Monday, December 04, 2006

It's been a busy month. I feel like I am finally making nice, even stitches and my work is presentable! I guess that is an accomplishment. I have been working on a blanket for my daughter-- it is a series of squares, four squares each in 6 different stitches. I began on the garter stitch, then did the seed stitch and the moss stitch. Now I am doing the dash stitch squares. I will probably go back and re-do the garter stitch squares, as they are a mess! Those were the first things I ever knitted and "finished", and the stitches aren't pretty, there are holes, etc. I will use those four squares as my trial and error squares. Once all 24 squares are done, I have to join them all and then do a border around the whole thing. So I will use the four messy squares as my practice squares for doing the joining.

Otherwise, I am also working on a baby blanket for my godson. I'm using Plymouth's Dream Baby yarn-- it is so soft! I'm doing two yarn colors at once on big needles, and I have made up my own pattern-- I cast on 140, and did seed stitch for 20 rows, then a 16 stitch seed-stitch border on the beginning and end of each row, garter stitch in between. It is looking really good. I am pleased with it so far!

I did a "magic ball" scarf, using the magic ball yarn by Be Sweet. That was a lot of fun-- the material changes every few feet and it made a really neat looking scarf. That was also my first experience with increasing and it went well. I think I may give the scarf to my mother-in-law.. we'll see.

I'm also making a scarf for my brother for Christmas. A quick piece-- it's a super bulky wool, and I'm just ribbing it. It also looks good. I'll post some pictures soon!

Degree Programs Online
Degree Programs Online

Monday, November 06, 2006

It's the little things!

Degree Programs Online
Degree Programs Online

I feel like the cartoon lightbulb went off over my head this weekend! I went to my favorite yarn store on Friday and wandered around for a little while, oogling and touching all of the beautiful yarns. I ended up back in the book section and I bought a book called "Knit Fix". It looked like it would be good, and I needed to get past my ignorance of fixing. Up until now, I have either lived with little mistakes or started all over. Well, I was working on seed stitch for a blanket this weekend. Somewhere around the 20th row, I got things messed up. I really didn't want to start all over again, so I pulled out the book. I found a section on "Unknitting" or "Tinking". I figured I might as well give it a try-- after all, my alternative was to start all over again anyway! I really didn't think I would be successful, as I never can tell what those diagrams are trying to indicate to me. I have a really hard time figuring out what the two dimensional picture is telling me to do! But somehow it worked!!! I got back to the exact spot where I made the mistake, and it was so amazing to simply start knitting and purling again and have it come out okay w/o having to start anew! WOW. Like I said-- it was quite a revelation to me! It really is the little things that make me happy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Moving right along!

I have been working on a blanket for our daughter. She is a blanket freak. She is 3, and while she isn't exactly Linus from the Peanuts comics, carrying a blanket everywhere, she does love to snuggle with one, and won't sleep, nap, read a book or watch tv without one! I found a cute pattern that involves a series of squares. There are four squares each in six different stitches. I am on the last of the four garter stitch squares. I realize that many would find doing four garter stitch squares incredibly boring. But I have really enjoyed it, and mostly because I can see progress in my knitting. You can definitely see a difference from the first square to this one... the stitches are more even, there aren't as many flubs, it generally looks better. One of these days I will figure out how to repair some of my mistakes. But for now, I'm happy just seeing fewer of them! Hopefully my daughter won't be too concerned with them either!

Once this one is done, I'll move on to the one I posted previously, from

I have also been thoroughly enjoying participating in some of the dishcloth KAL's. Those are almost instant gratification-- just my style!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Up and running

I have now finished 2 dishcloths. The first one was supposed to be a Thanksgiving theme, with a horn of plenty and the word "thanks" above the horn. I would like to focus on the positive. Let's just say that my finished product had nice, neat borders. :-) The rest was a mess. My first effort at following a pattern didn't yield such great results. There was no horn. There were no thanks. It was a jumbled up mess of knots inside the pretty border... no rhyme or reason to the interior. Oh well. I was still thrilled to have completed something. And I managed to teach myself how to bind off, and it is now a finished piece.

Hot on the heels of that (my mumble jumble piece), I wanted to try to do a piece that could be deciphered. I picked another dishcloth, this one with a snowflake. I finished it pretty quickly, and, while not perfect, it is discernable! My 8 year old son looked at it and said "it's a snowflake"! Wow! Progress! He also asked if he could have it! How could I refuse?!

I will post pictures of these pieces soon. I need to take pics and upload them. In the meantime, I have found something that I am positively aching to make. It seems to be pretty straigtforward-- just knit a row then purl a row all the way through. I should be able to handle that, right? I fear the many changes in color though. Can I do it? hmmmmmm.... we'll see! I can't seem to post a picture of the blanket, so here is a link:

Off I go... more later

Friday, October 06, 2006

Oy vey

Well. I decided to finally take the plunge and stop practicing and work on a pattern. I am a member of a great Yahoo group, and so I decided to try out the new KAL (knit along) that was posted for the group. It is a dishtowel. Should be simple enough, right? Or not. It seems that I was inadvertently adding a stitch onto some rows by putting my yarn in the wrong place at the beginning of the row. So instead of the yarn coming from behind for a knit stitch, somehow or another it came from the front (ie, user error) and created an extra stitch in the process. How? I have NO clue. That is the hard part of knitting so far for me--- not understanding the whys and hows-- and therefore, not knowing how to fix my mistakes. I got about 10 rows in and realized I had more stitches than I was supposed to. So I was following the pattern, and finishing what it said to do for each row, but having loops left on my left needle still. So, for the umpteenth time, I scrapped my work. I plan to re-attack it this weekend. I am bound and determined to actually FINISH something!!! Wish me luck. I'll post pictures as soon as I succeed!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

one step forward...

I am really trying to get the hang of knitting. More specifically, I am trying to get the hang of LIKING what I knit!!! I have this problem. I cast on, I start knitting, I get a bunch of rows done, and I look at my work and think "god, what an ugly mess!". Then I take the yarn off the needles, cut it off of the skein, and start over again. Now I realize that just "practicing" I am not setting out to make anything in particular. But I feel like I am never going to get to the point where I make something at this rate!

I bought a book off of Amazon this morning. It is called "Stich n' Bitch". It is supposed to be a great resource for learning, complete with patterns for various levels. We'll see!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Learning to knot (I mean knit)

This knitting thing will be great... if I ever get the hang of it!!! I have actually been having a lot of fun with it since my first lesson on Saturday. Of course that fun has been accompanied by a little frustration! I spent about 3 hours at my teacher's house. She taught me to cast on, to knit, and to purl. I really thought I had the hang of all 3. I had done rows and rows of both knitting and purling. Then my teacher had me start doing k2, p2. It was all great. Then I went home. Somehow, between her house and mine (and playing with the kids for a while and going to the store!), when I sat down and pulled out the needles on Saturday night, I couldn't remember anything! Did the yarn go in front or behind for knit? And for purl-- am I supposed to wrap the yarn clockwise or counterclockwise? Oh no. In the end, I managed to get things so knotted up that I couldn't move the stiches at all. I tried to fix it and, in the process, pulled half of my work off one needle. I decided it was time to call that piece FINISHED.

No problem, I thought- it would give me a chance to cast-on again, and see how well I could do this! Oops. But I forgot how to cast on. Pulled out an instruction guide, but it showed a different method than my teacher taught me. I wanted to get that method down pat before learning other ways to cast on. After spending some time on the trusty internet, I discovered that the method I had learned was called the "thumb method". I also found a video online that gave me a refresher in how to do it. God bless the internet. I was off and running again. Until my yarn came unravelled and got me all screwed up again!

On Sunday, I ventured into a knitting store. I was a little afraid and intimidated, feeling in over my head. I went up to the counter and told the lady that I am new to knitting and need some good yarn. She was SO nice and helpful! Didn't treat me at all like the idiot I felt like.

Back home, needles, yarn, scissors.... trial and error. It took me a while, but I have finally gotten to the point where I am knitting, purling, and casting on without having to go reference an online video! Woo hoo! I may not be making anything pretty yet, but at least I am forging ahead.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here goes!

Okay, well, after literally YEARS of wanting to learn to knit, it seems like I may be on the verge of doing so. My Nana taught me to "knit" when I was about 6. She was incredible at needlework. I wish she was still around to share the crafts with me now that I'm an adult and want to learn. Since she isn't, I bought a book on "how to knit" a few years ago. Got a pair of big blue needles, some yarn, and went home to my couch to indulge in my new hobby. I followed the first few steps, started a row, and was quite excited. Woo hoo-- watch me go! That is, until I had to learn the next stich.... I couldn't figure out what in the world the book and the illustration were trying to tell me to do. How on earth am I supposed to make the corner to the next row? It completely baffled me. So I went on the internet. That wasn't any better. I put down my shiny new needles and hoped to sign up for a class. But life (ie, two kids) kept me from doing it.

So here I am, years down the road, and I still want to learn to knit. Why? I don't know. Something about working with pretty colors and textures, having a project, seeing something concrete come out as the end result.... I have a great friend from college that has been into knitting for a while. She turned me on to a wonderful Yahoo group of women knitters. And introduced me to a lady who lives near me that is going to teach me to knit! This lady has been knitting herself for 60 years!!! I am so excited. Can't quite believe my luck, either! This Saturday looks like it will be my first meeting/lesson. So I created this blog to detail my successes and failures along the way. Hopefully there will be some successes amidst the failures!!