Recently in Knit General Category

Photos of my craft room

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These photos were taken on August 3 after a few weekends of quilt block piecing.

From the doorway:

20080803craftroom4.jpg 20080803craftroom5.jpg

From the opposite corner:

20080803craftroom1.jpg 20080803craftroom2.jpg 20080803craftroom3.jpg

Patterns can be made in any color

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Why do people include color in search terms?

Pretty much any pattern can be made in any color. Why search for "purple granny square" or "red and yellow ripple afghan"?

There are some patterns best created with light-colored yarn so the texture or detail of the design is more easily seen - like "aran crochet afghan" or "fisherman crochet sweater". And, yes, some patterns look great in contrasting colors - like "black and white crochet".

But try searching for the type of pattern not the color of the pattern - like "checkerboard afghan crochet pattern", "basketweave crochet pattern", "lacy granny square", or "reversible baby blanket".

If you're using the name of a color in your search term, try the search without the color specified and you'll get more results. Learn to look at pictures of projects without focusing on the colors used by the designer. There might be a blue and yellow ripple afghan pattern that would look great in red and yellow.

2007holidayknits41centstamps.jpg
Via WheatCarr, I learned the U.S. Postal Service offers 41¢ stamps in 4 knit designs - called 2007 Holiday Knits. The designs are a reindeer, Christmas tree, snowman, and teddy bear.

Hmmm, no crocheted designs?

Got it! Ravelry invite!

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20071015logoravelrybeta.gif My Ravelry invite arrived the other day! I've gotten as far as signing up (I'm "cherylcrochets") and taking a brief look around. Good grief! 586 Ravelers are online at this moment! Wow!

I'm not sure just how much I'm going to input into my account there. I use my blog for tracking current and future projects. I'm not interested in tracking how much yarn I have on hand. But, I'm looking forward to seeing what other people are making!

Got it! Crazy Aunt Purl's book!

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Confession: I am a "tool" junkie. Crochet hooks, patterns, yarn... Gardening tools... Quilting and sewing tools, fabric, books, measuring instruments, thread... And now, it seems, knitting...

I've been looking at interchangeable knitting needles, trying to figure out which type would be best for me. I like and use aluminum crochet hooks - specifically the very ergonomic Clover Soft Touch. My main knitting-related project interest at this time is making socks, which will require small needle sizes. I will probably want to knit afghans and sweaters, but my wrists cannot handle the weight of a crochet project hanging on long double-ended or tunisian crochet hooks so I want to avoid knitting projects hanging on straight knitting needles.

Online reviews (especially this one) of Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles are very favorable. My main hesitation with buying a set of these is that the tips are light grey resin (plastic) not metal. In addition, the smallest size is 5 and knitting socks requires smaller needles (0-3 I understand depending on the yarn and pattern). A personal negative here is that the cables are my least favorite colors: blue or pink. The pink set costs a little more but includes a donation to support breast cancer research (the cost difference is not a factor). Denise customer support is reported to be excellent. Plastic is airline safe. Size 17 and 19 needle tips are available ala carte but not sizes smaller than 5.

Online reviews of the Boye NeedleMaster Interchangeable Needle System are favorable for the most part. Includes sizes 2-15, and smaller circular (not interchangeable) needles are available ala carte in 0 and 1 (as well as other sizes). The tips are metal, not plastic, in a different color for each size - and, for me, color makes using the tools more interesting. The most frequent complaints are that the connections can come loose (the Denise set is much better) and sometimes the connections aren't smooth enough so yarn doesn't easily slip over them (again, the Denise set is better). I gave Mom a set of these many many years ago as a gift. She frequently uses them and loves 'em. She reports no problem with yarn getting stuck on the connections.

Knit Picks Options are another type of interchangeable knitting needles. These are nickel-plated, sleek and very pointy. I'm not sure whether "pointy" is a quality I seek as a beginning knitter. The smallest size is 4, but smaller circular (not interchangeable) needles are also available ala carte in 0, 1, 2 and 3 (and other sizes). The case and plastic pockets don't look and aren't reported to be durable. A personal bonus for me is that the cables are my favorite color: purple.

I've read that plastic or bamboo or wood needles are good for beginning sock knitters since yarn slides off less easily than with metal needles.

Some of the reviews I read:

http://www.knittersreview.com/tools.asp
http://www.knittersreview.com/article_tool.asp?article=/review/product/030424_a.asp
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer03/FEATdenise.html
http://www.knittersreview.com/forum/


Whip up posted a Continental knitting demo video by CraftSanity.

I recently learned how to knit, but was unaware there are 2 techniques of knitting! Continental is similar to crochet and is faster and is what I'm going to switch to! The other technique is referred to as "Throwing" in the CraftSanity video.

Information and videos about these two knitting techniques is available at knittinghelp.com.

My first knitted swatches

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The pink swatches in the first photo were made last weekend as I followed the directions in My Knitting Teacher for the Knit and Purl stitches and binding off. If you know anything about knitting, you can see that the Purl stitch swatch is incorrect - it should look like rows of Vs (I think that's because I didn't have the yarn in front).

Last night while watching The Shield on DVD (it's an excellent show - so riveting!), I started again from the beginning. I practiced casting on until I could do it (almost) rhythmically, then I practiced Knit and Purl, alternating K 2 P 2, slip stitch, and binding off. I pulled out the swatch several times until I was comfortable. The swatch in the second (right side) and third (wrong side) photos was started when I wanted to see how my tension was (pretty good!), and after a while I moved on in the booklet to yarn overs, increasing, and decreasing.

The My Knitting Teacher booklet is easy to follow - and provides instructions for left- and right-handers. In addition to 15 patterns (some outdated), instructions for casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch, slip stitch, and binding off, the booklet includes instructions on reading patterns, joining new yarn (different or same color), casting on while work is in progress, correcting errors, picking up stitches along an edge, making a cable, working with circular needles, knitting with four needles, working from charts, stranding (carrying yarn across the wrong side), finishing techniques, and making tassels, fringe, pom-pons, and twisted cords.

A few things I've noticed about knitting vs. crocheting:

  • Crocheting (for me) is much faster. The larger knitted swatch took about 1.5 hours! I could have crocheted about 5 granny squares (7-8 inches wide) in that amount of time!
  • Knitting gives my hands a different workout - they were tingling all over when I stopped practicing last night!
  • Knitting needs more of my attention - and that's not even trying to follow a pattern.
  • Knitting splits yarn more than crochet (i.e., partial bits of the yarn strand is more easily accidentally picked up instead of the whole strand).
  • Knitting creates a softer, stretchier fabric than crocheting when the same yarn is used.

I'm learning to knit - again

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Earlier this week, I picked up the Susan Bates Learn Knitting kit at Michaels Craft Store - complete with size 7 and 10 single-point knitting needles, My Knitting Teacher book with instructions and beginner patterns, and other paraphernalia related to knitting or yarn.

I know several of the books in my collection of crochet patterns have instructions for knitting as well as crochet, but I didn't have any knitting needles - and with a Michaels 40% off coupon, I bought the kit.

I've been sick (head cold - hopefully it won't move into my chest) for a few days so pruning the rose bushes and tending to other plants in the garden isn't on my list of to dos. After finally finishing the 9-patch Granny Square Lap Blanket (no photos yet) a few hours ago, I opened the knitting kit and started working through the My Knitting Teacher book.

I've taught myself to knit twice in the distant past (the first time when I was 15 or 16), but I liked crochet better and stuck with that instead. Now, however, I have an urge to knit socks - multi-colored, fine-patterned, comfortable socks. I have plenty of sock yarn which I bought to crochet more pairs of socks, but the reality of it is that crocheted socks aren't comfortable to wear (they're bumpy on the bottom of my feet - like walking on very small rocks).

Now that I've started, I'm eager to find a sock pattern I like, get the proper knitting needles for that pattern, and start. Although Mom says 2 pairs of same-size double-pointed knitting needles are usually required, I've seen patterns with different requirements.

Socks 101 at knitty.com says knitting socks are "great for beginners". Looks like I can start my hunt for a pattern there!

or here...

Knitting Pattern Central - Socks

or...

(photo source: Sock anxiety?)

and many other websites!

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Knit General category.

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Cat playing with strand of yarn.

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