March 29, 2009

Leafy Lace Cardi

Well, here goes nothing.

This project officially marks my entry into knitting non-raglan style garments. I haven't really felt confident enough to try it because basically, it is much like sewing, where you have several pieces that you construct together by stitching them at the seams. I'm terrible at hand-seaming, but I thought I should just try it just to see what happens.

So far, I am totally loving the yarn I'm using - Optimum DK by South West Trading Company in color Desert. I bought six balls on sale when I went to Unwind in Burbank with my dolly friends Paula and Clarissa. The yarn has been discontinued, so I hope I have enough for the project! If not, I'll have to track some down via Ravelry.

The lace part is going well - after doing four inches of 1x1 ribbing on sz 2 needles it was good to dive right in. The pattern is well-written and I love the leaf shapes! After doing three repeats, I realize that I need to loosen up my stitches because the lace part doesn't look as nice and even as I'd like (I know I always tend to knit too tight), but hopefully it will open up when I block the pieces into shape.

:: :: ::

The Leafy Lace Cardi pattern is available for free via Craftster.

March 27, 2009

Tutorial: How-to Cast On

After you learn how to make a slip knot, you will need to know how to cast-on. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will be able to do it with your eyes closed.

This method of casting on is called the Long-tail Cast-On. It's the first type I learned and I find it really fast and easy to do, especially for beginners. So when you make your slip knot, be sure to leave a tail end that is at least three times the width of the item you want to knit. For example, if you are knitting a scarf that is six-inches wide, you'll want to have a tail that is at least eighteen-inches long.

Got your slip knot ready? Let's cast-on.

Hold the needle with the slip knot with your right hand. With the left hand, close the bottom three fingers around the yarn, then spread the yarn open with your thumb and index finger (Figure A).

March 18, 2009

March Baby Sweater

Finished my third February Baby Sweater tonight. I used 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere that were given to me by Caroline (thanks!) and I love how it knits up - substantial and warm, with a subtle sheen. This is my first baby item that isn't knitted in a "baby" color yarn and I really like how it turned out. I hope the mommy (and baby) I'm sending it to will like it.

After doing this pattern three times, I feel confident with the gull pattern (love it!) so it's time to move on to my next project. I'm going to knit something for myself and hopefully have it be ready for Spring!

Pattern from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac

March 16, 2009

Tutorial: Make a Slip Knot

Since I've shown quite a few people some knitting basics, I thought I should share them on the site as well. Here's the first of the tutorials I will be sharing. Stay tuned for more!

. . .

The first step in any knitting project is making a slip knot. It can be done in a few simple steps. 

Wrap a piece of yarn on your left hand clockwise between the index and middle fingers, with your fingers spread about one inch apart. Pick up the back loop with your right hand (Figure A, where arrow is pointing) and pull it through the middle of the loop (Figure B).

March 12, 2009

New Additions

Some of the recently purchased yarn. Top to Bottom: Bollicine Revolution in 14 (sky blue), Jo Sharp Summer DK in Sailboat, Louet Riverstone in Pewter, South West Trading Company Optimum DK in Desert, Rowan Big Wool Fusion in 01 (cloud?)

I just adore these colors together. Such nice, muted earthy tones. And they all feel so soft and warm. It will take me a while to find projects worthy of the yarn!

March 2, 2009

Slouchy Hat for Blythe

I've been wanting to make one of those very stylish and hip slouchy hats for myself, but I always seem to have too many projects and never enough time. So it dawned on me this weekend: why not make some in Blythe size?

After making a prototype, I was ready to go! I am having so much fun knitting them right now. Plus I get to make more of the little crocheted flowers that I love so much. It's the only thing I know how to crochet, but boy do they come in handy! ;)