Sunday, December 03, 2006

Knit Start

Okay so it's been awhile and I'm still finding resolution on what the H is going on with this blog. i start, i stop. repeat.

Been highly inspired (and obsessed) by knitting blogs lately. I started knitting about a year and a half ago but got really down on it - likely due to the fact that all I was doing was squares - squares for scarves, squares for a poncho (which I hate and have never worn) and a square blanket, which i have made 3 times so far. At the very least, I'll put pictures up so I know what I've done.

I’m sad that I can’t find the pictures I took of the scarves but here are the two blankets – with their owners. Never took a picture of the third blanket but as I’m knitting it up again using the same yarn – I can show it WIP or maybe in a day or so when it's done.

In any event, i'm back in the swing. I went to Michigan to visit John’s parents in October and his mom is a hardcore and amazing knitter and every time I’m there I get reinvigorated so I got all excited again.

So back to my swing. about 3 weeks ago I was a bit under the weather, was home from work and started going through Last Minute Gifts. Was needing to expand beyond the square to try something new and came across the little baby hat. perfect. it was the easiest thing ever and my first foray into knitting in the round.

fortunately Purl is 5 blocks from my house. was able to sneak in there, grab the yarn, new circulars (didn't have the right size) and some double pointed needles. similar to knitting in the round, i had never used dpn.

this was a thursday and i actually finished it all at once! net net, think i need to really start doing new and manageable projects.

my biggest issue now? i hate finishing. so here it is without the ends weaved in. plus i realize i'm an amatuer with the knitting photography - need to bump that up a bit.

Pattern: Children's Cotton Hats from Last Minute Gifts
Yarn: 1 skein Mission Falls 1824 Cotton color 402 (at Purl)
Needles: Addi size 7 16" and size 7 dpns

Okay, so this is likely happened to many new knitters and it's happening to me. So after the hat I got a little maniacal about continuing. Ever since I bought LMG a year ago, I've been obsessed with two projects - the childs placket and the man sweater on the last page. Only a couple of weeks ago was I brave enough to attempt the childs placket. With my first hat underway – I felt like I could try anything! I hit Purl and asked for some help picking out yarn. Given my “beginner status” I didn’t want to throw down $50 in yarn bc I was fairly sure I would screw up so I picked up Cascade 220. Unfortunately the gauge was a bit off (yes, I committed the cardinal sin of not swatching first) but it worked out in the end.

I feel like I may be going through knitting stages. Frankly- i haven't made one thing for myself. it's all gifts and i have no idea who this sweater is for and who the hat is for. i have a lot of friends who have kids between 0 and 2 years, hopefully they'll appreciate this. i look at these projects simply to a) try something new (like a sweater and a hat) and b) get practice so i can make something for myself.

john and i went home to my mom’s for thanksgiving and i started this sweater right before. needless to say that my mom was not excited that i had my head stuck in my needles. actually she was - mom's of new knitters (esp mom's who have no idea what knitting entails) are highly impressed with it.

by the time i left on sunday i had the body plus two sleeves done. i actually didn't bring enough yarn home to finish! woo hoo! i know that sounds weird that i'm happy about that but to me it means quick progress.

Again – the finishing is what kills me. Here it is 99% done.

Yarn: Cascade 220 – a little over 1 skein
Pattern: Child’s Placket Sweater from Last Minute Gifts
Needle: size 7 circular 24”, 7dpn and tapestry needle
Mod: Because the yarn knits up much larger than the recommended yarn, I basically followed the pattern for the 0-6 months to achieve the 1-2 years (I swatched, after 3 hours of knitting, mind you, and did the math). So I followed the 0-6 month on # stitches but knitted the length to the specs for the 1-2 year old.

The other big bad thing I need to figure out is how to knit more evenly. You can see from the bottom that the knits are fairly fluent because I'm knitting in the round (all knits) but when you start knitting the sleeves onto the body you go back and forth in stockinette stitch - so my purls on the WS are showing a big change in the fabric. I need to figure that out.

in the meantime, i'm itching for my new project, which is ms. Marigold. As mentioned, I only discovered knitting blogs about 2 weeks ago and in my search for NY ones, I found spidernet, and found carrieoke, who is great and who a) did a gorgeous ms marigold and b) did a gorgeous hourglass - my next project.

so on saturday of thanksgiving, i went on to my mom's lovely gateway computer - with dial up - and ordered yarn and a size 3 circular from knitpicks. it took me about 45 minutes (said dial up) and it's now Sunday and i don't have my yarn. the reality is i probably shouldn't yet - but every morning i reread the pattern and i'm just crazy to start this.

So to present. John and I are heading to the Dominican Republic on Thursday and I had to do necessary errands today – get sunscreen, pedicure, etc. I decided to go to The Point for the first time today. I’ll detail it out later but yarn shops really intimidate me. I’m not sure if this is true for all new knitters but I simply get overwhelmed with the whole thing. I just wanted to check the situation out – with my ammo being that I wanted to grab Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears. Hands down, love the place. I always want to sit down and knit at these shops but feel really uncomfortable about it – but this place just seems so unbelievably friendly so I’m eager to go back to knit and drink lots of coffee.

Needless to say I got Knitting Without Tears and read it all through my pedi. I LOVE IT.

Alas, I am so sitting down to finish this final blanket tonight. And pray to the mail heavens that my Knitpicks comes tomorrow.

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