Saturday, July 31, 2010

The blanket is finally done!

The baby blanket is finally done! It turned out much larger than expected... It's the third time I've knit this stitch pattern as a baby blanket, so I'm not entirely sure why it ended up so much wider than I intended. In this picture, it's being held up by the side, not the top... so what if it's a little rectangular... I'm just glad I'm done and hoping I never have a reason to knit a real afghan.

And on top of that, I even found a baby bootie pattern using chunkier baby yarn, which can be found here. It was pretty simple, but because the yarn I had was a little bit heavier than the yarn listed on the pattern, I knit them on smaller needles that I use to knit socks. I really like the mary jane look of these :)

I would like to knit some cute baby socks, but I think that would be a challenge for another time...

As for the other attempted bootie from my last post (which I only partially stitched together), my boyfriend has taken to putting it on Freyja as a "wizard" hat. Personally, I think it looks a little more elfish... I just think he really likes to pretend to be Harry Potter with her, casting spells and what not...

She hates to wear it on her head, but gets plenty of enjoyment chasing it around and pushing it off the couch for a little attention :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baby Bootie Fail

I'm still working away on the baby blanket; only 50+ rows left to make it a square... I'm just hoping I have enough yarn.

When I started the third ball yesterday, there was a really cute baby bootie pattern on the label. I feel as though I've been doing this blanket for forever and decided that I would give these a shot; I just wanted to finish SOMETHING. I start knitting, and it's coming along really well... The two last sets of booties I've tried to knit were patterns I found on the internet. When I was done with those, they looked more like something that would fit a very very small pony, even after an hour of blocking. I was optimistic, until I cast off. It's supposed to fit a 6-12 month old baby. I'm not even sure these would fit a toddler... Finished and sewed together, it's 6 inches long. Whoops.

I'm sure, this time, that this was not my fault as I used the EXACT yarn listed on the label.

So I'm still on a quest for a baby bootie pattern using chunkier yarn, if anyone has any suggestions. And this bootie has become a new puppy chew toy...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Current Projects

Other than dropping stitches, I have a huge problem with getting too many knitting projects going at once... but here's what I've been working on:

1) Baby blanket for one of Sten's co-workers

I've knit a few baby blankets using this exact pattern, but this one is proving to be the toughest, not only because Freyja wants to "help out," but because I stupidly bought the wrong gauge of yarn. I went to the yarn store, already frustrated that my boyfriend couldn't get more than "pink" out of his co-worker when I asked about colors (of course, they are both guys and don't realize there are a TON of shades of pink). I took my time picking out what I decided was the perfect color only to make the rookie mistake of not checking gauge.

So, I get home and start figuring how many stitches I'm going to need to caston to make it about the right size. I do the math and it comes out to be something like 182 stitches. I check the needle size recommended for the blanket, and of course, it suggests US 6, not US 10 like I usually use for this blanket. Whoops. So it's taking me a little longer than I would have liked to complete it...

The pattern is just a stitch pattern but it is the best one, in my opinion, for this project. Why? The pattern is four rows, only one of which is a pattern row, so it's great to do when you're watching TV or being distracted by a puppy :). It also looks great and the finished product has a scalloped edge, which is kind of neat.

Stitch pattern (13 st):
Row 1: *P2tog, P2tog, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, p2tog, p2tog (repeat from *)
Rows 2 & 4: purl all stitches
Row 3: knit all stitches

I do use a garter stitch border, usually of about one inch on all sides.

2) Puppy sweater

Well, I'm now living in some place that actually has seasons, other than wet and dry, and have a puppy who is going to be in need of things to keep her warm in the colder months. I started looking for dog sweaters I liked and that I could incorporate the University of Washington "W" in as both my boyfriend and I are not only graduates of UW, but huge football fans. I wanted something with a little more personality than what most of the sweaters out there have (i.e. not garter stitched square swatches sewn together). I came across this pattern, a free one and loved it. Everyone is always saying Freyja looks like a little person, so I thought this sweater, with a little popped collar, buttons and and sleeves was perfect. Problem is, even when she's full sized, the end result with this exact pattern is going to be too big. So, I took it upon myself to "half-it," sort of like you would do in baking.... will it work? I have no idea. Check back in for updates as I continue this one... I'm sure it's going to be way more effort than it's worth.

Also, something I found handy for my color work was using excel to design it. I make all of the boxes squares and fill them in with the colors I want, changing them around until I get the design I want. Way easier than sketching it out on graph paper with colored pencils.

3)Dish cloths

I've knit quite a few of these over the years. They're cheap, handy and easy to knit. I re-found the pattern by simply googling "knit dish cloths." They don't even take one skein of cotton yarn, which you can get for cheap at any craft store. I, however, have been distracted with this endless baby blanket, which needs to be done ASAP, so I haven't even had time to sew in ends yet.

4) Sten's Mittens

My boyfriend has been bugging me since LAST year to knit him some mittens, due to the fact it gets so cold here, he can't feel his fingers in the winter (which makes me oh so excited for this winter). I went with UW colors, purple and gold. I already had the yarn, so I needed to find a pattern that fit the gauge. I found this pattern at There patterns are usually pretty good. But I'd never tried mittens before (I've done socks, so I understand how gussets work) nor had I tried a kitchner stitch (or grafting stitch). It's always good to accomplish something and learn a new skill or two. I, however, am not sure they'll fit his hands. If not, I guess I have a new pair of mittens :) The palm has a different pattern, so be sure to check it out.

And lastly.....

5) Socks!

Oh, this sock. If I remember correctly, I started this over
three years ago, and not until a couple of weeks ago did I pick it up again. Luckily, knitting socks using the magic loop method is like riding a bike. If you haven't tried knitting socks this way, you should. Although I've never knit socks on multiple needles, I've done enough other projects to know what a pain it is to knit that way. Another advantage is that you drop stitches less easily if you put it down and don't pick it up again for three years :)

Oh and did I mention that somehow you can knit two socks at one time with this method?? I'm not really sure how this works yet, but when I get started on a new pair, I'm going to try to do both at once... maybe I'll finally have a MATCHING pair of homemade socks?

I've got to get back to this baby blanket and my little helper isn't helping so much after all....

Starting my blog....

Having just graduated from the University of Washington and moving to a (somewhat) foreign country with no job, I (with the urging of my mother, who has become an avid blogger), decided to start a blog.

Well, as most of you know, actually starting a blog is much more difficult than the decision to do so.

So, I thought about my interests and had to figure out what I wanted to focus on. Naturally, my first thought was a knitting blog. I've been knitting on and off since I was about five and only recently began knitting more seriously, taking on projects that are probably way too ambitious for my skill level; something I know all knitters do :). I've also been relying on knitting blogs for pattern ideas and learning new skills for a few years now, so why not show what I've done and share a little about what I've learned?

So I have a topic, now I just need to come up with a name... and this for me was the hardest part of all. Obviously, I wanted something knitting related, but I couldn't come up with anything for the better part of two weeks. I've been working on a few different projects and was trying to come up with something "witty" involving some kind of knitting term. Then, out of the blue, while working on this endless baby afghan (more to come on this later), it hit me. In almost every project, big or small, I drop stitches. For what ever reason, this seems to be my downfall; but on the other hand, I've gotten extremely good at picking them up a few rows later and carrying them up :).

So there you have it! I hope you enjoy my projects and the trials and tribulations that (always!) come with them.

My knitting history:
Like I said earlier, I've been knitting since I was about five (but I'm not entirely sure how old I was). I grew up watching both my mom and grandma, both avid knitters, knitting all the time. I was fascinated how their hands could fly without watching what they were doing and create beautiful products in no time. So, being the stubborn child I was (my mom would say I still am), instead of asking to be taught, I would "play knit" with my mom's knitting which she left out. I mean, it looked so easy. Needless to say, it wasn't and I almost always messed up whatever she was working on and got myself into trouble. My grandma then took it upon herself to teach me how... and the rest is history.

I do know, I wouldn't be half the knitter I am today without their help and even now, they give me plenty of help and input on my projects :)

A little about me:
I grew up in the northwest corner of Washington State. I just graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle (and no, I've never been to Seattle Grace Hospital, so don't ask) and I recently followed my boyfriend, who is also from the Seattle area, to Toronto, where he currently works in contingent staffing for Microsoft Canada. I, however, don't have a job so I spend my days knitting, reading and playing with our new miniature dachshund puppy, Freyja, who loves to "help" with my knitting projects by unraveling my yarn.