Knitting so Fun

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There is something about the weather turning cold that gives me the itch to knit. I learned about four years ago on my previous trip to Oregon to see my friend, Misty and haven’t stopped since. Knitting is the neatest hobby. You can go any which way with it. You can buy your yarn at wal-mart and knit things in acrylic. You can buy crazy expensive yarn and knit $100 sweaters. You can just knit socks, lots and lots of socks. You can knit weird things or animals. You can “yarn bomb” trees and objects throughout the city! Whatever you fancy on any level you reach.

I would say I’m pretty proficient at knitting. I’ve worked at it, learning new stitches and challenging myself, pushing through the irritation of starting over three times and learning to unknit a row or two. I still enjoy it. I haven’t knit since probably February, but when I was at a knitting shop in Portland on my trip I saw the prettiest pattern for a baby blanket and couldn’t resist.

I originally bought four skeins of yarn, but when I started the blanket I realized I wanted it to be wider than what the stitches called for, so I added another repeat. As I knit the rows, I then realized that I may run out of yarn and have a wider but short blanket, so I ordered the orange skein from Angelika’s Yarn Store in Portland. My shop didn’t have this particular weight of yarn, so I had to order it. If you ever need to order yarn, Angelika’s is quick and price comparable! I ordered my yarn on Monday and expected to get my yarn next week, but I got it Thursday!

Orange is a special color to us, so I think it adds some funk and some sentimentality as well. These first few rows will repeat until it is done. I think it is gonna be awesome!


Covers

This is what knitting now looks like; two to three rows while the baby sleeps -on me- trying my best while my arm slowly falls to sleep. It makes me wonder since my arms are constantly falling asleep, while holding her like this or at night when we are sleeping in the bed, whether I will have permanent damage with my circulation.

I now have a Flip which is a type of cover that uses the pad fold (not great for blow outs), a regular Thirsties cover which you have to use one of the aforementioned folds and what you see here is me knitting what is called a Soaker or quite simply, a diaper cover. As always I knit the pattern in a different gauge which made the soaker somewhat huge, but she’ll grow into it. :o) I hope to knit one or two more on the drive up to North Carolina this weekend, but we’ll see if that actually happens. I will also need to lanolize the soaker to make it somewhat waterproof. Here is baby girl snoozing away in her swing wearing her Soaker.

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Baby Soft Yarn

I received some yummy yellow yarn from My sister-in-law Trisha for Christmas. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, so here I am 3 weeks from my due date, knitting up a hat and possibly booties. The yarn is so very soft and easy to work with that I wish it would have taken me longer to knit!

The beginnings…

It just so happens that I had the perfect size needles for this project, which rarely happens. :o)

And the finished product…

We can fold the end up if we would like…

Not having a baby head to measure and a vague pattern (that’s how I like’ em!) to go by makes me wonder if this hat is a bit too large for a Greb-head, so I may make another and modify the pattern a little bit. The booties are a bit more complicated, but thankfully my friend Misty will be here to help this weekend. You can blame her for my yarn fetish, she is the one that got me started! Thanks to Trisha and Misty for making this hat possible. ;o)


Purl Bee

I stumbled upon this site a while ago and am always happily surprised when they update their blog with a new sewing or knitting project that they have done.

They did a “best of” post and I thought I would share it with you.

Purl Bee Rocks!

I visited their Soho store before they moved while Jason and I were in NYC this year. If I were to open a knit shop here in Lakeland, I would totally model it after their shop. It is pretty amazing.


ssk, k2tog

G etting prepared for the kids to leave is so bittersweet. On one hand I do not look forward to seeing them go next Wednesday, but on the other hand we leave for North Carolina the following morning. We have lots planned for this trip including some hiking, white water rafting, and hopefully some knit-tastic education.

I contacted the owners of Silver Threads and Golden Needles in Franklin and I am on the list for the Lace class. She was also very encouraging about being able to answer any questions I have about the looms. I wish I had time to take a class for that too, but I’m trying to resist cramming too much into our short stay. We are debating on taking a trip to Asheville, NC, the nearest big city to Franklin. They have a store that offers inexpensive spinning classes. I want to be introduced to this aspect of knitting; what seems like advanced knowledge, but this also may be something that I’ll have to plan for another trip.

I have lost my second skein of yarn for Jason’s hat, so it looks like Noah will be the coolest kid on the block (or ridiculed) with a hat his mama made him. I’m using some of my Japanese Noro yarn, which is a bit different than anything I have worked with so far. It doesn’t have much give, but the color is sensational. It looks pretty wound, and even prettier knit. I added a strip to the gray hat, but have run out of gray, so the top of the hat is destined to be orange. I learned a new stitch for this pattern, ssk (slip, slip, knit), it has a different effect than the knitting two together (K2tog). Neat huh? lol


Knitting Needles

Knitting may not be one of your favorite pastimes, but it is quickly becoming one of mine. :o) It has grown from a neglected hobby to an art that I must learn everything about. That proves very difficult when there is only 2 knitting stores here and the nearest knitting store is 30 miles away and only open 9a-2p. The other is a bit farther, but open normal hours and it is the one I frequent when in need of what I’ll call “premium” products. Otherwise I will stop into Joann’s if I am desperate for a more popular item.

I started on a hat for Jason that I am realllly excited about. He’s not so sure, but I think he will like it once it is done. It is knitted on size 6 needles for almost 19 inches and then decreased! I had bought some wonderful gray (more for me to learn here) yarn at least a year ago and finally found the project for it. In my opinion, you have to LOVE the yarn to stick to the project. I am also learning that loving the needles is important too. I ran out to Joann’s to get a size 6 circular needle 16 inches (long? around? circumference?) , but they only had double-pointed needles (dpn’s) in that size. I want to learn to knit well on dpn’s anyway, so I went ahead, got the needles, and started the hat. After three tries (I so think that is the magic number for a new project) I finally got it going and was doing well with the pattern and the dpn’s. The quality of the needles made it a little frustrating though, and a bit of work to bust out the project with only a short time to work on it, so it began to sit in my project bag for long periods. At that point I knew that I needed to splurge on circulars, so Noah and I headed out to Tampa one afternoon this week to pick some up.

I prefer metal needles. I knit very tightly and am mean to the wooden or bamboo needles. They get scraped up and I have to help the yarn along which irritates me. That is for circular knitting. For straight knitting, I really like the wooden needles. Once I was at the shop, I asked the owner about needles as I was paying for them. I would not consider this shop to be very friendly, but she was much obliged to share her knowledge with me. She may have been the owner.

I simply asked her what the difference was between all of the mediums for needles? What makes one person choose one or the other? Is it preference?? Yes. Yes it is. I have fallen in love with stainless steel, but there is also bamboo, rosewood, ebony, and blends of different types of woods. There are decorative and expensive needles that are very beautiful and (I imagine) a dream to knit with. Needles are an investment, especially here in Florida, where they are not chucked to the nearest thrift store for the novice knitter to find; maybe the aluminum ones, which is what my dpn’s were. As I transferred from the dpn’s to the circular there was an audible sigh of relief. It was so smooth and the yarn began to fly on the needles! I will once again (possibly) pick up the dpn’s to decrease, but that won’t be for a while yet and I happily have become quite comfortable with dpn’s.

This particular store seemed to favor a brand called Lantern Moon. They had a lot of Rosewood and ebony needles for about 3x as much as I spent on the stainless steel.

This has given me a lot to chew on as I finish Jason’s hat. I am looking forward to the knowledge I will gain in NC at their one knitting store in Franklin. I hope they will be as forthcoming as the Tampa store was especially about the Looms they house. :o) Oh and we may go White Water Rafting again, so we’ve got that to look forward to along with spending time with Jason’s family. Can’t wait.


Knit Morning

T his morning I met with a Ravelry knitting group at a downtown coffee shop. It was so nice to get out by myself and meet so new ladies. I feel bad leaving Jason and the kids home on a Saturday morning, but it sure does my soul good. I find it hard to sit at home and knit when there is so much else to do!

I also got to talk with them about a newish knitting store that opened in Winter Haven. I haven’t made it out yet, but it seems okay from the pictures online. A bit of the “same-old” knitting store feel to it, though. We also talked about spinning and weaving and different stores in different states. We all agreed that it is nice to have yarn stores here, but they aren’t anything like what NC or Portland has to offer.

I hope to take some knitting classes while the kids are gone this summer. I have yet to take an actual class and look forward to a structured learning environment. It looks like the kids will be leaving June 9. The tickets have officially been bought (or so I am told).

It always makes me a little crazy towards the end of a semester, so I’m trying to keep that in mind as we gear up for summer. Hopefully there is a pool in my future!


Knit Again!

Here is the finally finished knit project, that I unraveled and redid.

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I loved working with this yarn and I am happy to be done! It is very warm and can be used as a scarf also, but Floridians may look at me funny… I am a little bit unsure of it as a shoulder wrap and wore it a little further up on my neck with my black jacket because it is so cold out today! I feel like Florida has had an actual winter this year. I like it; lets keep it! I also heard that it’s been snowing in New York, an obscene amount of snowfall, and I am hoping we aren’t going to freeze on our honeymoon! You can’t pack light for winter.


Unravelling

Remember that beautiful red wrap I was knitting? Unraveled. I knitted it too big for my narrow shoulders. :o( The more I knit the more I learn that I’ve just gotten started in this hobby. I am a big fan of mastering one skill before moving on to another, so the knit stitch, purl stitch, increasing and decreasing I have got down. I am learning to knit on circulars and DPN’s too. I rarely make a mistake and even if I do I can fix it seamlessly. I have been perusing Ravelry.com and a lot of the patterns I like have interesting stitches that I have yet to try. It is a little difficult being the only knitter I know because it isn’t like I can glean from anyone else! Oh well, I still enjoy it and will be trying again soon.

I am learning to love the new year. It is an exciting turn this year because the wedding is that much closer. I will be working way less and going to school more this semester, so we as a family will be depending on Jason to bring home the bacon. This is very new to me. It is also kinda scary. I won’t really have spending money and I really like spending. :o) I love finding an oh-so-perfect item for one of us or the house and bringing it home. Also, I see more items I would love to have when I’m broke than when I can actually buy it! What is up with that?!

It is nice to be able to depend on someone, especially when that someone is as loving and generous as Jason, but it also puts me in a vulnerable position and allows me to continue to learn a lesson I have been learning for the last 2 years which is delayed gratification. I like to go and do and without my paycheck there will be less going and doing.

Jason and I have been talking and making plans for the year and it seems as if I will continue to be home more with Nora starting PreK in the Fall. She may be going to R.B. Wagner with Noah, which will be great since it is right down the road! Being at home more gives me a fever…a fever to organize! I have plans for our closet and my closet which is actually a nook used for my desk and stuff. I want to move things around to give us more space. I want to repaint the kids rooms. It feels like I am turning into Suzie Homemaker. I still have 9 credits left after this semester for my degree which makes me feel like I have a split personality. College Student/Homemaker. I like my role of beautifying the home and taking care of the kids. As Jason has taken on more of the role of provider I have been able to become more of a nurturer. We make a good team. We are getting married you know… ;o)

I have been busy making plans for that too. If you want more details visit my wedding blog. Most of the big stuff is done and I am enjoying getting lists of the details together ready to check them off one by one. For some crafty inspiration you can check out what is fast becoming one of my favorite sites, The Purl Bee. I am loving this garland that was recently posted. It makes me want to make some room and get out my sewing machine! I don’t think I will need to worry about getting bored at home with all of these hobbies piling up. :o)


Scarf for Nora!

Nora's scarf

I finally finished Nora’s scarf. Knit in Stockinette stitch, which gave me lots of knit/purl practice with ruffled ends, which I love! I finished it just in time for her to take with to Pennsylvania. Although she likes it much better as a rope to pull things with. :/ She’ll understand why it’s a must when she’s in PA where it is 20 degrees! It went perfect with her pretty spring dress this past Sunday.

Nora's scarf