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Posts Tagged ‘beginner knitting’

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS for knitting the pockets of the Saturday Morning Hoodie can be found here:

I joined the Ravelry knitalong group that is knitting the Lion Brand pattern known as the Saturday Morning Hoodie. It is a really great looking open front sweater with pockets and a hood that is unisex. If you have a Lion Brand free account, you can search for the pattern, or link to it HERE. The KAL group on Ravelry (another free account)  is HERE.

I ran into a huge confusing headspinning mess when it came to knitting the pockets. The pattern offers no real instructions for those of us who have never done pockets before and I was feeling pretty frustrated. I spent quite a bit of time going through the sparse number of photos available Ravelers had posted until I finally wrapped my brain around how it was supposed to be done. Once I got it, it was pretty easy, but up until that point, I felt like I needed some kind of code-breaking key to figure it out.

I offered help on the pockets to other Ravelers and several have messaged me asking for assistance. So, today I remembered my digital camera is capable of taking videos and I think a video is probably much more instructive than a long, in-depth letter accompanied by a bunch of photos. I am offering THIS VIDEO to anyone who is having trouble figuring out how to knit the pockets. If you have any trouble with that link, simply search on YouTube using the search terms “Saturday Morning Hoodie”. I tested it and it pulls right up.

I hope this video is helpful to at least a couple of other newbies like me. This is my first video, so forgive any errors. I would appreciate your feedback here and on the youtube site, if you don’t mind. If I got something wrong, please tell me. If you need more assistance, please just message me and I will try to help. Happy Knitting!!

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My first try at fetchings

My first try at fetchings

During our day-trip to Nashville a few weeks ago, I picked up several hanks of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport at the Haus of Yarn. One of them was a lonely, orphan hank that I couldn’t pass it up. This colorway is Gold Hill and the colors truly are like an autumn afternoon in New England.

After looking on Ravelry for patterns to knit up with 200 yards (or less), I saw several people had knitted “fetchings”. These look a lot like like fingerless gloves, but without the little nubs of fingers that real fingerless gloves have. Instead, the opening at the top is shared by all four fingers.

Selecting  a pattern, I began knitting. Cast on, then 2 x2 ribbing for 2 inches at the arm area.

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Followed by several inches of stockinette stitch for the body.

Okay. STOP. Try it on to to check the fit.

Well, it does fit but it’s bunching up a bit at the wrist. I think it should be more clingy. I realize now that I probably will frog this one (when I’m done) and knit up the right size the way I want. Does this happen to everyone else who makes something for the first time?? I already have an idea that should work to make it fit properly at the slender area of the wrist. 

Now, the thumb gusset.  Increase, slowly. 24 stitches for a “small” gusset? — can that be right?

Well, if I was knitting these for the Jolly Green Giant, I’ve definitely got the right size thumbhole!

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So now, I go to check a few other patterns. Most are calling for about 12-16 stitches for a small thumb gusset. Too late! 
 
Hope the Jolly Green Giant likes Fetchings!!
Ribbing at top of hand

Ribbing at top of hand

Continue on for 2 inches on the hand, after placing the thumb stitches on waste yarn.

Finish the hand in 1 inch of 2 x 2 ribbing. I don’t like how this looks, but understand the desire for making it fit at the top.

Now, back to finish the thumb.

EGAD! It really looks pretty ghastly overall.

The body of the glove pooches outward from the arm area, the thumb is gigundus and the ribbing at top and bottom really aren’t very flattering. At least not in this yarn. 

The remaining 1 inch of the thumb that is added at the end, doesn’t join well to the body of the glove with just the use of the two stitches called for in the pattern. I’ll have to figure out some other method…maybe look at the other patterns and read the recommendations posted.

OMG...not pretty

OMG...not pretty

This is a short project and I think I could knit up a pair in one evening if I had a clear idea of what I wanted.

This particular fetching has been frogged. I’ll make another pair incorporating some of my ideas and post more photos when they are ready.
 

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Puleeeeezze! Okay, I know that my first post about this damn sock  said it was going to get ripped out and sent straight to sock hell, but it finally dawned on me that I may as well rip it back to the ankle part and follow myYouTube mentor instructions to finish it. The time I spent on it won’t be wasted and I can learn something from it. I won’t be wearing this particular sock (the yarn is already wound back into a nice neat little ball, for a future real sock), but I do understand how it all works together now and I’m glad I finished it. Maybe even a little proud. I made a sock.

I added the basket stitch ribbing, but even with this, it still barely stays up on my calf. It really it a big sock. But…!!!  IT IS A SOCK!!! A real sock. A wearable, usable and even somewhat attractive sock. And it is a proper sock that could be worn by someone larger and all of the parts of it are finished correctly and I have an understanding of what I like, what I might like to do on other socks and what parts need attention and which parts are mindless knitting. So! There!

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Andy's GPS sack

Andy's GPS sack

Andy is a lifesaver sometimes! Just when I feel like throwing my knitting needles aside, he asks me if I can knit him “one of those soft little bags” for his GPS unit, “but can you make it look manly?”.  This is exactly the motivation I needed right now. Something simple, quick and satisfying. I can knit one up in a few hours, including the I-cord with tassles. This felt really good to knit up.

Next up, Andy’s external hard drive that he uses for backing up his computers. I felt a little worried about static electricity so I chose a soft black cotton and I really, really like the end result. The color is rich and the cotton is extraordinarily soft and durable.  I made a little 2-stitch stripe of texture down the center, which added a little “manly” to it for him.

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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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What would I do without my YouTube knitting mentors?!? They taught me how to cast-on, cast0ff, make a knit stitch, a purl stitch, a yarn over , how to go from being a thrower to knitting continental style and everything else I’ve wanted to learn about. Anything I have wanted, needed or thought about learning has generously been put on YouTube by some knitting addict like myself who thought enough about her craft to share it with me and anyone else who wanted to learn from them.  I am so grateful to these women and men who cared enough to teach me how to become a woman who knits.

The first scarf I made for Andy was quickly followed by a scarf for myself. Then, it was on to hats! The first four or five really didn’t come out that well — not enough length to one, a little condom-like knob atop another, too large of diameter on another….until finally I got it right and Andy had a matching hat to go with his scarf. That was a happy day for my knitting mind.

Andy's 1st scarf and hat

Andy's 1st scarf and hat

My first scarf

My first scarf

Since then I’ve used YouTube to learn how to  add another color to make stripes in hats,

Timmy's hat

Timmy's hat

Laura's hat

Laura's hat

 stripes in a baby blanket

Gabriella's blanket

Gabriella's blanket

and even in my little peach bag.

I’ve learned how to knit in the round and how to use double pointed needles.

Knitting has become important in my life. I really, really love it. I love deciding what to make and then, picking out my yarn, choosing the right needle size, and whipping up something new. Sometimes using a pattern, sometimes just casting on and making whatever it is I’ve thought about. I’m learning a little bit every time I knit something new.  I wonder if I’ll ever be half as good as the all of the other knitters who have posted photos of their cabled cardigans, mohair sweaters and delicate lace scarves. I see all of these beautiful knitted garments and wonder if it is realistic to want to be able to knit like that. Like THAT. Yeah, like in a thousand years or so, I think to myself. But I’ll keep knitting and getting better at it.

I guess it is really is about the journey. Knitting has become a way of life for me.

I’ll post some of my earlier projects here, as well as those I’m working on right now.

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