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: