Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Sweater!!

Woo Hoo! I'm actually keeping one of my carry-over New Year's resolutions! I started to knit my first sweater! It's the Kelly Sweater from The Daily Knitter. So far, I'm a little larger than the stated gauge, but since I'm doing the small/medium size, whose finished measurements will only give about 2" of ease, this gauge will give me some extra room. It's working up fairly quickly, and I'm happy there's only two pieces to knit. I really hate to hand sew pieces together. I still haven't finished sewing up the baby kimono I made last year!

This is the Houndstooth-Check scarf from Mary Jane Hall's new book Crochet that Fits. This is an easy pattern with color changes every row. I used the same stitch pattern for one of my Special Olympics Scarves. The color changes are nice practice, and I've been carrying the unused color along, crocheting over it, for a few rows at a time. I had a little trouble initially with puckering from holding the unused color too tightly, so I only do it for a few rows at a time. The black skein had several knots in it, so I had to cut it to get the yarn untangled. I'm using Berroco Comfort in Black and a light purple color to match the trim on a jacket I have. I really love using this yarn. It's an acrylic, but it's not stiff or scratchy like the acrylics I'm used to using. It's nice and soft, and would be great not only as a scarf, but as a sweater or in a home dec project.

Another nice acrylic is Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice. It's soft, and it works up quickly, but I've noticed more splitting than with some other acrylics I've used. Here's the Mandala Square by Chris Simon done in the color Beige. My attention was averted during the football games on Saturday and I messed up in a couple of places. I frogged it and finished it yesterday. This square is featured in a Crochet-a-Long (CAL) on Ravelry.

Ravelry is like Facebook or MySpace for knitters and crocheters. They have free patterns, forums and places to keep track of your yarn, books and patterns. I'm enjoying the different groups and could stay on there for hours looking at patterns and yarns, etc. If you're a knitter or crocheter, you should go over and sign up. There's a waiting list, but it moves very quickly.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2009 full of great projects and yummy yarns! My resolutions for 2008 were to knit and crochet sweaters; knit and crochet socks; learn cable knitting; learn Continental Style knitting; start designing; and enter the CGOA design contest.

My resolutions for 2009 include: knit and crochet sweaters; knit and crochet socks; learn Continental knitting; keep designing and either publish a design on this blog and/or submit a design for publication. Obviously, I didn't accomplish many of my resolutions in 2008, lol! Things kept coming up! I didn't even start knitting a sweater or socks. My skills need more work so my tension will even out. I did purchase a DVD on Continental Knitting, but haven't looked at it yet. There's a local yarn store that offers a class, so I plan to sign up for it. I did learn how to knit cables. I have also started to design in crochet, but I've limited myself to scarves thus far.

I also want to use more of my stash up this year. I have a lot of yarn and am running out of places to put it all. Right now one closet in a spare bedroom is full, and I have several skeins and containers in my bedroom on the floor and under the bed. Maybe I should get a hook or something to put over the door so I can hang some storage from the back of the door? Something to think about....