I'm starting another sweater, I tore out the sweater for my sweet husband - that will be a project for later...
I started my sweater a few days ago and pulled the entire thing out last night. I decided on a hoodie of sorts. I didn't want to deal with a zipper though, so I'm knitting a pullover hoodie. The pattern I picked I found on Ravelry. The sweater is called the Weekend Hoodie, unfortunately not a free pattern, but one that looked pretty much spot on. I love having a hood on my sweaters, it is a definite bonus on windy/chilly spring days. I decided to start with a sweater for myself, maybe that is selfish, but I haven't made a single thing for myself yet so I suppose it is high time!
I ran into problems right from the get-go, you'd think after all of the knitting in the round I do, I would have it figured out, but I definitely didn't! The second row was the reason for pulling my entire sweater apart. When I say entire sweater - I was on row 12 ish...so not really that far, but when you cast on 220 stitches it feels like a LOT. I started over after figuring this out....
garter: knit every row
stockinette: knit 1 row, purl 1 row
reverse stockinette: purl 1 row, knit 1 row
garter: knit 1 round, purl 1 round - this is where I went wrong. I was just knitting, knitting, knitting...not making a very appealing bottom to my sweater.
stockinette: knit knit knit every row
reverse stockinette: purl purl purl
I mean, it makes perfect sense when you think really hard about it, problem is I wasn't thinking very hard about it.
Before I sign off I should tell you about my delicious yarn choice. I keep going back and forth between whether or not I like it enough to wear that sweater as much as I ought to once it is complete. I think today I'm pretty into it. It is a Cascade Yarn - Lana Bambu. It is 79% Wool and 21% Viscose from Bamboo.
I'm taking a sweater class to complete this project. I cast on 220 stitches on my brand spankin' new Addi needles (size 6) and I've moved onto the Addi lace needles (sharper points) in size 7 and I'm going for it. The pattern is knit rows 1-3, p3, k1 on row 4 and start over knitting again. I think the pattern will be pretty fun when it gets taller, I'll keep you posted.
Oh and I'm going to make a video of how to switch to a new ball of yarn as soon as I need to do so. If you missed the ball winder and swift video and you feel like throwing up, you should check it out.
Today we decided to embark upon our very first video adventure on Mama Loves Knitting. I had a request way back in the day, when I showed off my new swift and ball winder, upon its much anticipated arrival in the mail, to make a video of how to use them. I make cakes quite frequently and am happy to be able to do it without having to make a trip to the yarn shop with two little boys. I think you'll see why it is much easier for my "assistants" to "assist" at home as opposed to in a cramped yarn shop when you watch our video.
We draw names in our family...which is the very best thing ever! Nobody really NEEDS anything, but by drawing names everyone gets a little special something on Christmas morning. Part of our family lives very far from us, so really, the best present, would just be togetherness on Christmas. Since that cannot always happen like we'd wish...we pick names and share gifts. My favorites are handmade.
My little August picked his Grandpa's name for Christmas. Since he is three he painted a beautiful watercolor for him and Mama 'helped' him knit a Green Bay Packers hat. He played his role - he made the hanks of yarn into yarn cakes. He loves using that swift and ball winder. Usually, if we avoid a nasty tangle, it is helpful. Grandpa Jeff really loves the Green Bay Packers as a Wisconsin Native I suppose that is more of a responsibility.
The yarns were such vibrant colors I wasn't sure how I would like them together, and I guess when you love the packers - you'll love a bright green and bright yellow hat.
I made it the good old fashioned ribbed way - just the way I like hats and I used the same yarn that I love. It is Shepard's Wool and so soft! I recently heard that it pills up when you wash it, so far I haven't washed any of it, so I am not speaking from experience, just from the word around the yarn shop. Simon and Gus's hats are holding up really well and I suppose they are nearly a year old now, still soft as ever and in really great shape.
I cast on 96 stitches for this hat, just to be sure it would be big enough, and it fit on Shane's head, so it ought to be big enough, no offense love. I just k2, p2 the whole way around until it was big enough. I even used Grandpa Dave aka Santa as a model/tester.
If it makes Santa happy it ought to make anyone happy. Maybe Grandpa Jeff will send us a photo of himself in the hat? Merry Christmas Dad!
I decided to take the plunge. I don't mind visiting my favorite local knitting shops to convert my hanks to something more easy to work with. But, since I order yarn online quite frequently I decided I wanted to have the means to make my very own yarn cakes whenever I darn well please! Don't get me wrong I adore the winder that I used to take complete advantage of, but this made a lot more sense to me. So I got myself a pretty pine swift and got myself a ball winder to go along with it. My kids are having more fun with it than me. The swift attached nicely to my yarn cubby and we just put the ball winder on the little table from our store.
It is very easy to move around so it doesn't get in the way, it is easy to store the swift and winder away whenever we want to, but oh so nice to be able to take them out whenever the need arises. This little guy takes his yarn cakes very seriously!
In case some of you might not know what the heck this all means you untie a hank of yarn and open it up around a swift (they come in an array of different sizes and styles). You find the ends and pull one of them over to a ball winder (or just use your fingers).
You just turn the crank on the ball winder and the swift spins about while the yarn winds up really nicely. I like to make pretty little cakes and that is precisely what this ball winder will make for you.
Mmm that is a delicious looking cake! I'm going to use this cake to start my sweater! It is in the very very beginning stages...pretty exciting! Wish me luck.
This yarn, from Purl, arrived in hanks - as it usually does - but Mama doesn't have a ball winder...or does she...
I used my husbands arms and my hands to wind my own ball. Problem solved!
So after I had a ball I started knitting a little gifty for my Sister-in-Law for her birthday. Of course I decided I ought to stick to what I'm good at so I knitted another ribbed hat. Since this yarn is pretty chunky I used size 10.5 circular needles made from bamboo. My collection of needles is growing by the project. I knitted two, purled two the whole way around. I started by casting on 68 stitches (I think). I should always write down exactly what I cast on right when I do it because it immediately exits my brain and since I already gifted the hat I can't count how many I cast on.
Trying it on for size. It isn't quite done yet but I love the colors of this variegated wool. It is called Sheep Number 2, made in Uruguay. It has to be dry cleaned or hand washed in cold water. It is 100% pure wool and it comes in 100g hanks. I got it from Purl when they had their moving sale and I'm happy that I got two hanks of it, even though this project didn't even require one whole ball of yarn. I have a little ball left over and one whole hank for Shane to hold while I wind for another project. I've become a yarn hoarder, I need to do some serious knitting to start diminishing my stash.
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...
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.