Tag Archives: knitting

Ideas, ideas…

Every once in a while, I start to run out of ideas.  It happens sometimes, after all, I’ve been writing posts three times a week for the last four years.

So, I’d love to hear your ideas!

Do you have questions about techniques?  Do you want more tutorials?Do you want to see what I’m working on?Are you interested in seeing more new patterns?  If so, what do you like to knit?Is there something else you’d like to see?

Let me know!  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

“Last Night Allison” Strikes Again

You all remember the last time Last Night Allison struck.  It wasn’t pretty. I mean, I managed to fix it, but it was touch and go for a while, and way more difficult than I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, Last Night Allison struck again.  But here’s the worst part.  I have no excuse for my bad decisions.  It wasn’t late (actually it was about 3:00 in the afternoon).  I hadn’t been drinking (except a cup of decaffeinated tea).  And, I really should have been paying attention.

I was starting the prototype of a sweater I’m working on.  The pattern begins with (spoiler!) a 1×1 rib for about 2 inches.

This is what I knit:Allison, that’s not a 1×1 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib!  That’s a 2×2 rib that you worked on for about three hours before realizing your mistake!  (There was swearing.)

So, then, I had to decide, do I rip out the whole thing?  Start over?  Or, do I painstakingly go through with a crochet hook and change half the knits to purls, and half the purls to knits?

I bet you can’t guess what Last Night Allison chose.  (That’s right!  She picked the most fiddly and difficult choice possible.)I ripped each column of stitches out, one by one, carefully picking them back up in the proper orientation.  Which is totally not a super annoying process.  Ha!Amazingly, the fixed ribbing actually looks pretty good- I was afraid it would be a little wonky, but it looks OK.The only problem is I’ve still got well over halfway to go.  I think my “quick fix” is going to end up taking longer than re-knitting the whole thing would have.  Of course, at this point I’ve sunk too much effort into it, so I’m here for the long haul.What would you have done?  Would you have ripped the whole thing and re-knit, or do you have agreed with Last Night Allison?  Or, do you have a magical solution that would have been better than either?

Chuck is Finished!

Woo Hoo!  I’ve got another finished sweater!

The knitting on this one went like the wind- a combo of a big (ish) gauge, short sleeves, cropped waistline, and my time off work for spring break. I essentially finished this bad boy in a week!

It’s just as cute as I was hoping for (though it is a little itchy.  But, I’m a knitter- I can survive itchy wool).  And, it fits like a glove!

Get ready for some awkward-as-friends pictures!  (I was home alone, and had about 5 minutes to try taking pictures between pouring rain and hail!)  I need some lessons on taking nice pictures of myself wearing sweaters- everyone else on Ravelry seems to get it, but I always end up making myself look like a big goober.  Of course, I am a big goober, so maybe that’s the problem.

Anyway!  Ta-da!The modified collar turned out perfectly, and I love the additional cable down the spine. And, this sweater is surprisingly warm!  That means I can wear my summer dresses in the spring (at least while it isn’t raining).

Have you finished up any projects lately?

Sockhead

I’m sure you were all waiting with baited breath to find out what I decided to do with my skein of Tosh Merino.

Well, I sat down on Monday night to start knitting, and I thought I was going to make the Annis shawl.  But, then my husband put on an episode of the new MST3K, and I couldn’t focus on casting on all that lace.  So instead I started on a Sockhead Slouch HatI love it so far- It’s a super simple pattern, so it’ll really show off the pretty color of the yarn.  I love how soft the fabric is turning out.  And, I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it.  It’s not crazy thick and wintery- I’ve got plenty of thick winter hats.  I needed something a little lighter, for breezy spring days.I won’t lie, though, at this small gauge, it’s going to take me a hot minute to finish this hat.  But it’s so simple, it’ll be good TV-watching/coffee-shop-sitting/waiting-for-class-to-start knitting.  In fact, I knit about an inch yesterday morning waiting for my dog to get done with his haircut.

(Do you want to see pictures of him?  Of course you do.)

Before:  Shaggy old wizard dog

After: Teddy bear puppy

Anyway, dog aside, I’m enjoying this hat pattern.  Especially with some of the more *ahem* elaborate patterns I’ve been working on lately, it’s nice to make a super-simple project like this.

Have you been working on anything exciting lately?

Happy Easter!

Did you just see the Easter Bunny hop by?  Because, I think I did!

And what’s that over there?  Is that a special Easter present just for you?

I think it might be!

(Full disclosure: I don’t really celebrate Easter, but any holiday that involves candy, baby animals, and deviled eggs is all right with me!)

It’s my patterns, the Little Knit Doll, and her Easter Set! These are some of my favorite patterns I’ve made- I mean, look at her!  She’s totally cute! The doll is fully knit, and about 8 inches tall.  In the basic pattern, the Little Knit Doll comes with a simple sun dress and a lot of hair.  And the Easter set includes a cute puffed-sleeve dress, bunny ears, and an adorable little Easter basket.

Usually these patterns are $5 each, but this weekend only, head over to Ravelry and use the coupon code “BUNNY” to get both patterns for free!

Happy Easter!

(Also, this is the first time I’ve tried using coupon codes on Ravelry, so let me know if you’re having trouble!)

I Have Made A Huge Mistake

So, you know the other day, when I told you all the changes I was planning on making to my Chuck sweater?

Well.

It’s going… not great.

Last night, I managed to get to just under the armpits.  The big cable down the front is turning out gorgeous.  I love the way each column of stitches peels off, weaves through the other columns, then joins back together.  I even managed to figure out the changes to the neckline.  I brought in the sides and raised the back of the neck slightly.  I’ll have to wait to see how it looks with the collar added, but I feel pretty confident about it.

However,  I made a huge mistake.OK, maybe not a huge mistake, but I’ve done something super dumb.

I wanted to add a cable down the back of the sweater, but instead of actually working the cable as I went, like a smart person, I kind of forgot about it until late last night.  So, like the genius I am, I dropped the six stitches I planned on using for the cable, and ripped almost all the way back to the cast-on, and started knitting them back up, cabling as I went.(Full disclosure: my husband made me a very tasty tropical drink after dinner last night, which could have been the source of last night’s excessive confidence as I ripped back these stitches.)

In the bright light of morning, I have some regrets with regard of how I’ve been going about this project.  But, I’ve got a hot cup of coffee and I’ve got my fingers crossed, so I should be able to fix the mayhem that “Last Night Allison” created.

Have you ever sat down with your knitting, only to realize you did something really dumb the night before?  What did you do, and were you able to fix it?

Inspiration: Daffodils!

It’s officially, 100%, completely, totally springtime here in the Pacific Northwest.  That means two things:

  1.  I’ve started taking allergy medication again, yet still spend every morning sneezing and sniffling.
  2.  Daffodils!


The daffodils are blooming, and I’m so excited!  We planted a big bag of bulbs in the fall, and I wasn’t sure if they’d come up this year, so I was just thrilled when they started peeking through the dirt about a month ago.  They’re really going to town now, our yard if full of the cheerful little guys. (Full disclosure, the photo is our neighbors’ yard, because they have even more daffodils than us, and it makes for a much more impressive picture.  #goals)  I’ve filled our house with cut flowers (which is delightful, but is probably what’s making me sneeze all over the place).

If you love daffodils as much as I do (and if you’re more logical about your allergies than I am), maybe you’ll want to get cracking on some daffodil-themed knitting.

This adorably accurate daffodil is too cute for words!  Can you imagine making a whole bouquet of these bad boys?

Daffodils by Jessica GoddardAnd this shawl is so beautiful!  I love the honeycomb-ish pattern she used to fill the big petals.

Daffodil Design by Marianne KinzelBut, I think this little lady takes the cake.  She’s a tiny fairy wearing a daffodil as a dress!  Have you ever seen anything more darling?  (And, I say that as someone who’s never called anyone or anything “darling” in her life.)

Daffodil Flower Fairy by Lorna PearmanAre the Daffodils blooming in your neck of the woods?

PvP Knitting

Every week (well, three times a week), I write about knitting.  What I’m knitting, what I’d like to knit, what I’ve finished knitting.  But I never really talk about why I knit.

I know, I know, it seems obvious, right?  I knit because I love to knit.  Simple.  Heck, that’s why we’re all here!  We all love knitting!

But, what is it about knitting that draws us in?  Why do we do what we do?

The common wisdom is that there are two kinds of knitters: Product Knitters and Process Knitters.  And, while the common wisdom is often wrong, I think there’s definitely something to this one.

Product Knitters are in it for the finished product (hence the very creative name).  They see a gorgeous new sweater pop up on Ravelry, and they have to have it.  They work toward a goal.  If they want a new pair of socks, then by god, they’ll have a new pair of socks (even if they hate knitting socks).I can respect that kind of goal-oriented knitting.  I know I feel that urge from time to time (mostly when my old hand-knits start wearing out).

But, if I’m being honest, I’m more of a Process Knitter.

Process Knitters knit for the sake of knitting.  They knit because they love the feel of yarn sliding through their fingers and enjoy the act of making each stitch, one after another.  They see a new pattern and think “Wow, I’d really love to knit that,” not, “Wow, I’d really love to wear that.”  (Which explains some of the sweaters I’ve made and almost never worn… oops!)

Of course, every knitter has a little Process Knitter in them, and a little Product Knitter.  And, I’m sure there are people that knit for other reasons, too.  But no matter where you fall on the Process vs. Product spectrum, we all love what we do.

What do you think about the whole Process Knitter vs. Product Knitter taxonomy?  Is there anything to it?  Which are you?

Late-night Knitting

I go a little crazy every time I get close to finishing a project, especially a big project.  I get a little obsessed, and I kind of lose touch with the passage of time.

It’s not ideal, but it happens.  And, it happened to me last night.  I was finishing up a sweater (a super secret sweater you’ll see later), and I had about six inches of sleeve left to knit.  I sat down to work on it for a few hours, thinking I could power through before it got too late.  I kept measuring it, counting my stitches and rows,  convincing myself that I was almost done.

Until the clock hit 11, and my husband reminded me it was past my bedtime.

After a little whining on my part and cajoling on his, I went to sleep, my last cuff mere rows from completion.It’s probably good he made me go to bed- when I get to this point in a project, if I’m left to my own devices, I stay up as late as necessary to finish.  (I remember once accidentally staying up until 5 in the morning on a week night, just so I could finish a dress I was sewing.  That wasn’t a great idea.)

Anyway, my knitting was still waiting for me this morning.  And after a cup of tea and a little breakfast, I’ve finished my sweater.  Now, it’s off to be blocked!Do you ever lose track of time while working on a project?

Prime-Time Knitting

If you’ve learned anything about me, you know this:

  1. I love knitting.
  2. I love TV.
  3. I love knitting while watching TV (or watching TV while knitting).

What can I say? I’m a woman of simple tastes.

Of course, while I’m knitting, I like to match my projects with the show I’m watching.

I like re-watching old favorites.  Law and Order is always in the rotation- it’s the comforting chicken soup of TV shows (and reruns are almost always playing on some channel).  It’s so formulaic (in the best possible way), you can jump in whenever, or only pay half-attention.9d6ba87cfb1a492fc92923a892f30e661When I’m watching something like Law and Order, I can save most of my brainpower for knitting complex patterns, like these cabled socks.

Fife by Kate Gilbertfife_z_500_medium21A new favorite is Orphan Black.  It’s absolutely crazy, complicated, tense show about clones, conspiracies and peril.  I’ve spent the last week binge-watching the first three seasons, and I’m absolutely riveted.  orphanblacklsjdff1When I’m watching something as crazy as this show, I have to keep my attention on the TV, so I want something simple to knit, like this lovely blanket.

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne511421163_d23641bcae_z1One of my most favorite shows, The Great British Bake Off is right in-between Law and Order and Orphan Black, in terms of how much attention it requires.  It’s tense enough that I get glued to my TV, but also, it’s just baking. (Really impressive baking.)great-british-bake-off1When I’m watching GBBO, I like to work on something comforting, yet slightly complicated.  Something interesting, fun, and satisfying.   Something like this tea cozy (I think Mary would approve):

Chocolate Cake Tea Cosy by fourchette2089133310_4ecb12fd99_z1What’s your favorite TV show/knitting combination?