Sunday, December 11, 2011

Knit on...knitter!

A few months ago I learned to cast on and do rows of knit stitches...about a week later, I forgot how.

I have picked up the knitting needles again. But I think they should be registered as a deadly weapon in my hands.  How it happened, I couldn't even begin to explain...but somehow one of the needles went sailing behind me. YIKES!  I was home alone, so there was no victim in my deadly assault with pointy objects.

But I would not be deterred. I picked up the needle and bumbled on....and guess what....I'M KNITTING!  And not just making random swatches. I'm working in this cool scarf. It's all knit stitches. But once the stiches are finished, they will be ripped out to make a cool fringe.


Wait...what? I know, sounds crazy to do all that work and rip it out.  But I saw this done at our crochet/knitting meetup and knew I had to make one.

Besides, I'm very familiar with ripping out stitches.

Knit on!

Make 'em say um....she's a knitter

Just call me the Master P of knitting.  When Master P "danced" on Dancing With the Stars, it was clumsy, awkward and painful to watch...but he did er...um...dance.


Well, this is what I think I look like while knitting...clumsy, awkward and painful to watch...but I am knitting.

My first stockinette stitch swatch.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bustin' Out

So I think we have established the fact that I don't have sense enough to start out with simple projects when taking on a new craft....this is both good and bad. The good...my CADDed (Craft Attention Deficit Disordered)  muse can be entertained for a hot second before her mind wonders elsewhere.   The bad...I usually have not grasped the basics and have to learn them as I navigate through the project.  Well, that's not always bad, just challenging sometimes.

After only crocheting about a good 3 weeks, I decided I wanted to take on a more challenging project than the market bag. I decided take on what I thought would be a simple top.

WRONG! It really should have been simple, but I found out that I really really really needed to learn to read and understand patterns...in the event I would come upon a pattern that wasn't...hmmm not quite right.

I found a neat summer top on LionBrand's site.  The Light n' Lively Tank was a must make for me. 

I should have taken the hint when I couldn't get the gauge right. I went down two hook sizes and was still off by two stitches.

Things started out ok.  The cups were a breeze to make....er...they were a little on the small size. But since I would be wearing another top under it, that was cool. But after getting them attached to the bodice...I knew I would surely have to increase their size)


Well knowing that I would need to go up a cup size, I decided to rip out the stitches....and would do that 4 or 5 more times. (Note: I have found out that this is a frustrating act.  Demolishing all the work you have done...not fun.)

I went up a size on the pattern and was somewhat comfortable with the cup size...they were still on the small size.  But I decided to go ahead and work on the bodice.


I finished some of the bodice and to my dismay, it was waaaaaaay too big.  After ripping out a couple of more times and consulting others, it was decided that the pattern was not well written.  The cups ran small and the bodice ran large. After all was said and don, I ended up removing almost 30  stitches from the bodice.  Which according to the pattern would have made this thing and XXS...no way I can squeeze into anything with S in it.  But whatever. I was ticked at this time and determined to finish this top. So stubbornly I went along. I decided to do the back and straps earlier in the pattern than recommended...it certainly made trying it on easier. 

I also decided to stop doing the increases. I was not pleased with the way the thing was blossoming out.  I now wish I hadn't done any increasing because it looks like a freaking maternity dress. 



I was so frustrated and tired of seeing this color that I had to put the project down for a couple of weeks.  Now I'm at a cross roads.  I can for the life of me figure out what the larger holes are that appear...I think they are the increases.  Also I hate the way it fits.  It does not fit close to the body like the pattern picture shows.

Believe it or not, I am really considering ripping it out yet again....grrrrr!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yarn dropping at my door

I'm sitting on the couch minding my own business, when I hear a knock at the door. Hmmm....I'm not expecting company.  It turns out that it's the UPS guy, well one of the guys (not that I know a lot of them because I have stuff delivered on a regular basis...well...er...um {whistles and moves along}.

Mr. UPS guy has a package for me....really it was for little old me.  How nice of him, to bring my new yarn...wait I don't know that it's yarn since according to the beginning of the post, I was sitting there minding my own business...well...er...um {whistles and moves along}.

I open the package and what a surprise....it's yarn, my newest crafting supply obsession.  It's a lovely Cotton/micro acrylic blend from an Italian yarn maker named Berlini named Peppi . I ordred from Numei  Now being new to the yarn game, I did some online research before ordering.   I didn't see very many reviews, but none of them were bad, so I figured why not.  

{shhhhh}Come closer...just a secret between you and me.  I may be new to the yarn game, but I know a bargain when I see it.   The yarn comes in 191 yard balls and individually run $5.99...but for they also have them a bag of 10 for $14.90.  In the words of Sheldon....."BAZINGA!"  Now that's a deal. And they quite a few yarns at closeout prices.  Even better, it looks like you can get most of their yarns as a bag of 10 for at least 50% of the regular price. Plus the shipping was super fast. It's a winner for me...but {shhhhh} don't go running off and telling everybody.

I need to interject, I really had no idea what the yarn would look like, I was basically trying to find a lightweight yarn to begin practice on some advanced crochet projects I want to do.  Yeah, I know...beginner crocheter/knitter and all...but remember I like doing things the hard way. But don't worry, you'll be hearing more on  those projects later.


Peppi in Island Blue and Firecracker

 Stashing...hording....nope I still like stashing better.  My growing pile of yarn needs somewhere to grow....um I mean go.  (Please excuse my craft supply hording tendencies for showing themselves.)  Really, I have no idea where I am going to keep this growing pile of yarn.  Oh well I'll ponder that later. Right now I'm off to play with my new yarn.

I knitted...and no one got hurt

I always pictured me and knitting needles as an accident waiting to happen.  Plus no matter how many books, articles or videos I viewed, it seemed so complicated.

The crochet group I  recently joined, frequently meets with a knitting group. This combo makes perfect sense to me. I don't understand that beef between the two fiber groups. Are they like gangs or something. Do they come across each other and ask "What set you claiming...needles or hooks?"

Anyway the week before, Deb was assisting some new knitters and i asked if she would be willing to teach me. I gave her warning...I knew nothing of knitting, didn't know a knit from a purl and what the heck did "cast on" mean.  She said no problem. And she was right....no problem.

In less than an hour, she'd taught me to cast on (I'm not sure what the on needle cast on method is called) and the knit stitch.

Whoopie! I've got the hang of it...and I managed to keep the needles in hand, no injuries to anyone.

I will become a fiber artist yet.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bagging it

I keep getting told that as a new crocheter I should be making pot holders.  Huh? Er ok. But anybody that knows me, knows I like  the challenge of learning a new craft in the most difficult way I can.   So after  I had a few stitches under my belt, I made a couple of scarves and moved on to hats.

Then lo and behold, I found Ralvery. Ravely really should have come with flashing lights and sirens screeching "Danger Will Robinson.  Danger Will Robinson!"  I do believe I suffered from fiber overload on that first day searching around the site.  (BTW...you need an account to view the contents of the site. It's free and well worth it...but be warned...you can easily become addicted.)

After searching through 50 billion projects and adding about 25 billion to my favorites, I decided to do a Market Bag from Lion Brand Yarn.   I've got 20 balls of Sugar 'n Cream Yarn, so it was perfect for this project.   

Lion Brand's patterns are relatively easy to read.  (Whooo..that's another aspect of this thing.  Reading and interpreting patterns. And following them....let's not forget that.)  I did make some mistakes along the way with the Market Bag, but was able to adjust without having to pull all the stitches out. The handles gave me some problems. But I figured out what I was doing wrong.  So the next one will be easier. 

I'm proud of my bag. It's already busy holding part of my quickly growing yarn stash.




Friday, February 11, 2011

The thick and chunky cowl

I completed my first....no second  project (forgot about the 1st scarf...will blog about that later.).....YEA!  I was impressed with myself, it only took about 2 hours for me to complete this.

Lion Brand Cowl

I love Lion Brand's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn. It's all thick and warm and cuddly.

(side note:  I still love my Steelers.  We'll get #7 next year!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

For the love of Yarn

Oh dear...I  made the mistake of walking down the yarn isle in the craft stores.  I've always wanted to learn to knit and crochet but put it on the back burner.  Wait, eons ago I did learn to crochet in the Girl Scouts...I think...must do something about those memory lapses.  Anyway, any stitches I'd learn have been lost in the recesses of my mind amongst the other 50 kabillion crafts I dabble in.  No wait...that was macramé that I learned. Really must do something about the lapses. :)

Well, back to the craft store. I really was only looking for a large yarn needle to repair a bag I've had for some years.  I looked around and saw all these beautiful yarns and the seed was planted in the back of my mind.  Fast forward a few months and I was on etsy and saw a seller making customer crocheted sweaters. But when I saw the $300 price tag...my muse said uh-uh...you can learn to do that yourself.

(I must interject, being a crafter I never gripe about what others charge for their crafts. I understand and appreciate the time and effort it takes to create. That said, I need to give this a go myself before considering paying that kind of money for a sweater....no matter how beautiful it was.)

So of course this lead me to be on-line looking up tutorials, watching youtube videos and digging through craft supplies, because I was sure I had some crochet hooks somewhere. Ah-ha...I had a full set.  Now armed with coupons, tutorials, new books (sigh...I know I already own a small craft library...but I just LOOOOVE books) I headed to the craft stores.

You know how you should not go to the grocery store hungry or without a list...the same applies to a craft store.  I don't even wanna get into that one...moving on with all my newly acquired yarn.

So sitting down, I grabbed my hooks, yarn, books and parked in front of the computer screen and proceeded  to learn the basic stitches.  So far so good.  I've got to work on tension, but I'm told that will come in time.

Right now, I'm only working on Crochet....I'm not sure I should have a deadly pair of knitting needles in my hands.  Maybe in a few months, I'll start looking at the basics on knitting.

But in the meantime I'm happily hooking away!