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Back To It

Wow – is it already the end of November?! Potty training is still going on and has pretty much been taking up all my time. But TMI, I know. It’s time to get back to it!

I finished the tiny baby booties on a larger needle just.in.time. for the baby shower. Consequently, I did not get any pictures. I love how quickly they knit up, but I definitely need some work on my seaming. I imagine that’s pretty common for a beginner, but I especially wished it had been better when the recipient mentioned she’d been knitting for years! lol! I hadn’t known that ahead of time.  The original needle I used was a 3.25mm. The “larger needle” I used was a 4mm and while there wasn’t a HUGE visual difference, maybe a centimeter longer, they were a bit more stretchy. Consequently, I felt better about the chances of them fitting new, sweet little footsies. 🙂 I am working to finish the 2nd miniature bootie so I can donate them. I will be sure to capture a picture before they find a new home!

Part of the reason I haven’t had a chance to blog is that some of the things I’m working on are Christmas presents! Therefore, I can’t really post too much about them. One I can, kinda-sorta, is my sister’s Tooley Owl, since she helped pick out the pattern. Here’s a picture of the design:

Tooley OwlIsn’t he cute!

If your name is not Heather H, you can click here to see my version of it – it’s my sneaky way of showing you without showing her (Don’t look, sister! – no, really!). I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and I hope I have the stick-to-itedness to make myself one too!

On my lunches, I am glad to report that I’m back to working on Lady Grey. I’ve hand stitched the interfacing down on both side front pieces and started one of the front pieces. I find that hand-sewing on my lunch hour is perfect because just when my neck and shoulders are starting to hurt, it’s time to stop! 🙂 I really hope I can get a quicker pace going soon, but as I’m writing this I remember that I still have pad stitching to do on the lapel…and then I’ll have to revisit it on the collar. It will go quicker than I think, right?!  [Insert Encouragement here] haha! Over the Thanksgiving break, I got to take the front pieces to my machine and sew up the princess seam, but now it’s back to attaching the interfacing to the front piece and the pad stitching. I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can…

I really want to make some progress on this to wear it for Christmas, but I don’t think that will happen…I also need to make a new car seat cover for my step sister by January. She has 2 boys and is having their very first girl, so that calls for something frilly and cute. I bought some hot pink minky and a Michael Miller butterfly print:

oooooh…soft!
Wings of Peace

I get to deconstruct the original seat cover to make this one, which is really so quick and easy. I hope it goes as easy as planned (oh no! Famous last words!). 🙂

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Knitty News

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the easy portability of knitting! This weekend we have been doing potty training boot camp with Mr. T and it’s been EXHAUSTING! So, when he went down for his naps or for bed time, I didn’t really want to pull out a whole sewing project like I normally do, but still wanted to do something I enjoyed. So, I ended up finishing my scarf (for details, see my Ravelry entry here)…

Before weaving in the ends...

AND starting some baby booties (Also on Ravelry here)

 

Teeny Tiny baby booties

The only thing is, they’re T-I-N-Y. I knew this as a possibility going into it only I wish I would have read the review before purchasing my needles. A few said just one needle size up made them more reasonably sized. You can’t really see how small they are here, but when I finish the second one, I’ll put something in the picture to show you – they are take-home-from-the-hospital booties, and not for much longer after that. That’s okay though. One took me just over a nap time session so one more and they’re done…and they added some experience to my knitting repitoire, what with the toe shaping and k2tog’s etc. I know from the picture my increases near the bottom are pretty obvious but you have to start somewhere, right? Looking forward to picking my Lady Grey back up this week during my lunch hours. Once again, it’s still in the mid 80’s here. Saturday it was 91!!!

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Owls & Costumes, Oh my!

Well, the sewing-T’s-costume-on-my-lunch plan is working. I just have the sleeves to add and I’m done! Finito! And early, I might add.

Thanks to my friend at Rebecca’s Rags for submitting this idea after I posted the project sans sleeves on Facebook: “you could leave it sleeveless and he could be ‘Bakersfield Woody’;)” LOL. I think I’ll move toward finishing it, thankyouverymuch! HA! I have a flash in my mind about seeking out some kind of tutorial to help me make cowboy boot-looking shoe covers because I’m not sure the size 12 boots we’re borrowing will work (but haven’t tried them yet!) and I dont’ really want to buy any, but we’ll see. Step #1 would be to try on the boots! (duh!)

I’m making great progress on my scarf:

You may have heard, I restarted it one last time (yes that makes 5!). Even then, it took me a few rows to ge the slipped selvage just right but I’m going to live with the first few rows of imperfection! lol. I love being able to work on it a little here and a little there and I love that there’s no deadline, though I have picked out my next project.

2 years ago I posted here about a crocheted cat I made for my sister when I was about 8 or 9. I decided that since I’ve taken to yarn again, that I needed to make her a sequel to the cat. We both love owls, and in fact I made her an owl christmas ornament last year (Pattern Here). So I set out to find an owl pattern on ravelry. The first one I found was Asma Owl.  He’s perfect & I love him, but come to find out, he’s knit on double-pointed needles in the round. Seeing as how I just started figuring this knitting thing out, I decided that might be biting off more than I could chew so I set out to look for another owl. 🙂 Tooley Owl was my next find and the one my sister chose. Maybe after a year of knitting, I will try my hand at Asma Owl for next Christmas, but for now, Tooley is knit on straight needles and the pattern is written for beginners so that’s the one for the present!

What are you working on?

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The Fourth Time’s A Charm

Well, the scarf I showed you last post doesn’t exist anymore. It was unraveled, and unraveled, and unraveled again and after re-starting a 4th time, I finally feel good about it. It’s not perfect, but for my first project, it’s now something I can be proud of (at least the first few rows, so far – lol).

Here’s why I restarted:

  1. As I was making progress, I ran into a “problem” I remembered encountering while crocheting as a kid – curling! The bottom curled up and the sides curled back. I studdied the picture from the Noro Scarf pattern over at brooklyntweed – how flat the scarf laid! How beautiful it seemed to be on the front and the back! (mine looked good on the front, but crazy on the back) – but could not figure out what I was doing wrong. After asking for help in my New Knitters Ravelry forum, I realized I was knitting one row, purling one row. Having been a complete newbie, I missed one teeny tiny little word in Jared’s instructions: rib. So I learned a good lesson (correct me if I’m wrong!): k1, p1 row by row is a stockinette and there is nothing you can do to prevent stockinettes from curling. k1, p1 rib means k1 stitch, p1 stitch, then on the next row knit on the purl and purl on the knit, etc. This makes for a flat, same-on-front-and-back rib knit. Ah ha! This was definitely cause for starting over.
    Stockinette (pic from http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-knit7.htm)

     

    Single Rib (pic from http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-knit7.htm)
  2. Just like in sewing patterns, there are tricks of the craft that aren’t necessarily included in the pattern. Now Jared did mention this in his instructions, but I didn’t pay much attention to it until someone brought it up in the aforementioned forum. Someone asked me if I were doing a slipped stitch edge on the scarf to make the edge less bulky. Of course, I had no idea what this meant. My friend on Ravelry, Prairiepiper, has edging instructions on her blog Knitting Pipeline, but I was having a hard time visualizing it and understanding some of the terminology. I googled it and found this set of instructions with pictures on Techknitting’s blog! Well, I just had to have this nice-looking edge, so I started over.
  3. By the third time I started over, I was struggling to keep track of knits & purls. In fact, even though I had just finished one or the other, I couldn’t remember which one I had done.  After about 6 rows, my confusion was evident as the first and last 5 or so stitches of each row looked good and aligned, but the middle was all jumbled up! I also was still trying to figure out the slipped edge and I felt I was just on the verge of geting it all right so once again…I unraveled.

    See knit stitches on the left and purl on the right
  4. This fourth time, I was finally able to recognize the look of a knit stitch and a purl stitch (See above), so it wasn’t as confusing to know what I had just stitched. In addition, although it took me 2 rows to get the slipped edge right, I finally got it and was thrilled to see everything looking right! (At least to my novice eye!) Consequently, this is the  start I will  stick with and hope the rest of the project goes without a hitch!

All that to say, if you’re learning something new, stick with it! You will learn a lot in the process!

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Knit & Purly New Adventures

Well, now that Self Stitched September is over, I’ve been tying up some loose ends. I finished some jean repairs for my step dad, got some quilt squares ready for a secret project, and I’ve cut out a small coin purse I promised to a friend weeks ago. Today I got a zipper so I could finish that job so it should soon jump off my list. Don’t worry…I still have Lady Grey, T’s Halloween Costume and PJ’s on the list!

In the meantime, I’ve picked up another *new* project inspired by one of the other SSS participants, Kristenmakes, I found on Flickr. Check out this sweater she made! When I asked her how to get started with knitting, she recommended ravelry.com, which has been unbelievably great. I joined a beginners group and they’ve gotten me started on my first project – this scarf! Here are my yarn choices and first few rows (click to see bigger).

I’ve already made mistakes, tried to fix them, learned a smidge about the difference between stockinette and rib knitting & picked my next project(s). One cool thing about Ravelry is you can save future projects in your “queue” so you don’t forget them, but you don’t have to have 1000 project ideas lying around your house. It’s pretty super. So, if you’re interested in a different kind of stitching, be sure to check it out. I’ll let you know how it comes along.