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Kudo Tam

I wanted a tam to go with my Baktus. The two paired together are stunning.

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Chocolate Lace

Love, love, love tweed. Everything I knit in this tweed is classic.

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Baktus

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Chevron Scarf Pre-frogging

I saw one of these scarves knit up beautifully in Noro sock yarn while we were visiting Nashville recently.  The young woman at the knit shop told me that the pattern was available in a book called Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Book - last minute knitted gifts

What a lovely book. I blogged about this book before because the photography is exquisite, as well as the projects it offers.

The trick to a making a Chevron scarf like this one is to knit with two contrasting colors at the same time. To make it even more appealing, knit with some of the visually stunning hand painted yarns that are so readily available these days from small private artisans via the world-wide-web.

I researched other people’s Chevron Scarves for a while, browsing their photos and the kinds of yarn they selecting. Do I use two multi-colored skeins, or just one multi-color combined with a solid? Both of these combinations are splendid. Finally, I decided on what has been deemed the “classic” for this pattern and set about ordering up my yarn. Two hanks from Blue Mountain Socks that Rock set me back almost $50!! I know this yarn is touted by many knitters as being some of the better yarn out there, so I am trusting that it is worth my yarn dollars.

Okay. So. Why am I frogging this scarf?

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Because….it looks awful on the reverse side!

I had already decided that I didn’t like scarves that were not readily reversible. My first lace project was a beautiful scarf that I truly love — however, it isn’t reversible and I doubt that I will ever wear it because of that.

What sense does it make to have a scarf that you want to wrap around your neck, but you have to alway make sure that the only front side shows. If the back side shows, it is going to make the entire project look shabby. And let’s NOT forget that this Chevron Scarf is knit with sock yarn! That means it is a time consuming project, taking quite a long time to make it measure about 6 feet. I really don’t want to invest any more of my knitting time into a scarf that I am not going to be able to feel proud about and trust that a friend will genuinely enjoy it and wear it with glee.

Is it just me that hates one-sided scarves? Or are there others out there??? I have begun a collection of reversible scarf patterns and am also creating a few simple ones of my own. I would love to create a bank of them so people like me wouldn’t have to struggle to find their next favorite project.

Maybe one day I will knit a double-side Chevron Scarf in lace weight so that both sides will be beautiful. But, until then, it’s frogsville for this little baby.

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My First Sock...attempt

My First Sock...attempt

Sometimes I just want to give it up! You know that feeling when a knitting project keeps giving you grief?!? And you want to toss it aside and knit something that you already know you can knit nicely and without a hassle? But…I’m in the middle of knitting my first sock and keep pushing myself to stay with it. Sometimes I should just admit that I have a bad set of instructions, rip it out and move on to a good pattern. This is a real problem for a beginner — sometimes I can’t tell that I have bad instructions until I have invested time in a project. This totally makes the case for using patterns that have been knitted and reviewed by other knitters before me. Tried and true patterns are readily offered on Ravelry, KnitPicks and LionBrand.

I had scheduled a knitting class to learn how to make socks because I didn’t want to just “make socks“. I wanted to “make really great socks” the first time around. Who doesn’t, right? So, it seemed like a good thing to have a real live teacher to help me get it right. I signed up early to be sure to get into the class. DUH! Obviously, no need for that. As it turns out,  I’m the only person in Chattanooga who wants to learn how to properly turn a heel and make a decent gusset, and so,the class is cancelled and I am wandering around in bare feet. What the hell?

Not to be deterred, it’s back to the web and the knitting books to find a simple pattern. Ha! I’ll teach myself. Right! I found a friendly-looking pattern called “most basic sock pattern” . One would think this would be the the best sock for a true beginner like myself. Wouldn’t one? I read through the instructions, get out my new size #1 DPNs (just a little bigger than toothpicks!) and my Panda superwash sock yarn and carefully cast-on. 

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DUH! Of course, this isn’t the “most basic sock pattern” — it’s the sock pattern for elephants who can read minds. The socks are coming out huge and the instructions are fairly vague, assuming that I know which needle is being referred to and which part of the sock we are moving on to. Whoever wrote the instruction skips over small details like which needle, what part of the sock, which stitches — totally frustrating. I actually figured it out through the gusset, but now, it’s not looking right and I have about had it. Whoever wrote the instructions is obviously an experienced knitter who tried to jot down her/his notes thinking they would be useful for someone. But not very useful for me. I decided last night that I’m going to frog the whole thing. Besides, I didn’t really like the way the sock was coming out. It’s supposed to be for a medium woman, but I would look like the lady in the commercial whose stockings are in puddles around her ankles.

Meanwhile, I got my set of Clover Takumi DPNs on Ebay at a huge savings, which made me realize that my 5 inch long DPNs aren’t the best choice. I will switch out to 7 inch for my next try, which will help stop the stitches from sliding off the end of the needles. It’s times like these that I wish I had a grandmother (or someone) to teach me. Maybe learning the hard way is better — I certainly won’t make the same mistakes twice!

Vogue Sock BookAnd now…..Today was my lucky day !!! I found a lovely copy of Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock Book.  Wow!!!!!!!!!!Beautiful  socks all over the pages, with clear, concise patterns and diagrams for techniques. But the best part is the beginning which explains the basics of sock knitting, showing the process of top-down socks, toe-up socks and describing how each part of the sock comes together in a pattern. I’m excited about socks again. I don’t even mind frogging the stupid thing on my needles right now.

Update: I did finish a sock. See my post here.

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