Sunday, December 17, 2006

Suggestions for First Sweater?

Sweaters bring up all sorts of questions for a knitter. What pattern should I choose? What type of yarn will be a good fit for the pattern, be easy to work with, easy to care for, and not be too scratchy? These are only the beginning.

For the first sweater, the knitter might also ask; am I ready for this?

I've passed the point of being able to call myself a beginning knitter. Although I am still learning all the fascinating workings of various combinations of knits and purls, I can safely say that I can follow a pattern for most knits. I haven't tried colorwork yet (although I already have my eye on a couple patterns) but I feel confident I could knit in colorwork if I chose. I've recently taught myself to knit continental (I'm an english style knitter) and once I've mastered the continental purl, I'll tackle some fair isle. I know I don't really have to be able to English and Continental together to be able to do fair isle - there are other ways. Yet, in the long run, I think this way will work the best for me and I know that if I take a short cut now and become accustomed to a certain way of fair isle colorwork, then it will be very difficult to teach myself to use both continental and english at the same time later.

I digress.

I'm ready to knit my first sweater. I think it will be a slight test of endurance. I know the Yarn Harlot says there are more stitches in a pair of socks than in a sweater, but I find myself a bit skeptical. Still, there's something about knitting a sweater that makes me feel like I'll be a real knitter once I can say I've knit my own.

So, my question...

What pattern do you recommend for a first sweater?

Please leave your ideas in the comments. No colorwork or cables, please.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Socktoberfest 2006

Today is officially the last day of Socktoberfest.

I'm happy to say that I met my goal of finishing two pairs of socks - both the Jaywalker socks and the Plum socks are complete! I finished weaving in the last end on the Plum socks just a little while ago.

I didn't get a chance to fix the Savannah sock, so that pair will have to wait. I'm not too disappointed though, because it wasn't really part of my Socktoberfest goal.

Details on the two pairs of socks will be posted sometime this week - I want to dedicate a full post to each pair.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Knitting Update

I've updated the blog a little bit, including a list of current projects. Three of them are socks! This is the month for Socktoberfest, so it's only appropriate that my knitting focus is socks.

My primary goals are to finish the Jaywalker Socks and the Just Plum Socks (pictures will be in the next post). I would also like to finish the Savannah Socks, but a split stitch in sock #1 is in need of fixing.

In addition to socks, I'm also working on the Branching Out scarf. It's going pretty well and I'm pleased with the lace pattern. I don't knit this very often though, so progress is very slow.

That's all for now.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short Row Heels and... they elude me.

So I'm knitting a sock (I'm sure this surprises absolutely no one.). I'm knitting it using Socks that Rock (STR) in colorway Queen Rock. So far I'm liking the sock. It's ribbed at the cuff and then stockinette. Of course, I'm at the point where I'd like to start the heel.

Now, we have a problem.

I would really like to try a short row heel. I have no idea how to knit a short row heel. I've looked online and I have not yet found a way that explains, in great detail, a way to knit short row heels that makes sense to me. It's all really quite confusing. Not to mention that most of the tutorials I've seen start out with "You knit your heels stitches..." See, I'm working without a pattern here. I've never knit a sock without a pattern. So I need a heel instruction that actually addresses how many stitches you should have on the needle. Or that at least explains how to get the heel started.

I've done short rows before. I knit Ruffles, which is almost all short rows, all the time. I've never found short rows difficult. In fact, I've often been puzzled at why anyone thinks short rows are the slightest bit complicated. Yeah. I think the knitting muse decided I needed to be taken to task for that thought, because short row heels? I just don't get them.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wading Through

At the moment I'm just wading through the days, counting them down until I am on vacation.

Vacation time will mean more knitting time, which is sadly lacking at the moment.

There has been a wee bit of knitting, but no new pictures this week. I am one repeat further on the Branching Out scarf and I've cast on a new pair of socks (really, why finish a pair of socks when you can cast on for a new pair?) using Socks that Rock in Queen Rock. I love this yarn. This is probably a good thing since I am a member of their sock club.

I've also joined a new Knit-A-Long called the Summer of Stash. According to the SOS guidelines, I cannot purchase new yarn from Memorial Day until Labor Day. So far I am doing fine with this. We are allowed two exceptions, and I've chosen to save both of my exceptions for a rainy day. I'm hoping I'll make it through the whole summer without needing to use either, but I admit I like knowing they are there.

I'm hoping this new KAL will help me to focus on current projects rather than new ones. I would really like to have more finished items than I do right now.

Of course, I can't imagine having an entire post with no pictures, so here is a picture of a surprise that I wasn't able to show before.

I made this scarf for my sister Samantha.

The pattern is Ruffles from the book Scarf Style. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in colorway Black Purl, which is 50% wool & 50% silk. I like it so much I'm probably going to make myself one at some point.

Here's a closeup:

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

When pattern and yarn collide.

The very last place I purchased yarn from (yes, I'm going out of order here) was Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I saw some yarn there that I really just loved. Unfortunately I had already reached the end of my budget.

Note: that didn't stop me. ;)

I ended up going back at the end of the day to get the yarn. It's two beautiful skeins of 50% silk/50% wool. The item number is SI-06-05-03. I absolutely love it. I was originally thinking it would be a good amount for socks. But this yarn, for socks? Nope.

I've been interested in the Knitty pattern Branching Out for a while. But I really didn't feel like I had the right yarn for it. Now I do. :) So far I'm very pleased with it. I have no idea what my gauge is, but I'm knitting on size US 7 needles. I actually did this bit a couple weeks ago, but I hope to work on it a little bit this week as well.

The yarn:

The beginning of the pattern - two repeats in:

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2006, Part 1

First, I want to say hi to the new folks who have been stopping by and commenting. Welcome! I enjoy reading your comments and I hope you'll continue to enjoy this blog.

Second, there has been very little knitting here over the past couple weeks and by very little, I mean almost none.

Luckily, I attended Maryland Sheep and Wool for the first time this year and that will keep the blog going with some posts for a while.

Maryland Sheep and Wool was absolutely amazing and I'm going to spend a number of posts on it, since it was my first visit. It was partly so amazing because I was able to spend time with a really good friend who I haven't seen in far too long. :)

The first booth I actually spent some serious time in was Journey Wheel. Now, I had arrived with a plan, thanks in large part to Theresa, Melanie, and a certain MDS$W User Guide posted last year by Claudia.

I heard lots of good things about their spindles. Sheila Bosworth was so kind and helpful and even gave me a bit of an impromptu spinning lesson while I was there. I tried a number of spindles and settled on a 1.75 oz with a Morado Top Whorl. It's simply beautiful and spins very well.

And a closeup of the gorgeous Morado wood:

I recommended their spindles to a friend and she ended up getting the same type of spindle in tulipwood, the next day.

In the next installment, I'll post about the fiber I also bought on Saturday.

Until then, happy knitting!