Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Me = Headless Chicken

Hello World!

I spent the last 2 weeks in Burnet, TX working at a summer camp (with no knitting), I will be spending the next few days packing like crazy and running around like a headless chicken, and then in the next couple weeks I'm GOING TO COLLEGE ZOMG!!!

So I doubt I'll get much knitting done.

I'll try my hardest to get back into the swing of blogging when I settle down in Nashville. :-)

Until then, take care, and happy knitting!


Saturday, July 25, 2009




This is my first-ever-cable-project Scarf, knitted for one of my friends as a going-away-to-college present and made in a cheap but still beautiful 70/30 Acrylic-Alpaca blend (made of 70% Acrylic, 30% Alpaca wool), and its the easiest thing in the world! (Well, maybe not the easiest, but for sure WAY easier than I expected!!!) Anyways, it's got a garter-stitch border and the actual cabling business (where you pull out that snazzy cable needle and do some magic) happens only once every 24 rows or something, when the cable "twists." I'm varying the distance between "twists" for something fun to do.

Anyways, its super-rad and I'm SO PROUD that I actually figured it out! :O That pride is in no way diminished by the fact that it was ridiculously easy! I dunno, cabling always looks so beautiful and elegant, I guess I just figured it was gonna be super-tough! You just put some live stitches on the cable needle, knit a few stitches past the cable needle, and then go back to the cable needle and knit from there. The only remotely tricky part about it is wrestling with the the cabling needle a bit, cuz the live stitches don't really want to stretch as far, so the next row is, by necessity it seems, a little tight.

So YAAAAAAY CABLING!!! Whenever I get around to it, I'm gonna give those kiddie-cable socks a go. Darn, I might just have to go to the yarn store again. :P

In Other News:

I finished those socks I talked about in my last post, the ADD socks:

They turned out alright, I guess. The cuff is all... weird and foldy. But when I put them on the weird- and foldy-ness goes away. I was SO proud when I finished that I walked around my house in them, showing them off to my family, until I remembered that it's mid-summer in Austin. Well, we know they're warm enough, right? XD

My only other issue with these socks is this:

The hole where the gusset decreases start. The book I use (2-at-a-time, mentioned in the last post) gives a tip for getting rid of that (pick up an extra stitch where it looks like they're stretching in between the instep- and sole-stitches as you're picking up stitches along the heel flap for the decrease) and I did that, but it still didn't get rid of the hole thing... Any tips?

Another project I've been working on is a crocheted blanket for Seton Hospital:

Summer charity projects are always nice, and this pattern is great. Instead of crocheting through the V-thing at the top of the next double crochet, you work into the space between two DCs. That's what makes the cool spacey-stripey effect (sorry guys, it seems that good descriptive words fail me today). This blanket works up fast (I got this far in only a few days) and, once i get a good rhythm going, I can crochet without looking because I can feel where the next space to crochet into is. It's nice, cuz normally I have to put down what I'm working on when it gets to the intense part of The Phantom of the Opera (which, by the way, is just about the whole movie ^^). Anyways, it's gonna be a lap blanket. Once I get it wide enough (say, 36"?), I'll put a little orange border all the way around, just for a good clean finish. :-)

Aside from the scarf, socks, and lap blanket, all my other projects are in the planning stage. I am currently entertaining the thought of opening an Etsy shop to sell my hats and Pygmy Puffs (little fluffballs from Harry Potter, remember?) This here is Ozwald, on the left with a little purple friend who got shipped off a couple of days ago to be my sister's friend's birthday present.

Pygmy Puff's make awesome gifts and are super fast and easy to make. You just crochet a little sphere, stuff it, glue on little eyes and tie on a tongue. I brushed Ozwald with one of those wire dog-brushes to make him all fuzzy, and I crocheted both with a plain purple yarn and a white novelty "eyelash" yarn to get that hairy effect on the purple guy on the left. I'll have to check up on copyright issues before I sell this stuff, but we'll get to that later. :-)

I'll post back later with progress on the blanket, socks, and Etsy attempts. Until then, Happy Knitting!

Monday, July 13, 2009

socks and cabling

Today was my Dad's birthday, and for some reason birthdays in my family are really not exciting. We do something in the morning and then again at night, but in the meantime, we just chill. SO! I spent a good part of today just chilling. While I was chilling, I just so happened to be sitting next to my mom's sock book (2-at-a-time Socks, by Melissa Morgan-Oakes) so I got all excited about getting into socks. The first pair I made ended up pretty weird, Cuz they were designed for toddlers, but my guage is WAY off, so they ended up more me-sized. But slightly wacky. And pointy-toed. Then I tried to start a second pair, but the yarn SUCKED!!! It was that kind that's "reinforced" with some weird white stuff in the middle and the colored part wrapped around it, but the colored stuff bunches up all weird and stuff. It's actually the yarn from 3 posts ago with the little baggie thing. :-) Anyways, it sucks, so I got sick of doing battle with it and so I gave up on the socks.

So I want to learn how to cable. I've heard its super easy, but I've never tried! There's this pair of socks in the book I mentioned earlier called "Athena" socks, and they're BEAUTIFUL! The socks have this beautiful cable pattern along the top. Anyways, I got the yarn and the needles and everything, but I want my first cabling project to be a little less... intense. So! I've got this plan to work up to these beautiful socks:

My mom found a pattern for a SUPER simple cabled scarf, which I wanna try first, to figure out how to cable. I've also started on a pair of socks in the book just to get used to the 2-at-a-time method. Then, this other pair of socks caled "Frolick socks" in the book, which has a much simpler cable pattern than the Athena socks, and also is designed for little kids so I'll be done faster. I'll do that once I finish this current one. Then, if I feel like I'm suitably prepared, I'll do the Athena pair. :-)

I'll keep the internet updated on my progress in this matter. ^^

As I was trying to choose a simple sock to make to get used to the 2-at-a-time method, I had an interesting revelation. I can start designing. I mean, nothing too compicated (yet), I just need to check a suitable pattern for how many to cast on, and then I don't really need a pattern. I can just do a simple rib or just stockinette stitch, and screw the pattern. I haven't tried this yet, but it was a cool idea at the time. ^^

Anyways, that's my epic plan for now. ^^ I really hope I get the hang of socks. I mean, they make fantastic gifts and it'll be really cool to have a few pair of socks of my own that I knit with my own two hands, to keep and wear and show off and such. :D

So here's the deal about my current pair of socks: the pattern in the book is called "Berry Season," but I call them the "ADD socks" since I've only got about 3 inches so far, but there has so far been 4 different stitch patterns: Garter stitch, stockinette stitch, 2x2 rib, and the "berry season stitch pattern." WTF???? Yeah. It's been "interesting." Maybe I'll just give up cuz its too much work and continue in stockinette stitch and just have a cool cuff. ^^ Anyways, here's a picture of the socks so far:

At the risk of babbling too much, I'll just mention how much I'm liking the 2-at-a-time socks method. True, its the only method I've ever really tried, aside from double-points (which are awful, btw. Double pointed needles make me want to stab myself). The 2-at-a-time method is intensely confusing and frustrating at times, but once I get my rhythm I really enjoy it. :-) Plus, while I dont have personal experience with second-sock-syndrome, I would guess that I would be an easy victim, considering my inability to finish projects. ^^

Anyways. It's late, and I should probably go sleep, rather than knit. :-)
Take care, and happy knitting!

Monday, July 6, 2009

I finished my camisole!!!! It's super exciting, cuz it's the first real fitted garment i've ever made :-) It was super easy (Razor Cami pattern on Ravelry.com) and went pretty fast. Made with a lace pattern, so it's nice and hole-y, so i gotta wear another shirt underneath it. BUT! I just finished washing/drying it, so now i can wear it!!! i'm so psyched :D :D :D

Anyways, I had a bit of trouble working out a variation to the Straps. The original pattern had you separate the front and back, work them separately, and stitch up the sides at the end. I found a variation that let me do it all simultaneously, and then continue the front a little bit longer after I bound off the back, so the only seams I had to work were to attach the end of the straps to the back of the shirt. It looks pretty sweet, and I'm very proud :D

Yesterday, while my shirt was drying, i was hanging out with my friend Tiffany when I realized I didn't have any knitting projects on the needles to work on. D: It was quite shocking! So I promptly started a hat. ^^ I got this beautiful yarn called Kollage Yummy in a pretty light brown and OHMYGOSH its soooooo soft! :D I'll post pictures of that when I get farther along. :-)

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where we stand

Well, I had this big lofty plan to have this one big post (or series of posts) about all my past projects to bring the internet up to speed on my past projects and, therefore, my level of experience with knitting/crocheting. I kept putting off this big post for so long cuz I never had time to "really do it justice." So, I haven't said anything for forever. SO! I'll just babble about my CURRENT projects, and maybe that'll be a way to bring y'all up to speed... in a way. :-)

So yesterday (at 3.30 AM), I finished this shawl that I've been working on for about a month. I'm making it for my ex-math teacher cuz she paid me for it. OHMYGOSH it took forever ><>

But yeah. its done. :)

Lace Edging:

From the back:

From the front :D :

So yeah! That was an adventure. Now I can devote my attention to my camisole, which is WAY cool! :D I only have 13 inches so far, which is only 3 inches less than what I need to separate for front and back, and then do edging and straps :D

I also got some BRAND NEW yarn in the mail yesterday :D from paradisefibers.com, which is kind of the best place ever. I'm sooooo excited. :) I got some purple variegated worsted weight yarn, and I dont know what I'll do with it yet, but then I also got some BEAUTIFUL brown Kollage Yummy for a hat, and some nice home-grown brown wool (Sport weight) for some cabled socks I've been meaning to try out :D

SO YEAH! That's my knitting life right now :-) A big issue coming up is HOW ON EARTH i'm gonna take my stash with me to college ^^ I've concluded that my roommate is gonna hate me cuz there will be yarn ALL over the floor all the time :-)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sock yarn issue

I had quite a tangle (hawhaw) with a particularly pesky skein of yarn today as I attempted to cast on my SECOND pair of socks I've ever made :-) I read somewhere that you can put the skein in a plastic bag, cut holes in each corner, and thread the two ends of the center-pull-skein through each hole, thus avoiding a huge tangley mess. ... Let's just say that didn't quite work out how I wanted it to. After some serious wrassling and quite a bit of muted cussing, I decided to give it up as a bad job and just roll the skein into two separate balls and keep them in the plastic bag together, with each end coming out each corner-hole. Confusing? Perhaps. A picture!!!! :D :D :D (I got a shiny new camera as a graduation gift yesterday, and am having WAY too much fun with it ^^) :

As you can see, the plastic bag is conveniently labeled so that the yarn from sock A is separated from the yarn for sock B! ^^ This skein is 100 grams, so I just rolled a ball until it weighed 50 grams, cut the string, and rolled the second half of the skein into a second ball. As you can probably tell, they're not equal in size, but whatevs. :-)

BTW, I'm using the 2-at-a-time method, knitting two socks at one time on one circular needle. Thus the two-strings-on-one-project nonsense. ^^

Whoops! Gotta go graduate! I'll write more later :-)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today, I turned in my last homework assignments and took my last final exam of my high school career. My feelings of relief are almost overwhelming. ^^ 

Now there is nothing left for me to do but to show up to class and walk across the stage at graduation, which is next wednesday!!!

Oh, and blog. 

SO! The plan for the next few days (filled with a blissful lack of schoolwork) is to post pictures, descriptions, and comments on some of my more complex projects that I have done so far. I'll spare the world my many and varied blankets, but I will talk about my adventures felting and making my first pair of socks, etc. Once I've sort of established where I am skill-wise, I will be able to carry on with my current projects and all that jazz. :-)

Until then, happy knitting!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Hello, World

This is my attempt to dive headfirst into a new fad: blogging. While I realize this fad isn't exactly "new," my last attempts at blogging were my petty middle-school mumblings on my Xanga... Needless to say, I've been a little off the bandwagon as of late. 

SO!!! On to the good stuff: why I'm babbling on the internet to no apparent audience: 

MY PURPOSE: learn to knit.

I am (just barely) 18, living in Austin, Texas, and ready to ship out to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Vanderbilt University in the fall. 

I am also obsessed with knitting and crocheting. 

This obsession hints that I already know how to knit and crochet (which I do), so you might wonder why I'm blogging about "learning to knit." I knit all the time, but I haven't really ventured into the big world of possibilities that is knitting/crocheting, mostly sticking to simple stuff like blankets and scarves. I have made a few hats, one pair of socks, and a messenger bag, but that's about it. Thus, I know more than most but not nearly as much as many about the fiber arts. 

In my attempt to learn more, I have found LOADS of blogs, lessons, forums, and helpful resources for people just starting to knit (stuff like how-to-purl, the difference between wool and acrylic yarn, the joys of circular needles, and what to do when your cast-on edge looks funny), which I don't really need anymore. I have also found a bunch of patterns, blogs, forums, etc. for knitting veterans that I can barely begin to comprehend. I concluded that what the internet needs is something in the middle: me. 

And SO!! I come to my purpose. 

This blog will be a documentation of my knitting/crocheting adventures; as I try new things, techniques, and patterns, I will post pictures and comments of my current projects, problems I have encountered, and my methods for overcoming those obstacles. 

This blog will be mostly for my own benefit, so I can track my progress and look back in a year and say "Gee whiz, look how far I've come!!!" I wouldn't mind, however, if other people read or learned from this blog. If you like it, let me know. If you have helpful tips for how to get out of the pickle-of-the-day, please comment. I'd love to hear from you and benefit from your feedback, so drop me a line. :-)

It is quite ridiculous how excited I am to advance my skills and become the best knitter I can be. I've caught a glimpse of the immense possibilities, and I can't wait to get started. :D