Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Knit In Progress: Rainbow Hue Shift

Do you ever encounter a pattern or project that once you see it or think about it, you just want to make it, but you don't? But you keep thinking about it for days, weeks, months, and maybe even years? Yet there's always something that holds you back from creating it? Yeah, I have a few of those. One of them used to be the Hue Shift Afghan.

For years I had admired this gorgeous afghan but always held back on casting one on. I had fears about seaming. I had fears that I wouldn't have the attention span to finish the pattern. Most of all, I had fears about weaving in all.those.ends. Actually, I still do. I used all these reasons for why I shouldn't cast on this pattern. But that didn't stop me from thinking about it and from time to time going to the pattern page on Ravelry to stare longingly at it.

Then, last October Knit Picks decided to do a week of giving in preparation for holiday knitting (I think) and gifting. That week they picked a specific pattern daily and gave them away for free for a 24-hour period. One of those patterns just happened to be the Hue Shift Afghan. Sweet! But once again I put the idea of knitting up the afghan to the back of my mind. Remember, I had all those fears.

Fast forward 9-10 months, I'm enjoying some adult beverages with a couple of knitterly friends. One of them just happens to be knitting away on a gorgeous, squishy, rainbow-y piece. I looked closer and had to audibly gasp out loud. She was knitting the Hue Shift Afghan!! She told me that yes, there are a ton of ends to weave in but actually, the pattern is incredibly easy peasy, it's mainly about picking up stitches for the individual squares, and there are only about three seams to sew up. I can handle three seams, right? Meh, I'll think about that when I get to that point. As soon as I got home, I ordered the yarn to make my own Hue Shift. It was now or never. Besides, I was able to knit up my Missoni-inspired blanket (which I still need to blog about) in a good amount of time without losing steam. I'm sure it'll be the same for this blanket...

After I got a few WIPs off the needles (re: a pair of socks...hey, I didn't specify exactly how many WIPs I needed to complete), I finally cast on the pattern I have been eyeing for years. Ahhh...it felt good. Real good.

Although, there are a few things that I should have done before I had cast on. Like, read the pattern thoroughly (oh please, I know I'm not the only one who has done this from time to time!). Or to look for all the helpful hints and tricks on Ravelry from the other knitters who have knit this pattern. Had I done all that I would have found out that practically every knitter ran out of yarn before they finished their blanket or that others had reduced the number of stitches to prevent running out of yarn and therefore ended up with a smaller blanket. I would have also found out that I would be needing a specific colour for five consecutive squares and that I should just carry the working yarn up as I knit. Oh, and that I should be nice to my future self by making my edges neater and easier to pick up stitches on when it comes time to add a new square.

Instead, on my first square, I left my edges bumpy and broke the working yarn. Oh, Melissa...oh, honey...you really need to learn to read a pattern first and not just assume you know what you're doing! I'm far too lazy to rip out an entire square, and besides, it's the very first square and it'll be hidden away in a corner. So I left it as is. But I re-attached the yarn by doing a Fisherman's Knot for knitters and hope that I didn't use too much excess yarn. But hey, it's one less end to weave in. On the second square, I slipped the last stitch of every row purl-wise with the yarn in front. This was a total game changer and made picking up stitches SO much easier.

Did I mention that I like to live stupidly dangerously? I decided that since I'm a tight knitter I'll knit the afghan using the original stitch count called for in the pattern and will hope for the best. Ok, not the best game plan, I'll admit. But I'm hoping that by being stingy and carrying up yarns as much as I possibly can, maybe I can make it to the end without running out of yarn. Wish me luck!! This will be quite the epic game of yarn chicken, ever.

So, at the time of writing this post, I'm currently twenty squares in. Out of a hundred. I had this grand knitting goal of knitting a square a day so that I can get this completed by Christmas. HA! I haven't even been doing that since the day one! When I first cast on I was working on the afghan exclusively, those stripes and watching the stitches decrease rapidly makes for quite an addicting knit! I even timed myself to see just how long it takes me to knit a square (a little over 30 minutes, in case you were wondering...I know, could I be any more of a knit nerd?). I haven't forgotten about my other WIPs and so the new game plan is to alternate projects daily, which means I work on the afghan every second day. Although with that said, I do try to sneak in a stripe here and there on days that I'm dedicated to knitting on something else as a way of somehow making a teeny, tiny dent that is this afghan.

I find this pattern super easy to knit and to memorize, however, I do refer to the colour chart often to make sure that I'm using the right colour combo where I should be...since I do have a tendency to get lost in my own thoughts quite often. Once you get the first strip knitted up, you can pretty much see and make an accurate guess as to which colour comes next, otherwise, the knitting is quite mindless. I find that the regular switching of colours for each square makes me want to keep knitting, just so that I can see what the next colour combo looks like with the rest of the quadrant. Also, seeing the section getting bigger with each square finished makes me see progress and feel accomplished and so I get that knitterly high you get when you finish a project, even though I'm not finished the project just yet. Only a square. Little steps, I tell myself. Little steps.

Speaking of little steps, I should see if I can sneak in a row or two before I have to run errands in a bit. 'Til next time, cheers!!

Happy knitting!! ♥

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