Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kindness, First Sweaters and Yarn Candy

Thanks to everyone who left kind comments on my last blog entry and on my facebook page!  I feel very loved... I’m amazed at how many people have some tie to knitting, whether as a past hobby or as something they’ve always wanted to learn. This is probably because knitting is the greatest thing in the world.  I’m not sure why the manipulation of string using a couple of sticks is so awesome, but it truly is. Awesome.

So, I finished the shrug! It’s pretty cute and it actually can go through the dryer.  But I’m not super enthusiastic about this cotton/acrylic blend yarn.  The resulting sweater will be good for everyday wear, but isn’t really special. I do love the color though... What do you think?

I'm not really sure what I was thinking putting this yellow shirt with the pomegranate color of the shrug.  Do you suddenly have a craving for a hamburger with ketchup and mustard?  Funny... me too.

So, I'm just wondering: How many times during a project, do you think, “I’m not sure how you’re supposed to do it, but here’s how I’m going to do it.” If you’re my husband, you never think it.  Never. You’ve never thought it before and you never will. But if you’re me, well, then you think it all the time. And it’s just what I thought seaming up the sleeves on this shrug. For those of you who are non-knitters, I’ll tell you that when making a sweater (I’m an expert, you see, because I just completed my first one, and it’s a tiny shrug) you can either knit it seamlessly, or you can knit it in pieces, and then seam it up at the end.  This shrug was knit seamlessly, except that the sleeves had to be sewn shut under the arm.  I looked up on youtube how to do it, and so I should have known, I guess.  And it actually was going great until I came upon the decreases.  “Um...  where’s the bar I’m supposed to stitch through?  I dunno...  I'll just guess!”  So, the sleeve is a little... poofy on the bottom, but I don’t really think it’s noticeable.  Moving right along!

My next project is the Crooked Paths hat, by Melissa LeBarre.  She is also the designer of the Tiny Tea cardigan that I knit for my girls.  For this project, I’m using an amazing yarn that I stumbled upon by accident.  I loved Alana’s Winter Trails hat knitted up with Cascade Cloud 9, which is a blend with angora in it, making it very soft and a little bit fuzzy. I went looking for some of this yarn candy at Needles in the Haymarket, and they only had terrible colors like bubble gum pink and a shade of blue that is suitable for absolutely nothing.  So, she pointed me to Cascade Eco Duo, undyed, which is a 30% wool/70% alpaca blend.  It is so.... DELICIOUS. If yarn were a man (and I weren’t already married of course... love you, honey!) then I would marry it.

Let the hat knitting begin!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Maiden Voyage of Knitty McPurly

Hi everyone!  Thanks for finding my shiny new blog.  Neat, huh?  What do you think of Knit Knitterson?  I mean Purls O’Purlerson.  Wait, what did I call her? Oh yeah...  Knitty McPurly. I love her. She’s me, only so much cuter and hipper. And she just looks like she wants to talk about knitting, don't you think?

I drew Knitty up late one night, and when my oldest daughter, age 7, came down and saw her the next morning, she gasped, and said, “I want to draw this picture!”  I sketched out a quick Little Knitty, who resembled my daughter, and she colored her in, smiling and filled with glee. She’s a future knitter, that one. And probably a future artist, too.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about yarn snobbery. Part of my induction into knitting is wrapped up in yarn snobbery. I think if I had been taught by a user of 100% acrylic yarn from Michael’s, I probably would have knitted just a few things and then set the hobby aside.  My teacher, a wonderful friend, took one look at the “skein” (I have to put it in quotes... it barely qualifies) of acrylic yarn I brought to my lesson and said, “Yeah... don’t use that.”  She handed me a little leftover ball of Spud and Chloe Sweater which I squished joyfully in my hand, knowing I had found it: the hobby to end all hobbies.

So my first few projects as a novice knitter were made of Madelinetosh, Blue Sky Alpaca, Quince and Co. and a few other choice skeins.  I don’t mess around.  That said, I regularly receive the Knit Picks catalog (because I bought my interchangeable needles from them) and I noticed that their prices were a good bit lower. I thought I’d try it out, since the shrug I was about to start has an awesome project on ravelry made out of Knit Picks Comfy worsted, which is 75% cotton and 25%...  um, 25%...  sigh...  It’s 25% acrylic.  Not snobby.  But it is called Comfy, so it can’t be too bad, I thought.

I couldn't resist putting the beautiful knitting bag my husband gave me for Christmas in the picture. Gorgeous, right?

This shrug - my first hand knit adult sized sweater, by the way - is almost done, and the jury is still out on this yarn.  It is comfy.  But it’s a bit squeaky and...  well, flat. I can throw it in the washing machine and the dryer though, and making this shrug will have cost me about $12.  That’s kind of unbelievable.

I hope to finish the sweater in the next few days and I’ll post pics.  Right now I’m hoping that a few people other than my mom actually read this far.  If you have, thanks for stopping by!  Come back again soon - you know you want to see the finished shrug.  ;)

Many thanks to Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting for including my knitting story on her podcast and thus inspiring me to start up a blog of my own. Thanks Alana!