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Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’


Well, those are mostly done.  I have ties to make and attach to the hat, and then I’ll be able to ship the package off.

Neither turned out quite the way I hoped, but as y’all know, I have pretty low standards.  😆  If I were to use this pattern again with this yarn, I would definitely use considerably smaller needles.  The upside is that she’ll be able to use this blanket the rest of her life, since it should come close to fitting a full size bed. 

I would also make the ruffled edge about 1/2 the width if I used it at all. In addition, I wasn’t real happy with that color, and wished that the darker pink would have been an option, which is not.  I admit, I got fatigued not with making the ruffle, but with measuring it, since my gauge was off. That  resulted in me making the ruffle shorter than it really needed to be (and I don’t need to tell you what that means, lol, because you already know :D) mostly because I had already used 4 1/2 skeins of yarn (at 5 ozs each) and I was ready to be done.  Yes, you read that right- that was 4 1/2 skeins on *just* the ruffle!

I didn’t follow the directions on the hat brim, which gave me an entirely different looking hat.  Since it’s still cute, I didn’t froggy it (as in, “rip it, rip it”) and start all over.  I used needles that were *way* smaller than the pattern called for, because I used boucle/chunky yarn, and was really glad I did.  Before I was completely finished, I was questioning if that was the right call or not, since the hat  looked like it was going to be really quite small.  As it turned out, by the time I was done, it was long enough and should work just fine on a toddler head.  I still need straps, though, so that it can be worn on a slightly smaller head and not fly off.

The hat was attempt #3.  The first hat was huge, but I’m going to try to shrink it so Mama can have a matching hat.  Attempt #2 (pattern #2) I started and ripped out the first round, because my fixed circular needle cable was just too long.  I have since remedied that; see my Dilemma post.  Once those come, I will probably try that hat again, because it’s a really cute pattern.  Anyhow.

Final hat (pattern #3) was the same set as the blanket.  What I liked about both patterns was that they both had a crochet edge, although the crochet on the blanket was before the ruffled edge. I haven’t done anything before that combined the two, but found it delightful (as in, “Yes!  I still remember how!” 😆 ) to mix it up.  I have to confess that I still find crocheting to be easier, and it really was like sliding into a comfortable pair of slippers. 

I hope to someday in this lifetime to get to a point where I feel as accomplished as I do with crocheting, but I am awfully doubtful, considering how much knitting stuff I still don’t know how to do.  I have to remind myself that I spent 15 years getting to the point I’m at with crochet, and I’m still a newbie with knitting. Even though it’s been about 2 years, I haven’t done anywhere near the same amount of projects with knitting as I had done with crocheting by the same point and time.  It is amazing how having children (and homeschooling them) makes a huge dent in the time for crafty stuff.   I am looking forward to getting back to the sock making!

My apologies in advance for the poor quality of the pictures.  My energy is low today, and since I’m gearing up for 44 lbs of pears on Wednesday, I’m trying to ration myself (well, really it’s 88 lbs, since I’ll be canning with a friend and she also has the same 44 lbs- I’m sure it all works out in the end, lol).

                                                                                                                       

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Yes, it’s a full-fledged dilemma.  Oh the drama!!  Which knitting needles to buy?  😆

I was cruising along doing fine yesterday; I got the blanket put together and finished, so it was on to the hat.  You may recall that the first hat I made for the new niece turned out to be huge, even though initially it was to gauge (I think it’s because my yarn was not baby sport weight, which I can’t actually find here).  Anyhow, new pattern for chunky yarn using circular needles, and off I went.

I did one round and ripped it out.  Why?  My cable was too long. I’m not smart enough yet to convert a circular pattern to a straight pattern, so this led me to the logical realization that perhaps it’s time to invest in an interchangeable circular needle kit. 

My concern, after researching, is that once I get the kit, the cables will still be too long to do small hats.  Since I don’t know if I can find a smaller interchangeable cable for the kit I’m thinking about getting, I think I’m going to have to measure the cable on my fixed circular and make sure that if I need to get a different size that’s not included in the kit, that I order it at the same time if I can.

I’ve spent a good many hours this morning searching for interchangeable needle kits.  I saw one kit at Hobby Lobby, which was priced around $75, if I recall.  I wanted to see if I could do better online, and have managed to find the same kit more reasonably priced.  I have read the reviews and that’s a mixed bag – some love the needles; others hate them.  I figure at this point, I am not too terribly picky so it might be worth the investment.  It might not be, but at least I’ll learn whether or not an interchangeable system is up my alley or not.

But oooooooo, I did find one set of dpns (double pointed needles) that I think I’ll love from Knit Picks in the Harmony Wood.  My next dilemma is which length to get?  I measured my dpns, and they are all the longer ones, coming in around 7 inches from tip to tip.  When I’m making socks, I’m finding they are full, probably because I’m only using 4.  Since these come in sets of 6, I could use them for 4 or 5 needle patterns, which is great!  Does that mean that there are fewer stitches on each needle, thus meaning I could get away with a shorter needle (and get a lower price on the set)?  That’s my next thing to reasearch, it seems.  😆

I guess the next step is to compare prices for the kit I’ve settled on; the Boye Needlemaster 200.  So far, I’ve narrowed it down to Amazon or Overstock.com, but my searching has just begun.  Now that I know what I’m looking for, the chase is on for something that won’t cost an arm and a leg!

If you are experienced with these kinds of items, I would love to have your input!

Update: I found and bought this set new on eBay, and saved about $60 compared to buying it locally.  Even at the least expensive place online, I still saved $24 by using eBay.  

*Disclaimer: I have no financial interest or stake in eBay except I generally check there to get great deals! (DH is chuckling, because he has the account and his history shows totally girly things, like dishes,  too.  😆 )

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books books books book books books books books books book books books books books books book books books books books books books book books books books books book books books  BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You get the point.  I’m drunk on books!  😆   A few days ago, I got my next book to review.  That’s not what set me off.  What got me going was a shared link to Ereader News Today.  This is a website that, when you sign up for free, will send you notification of new, free Kindle books.  I immediately went into overload.     

I was thrilled when I was researching e-readers and discovered that Kindle offers free books.  There are a few different ways I’ve found to find the freebies.  First, I went to the regular Kindle e-book page on Amazon.  If you scroll down the page, you’ll a listing on the right hand side for best sellers, including free books.  That’s one way to find free Kindle ebooks.

Another way is to click on a category and then filter by price, low to high.  While sometimes not in complete order, it’s usually pretty good. Once you click on a book, you’ll get a scrolling bar of books that folks who have bought the book you are viewing also purchased.  Kind of nice!

On the left navigation bar, Amazon has a “Free eBook Collection” link.  There are tons of classic novels in there; lots of historical books (one I read recently was compiled from letters of early American settlers I found particularly gripping)  and links to e-collections on the web.  This is a fabulous resource!

I also found a Listmania for free ebooks.  I can’t remember how I came across this, but I saved it, and it’s a good thing I did.  The one I use the most is titled “Kindle Freebies. Get Them While The Getting’s Good.”  On this page, there are other Listmanias listed, which is helpful for searching for books grouped together in different ways (not just freebies).

And then tonight, as I was working on winding down to go and sit and knit a bit, I popped into Facebook and there it was.  A shared post from a friend that linked to ENT and I was hooked.  First I went and signed up, and then went to the FB page and clicked on every link there.  While I was madly clicking, I had another browser open and was searching my other places for more freebies.  I spent over two hours downloading 57 free selections (some of them are short stories).

One title made me giggle, Tick Tock (James Patterson, preview).  Since it was only the first 28 chapters, I passed.  I got more of the classics (Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and OOOOO now I see The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume I so I’ll have to make a point to go back and get it.)    Others I downloaded are these:

Joel Kilpatrick (Author), David Levy (Author)
 
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Author)
 
While I did refrain from getting “Common Sense,” I could not prevent myself from downloading  The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Francis Child after reading the review.  Who wouldn’t want to learn to make old-fashioned in a kettle in your backyard or make furniture polish from a little white vinegar and olive oil?  It sounds like she was the original Heloise
  
Apparently, the author was born in 1802 and between the years of 1835 and 1841, it was republished 27 times!  I’ve been reading some reviews (go ahead, Google it! :lol:) and I am loving them!  What a gem it looks to be- there’s even a diagram somewhere of the (meat) parts of an ox, which I shall have to research and see if they translate to beef.  Although I’ll bet there are some “opinions” I’m bound to disagree with.  😉
 
 Whew! Ok, I think I am calming down.  This book stuff-  intoxicating! 

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I have a confession to make.  I did something today that I have been trying very hard NOT to do for a considerable amount of time.  I can only hope that my transgression today won’t unravel all the good I’ve done while working on this problem for lo these many years. *sigh*

 <whisper> I bought yarn. (pause) Yarn that isn’t involved in a working project. </whisper>

Can you see me dancing with delight? 😆

As you may know, I am in the midst of making baby things for a new niece.  While I bought all the yarn they had in the main color I’m using, I have since run out. Since the yarn is the Hobby Lobby brand, there is no where else to get it.  And, even if I could, the only other store in my town that sells yarn is Wal-Mart.  You can see my limitations.

Two weeks ago, slightly before I ran out of yarn, I went to my local Hobby Lobby to get more.  They were still out.  I filled out the form to special order it, and they were supposed to have it on the following Thursday. They never got any in.  I confirmed that my order on this regularly stocked item was still in the system, and was assured that surely, they would get the yarn the following week.

Yesterday was the day the yarn was supposed to arrive.  They said they would call me one way or another.  Another Thursday passed; another day of silence. Today I went back to the store to see if it had arrived.

It had not. 😥

In my desperation, upon arriving home from my weekly shopping, I went online and ordered more yarn. I am annoyed.  Not only was I charged tax (because we have a local store) but I was also charged shipping.

I emailed customer service to express my displeasure.  Surely, if I can order the yarn online, why can’t the local store get a shipment? And WHY should *I* have to pay for shipping when I ordered it through the store and it didn’t arrive?  Clearly, there is a lack of logic with regard to this situation.

But, this is not the transgression yarn of which I speak. 😀

Since my baby-things-making has stalled, I shifted gears back to the troubled sock. I am pleased to report that while being very large (I used much larger needles on my first practice sock so I could more easily see what I was supposed to be doing) and not necessarily “pretty” in some spots, it actually looks mostly like a sock.  I am starting on the second sock and will try to shrink them to a useable size. 

I have to say that I ♥♥♥ self-striping yarn. I picked up some more smaller sized double-pointed needles (dpns), a thin book on sock making for beginners, and a few small skeins of sock yarn for the next socks I plan to tackle. I am planning on sock making for the forseeable future.

This batch of yarn, too, is not the yarn of my transgression. Indeed, that yarn came at the next stop; my local Wal-Mart.

Since being completely remodeled a few months ago, the craft section has gotten considerably smaller.  I was happy that they didn’t get totally rid of the fabric and yarn, though.  And, they have added beading and jewelry making supplies, which is great, considering I have supplies for that as well. I haven’t gotten into that craft yet, though, since I’m knitting.  I also promised my hunny that when I was done with the baby stuff, I would finish his “lap blanket” (which will be a full-sized blanket at the very least, if not a queen size).  I cannot, in clear conscience, move on to jewelry making until I get the blanket done.

In a total moment of weakness and while seriously crunched for time (because I spent over an hour in Hobby Lobby looking through pattern books), I sped back to the craft section.  And lo and behold, they had nice sock yarn skeins for a buck.  Yes, that’s right – 2.47 ozs of bliss for $1.

In solid colors!

Given that I had just come from Hobby Lobby, which didn’t have *any* solid colored sock yarn, and given that I wear socks with pants, mostly in the non-sweltering months here, I tend to primarily wear solid colored socks.  While I appreciate and am excited to wear the striped socks that will eventually be made, there is something very utilitarian feeling about having the opportunity to make socks that will be worn perhaps more frequently (than striped).

It was the combination that got me, truly.  Finding the elusive solid colored sock yarn for $1 – well, I can’t even describe the shivers that overcame me as I stood there in sheer delight.

Now I have another stash of something under my bed. And, unlike stashes of the past, I really feel like this yarn will get used sooner than later.  Socks, while more challenging at this point, seem to be more portable and easier to take places than other, larger projects. I can work on them and not get hot (like making a blanket), and there seem to be infinite patterns to help avoiding boredom. 

BUT. This motion in reverse has me considering another step in the backwards direction: magazines.  😆  I have years and years of crochet magazines, but not knitting.  Since knitting is my new endeavor, I wonder if I would enjoy a knitting magazine like I did with my crochet magazines.

This, in turn, leads me to think about an electronic subscription, but I’m not sure if it would be as enjoyable.  I enjoy seeing the glossy pictures and the easily being able to flip through the pattern.  Would I miss that experience? Even as I write, that “bad” part of my brain is telling me to give the print issue a try first, and then move onto digital, if it seems like that would work better.

Someone talk me down! 😆 Ah, well. 

You know, even if you go in reverse sometimes, every now and then you can still end up where you want to. I’m feeling optimistic that this is what’s happening here.  I’ll keep you posted!

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I am hopelessly addicted to yarn.  I don’t know which I love more – books or yarn.  Like my books, I have yarn coming out of my ears. Unlike the books, most of my yarn is in plastic storage bins. These bins are mostly in the attic, but I confess to having bags under the bed.  Mostly the bags are remnants; a skein and a bit left over from a project here and there.  I have done much better in the “not buying new yarn” category.  Until today. 😆

I have a new niece.  Out of the 22 grandchildren (and one on the way) we now have 8 girls.  I have 3 of them.  Two more have been born in the last two months, with the newest being born last week.  That still leaves 13 boys in the same general location (we don’t live near the rest of the family, so my son isn’t included in the local total).  Can you tell there is excitement about the pink? 🙂

I have done a very good job of restraining myself in the yarn department.  I don’t go into the yarn section just to look anymore.  I don’t bite when I see yarn on sale anymore.  I am really trying to be good and not buy more yarn unless I have a project.

Today, I have a project. 😀 I am going to make my new niece at least a hat and blanket, and then maybe some booties or socks if I have yarn left over.  I still have to manage to make socks, though.

While I’ve been an avid crocheter for 15 years or so, about a year and a half ago, I decided to tackle knitting.  I’ve knit a bit: several washcloths, a large baby blanket, hat and booties.  And I’ve tried to make the same sock at least 4 times now.  (I know, I know, I need to break down and just get on You Tube and watch the part I need help with 😆 ) I don’t feel like I have done enough of it yet to know whether or not I actually like it.

Comparatively speaking, I’m finding knitting harder than crochet, mostly because of mistakes.  When you mess something up in crochet, you just rip it out and redo it.  When you mess something up in knitting (and it seems I only catch these rows past when it was made), the only way I can figure out to fix it is to basically un-knit to the mistake. That takes forever!  I am not a fan of spending more time going in reverse than going forward, but alas, this seems to be the only way to effectively make correction and not screw up the pattern.

I am hopeful that if I do enough of it, that I can see the stitches with the same clarity as I do with crochet. Or, maybe, I need to lower my standards. Perhaps I am too hard on myself in expecting the same kind of perfection in my knitting as I do with my crocheting.

Either way, I am on a high, having new yarn to work with.  I especially love baby prints; maybe it’s the softness of the yarn; maybe it’s the pastels. For this project, I’m using a base of Baby Bee Angel Fleece Babybelle. 

The last blanket I did, I swore I would not use this yarn again, BUT, given the lack of selection and the yummy softness of it, it was too hard to resist.  😆  I am hopeful that I can squeeze in the knitting in a fashion that I don’t lose count of where I’m at, given the busy-ness that is inherent in my weeks.

Mmmmmmmmmm, yarn!  Nothing better! (except maybe books 😆 )

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