Sunday, March 19, 2017

At last, it's finished!

I have been very lax on keeping up with my blog, but really there hasn't been much to post on here. I have also been battling a sinus infection, so I hope you forgive me, dear listeners.

I now have something to show you!

Heroes of Yarnia by Tania Ritcher

I finished my double knit scarf, that I have previously showed you all in the last blog post. I had so much fun knitting this scarf, but I am so glad it is over.

When the final clue released, I still wasn't finished with Clue 3 (out of 8). I was very behind. Tania had stated that we had to be finished by March 19th, in order to be counted in for prizes. That meant I had little over a month to do more than half of the scarf. I cannot believe I actually did it!

When I had only 2 weeks left, I had figured out I only needed to knit 20 rows a day, and kind of got discouraged. Then I had two days in a row that I knit more than 40 rows. I then only had to knit 15 rows a day. I saw the end it sight!

I am very pleased with how it came out, but more than that- I am pleased with my ability to tackle something new and totally out of my comfort zone. I was intimidated by double knitting for quite a while, but I am so glad I got over that irrational fear, and sat down and did it. It totally paid off, and now am totally addicted to double knitting.

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Adventure of Double Knitting

I know it has been about a week since my last post, so I am going to write about what I have been working on during the small break: Double Knitting.

On Christmas 2016, I bought a pattern for a MKal (Mystery-Knitalong) over on Ravelry for a Double Knit scarf. Pattern: Yarn Quest 2017: Heroes of Yarnia by Tania Richter. 

This MKal is an 8 week KAL. You get clues every Friday, but there is another month to finish your scarf. It started on January 1, 2017. All the clues are now out, and I am just trying to finish my scarf. Here is my scarf:

Clue 1:

Clue 2:

Clue 3:

Clue 4:

As you can see, I am working on Clue 5 now. I also used a chart that another raveler charted out for the Yarnia logo, as a transition chart for the two halves of my scarf.

The yarn I am using is Knitpicks Stroll Brights in "Pickle Juice" and Premier Yarns Serenity Sock in "Black".

This scarf is one of 3 scarves in the 2017 Yarn Quest, and there will be a 2018 version next year. I bought the whole ebook of every pattern for the Yarn Quest over on Ravelry for $35, which is a huge discount!

In fact, there is another MKAL starting on March 3, for the Yarnia Blanket. I already have my yarn chosen. If you would like to check that you, you can find it on ravelry here.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Finished Socks on a Sunday

Well, I did it! I finished the socks I was knitting on for my mom. I posted about it a couple days ago, and here they are finished!

I am quite pleased with how these socks turned out. My mom loves them, and they fit great!

Yarn: Opal Talisman
Colorway: "Gesundheit"

For these socks, I used my basic sock pattern I use. Here is the basics:

Cast on 60 stitches on size 1 (2.25 mm) needles
Cuff: Knit 2x2 ribbing for 12 rounds
Leg: Knit until knitting measures 4" from the cast on
Gusset: pick up 15 stitches either side of flap. 
Toe: Graft at 14 stitches.

Yardage used: 274 yards

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Belated is better than never, right?

It is a tradition, that every year for Christmas I knit my mom a pair of socks. This past Christmas, however, I did not. So, it is now February 2017. I started a pair of socks for her on the 9th. I wanted to get them done by her birthday, which was now 2 days ago. I have just finished the first sock, so therefore, didn't get them finished in time for her birthday.

My original basic sock recipe
Opal Talisman
"9273 Gesundheit"
Although, she knows that she is getting these socks, so I can knit on them around her which is making these socks go a lot faster, as you could imagine. I started the second sock today, while I have been laying on the couch not feeling that well.

All I need now is to go back onto knitting these socks, and hopefully have a pair for her before it gets too warm to wear socks. Wish me luck!

Grandma's Box o' Yarn from the 70's

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about my first attempt in learning to crochet. I thought today would be a great chance for me to tell you all about my attempts to learn to knit, because there were more than one.

It was in 2010 when I first wanted to learn to knit. I was at the local Ben Franklin (when it was still in business), and chose some neon variegated Red Heart Super Saver and some Boye metal straight needles in size 8 US. I was with my mom’s friend at the time in the local garden of my town. We had also gotten a pamphlet to teach us the basics in knitting.

I remember reading the pamphlet, and it told me how I had to wrap the yarn around my hand. It told me to weave the yarn up and down my fingers for tension. When I did it, it was so tight in my hands, that didn’t feel comfortable. I finally figured out that I can just wrap it once around my index finger, and it would be totally fine (which is how I still tension my yarn). After the wrapping of the yarn, it told us that because I crochet, I should learn continental knitting. Which, is wrapping the yarn in my left hand instead of the right.

Next, it was casting on. I struggled with the first couple stitches, but after that, I got the hang of it. I remember casting on a ridiculous amount of stitches. It was so many that it was all scrunched up on the straight needle. I then began to learn the knit stitch.

While trying to learn how to knit, I had a very hard time holding the yarn and needles at the same time. So, what I managed to do, was plop the left-hand knitting needle in between my legs, while I used the right needle to knit off. It was much easier for me at the time.

I had gotten about two rows finished before we packed up and left to go home. I remember taking it into the car, and knitting some more on the way home. Once I got home, I sat in front to the TV and knitted more on my knitting. I got pretty far, about 6” that night. I met up with the family friend again later that week, and she didn’t knit as much as I had.

There was one problem, though. My knitting had developed a lot of holes, and were laddering down rows. I was so frustrated that I put my knitting away for around a year or so. I didn’t think about knitting until summer of 2011.

I was on vacation in Missoula, Montana spending time with my dad. I remember we were at my grandma’s house cleaning, when my grandma found a box of yarn and needles from the 70’s, There were 2 skeins I remember clearly, one was florescent orange, and the other was florescent green. The needles were plastic straight needles that were so warped.

I found some youtube videos about learning to knit, and they had led me to the wonderful website of Ravelry. I promptly joined. After seeing all the lovely knitted projects on ravelry, I was so determined to knit and knit well so I can also knit some of those projects.

It was my all-time goal from then on to learn how to knit socks, for me and my family. A plan that I succeeded at! I love to knit socks, now and have knit a lot of them. I am currently in the process of knitting on socks for me mom. She loves handknit socks, and wears them a lot in the winter time.

Now it was time to start knitting again.

I started to knit a washcloth with the white acrylic yarn that was in the box. I had no idea you weren’t supposed to use acrylic for washcloths. I soon made a trip to Walmart to get some proper dishcloth cotton. I made around 5 washcloths before I left back home from vacation. I was so proud of myself. I know of only one of those washcloths that are still around today. My mom has it up in her cupboard.

After those 5 washcloths, I just kept knitting on anything and everything (except for sweaters…). I remember in 8th grade I knit my first socks, they were baby socks for my teacher who was expecting a baby boy. They were green variegated, and were two totally different sizes due to change of gauge, but whatever. My teacher was so impressed, and was a very nice recipient to those first baby socks.

It only took me two times to really get into knitting, but once I did, I fell hard. I now knit mostly every day. It is what keeps me sane during rough and stressful times in life.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

First Attempts

Crocheting was my first craft I ever really got into. I started crocheting at the age of 8, being taught by my next door neighbor.

She was from Mexico, and she had very broken English. Being only 8 years old, I really didn't understand what she was saying half of the time. I didn't really comprehend accents very well, due to never being exposed to many foreign people. She spoke very fast which caused me to have a hard time hearing her. With the language issue being present, I was also being taught with a teeny tiny crochet hook and Aunt Lydia’s crochet cotton. It was a very frustrating and difficult experience, as you could probably imagine.

She only liked to crochet doilies with Aunt Lydia's crochet cotton with tiny crochet hooks. So, that being what she had known to do, she taught me how to crochet a doily. My doily had not turned out correctly, as it shouldn't have been my first project anyway. Doilies are definitely not a beginner project, but at the time I was so proud of myself that I made something with, what was before, string! I was then ready for my first actual project.

A couple days after I was taught how to crochet on that tiny crochet hook and thread, she gave me some different yarn to work on. She got me an H hook, and regular acrylic yarn, most likely some Red Heart Super Saver or the like. I first crocheted a long crochet chain, probably close to 300 chains, then began to do my single crochet. I remember the yarn was super bright red. I had envisioned it becoming a huge crochet scarf. I kept crocheting on it, until the yarn had run out.

After using that ball of yarn, I ran over to my neighbors house to tell her I needed help of "finishing" my project. She opened the door, and I will never forget that look of disbelief on her face. I'm not sure if it was indeed a good look, or a terrible look. I soon found out.

She took ahold of the crochet, and examined it. She looked up to me, and said "Oh, darling, isn't that lovely? But, you know you weren't supposed to crochet through the back loop only, right?" I looked at my "scarf" again, and indeed saw the ridges that the fabric had due to the crocheting in the back loop. 

I asked her if it would be okay to wear, still. She shot me another look, "Do you know why it is curling? It's because you kept adding stitches."

I pondered. "But, that is what you told me to do, crochet two stitches in each stitch. Remember, when we started with the thread?"

"Oh, that was only because you were crocheting in the round, dear, when you crochet flat, you only knit one stitch in the stitch below," she stated. "You can still wear it as is, it will look lovely with that black coat you are wearing now. But, let us start you on a new project."

This is when I had found out that first attempts don't always go as you had planned.