Fall Knitting and Crochet

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Lately, I have been thinking about what I have been making this summer and what I want to make this fall. As I wrote earlier, it is summer here and the weather has been hot and dry. However in a month and a half it will be fall. Lately I have been inspired to make more garments. I am really enjoying working on the Green Gable. I have realized that for my next project, I need to take into account how long it takes me to make a sweater. I had initially wanted to make a couple of summer tops but I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would. I am thinking I should finish the Green Gable in early fall. I have already been thinking about my next sweater project. Because of time constraints my next sweater will be a fall/ winter weight project. 

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 I saw a post on Instagram where someone made a sweater out of  scrap yarn. It made me realize that I have almost enough skeins of Patons Classic Wool in maroon, grey and beige to make a sweater. I have had this sweater in my Ravelry queue for a while and it recommends the same yarn. For once I have the yarn the pattern recommends. I want to make this sweater with stripes. I may add another color but I haven’t decided yet. I am also thinking about making this cardigan. These two projects will get me to the end of the year at the rate I knit. How about you? are you thinking about fall projects yet? Let me know in the comments. 

The De-Stress Sweater

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” I knit so I don’t kill people.” This is a common humorous saying among knitters. This week, this saying could be revised to say, “I knit so I don’t completely stress out.” I have have been working on the Green Gable Pullover and it has really helped my stress levels. It is a top down sweater. The pattern has a simple lace panel at the top.Once you get past the lace panel , it is row after row of knit stitch. It has been a long week and I am finding working on knit stitch very soothing.

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 I am enjoying seeing the top take shape. I love seeing a ball of string and some sticks turn into an item.  The picture on the top show my  progress so far. Lately, I have been working on this sweater to the exclusion of other projects. I am thinking it may not take as long as I thought to finish it. I am already thinking about what sweater I want to make next. What about you? What is your favorite pattern to knit to relax or de-stress? Do you prefer simple patterns or more complicated patterns?

Useful Knitting Links

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Did you know that if you missed a a yarn over you can fix it on the next row? I didn’t either until I watched Kate Atherley’s video on Knitty. Today, I am posting knitting links I have found useful.

 The first link is Kate Atherley’s column in knitty about lace knitting. This is the video I mentioned in my opening paragraph; it also has advice on lifelines and blocking.

I recently found this blog series on designing patterns that is also written by Kate Atherley. I have read her book on pattern writing and found it useful so I am very excited to find this blog series and read more of the blog posts.

The site I use the most often is Knitting Help.com. Anytime I need to learn a new technique or don’t remember how to do something this is the first place I look.

I ran across this post on how to weave in ends when I had been knitting for at least a few years. Once I read it, I wished I had found this tutorial when I first learned to knit.

I found out about Knitting Fool from a knit design challenge I did. This site has an extensive listing of stitches, a sweater pattern generator and an extensive listing of knitting terms and abbreviations.

Do you have any knitting or crochet links that you find useful that I didn’t post?  Post a link to it in the comments. 

           

My Finished Lace Scarf

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On Monday July 3, I finished knitting this lace scarf; I just need to block it. I started it when I was participating in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge hosted by Aroha Knits.  The challenge walks people through the process of designing a knitting pattern. I didn’t finish it in time for the challenge but I continued to work on it once the challenge ended. I wanted to to use up some yarn I had leftover from a sweater I had knitted earlier. I had a little less than 100 grams of yarn to work with.

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I wanted to design a narrow lace scarf and I really struggled to find a stitch pattern that would work for a narrow scarf. I looked at several stitches but I ended up using a stitch I found in Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Once I found a stitch I liked I really enjoyed working on it. In retrospect, it was not an ideal project for the challenge because I didn’t have much of the yarn. I struggled to find enough yarn to do a swatches. I ended up swatching in another yarn. I ended up finishing it with less than a foot of yarn to spare.  I was pretty nervous near the end of the project but I am very happy with how it turned out.

My Handmade Wardrobe Goals

DSC_0011 (1)-1Right now, I am making a lace scarf, a shawl, a tank top and a blanket. After I finish some of these projects, I want to make more garments. I have  recently realized that I make a lot of accessories but not that many garments. The tank top I am experimenting with is the first garment I have made in 2 years. I feel like that is a long time to go without making garments. I also want to make sure I am making pieces I could use in my wardrobe. Here is a list of some of the items I want to make to round out my wardrobe. 

First up, I want to make some summer tops. Once I finish one of my knitting projects. I want to make this top. It uses yarn I bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really like how this top looks and I am looking forward to making this. The style of this top and the color should work well with other pieces in my wardrobe. I have had this yarn for years and I am happy that I found a use for it. I already did gauge swatches and made gauge. The above photo shows the yarn I am going to use and a picture o f the pattern. 

I also want to make this top by Andi Satterlund. I love the lace paneling on the top and I have some cotton/linen yarn that should work well with this pattern. 

After summer tops, I want to make a cardigan to wear over skirts. and dresses. I don’t really have a cardigan that looks nice with my skirts and dresses. I think it would be nice to have a sweater I can wear over my dresses and skirts for when it gets colder at night. I am eyeing 2 more of Andi Satturlund’s patterns, either the Miette or Mary Mead. She makes a lot of cardigans that would look nice to wear with skirts and dresses.

I also really want a cardigan to wear with jeans and pants in colder weather. My favorite cardigan is wearing out and I am thinking I want to make a sweater instead buying one. I am eyeing this pattern from Knitty  if I can find yarn that works. It calls for a heavy worsted and the yarns I looked at were either too light or too heavy. I am also eyeing this cardigan by Lion Brand. I am not sure I like the recommended yarn. I may have to substitute yarn if I decide to make it. 

My Vintage Pattern Books

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A few weeks ago, I went to a library book sale with my mom and found some great vintage books. I found 2 needlework guides from 1973 called Make it Yourself and a McCall’s Needlework Treasury from 1964. I also found a book on making rugs from scrap yarn and a book on freeform crochet. I enjoy looking for vintage knitting books at thrift stores and library book sales. I don’t have the space to constantly collect books but I like occasionally seeing what I can find. I have always liked history and I also like reading vintage patterns.

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 Just last week or so, I happened to find The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont at a local thrift store. When I first saw it, I didn’t buy it. However, I thought it looked familiar so I went back home and googled the book. Once I googled the title, I realized it is a piece of textile history. I nervously drove back to the thrift store the next day hoping it was still there. Luckily, it was still on the shelf and I bought it. It is a very thorough guide to needlework and people use it as a reference even today. I am excited to have a copy. You can read this book on Gutenburg.com but it is nice to have a printed copy. I just read the book A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt. From that book, I got a list of other authors and books to look for when I am out looking for other vintage books.

My Knitting Goals

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I thought I would write a post about my knitting goals and what I want to make next. As we start a new month and go into a new season, it felt like a good time to think about how I want to build my skills and what I want to do differently with my craft projects. These are the knitting techniques and projects that have been on my mind lately.

Learn to knit socks

I have wanted to learn to knit socks for a long time. I even bought a couple of books on sock knitting and a few skeins of sock yarn. I am not sure when I will get around to it but I want to learn at some point.

 Knit a sweater using the percentage system

The percentage system is a way of making a sweater without a pattern that was devised by Elizabeth Zimmerman; it is described in her books. A couple of her books that describe it are Knitting Without Tears and Knitting Workshop. I have read couple of books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and I am a big fan. I love how she encourages her readers to be more creative and knit without a pattern. I am hoping to start this project this fall or winter.

 Make more garments

I have realized that I haven’t made a garment in 2 years and I really want to change that. I am thinking my next knitting pattern will be a summer top. I want to start it once I finish the scarf or shawl I am knitting right now.

 Make a cardigan

As I stated above, I want to make more garments.  I also want to make items for my wardrobe. I wear cardigans constantly and my favorite cardigan is wearing out. I am thinking I want to make a cardigan instead of buying one. I am eyeing a couple of patterns to make for this winter. 

 Use up some of my older yarn stash

I have had some of the yarn in my stash for years. Some of this yarn sits in my stash because I don’t know what to do with it. I started the lace scarf I am making to use up the yarn I had leftover from a sweater I made. I had a little over a skein left and I wanted to use up the yarn. I would like to do similar projects to use up odd bits of yarn in my stash.

A Link Roundup

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Happy Friday everyone. I  thought I would share some interesting links that I found.

 1: This  is a lovely video of an artist in  Fair Isle, Scotland .

2: An interesting article about a pair of handmade socks made in Egypt a very very long time ago.

 3: The BBC’s original instructions on how to knit a Dr Who Scarf.

4: An online calculator on how to shape a crown when making a hat without a pattern.

The Initiate Knit Design Challenge

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Recently, I took part in the Initiate Knit Design Challenge that Francoise Danoy from Aroha Knits hosted. I didn’t finish it but I learned a lot and figured out how to use an odd skein of yarn I had in my stash. I wanted to do this challenge because I have wanted to design my own patterns for a while. I felt like I needed a push to start working on my design ideas. In the last couple of years, I have been working more and more without a pattern and being more creative with yarn. However, I had written down very few of my ideas and wasn’t anywhere near being ready to publish any of them. I wanted to do this challenge to push myself to move forward with my design ideas. Even though I didn’t finish, I learned a lot and finished the lessons on my own time.

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 The challenge consisted of 5 email lessons that were sent over 10 days. She also did a daily  video lesson on Facebook live in her Facebook group. The challenge had 5 lessons. Part one was inspiration, part 2 was sketching, part 3 was swatching, part 4 was about math and part 5 is writing the pattern. I got as far as part 3 during the challenge. It took me a long time to figure out what to do, I couldn’t decide what stitch to use. In step one, I learned about using vision boards and I like using them. I definitely want to do more with that. I also learned you can look up knitting stitches on Pinterest. For the challenge, I was trying to make a narrow scarf. I wanted to use up an odd skein of yarn in my stash. I looked up stitches in a stitch dictionary by Barbara Walker and found so many beautiful stitches. I struggled with swatching; it took me a long time because I didn’t have enough yarn do both a swatch and make a scarf. I ended up using another similar yarn to swatch even though that was not encouraged in the challenge. I eventually did find a stitch pattern that I really like after the challenge was over. The top photos shows the stitch I chose and  the progress I have made so far. I love the stitch and am really enjoying making this scarf. I watched and read the lessons for part 4 and 5 on my own and found out about some very useful online calculators. In addition to doing the project for the challenge, I also found a lace stitch that should work well for some yarn that I love but didn’t know how to use. I also got an idea for a shawl design. For that reason alone it was worth my time because it helped me come up with  ideas for new projects that I am excited to start. 

Stephen West’s Craftsy Class

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I recently completed a shawl class by Stephen West. I was hoping it would give me the knowledge I needed to design shawl patterns. After the class,  I felt a lot more familiar with basic shawl shapes and the techniques used most often in Shawl making. For one of my next knitting projects, I want to design a triangle shawl and this class gave me more confidence that could design my own. It made me want to knit his shawl patterns. When I had finished the class, I put several of his shawls into my Ravelry queue. I found out about his Herbavore Shawl Pattern from this class and I started knitting it. 

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 Before I started the class, I had already done a garter tab cast on and made a triangle shawl. The first part of the class covered the garter tab cast on, the triangle shawl shape, make one increases, and yarn over increases. That part was a review for me. Then he went over how to use increases to make new shapes and how to distribute increases. The last part of the class covered binding off, blocking and color and texture.  I learned some new cast off methods and new ways to increase and decrease to get different shapes. Stephen West is so upbeat that watching these videos brightened my day.  I could tell that he is incredibly creative. When he was talking about how he designed the Herbavore shawl, he said that he was doing a triangle shawl and got bored so he added new increase sections. Overall, I enjoyed the class and learned something.