Month: July 2009

Blocking Playdate Hoodie

Sorry for the horrendous photo… it’s late and there’s no pretty way to show off blocking. At least not with my kitchen table/thomas the train towel set up. Gosh it looks like the photo is even fish eyed a bit, but enough obsessing over the crappy photo. What is this? A photo blog? No. It’s about knitting, so here goes… this is my first attempt at blocking! So far so good, at least I hope. Tomorrow will tell (or when ever it is fully dry).

Here’s a good video on blocking. I finished the last side panel tonight, and went to do the sleeves and realized that I should block it before attempting to pick up stitches from each of the panels. I’m a little concerned about the shape because I don’t have a place to pin it down properly. I have a fan on it to help it dry out faster, but hopefully it doesn’t move a whole heck of a lot as it dries.

I’ll have to work on one of my several other projects in flight while this is drying. I have one zillion projects going in various states of completion. I’m beginning to wonder if I have ADHD or something. Seriously, is this normal? I eventually do finish my projects, but I would probably finish things a lot faster if I just focused on one or two at at time… oh well, I’ll add that to next years resolutions or something.
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Super Secret Project (Teaser)

I might have mentioned that this project for my sister-in-law is quite difficult, for me anyway largely because it’s my first attempt at a real lace pattern. The stitches aren’t complicated at all, but the pattern is a 2o row repeat with 58 sts across. Every other row is the same which is nice, but it’s those pesky even numbered rows that give me trouble. I inevitably lose track of where I’m at in the row, or forget a yarn over which results in the wrong number of stitches for the to work the next row. After trying to muscle through this, I finally decided to ask for help. I got a lot of great advice from the knitters at ravelry. Here is some of the recommendations I got for working with lace:

  1. Learn how to read a pattern chart. This makes it easier to see how the stitches you are working on actually fit into the overall pattern. This is fabulous! I converted my 20 line written instructions to chart form yesterday and it’s like a veil of darkness has been lifted! It’s so much easier to keep track of where I am, and what should come next. (Picture above)
  2. Use lots of ring markers (or contrasting yarn markers)! Ring markers help by making it easy to check to see if I did each stitch required for the repeating pattern, but they are sort of a hassle. They fall off all the time, and I feel like they make the loop bigger in the stitches they are in between. I’ve tried yarn markers in another project and that turned out ok, I’m going to try it with this too, but haven’t done so yet.
  3. Add life-lines at a regular interval in the project, so that if you realize a mistake was done several rows deep, you can frog to the closest life-line without worrying about dropping stitches.

The chart doesn’t do the pattern justice, it’s an exquisit looking project, I just love it. I wish it was easier, but I’m learning a lot. And, the fact that I put it down and worked on some new more difficult socks and then picked it back up has helped a lot. Can’t wait to finish it and block it though!!!

Real Men Knit

So, I’ve been very quite on here because of my camera being broken… but I have been making a lot of progress. I’m just about ready to do the toe of the blue lacey socks I’m working on and the dark cable socks I’m working on. I also picked up my super secret present for my sister-in-law and decided that I don’t need to pull it out and start over after all! Can’t wait to make more progress on that.

I’m continually impressed with how many knitters are technosavy. There are a ton of really valuable videos on youtube that I use often when I need to learn something new, here are some of my favs:

  1. The Knit Witch – she has great up close videos and clear explanations on just about everything, including the beautiful twisted German cast on that I love for socks. Excellent for any beginner wanting to learn different stitches.
  2. Knitting Tips by Judy – she has a lot of different techniques and patterns. I discovered her when I wanted to learn how to do a picot hem. Thanks Judy!
  3. Paula J Ward – she does a lot of videos on how to design! Since my ultimate dream is to be good enough to design my own patterns, these are fabulous! I can’t find anyone else doing videos on how to design, so thanks much Paula!!

And some just for fun:

  1. When Knitting Becomes an Addiction – an animated film about a woman who’s whole world is knitting and takes her to the very edge of sanity
  2. Real Men Knit – a great documentary-style trailer on real men who knit!

I met one man who knits before – he worked in the Campbell yarn shop – way to go guy! And low and behold, my dad said that he used to knit when he was young! I knew it must have been in the family. Real men DO knit 😉