I 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.