Thursday, December 27, 2007

Techniques, Helpful Links

While perusing Fitted Knits at lunch today, I came across a few things that I've read about or seen, but require a little more study before actual practice is done.
Links to improve my knitting ability: -KFB information
I know this probably isn't too difficult, because watching the video on The Knitting Help video seemed fairly straightforward, but I want to check out these other links to make sure I understand it.
KFB Bar Increase

Another KFB explanation

Third example

TechKnitting misc. links:
Increases here
and here

Flat knitting on circs
Pattern reading

Correcting Errors


also here

and here
Article on gauge
One of my knitting resolutions is to learn how to correct mistakes. I already have one book of knitting tips, but there are a couple of books I'm thinking of adding to my library on this subject.

I can't believe I forgot

When I wrote yesterday about the knitting gifts I received, I somehow forgot to mention the best gift, from my boyfriend. I got a KnitPicks Options needle kit!! It's so glorious. I can't wait to use it. I asked for yarn from him as well, but honestly, I'm glad he didn't buy me any, as I really do have enough for the time being. I hope to use a good deal of it in the coming year. My ravelry queue is getting longer by the day. :\
In non-knitting news, I found a home for Fox. I took him to my grandparents' this past weekend, and my cousin decided she needed another kitty. I was sad to see him go, but I'm grateful that he has a good home.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Goodies

Well, for starters, I gave Jan her hat, and she LOVED it. She almost cried, and said she was so flattered. :D Success. That feels good. It motivates me to make other knitted gifts.
Sarah gave me an awesome gift, including some bare Knitpicks yarn, several packs of assorted koolaid, and instructions on how to dye yarn! She also included Sensational Knitted Socks, which I've been wanting, since learning to make socks is one of my new year's resolutions. What a great present. Thanks, Sarah!
I also got some great yarn from Jan: Malabrigo Worsted and Sockotta. Woo!
Additionally, I got two other knitting books: Cables Untangled and Fitted Knits. What a great way to start post-holiday knitting!
Currently, I'm working on the pillow for my bedroom and a hat for Jill, since the one I made her is too small. That will teach me to check gauge (maybe).
While I was at my grandmother's this past weekend, she gave me several embroidery patterns that she's had for years, some thread, and a hoop, so that I can try my hand at it. I think I'll really enjoy it, and it seems like yet another crafty activity I can amuse myself with.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Kitty Rescue

Monday afternoon, there was a kitty stuck in the tree outside my back door. He was very high, probably near 15 feet up. He was there most of the afternoon (I was off work, and knitting in the living room). I went out to check on him every thirty minutes or so, and he would meow at me, and just sit there. He eventually tried to get down, as the sun went down and it got cold. The boy came home from work and rolled his eyes at me as I held up a pillow in the air under the cat, and said "come here,kitty, kitty", and made other aimless attempts to lure him down. He saved the day, though, by climbing the tree and saving the cat. We think he is about 3-6 months old, judging his size, and the fact that he's not been neutered. He's so sweet, and purrs like a motorboat. Adorable. Bellacat isn't too keen on him, but Ninja (our dog) is VERY interested. I've been bringing him to work every day in a kennel, so Bella can have some peace and quiet. We're trying to find his owner, or a home for him, but it's looking more and more hopeless, and more and more like I have a new cat. Just in case, I've dubbed him Fox.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Knitting resolutions

Generally, I'm not big on new year's resolutions. However, since knitting is a new thing for me, I thought some goals might be a good gauge (har, gauge) of my progress for the new year.
With that in mind, I hope to accomplish the following in oh eight:
1) knit a sweater for myself
2) take (at least) one knitting workshop/class
3) learn how to knit socks
4) make baby/toddler gifts for the people who had kids last year (Tricia, Linsey)
5)allow enough time before Christmas so that I don't give up on knitted gifts
6)learn entrelac
7)become better equipped to fix mistakes in my knitting, rather than "ribbiting" my way to insanity

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Less stress

Considering this is my first Christmas as a knitter, I decided that I was being pretty hard on myself about knitting gifts. There are many years ahead of me in which to knit lovelies for my loved ones. I think the scarf I was making for my mom will be frogged, and reknit, as I realized it is entirely too wide to be functional. I'm working on a hat for my cousin, and I may make one or two more hats, but that's it. Everyone else will just have to wait. Feeling like I HAD to finish was sucking all the fun out of knitting. In the meantime, I started a new and fun project.

*Note Bellakat's paw pointing to the yarn. She's become quite the ham when I bring out the camera.
At some point in the near future, this will be the front of a pillow to match my bedroom. I plan on doing the back in a sea gray color. The yarn is Shine Worsted by Knitpicks, which I got on sale a few months ago. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but this makes great sense, and it helps use up yarn. Even though I'm very new at knitting, I've racked up quite a stash, and I've decided to stop buying yarn (mostly), and focus on using what I have. I bought it for a reason, right??

Friday, December 7, 2007

Things I've learned

I'm improving at determining how much yarn to pull when casting on. I used to pull way too much, and then I'd have a really long tail. I'm not perfect at it, but there's definitely a difference.
I know that I should trust my instinct on knitting. If it seems too tight, it probably is. If I think I should wait before attempting something complicated, even if just until the next day, I probably should put the knitting down.
I decided that I'm probably not ready for the Central Park Hoodie, so I've put that down, and am starting a very basic sweater, which I found in a Paton's pamphlet. I don't want to jump into something so ambitious that I get discouraged, but I've picked something that I think I'll be able to wear often.
I've determined that the scarf I've been knitting for my mother is entirely too freaking wide. She'll never wear it in it's current state. I'm just glad I didn't get all the way to the end before I decided that. I may just knit her a hat instead. That seems to be my favorite thing as of late, but it's such a nice, small, manageable project.
I'm blocking the hat I finished for my sister, because it is pretty tight. I'm going to knit a few rows of this new sweater I'm attempting, and then I should probably go to bed, since we'll have lots of company tomorrow.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One present down, only 8574867 to go

I finally finished one gift. It will be the first thing I've knitted to give it away. It's for the boy's mother. She's a fiber junkie too, but in a different method. She's a hooker (never gets unfunny to say that). She rug hooks, which is a pretty cool art. She also paints and she has her own hooking shop. Needless to say, even though she's not a knitter, she really appreciates the craft, so I'm minorly nervous about presenting her with this hat I made. I feel confident in it, but I'm not giving it to someone who will be impressed just because they can't fathom making something for themselves. She can. She's a lot like my mother though, so she'll probably appreciate it even if she thinks it's ugly, because I made it with love for her. And really, it's not ugly. It's vibrant and festive.

Look! You can sort of tell I dyed my hair!!
Yarn: Wool of the Andes in Cranberry
Needles: Size 8
Time: It really only took around ten hours or so to knit this up, although it was over the course of 2 weeks. I crunched to finish it Thanksgiving night after everyone passed out from turkey and eggnog overload.
Next, I really need to finish Jenny's fetching, and my mother's scarf. I have little or no motivation to complete either project.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I lied (see post below)

Since I had to find a knitting related present for Sarah, I of course, scoured some of my favorite websites to find something special for her. In doing so, I of course stumbled upon some yarn I had to have for yet another desired FO. So my post below was a total lie, even though I really thought (kind of) that I could hold out until Christmas. Eh, such is life.
I'm going to see my beloved grandparents this weekend. We always have a blast. They live on a farm, I get to feed animals, we have a bonfire at night, a fire in the fireplace, delicious food, eggnog, you name it. I'll be driving home, but I think I'll have knitting time on the way up this afternoon. Plus, since my grandparents go to bed at the crack of sunset, I'll be able to work on some stuff in the evenings. I'm hoping to finish Jan's hat, Jenny's fetching(s), and maybe start another Christmas project. As much as I'd love to work on my CPH, I know I really need to use this time to work on Christmas presents.
Happy turkey day!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last yarn before xmas, I swear!! (fingers crossed)

I bought some yarn on Webs last week and it arrived today (much faster than the last order I placed). I bought some Valley Yarns Sheffield, which was on sale, and irresistible.

I bought 8 skeins in Lake, a misty blue color, and 2 skeins of Red, just for the hell of it. That's Bella cat investigating the yarn up there. :)
Ahhhh. I love yarn. I keep accruing it, so I guess I better use it up! I am casting on for my Central Park Hoodie right after I type this, and I'm knitting it up in Valley Yarns Northampton, in Merlot heather. Hopefully, I can handle a sweater!! I'm ready for the challenge.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A first

Saturday night, I dyed my hair. It's nothing crazy, but for me it is, a little. Besides tattoos, I've never done much to modify the way I look. It's a dark reddish color, I love it, and it's nice to have a change. I didn't get much knitting done this weekend though, which is disappointing. I'm almost done with the first fetching glove for Jenny, and I hope to finish it completely tonight, so I can start on the other one. I'd really like to start a sweater for me, but I'm feeling a little anxious about starting something so big and intimidating. I also find it frustrating ti pick something because I never have all the needles required for a project. That's why I'm asking for the knitpicks options kit for Christmas. That'll solve it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Success! Twice!

Very productive weekend (and fun too!). I knit like crazy. Sarah helped me finish Fetching (my first FO!). They look great. THEN, I finished the Raleigh Hills hat I started earlier in the week. I sewed it up and everything. It looks fantastic. I was planning on giving it to my mother, but since it's my first hat, I think I'll knit her another one so I can wear my knits with pride. :)

The hat was a great first choice. The cables look lovely (I love, love cable work!), and I really enjoyed sewing the hat up from a flat piece.
Here's me, beaming with pride in my new hat.

Sarah made tons of food and we looked at patterns, knit, and watched Seinfeld and Simpsons DVDs. Nice relaxing weekend.

I'm trying to figure out what to make next.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Road trip

The boy and I are going to see Austin and Sarah this weekend. It was supposed to be a Halloween extravaganza, but several people canceled, and since Dean and I fucked around on our costumes (or lack thereof), there will be no official soiree. I think Sarah is still planning making yummy treats though. And the great thing about so many people canceling is that now Sarah and I can knit to our hearts' content without offending or insulting any non-knitters (besides the boyfriends, but they can entertain themselves! Before work this morning, I was trying to get my knitting supplies together and Dean laughed at me, saying, "we're only going to be there a weekend". He doesn't understand that I may change my mind about what I want to make, or I may spend time on several new projects. Geez.
So, here's what I'm taking with me for the weekend, in hopes of making some real progress:

I started this earlier in the week, and hope to give it to my mom with the scarf I'm making. They don't quite match, but she loves all things purple, so I think she'll look past that fact.I have one thumb left on my first fetching pair, and Sarah's going to help me conquer it. I'm hoping to make several pair of these for xmas gifts, so I've got to get it under my thumb. Har.

I'm taking my soft lux in green, to make Natty, by Wendy Bernard.

I'm also taking a couple balls of Berroco touche, which I'm very eager to try. I'm hoping to make the Zephyr Style tree jacket. It looks so lush and soft, so I hope it's a good choice for the project.

Finally, I'm bring my first ball of comfort, in hopes of starting the tahki sweater I've got my eye on found here on ravelry
Okay, so perhaps, I'm being a little ambitious. :\ We'll see.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Intro post

Earlier this year, my future sister-in-law introduced me to the world of knitting. I was instantly hooked, and since then, I've been buying up yarn, reading patterns, attempting new stitches, etc. Knitting is just what I needed. I have other hobbies, but nothing I'm so wrapped up in as knitting. So thanks, Sarah. You're a great teacher, and hopefully, someday we will open that yarn store. :)
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