Knitting Love Day 15

Well today was not a success with the knitting. Was hoping to try increases or moss stitch.

Knitting Fail

Instead, after half an hour of effort, all I had to show for it was this mess.  I believe the Knitting Gods are saying, “Not Today.” I shall humbly listen and make a new attempt tomorrow.

Knitting Love Day 14

I thought I would try increases today, but instead I ventured into the world of purling.  I knit “Stockinette Stitch”.

I was very pleased to discover that I didn’t have much trouble purling, though my hands were getting a bit sore.  The basic mechanics of the stitch came back to me fairly quickly.

Now if I could just figure out the most comfortable way to hold my yarn when knitting. I accidentally get it right sometimes, but when I attempt to figure out what I was doing I can’t recreate it.

I guess this is why it’s called practice. Another 2 hours knitting today though, so I’m all caught up. Though I’m realizing I can’t do much in 1/2 an hour knitting. Still too slow.

Knitting Love Day 12

Time to get comfy with decreasing.  The Lovely Sarah pointed me toward this online resource to help me:

One of the marvelous things about learning crochet and knitting in this era of internet videos, is how easy it can be to find someone demonstrating the technique you need. Even if it is at strange hours when all but your friends in Australia are asleep.

I did pretty well with the decreasing for 20 rows using the SKP decrease. I ran into a few little problems after that , though it worked out. 

I had so much fun making decreases and seeing how the fabric changed that I ended up knitting 2 hours today.

Now I have only 1.5 hours to make up. In 3 days, if I knit 1 hour each day, I’ll be all caught up. Yay!

More shapes tomorrow.

Knitting Love Day 11

Things went much better today.  I switched to a ball of Vanna’s Choice that I had on hand. The color works well with the eventual destination for these experiments.

I cast on 18 stitches and managed to maintain that count. I was knitting while talking on the phone with the Lovely Sarah, obviously she was my lucky charm. 

She gave me some knitting hints as well as talking me thru trying out some decrease techniques. SKP, being one.  Don’t ask me to describe it, but it did create a nifty looking decrease.

Tomorrow will be about shapes. I’m going to try decreasing more. I’m feeling brave and ready to branch out from squares and rectangles anyway.

Knitting Love Day 10?

Let’s see, time for some math here.

I was supposed to start my Knitting Love on February 14th. It is now the 23rd. That makes today Day 10.

At 1/2 an hour a day that would have been 5 hours of knitting.  I spent 2 hours knitting on Saturday. So that means I have 3 hours of knitting to do to catch up.

There is no way I am going to knit for 3 hours today.  Instead I am going to attempt an hour of knitting each day for the next six days, starting today. Considering how slowly I knit that may be a better plan for getting much of anything done.

So onto the next bit of knitting.

I was casting on  too tightly last Saturday.  Some of my stitching buds suggested that I might want to use a larger needle to cast on initially, then move the stitches to the needles I want to use for the project.  Since I didn’t have my larger needles with me at PJ Jam, I decided to give this idea a try today.

I’m knitting on size 7 needles, so I figure I need some size 8s for my cast-on.  Hmmm, no size 8 regular straight needles in my paltry collection.

Ah ha! I do have some size 8 dpns. I don’t know why I have Size 8 dpns (in fact 2 sets), it is one of the many mysteries of my strange stash of hooks, needles and other yarn wrangling paraphernalia. Anywho. They should do the trick for casting on 20 stitches to start my project.

Whoops! Can't knit from that.
That's more like it.

Well so much for that idea. Didn’t really make my stitches any looser and when I moved them to the smaller needle I messed up. Pull that off and try again.

I like Spirals, But What is Up?

This time I succeeded by making myself cast-on loosely to my Size 7 needle. Worked great.  I knit one row and managed to keep the right stitch count.  Though I’m not sure what is happening over here on my right hand needle?  At least I can straighten it out and keep going.

Hmmm...How did I get 21 stitches?

Very interesting, 3 rows knit and I somehow added an extra stitch. Oh well, going to keep on working.

Knit 2 of the stitches together to get back to my original 20. Decided at this point in the game I need to count my stitches at least at the end of every row.

An hour of knitting and here is Swatch #2.  20 stitches and 12 rows of garter stitch.  An improvement over Swatch #1 for consistency of stitching, though still some boo-boos here and there.

I think I may be switching to a different yarn for the future swatches. This stuff is lovely, but has a rather loose twist and I keep splitting it with the points of my needles. Not an issue as much I’m sure for more experienced knitters, but is making me cranky as an inexperienced knitter.

Knitting Love Adventures

 Well, the progress was slow, painful and occasionally hilarious , but this past Saturday night at my stitching group I finally got some knitting time.  The knitting love was bordering on knitting hate for awhile there.


This tiny little swatch of a mere 12 stitches and 10 rows of garter stitch took the majority of 2 hours time and much coaching from my stitching buddies. 

A Lending a Helping Hand
T Helping Out with Puzzles

Including some interventional stitching by my friends A and T when things got too maddening. Though I did not allow them to correct my unintentional increases and decreases. I felt my swatch should make it’s debut on the blog warts and all.

As my friend T tells me all the time. I crochet my knitting.  Some yarn wrangling habits are stuck in my hands. I’m definitely more accustomed to having a hook at the end of my implement.

I’m beginning to have doubts about making it to the end of the 30 days I promised myself.  Especially as there are crochet projects and patterns wanting my attention too. It may be a few days before Swatch/Fragment #2 is attempted.

Thing 2’s Valentines

My youngest son is in Pre-school and needed Valentines for a party at school.  So what is a crafty mom to do?

I did think about crocheting a bunch of little hearts, but they are a bit hard to sign. I’m always looking for opportunities for my littlest to practice writing his name. He is still at that stage where the order of the letters can be a bit tricky, so practice is good.

One of my crafting hobbies is Origami, though of late I haven’t had much time for it. I gathered up supplies for some Origami Valentines.

I drew hearts with the red pen on the index cards using the cookie cutter as a guide. Then printed “From” in each heart.  I sat my little guy down with the pen and an example of a heart with his name in it and let him sign his name in each heart.

Meanwhile I folded up  the “Love Tokens” from my “Origami Love Notes” book (one of my very favorite books for quick fun Origami written by Nick Robinson).  The tokens create a little envelope or pouch, depending on how you wish to seal it. I used the glitter heart stickers on the outside of the pouches and wrote “Happy Valentines Day” on the other side.

Then, after making rough cut-outs of the index card hearts, I stuck some other heart stickers on the backs of the resulting little cards and popped them into the pouches.  With better planning and more time this could be a fun project to do with your child.  My son is almost 5 and he loves to use scissors and put stickers on stuff.

A Month of Knitting Love

Okay, I know that title might be startling a few of you. Afterall, I am a crochet designer.

I can knit. But I’m absolutely garbage at it. All my own fault. Lack of practice is entirely to blame.

I taught myself to knit about 3 years ago from one of those kits at JoAnns. It was the first time I had gotten very far with knitting. Shortly after that I discovered Ravelry and became so distracted with all the wonderful crochet groups on there my knitting needles have been gathering dust. 

So I’ve decided to attempt a little experiment, starting on Valentines Day I am going to knit for 1/2 hour every day thru March 13th. These will be very small knitting experiments, fragments really. 

The lovely Sarah (who is a talented knitter)  gave me a set of the Interweave Knitting Stitches Cards last October.  In there is a wonderful card that clearly illustrates the various methods of casting on, binding off, increasing and decreasing. 

I will be keeping that card with my “Knitting Teacher” book and some appropriate yarn /needles for doing small bits of knitting in a project bag. Each day I’ll create and photograph a seperate little swatch that will eventually be used in a combo crochet/knit freeform piece. 

This all sounds grand in theory, but one will see if I succeed in fact.  I figure that if I can knit for 1/2 an hour everyday for 30 days that I will either overcome my ineptitude with knitting or I shall forever surrender to it.

Anyone want to take bets on how it all turns out? Leave a note in the comments and we will see what happens.