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 ♥

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Will I ever stop?

Yesterday I started a scarf for my husband (Glenn).  Shhhhh, it's a secret.  It calls for 32 cast on stitches.  I thought it was too narrow.  So I played around with different sizes.  I think I went as high as 48 stitches but that was too much.  I ended up with 44 stitches.  I didn't like what was happening with it, so I undid everything.  I think I didn't count the rows right.  You'd think I'd remember since it was only yesterday.

Today I tore out what I did because my needles were too short.  I was using size 6 9" needles.  So I switched to my 10" needles (same size).  I believe I knitted 8 rows.  What I did notice is that with 44 stitches per row, if you begin with k4, you end with k4.  So when starting a new row you are twisting the thread when it naturally wants to do the opposite.  Don't know if that makes sense.  When I finish a row with the knit stitch, the yarn 'naturally' wants to do purl stitches on the new row.  But with the number of stitches per row, it has to begin with a knit.  Same can be said for the purl.  What you want is to end with purl and then start the next row with knit.  But I continued.

I noticed that with 44 stitches, the scarf looked a bit too wide.  I have stitched enough rows now so that I could see the pattern forming.  I blocked off 12 stitches to see what the scarf would look like with only 32 stitches (which is what the pattern originally called for).  It looked ok.  It doesn't need to be too thick as it's a man's scarf and they're not into the big huge scarfs.  So, guess what I did?  I ripped it out again.

Since I don't want my husband to know I'm making this scarf, I hide it before he comes home from work.  Hidden in one of my stitching baskets is a a knitting needle with 32 stitches cast on.  I'm back to square one for the 3rd time.  I have no pictures because I have nothing to show.  I'm hoping tomorrow I will NOT redo anything.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Another day, another dishcloth

Just finished my second dishcloth yesturday and I'm pleased to say, it has a much better shape. It was much easier knitting with metal needles with the cotton. As mentioned, with wood/bamboo needles, the cotton really 'sticks'. Anyway, here is the final result.....

It's not the best work as you can tell, but I'm still learning.  It will be just fine to wash dishes.

Today, I thought I'd try a different pattern. It's a basket weave motif and am thinking it will be great practice for the scarf I want to make (for my husband).  I am trying a simplified cast on this time; not the knit-cast on.

Will see how it goes. I'm also working with bamboo needles as I have been eager to try them out (just bought them at 40% off).  I hope I don't lose count.  I'm easily distracted and very forgetful. Hopefully the row counter I bought will help!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Big Finish!

Well, it is the morning of October 2/13 and am just freezing in my house.  It makes me want to start knitting a quilt.  However, baby steps.  YESTERDAY I FINISHED MY FIRST KNITTING PROJECT.  As you know, it was a dishcloth.  As you also know, I had troubles with the tension of the stitches.  At one point I thought I would break one of my needles.  My knitting instructor suggested that when working with 100% cotton, it might go a bit easier with metal knitting needles.   I used wooden, thinking it would give me better control.  What it seemed to do was just hold on tight to the wood and have very little give.  So next dishcloth (which I think I'll start today), I will use metal needles.  Here is the 'square' dishcloth:

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A light bulb turned on!

I am knitting away and liking it more and more with each stitch. However, my work is REALLY TIGHT!  I know I might be a tad stressed out but I don't think I need to grunt when trying to migrate the yarn from one needle to the other.

One thing I did notice - I seem to be knitting very close to the ends of the needles:

I may not be pulling the thread too tight, but I'm working on the smallest part of the needle. What was also happening is that since I was working so far down the needle, I had all this extra needle. So I ended up holding the needle in my arm pit. DUH!!!!  Always have something to learn.  What I did for the next row was work further down the needle. Bah bah bah bah (imagine a trumpet)!!!

I completed the row and the stitches were a lot more 'pliable'. Very workable. 

Funny - as I was basking in my glory, I noticed something wrong.  I think I may have dropped a stitch. I went back three stitches and fixed it. I'm on a high!!  Quite happy here.... to my 6 followers. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dishcloth Day One


A very cloudy day here today so it's a bit hard to knit.  Yes, knit!

I have recently joined Ravelry, a great knitting/crocheting website.  You can do all sorts of things on it like create an inventory of all your stash (needles, yarn, etc.), get patterns, join discussion groups and document your projects.  So, there is a place to add 'notes' to a project but I'm not really sure if that is where you discuss your project(s).  That is why I'm writing my update here (as I think there might be a link between your personal blog an Ravelry).  Perhaps you'll be able to view it on Ravelry as well as here.  Still learning all this stuff!

So, it's the first day of my knitted dishcloth.  I'm so excited that you'd think I was knitting a garment for Pope Francis.  It's just a dishcloth for Pete's Sake (who is Pete? I have no idea)!!  But all is going well.  I have to really watch my tension.  I am very prone to making my stitches very tight.  Thank goodness also for You Tube.  Of course I forgot Corey's method (my teacher at Wolseley Wool) of casting on so I had to search for a video.  Found one very quickly.  And then of course, I couldn't remember how to 'yarn over' as I was only shown that once in class and didn't record it on my iPad.  So, another You Tube search.  It's so great.  I have my MacBook (which I totally LOVE) on my lap and watch the video and stitch at the same time.  It's great!  So away I go......

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It has been a long time

You know, it's been a long time since I've visited my own blog.  I just thought I had nothing important to say.  I haven't been stitching - especially the 'Waterlily Pond'.  I'm even thinking of changing the blog a bit or just remove this one and create a brand new one.  Not too good with this blog stuff.  I am currently taking a knitting class.  So I'm all about knitting and purling right now.  Stay tuned.....