Archive for the 'knitting' Category

15
Mar
11

falling water scarf

This is the scarf that I made for my mom for Christmas. I meant to post “work in progress” pictures, but never got around to it. So here’s the finished deal!
I used the falling water pattern, found here. It’s also on ravelry.com, with some good examples. I used a lovely baby alpaca yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. I have to say that it took me forever to decide on a yarn to use for this scarf. I needed something soft but not so feathery or bulky that it disguised the pattern, and I also needed something in a decent color. I am not very good at venturing out of my comfort zone when it comes to yarn colors, and I don’t want to spend $40 on yarn for a project that I’ll end up not liking. But I finally decided on this yarn after about 12 trips around the store, and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Here’s a picture to give a bit of a clearer idea of the pattern…

One great thing that I learned with this scarf is the importance of blocking. I was busily knitting away early on the morning of December 23rd and decided that I just had to be done because it had yet to be blocked and I wanted to make sure it was completely dry before wrapping it up. It wasn’t quite as long as I wanted it, but the pattern promised that it would grow sufficiently with blocking. Amazingly enough, the pattern was right. Here are the before and after shots, with another scarf for scale.


As you may also see, the blocking also opened up the pattern and made it much more delicate and visible which I really loved. Maybe some of you more experienced knitters can tell me if some patterns require blocking more than others…maybe lacy patterns need it more? I’m almost inspired enough to go ahead and block my Shalom Cardigan from last year that was always too small….

16
Feb
11

hat & scarf

E needed some cold weather gear that wasn’t all stretched out and pilly from her big sister using it, so I made her a hat and scarf with some leftover yarn I had in my basket.

This was my first attempt at cabling on a hat (and my second attempt at cabling ever), so I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. The shape is a little wonky and has to be pulled down on her head every so often, but it works. Next time I think I’ll make the cables bigger or the stripes in between a little smaller.

14
Jan
11

Yarn Shops

I’ve really gotten into knitting lately. One of the consequences is that I am now very snooty when it comes to my yarn. I pretty much ignore anything with “acrylic” on the label, which means that Michael’s and JoAnn’s are pretty much useless as far as yarn goes for me. Acrylic yarns just seem to pill and get nasty feeling so quickly, and if I’m going to spend hours (or months!) on a project, I want it to last forever. Local yarn shops to the rescue!! In November we got a new shop here in Moscow called the Yarn Underground. It’s small, and it’s underground, but it’s a noble attempt for our little town. I want all you locals to know about it so that you will go there and buy things so they can stick around and build up their inventory. I got some great Frog Tree Meriboo in pink and brown and made a fun little striped hat for B to match her new winter coat. Nice to work with and very cozy for a little girl’s hat.

My second resource is A Grand Yarn up in Spokane. It’s a bit of a drive for us locals, but it’s easy to tack it on to a normal Spokane shopping trip (you can just go south on Bernard to Grand, hit the shop, and then continue south to take Hatch road out of Spokane and hit the Starbucks by Albertson’s for your drive-home-caffeine). This shop is a dream. They have a huge selection of so many lovely things that I just kind of walk around in circles drooling. They also have lots of great examples of projects that are very inspiring. My brilliant husband gave me a gift certificate here for Christmas and I’m very excited to make some fun stuff with their yarn. They have all of the Cascade basics, but then they add some great specialty yarns so you will have a hard time deciding what to use for your next project. There’s also a great little spot for the kiddos to play while you shop. I highly recommend it, but don’t go in if you don’t know what you’re planning to make because otherwise you’ll be tempted to walk out with bags and bags of beautifulness because it’s just all so yummy.

21
Jul
10

Knitting

I mentioned here that I was tackling the art of knitting. I’ve continued to power on through and have cranked out a few hats and socks, a sweater, and even a little pair of booties. I love the hats because they’re simple and easy to work on away from home (like when we’re at my parents’ for the weekend), as opposed to something like, oh I dunno, a queen sized quilt. Here is my greatest triumph – a hat and booties for a precious little girl born last month.

The pattern for the booties can be found here (look in the right hand column for the free pdf). They were fairly simple and forgiving, and they have a nice elasticity so I think they’ll fit her for a little while!

18
Feb
10

socks!

I’ve tried to pick up knitting a dozen or so times in my life, and I’ve always gotten confused and given up. It’s been needles:12, Betsy:0. I recently decided that that had been going on long enough, and tackled a pattern for socks for my husband. I didn’t understand half of it, but I figured out how to increase and decrease, and kind of just went from there, learning as I went. The first sock to come off of the needles was better sized for my feet, so I threw that one aside and added some extra stitches to get these.

I figured out on the last one how to better cast on so that they weren’t all wonky at the tops, and a few other tricks. Needless to say, the socks aren’t exactly matching, but they’re socks! And they’re warm! And they wash well! And I think I’ve got the basics down, so now I’m working on this sweater. It’s actually a very easy pattern, even for me! If you know how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, and bind off, you can make this sweater. That easy. I’ll post pictures when I’m done!




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