ALACAZAM! We have reached the end of the Heliopath Knit-Along road. Can you believe it? I have to say I am way impressed with everyone’s epic knitter-wizard skills. Seriously, talk about some effing talented crafters – I have never been so motivated and inspired by a group of knitters in my life!
So I’ll briefly breakdown my ‘finish’ of the Heliopath and then we can talk about the good stuff – THE PRIZES.
For the armholes, I had to keep trying my vest on – I know we still had to block, but I typically get nervous leaving the entire ‘fit’ up to blocking. I ended up knitting past the recommended 6″3/4 mark to almost 8″ and then did the three needle cast off for each side. Now instead of using DPNs and knitting the ribbing I chose to go totally out of order here and block now. Why did I do this? Well, for starters I was convinced this thing was not going to fit right. I know blocking can be a miracle-worker, but I spend the last two weeks in a wee-bit of a panic about if I had just spent ~$85 and over a month on something that will fit one of my petite friends not me. I even dropped an extra stitch under the arm because I was FREAKING OUT. Seriously, I kept stretching it (even considering the pattern ‘give’ measurements) and just getting more and more and more worried. Especially once I had opened up almost every stitch it was very worrisome and I ended up making the last minute decision to open up and extra stitch under the arm. Anyways, I digress… blocking before ribbing. Why else did I want to do this? Well I honestly wanted to crochet every finish on and i wanted it to not be ‘too tight’ or ‘too loose’ when it was all said and done. Plus, let’s be honest I can never just follow the damn pattern 100%. There I said it. So here it is.
So for the PRIZES! There is so much and we plan on picking the winners over the next few days as we make sure to tally and include everyone who participated. I will be sending messages out to the ones on Ravelry and Instagram who participated to confirm their entry. There is so much to win!
Well, I am a few day behind on this post – PLEASE FORGIVE ME! But I was using my time to actually knit the Heliopath Vest versus talking about it here. It’s hard to believe in a few short weeks we will have a new garment to wear! I’m right on track with 10 inches of the cable pattern knitted up – about 5-6 inches to go for me though. I have to admit it is taking much longer than I had imagined it would. I find it takes me anywhere from 2-3 hours to knit the 16 rows of pattern now that I no longer need the pattern reference. Overall, it is exciting to see it get bigger and bigger, but I don’t think I have ever done as many cables as I have on this – like ever. Honestly, I was thinking about it and of all my cables combined – the Heliopath blows them all out of the water. But the pattern is gorgeous and I’m really hoping once this part is finished, the arm shaping will really give it that amazing wow factor! Also I have been soooo impressed with all our KAL crew and their progress/projects. All the colors and beautiful work is so inspiring. I just am so happy so many great knitters have decided to join in!
Fellow Heliopath knitters! Let’s all take a deep breath in….. and out…..
Well the simple ribbing is done and now it’s time for the big guns. THE CABLED PATTERN.
It’s funny because within the pattern there is very cute comment about how if she were knitting this, Luna would have made mistakes, thus the adorable drop stitches. I seriously know from being a Potter fan and Luna supporter that home girl would not have gotten past the first swatching for this bad-boy – Nargles and this pattern would be ridiculous. I digress. I’m really excited to actually begin the work on the cabled pattern now that I got over my emo-swatching issues. The most important part of this is the set up. I chose to knit the second size vest and therefore have 151 stitches on my needles. Based on the pattern and ‘borders’ on the button front of the vest, I will knit three (3) ‘side by side’ pattern pieces and due to my extra long torso of steel I will knit either 5 or 6 of the 16 row pattern. My gauge was spot-on for the swatching, but depending on how this piece looks and where it rests on my hips I will make that call when I get there.
For the next two weeks we will be knee deep in this pattern – then comes the exciting dropping stitches and decreasing parts!
Ya! Week two already in the Heliopath KAL with @socalmeaghan over at the Unapologetic Knitter and things are finally getting set to start the pattern with prep done! I have to say I had a tough first week on this considering it is something I’ve been looking forward to knitting for a long long time. I had a gnarly cold that made knitting just not happen for several nights (gotta love those 12 hour sleep sessions). Then anytime I did pick up my needles to knit the cable/lace swatch I would just flub it. EVERY DAMN TIME. Without doubt, on the third or fourth rows I would get all confused and biff it. I ended up casting on, restarting, and ripping it out more than half a dozen times easy. Finally I realized that I was just not gonna be able to follow the chart as it was written in the pattern. This happens to me sometimes, I have to work it out before the pattern ‘makes sense.’ Once I get it though, it’s easy as pie. So I just did what I had to do and re-wrote the pattern without a ‘key’ and just in straight “K”, “P”, “K2”, “P2”, “YO” – this made it so I could just go through it. I’m sure watching Bones Brigade and then 80’s Skate Videos the entire time while trying to do this did not help for my concentration, but hey! that’s my style. Now I can look at either chart and knit it with ease, but DANG that knitter’s block and the fumbles really had me shook for a minute.
I know this craft is hard. It’s easy to forget the days of struggling with the basics, especially for some of us knitters that are more advanced and are able to often work on advanced patterns. This pattern is not difficult, but sometimes you just have to look at it in a different light. I think any knitter can agree with that. Sometimes you really do have to just take a deep breath, put the needles down, step back, and re-evaluate. Especially if you have invested so much in fiber and the pattern itself. The simple mistakes are what ruin a project. The accidental drops, the inverted rows, reading a WS/RS backwards. We all make mistakes and most often our projects are not entirely 100% mistake-free, but understanding to step back and look at it in a different way is what makes us stronger as knitters and crafters. I’m happy I struggled so hard with this swatch, because now the basic pattern is pretty worked in my head. The frustration finally lead to the break through of understanding the idea and the set-up. Don’t ask me why I made it so hard for myself, maybe it was the cold, maybe it was because I’m on a time-line with it, or maybe it was my major lifelong crush on Tony Hawk, but by golly I figured it out.
Moving forward this week we will just cast on for the ribbing and knit that. Not too bad and the perfect little mental rest before the cable/lace pattern picks up. Overall, this pattern is great so far. I love that it’s one large piece and knitting all those swatches really put the process and understanding of the drop stitch during the BO/decrease into perspective for me.
Where there struggles for anyone KAL? How did the gauging/swatching go?
The shop itself was super nice, cozy, and bright. All the good measures of a fantastic knit shop. The selection and breadth of fiber was also top-notch. I discovered several new brands that were just lovely and their knitted patterns from Ravelry were very original and cool. I get tired of seeing the same scarves and ‘trendy’ stitches. Plus the lovely lady who was working was the perfect amount of friendly. She checked in on me and then let me do my thing, but was available and ready for questions. Unlike a few Chicago knit shops that you have to try to steal yarn in to get a second glance. *Chicago yarn store rant*
Well the time has come my friends! A while back I shared with you this adorable Heliopath Vest from the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits book and me and a superb fellow knit-wizard SocalMeaghan over at The Unapologetic Knitter are hosting a KAL!
Here are the BRIEF details.
1. The start date is March 1st.
2. We will have 6 stopping/check points along the way over 6 weeks. (Scroll down for exact details)
3. There is a Ravelry page as well as our webpages to share information, tips/tricks, or ask questions.
4. There WILL BE A PRIZE!
Okay now let’s expand on those brief details. The calendar for the KAL is six weeks. That means that by Easter you will have a gorgeous new vest!
March 1 (Sat): Knit swatch and measure gauge.
March 7: Cast on and work 2″ of rib (per pattern)
March 14: Begin working Cable and Lace Chart for 7″
March 21: Continue working Cable and Lace Chart for 7″ more (to the split for the armholes
March 28: Shape Armholes and neck.
April 5: Finishing and armbands and buttonhole row
Here is pattern information. I bought the digital one and I suggest you do that too – message me here in the comments or email me if you are having any questions or issues about the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits 2013 pattern book.
In terms of what yarn to use, you can follow the pattern suggestions of course. Meg and myself will be using the lovely Ewe Ewe yarns! If you haven’t heard the buzz about Ewe Ewe then please do yourself a favor and head to her website or IG (eweeweyarns) to be marveled and awed.
Finally, and the part you wanna know…. THE PRIZE! Well we decided to award one lucky knit-alonger with a skein of Black Market Wool!
Anyways! If you have questions about the KAL or want to join please feel free! I have the info on the side bar to the right and you can play along with us on Ravelry and Instagram!