Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Change in Plans

After I wrote that long posting re. the "Building Blocks" course I got a call that the course was cancelled.  I am the only one that signed up.  However, they are going to offer it in the fall.  I guess not too many people wanted to stitch a quilt in April and May.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

An exciting project!

Yes, I am still knitting.  Trying to improve my skills by knitting more than just scarves.  I signed up for "Next Stitch" with Corie at Wolseley Wool (WW) and am currently working on a cowl scarf and a shawl.

However, I have signed up for a really big project at WW - Building Blocks.

It is a 6 week course (over 8 weeks) where you end up with 12 knitted 'blocks'. You then sew them all together and end up with a quilt.  I know I'll be able to do this because you are just knitting a square.  Yes, there are new stitches/techniques but it's not like making a sweater or pair of socks.  I think this will really help me become a better knitter.

Now part of the fun is picking your yarn.  It was recommended to buy either Cascade 220 (200m) or Berroco Vintage (198m).  Supposedly 1 skein = 2 squares.  Now I like the Earth tones; tones that are 'subtle'.  Not a fan of the really bright colors.  Looking online on what Cascade 220 had for colors left me overwhelmed.  WW has only so many colors in Cascade so even though I found colors I liked, it didn't mean that WW had it in stock.  I called the store and was advised to go to their website and see what was there.  That was definitely not as overwhelming but that meant there was a limited number of colors to choose from.  I had a look at Berroco yarns.  Some nice colors out there.  

I had my Next Stitch class on Wednesday and thought I should pick out my colors.  Didn't really like what I was seeing.  I liked some from one line, some from another, etc.  Was told that it's best to pick colors from ONE line only of yarn (e.g. all Cascade 220 or all Berroco Vintage - not some of both).  Carrie at the store showed me the Berroco Remix yarn.  I was in love!!!!  The yarn is 200m and should work out fine for 2 blocks.  I am currently stitching a gauge swatch and I just LOVE the feel of the wool.  Here are my amazing colors:

Aren't they just lovely?  Carrie described them as 'muted'.  They are bold yet soft at the same time.  My next question is - do I want to make 2 squares of each color to make my 12 squares?  Or do I perhaps feature the light green and blue with 3 squares each, 2 squares from the dark blue and green and then 1 square of the brown and grey each?  Hmmmm.  Will have to hear what WW says.  I can hardly wait.....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Now that's more like it!

After having to start from scratch on my 'Marian' scarf, I somehow managed to finish it in one day.  I guess if you sit on your keester long enough, you can get a lot accomplished.  Because of my poor memory, I decided to mark every 71st stitch with a stitch marker.  So I always knew if I was on track.  You'll notice in the picture that I kept on the markers for show.  All I need to do is weave in the 2 threads and I'm good to go.  Don't now if this color will go with anything but I am very fond of this shade of green.  Now onto making a second one.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm Speechless!

Well this week (Nov. 18) I started the "Marian cowl scarf.  I knew it wouldn't take long as it only uses 1 ball of super bulky wool.  I have never knitted in the round so that was a new experience for me.  Was rather funny in the I was on my 3rd row of knitting and noticed that the ends were not yet connected.  I thought it just happened naturally.  So I had to undo my stitches until I reached the cast on row.  It is a simple pattern - k1, p1 around and around.  It also had an optional twist where after you cast on, you twist the first stitch 1 complete turn on the needle.  I followed the video (from the pattern's website) and proceeded.  Not used to stitching with a twist so as I stitched away, I kept un-twisting the wool.  What I ended up with was a straight scarf.  So, it ripped out my work once again.

I twisted the wool once again and seemed to be doing ok.  I really got going and was stitching really fast.  The needles were so big I felt I was stitching with jumbo crayons.

I finished the scarf last night (Nov, 21) and discovered I had a holy mess on my hands.  I've never seen anything so awful in my life.

So I now had SEVERAL twists.  Doesn't look so bad but when I put it on, it looked positively ridiculous.  I wrapped it around my neck twice but it didn't help.  Upon closer examination of my work I saw that there were DOZENS of my mistakes in the work.  Being that it was such a simple pattern, there should not have been any change of design.  A closer look shows the mistakes:

As you can see on the left half (in the middle), it looks as though I have made a column of 'knit' stitches.  That is an error as the pattern is really like a brick wall (row 1 - k1, p1, k1, p1; row 2 - p1, k1, p1, k1).  So that's a big no-no.  You can see that the right half of the stitching is correct.  Having a counted cross stitch background I couldn't leave this as is... so... you guessed it, this morning I took it all apart.  

And since I have the memory of a fruit fly, I am placing a stitch marker on every row so I will keep track of when I start with a purl vs. a knit.  I am also not going to twist the wool.  I will put it around my neck twice so no need for a twist.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 18, 2013


It's a cold morning here in Winnipeg it's warm and toasty inside.

I finished my first scarf!  I love it.  It will go so well with my new winter parka.  I used 2 balls of Rowan Felted Tweed wool in color no. 185 (frozen).  I really liked this wool; very easy to work with.  The cost of the wool was $25.  I mention that because I'm so thrilled that that is where the cost ends.  No framing!!!!  I still do love cross stitching but knitting costs a lot less.  I guess I'm becoming cheaper as I get older??  Perhaps not.  If I was cheap, I wouldn't buy such lovely wool.   It also seems that by the time you get bored of knitting the same project day after day, you're done an onto the next project..... which is exactly what I'm going to do!

Friday, October 25, 2013

All is going well!

I haven't updated my blog because things are going well.  But is that a reason for NOT updating??  I can update with good news instead of just writing down my troubles/mistakes.

So, I am working on 2 scarfs at once.  One is for my husband Glenn (which I can only work on during the day while he's at work) and the other for myself.  I have a lot of projects I want to work on but I can only knit so much.  In fact, yesterday I worked so long on Glenn's scarf that I almost had a hand crap - resembled a claw :o) !!

Here are my two projects.  I had to zoom out as they are getting quite long.  The pink scarf is 21" long and Glenn's is 16".

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Can't Seem to Stop

On the Thanksgiving weekend I was working on my "Soft & Silky" scarf.  It's a simple enough pattern:

Row 1: *K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, k5. Repeat from * two times. K1, p1, k1, p1, k1. 
Row 2: **K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p5. Repeat from ** two times. K1, p1, k1, p1, k1. 

You repeat these 2 rows until you reach the desired length.  Because you have alternating sections of 5 stitches (either K or P), the pattern should look the same as you go along.  In other words, the pattern forms columns.  However, my scarf was changing....

I've made this picture really big to show the detail.  You can see 7 columns.  But do you see how the design changes around the top quarter?  Well I knew I had to start over.  I just couldn't believe I made such a mistake.  This was probably the 5th time I was going to restart so I just cut the yarn off.  This is a great piece to keep - to show what NOT to do.

So I began knitting again.  What is funny (or perhaps sad) is that I made the same mistake again at almost the same place.  I kept going and I made the mistake TWO more times!!!!!!  It was so pathetic, I just couldn't take a picture.

My family and I went to our Aunt's place for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday and I showed this to my sister.  She is pretty much an expert when it comes to needlework (i.e. Hardanger, cross-stitch, design, and knitting) so I showed her.  She explained that I made a simple mistake: on a row where I was supposed to K5, I P5'd.  I just couldn't believe it.  I thought I was being so careful.  I was left with 2 options - rip out all the stitches (which was about 3 inches of work) or continue and have a scarf that isn't right.  Well, I'd rather rip out than have a scarf riddled with errors.  My sister, God bless her, offered to rip it out for me.  I turned while she did it:

You'll notice that she's working so fast that her hands are blurry.  So..... I had to start again.  But she showed me what the knit stitch looks like an what the purl looks like so I can at least distinguish between the two.  Also, I have a trick - when the yarn 'tail' is on the left, I knit.  When it's on the right, I purl.  That has really worked well for me.  I've knitted about 4 inches and it looks perfect!!!  WHEW!

Having a piece of work containing errors is a great teaching tool.  This is a picture I took to help:

Now that I've seen this, I don't think I'll ever forget!!  Thank you Leanna ♥