Thursday, 10 July 2008

My first sweater

I've decided that since I've been knitting for almost a year it's time to start on my first sweater project. My niece's 15th birthday is coming up at the end of September and so the sweater will go to her when it's complete.

Ravelry is a haven for patterns (read: free) and so I selected the Springtime Tee designed by Melissa Leapman. I think it's gorgeous and surprisingly there are only three of us on Ravelry who are working on it. (I'm using Bernat Handicrafter yarn in off-white: it's soft, inexpensive, and because it's 100% cotton so will wash up easily.)

Here is the back, with the first lace pattern repeat completed:

Back of Springtime Tee, first lace repeat

This is a close-up of the same:

Back of Springtime Tee, close-up of first lace repeat

This is how the lace repeat on BACK piece looks when finished:

Back of Springtime Tee, 4 lace repeats completed and beginning of St st

I'm loving how this is going and I think that my niece will like the completed sweater. I've finished the St st (measuring 13 1/3 inches from the bottom) and right now I'm working on shaping the armholes. It looks like I may need to frog a bit - either I'm counting wrong, or the pattern is wrong... :-)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

I'm back...!

Things have been utterly turned upside down in my life as of late. It has been an extremely stressful time, but I have found some time in this chaotic life to knit.

I've finally delved into the famous ballband dishcloth. I enjoyed knitting up the pattern and the colour choices are virtuously endless:

Friends have been my saving grace during this trying time, and so I knitted this Relay Angel for one such friend:

I've always wanted to knit up the Little Houses cloth. It is a more detailed pattern and, I admit, it was frogged a few times because I wasn't paying close enough attention...

A wonderfully fun project to do was the mother earth illusion cloth. It was wonderful to see the pattern come together. I would like to eventually design my own illusion cloth, time permitting!

I love how it turned out with an incomplete border (the little bookworm was also appreciated).

It seems that I always know someone who is pregnant. Three friends have already had babies this year and there is one more baby waiting to arrive next month. This free pattern for Bunny Blanket Bunny is just so cute that they are probably all going to get one! (Photos of the completed bunnies to come!)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Inspiration! (At last!)

Okay. After a few weeks of hiatus I've finally been inspired to resume my knitting. This comes after a lot of frogging of my first hat project.

I guess that inspiration comes in many forms, and one of the best forms of inspiration is that of other knitters who are still utterly enthusiastic about their work.

Such is my book club friend, Pat, who knit yet another sweater for my eldest son (this was the second one). She actually asked me if I wanted the sweater! She has been knitting a while, and she clearly knits because she loves to. The sweater fits very nicely (photos to come) and is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you so much for your generousity, Pat!

Another friend is from Ravelry. Brad is quite an accomplished knitter for being a newbie. He recently began crocheting, and is now knitting and crocheting with a vengence. If we can both get our acts together we will be knitting a hat together. He, unfortunately, has a growing list of WIPs. We've discussed this problem. Then he met a REALLY nice yarn lady who, after he told of his hat-knitting frustrations, "inspired" him to buy Alpaca ($$) to knit a sweater. She lured him in with the line, "If you can knit a sweater, you can knit a hat." I burst out laughing when he told me that. Of course "she was SOOOOOOOO nice!" ;-) In all fairness though, he IS finishing off projects, so it's not like his WIPs aren't being worked on.

I took pics last night of the Easy Rib Hat that I'm finally working on again. Here is my progress:

Happy knitting!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

The hat from H- E- double-hockey sticks land

Well, I am temporarily giving up on the rib hat that I was going to do. I got frustrated and frogged it no fewer than four times before my friend told me that my cast-on stitches were much too tight. (Ummm... duh? Why didn't MY brain think of that?!) I think that the hat will go on a hiatus for a little while so that I have enough time to forget my lack of progress. Maybe next year...

Anyway, since I am wanting to knit dh a hat while it's still cold (and snowy!) I thought that I'd chose another "easy" pattern. (Anyone else see the irony of something being labelled "easy"?) I am currently working on Paton's free pattern called Easy Rib Hat. It's being done in Bernat Softee Chunky, with grey for the main colour and dark blue for the alternate. It's slow going because I'm now back at school - pics to come of the progress soon.

Time for a new poll. This one is about frogging - what is your patience level? Submit your answer to the right -->

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The Never-ending Scarf est complet

"Mommy, is the scarf going to be as big as the house?"

Kids. Gotta love them when they blurt out what everyone else is thinking. Now I know that I wasn't the only one gettting bored with what I am now calling "the never-ending scarf" that was no longer fitting the category of take-along knitting (think: bulky yarn stuffed into a shopping bag). So I decided to call it "fin" after the 16th repeat (at ~4' 10"), BO, and pack up my supplies:

I am now complete I am very pleased with the end product although in my usual grumpiness (otherwise known as me epitomizing a control-freak) there are things about the scarf that are really ticking me off.

One is the fact that this scarf curls inwards (this is not only my complaint - refer to Ravelry for more opinion). There were no suggestions in the pattern to block the scarf. Would this even fix the problem, I don't know.

Secondly, my scarf measures only 7" in width instead of the 8" indicated in the pattern. I have no problem with this as I like how my scarf looks and I can't imagine how very loose the pattern would be if I didn't knit so tightly. (I have yet to do sweaters or anything using real gauge, so I'm not worried YET.)

Thirdly, there is no way I could knit the full 21 repeats without wanting to do something morbid with the huge needles needed for the project. I'm content in knowing that less is more. :-)

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Cable; repeat.

Yea, I have finally had time to do some knitting lately! (Hmm... do I knit or do I read? Sorry, I can't do both like some people I've spoken to! At least, not yet!)

I can confidently say that I now know how to knit cables, thanks to Lion Brand's free "Learn to Cable Scarf" pattern. I will say that knitting from this pattern really is a good way to learn cables. If you haven't done cables before, you really have nothing to worry about! I couldn't believe how easy a technique it really is, and with such nice results.

Here is a show of my progress at the end of the third repeat:

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but this scarf has an unusually long agenda of 21 repeats (making it a monstrous 6' long). I'm about 1/3 of the way through the first of two balls of yarn. We'll see how long the allure of cables lasts with this pattern.

I have decided that my next cable project will be one with a reversible pattern (unless it's a sweater, of course). Although the back looks nicely patterned with knit and purl stitches, I would have liked cables there too. Ravelry lists a few nice ones that I've added to my ever-growing list of favourites...

Friday, 11 January 2008

Generation X

Here's my line of thinking, or rather, my version of word association. So I'm sitting, watching tv and knitting my cable scarf, and on comes an interview with Douglas Coupland on CBC. (As you may or may not know, Douglas Coupland coined the term "Generation X" in his book of the same title.) Amazingly, at this same point in time that I'm watching Coupland's interview, my scarf resembles an X:

Talk about coincidences! (Maybe I should write to let him know of this miraculous happening.) Anyway, I am knitting along and watching the interview because I loved Coupland's book, Hey Nostradamas. I have yet to watch the CBC series based on Douglas Coupland's book, Jpod. It could be because of the fact that I hated the book and I really don't feel any strong urge to watch Canadian-born actor Alan Thicke in it. Hmmm... Did you "get" Jpod? Are you watching the show, perhaps curious to see just what CBC will allow Coupland to show on air?

The photo shows my progress to the end of the first repeat. Only 21 more repeats to go (less, if I get bored; more if I pick up some butterscotch yarn)...

You can see my book reviews on Jpod and Hey Nostradamas here.

Friday, 4 January 2008

2008: Year of the Cable?

In order to advance my knitting skills I have decided to take on cables. At the same time I am also attempting to try something other/larger than dishcloths. For my first cable project I have decided that I want to make a scarf, and I finally found a scarf pattern that looks simple enough to attempt. As Lion Brand's free pattern is called "Learn to Cable Scarf", it quite aptly fits my needs.

Lion Brand's Learn to Cable Scarf
This pattern is also listed as "Easy," so that immediately moved this scarf into contention. The pattern calls for 9mm needles (US13), which I had to go out of my way to get (20+ minutes each way). At least Michael's had a 30% off sale and I got my yarn, knitting needles, and cable needles a little cheaper. (My dh, James, wants a scarf done in grey tones so I had to get a raincheque for some grey yarn. Is grey yarn that popular?)

I am not thrilled with the sample colours chosen by whomever knitted it up. Sorry, the "butterscotch" and "taupe" together just do not make me happy. Others' work on Ravelry looks great for this scarf and has been done in a multitude of colour choices (note: none of them is in the butterscotch and taupe combination). I choose Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Fisherman (Fisherperson???). I've grown to love the look of cream or off-white in the final result of knitting. Boring? Maybe. But I'm knitting it for me, and if all goes well it should turn out beautifully. :-) Wish me luck, and answer my poll (up on the right -->)!