Monday, December 29, 2008

The first Knit-along

Alright everyone, now that I have finished my Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants (post forthcoming), I am ready and excited to do our first knit along. I have finally chosen the pattern I would like to do, it's another scarf, but one that I really think is cute.

You'll find the pattern in the January 09 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine (as well as some really great closet organizing ideas), so go out and grab yourself a copy. It's the only scarf featured, (go here for a similar scarf, I couldn't find the other one online yet) and it might be a challenge for those of you who have never knitted at all, and if you fall into that category and want to just knit a rectangular scarf, leave me a comment and I'll post a pattern or something.

I'm planning on making a few modifications because I want to use a thicker yarn and a more difficult stitch, and I'll post those as well later.

When you are choosing your yarn, I'd suggest getting it at a yarn store until you get used to what different yarns look and feel like, and as a beginner, always take your pattern with you so that the store people can help you choose the weight and amount of yarn you need.

So--get started! And take plenty of pictures so that I can post them here!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Knit-along Update

Hello fellow enthusiasts!

Thank you for bearing with me, I'm in the middle of a very messy move (ick), and I'm missing my knitting (among other things).

But I have not forgot about you all! So let's get this knit-along started.

First, I need to know a few things, what's your level? (Please answer the poll to the right)

Second, what do you want to knit?

Third, would you be willing to purchase a pattern, or do you want a freebie?

Please, leave your comments and I promise we'll get this thing underway! Also, if you find a pattern or a picture of something you want to do, email me the link or post it in the comments and I'll put it on the metaphoric table.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Knit along

Stay tuned all of you knitters, I'm working on a knit along...

Leave me a comment if you want me to do a crochet along instead, and of course we can always do both, but probably not at the same time--my hands might spasm.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants


Say Hello to my new project!

Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants, these are my blog readers.

Blog readers, this is Baby's Denim Drawstring Pants!

This is another fine knit found in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and it is done in Rowan Denim Yarn. This yarn is supposedly just like denim, fades and shrinks-- and just like denim-- the dye transfers on light surfaces (such as my skin and knitting needles).

















These little cuties are knitted in the round with double pointed needles. What is that you ask? Well, close your eyes and imagine knitting with four needles at the same time. Sounds like double the fun, right? Um... not so much... at first, anyway. This is my very first dpn (double pointed needles) knit (I'm growing as a knitter right before your very eyes!), and I felt like I was learning to knit for the first time. After a few rows though, I got the hang of it and my normal speed came back, and then, quite frankly, it was double the fun!

I've finished one leg as you can see in this picture, and already I'm regretting that I followed the pattern like a lemming--I'm not in love with the seed stitch cuff, and I'm thinking that a small rib cuff would have been a bit cuter (sometimes I think seed stitch looks hokey). Ah well, live and learn huh? I need to remember that I can make small changes like this.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Airy Scarf (finished)



My little in between project!

And my very first lace knit. I have to admit, it was a bit more challenging than I thought it would be because it turns out, mohair is a huge pain to knit with. I also had blunt end needles that would NOT pick up the stitches! I practically had to lift each one on by hand. Grr.

Anyway, a good introduction to lace for me. And it turns out that I really like it, I just have to be careful because I've snagged it three times already (actually I think one of those times was my cat because there were incriminating paw marks on the towel that I used for blocking).























Specs
Pattern: Airy Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Kid Seta by Madil (Kid mohair)
Needle size: 11 (not the recommended size)

Monday, November 3, 2008

For Jen (and other beginners)

Ok, first of all, I'm not sure of the correct terminology, but I'm thinking that a Knit or Crochet-along would be like a book club: one of us picks a pattern and we all do it together. Then, you send pictures of your finished product to me and I post them on my blog. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I'll go ahead and change my poll now that you know...

For those of you interested in becoming knitters, here's how I recommend you do so:

1. Get a book or two.
Here are some I recommend for beginning because they include a wealth of information and a few projects to get you started.

**Stitch and Bitch
I actually didn't use this book to get started, but I hear it is wonderful for beginners. My Husband's cousins got started this way and they are fabulous knitters, and they highly recommended this book to me.

**The Knitting Answer Book
This is the book that finally helped me understand how to do seams. Compact and easy to use and includes answers to every question I've ever had about knitting (so far)

**Vogue Knitting
Also a great reference. Includes great pictures of stitches and yarns and other tools among lots of great information.





2. Get someone who knows how to knit.
sometimes all the well meaning pictures in the world can't explain it as easily as having a human show you with real yarn and needles. You can find such a person at any yarn or craft store, but sometimes it is better to enlist a friend because a person at a store will most likely recommend that you take a class, which is fine, but not free. I, Myself will be moving to the Provo/Orem Utah area this month so if you live there I will be happy to help you get started.

3. Start with something simple like a scarf.
Scarves are a great way to get you used to knitting, they are forgiving, they almost always fit, and you will be able to wear it without too much hassle. Plus they are finished relatively quickly which is important in encouraging the beginning knitter.

So I hope that helps anyone that wants to join the wonderful world of knitting! As always, feel free to ask me questions via the comments or my email, and for heaven's sake, if you do get started, send in a picture and I'll post it up!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Just for the sake of Knitting


This weekend, I decided to peruse a couple of my knitting books to pick my next project, and after I decided on one (I'll post that later) and ordered my yarn from a yarn website, I came across a little lacy scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I know, I've already done nothing but scarves on this blog so far, but I just couldn't resist. It uses superfine kid mohair which I already had, and it looked like a quick knit so I decided to do it just to knit something. I would post a progress picture, but I'm really almost done.

So stay tuned, I will deliver shortly!

In the mean time, check out my poll to the right ---->

Friday, October 31, 2008

Good News

I'm working on getting a Christmas Giveaway together so stay tuned and tell all of your friends.

Any ideas or requests? 


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ruffle Cravat (finished)




I just finished this Ruffle Cravat found in my new favorite book One Skein (Skein= ball of yarn). Basically all of the projects in this book are designed to use one ball of yarn and work up really quickly. This Cravat lived up to it's promise, it was very quick to make, and really quite fun! In fact, I am thinking of making another.






It is Crocheted, and it took me a few tries to get in the groove of the pattern, I kept over thinking it. Crocheting is an interesting thing because it has the built-in possibility of looking homey and hippy-ish, but some projects are quite nice and if you use a quality yarn, you can get a quality garment (or whatever it is that you are making). The fun part about crocheting is that it is generally pretty fast. I ended up using a smaller sized hook because I did the first motif with the recommended size and it was as big as a pot holder! Yikes. I like the smaller more petite version.

Anyhow, what do you think?

Specs 
Pattern: Ruffle Cravat from One Skein by Leigh Radford
Yarn: 100% alpaca chunky weight (Lost the label, sorry)
Hook: size H (not recommended size)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pom Poms

I love love loooove pom poms. Unfortunately, they are a pain in the neck to make, and unless you have a pom pom maker, the best you will be able to make is a limp floppy pom pom. There's nothing more sad than a limp pom pom (and I mean nothing, not even our economy).

I've seen and used a few pom pom makers in my day, including this little Japanese gem, and until yesterday, I thought that this was the best in the world of pom pom makers. And truthfully, it's not too bad, but there is a bit of a learning curve and sometimes it is frustrating getting the pieces together. Also, when I snip the yarns, I always have this mini panic attack because the yarns could so easily slip out and become uneven (Gasp! Horror of horrors, right?)

Then, Yesterday, a bright big beautiful world of possibilities in the pom pom world opened up to me when I found the clover pom pom maker at my Micheal's craft store.

They aren't as compact as the Japanese ones, but boy are they functional! So easy to use, and when you snip the yarn, it stays in place thanks to the middle disk thingy. Also, because there is a central pin holding the two pieces together, there is a hole that you can string something through if you want before you fluff it up (otherwise, just fluff and the other yarns fill in the hole). They are a bit more expensive, but I think it's worth it.

Incidentally, this is a great thing to use with leftover yarn...

Okay, I'm off to adorn all of my daughters belongings with pom poms!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How Embarrassing!

In all of my excitement to post about my first finished blogged project, I forgot to list the stats.

So I have now added them to the bottom of my "finished" post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Baby Scarf/Hood with Pocket (finished)


It's done baby! Nothing feels better than finishing a project and liking the outcome! Overall, I am very pleased. There are some things I could have done better (see post below), but nothing too noticeable. So.... What do you think?

My lovely Model: Baby Axel.








As you can see, he has a bit of growing into it to do. And if you ever feel lukewarm about any of your projects, just drape it over a cute kid and you'll feel instantly better about it.









I included a few of my three year old Daughter modeling it so it shows more of what it is supposed to look like, and I guess that means that Axel will be able to use it for at least three if not more years!

Specs
Pattern: Scarf With Pocket from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: Cotton Ease by Lion Brand in Stone (body) and Charcoal (pocket inside) (not the recommended yarn)
Needles: size 7 straight (not the recommended needle size)

Seams

Seams. The ultimate test in patience. Whether you are sewing or knitting or crocheting, your seams will make or break your project. You'd think that knitting the same thing over and over will test your patience until you start seaming. I've ruined many a well knitted project with incorrect seaming (sad right?). Actually, it took me a while before I really understood how to do the mattress stitch, sometimes written instructions and pictures are hard for me to translate into doing, but I figured it out.

So I'm ok with the mattress stitch on a stockinette stitched edge, but how on earth do you sew the ends of an inside pocket to a ribbed scarf? Nowhere in my pattern or book did it tell me how to do this, neither in the other instruction book did it tell me. Result? A slightly stretched out seam on the bottom of my scarf. Grr. I hate that.

If you look at this picture you can see that the hem of the scarf is a bit stretched out. Also, it bothers me that you can see some of the darker yarn through the seam, and I suppose that it might have looked different if I used a lighter color, but I wanted the dark one to be inside the pocket.




On the wrong side of the scarf you can see that the first couple of stitches that I did (upper left corner of where the gray meets the charcoal) are incorrect, but at this point I had seamed and taken out the seam about three different times and when I figured out what I had done I was halfway down the pocket doing it the correct way and I just didn't feel like taking it out again. This is a no-no. I really should have taken it out, and now it will be a glaring reminder that it matters more to take it out than the time I spend re-doing it.

This last picture is my best seam, a mattress stitch sewing the two sides together to form the hood

Friday, October 3, 2008

Bear with me (please)

Hey everyone! I'm on vacation, please stay tuned for more crafty blogs, they are all waiting in my head to be posted....

Don't give up on me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bugged

Last night I was knitting my little baby scarf and I ran out of yarn. Normally that really bugs me, but since I was really dying to start a new project for which I already had yarn and a crochet hook, I looked at it like an opportunity. That is, until I double checked the hook size and realized the lady at the yarn store SOLD ME THE WRONG SIZE!!

There is nothing worse than getting all excited to begin a new project only to have all of the wind let out of your sails by some stupid mistake.

Another thing that really bugs me--

Corrections. This may be a bit anal of me, but I'd prefer that you iron out all of the kinks of your patterns BEFORE* you print and sell the book. Now, I have to double check each of my patterns on the internet before I begin them. GRR.

*ok, I know that they do this, but still I think more effort needs to be exercised.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby Scarf/Hood with Pocket

I picked this book up while I was in Utah a little while ago:
baby knits for beginners even though I don't know if I'll be able to do very many of them before my baby grows up. It's a great book that takes you from project to project developing your skill as you go, and I recommend it if you have a baby and are new to knitting.

My one issue with this book is that it doesn't have an illustration of the piece shapes along with the pattern. This is something that I appreciate because it acts like a map of sorts, and I am a very visual person. Oh well, what can you do?


So I decided to start with this baby scarf that has a pocket and is sewn into a hood at the fold. I am frequently drawn to simple lines and patterns because I like the look of them, but I later find out that they aren't very challenging, so I made a mental commitment to challenge myself after I finish this cute scarf. I almost didn't do the pocket because I wasn't sure my 4 month old baby would get much use out of it, but it did add a certain decorative affect that I thought would look nice, and I also appreciated the more mentally stimulating part of the pattern.

I used a different yarn then they recommend in the book, mainly because I was too impatient to wait for yarn to be shipped to me from ordering it online. I found a cotton/acrylic blend at Michaels that had a very nice suede like quality that I have been wanting to try. Normally, I have a difficult time getting myself to try yarns from a craft store, because they generally don't carry anything of quality, but I made an exception with this one because I thought it would give my scarf a nice "hand" and so far I think I am right. I'll go into the particulars of the brand and color of the yarn when I post the finished product.

As you can see from these pictures, this scarf is knitted in a rib knit which you are instructed to do until your brain turns to mush (another of the pitfalls of choosing a simple pattern) or you get 491/2 inches (why not just round it out to 50?), whichever comes first.




Here is the right side of the pocket, please excuse the poor quality of picture, I took these from my cell as I have misplaced my camera.
























This is the wrong side of the pocket that will later be sewn to the wrong side of the scarf.

So cute, right? I can't wait to see it on my little baby boy this winter!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome

Hey everyone!

I've created this blog to follow my craftiness. I will be posting about finished projects as well as possibly ideas and the process of being crafty.

There will be sewing, there will be jewelry making, there will be knitting, there will be crocheting, and there may even be some cooking (I'm not a chef as of yet, although I appreciate the works of those who are. If you want a better blog for that, check out my brother's wonderful wife's blog Project Domestication).

I intend to inform the reader (that's you!) about patterns, processes, and sources. We share on this blog, because that's what nice kids do.

Are you excited? I am.