Happy New Year Everyone!
It is apparent I'm not a prolific or dedicated blogger. Kind of had a few technical issues with the blogger address-self-induced, of course. Then it was the fact that I didn't sit down to write. So, I'm trying again. In 2009 (I think) I vowed to become a better knitter. Slowly I have worked on this, intermingled with some crocheting, a whole lot of reading, four grandsons, a full time job and a freelance writing career I'd like to work on expanding.
How have I worked on knitting, you ask? Besides the spiral socks, I knit a garter stitch baby blanket using a free pattern from Lion Brand. I had some camouflage yarn in a beige/white/brown combo (hey, I have four grandsons! I'm bound to have some camo yarn) anyhoo, it wasn't working out as socks, go figure-see previous note to self- so when we found out our niece was having a boy-you can be proud now- I decided to knit a baby blanket instead of crocheting one. I have to say it came out really nice and matched her color scheme of brown and green nicely, too. I started another pair of spiral socks for the hubby, but I don't like the yarn, so they have gone nowhere. (I can't not knit socks, I'm doomed to be a sock knitter.)Recently bought more sock yarn...just fyi
Then my sister -in -law found out she was pregnant with baby number three. Yep, I started another knitted blanket. It's a girl. Getting a little braver I invested in a good pair of Addi-Turbo circular needles. I listened to advice from mom:
"Buy a good set of needles, honey" Words to live by.
Boy, was she right. But before I could start knitting, I had to sift through the ten thousand (slight exaggeration) patterns I have amassed. I'd run across what looked like a simple knitted lace blanket pattern when looking for a crochet pattern for a grandson's blanket. I eventually dug the pattern out of the pile and with new needles in hand and white baby yarn, I started. It took me awhile to memorize the pattern row, but once I did this pattern works up to a beautiful piece that looks more complicated than it really is. And I've only had to rip up twice! (note: don't knit and gab or knit and watch exciting TV while working on this pattern-you might have to rip up) It's been mentioned to me this pattern resembles the feather and fan pattern. You can get the pattern I'm using and others from: http://www.projectlinus.org/ or read below:
All Purpose Knitted Afghan
I am using a size 9 circular needle with Bernat Softee baby yarn in white, and cast on as directed for the smaller size.
40 oz. 4-ply worsted weight yarn for large afghan, size 10 circular needles
For large afghan cast on 210 sts, for a small one cast on 144 stitches. Pattern is a multiple of 11 sts+1
Row 1: K 1,*yo, k3, k2 tog, k2 tog, k3, yo, k1. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Knit
Repeat rows 1-3 until desired length.
I love yarn. I probably don't love it as much as some, but I have a healthy "stash" However, very few of these yarns are noteworthy by today's standards. I am just now diving into the world of Malabrigo, Rowan, and other exciting yarns. My first love is wool (but I'm learning to love others-it's easy!) but I was discouraged for years because I thought wool was a winter weather yarn (Norway-cold-snow-ice)Ha! I found out I can satisfy my need to knit with wool because of all these lovely wool and wool blends, and I can still live in South Louisiana. In fact, the The Vermilion Bay Light the newsletter for one of our fabulous Acadiana yarn shops, The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company(VBYC), had a column in their latest newsletter titled Wooly Misconceptions. When In Acadiana stop by, say hey! and buy some yarn from one or more of our yarn shops. You can never have enough yarn, right?
The Vermilion Bay Yarn Company
2100 Verot School Rd Suite 8
Lafayette, La 70508
http://www.vermilionbayyarn.blogspot.com/ or visit them on face book
The House of Yarn
3711 W. Pinhook Rd Suite B
Broussard, La 70518
The Yarn Nook
321 Oil Center Dr
Lafayette, La 70503
Moving along with the knitting I saw an announcement in The Vermilion Bay Light that they were having a glove knitting class. Should I? Dare I? After all gloves have fingers that have to be knit...separately...tiny little fingers. I did! Well, I signed up. Glove making class went well...until I got to the fingers part...let's just say I have two gloves knit one with two fingers and a partial thumb, and one with partial thumb, no fingers(yet) knit...moving slowly...I'm afraid of those small finger parts, I can't seem to get comfortable with the small needles. One good thing that came out of class...I now own a nifty set of size two bamboo needles. My next pair is gonna be those fingerless pairs I'm seeing so many patterns for. I wonder if there's a reason fingerless gloves are so popular? Hmmm...
More knitting projects
My next class at the VBYC was Fair Isle baby booties. What the heck, I thought. I've been knitting simple garter stitch booties for years. I bought some really nice Rowan 100% cotton in gooseberry (green) and bleached (white) With the first bootie I wasn't comfortable with changing the colors, but by the second I had it down pat. I actually knit both booties, sewed them up and made the cord for each. One finished project!
At the VBYC the other day I saw a neck scarf displayed on their finished goods table. I had just made a note to myself to look for a "lotus leaf" neck scarf pattern. And what was this? Yep, a lotus leaf neck scarf! What luck! And when I asked about the yarn used? Designer yarn by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan called Colourscapes. Wow. I bought a raspberry hank. Then the next week I was talking to my mom and without me mentioning anything she said: "well, there's a man who's a knitting designer, Kaffe Fassett, he's known for his colorful sweaters." What a coincidence! "I know now," I replied "I'm looking at one of his yarns as we speak."
More on wool....Brown Sheep makes a wonderful wool...I bought a ball in "army" green, although it looked brown at home, and knit a neck gator to send to the troops. This peaked the knitting interest of my daughter, who hadn't knit a stitch since her grandmother taught her 17 years ago! "I want to do that too," she said. (knit for th troops) So out came practice yarn and needles. And for her it was like riding a bike. She remembered everything, like she hadn't had a hiatus at all. When I told her grandmother (my mom) she said: Well, she's a natural, when I taught her I could tell." It's doesn't hurt that there is "designer" yarns, cute, up -to -date patterns, and knitting accessories either to keep her interested.
To get the free patterns for Project Helmet Liner visit: http://www.citizensam.org/
I want to try to track my knitting projects and my knitting progress for 2010. We will see...will those gloves ever get fingers? How about those Selbu socks mom knit and sent and all I have to do is finish a toe? Will the hubby ever own a pair of spiral socks to call his own? Only time will tell.
I was lucky enough to pitch an article idea to my editor at Acadiana Lifestyle on maybe running a knitting article. And they accepted! Look for the February 2010 issue of Acadiana Lifestyle and my article: That Knitting Craze. I also submitted to my February Acadiana Moms column- The Way I See It -about the Blue Bird of happiness...well, you'll have to read it to understand. Also February brings the Feb/March issue of 008 Magazine where I wrote about the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary and also contributed to the magazine's outdoor section with an article on doors. I have done some book reviews for Louisiana Book News, and contributed book reviews as a guest reviewer to The Daily Advertiser so far this year. Chere Coen, the Writers Guild of Acadiana's VP, is author of Louisina Book News and has a book column at the newspaper. She allows me to help out from time to time. And then there is blogging...
Happy writing and knitting...read a little, too.
And I did make an "old-fashioned" baby cape that I gave as a gift-but it was crocheted, so I really can't tell you about it because this is a knitting blog...but it was really cute! and it had pompoms...