Monday, November 14, 2005

First post

This is my first post for this incarnation of my knitting blog. I used to have one at blog-city called string theory, but I let it languish. I like the blogger format better anyway.

So, what am I working on?

1. Double-knit Hat.

This is for my husband. I knit him a hat last year, but he said it wasn't warm enough for the really cold days (which, for him, means most of winter). So, I told him I would make him something warmer. A double-knit garment is one that has two layers of knitting that you knit simultaneously. I got the pattern from I'm using a bulky-weight alpaca yarn from Knit Picks (in the manly colors of tan and dark blue) which is supposed to be warmer than wool and is very, very soft. And warm. My hands sweat when I'm working on it, it's that warm. If he wants something warmer, he's going to have to wear the whole alpaca on his head.

2. Cable-knit Socks.

These are for me. The pattern is from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, which my brother gave me last year for Christmas. I'm using Regia cotton yarn in a cream/brown/light blue colorway and they are turning out quite nice. I decided to try knitting these guys toe-up using the wrapped-short-row technique I found on knitty. So far, I have most of the foot done for one sock.

3. Shawl.

Also for me. The pattern is a free one from the Lion Brand Yarn website. But I'm using a sport-weight wool/silk yarn from Blackberry Ridge instead of the bulky it calls for, so it's going to take me awhile. It's not a very complicated pattern, but I'm surprised at the way it's coming out. I assumed that since you started with 5 stitches and kept increasing that I was knitting from the bottom point up. But, it seems like the live stitches are actually two sides of the triangle. Okay, that makes no sense without a picture....

4. Blue Socks. For me again. This is my own design--very simple, just one inch of 2x2 ribbing at the top, then 9x1 ribbing for the leg and the top of the foot with a short row heel. These are almost done--I just have to do the toe decreases on the second sock, then graft the toes on both socks.

5. Felted Bag.

This is for an exchange for the Windy City Knitter's Guild. We exchanged yarn in January and we are supposed to bring the finished bags to the December meeting and give them to their owners. Having a year to knit it, I decided to wait until a few weeks ago to start it. There's no real pattern for this one. I'm knitting in the round until I'm almost out of yarn, then decreasing much as one would for a hat. I'll make two decent-sized straps. I've never felted anything before, but I got a large number of skeins from this person, and the yarn is from Lion Brand (Landscapes) and it specifically says it felts, so I'm guessing she wants a felted bag....

And then, there are a variety of other unfinished projects that I don't plan to work on anytime soon, so I won't bother posting about them!

I have also decided to try to tackle spinning. I don't know what it is about knitting that seems to inevitably lead to spinning, but it seems like there are a lot of knitters out in blogland who also spin. I have a make-shift spindle that I got at a WC Knitter's Guild meeting (the program was a beginning spinning lesson) a few months ago and this weekend, I bought a bit of fiber and a book on spinning from FiberWild in Galena (really great shop, by the way). What kind of fiber, you ask? Well, I got 4 oz of Jacob, 2 oz of Black-faced Leicester and [ ]. I specifically asked for fibers that were easy for beginners. Last night, I sat down with a little of the Jacob and practiced a bit. It feels awkward right now, but hopefully it will get better as time progresses. I have to remember that knitting felt awkward in the beginning, too, and now I love it. But patience is a virtue I am not known for....

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