Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Knitting To-Do's

2007: Finish UFO’s, samplers/swatching, lace (scarf), socks, entrelec dishcloth, small EZ almanac project, fairisle (hat), Shadow knitting (scarf), raglan sweater, Abigail's dishcloth

2006: My Second Sweater, Cables, Diagonal knitting

2005: Teach Myself to Knit, Knit in the Round, Felting, My First Sweater

Sunday, January 21, 2007

KANG Meeting During the Holidays

KANG Houston, December 2006

" A knitter's guild is a staggering, incredible thing. It is a room filled with men and women who have in common one obsession. They are possessed enough by the manipulation of two pointy needles and some yarn to give up whole free evenings, not just to knit, but to talk about it. The first time you find yourself having a conversation about moss stitch with a group of people who aren't desperately trying to escape you . . . it's like coming home." Quoted from At Knit's End, Meditation for Women Who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (The Yarn Harlot)

An Inspiration

This sweater has been a motivation to learn knitting for years. My good friend's mother, Mrs. Adams of London, knit it for my daughter, who regularly wore it to school. My friend's knitting however, has gone to the dogs!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Work in Progress - Raglan Coat

Pattern - Mary Ann's Coat
Source - Nancy's Knits, Houston, TX
Yarn - Unikat from Germany -- 160 m -- 100% Merino wool -- blue, grey, turquoise colorway # 05 22300
Note - This is to be knitted as a sweater-jacket, rather than a coat.

Unfinished Object - Capelet

Pattern - Orange Soda Capelet
Source - Cast On Magazine, August - October 2005
Yarn - Classic Elite Bravo! -- Silk & Mohair -- Royal blue # 3721

I know, I know...not another poncho! But it's not a poncho, it's a capelet!
One simple, mindless knitting in the round project serves as a filler between the more challenging ones. Good to knit while watching TV.

Future Project - My Own Sweater Design By Percentages

Pattern - The Sweater Workshop
Yarn - Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk

Unfinished Object - Poncho a la Banana Republic

Pattern - Novak Poncho sans fur
Source - Berroco
Yarn - New Zealand --100% wool
Note - I revised the pattern for a few reasons. 1) The featured yarn was too soft & drapey. I want this capelet to look more rustic like an Aran sweater. 2) I also flipped the pattern in Excel because the poncho was too long for someone just over 5 ft. Knitting from the top down will allow me to try it on periodically and stop at a proportionate length for me.
Learnings - Cables (Thanks Nancy!), reversing a pattern

Future Project - Shawl or Lap Throw

Support Your Local Yarn Store (SYLYS)

Thirty years ago, there weren't a variety of yarns available. I remember well -- I crocheted and did needlepoint at the time. Now, we have so many choices! Eye-candy!! What would the knitting community be like with only a generic, big box store selection? I've added a pic of my favorite LYS, Nancy's Knits -- great expertise, wide variety, and conveniently located south of the Galleria (5-10 minutes away for me)!

I couldn't ask for more -- well maybe I could, two additional hands.

And yes, I have become a yarn snob.

Project 8 - Newborn Sweater

Another sweater without buttons... hmm... do I see a pattern here? I've placed it on my first baby quilt which is still unfinished -- the piecing was fun, but the stippling wasn't.

My neighbor, Carole, knit the blue one below. Isn't it cute? I wanted to show that the same pattern knit in different yarns produced disparate results. Cool!

Pattern - Baby Bolero
Source - Oneskein by Leigh Radford
Yarns - Red Heart, 100% acrylic for baby burp and an unknown fuzzy for the border
Learnings - One piece knitting for body, picking up stitches for border and lastly, if you're picking up stitches for a border feel free to add/subtract stiches to enchance your sweater. On the purple sweater, I followed the pattern which caused the sweater to pucker . I should have added more multiples for the ribbing.

Project 7 - Washcloths for Baby

These are fun to knit for a beginner. Knit a square in a stitch pattern from one of the Harmony series, or buy a pattern book. Given that cotton's not elastic, this wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Patterns - Baby Washcloths
Sources - Kitchen Bright Dishcloths & Dishcloths from the Heart by Leisure Arts
Yarn - Sugar 'n Cream -- 100% cotton for multiple washings -- Lazy Daisy #02718, etc. -- 120 yds solid, 95 yds mix
Learnings - Knitting diagonal, new patterns (ex., diamonds), long-tail cast-on, knitting with cotton

Project 6 - Shrug For A Teenager

My daughter chose the yarn and on-line pattern for this shrug. Quick knitting with sleeves attached to a ribbed cowl. P.S. Even a photo op can't distract her from her favorite movie.
Pattern - Cleaves
Source -
Yarn - Still looking for the label. Update later.
Note - She does not wear this 1/10th as much as the green sweater above.

Project 5 - Same Sweater

My husband's grandmother liked my sweater. So I knitted her one, too, in a smaller size. Same yarn as previous - different color #415.

It's kindly modeled by one of our petite KANG members since I couldn't squeeze into such a small size.

Project 4 - My First Sweater

I chose this sweater for it's design simplicity -- no button holes, sleeves that would fit (quarter- length) -- and practice -- the knit/purl action with the basket weave pattern. An added plus was the yarn itself which camouflaged a variety of mistakes. I noticed the most obvious one too late to correct. Since I am doing combination knitting, I inadvertently twisted my stitches (which wasn't part of the pattern)!

Pattern - Nicole Jacket
Source - Queensland Collection by Jane Ellison
Yarn - Kathmandu DK Tweed -- 85% merino wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere -- 147 yds skein -- color #419
Learnings - Major lesson in FROGGING (rip it, rip it, rip it) stitch by stitch on the needles & row by row off the needles, Basket weave pattern, increasing, decreasing, piecing flat knitting, following written directions, charting sweater pattern, knitting both sleeves simultaneously on one circular needle

Project 3 - Felting Failure, Another FUI (Finished Ugly Ignominy)

My next knitting project was another knit- in-the- round. I'm addicted, right? Too bad I didn't view a copy of Pursenalites first. Since I didn't have a pattern or knowledge, I goofed -- add this one to my FUI list. The mistakes I make!
1) I didn't know how to eliminate the color change jog at the beginning of the new round, 2) the knitted proportion was way off (the height shrank too much & the width not enough for a purse), and 3) I didn't have any notion for finishing - all ready-made handles seem too small. What's do you think? Should I cut it to make coasters?
Postscript - I ran a search on felting failures & mistakes. Ladies, I join your league: Major Knitter, Keeping Me in Stitches, Knit Once, Purl Forever
Pattern - I wish!
Yarns - Lopi, 100% wool, 110 yds, 3st / in
Learnings - Felting, striping, color changes

Project 2 - Knit in the Round

This is the project that hooked me on knitting. Knitting in the round is soothing, and great for a beginner - a lot of practice in continual knit stitch.

The pattern called for simple decreases and yarn overs at the neckline. Since I had not discovered the concept of gauge yet & the pattern was one size only, I was surprised that the cape didn't fit me. It did fit my co-worker, Karen, though! Here she is modeling her new poncho.

Pattern - Poncho
Source - Hobby Lobby free pattern leaflet

Yarns - Lion's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, Charcoal #149 -- 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool -- 108 yards -- 3 st/ / in
Learnings -
Knitting in the round, decreases and eyelets, bulky yarn creates an instant-gratification project - good for a beginner, correcting mistakes, picking up dropped stitches, etc.

Project 1- Learn to Knit (or Don't Feel Bad, See! We All Start Somewhere)

I began knitting in 2005. Whatchamacallknit is my knitting journal – an odyssey of what I call beginner’s 'obstacle knitting' (so much to learn, so little time).

Knitting has been such an illusive dream for thirty years --
I don’t remember how many times I attempted to learn without success. I learned to sew, crochet, macrame (remember that?) and needlepoint. But why not knitting? Then three elements converged -- an experienced knitting buddy, the discovery of circular needles and on-line information -- the Internet knitting community.

And now I’m happily knitting, learning, knitting...

This is a picture of my first project... Hereafter, I will call such a mishap a FUI (pronounced fu ee, like buoy) for Finished Ugly Ignominy (or Ignomiknity). Notice the holes, uneven rows, mistake on my initial, bad choice of colors (primary colors in the border for an adult scarf? What was I thinking?)

Pattern - None
Yarn - Red Heart, 100% acrylic
Learnings - Knit, purl, using two yarns, stocking stitch, garter stitch border, charting (my initial “R”), cast-on, cast-off.