Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fix it First


Almost each year I knit my mom new socks for Christmas. Nothing too fancy, but she doesn't mind. She just loves how they fit on her feet.  Except she all of a sudden, some of her socks are in need of some TLC.  

                      

She neglected to tell me she had holes in 3 of her socks.  Using Kate Gilbert's new article in the Winter 2013 Twist Collective, I have begun working on this mini-project for my mom. So far I have completed one sock making a knitted patch:

 

I'm still trying to decide how to fix the toes on this lonely pair:


The wholes on these toes are pretty large.  Should I unravel and re-knit the whole toe or should I try to patch the area with weaving or a knitted patch?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sweater Knitting Time!

My first goal of the new year was to knit a few non-accesory items (for my wardrobe).  I am about 3/4 of the way through my first sweater.  This sweater is also a Second Time Knit - two goals in one!  I am re-knitting Cathy Payson's Placed Cable Aran sweater from a few-years-old Interweave Knits issue with a little help from Wendy Bernard's book "Custom Knits". 


Updates from the original knit:
1) Knitting the sweater seamless, from the top down.
2) Changing the drop sleeves to set-in sleeves (also top-down) seamless and 3/4 length.
3) Adding waist shaping
4) The original design has 4" 4x4 ribbing on the cuffs.  I have decided to make this 6", and move it to the hem of the body.
5) The original design has a rolled stockinette bind-off on the hem of the body.  I am going to move this to the sleeves.

Almost seems like a brand new sweater, doesn't it?


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections and Resolutions

Happy 2014 Everyone!  I rarely take the time to reflect on the past year or make resolutions for the next one.  But I think this is the year to change that.

Reflections on 2013
1) I found time to knit (almost) every day.
2) Working through obstacles.  An obstacle can be something complex (like a stitch pattern or shaping techniques), or it can be something a simple as being faced with endless stockinette or garter stitch.  Proving I could perservere has been satisfying.
3) Knowing when to give up and not beating myself up for it.  Sometimes a project just doesn't work out.  The colors are wrong, the yarn for the project isn't compatible.  In either case, it's okay.  
4) I finished 15 projects this year.  A lot of small projects, but some larger ones too.  I may still have some abandoned or projects on hold, but I finished more that I put off.

Goals for 2014

1) Knit 3 non-accessory projects  - I am always knitting the three S's - scarves, shawls, and socks.  It's time to get those fitting skills in order.
2) Knit 3 items that I have designed - I am always putting ideas on paper and maybe even swatching them.  Unfortunately, I don't usually get around to completing them.
3) Re-visit some old patterns - over the past few years, some of my original knits have gotten worn out and reluctantly thrown out. As I randomly come across the patterns, I realize I miss them and they warrant a comeback to my wardrobe. If you want to keep track (or join in!), I'm using the tag "2ndtimeknit" in ravelry, twitter and Instagram. 
3) Post on a regular (and more frequent basis) - I have definitely slacked on this...even though I have not slacked on my knitting.

I hope everyone else is looking forward to 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Swatcher: Color Kaleidoscopes


I know it has been too long since I last posted. I have had a major knitting (and crafting) mojo streak and have forgotten post my progress. I will be sure to start sharing in the upcoming weeks leading up to the holiday. 

Every time I go to our local big box craft store, I come across the Lion Brand BonBon yarn packs.  I can never think what to do with them (so I can justify the purchase)...until I came across this post the other day by Diane Gillelan at Craftypod - plastic canvas ornaments!

pc-ornament-done-montagewm

I know you're surprised, plastic canvas. Well, besides the fact that Dianehas multiple awesome plastic canvas crafts listed...this project is perfect for testing out color relationships...and maybe even coming up with some ideas for stranded tams.

 

Between watching a movie Saturday evening and some Sunday afternoon football, I have already completed 7.  After splurging on a pack of Lion Brand BonBons, some basic white yarn and a 10 pack of 3 inch circles - I spent less than $10. The circles themselves were a mere $1.  On sale, you could probably find them cheaper.

 
  

Now I just need to decide how I want to back these beauties.  Do I use felt, as suggested, or do I crochet circles with some shell borders that peek out on the front?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Off the Needles

I'm so excited - I finished my Layette set for my friend.  Whenever I mix up stitch patterns, I don't know how it will work out in the finished product. Even though I swatch and block on a small scale, there are still variables that I can't anticipate. This time, it came out better than I expected.

   

I am even more excited about the picot hem edging:


After the eyelet round on the hem, I remembered to decrease at the corners. This way, I eliminated the bulk at the corner seams and gave a more crisp look to the corner. With the picot hem, I usually like to complete the fold-over and bind off in the same round. Due to the heavier yarn weight, this would have made the hem too bulky to lie flat.  I chose to sew the hem after binding off. 

Well, I'm off to the baby shower to deliver this package to my friend. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!







  






Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Mystery Behind Motivation

I have always had more abandoned projects than finished ones. I didn't realize I had overcome this tendency until a co-worker (and fellow knitter) admired my ability to complete multiple projects in succession.  

I started thinking about my new found motivation.  What makes things different now? I ran through my project list and found some common threads: 

1) Intuitive patterns
2) Shawls (all shapes and sizes!)
3) MKALs

The mystery in my knitalong has been the biggest motivator. I don't want to fall too far behind, so I try to keep up and knitalong. In some cases, I finish my clue of the week before the next one is out - so I fill in with other projects. 

I just finished Laura Aylor's Thunderstruck:



I am halfway through Stephen West's MKAL Color Craving.  The next one on the needles will be Gateway to Fall by Wild Prairie Knits.  I found some charcoal grey and a bright orange in my stash. I can't wait!