circumference about 21 inches.

(Desired size)/(Gauge swatch width) = (Number of repeats) —–> 21/4.5 = 4.67

(Number of repeats) x (# of stitches in swatch) = (Approximate number of stitches to cast on or chain) —–> 4.67 x 30 = 140.1

Don’t forget to check the approximate number of stitches against the number of stitches in the original stitch pattern.  My stitch pattern uses a multiple of 12 stitches, plus 6.  So I could either cast on 138 (12 x 11, + 6) or 150 (12 x 12, +6) stitches.  I decided to go with 138 stitches, which is much closer to my target measurement of 21 inches.  (As one of my students said to me in my crochet class last week, “You like math, don’t you?”)

Tomorrow, I will get started on writing out my pattern.


To read other Day 3 posts from Knit and Crochet Design Week, visit FreshStitches.