Knitting? What's that?

One of the things I want to do this year is get my knitting and crocheting mojo back — I barely did any last year. To get myself started, over Christmas I cast on for a simple roll-brim hat, using some leftover wool. The recipe came from Last-Minute Knitted gifts, and was a quick and easy knit. I used Malabrigo (Marron Oscuro) and made a few thin stripes with Rio de la Plata (Burgundy). Then I came back from the holidays and ignored it until a few days ago. It turned out pretty well, though I think it’s a smidge small for me. I will probably give this to someone, but I’m not sure who yet. Feel free to lobby for your cold head.

Another step towards working on some new projects has been to unravel two sweaters that have been stalling out and preventing me from working on anything else. I have officially given up on the Icelandic Turtleneck from the Crochet Me book, as well as the February Lady cardigan I had started.

The pullover had been giving me lots of trouble — I think it’s a project that really relies on using the yarn that’s called for (what I picked wasn’t as stretchy) and I was also having trouble getting it to fit correctly. There was lots of ripping back and re-doing in this project, and ultimately I just wasn’t happy with how it was going. So, that’s all unraveled.

As for the February Lady, I didn’t get very far, but the neckline didn’t seem right — it seemed like it was too big when I rested it on my shoulders. I haven’t unraveled that yet, but that will be next. Continue reading

Mitered Hanging Towel

I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a copy of  Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines (my Jan. 8 ILL request through my local public library has yet to be fulfilled and is actually going to be automatically cancelled on April 8 — hopefully if I call them they can extend it). I was especially interested because I wanted to try knitting the Mitered Hanging Towel, which seemed just as easy, interesting, and addictive as the Ballband Dishcloth that their first book unleashed upon the world*. Lucky for me, Canadian Living featured the book and included the pattern on their website.

MItered Hanging Towel

As was the case with the Ballband Dishcloth, this pattern fits into that perfect middle ground between easy enough to knit while hanging out with friends (a related requirement is that it must also be a pattern that you can keep in your head and don’t need to count) and interesting enough that you don’t get bored. This also uses Peaches n Cream yarns, which I love for the huge selection of solids and ombres (I used yellow and Country Side Ombre here). This uses up more of the main color than a ballband dishcloth, though. (I have a tiny amount of the multi-colored yarn left over, but not enough that I could have done the hanging loop with it.) This is also a great pattern for beginning knitters, because you can practice your garter and stockinette stitches, and learn about decreasing. Continue reading

Socks

Socks On Friday, I finished knitting my second pair of socks. They took quite a while – I cast them on in December 2007. This was mainly because I got distracted by other projects. Once I picked the second sock back up and turned the heel, it was pretty smooth sailing.

These are a gift, and I am really, really hoping that they fit the recipient. They are a little too small for me, so hopefully they will fit her (that said, I think they might turn out to be a little bit big for her anyway. We’ll see.) I haven’t woven in any of the ends. I don’t know that I will have the strength to rip out the top of both of them and turn the heel again if they are too big, but it would be quick & easy enough to make them a bit shorter if she finds them too tall, or to decrease a bit if they are too big at the top. We’ll see what happens. Continue reading

Ballband Dishcloths

I’ve knit a bunch of these in the last few months — I gave my Mom this group of six when I was home for Thanksgiving. (Click through for info on the colorways.) They’re such an easy knit! I like to keep a bunch of cotton around and whenever I am going somewhere and want to take knitting with me but need a project that is small and doesn’t require filddling with books and whatnot, I grab some cotton and a circular needle, and I’m all set.

When worlds collide

So, you remember how I am one of the moderators for the Walker Treasury Project?

And you know I’m in library school?

Well, last night I was reading the August ’07 edition of Library Journal (probably the biggest trade magazine for librarians. It covers trends in the field, but at least half of every issue is devoted to book reviews and articles that can help librarians build solid topic-specific collections). This month there’s a feature on developing a good collection of knitting books for your library. “Sweet!” I thought.

So, I’m reading along and there’s a reprint of a ’98 review of the Walker Treasuries (as a whole, there are 5). It basically says what everyone thinks about them, that they are great resources but because they were originally printed in the late 60’s and early 70’s, the photos of the swatches — the little bits of knitting that the books are all about — are in black and white. Not so great, but oh well. So, I start to think to myself “I think you can comment on their articles online. Tomorrow I should get on the website and see if I can send some feedback about the Walker Treasury Project.” But wait! I keep reading, and what do I see under Internet Resources?

Walker Treasury Project
thewalkertreasury.wordpress.com
A volunteer effort to make available on the web high-quality color photos of all patterns in Barbara Walker’s five stitch treasuries.

Yeah! Don’t you just love it when worlds collide?

First Ever Socks

My first-ever socks are done! Click through for on-the-feet photos. These are basic , top-down socks with a little bit of 1×1 ribbing at the cuff, and straight knitting all the way down.
I enjoyed knitting these, even if it took me 2.5 months (most of that time was spent not working on the second sock). The first sock was slightly too big, so for the second I cast on two fewer stitches, and had to make my best estimates as to how many stitches to have on each needle when turning the heel. I think it worked out okay, though I did have a problem where I wound up having to purl while turning the heel. Rather than rip back and figure out what went wrong, I just reversed direction so I could knit, and there is a little hole in the sock where I did that. Since these are learning socks that I will keep, it doesn’t really matter.

I like knitting socks and they do go quite fast, provided you actually work on them. 🙂 I think I am going to have to give the two-at-a-time method a try, though perhaps not for my next pair. Those will be toe-up, probably magic looped.