Monday, December 31, 2012

Knitting Resolutions

Congrats to the winner of the last giveaway, 'Amy'!  Amy, I drew your comment via Random Number Generator and I have emailed you to get your address. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest and I hope to continue to hear from all of you!

Like most people, I make resolutions for each new year. And, like most people, I rarely keep any of them. For 2011, it was 'join a gym' year, which lasted for 2 months. For 2012, I took the sage advice of having smaller, more specific and attainable goals and I actually met some of them. I had resolved to get a new job (reached in May) and a new car (reached in June).  I didn't meet some of my other goals but hey, two isn't bad and those were two big ones!

I discovered something else this year as well, which is what I want to share with you all today - The Knitter's Life List by Gwen W. Steege.



I found this book and just had to have it.  Right on the cover, it states 1001 inspirations for every knitter, 122 techniques and tips to learn, 69 styles & traditions to explore, 64 personalities to meet, and 33 yarn fibers to try.  Her book has all of that and more.

I read through it a couple times the week I bought it and it inspired me to make my own resolution list.  I hate marking in books I own, even though there is space for that in this book, so I just created a list of my own on my phone so it's always with me.  I used many of the ideas that Gwen included in her book, but also added a few of my own.  In fact, I have 26 knitting goals on my list, adding more all the time, and I'm aiming to accomplish as many of them as I can in 2013.  Some examples of my personal goals include:

- Knitting a stash of dishcloths (for gifts)
- Knitting a stash of balls (again, for gifts!)
- Make something using Intarsia
- Learn to knit toe up socks
- Learn to knit two at a time socks
- Knit something with cashmere

What are your knitting goals for 2013?  Leave a comment to share!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Last Giveaway of 2012

I have been laid up for over a week now with a bad case of strep! Seems like everyone around me is catching something so it must be making its rounds somehow. For the first time in over a month, I wasn't able to knit for several days straight. Since Thanksgiving, I've had my needles out every second I've been home trying to get my Christmas gifts completed. Or, at least every day until getting sick. At that point, I wanted to make sure I touched my yarn as little as possible to prevent risking germ transfer into the fibers.

The good news is, I was able to get almost all of my gifts done in time for Christmas. The only ones I wasn't able to finish right on time were a sock monkey and a flower clip for a couple friends/co-workers. However, since I ended up being out sick for a week anyway, it didn't matter because I couldn't have gotten the gifts to them in time anyway!

I leave you with the final 2012 giveaway, the one I wasn't able to do last week since I was sick. The first giveaway was a pattern, the second a book, and the third a knitted item. The fourth and final giveaway, as promised, will be yarn. And not just any yarn, but a skein of Noro! I've learned in the last six months just how popular Noro yarn is, and how crazy people go over it. It's bright color ways and high quality of fiber make for a very unique yarn, slightly different with every skein.  I am giving away one skein of 'Transitions', pictured below.



As with the other giveaways, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.  All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this blog post by 12pm EST on Saturday, December 29th.  A winner will be chosen at random and emailed for their address so I can ship it to them.

Until next time, happy knitting!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another Winner, Another Giveaway!

Happy Monday!  This has been a week full of knitting.  I finished the gift for my husband, except to block it (pictures of this after Christmas!), and started on a gift for my godson - Daniel the Spaniel, by Oliver Bolivar from Ravelry.  Isn't this adorable?  I can't wait to finish him and see him opened up on Christmas!


This week's giveaway could be a great gift for the child in your life, or the adult who need a stress ball!  I have posted previously about my pattern for the crochet balls, but I will send the winner of this giveaway three of the balls themselves as a prize.  Just two days ago, my family got together and as we sat in our living room, I watched my nephew play with these for at least an hour, tossing them around and chasing after them.  I can't seem to make these fast enough to keep some of my family members supplied, as they keep giving them away as baby gifts.  I also keep my co-workers supplied with these when you just have to have something in your hand to squeeze to handle the stress of the day.



Just like the last giveaways, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post before 12pm EST on Saturday, December 15th.  A winner will be chosen at random and contacted for their address so this can be shipped.  For this giveaway, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.

Last but not least, congratulations to the winner of the second giveaway, the second commenter, Chelsea @ Garden-Me.com.  



Chelsea, I tried to send you an email but it bounced back, so please contact me at meghk.knits@gmail.com with your address.  Until next time, have a great week!

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Second Giveaway!

Congrats to the winner of our first giveaway, 'suburban prep'.  Hope you enjoy the pattern!

And now for this week's giveaway - 'Stashbuster Knits' by Melissa Leapman.  This is a great pattern book, with 21 beautiful patterns that you can make with leftover yarn, helping move some of your yarn out so you can make room for more!  I'm always drawn to projects like this because I have more yarn than room to store it in.  This book definitely lives up to its promise, with great projects that you'll have a ton of fun knitting.



For this giveaway, I can only ship within the contiguous 48 states.  Just like the last one, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post before 12pm EST on Saturday, December 8th.  A winner will  be chosen at random and contacted for their address so this can be shipped. 

Until next time, I leave you with another 'stashbuster' type knit that I've been working on in an effort to move out some of my sock yarn.  This is a simple ribbed sock I just finished last week.  Now that I've finished that, I'm already itching to start on another pair of socks.  Socks are a great 'on the go' project, but I'll go on and on about that in another post. :)


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The First Giveaway!

Happy Thanksgiving! Normally I feel compelled to start these out with how crazy it's been, but I just had 5 days off work (counting the weekend) so I really had no excuse to not post. I did get a lot of knitting done, though. I finished my fingerless mitts, finished a pair of ribbed socks, and started in on a Christmas gift for my husband (he reads the blog so I can't post pictures until after Christmas!)

This summer, I told myself that I would get an early start on my Christmas gifts. Of course that didn't happen, and now I have only one project completed and at least six more to go. It'll be a very busy month trying to get all of that done. I spend most of yesterday knitting, so much that I had a dent in my thumb from pressing on the needle. It was fine by morning, but very sore last night!

Instead of talking about a project in this post, I want to do something special for the upcoming holidays. I read a lot of knitting blogs, and I love it when the writers are able to give away books or patterns, as it gives readers a chance to try something out they may not have known about prior, and it gives the writer a chance to hear from the readers (which is always exciting!).

So for the next few weeks, I'm going to do a different giveaway each week - a pattern, a knitting book, a finished project, and some yarn.  This week, I'm going to start with the pattern.

One lucky winner will receive a free copy of my Lacy Cowl pattern from Ravelry (pictured below).   This is using a repeat lace pattern, which makes it a great beginner project for someone new to lace knitting, or a quick knit for an expert. You can make it a cowl as directed (shown below double wrapped) or don't join the ends and make it a scarf.



This was such a fun project to write and to knit, and I can't wait to share it with one of my readers.  To win, all you have to do leave a comment on this blog post by 12pm EST on Saturday, December 1st.  I will then draw a comment at random and contact the winner.  The next giveaway will post the following week.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and I'll see you all again in a few days!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Malabrigo Yarn, Fingerless Mitts

I got way too busy again!  It's almost been another two weeks since my last post and much knitting has been done.

Pictured here is the right hand of a pair of fingerless mitts I'm working on.  The pattern is 'White Caps Fingerless Gloves' by Simone Van Iderstine, available on Ravelry.  I'm using Malabrigo Sock Yarn, in 'Stonechat'.




I have a bit of 'history' regarding Malabrigo.  I briefly went to a knitting meetup a few years ago and a few of us decided to do a sort of knit along, working on the same project at the same time - a cabled bag.  This is before I had ever taken a cable class, or really knew very much about yarn at all.  The person running the group was using Malabrigo yarn, and kept saying how much she loves it and how she knits pretty much everything with it.  I had no idea what Malabrigo was at the time, so I didn't know what she was talking about or what the big deal was.

It wasn't until this year when I started working at my local yarn shop that I realized what Malabrigo was, how popular it is, how great the colors are...and how absolutely horrible it is to wind.  If you have ever tried to wind a skein of Malabrigo into a center pull ball, you know what I mean!  You pretty much have a 50/50 shot of getting a skein that won't completely tangle while winding, resulting in 30 minutes of trying to recover. Many people complain about winding Malabrigo (rightfully so!) but all of them also mention how worth it it is once wound and you're actually knitting with it.  They have some of the best colors available, and it's great to knit with.

Anyway, I bought some of this Malabrigo sock yarn a few months ago and I'm finally putting it to use.  This pattern achieved both using some yarn in my stash (instead of buying more) and to use what I learned in my cabling class I took this summer.

I'm finishing up a pair of ribbed socks, and then plan to finish some more of my half-done projects that are sitting around so I can move on to new projects.  I've started browsing Ravelry more and I have close to 100 projects in my queue now.  Time to kick it up a notch and get more knitting done!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Another Free Pattern

Here is the next size crochet ball I wrote a pattern for.  This is also available for free on Ravelry in my store, Cubicled Knitter/Megh Kizer. 



While the medium size I posted before is great for kids to throw around and play with, this smaller size can work as a toy as well as a stress ball for adults.  I had this tested out by people I work with, and they said the smaller size fits much better in the palm of their hand and is great to use while working. 

These balls are one of the few things I still crochet since knitting is still my main 'craft of choice', so I'm eager to share. More to come later, but I wanted to get this posted right away.  The larger size is soon to come, and then I'll be back to posting more knitted patterns.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Free Pattern

Something I've been working on recently is finally writing down some patterns I've been working on for a while.  I haven't been able to come up with a more creative name for this, so I've just been call these 'Crochet Balls'.




I've been making these for years.  These are a HUGE hit with kids!  Whenever my nephew or godson visit, they take the basket of these and just start dumping them over their heads, or tossing them around.  The adults get in on the action too!  These are great because no matter how hard we seem to throw them, they have yet to cause any damage.  I can't make them fast enough to fulfill the demand, as most of my relatives want them in their home for their kids/grand kids, or they ask me to make some as baby gifts. 

These are crocheted in two halves, and then whip stitched around, stuffing them with poly-fil right before closing them up.  I've been experimenting with making different sizes, the above pictured ones being the medium size. 

These will be available for free download on Ravelry, cubicled knitter/Megh Kizer designs.  Please take a look and download the pattern!  These are so popular with kids and adults, it'll be worth the time to try it out. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Slippers

I was recently commissioned to make someone a pair of slippers.  She found the picture on Etsy (AMAZING site - if you're not already hooked on this, check it out) and asked if I could make them, so of course I had to take that challenge!  These are based on a pattern by Eline (sold in her Etsy store). 



This is made using garter stitch and Brioche stitch.  The Brioche stitch is for the sides, and made them very squishy and cozy!  To add further to the 'comfort' factor, I made these using Simplicity by HiKoo, and some cute buttons I found at my local yarn shop.   I know so many people who adore this yarn and this pattern was my opportunity to finally use it.  Now that I have, I'm searching for another project just so I can use it again!  It's a DK weight yarn, and is versatile and durable enough to make a slipper that will hold up to walking and heavy use.  It's generally versatile in other ways too, but seemed especially suited for what I was looking for with this project.  I've also seen some gorgeous shawls and blankets made with Simplicity, so look it up on Ravelry sometime for some great ideas. 

I'm trying desperately to use up my stash yarn right now.  I have SO much that I'm running out of room to store the rest!  The problem is, as soon as I used enough yarn to empty a drawer in one of my many multi-drawer carts, I started thinking about what else I wanted to buy.  And the cycle continues! 

My goal now is to get my Ravelry notebook updated with the projects I'm currently working on, including a pair of socks, an Entrelac scarf, another 'bag of irony' (see earlier post), a bulky shawl, and a couple attempts a fingerless mitts.  Next posts, the baby blanket I just finished, and a couple more patterns I'm writing that will be available for free on Ravelry.  I hope to start posting more than once a week, so stay tuned!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cowls and Blocking


It's been a very busy two week!  I didn't think it had been that long since I last posted, but I've been hard at work on several projects, hoping to finally finish some I've had in the works for a while.  I was going to mention two of them here, but I forgot to get pictures of one of them, so that will be for later this week.

In my last post, I had featured a recent design of mine (the Lacy Cowl) with yarn from the Neighborhood Fiber Co.  Of course when I bought the skein for that project, I had to buy two more skeins as well.  And buying only three skeins of this fantastic yarn was actually restraining myself!  I used the other two for this project, another cowl but from a pattern by Cecily Glowik MacDonald called 'Brooklet'. I saw this cowl made with Neighborhood Fiber yarn, and it inspired me to make it myself.  Below is the picture from the pattern...  



...and these are from my version (though the picture quality probably would have given that away for me).



This is knit in the round and then folded over where the yarn changes so you can't see a join in the fabric.  I'm gearing up for winter with all these cowls, with hopefully more to come!

Since I can't get the pictures of my other project yet, I leave you with this plug for a new favorite product of mine. I resisted blocking any projects for years, convinced it was difficult to do and not worth it.  Finally, i caved and bought the blocking mats shown in the photos so I could block the Rill Scarf I made (I loved that project so much I was willing to do whatever difficult process I needed to make it work!).

After using these mats, I finally realized how easy blocking a project is and how much it really helps!  Granted, you can use a mattress or towels instead of buying these, but these mats enable me to block on my dining table instead of using a bed that has potential for dog hair to transfer over (I love my dog but she just sheds way too much!).   And blocking makes such a huge different, really puts the finishing touch on a project and makes it just pop.  I'm just now getting to the point where I stop worrying when a scarf finishes smaller than I anticipated, because once I block it, it lengthens the fabric and I can breathe a sigh of relief.

I got the mats in the photo from www.knitpicks.com.  Very highly recommended!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lacy Cowl

I just finished another design, a lacy cowl made with Neighborhood Fiber Co Rustic Fingering Yarn.




Again, please forgive the poor photo quality.  I'm working on improving my photos!

If you haven't knit with yarn from the Neighborhood Fiber Company, you're missing out.  Her yarns are phenomenal and the colors make everything just pop.  Of course this pattern can be made with any fingering weight yarn, but I am pretty partial to this one!

This has a repeating lace pattern, so it's great for a beginner looking to ease in to lace knitting, or for someone more seasoned looking for a good project to work on while watching a movie (doesn't require a ton of concentration).  I seamed the ends together to make it a cowl so I could wear it long or double wrapped for when it gets cold. 

This is available for purchase on Ravelry, Mehan212 Ravelry Store.  Please check it out!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bag of Irony

Today I want to feature one of my favorite patterns, Rutabaga by Chrissy Gardiner.  I found this pattern in ‘The Best of Knitscene’ by Lisa Shroyer, available on Amazon, and it’s one of few projects I have made multiple times and keep going back to.
My husband referred to this as my ‘bag of irony’ the first time I made it because it was a knitting project with the sole purpose of holding other knitting projects, so we unofficially refer to it as that!  Below is the picture from the pattern itself. 

I have made this with several types of yarn. My favorite so far is Serendipity Tweed, because it gives the most flex in the finished product.  I have also made it with Rowan Savannah, Sugar & Cream Twists Cotton, and Louisa Harding’s Albero.  Because of the way the project is put together, with the open weave, it knits together in a very stretchy, flexible way, even if the yarn used doesn’t have as much give.  You can use this bag for shopping (as shown in the picture), other knitting projects, pretty much anything.   My personal preference is as a bag for other knitting projects since it’s easy to carry around.
I would highly recommend this project!  It combines the technique of picking up stitches (which is important for a beginning knitter), as well as creating the open weave with increases and decreases.  This is also the first project where I learned how to create a strap, binding off only part of it at a time to create the strap.   Go out and buy this book, I can’t recommend it enough.  This is my favorite pattern from it, but it has so many other beautiful patterns that it’s well worth the money. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Perfectionist

I had a very different post in mind for this week, but was inspired to write something different.  I recently took a personality assessment of sorts for my day job.  After 28 or so questions, it came back with what was already pretty obvious to me.  I...am a perfectionist.  Some quotes from my results:

'...like to be accurate and orderly and they make decisions in an analytical way.'
'...important for them to understand the parameters of a problem before they tackle it.'
'...tend to use a systematic approach to solve the problem.'
'...often want to assure the accuracy of their work.'

Definitely not a surprise to me.  I like rules and set expectations, and have high standards for quality.  What did surprise me was the correlation I found in this to how I knit.

I was reading a post by a fellow blogger, DestiKNITions (just started reading but loving it already - definitely recommend!)  In this post, she describes realizing halfway through a pattern that she kept missing the k2tog in the pattern, and missed it every time.  As a result, the pattern was not coming along as expected.  She briefly debated about whether to frog it (rip it apart) or to keep going and push through, hoping it wouldn't be obvious. In her next post, as she described how she kept going and pushed through the error, I wanted to scream 'No!!!'.

While I'm quite sure her project turned out beautifully, and I may not have been able to tell if I didn't already know about it, I have never been one to ignore an error and not rip it out completely.  I have been halfway through an afghan and ripped it completely out because of a consistent mistake I made on every row, and my biggest pride on that is the finished afghan turned out perfectly!  I have a pair of socks where I realized after finishing that there was one big stitch on the bottom where I knit too loosely, and I didn't end up giving those away as a Christmas gift as originally planned because that one flaw bothered me too much.  I've also taken a 3/4 finished scarf and a 2/3 finished afghan and pulled them completely apart because I just didn't like how they turned out.  I have my first attempt at an article of clothing (a beaded spaghetti strap shirt) in my 'drawer of shame' because I'm pretty sure it would only fit an extremely oddly shaped woman, rather than the normal figure of the friend I tried to make it for.  I have made a sample knit for my local yarn shop that looks flawless, but I can only see the one tiny error I made that I'm positive no one else even notices.

I'm not shocked that my 'work personality' is so similar to my...well, it's all just my general personality.  I'm more forgiving of mistakes that others make and cannot accept my own.  I would rather undo hours of knitting to make sure the finished product is as close to flawless as I can get, I will read through a pattern completely to make sure I understand all requirements and instructions, and if I'm faced with a knitting question at my local yarn shop that I cannot answer, it bothers me for weeks after.

I guess where I'm landing on this (after many rambling paragraphs) is that I envy those who can push through an 'error' and just focus on the end product, appreciating that it became something different than originally intended and that it can be beautiful in it's own right.  My hope is that my obsession with perfection will make my pattern designs easy to follow and as flawless as possible!

Until next time, here are some gratuitous yarn shots.  One touch of this yarn, and I've spent a week trying to find a pattern to make with it to justify my inevitable purchase of a large quantity of it. So soft, I just want to lay on it...

Misti Alpaca Chunky


Monday, September 10, 2012

First Design

I'm trying to get into designing patterns.  I frequently find that I have a visual in my head for how I want something to look, but have trouble finding an existing pattern that matches the picture in my head.  As I learn more about knitting and creating charts, all I want to do is get the visuals in my head out and on paper so I can make it.  Below is my first shot at this.

Knit iPhone Case

Many of the cases I could find online had one end open, with just a string around the button.  I'm pretty klutzy (therefore also paranoid about dropping things), so I'm too afraid that it would fall out that way.  I wanted to create a case that folded over, making it less likely to be damaged/fall out. 

This is made with Austermann Royal yarn, in a darker blue than is showing up in the picture.  The button is a vintage one I found among several boxes of buttons I received from a relative.  This is a mock cable pattern, so it's easy to knit but still fun to put together.

I would love to have people try this out and let me know what they think.  If you're interested in the pattern, I have it on Ravelry for $1.00 (Mehan212 Ravelry Store).  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

One Skein Cowl Project

Here is one of my latest projects, a very quick but fun one to put together.  This is the Moebius Cowl, by Michelle Hunter.  As far as I know, this is only available at Knitting Temptations in Dublin, Ohio.  If you’re interested in the pattern, send me an email and I can help you purchase it through the store.
I made this with Schulana Silverstar yarn, which is incredibly soft.   If you’re looking for a fast, easy project, you can’t go wrong here!



The photos aren’t very clear.  Unfortunately, I still haven’t figured out the art of great (or even somewhat clear) photos and may have to start outsourcing that to someone better!  So, to describe this a bit since it may not be clear, this is made by knitting it like a scarf, binding off, and then twisting it once before joining the two ends.  The twist adds interest to this, making it stand out from just a regular scarf or a normal 'in the round' cowl. You can do this as a regular scarf as well, but I thought it looked great as a cowl.  Also, doing it this way keeps it at a one skein project, which is a good diversion from what I knit most of the time.
I’m working on some new designs that I’ll post soon.  An iPhone case (which will be available on Ravelry soon) as well as a cowl and a sock pattern, which are both in the works now.  I'm dabbling in cables right now, trying to learn different techniques.  I took a class at a knitting convention, and I'm eager to apply what I learned there.  More to come soon! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rill Scarf Completed!

I finally finished the Rill Scarf!  Below are pictures, one before I blocked it and the other two after.




It turned out great!  I was nervous blocking it, though now I'm not sure why.  You can tell the detail on the lace now where you couldn't before, and the ruffles lay out much better than before blocking.  I plan on getting more of the Juniper Moon Findley yarn and making this in other colors, and maybe trying it out in different yarns too. Once I got past the point where I had to keep pulling it apart and really got into the swing of it, it was such a fun project to knit.

I also figured out how to get the pictures of the baby blanket posted as well, so this will be a very picture-heavy post.




There are some flaws in this, but overall I was very pleased with how it turned out.  With the Louisa Harding yarn, it turned out very soft and kind of squishy, which makes it great for a child!

I'm down to one main project, which is a baby blanket I'll feature later.  I'm itching for other projects to work on so I'll be hunting down some patterns and posting more soon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Knitters Conventions and Baby Blankets

Just got back from several days in Chicago, so I'm behind on my goal of posting 1-2 times per week.  Had a great time there, though!  My husband and I went as a belated anniversary trip, hitting Fogo de Chao (amazing Brazilian steakhouse), going to Second City, and seeing a game at Wrigley Field.

On our way back, I was able to go to the market at Stitches Midwest, a knitting convention that happened to be near Chicago the same weekend.  I love going to the knitting conventions.  Most of the time, I'm able to walk away spending less than $100 (which is pretty good for me!) since I have so much yarn at home I could practically open up my own store right now.  This was the biggest one I had been to, and I'm very tempted to travel to one of the other Stitches conventions that will be happening later this year and early next year so I can take some classes as well.  I walked away from this one with some jewelry and very large quantities of Panda yarn, which is one of my favorite yarns to knit socks with.  

Today, I want to show off a blanket I made for a friend's baby.  I found the pattern at freepatterns.com, Baby Blocks Blanket, and made this using Louisa Harding yarn, Denim and Tan in Albero, Light Green in Kashmir Baby, and Light Gold in Kashmir DK. Unfortunately I'm having trouble uploading the pictures of my finished product, so while I keep working on that, here is the photo from the pattern to give you an idea.


This was an easy project (to a point) because the squares were all just knit back and forth.  This was great to knit while watching TV or movies because it didn't require a ton of concentration.  The hard part was sewing the squares together.  I had to safety pin the rows together and use the whip stitch going around.  This took a lot more concentration because I wanted to make sure all the stitches were as even as possible.  It was so much fun to make though, frustrations aside, that I may make it again when someone else has a baby.

My only regret with this blanket was that I wasn't cautious enough about what yarn I used.  I love Louisa Harding yarn and thought it fit into the blanket beautifully, but the light gold Kashmir DK is hand wash only and I didn't realize that until after I fnished the blanket!  Luckily, the friend I gave this to was absolutely fine with having to hand wash it, but that's a big lesson for me for next time - If it goes near a kid, it needs to be machine washable!

You can check out this and other patterns I've used on Ravelry.com, user name is Mehan212. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Complicated Projects

I always have a crazy number of projects going at the same time.  Well, maybe not too crazy but that depends on your viewpoint.  Some people are committed enough to work on the same project from start to finish without stopping to work on anything else, but I am definitely not one of those people.  I like to have different projects going depending on what mood I'm in or what I'm doing.

I always have one super complicated project going.  This is one that is a new skill or stitch I've never done before, and tends to take a lot of concentration to keep from screwing it up.  I absolutely cannot watch TV while working on this project, which I have learned the hard way!

I have an easy project going that I can work on mindlessly right before bed.  Right now, that is a simple knit scarf, but more on that later.

I always have a crochet project going, which is usually either a stuffed animal or toy balls.  Again, more on this one in a later post.

I took a sock class once to learn different stitch techniques, not expecting to ever actually make socks.   I ended up loving it and always have a sock project going as well.

And since I'm now of the age where all my friends are having babies, I have a baby project going, usually a blanket.  Count it up, that's 5 projects at varying degrees of completion!

Today, I want to write about my 'complicated' project, as I'm ridiculously excited about this.   It's called 'Rill Scarf' and the pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry.  Below is a photo, from mimknits on Flikr.




I am loving this project!  I am using Juniper Moon Farm Findley yarn, in a pretty grey similar to the picture. I had to rip it apart and start over three times, but once I got going, it's been coming along beautifully.  It combines a lace section, which always requires a ton of concentration, and 'short rows', which was a new concept to me.  The short rows are what give it the ruffle and, I think, give it a lot of character.  I'll post more pictures as this one comes along.  I'm about halfway done right now, and I plan on finishing within the next week or two so I can enjoy wearing it during the summer.

I'll post more in a few days, with pictures of my personal Rill scarf.  I rarely make something for myself, but I may not be able to give this one away!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

At the Beginning

I learned to crochet first, while still in college and then to knit about a year or so later.  Knitting daunted me at first.  The concept of using two needles, being unable to just rip it apart and start again in the middle of a row like crochet just baffled me.  But everything I had seen made with knitting was so pretty, I had to give it a shot. 

I was working third shift at a call center at the time, so there was quite a bit of down time between calls.  One night, I was able to read a paperback book from start to finish in my eight hour shift!  Anyway, a co-worker knew the basics of knitting so she taught me on a couple of those late night shifts. I was immediately addicted, enough so that I immediately went to my local Jo Ann Fabrics to by a pair of knitting needles and some yarn.  Of course, I had no idea what I was doing so I bought a pair of size 2 straight needles, which I didn’t end up using for almost five years.  I keep them as a reminder of how na├»ve I was at first!

I have loved knitting for five years now, and it’s become a big part of my life.  If more than a day or two goes by where I can’t knit, I get very fidgety!  I’ve learned so much, and while I still have more to learn, I want to start sharing with others.  As my passion for creating and designing develops, I want to share the joys and challenges with others. 

Coming soon, my current works in progress and my first attempts at pattern design…