Category: Knitting (Page 3 of 4)

Lace and Shawls

UntitledI like to challenge myself as I learn to knit, but there’s no road map to follow as far as “well, now that I know X skill, I should learn Y skill” – and it works, since there are hundreds if not thousands of different things to learn when it comes to knitting. I have started setting aside patterns with techniques I’d like to learn, but it’s a slow process to figure out the order of things so that I’m both challenging myself, but not taking on too much too soon (and thus getting discouraged). I thought socks were going to be the ‘end goal’ of my knitting, but it turns out that they were actually the catalyst that sent me out searching for new projects. Socks are pretty standard and once to learn one ‘style’ you’re pretty much set. The next thing I found myself fascinated with was lace, and shawls.

I found a very good beginner pattern that only involves a little bit of lace. Lace is basically any piece that involves increases (these create fancy open spaces) and decreases. The shawl posted above is found here on ravelry free of charge. It only has one lace row, and you work it from the top down. What I’ve done here is used two types of yarn, remember I’m still learning and still very much a beginner, so I’m just using basic acrylic for this shawl. The black is Phentex Worsted Solids, and the second yarn is Red Heart Boutique, Unforgettable, in Sunrise. It’s an amazing LOOKING yarn that shifts colours to look like a sunrise, but it’s an absolute pain in the arse to actually knit with. It’s slippery, splits, and just isn’t much fun especially for a beginner. That being said, take your time, and you’ll do just fine.

So the lace row and the stockinette rows are done with the sunrise yarn, and the back is just garter stitch. Simple, looks pretty, and teaches me the basics of shawls. I have every intention of moving on to Skywalker by Laura Nelkin before too long, this pattern is actually from a Craftsy class that I picked up. I have some beautiful bright yellow fingering weight yarn that I’d like to attempt that shawl with.

I love lace – but I’m not very good at reading charts. I’m hoping to get better but it goes very slowly and requires a lot of practice. I’m also thinking that it might be fun to get into beads. I saw a very lovely shawl with glow in the dark beads knit into the pattern and it looked amazing. I’ve never done any bead work before and I don’t have the slightest idea about what is involved, but it’s still something I have been thinking about, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I dive in.

In the meanwhile, I have two projects on my needles right now. Last night I completed a 6 foot cable scarf that is to be a Christmas present, and I have the shawl along with a very plain blanket on the go. What will I work on next? Depends on my mood.

Yarn Sales? YARN SALES!

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Since I just recently started knitting (September of this year) I’m still learning about the ins and outs of yarn purchases. What I do know is that the yarn I usually get from Michaels (the only local craft store in my area) is not as nice (also the price is very expensive) as the yarn I get from say.. KnitPicks while they have their cyber monday sale going on. That means that most of last week was spent stocking up on a lot of yarn. I mean, a LOT. Probably too much. OK definitely too much. I do have quite a few patterns in mind and added to my queue which should take care of most of these, but here’s the grand total of what I’m waiting to show up at my door. They should arrive throughout the week and into next week, hopefully:

  • Lint Shaver
  • Locking Knitting Stitch Markers
  • Blocking matts
    2 Cobblestone Heather Brava Worsted
    2 Dublin Brava Worsted
    2 Baker Street Felici Special Reserve
    2 Rainbow Felici Fingering
    2 Fedora WotA Sport Yarn
    2 Forest Heather WotA Sport Yarn
    2 Thyme WotA Sport Yarn
    1 Black Brava Sport
    1 Dublin Brava Sport
    1 Silver Brava Sport
    1 Umber Heather Brava Sport
    1 White Brava Sport
    2 Rainbow Felici Fingering
    2 Time Traveler Felici Fingering
    2 Black Stroll Glimmer
    2 Sagebrush Palette
    1 Blue Varigated Special BUY
    1 Denim Varigated Special BUY
    1 Fashion Varigated Special BUY
    1 Peacock Varigated Special BUY
    2 Purple Varigated Special BUY
    1 Red Varigated Special BUY
    2 Black Brava Sport
    1 Celestial Brava Sport
    1 Dublin Brava Sport
    1 Eggplant Brava sport
    1 Fairytale Brava sport
    1 Grass Brava Sport
    1 Lady Slipper Brava Sport
    1 Marina Brava Sport
    1 Red Brava Sport
    1 Solstice Heather Brava Sport
    1 Wine Brava Sport
    2 Fanciful Felici
    5 Clover Palette
    2 Jay Stroll Glimmer
    2 Potion Stroll Glimmer

Most of the yarn was less than $2 per skein, the felici was a bit more, but it’s amazing sock yarn. The blocking mats I really needed since I have nothing to lay projects out on at the moment, and I still have my shawl ongoing. I bought brava sport in colours to make a hue shift afghan, and I saw a stranded colourwork mitt done with stroll glimmer as the background colour that was just amazing. I’m hoping that this is enough yarn to keep me busy for the next year, and my goal is not to buy any yarn at all, but instead to work on my knitting skills, gifts, and enjoy my hobby. Don’t forget, if you’re on Ravelry you can add me as a friend here. I’ve got my projects posted, my yarn stash (to date) posted (I haven’t added the KnitPicks sale items yet as I haven’t received them) and I’m pretty active on the forums in a few groups that I have found.

This weekend I started working on my 2nd pair of socks, the first sock should be completed today. It’s amazing how much faster they go once you’ve made a pair, my first pair took me a week per sock, these ones are three days per sock (approximately). They’re a pair of patterned socks, since my first pair were plain I wanted to keep challenging myself. More pictures in tomorrow’s post!

Letting Out my Inner Knitting Geek

MinecraftCompletedI spend a lot of time on Ravelry just browsing different patterns and thinking about whether or not I actually want to attempt said pattern. I fit some where into the ‘medium ease’ category. I typically set patterns to a level of 2-3 on the difficulty setting. I don’t think I’m quite ready for category 4, but I’m hoping that as time progresses I’ll get better, and learn more skills. Eventually I’d love to be able to attempt very complex difficult patterns. Since I’ve only been knitting for three months so far, I won’t beat myself up too much over the level at which I’m knitting.

A lot of patterns have very few differences between them. Take hats, for example. They are all created in basically the same way, with variations at certain parts. They start off with a set amount of CO stitches, are worked with ribbing (often, so that the hat sits properly on your head) or cables acting as ribbing, and then you work up a few more inches before you start to decrease, closing up the hat. How the decrease is achieved can vary, but a lot of the time it’s a simple Kx, K2tog pattern that repeats until you’re left with just a few stitches. Then you weave your tail through those stitches and close up the hat. Really not complicated, and the more you knit these types of things the more familiar you become with any adjustments that you may need to make. What you decide to do in the ‘fun’ parts of that object are up to you. One thing I’ve been having a lot of fun with, is finding patterns and designs that are a bit ‘geeky’ in nature. Take the hat on the far left side as an example. That hat is knit with Minecraft creepers going around the circumference of it. It was incredibly fast to knit up (took a single day) and the pattern I planned out with graph paper. It’s not unique as I’ve seen others create items with the same pattern, but on graph paper patterns like this become much easier to visualize and plan out. For this hat in particular, I did a few inches of K2P2 ribbing, then worked straight stockinette stitch in the round while doing stranded colour work for the creeper faces and the green stitch above and below the faces. Then I did a few more rounds of stockinette so that the hat would be long enough, and started my decrease rounds. I don’t own DPN in the proper size yet (they’ve been ordered but haven’t arrived) and I really do not enjoy the magic loop method of knitting, so finishing them became a bit tricky. Thankfully I have a set of “shortie” knitting needles from KnitPicks that just arrived last week, so they have been seeing lots of use. When I have 6 stitches left on my needles I finish the hat off with the kitchener stitch, and then tuck the tails into the hat and weave them to secure. Overall, I’m quite pleased. The hat posted here was my first one, and I’ve made two more after that one. I have one more left to go, I’ve knit three of them for a friend who wanted them for her children. Two are in the green pictured above, and one is done with the creeper icon in pink, and has a pink / black pompom attached to the top. I think that one is my favourite.

In the meantime, I’ve also still been working on my cable scarf. I’ve also got a November KAL (see previous post if you’re not sure what a KAL is) that is a cable hat – and I’m hoping to complete this hat in the same yarn that the scarf is being knit in. That’s the Brava Bulky yarn from KnitPicks, in the Fairy Tale colour. It’s a wonderful rich colour, and the price was perfect (I bought it on sale, $1.99 for a 100g ball). The yarn is not the most fantastic, it splits quite easily, but it is very warm and like I said the price was right. Anyway, I’m really hoping to be able to knit the hat to match the scarf (even though I know the cables are not the same, it shouldn’t matter much I don’t think and hopefully it’s still very beautiful). With that being said, I’ve had to ask for some help in how I would adjust the pattern. The weight suggested is a worsted weight yarn, and I want to create the hat in a bulky weight yarn, so it’s a bit tricky for me as a new knitter to understand what I do in that situation. The people on my KAL forums are amazing though and I’ve asked for some help, so I’m sure they can get me situated. That’s one thing I really enjoy about Ravelry, there are so many very kind people there.

Once I complete the rest of the Minecraft hats, the cable scarf, and the cable hat, I believe I’ll be switching back to socks for a bit. I want to learn how to knit them toe-up, and how to add patterns like lace or cables to them. So far I only know one sock pattern, and while it’s delightfully simple, I’d like to widen my experiences and knowledge a bit.

Happy knitting!

What’s a KAL

20151027_060731_resizedSometimes even though I love knitting, I just don’t know what I want to make. I think about the yarn I have, the projects I have stored up, people in my life, and none of it wants to come together into a project. That’s where KAL projects can be a great filler. There are all sorts of them, for every type of knitter. “KAL” means “knit along” – and it’s typically a project you (gasp) knit along with others. This allows you to have discussions about the piece, get help, show off your progress and all the rest. Even though you’re all making the same project, using different types of yarn and having different sets of skills and tensions creates very different projects. I spent some time looking through the Ravelry groups and eventually settled on “Beginner’s Knit-Along” which is an active group with quite a few members. They have three types of knit along projects. Special KALs, Monthly KALs, and Mini KALs. The patterns are all free, and they keep the old ones up in the group so there’s no required ‘end date’ you can take as long as you want, you can begin the project when ever you want, and you can choose whichever project you’d like. I like this method quite a bit. It’s a great friendly place for beginners, and you’ll learn lots of skills. The first thing I decided to do was the mini KAL 2 for October, which is the lace headband that I’m wearing in the picture on this post (apologies for the quality, the bathroom mirror is not the prettiest place to take a picture). It was a very easy piece to knit up, it only took an evening. It fits well, stretches, and taught me that I’ve been doing my SSK stitches wrong. The mini KAL can be found here, it’s called February Lady Lace Headband. I’m trying to be a bit more social, knitting is a great activity and it’s nice to meet like-minded folks of all ages. I know previously knitting was seen as something only grandmothers did, but these days people of all ages are getting involved. Especially now that there has been some studies released about the benefits of knitting.

Some of the KAL projects seem a bit too advanced for me at this time – but I can’t wait to dive in. I WANT to keep challenging myself, I want to keep knitting bigger and ‘better’ projects, and getting more complex. I would also like to learn to read charts properly, for now I still go by text instructions, which is fine, but being able to read charts is also important. There’s a vote up for the project for November, it looks like the hat is winning out at this time, but that could change. In the meantime, I am still working on my cable scarf. I’ve finished the first skein and it’s a bit over two feet long, I’m aiming for a scarf 5 feet long (general rule of thumb is that scarves should be as long as the wearer is tall) as a Christmas gift. I should be able to get it done in plenty of time. It’s also time to cast on another pair of socks! This time I’m knitting them in a worsted weight yarn, so I need to re-make a gauge swatch so I know what size needles to use. I’m guessing I’ll need to get down to a size 1 or so to make gauge, but we’ll see.

Happy knitting!

 

A Completed Pair of Socks, and the Kitchener Stitch

UntitledI was incredibly happy to finish my very first pair of socks. I went step by step using a class from Craftsy called “My First Socks” – and it went wonderfully. The socks are comfortable, fit perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier. Of course I hope to make a few more pairs, expand my knowledge of ‘sock stuff’ and we’ll see if I can manage making fancier ones over time, but for now, I’m really happy with my plain basic ones.

The only ‘difficult’ part I had with the sock was when it came to the toes. The course goes on to teach you a method of chimney grafting. It teaches you how stitches lock together, and basically you knit an extra bunch of stitches like a chimney at the end of the toe, then tuck that into the sock, then link the stitches of your sock together and then remove the chimney. My issues is that with my first sock I ended up not linking the stitches properly (really easy to do when you’re working with sock yarn) and I ended up dropping all sorts of stitches which freaked me out because it could have unraveled the entire toe.

For the second sock I decided to do things a bit differently. I learned that the chimney graft is actually just an adaptation to the Kitchener Stitch, but it involves sewing (stitching) instead of knitting. I watched a few videos on how to do this stitch, and voila, perfectly grafted toes that look beautiful, and no stress from any dropped stitches.  It was much less stress and I’m really glad to have found the stitch. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a comfortable sock before, great for those winter months.

Each sock took a bit less than 50g of yarn, and took approximately a week off and on of knitting to complete. It’s small enough that they’re portable for when you’re going out and about and want to bring your knitting with you (waiting for a doctor’s appointment as a good example). I did have a few issues with the type of yarn I used, it was uneven in some spots and there were three knots that I came across through the skein which really frustrated me, but for the price I suppose I shouldn’t complain. I believe I paid less than $10 total for both 50g balls, which isn’t a bad price for a nice pair of custom fit socks. Of course I’ll be making more.

I have three other sock courses from Craftsy, and I’m eager to see how those ones go. One issue I have with the classes is that I find the instructors take too long to get to the point and tend to flood the video with stories from their lives, which is great but I’m not trying to form a bond with the instructors I just want to know how to do xyz thing. That’s one of the reasons I really like the instructional videos on YouTube, I can go and find one and all it does is teach me what I want to know, thus making them MUCH shorter. The Craftsy classes can be hours long, and by the time I’ve made my way through an entire video my attention span has waned and I’ve moved on to a new project. I wish they had ‘optional’ classes that just taught you the technical aspects without all the story time. Still, they’re great teaching tools and they obviously work.

Now that my socks are completed I’ve moved on to a few other projects, the scarf that I wrote about yesterday, and a new winter hat that I’ve been working on that includes my first attempts at colour work. I think it has been turning out pretty well so far, but that’s a post for tomorrow! Happy knitting. <3

The Excitement of Cables

cabelsThere’s still so much in knitting that I don’t know how to do, and I’ve got a feeling that even if I were to knit every single day for the next couple of years, I would still be learning new techniques. Each instructor and pattern has their own way of doing things in order for your piece to turn out the way the designer intended. I’ve slowly been picking up the basics, moving beyond the simple knit and purl, and into working with colours (that post will be coming tomorrow) and cables. I’ve always really admired cables. They’re beautiful, the intricate patterns that just seem to draw your eye around the piece. Little did I know that getting into cables would be VERY easy.

I wanted to make a bulky scarf as a Christmas gift, and had 10 skeins of a Fairy Tale brava bulky yarn waiting for a project. I decided to find a very simple cable pattern that also looked pretty neat. I was really excited to begin this part of my knitting, and little did I know that it would be much easier than I had thought.

Cables in essence are just about knitting in a different order. Why always knit every stitch that comes up next on the needle after all. Honestly, I had no idea that that’s all there was to cables (at least the basic ones, maybe there’s more to the complicated ones, I’m still learning). The pattern I’m using for my simple cable is really plain. I work the pattern until I get to the part where the cable begins, then I slide 4 stitches purl-wise onto a holder that I then move behind my piece. I had to google what was meant by ‘move the needle behind’ because I had no idea. Turns out it means just that, just put it behind and keep on knitting. So once I’ve slipped my 4 stitches off to the holder, I keep knitting 4 more stitches that are on my needle. Then I slide those 4 stitches back onto my left hand needle (some people don’t do this step, they just knit right off of the holder which is fine too but I don’t feel I’m quite there yet), and then you knit those 4 stitches. You continue on with the pattern from there.

Knitting them out of order makes the glorious bumps in the piece that you can see above. Moving the holder to the front will make the cable curve to the left, moving it to the back will make it curve to the right, like in my piece. They’re all right hand curves.

I can already tell the piece will also need to be blocked properly once it’s completed too. You really want those stitches to pop properly, and since it’s a scarf I’ll want to make sure my edges are all neat and tidy. There’s a huge difference between a blocked piece and an unblocked one. Thanks to the bulk of the yarn the pattern is really quick to work up, and the scarf shouldn’t take too long to make. Of course I need to pay a bit of attention so that I’m following the pattern correctly, but I’m able to read the knit / purl stitches now so I know how to fix my mistakes at least.

I absolutely love the world of knitting that I’ve explored so far. I’ve found myself spending more and more of my off time knitting, which I don’t think is a bad thing. Everyone has their hobbies after all. I’m sure listening to me blather on about it gets pretty boring, but I’m hoping that some people share in my enthusiasm.

 

Revelry and New Projects Galore

Baby top2I have very little patience. I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. Waiting for parcels in the mail can be a physically painful process as I run out and check it from the very first day I’ve ordered anything. I’ve been waiting for one parcel for 8 weeks now even though I know it won’t ship for at least two more. Because of that I tend to want to work on very quick projects that won’t take a lot of time. Projects that take between one week and four weeks are best. They keep my attention while I work on them but I don’t feel overwhelmed. A good example is the blanket that I started working on a few weeks back. Where is it? Tucked safely away in a craft bag. Those socks that take approximately 1 week or less to knit up? Almost done the second sock. That’s how I ended up finding the pattern for the ‘all in one baby top‘ pictured to the left. It took me only a day to knit up, and it’s so cute. This one in specific was for the 0-3 months age group. There’s no sewing required, it’s all a single piece.

Ravelry is a fantastic site for knitters and crocheters alike. You can find free patterns along with paid patterns, and a huge forum with many active yarn loving groups. You can find me there (of course) as Stargrace if you happen to want to friend up. It’s a great place to keep track of your projects, patterns, needles you own, your stash, etc. I’m using it mostly as a place to document my progression through knitting (aside from this blog which also serves this purpose).  Remember I’ve only been knitting for about three months now, so I want to see the new terms I’ve learned and my growth over time. Starting from flat pieces like my fingerless mitts, and moving forward to items like this baby top. Next I’d like to explore colour work, so there’s a hat in mind I’m going to try. I believe it uses stranding, and it’s very pretty. Of course I don’t have the faintest idea how this works, so it’ll be an interesting experiment to see if it turns out.

I learned a new term while working on the baby top above, too. I’ve been bookmarking all of the knitting videos I use into just one location on YouTube so I can browse them easily and come back to them. While working on the baby top I learned the m1 instruction, which stands for ‘make 1’. Basically there are two methods of doing this (technically I suppose there are three). The method I learned was to take the bar between two stitches, pull it up with the right needle, then slip it onto the left needle, and stitch into the back of it (so you don’t leave a gap). This “makes one” new stitch. It’s basically a fancy increase. Now that I feel secure with the basics, I like adding more and more information to the knowledge I already know. A lot of reading patterns (for me at least, so far) is just about trying to figure out what the pattern writer actually meant. Sometimes they’re very clear with what direction the pattern is flowing in, and other times they’re more confusing. I’m still not able to read charts and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to, but the written instructions work well for me.

On that note, it’s time to start the next project (maybe I should finish those socks, first). Happy knitting!

Motivation for Round Two

sock2I took a bit of a break after completing my first sock just to switch things up. I finished off a few books, played some video games, and made plans for future projects. I know that when it comes to other hobbies I can get burnt out, and I didn’t want that to happen with knitting, especially since the colder weather is slowly creeping up on us. This week I decided it was time to get started on the second sock to my pair, and things started moving along much quicker than the first. I’m about half way done now, finishing off the heel flap so that I can begin the short row heel and then bring everything back into the round and then I’ll start the instep. I’m still not happy with grafting, and I’ve been looking at alternative methods of doing toes so that I don’t have to graft. I understand the logic behind it, linking your stitches and all the rest, but when I do it I end up missing stitches and then before I know it half of the sock has come undone. Not good.

I know it takes practice, and so that’s what I’ll have to do. I think part of my issue was it was my first sock and I was using a very fine yarn, makes it hard to see the stitches in order to graft them. Still, the rest of the sock was really easy and if grafting the toe is the only difficulty that I have, I can’t really complain about that.

I ordered some new needles last week to go along with my interchangeable set as well. I needed a size 17 for an upcoming project, and decided I may as well. Since I expect my interchangeable set will last me for some time I don’t mind adding to the collection. I also picked up an extension to the set so that I can make the cord longer for larger projects. I wish the default set had come with it, but for the price I got them at I’m not really too upset. I was just looking at knitting supplies in Michaels the other day and noticed that their bamboo interchangeable set was $230 (Canadian) where as the nickel plated set that I bought were only $45 (USD).

Of course since I was in Michaels I had to pick up a few more skeins of yarn. I ended up buying one more skein of a blanket type yarn for a blanket I’ve been working on (slowly), and I bought two skeins of sock yarn (really lovely colours, purples and reds) and a third skein that’s worsted weight but could be used for a number of projects. It’s very soft, so I may turn that into a pair of socks too. That skein looks like fire, strips of bright red and yellow that blend together. Absolutely beautiful. When my needles finally get here I’ll be starting a prayer shawl for a friend in-need. I’ve got a few skeins of a bulky royal purple colour that I think would be perfect and she has been going through a rough time so I want to make her something. I’m not sure what else I want to knit. I want to keep learning, of course, but making a decision on what to do next is difficult for me. I do have a few Craftsy classes for knitting mitts and gloves, I wouldn’t mind making a pair or two of that. Of course the other issue is that I don’t tend to keep very much yarn on me, I have many smaller skeins but not a lot of the same colours for larger projects. I also keep seeing people crocheting these awesome granny square blankets for their children and friends and I keep thinking that I should give that a try. Granny squares and me don’t really get along though. I’ve tried to make them a number of times and they always end up so weird. I’m not sure why. I’ve made stuffed animals out of crochet before and other items without issue (a hat, a scarf) but for some reason granny squares are the one thing I get stuck on.

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to these days. I hope to finish the second sock this week so the pair will be completed, begin another pair of socks for a friend, and begin the prayer shawl. What I’ll work on after that is anyone’s guess.

One Sock Down, Lets Make it a Pair

SockAfter one week of knitting and pattern reading, I have finished my very first sock. Honestly, there are so many emotions I’m feeling it’s a bit odd. Of course now I need to begin the second sock but I’m hoping that I find it even easier than the first one. Maybe I won’t need to reference the video so many times and I’ll be able to just use my pattern.

It’s incredibly comfortable. So comfortable in fact that I slept with it on last night. That’s right, I slept with a single sock clinging to my foot.

I used size US 3 DPN to knit this sock, along with 50g of Patons Kroy Socks FX yarn, in Cadet colours (I believe). The yarn is a mixture of wool and nylon with just the right amount of stretch.

I thought the hardest part of the sock would be the heel, but that was actually one of the easier parts. There were only two ‘hard’ parts. One was picking up the instep stitches to bring the work back into the round. The second and most difficult part was the toe. I absolutely hated doing the toe. In fact I messed it up big time. That being said, I honestly don’t care, the rest of the foot is lovely. The toe method that was in my pattern was a grafted one, and I ended up dropping a lot of stitches and having to figure out which ones I had dropped so that the whole sock didn’t unravel. I’m thinking of just adjusting the pattern to my own liking when I reach the end of the toe in the future, maybe just plain stitching it up or something. I haven’t decided. One thing I’ve learned and I really enjoy about knitting (and enjoyed it a lot during my sock progress) is that knitting is flexible. For example, have too many stitches or do a left slanting decrease when you meant to do a right? That’s absolutely fine, in the grand scheme of things (like my sock) you won’t even notice these things. I’m sure there are other pieces of knitting where a mistake like that is unforgivable, but in my sock the only person who knows there’s an issue will be me. Especially because no one is going to be looking so closely at these.

Did I mention I’m proud? I know, it’s a bit silly, but I really am. My experience with knitting has been so different over the past few months than it had been years previously. I’m honestly not sure why I find that I am able to pick things up now compared to my previous attempts, but I AM glad that I’ve managed to get somewhere this time. I’ve owned my Craftsy courses on how to knit socks for years now, and as I read the patterns my eyes would glaze over and I’d lose track of what it all meant.

Coming up next on my needles will be the second sock to this pair (of course). I’ve got a few other projects in mind while I’m working on that. I’d like to do a prayer shawl for a friend (these don’t have to be religious, they’re basically shawls knit with good intentions and thoughts along with prayers, and given to a person who is going through a rough time in life) as well as some mittens or gloves. There’s also the second baby blanket I want to do for my other cousin (remember two of them are pregnant) and we’ll see what else. I’m hoping to continue learning new techniques and to improve the more I knit. It has been an amazing journey so far (and incredibly relaxing).

 

It’s a Sockdate

SockThis week I started my very first sock. Socks have been an ‘end game’ goal for me for years now, they were the reason I wanted to learn how to knit at all. I don’t know what I found so appealing about them, something about actually wearing an item you’ve created that doesn’t take a lot of yarn and you could work on it almost anywhere. To the left is my progress so far. First I started with a k2p2 ribbed cuff, then I worked plain for the leg of the sock, then the heel flap was done in a reinforced stitch, I decreased the instep, and now I’m working towards the toes. I’ll stop around the beginning of my baby toe, and then start decreasing again to shape the toes. Then I’ll be using a chimney graph to close the toe up. The heel flap was done using short rows, and it was my most stressful thought before I started doing it, but was actually the least stressful step out of all of them. The most difficult part so far has been when I attempted to bring the heel flap and the rest of the foot back into the round. Making sure I had the proper amount of stitches and then making sure I was decreasing at the appropriate places was a bit of a pain.

Over all, the sock progress has been going very well and I’m really pleased with how I’ve taken to it. It fits well, it’s comfortable, and I am excited to start the second one so I can have a pair. Once I’ve done both socks I have some gloves and mittens I might knit up, or I might try that shawl I’ve been meaning to do, or I might take a break and try some crochet and work on a blanket. Or maybe I’ll take a break from the fiber arts for a bit and do some reading. The wonderful thing is that it’s October now, and fall has landed in full swing already. It’s cold outside, the leaves are falling, and I am in my element. I feel incredibly blessed.

Though harder to see, my heart still has sadness in it. I keep thinking about Nette and how much life she brought to everyone, and it hurts. It hurts that I was supposed to send her some of my knit items and that I never got a chance. That she commented on all of my pieces and was just so very enthusiastic. I know time is supposed to ease the pain but it’s still a very surreal situation. I think part of my motivation to do a good job and learn knitting so quickly has been because of her. I miss her so much.

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