Archive for February, 2011
So I’ve been steadily collecting links for interesting knitting-related items over the past several months but hadn’t had a chance to post them until now. It’s a fairly long list, but definitely a fun one – enjoy!
- Whether you’re looking for needles, yarn, books or more – KnitPicks.com is a great resource to check out.
- Looking for a local knitting store (LYS) in your area? Check out Knitmap!
- If you need somewhere to store all of your needles and other knitting essentials, check out this roll-up tote.
- For high-quality wooden knitting needles (and more), check out DyakCraft – I’ve heard people raving about them, and the colors are gorgeous.
- Wanting to learn how to knit the Brioche stitch? Check out this post from KnittingDaily, or there’s a whole site dedicated just to the Brioche Stitch too.
- Here’s a helpful video that I used when learning how to knit with Magic Loop!
- I haven’t tried knitting with more than one color at once yet (but want to learn sometime) – this video shows how to carry along two colors at the same time with both hands!
- Do you knit English (throwing) or Continental (picking) style? Do you know? This page links to a couple of videos that demonstrate the Continental method.
- Going paperless yet? Here are some tips from Knit Purl Gurl on adapting your knitting to tech devices.
- I haven’t tried this yet – but can’t wait to. It’s the Russian Join technique for joining a new length of yarn to a project! Here’s another description as well.
- And if you’re changing yarn in the middle of a project, try the Back Join technique, described here at TECHknitting for working in the tails as you go.
- Do you like to crochet in the round? Check out the Magic Ring technique for a circle that closes up every time!
- If you’re looking for free patterns, a great place to start is Knitting Pattern Central – they have links to thousands of patterns, all free! And here’s another resource for free patterns too – DROPS Design from Garnstudio.
- Looking for an alternative to traditional gift wrapping? Check out these cute knitted gift bags from Caron International! There’s a link to crocheted versions too.
- I’m always watching for fun new hat patterns to try for my girls – I like this one: Swirl Hat Knitting Pattern
- This was one of the options that I was looking at for fingerless gloves – from Subway Knitter.
- So I know we’re way past the holidays now, but it’s never to early to start on projects for Christmas 2011, right? I love this crocheted Amigurum-tree pattern from Caron International.
- Here’s the pattern for the crocheted flowers that I made for my daughters’ hats.
- Valentine’s Day is over, but it’s never to late to give someone one of these cute crocheted hearts!
- VeryPink.com is a great site that offers tutorials, patterns and more – and they have some very helpful videos on YouTube as well. Their sock-making series really helped me learn how to knit socks!
- Speaking of socks, I haven’t tried this – but I’ve heard several people raving about Silver’s Sock Class. They have online tutorials and free patterns for making socks in any of several methods.
- Once you take all of the time to knit awesome socks, don’t forget to learn how to darn them as well since they tend to wear out when worn a lot!
- Wanting to learn how to knit but don’t know where to start? Check out this free Learn to Knit video e-book over at KNITFreedom! Or you can also try one of these Knit Outta the Box kits too.
- It’s a little late for this year now, but if you’re in or near Michigan, check out Knit Michigan – it’s an organization dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families by knitting chemo caps, lap blankets and more. They hold an annual gathering that offers classes and more, as a fund raiser to help support their mission.
Very strange weather we’re having here in Michigan this week. For several days it was mild and sunny, and all of the snow that we got a couple of weeks before melted. This morning was still somewhat mild but cloudy. And right after lunchtime it began to snow. I don’t think it’s let up yet – and so far I’d estimate that we’ve gotten 4-6 inches of new snow on the ground.
I’d had to put my second glove on hold while waiting for the skein of yarn to come in at the LYS – I found out on Thursday that it had arrived, so stopped by on Friday to pick it up. On Saturday I picked up where I’d left off on the glove, and at this point on Sunday night, it’s 99% done – I just have to finish the decreases for the top of the mitten flap and graft it closed.
Here are a few photos from earlier today after I’d finished the glove portion (the extra yarn woven through was marking the stitches I needed to pick up to begin the convertible mitten flap):
A couple of things I’ve noted about this second skein of Mini Mochi yarn:
- The general color pattern is somewhat similar so I was able to pick up on the second skein and stay somewhat true to how the colors fell out on the first glove. They’re by no means exact, but close enough that at first glance it probably wouldn’t jump out at you unless you were studying the gloves side-by-side.
- There’s definitely a difference in dye lots – the colors in the second skein are in general more muted than in the first skein. That’s really not a huge deal either but it is something I notice when I put the gloves next to each other.
You can see the more defined line running across the glove near the base of the thumb, where I switched skeins (rather than the rest of the color changes which are more gradual), but it’s something I’m ok with. Overall I really like this yarn and will probably use it again – but for a single item next time, not a pair of anything!
As soon as I have the second glove completely finished, I’ll post some photos of the pair. I’m glad that I’ll have them this week now that it’s colder and snowy out again!
Now to get back to working on the socks for my 8-year-old…
Stop the presses – I’m actually working on more than one thing at a time!
Well, kind of. Since I got kind of stalled out on the second glove that I was making and found that I was going crazy without some type of project to work on while waiting… I tend to be more of a project-driven knitter, so I usually only work on one thing and not start anything new until the last one is done.
I ran out of yarn for the glove – or rather I knew I would run out of yarn, and as the color scheme began to not match as closely as I’d hoped, I figured that I would have a better chance of matching things up if I got the new skein of yarn now. But since the LYS was out of that particular color in the Mini Mochi yarn, I’ve had to wait for them to order more.
So here sits Glove #2 – but since we’ve had a weather warm-up this week, it hasn’t been a huge deal not to have these gloves done yet. I’m sure it will get colder again though (it is only February still…) – so I’ll certainly get some time to wear them after the second one is finished.
What project did I start while I’m waiting? The one that I had put off when the weather turned so cold that I decided to do the gloves first – namely a pair of socks that I’d promised my 8-year-old. I didn’t have a size 1 circular needle to use for them at the time anyway, so I knit the gloves while saving up for and ordering one from KnitPicks. I’d been wanting to try out their Options metal needles and they’re cheaper than the Addi Turbo ones I was buying before (and love). Plus I’d heard that the KnitPicks cables are better suited to Magic Loop, so I was curious.
I’ll post my thoughts about the needle later on. But it’s working out very well so far and after several attempts (and frogging), I have the first sock moving along. It took me a little while to get a handle on the gauge – especially since I tend to knit tighter in the round than I do when knitting flat, so knitting a gauge swatch involved pretty much just starting the sock and knitting several rounds to see how it was going. More than once, until I got the number of stitches that I needed to start with figured out. I like this sock pattern – it’s from the book, Sensational Knitted Socks, and is one of the “Chevron Patterns for Self-Striping Yarn”. I’m adapting it for Magic Loop, since that’s the one method that the book doesn’t cover (it includes instructions for 4dpns, 5 dpns or 2 circulars). The yarn is called ‘Ty-Dy Socks’ from Knit One crochet too and this color is called ‘Cherry Cola’. So far it’s nice to knit with, although the yarn does tend to split a bit more than I like.
I’m going to be sad to put the socks on hold while I finish up the second glove, but I do want to get some time to actually wear the gloves a bit before spring, so they’re a little higher priority right now. I do like that these are small enough projects though that I can fit both of them in my small knitting bag at the same time.
I feel slightly like a Michael Jackson video at this point – although I don’t think I’m wearing my single glove out anywhere in public, lol. But I am pretty happy with how it turned out, although there are a few things that I’d like to do differently for glove #2. Whether or not I make those changes and end up with a slightly mis-matched pair will probably depend on my mood at the time as I get to certain points in the second glove.
Let’s back up a bit though – here’s how it looked when I’d finished the ‘glove’ part…
The colored fingers really don’t look as crazy as I thought they might. And it actually worked out extremely well with what I did next. You see that extra piece of yarn woven through the back of the glove in the photo above? I decided as I was knitting, before I started the fingers, that I would make the ‘convertible’ option for the glove. Basically, it’s an added flap that covers the fingers and coverts it from a fingerless glove to a mitten. And I’m so glad that I decided to do that, because just by coincidence – the colors ended up working out perfectly to match what I’d already knitted for the body of the glove!
See for yourself…
The flap folds back really nicely to give access to your fingertips when you need them:
And here’s how it looks with the flap folded back, on the palm side:
My only issues with how this turned out is that next time I might make the pinky finger a bit shorter and a little looser on top – you can see how it sticks up on the finger a little too high. All four fingers actually have the same number of rows, although it looks like the ring finger has less – I counted and it’s the same. And the pinky one is the same number too – but I didn’t consider that it’s a shorter finger in general. I probably could undo the last couple of rows and then re-bind off and I might consider doing that at some point.
The only other issue I have is with how pointy the mitten flap part is on top. I actually made about 8 fewer rows when I knitted it because I was worried about having too much excess at the top of the mitten, and I probably could have gone another few rows fewer even beyond that. I don’t have long fingers and don’t like having a ton of extra fabric at the top.
I did start the second glove last night – I found a spot in the yarn that looks like it may repeat the color pattern fairly closely, at least at first. Apparently that is a known issue with this yarn – I researched it a little bit online. They dye the yarn before spinning it, so the color progression can differ. One website warns that any gloves, mittens or socks made with this yarn will most likely end up ‘fraternal’ twins instead of ‘identical’ ones. I guess I’ll find out as I go!
I’m almost done with the first glove! It’s really a very easy pattern and so much easier to do using Magic Loop than trying to juggle a bunch of dpns on the fingers. There’s really only one kind of issue that I’m having – and that has to do with the yarn I’m using for it.
The Mini Mochi yarn is gorgeous – all in a rainbow of pastel colors. But unlike other self-striping or variegated yarns, this one doesn’t have a pattern that repeats – at least nothing’s repeated yet that I’ve come across. The colors just slowly blend into one another. It worked out fine as I knitted the cuff of the glove and then worked my way up the hand. And even into the first finger. But then when I cast off that first finger and went to join the yarn for the second one, I realized that the yarn color had moved past where it had been when I left the rest of the finger area stitches off. So I was basically joining an entirely new color. And it was the same way for the rest of the fingers and now the thumb as well. So instead of a glove whose colors slowly blend upward along the whole thing, I’m ending up with one that has multi-colored digits.
It’s not horrible, by any means. I’ve seen glove patterns that call for different colors in the fingers and thumb like this. It’s just not what I’d really planned on for this particular pattern. And I have to laugh – when I rejoined the yarn to the thumb gusset to finish knitting the thumb – I was up to a fairly bright green. Giving me literally – a ‘green thumb’.
I decided that I’m going to knit this pattern as a ‘convertible glove’ and add the flap that will cover the fingers when I want it to, so my fingertips won’t freeze when I’m wearing them. And the flap will fold backward when I need my fingertips available to use with my phone, or whatever else. I’m kind of curious to see what color I’ll be up to in the skein when I get to the flap.
As for the second glove, I’m not sure yet. I don’t know if I’ll have enough yarn left in this skein to make a whole other glove. And even if I do – I kind of want the colors to match up. I may have to try and track down another skein of this yarn in this color pattern and hope that the colors transition the same way they are in this skein.
One thing’s definitely for sure – you won’t be able to miss my hands when I’m wearing these!
I’m curious – has anyone worked with Mini Mochi yarn before? Does every skein in a particular color have the same color transition? Or should I just plan on two gloves with similar but different color patterns? Thanks!
But knit, of course!
I finally started a new project tonight – it took a little while for me to figure out what I wanted to do. And I’ll probably end up with 2 things going concurrently just so I don’t run into this whole thing again of not having anything to work on once I finish something.
Well, technically I do still have a baby washcloth that I started months ago, but for some reason I completely have lost interest in working on those. Maybe because I don’t know anybody who’s pregnant right now, so don’t have anyone to give them to. And I never did finish the smock top – but by the time summer rolls around again, it would be way too small for my youngest daughter, so I can’t really summon up the energy to get it done. I’m still really in sock and Magic Loop mode and want to keep working on those.
But what I started tonight isn’t a sock! I’m expanding my horizons yet again – this time in two ways. First, I’m adapting a pattern that’s written for dpns to Magic Loop – or at least attempting to do so. We’ll see how that goes. And I’m doing this for a type of project I’ve never made before – a fingerless glove.
Why fingerless? I realized on Black Friday as I stood out in the bitter cold, waiting in line outside of various stores while attempting to use the touchscreen on my iPhone, that touchscreens and cold temperatures don’t mix very well. I kept having to take my glove completely off, and my whole hand was freezing by the time I’d put my phone away each time. So I’ve had the idea of making fingerless gloves lurking around in my head since, and decided this is the right time to try – I was always intimidated by the idea of attempting fingers with dpns before, but I think Magic Loop will work a lot better for that.
I found a pattern that I downloaded – it’s from a physical book, but by downloading the book instead of purchasing a paper copy, it was very cheap. And I can load the pattern on my e-reader and my phone so I don’t even have to print out a physical copy of it either. It’s from a Paton’s book – Next Steps Seven: Mittens and Gloves, and I’m glad to have some good mitten patterns now too. The fingerless glove pattern also includes an option for a flap to use to cover the fingers with – I don’t know if I’ll attempt that right now or not.
I’m using a skein of yarn that I’d bought last fall, thinking I’d try it for socks – but I only bought one skein, and when I was at the LYS last week, they didn’t have any more of this same color. There should be enough in the skein for the gloves though – I think. I love the colors and the feel of this yarn – it’s Mini Mochi, in the pastel ‘Baby Face’ colors. So pretty!
Here’s the cuff of the first glove – so far just ribbing. Things will be more interesting when I have to try doing the thumb gusset, probably tomorrow during our snow day. I’m planning to run a lifeline through before I start, just in case – so I don’t have to start all over again if things don’t work the first time. Wish me luck!