Monday, February 27, 2012

Another way to think of knitting mistakes

We have been watching Cars 2 at home a lot.   While I was knitting yesterday afternoon I messed up the end of the row not terribly .. just a little.  I decided to fix it as well as I could but not worry about it and look at it the way Mater does when Shiftwell tries to fix his dents in Cars 2, he tells her not too, those dents are precious to him, they help him remember his wonderful times with Lightening McQueen.  Maybe I can think of my knitting mistakes and the wonderful times that were happening when they occurred.    I think knitting mistakes are part of a fun chaotic household that only lasts a short time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A day without knitting is like...

A day without knitting is like a day without sunshine.   This is kind of true for me... I did not get any in yesterday and I sure did miss it.   Its not like I need much to make me feel better.   Sometimes even as little as knitting a couple of rows.. but I love to do more.   I find if I knit more than a couple of hours my fingers get sore.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lace Knitting

Since I have finished the tomato.. it turned out cute and it actually looks like a tomato, I am ready to go back to working on my lace knitting.  I am very much of a beginner lace knitter.   At Christmas this year I fell in love with lace knitting.   I got the book "Knitted Lace of Estonia"  for Christmas.  It is a beautiful book.  The lace shawls are incredible.    I love the book and am happy to have it, however I think it is above my level at this point in time.   So I got a more simple lace book, "Wendy Knits Lace"   I love this beginner lace knitting book, the projects are beautiful, useful, and all different levels.   I am working on the very simple scarf that is at the beginning of the book.    I am not sure if I chose the best yarn.. but we will see.   The scarf is really easy, such that you don't even need a chart.  The pattern is basically a couple of rows of garter stitch between 4 rows that start and end with a K1 and have a yo, k2tog until the ending K1 then a row of  K1, yo, p2tog, until the ending K1.    In the book they do 4 rows of this.  I modified this to make it 6 rows.  I think it looks better and with where I live you get a lighter scarf, which is a good thing.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More circular knitting

My favorite way to do circular knitting is with 2 small circular needles. I think it is the easiest, however I use magic loop - one 40 inch circular needle - the most.   This way I only need 1 circular needle.  I have found that a really flexible cord is super important with magic loop.   I hear Knitpicks has great circular needles as does   I have gotten some OK ones from Joann Fabrics.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

knitting in the round

The first time I tried knitting in the round, I used double pointed needles.  I knitted an alligator.   This is the pattern  It went OK but the double pointed needles were kind of fiddly.  I have to pause my knitting to take care of other things often and I find that it makes circular knitting a pain.    So I tried two circular needles on the next alligator.  It went a lot better.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Increases and Decreases

Right now I am knitting a tomato of all things.  The tomato is from the amigurumi knit book by Hansi Singh. I am trying to get some practice with KRL and KLL increases.  I think I am doing the KLL correct but I am not sure about the KRL, I am a little confused about the difference between that and the M1 or  make 1.   So far the tomato looks fine and I am finished with the increasing part of it.   The Hansi Singh book is a really nice book.  Her designs are beautiful.  Her instructions are well written and easy to follow and the items in the book are neat.   I recommend this book

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yarn types for bears

The first bear from the Melanie Falick book, I knitted I used Reynolds Lopi yarn.   It is a not so stretchy wool yarn.  The bear turned out great but I found it a little hard to work with.   After that I used some wonderful Lambs Pride bulky yarn... it is so easy to work with, very stretchy and so soft.  It felts really nicely.   For a while that was my yarn of choice.  Then I switched back to the Reynolds Lopi yarn.    Even though the Reynolds Lopi isn't as soft and stretchy.. it really holds up well to use.   Some of the bears I knitted get incredible use.. and the softer yarns ball up faster.   The worst yarn was the Lions Brand Fishermans wool.. it balls up terribly.     If I think the stuffed toy will get a lot of use then I pick the Lopi, if I think it will end up on a shelf sitting somewhere.. then I go for a softer one.  I find that if I felt the Lopi a little it softens up some..
Just some of the things I have learned about yarns.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bear Clothes

One of the other items I knitted from the melanie falick book was teddy bears.  The teddy bear pattern in her book is kind of  cool.  You knit the legs, body, and sort of in one piece.  The legs start out separately but are joined in the head.  It is a fun pattern that lends itself to all different kinds of yarns.
If you want a small bear use dk or worsted weight yarn, a larger bear use a bulky yarn.   Once the bears were made I needed to make them something to wear.  I got the book The Knitted Teddy Bear: Make Your Own Heirloom Toys with Dozens of Patterns for Unique Clothing and Accessories .  This is a really fun book with great knitted clothes for stuffed toys.   I have knitted many of the bear sweaters from this book, but I have not yet knitted a bear from this book.  One cool think the author mentions in this book is that as a gift to the famlies of the people who died on the titanic they gave them black teddy bears.   I found this interesting.   Kind of a nice comfort gift.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

First Knitting Books

Some of the first knitting books I bought were written by Melanie Falick.   She has a wonderful one called "Knitting For Baby".   I bought it because I was looking for an easy knitted ball pattern.   It must have been just a month or two after I started knitting, I read a review about it where they said it was worth buying the book for the ball pattern alone.    This is true.   The pattern was written out in easy English as opposed to knitting language, so it was easy for a beginner.   I knitted many balls.. I bet at least a dozen.    You can felt them or not  and they turn out beautifully.   It is a great way to use up scrap yarn.   The balls are tons of fun to keep around for mini pillow fights..since they are so soft.    The next pattern I fell in love with in the book is her teddy bear pattern...  more on that later

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Learning to knit.. early days

It all started with an episode of Arthur.  My gang loves to watch it.  In this particular episode the kids learn to knit.  So they decided they wanted to learn. My husband and I spent much time watching youtube videos learning how to cast on, knit, and bind off.   Me more than him.

Seven days later I was hooked.   That was last May.   Never in a million years did I think that I would like knitting.  I have tried to learn as a child but ended up with a bunch of knots.  Of course I did not have the advantage of youtube.   What a blessing the wonderful videos of knitting tutorials on youtube are.    I love that I can watch them over and over again.  They are always patient with me.    Of course if you have a blue ray player even better because you can play them on your TV.     I am so thrilled with my discovery of knitting.   It is such a relaxing past time.   If I can't sleep or need something calming I can just grab some needles and knit a couple rows or a couple of dozen.    Time seems to fly when I do this.. It is so peaceful.    When I work it is like my hands remember what to do before my brain does.. kind of cool.  It reminds me of when I dust off my flute and read some music how my fingers seem to know where to go in relation to the notes.

So far for the most part I have knitted stuffed toys.  I think I have knitted at least 20 teddy bears, crocodilies, birds.. etc and other stuffed items for them to play with.   Also of course there were the knitted afghans.. 5 of those.   This blog is about my knitting experiences.   I do eventually hope to learn crochet and I would love to learn to spin my own yarn...but for now I am focusing on knitting.   I am so thrilled to have discovered this past-time.

Here are some great free knitting patterns I love:

This is a really fun alligator.. his mouth is such that you can fit things inside :-)

These chickens turn out really cute.. and they are so quick to make...

I knitted a ton of these shells.. I didn't stuff mine.. The shells are really neat to put other mini stuffed toys inside.

Thats all for now..