Knitting Lesson

I was fortunate enough to be present one evening at a friend’s house (only about 1 month after I learned to knit) to help teach an 8 year old to knit. I have attempted to teach Simon (my 5 year old) to crochet and each time it has ended in tears so maybe 8 is a better age to teach such things.

Alice Knits

Alice picked it up right away. She was patient and really focused and I feel really lucky that I got to teach her. Her Mama was teaching her 8 year old friend that was spending the night – and it just so happened that I got to help Alice. It was really fun and super pleasing to leave their house that night knowing that she had it (we just did knitting no purling quite yet). She was pretty into it also. The next day (or maybe two days later) when I saw her she had made some serious progress on a project. I lent her my giant size 15 needles and some variegated acrylic yarn I had in my closet and she was proud to show what she’d accomplished. I will definitely be teaching my kids to knit (when they are a little bit older).

A project I’d just completed that I happened to have with me (to show Alice) was this checkerboard scarf. It is almost the same thing that I made for Nicole (posted a couple of days ago). I just used some variegated acrylic yarn I had on hand. This is a close up of the checkered detail. And a photo of how I like to “wrap” a scarf as a gift. It is so pretty just by itself so why not take some of your tail (leftover from casting on) and tie it in a bow around your creation?

Checkerboard Scarf

Scarf Gift

Happy Knitting!

Scarves Scarves and More Scarves

I have a couple of scarves that I want to share today. I think I pretty much did the same pattern on both of them, but I can’t see them super close up so I can’t say for sure, cut me some slack – I have a lot to remember. So I used the same kind of yarns for both of these. I used Wool-Ease (Lion Brand) Lamb’s Wool and Easy Care Acrylic – Super Bulky. “Thick & Quick” truly. It is easy to knit with – I used big needles again. I can’t be sure of the size though – if I had to guess I’d say size 13 needles. I was really into the idea of mixing two strands of yarn together so I did with both of these projects. I used part of one of those that giant balls of yarn I mention in my first scarf project and Grandma’s neck warmer.

Maynah's Scarf

There she is – Miss America – she’s not going to be too stoked I put this photo on my blog – she’s actually really my cute button of a little sister. What a super model huh? She’s wearing a purple version.

Aunt Ellen's Scarf

And my equally stunning Aunt Ellen wearing a green version – same Wool Ease yarn mixed with one of those giant balls of yarn. Now that I’m finally getting around to posting these projects I realize I’ve become a bit of a yarn snob – so there will be yarn snob yarns intermixed with others from places like Michael’s and Joann’s simply because I cannot be wasteful, right? So there ya have it! So I guess it looks like a giant ribbed stitch from back here. I remember doing a lot of both knitting and purling.  It wasn’t a pattern (of course) I just played with it until I liked how it looked and then got in the zone.

Happy Knitting!

Checkerboard Scarf

So I’ve been experimenting with a ton of different stitches, I was told it was best to make a small block (before you start your entire project) to make sure you like the way the stitches look. The problem is that I didn’t start off following patterns so I was just wingin’ it. It seemed to work out the same way though. If I didn’t like the way something was looking I would just take it apart and start over – with a scarf that’s easy. So I will share a couple more scarves.

Nicole's Scarf

Just wanted to make sure you got to see my pretty friend Nicole! Disclaimer: I did not knit this hat! The scarf I did. It is a wool blend chunky yarn (yarn from crocheting days that I had on hand). It is variegated and I made a checkerboard pattern (sort of).

Checkerboard Scarf

I think you can see the detail a bit more in this photo. I just alternated knitting and purling and then switched when it looked like I’d done about 5-6 rows. I know I could have counted, to be sure, but I was too lazy. It didn’t end up being as long as I might have liked it to be – but I only had one skein of this yarn to experiment with. And, turns out I liked the scarf enough to gift it.

Clara Scarf

And I had to end this post with sweet Baby Clara – lovin’ on her Mama’s scarf.  Happy Knitting!

Yarn Choices

Ball of Yarn

So many choices – luckily so much to knit. Alongside knitting I’ve developed quite the yarn obsession. I could spend a million dollars in a yarn shop and as promised I want to mention our beautiful local yarn shops. But first I wanted to share a link to a pretty fun online yarn shop, where I also buy a lot of fabric too. Purl Soho is the name – I’m sure a lot of you have visited this site…if not…you ought to.  Loopy – Knit/Crochet is the name of the local shop where I took my knitting class. They have a web site – no yarn for sale – but a listing of their classes and a few photos of how yummy and magical it is right when you walk in the door. The yarn pictured above was scored in their shop. The other local yarn shop which has a very different feel to it – still soothing and magical in its own way is called Joseph’s Coat, this particular shop has been around for years but was closed last summer when the owner passed away and recently reopened under new ownership. I spent an hour in there today. The shopkeeper was kind enough to let me borrow her swift and ball winder to convert some hanks of yarn I bought from the only Etsy yarn shop I’ve shopped at – so far – in my 2.5 months of knitting, Skyline Yarns. I came across this particular shop because an old friend of my from high school is a friend on Facebook now and she mentioned something about her yarn being back in stock…ding ding ding! So I wanted to share. She makes some pretty beaded stitch markers that I scored that look much like these…

Stitch Markers

I know there is ALOT of yarn on Etsy – this is just the tip of my iceberg – to addiction – but I wanted to share the few places I’ve already fallen for.
Now as for creations. I am working on my first hat – I’m about 1/3 of the way there but I still have tons of other photos to share. I made a handful of scarves (experimenting with different stitches – never using a pattern) to spread amongst my loved ones during the gift giving season so I’ll put photos of those up as I get them, since I forgot to take photos before they were packaged up and shipped off.

Grandma’s Neck Warmer

Grandma's Neck Warmer

So just to show what a rookie I am – yesterday’s post mentioned that the scarf pictured was garter stitch (but it wasn’t) this neck warmer actually is! So yesterday was a stockinette stitch. I’m learning I’m learning. So I decided the first project should probably warm Grandma’s (Mom’s) Wisconsin Winter Chilled Neck. The only kicker was that she had to sew on her own button. Not that I can’t sew on a button – she just has a much better button selection than I do. So she did actually put the very finishing touch on right before she snapped this pretty photo of herself.

I didn’t have patterns for either of these projects I just kind of held them up as I went along and when I was satisfied with the length/width I called it good. They both came out pretty well (small pat on my own back) for a first timer! So onto more experimenting! This was similar to the scarf – I used a chunky wool blend and knitted it together with a variegated yarn to just add a little spunk. I used big needles again – just because it really speeds the project along and I like the look of it. I actually was in the middle of the yarn shop seeking out yarn when a sweet older woman approached me. She approached me because I was wearing my very colorful scarf that was actually knit by Jan (who is modeling this neck warmer).

Mama's Colorful Scarf

She told me she felt very comfortable talking to me because I was wearing something so colorful (warm fuzzies). Her advice was to get this inexpensive gigantic ball of yarn to mix with the solid colored yarns I selected – so I followed her advice and one of the skeins was the variegated I used in the blue scarf and the other was the variegated I used in the green neck warmer and there is still another color scheme you’ll see in some of my projects. They are the balls of yarn that will last a lifetime – well not really – at the rate I’m going- but they will last quite a spell. Okay so that’s all for today. I’m not sure on the size needles I used for the neck warmer – maybe 11? Something big! Happy Knitting!

My First Knit Scarf

My First Knitted Scarf

This is the first project I attempted, or maybe it was the second – it was a couple of months ago so I’ll just post a photo of the other one tomorrow. I decided to start with a simple garter stitch so this whole thing is knitted – definitely not perfect but hey for a first time what can you expect. I used a chunky yarn – a wool blend and put it together with a variegated yarn for a prettier effect. So my sweet husband ended up getting this for Christmas – simply because I knew he wouldn’t be too critical of my handiwork (or lack there of). So it’ll keep his neck toasty warm through the winter months.

My biggest suggestion to anyone that wants to knit is patience and to get big needles (I think I used size 15 needles for this project) and chunky yarn after you have your knit and purl mastered and whip something out in just a few hours – it is really pleasing to finish a project! It’ll give you the bug to keep knitting (apparently non-stop!)

Happy Knitting!