Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gingerbread Hat

I did this for a KAL and really liked the idea I got from another person who made the hat to knit a ribbed liner for it. I had some RH Holiday in a burgundy color and thought it would look nice. But I had NO idea what torture it would be to knit with. That stuff is awful! Hurt my fingers....nearly impossible to see any mistakes (which, depending on your situation, might not be such a bad thing), and the texture distorts the cable pattern. But I got through it. I used RH Soft in an off white for the liner.....

Gingerbread Hat

One thing I learned quite by accident is that when you are doing a provisional cast on, make sure your first row is a knit row. If you make knits and purls, you wont be able to pull the chain out. Because I did a k2/p2 rib, I had to cut each individual chain out...that was a PITA. However, I was happy with the hat...it fits nice. Its supposed to be a gift but I really like how it looks so I may just keep it... bwahahahaha!

Its a VERY thick hat, being 2 hats in one, really. It wasn't hard but I will never use RH Holiday again. 

As Ever,

I Am Kneedled

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Catching Up

Well, I finished the toddler socks and am pretty pleased with them....they went pretty quickly. Here they are....

Lillith's Socks
I gave them to Lillith yesterday and her mom tried them on her. The are about a half inch or so too long but other than that, look great! The color is cool on her, too. She will be getting more socks from me!

My success meant I felt I was ready to move on to grown up socks for myself. I found a hank of Ella Rae Lace Merino in my stash that I bought YEARS ago for the sole (no pun intended) purpose of knitting socks and the size 2 lace needles that I used for the toddler socks and got started. I originally looked for a cuff down pattern like the toddler socks but I kept reading how much easier it is to do toe up socks. But, in order to do that, I really needed to master Judy's Magic Cast On, which, to be honest, intimidated me. But I figured what the heck? So I gave it a try....

It took me 2 tries (the first time I turned the stitches the wrong way and had a purl row in the begining) but I did it, as you can see. YAY!! No grafting! No Kitchener Stitch!

After that it was a matter of simply increasing enough to cover my toes. But I didn't take into consideration that the work flares out as you work so I ended up with a toe that was like an inch too wide! Grrrr...

I frogged back and took out about 8 increases and tried again. And AGAIN it was too wide! By then I was starting to get really frustrated so I frogged back again and took out another 8 increases which brought me down to 48 sts. That seemed close to perfect (Why did I never see anyone telling you when you should stop increasing after you cast on when I was making this sock? I just found out that you increase until the work is just starting to touch your pinky toe...I thought it had to cover ALL your toes. So now I know for future sock making). After that, it was simply a matter of working in stockinette till I got the foot length I needed, trying it on every once in awhile to check the length. When I got it as long as it needed to be, I had to find some instruction for the heel and gusset. I found a pattern to follow, which pretty much got me through. It was SO nice not having to pick up stitches! That part always caused me grief. Then I decided to do a rib stich leg and cuff and my sock was finished...

Now this isn't to say that everything went perfectly. I am not used to sock yarn and lace needles and I was dropping stitches right and left! A couple times I was in tears because I just couldn't seem to get in a rhythm because BANG...I would drop another stitch! I had to frog the heel completely when I screwed up an increase and I tried laddering back and I dropped a stitch and....well, that had me in tears. I put the damn thing aside for 3 days and didn't touch it till I was ready to give it another try. Second time was the charm. And the second sock did go a lot easier since I was now familiar with the procedure.....

There were 2 things I really wasn't happy with. One was the cast off. I used the one from Silver's Sock Class but it wasn't really stretchy enough. Thankfully. its enough to get over my foot and up my leg, as you can see bu that's about it. Next pair I will find a more stretchy cast off method that I can use with Magic Loop. The other thing was the yarn itself. That stuff cost me $25 and it had a cut in it and TWO spots that were actually frayed, which I had to cut out and reconnect! Not acceptable for a yarn like that.

But I DID IT! I made myself a real pair of socks...not slipper socks...not worsted weight yarn socks......but something I can wear with shoes. This was what I wanted to learn to knit for! Now its just a matter of refining my skills and getting more comfortable with the method. But I know I will be making socks for many years to come. Only wish I had learned sooner and not let it intimidate me.

As ever,

I Am Kneedled

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Knitted lace is so pretty...its one of the reasons I wanted to learn to knit. But I have had my issues with it, as I have with most of my other knitting. However, I finally found a scarf pattern that I can handle, even if I can't totally master....

Brooke's Column of Leaves Scarf

I saw this pattern on Pinterest and really liked the design. It looks a bit different blocked out but right now I am really happy with the fact that I only had to frog a half a row one time and that's been it so far. Its an 8 row repeat, which the designer says is very easy to memorize. I guess it would be....if you have been knitting for many years and totally understand what each stitch does. I can do that in crochet...I can look at past rows and know exactly what stitches I did. Not so with knitting. So I have to read stitch by stitch, row by row. Very slow...but at least I am making it. There is a matching hat that I want to make to go with this. Hope I can do it. Wel'll see.

As ever, 

I am Needled

Thursday, August 14, 2014

No More "Second Sock" Syndrome

If you know anything about knitting and if one of the reasons you want to knit is to make socks...like me...you are probably familiar with the term "Second Sock Syndrome". Its where you make a sock and you are SO tired of making that first sock that you don't want to bother making another one. I have experienced it...and since I want very much to be a prolific, if possible, sock knitter, I need to get past that problem.

My ultimate goal is to be able to make 2 socks at a time on 2 circs. But until I feel more comfortable with simply making a sock, I needed to find another, simpler way to solve the problem. So I did.

I started a new pair of socks (using the Baby Socks pattern from Kate Atherley) for my granddaughter out of some gorgeous Koigu KPPPM I have had sitting in my stash for ages and a pair of size 2 lace circs. Here I have finished a cuff...

Now, like everyone else, I am eager to start working on the heel flap....but NO...don't do it.

Either get out another set of circs the same size, or transfer this sock to some waste yarn and cast on a new sock.....

.....and start working on THAT cuff. Then when you finish, start the heel flap. When you finish that, go back to the first sock and make the heel flap on that one. Just keep going back and forth from each sock and when you are done, you will have 2 complete socks at practically the same time. No more Second Sock Syndrome. So simple, I wish I had done it before.

Of course, you have to have the willpower to stop that first sock at the end of the cuff. And it does help to have 2 pair of the same size circ. But if you plan on seriously knitting socks. you really should have 2 pair of every size you might need for them. And I have faith in you. ;) Eventually, I will come back with my attempt as making 2 socks on one circ....and hope I am successful.

As ever,

I am Kneedled

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Counting Rows and Color Changes

Why did this seem SO illogical? It isn't in crochet.

In crochet, each row is....well, a row....

But not in knitting...don't be deceived.

Because this is not what you think it is...

When you are crocheting, you have one loop on your hook which you use to create the next row. In knitting, you already have a loop for every stitch, so each loop collectively creates another row. If you change colors in crochet in the last YO of the last row, your first loop of the new row will be in the new color. But that doesn't work for knitting. You change colors in the first stitch of the new row, so each loop on the needle will become the new stitch in the color that is already on the needles, making another row of the old color. So if you need 8 rows of a color, you have to stop knitting that color SEVEN rows up so when you change color, that last row of stitches on your needles becomes the 8th row of the old color, BUT the first row of the new color.  Yep...you heard that right.

You have NO idea how pissed off I was getting thinking I was counting rows right only to find out a couple rows later I had one too many rows. Maybe its simple logic and my brain is too old to pick that up, but now I know. :D

So ends the lesson in color changes....SHEESH!

As ever,

I am Needled

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Here we go again...Part Deux

Well, I tried fixing the mistake in the pullover....and ended up with MORE mistakes. Not surprised. And I sobbed for about 5 minutes when I realized I wasn't going to simply fix it. So I VERY carefully frogged back about 4 rows to before the mistake Then I reknit. I was successful!

But that doesn't mean I have a flawless shirt. Here is my progress now...

It looks a bit of a mess with all that's going on. I have a stitch holder on one side holding a sleeve and a circ on the other doing the same. It works.

I have to admit to be very proud of my buttonholes....

All in all, I think its going to come out pretty fair, for a first attempt. I have never made a shirt with a closure like that before.

So now I am working on the body...straight stockinette until I get the right length....then you divide for the split and work in rows again. The sleeves are in the round and should pose little problem...I hope.

Working with cotton or even cotton blend yarns like this is not as forgiving as using wool or even acrylic blends. Maybe next time I will try boucle...ha,ha!

Will be back with a finished shirt soon.

As ever,

I am Kneedled!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Here We Go Again

I went yarn shopping recently with the objective of getting some really nice yarn to make my granddaughter Lillith some nice things. I found the SEAMUS pattern awhile back and thought I could handle it. Not real difficult..I can do the increases and decreases and I have been knitting in the round for quite awhile. I found some DungarEase in the Chambray and Bandana colorways that I thought would be perfect, so I got 3 balls and I got started on Saturday.

I got about 10 rows in and realized I screwed up something and could NOT figure out how to fix it. I was SO upset, but I frogged the whole thing and yesterday I cast on again and moved forward.

Things were going much better this time....I was very pleased. This is my project now...

But, of course, because its me, there is another problem. Here is a close up of it....

I don't know exactly HOW I did that. I suppose half the battle is I know WHAT I did. Somehow I either did not do an increase or I dropped it. I did a stitch count and I am one stitch short. So I have to try and figure out how to ladder back, do the increase and go back up. But I am literally scared because I know if I mess it up, I will have to frog the whole thing. The last time I made the mistake, I tried to frog back to it but I ended up losing increases and it was a mess so I had to start all over. I am not good enough to just fix things like I do in crochet. And, of course, the mistake is in the FRONT, so I can't fudge it.

Wish me luck. I REALLY want to continue working on this as I can see its going to be pretty cute when its finished.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ok...So Socks

I have made socks before in knitting. One pair in WW for myself...which I can't wear because they hurt my feet. I have diabetes and the nerves on the bottom of my feet are just TOO sensitive..feels like I am walking on tiny stones. However, before I tackle socks in lighter weight yarn, I want to get more comfortable with the technique of sock making. So I knit a pair of Toddler Socks using an odd skein of Martha Stewart WW for my little granddaughter. I finished them last night...here they are...

They look ok...for someone who is less than an expert. But there are problems. Below you will see a fair attempt at Kitchener Stitch

I got help for this at my local LYS.

But when I finished the second sock and tried it on my own, here is what happened...

The first couple sts look ok...but the rest look like garter stitch!

And another thing....see how nice one side of the decreases looks...but how crooked the other side is....

I slipped the sts knitwise for the ssk...I thought that was right. Same thing happened when I decreased for the toe.  

But, for a kid who is going to be running around the house in them or wearing them in boots (too thick for shoes) they will pass. The next pair I really want to be near perfect. 

Next project, I hope, is a child's tunic. I have it started but I am not even sure if I am doing it right....sigh...


I CAN do this

I have been crocheting for a LONG time, as those who read my crochet blog can attest to. But knitting was always a challenge. I guess my brain is crochet wired. I mean, I know how to use crochet...how to shape it, know how the stitches should look, no problem fixing mistakes, fast pace. But I have only been knitting off and on for a couple years and always with a certain amount of frustration. However, I really do WANT to knit. I have a granddaughter now and what more fun thing can I do but knit things for her. I have crocheted a LOT of stuff but I want to knit some things too. And I want to knit myself (and others) socks. I have a TON of sock and sock weight yarn that is crying out to be turned into socks. And I would LOVE to knit myself a nice sweater.

So here I am. I plan on posting about my attempts...good and bad. And maybe share a little of what I learn along the way. I didn't want to combine my knitting with my crochet blog, since I prefer to keep them separate. I am doing some knitting now so I will probably be posting about that pretty soon.

So, just call me "Kneedled".