knitting the second cowl

Remember how I’m making two cowls for my mom (one for her, one for a friend)?  I’m using this pattern from Ravelry to make it but I’m doing it in thinner yarn and adapting the pattern a bit.  She wants something thinner — more like a necklace.  Well, here’s how far I am on #2:

This one’s going much slower, and it’s not just because I’ve already done one and the novelty has worn off.  That’s not it at all, really — this one I’m making with a thinner yarn but the same needles.  The first cowl was sock weight, and this yarn is about half that size.  It will be much more lacy, which I think will look equally cool, but it’s taking longer because I’m not used to working with such lightweight yarn.  It keeps sliding through my hands so my tension is wonky and I have to keep adjusting to keep it right.

As you can see, my knitting is resting on my laptop, which is in turn resting on the arm of the couch.  My boyfriend is often taking up the TV with his video gaming (which is fine), so I usually sit here on the couch, using my computer to watch movies/TV or listen to audiobooks with my headphones on.  When a pattern is difficult for me, I’ll postpone those things in favor of turning all my attention towards my knitting, but for stuff like this cowl, which is an easy pattern, I like to listen to things.

Do you do things while you knit?  If so, what?  I need some new ideas — I’ve practically memorized all of my audiobooks and movies (lines and musical scores).

Thanks for stopping by, hope you visit again soon!

 

one down, one to go

As I think I mentioned in my last post, my mom asked me to make this pattern for her and one of her friends.  She wanted a thinner version though, so we got some pretty variegated sock yarn and I used size 6 needles.  Here’s the first one:

Didn’t the yarn turn out lovely?  It’s Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox, and the colors are gorgeous!  I enjoyed making this, which is good because I still have one more to make!

My ski bonnet is currently on hold until I decide whether or not to do one more repeat of the band pattern before going down the other side of it, and whether or not I can actually do the math to make it work out alright in the end.  Since I’m new to knitting, it might take me a few days to be sure of what I’m doing.  When I do decide, though, you’ll be the first to know!

That’s all I’ve got for today, thanks for stopping by!

yaaaaaaaaaarn!

I’m so excited — I’ve got some new goods!  Usually I’d post new yarn on my crochet page but I know ahead of time that this is for knitting.  My parents got me this yarn for my birthday!

Those first two pictures are of two kinds of sock yarn.  I’m going to make two of this cowl, one for my mom, and one for one of her friends.  The pattern calls for chunky yarn and bigger needles, but I’m going to use this sock yarn and some smaller needles to make more of a necklace type thing (that’s what she wanted).  We’ll see how it goes.

This lovely multi-hued blue fingering weight yarn is for this shawl.  Can’t wait for that one!

And I’m not sure what this will be for, actually.  It’s enough to make a hat.  It’s the softest yarn I’ve ever felt — it’s Royal Alpaca — and it is gorgeous!  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  It’s actually more of a neon yellow-green…

So that’s my new mini-stash, and I can’t wait to get started!  But that’s not all the new stuff: my parents also got me something not related to yarn.  The new Fame perfume by Lady Gaga.  You may be thinking “ew, perfume by celebrities is always really gross,” and normally I agree, but this stuff is great!  My parents liked it, my boyfriend likes it, and I love it!

That’s still not all, though.  I also got this for my birthday:

It’s the KnitPicks Sunstruck Interchangeable Needle Set, which includes needles sizes 4-11 (including 10.5), two each of cables 24″ and 32″, vinyl needle case and vinyl cable pouch, end caps, and cable keys.  I also got two 40″ cables, some cable connectors, and some size tags.  I’m so excited.

You can imagine how incredibly happy I am with all these awesome new knitting things.  I can’t wait to get started, but for tonight I might just stare at it all, grinning goofily.  Although honestly, while I’m really happy, I also feel guilty for having so much new knitting stuff when my boyfriend and I are struggling so much, even though it is for my birthday.  His birthday last month was terrible — I didn’t have the money to do what I wanted to do for him and he didn’t get any presents.  I tried to make up for it later when I did have some money but it still wasn’t enough.  I’m really grateful for everything I have, and I want to make my boyfriend as happy as I am by being the best girlfriend I can be.

Well, that’s all for today.  You can of course look for posts soon of my progress with those projects.

how to properly knit a ski hat

I’ve had a bit of success with the ski bonnet!  About time, too — this is attempt number 4.  I figured out how I needed to knit the band.  First, I knitted the first few rows on double points, because it was easier for me to keep things from getting twisted that way than it was with the magic loop method:

I’m liking the magic loop method much better now.  It feels less like I’m wrestling with a large wooden spider and it’s going quicker.  I’ve gotten 24 rows done so far, and you can begin to see how the pattern will look:

The yarn looks extra pink here. The first picture is more accurate color-wise.

So far, no mistakes (that I know of).  I’m crossing my fingers for continued success, because I wouldn’t know how to go back to a previous row with this pattern of complicated cables and twists if I did mess up.  Well, it’s complicated to me, at least.  But hey, I wanted a challenge, right?

I am actually worried that the band is too narrow — I believe it should be about 4 inches wide and mine is about 3.  Maybe once it’s blocked?  PLEASE don’t tell me that  I should start over and go up a needle size.  Well, actually, do tell me if I should, but don’t expect me to be happy.  What do you think?  I don’t want to redo it, but I do want it to be perfect!

frustration wins this round

While I’m happy with how my blogs are looking after some changes, I’m frustrated with the ski bonnet.  Last post I mentioned that I ripped out my first attempt (which was only about 13 rows but actually took a long time.  Well, here’s my second attempt, using scrap yarn so that I could get the pattern down:

I messed up the twists in the bottom right corner but it got better.

As you can see, I chose to use my double points instead of the circular needle.  Crazy as it seems, it feels less cumbersome to me (especially when starting off).  So after achieving satisfaction with the sample, I brought out the magenta yarn again and tried for the real thing.  Again I got to about row 13 and realized I made a mistake in row 5, and I had no idea how to go about fixing it.  So I’ve done rows 1-13 three times now, none of which have been satisfactory.  I considered just keeping going, but I want this hat to be perfect, so I frogged it again.

Maybe 4th time’s the charm.  I’m going to try to be less distracted by other things while I’m knitting this time so I can follow the chart properly.  No more Japanese anime with subtitles!  Maybe some good ol’ Harry Potter audiobooks.

Wish me luck, and thanks for stopping by!  Hopefully I’ll have a photo worthy sample soon.

ski bonnet: begin!

Remember that awesome ski bonnet that I wanted to make?  Well, I’m gonna make it!

I’ll be using 3 skeins of Berroco Vintage in their Dewberry shade, which I had to purchase today, even though I said I couldn’t afford yarn this month.  I swear, this yarn was the cheapest yarn in the store that still felt soft.  I’m gonna just say this is my birthday present to myself.

My dog is not interested in the slightest; she’s so used to yarn.

So I started the pattern, and I was immediately struggling.  I know how to do the magic loop method but I’m still not good at keeping the breaks between the sides tight and even, so that was all over the place.  Maybe I should try it on double points, which I’m more used to, so I don’t have those “wings?”  In row 1 I immediately had to learn two new things, as well: the Left Twist and the Right Twist.  I think I’m doing them right.  (Check out those links for video tutorials on YouTube.)

In the end, my first 6 rows looked so shabby that I frogged it.  I think I’m going to practice with some spare yarn to get the hang of the pattern first before trying it again with my nice magenta yarn.  Anybody have any advice for me?

finally, something’s done!

I finally finished my Hermione Hat #2!  You probably don’t remember #1 because it was so long ago, probably before I separated my blogs.  #1 was too short by about 10 rows, because I read the chart wrong throughout and just skipped them.  This one was done properly (although it’s still a little short/snug for my taste, but I’m sure I can block it).

#1 is on the left, #2 on the right. You can tell #2 looks much bigger.

The eyelets were fun, but I’m not sure I like making cables… my stitches get so tight.

I’m so excited to have this done!  I did all of the decreasing top part tonight because I wanted to get it finished.  This will definitely be going on my Christmas trip to England with me.  It might not even get cold enough here in South Carolina this winter for me to wear hats (it didn’t this past winter), so I’m excited for the opportunity to show off my hard work!  I know it’s not the most complicated hat pattern, but for a beginner I’m really proud of how it turned out!

Oh and if you want the pattern for this hat, it’s here.

Thanks for stopping by, that’s all for today!

longing for a hat

Do you ever come across patterns that are slightly over your head but have the prettiest pictures and most enticing allure?  Happens to me all the time.  I love to ogle the beautiful knits I see online, even if there’s probably no way I could ever make some of them.  I found one recently, however, that I feel like is just barely out of my reach.  Check it out:

It’s a lovely neon ski bonnet!  And see the Ravelry page, with the maker looking so awesome while wearing it.  I want this so badly!  It would be perfect for Christmas in England — at least I think it would, does it get that cold in December there?  I don’t know, I’ve never been in the winter.

Anyway, This is the cutest ski bonnet, but I am unsure about making it.  I could do the cables on the front band easily enough (I think), but I’ve never tried the pattern of the back portion so it looks intimidating to me, along with the idea of having to knit pieces together, which I have never done before.  I am unsure of how to pick up stitches along the edge of one piece and attach it to another piece.  Well, I’m sure I’ll find out soon, because my wip Weasley sweater will call for that eventually, but I sure do hope it’s easy, because I can’t wait to at least try this!  Know of any good online tutorials or videos that might help me out?

As always, thanks for visiting!

getting along

To practice my fair isle technique, I made a hat!  I’m really happy with it.  It only took 2 days to finish, which is even better.

 

 

 

I made it with some spare Berroco Vintage yarn that I just had lying around.  The pattern is my own conglomeration (I used other patterns to make it but nobody else has made this exact hat).  The fair isle pattern can be downloaded here, and the hat pattern itself can be downloaded here.  If you follow the hat pattern and CO 96 sts, the fair isle pattern matches up perfectly.  I’m really happy with it.  Unfortunately my phone camera wouldn’t quite pick up the purple color correctly — it looks almost brown in the first picture — but it is purple, and the background is light blue.

That’s all I’ve got for today, thanks for stopping by!

I’m addicted

I’m so hooked on Ravelry!  I just can’t stop looking at knitting patterns –even the ones that I know I couldn’t make yet are going in my favorites!  It’s basically like window shopping and daydreaming of the day that I might be able to make fancy things.  Last night I spent hours looking through every single page of the free knitting patterns that have photos. I could have been making something, but no, I just felt like staring at lovely projects and getting new ideas.

Here’s what I found:

This cardigan is modeled after some Native American pottery patterns in New Mexico.  And in that same vein, here are some mitts:

OK that one requires some explaining — those socks are actually kilt hose, meant to be worn with Scottish garb.  I’m a bagpiper so I have some for when I play at weddings, funerals, etc., but mine keep shrinking so I could stand to make a pair myself.

And this pincushion may be last but it is certainly not least — it’s in my queue of things to make because it looks so cute and useful.  You will probably see this coming soon.

So that’s it!  I know I said last time that my next post would be about my sweater progress, but that will just have to wait until next time.  These patterns were just too cool and I had to share.

Thanks for stopping by!