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. 

Knitting in History

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I like history and I had bookmarked some interesting articles on knitting history. I thought I would share them in this post.

 This is a fascinating article about how during  war time, spies would use knitting as an espionage tool

During World War I, knitting for soldiers was seen as a patriotic duty

 A picture of a shawl that Queen Victoria gave to Harriet Tubman.

 The Suffrage in Stitches project celebrates women’s suffrage history through crochet.

 The Salish Tribe in the Pacific Northwest raised dogs for their fiber

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?

Summer Knitting and Crochet

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Do you knit or crochet during the summer? Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer and I thought I would share some thoughts and tips on summer knitting and crochet. I have heard that a lot of people stop knitting during the summer and then take it up again in the fall. Even thought summers where I live can be pretty hot, my knitting and crocheting doesn’t stop during the summer months. For fun I did a survey on Twitter asking if people knitted or crocheted in the summer. I only got 4 responses and all of them knit in the summer. That is a very small sampling but it tells me that at least some people knit and crochet in the summer.

I found this article with advice on summer knitting useful. During summer, I usually end up knitting inside under air conditioning in front of a fan at my desk. Summer is a good time to knit smaller, portable projects. I see people I follow on Instagram take a portable projects to the beach. One summer I made cotton sun hats that I wear when I work in the yard. It is also a good time to use lighter yarns such as cotton and linen. One thing I have found is that my local craft store will often put yarn on clearance in the summer. That is something to keep in mind when you are at the craft store. I have gotten some good deals that way.  Do you knit or crochet in the summer? Let me know in the comments.

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.

More Stash Busting Resources

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While researching this post, I found a couple of resources for using up scrap yarn that I didn’t include in that blog post because I was worried that it was too long. I decided to share those links along with a few other resources on found on using up scrap yarn.

 This is a book of patterns that use scrap yarn. I like this sweater from that book.

 I found another book about stash busting

 Clara Parkes did a whole Craftsy Class on stash busting. 

This is A blog post by I love knitting with 5 patterns that are good for using up scrap yarn.

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. 

A History of Hand Knitting

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I recently read the book, A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt, the former, Bishop of Leicester. He also knitted since the age of seven. I love to knit and I am interested in history so I thought it would be interesting to read. I am also interested in textile history. If you are interested in knitting history it is worth reading but others may lose interest. The book was well researched, but very dry. The author clearly did extensive research. The book is organized in chronological order. The book covers the following time frames: before the 1500, the Restoration, the Victorian age, World War 1 up to the 1980s. The book also covers the history of kitting traditions in parts of the British isles, North and South America, Slavic countries, Greece, then India, Africa and Asia.

 One interesting fact from the book is that knitting stockings was a way for people from England to make extra money starting in Elizabethan times. You can tell the author extensively researched the book. He constantly mentioned books he read and people he talked to for the book. If you are interested in vintage pattern books, you will find several names of books and authors to read and collect. At several points in the book he point out assumptions from history and debunks them. However, I felt like he got too bogged down in detail. He would mention a piece of knitting then describe it in exhaustive detail. I did learn a lot from the book and I think it is worth reading if you care about textiles and history.

 

 

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.