Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My First Socks

Socks are pretty essential to a knitter's collection of skills.  I can't even tell you how often people have asked me for some handmade socks, and I am shamed to say that I have had to turn them down.

Part of the issue is my laziness with gauge.  I cannot stress the important of proper gauge.  If you do what I (used to) do and just cast on without measuring your stitches, your finished item will not fit.  There have been so many times that I have frogged whole projects because they didn't fit.  Believe me, that's not fun to do.  So step one, of any project, is to measure your gauge.

Anyways, I have decided that I've gone too long without learning how to make socks.  There have been so many excuses that I've made in the past, always other projects to work on.

Recently I was given some beautiful sock yarn, and it has tipped the scales. I'm determined to have my very own handmade socks.  Being ambitious I picked out this beautiful lacy pattern, cast on, and almost immediately lost my place.  Lace uses so many decreases and yarn overs that it is easy to get lost.  After a few days of having them sit around untouched I decided restart.

I found the perfect basic sock pattern called Socks by the Numbers by Allison Griffith, and now that I'm started I can't stop.  Honestly, I burned through the first sock in a matter of days.  I was looking for instructions on how to knit a basic sock and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  The level of detail in the instructions is fantastic.  I even learned how to form the heel, which used to be so intimidating.

Forming the toe was pretty easy as well.  I admit that I did have to look up the instructions on how to do a Kitchener stitch, like the pattern asked for.  It was well worth it.  The seam looks invisible.  It's now all part of the knitting magic.

It's a free pattern written by Allison Griffith.  She wrote the article in her blog as a special called "Sock Week", though I believe overall it took longer then a week.  It is honestly the easiest and most fun pattern I've ever read.  There were moments were I found myself laughing over some of her comments.

"Second Sock Syndrome-The silent killer (or rather, the cause of people getting bored with their socks and not making the second one of the pair).  Don’t fall pray to Second Sock Syndrome.  Knit your second sock, and make sure your feet get the love that they truly deserve."

I feel like completing a pair of socks has been a really big step for me.  Thanks for following along.  We really learned a lot on the way.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Currently I'm looking for a new job and decided to apply at the loop craft cafe in downtown Halifax.

I've been there a number of times and love it.  It's one of those places with yarn stacked from floor to ceiling.  I picked up my wonderful needle organizer there.  About a month or two ago I had been in asking about job opportunities.  They told me that they needed a resume that shows my knitting and crafting experiences. 

But the more I thought about this resume, the more I was intimidated by the idea of having to revamp it.  What does one put on a crafting resume, the amount of scarves I've made? (Not many actually, I'm not a scarf person)  After more then enough time thinking about it I focused myself and got to work.

To start off I looked through the thousands (literally) of photos I have taken of my work over the years.  Thinking about the different skills I've had to use. 

 Ravelry has a good list of techniques under the pattern contribution section.

Then I started thinking about the skills I want to learn, hence the push for learning to crochet.  I want to make a good pair of socks, learn some fair isle knitting, work on different blocking techniques.  It seems like I've been doing this forever but I wouldn't go so far as to call myself an expert yet.  There are still a great many skills that I have not picked up.  But I will.  :)

Think about it crafters, what would you be able to put on your resume.  What sort of skills have you mastered, and what ones do you want to take on?  Food for thought.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crochet Scarf

Last week I mentioned that my friend Christine came over and taught me how to crochet.  If I am considered a die-hard knitter I would say she is a die-hard crocheter.  

While teaching me the basic crochet moves she was working on her own project.  It is this beautiful and very easy to make infinity scarf.  I loved it!  And believe it or not she finished it all in one sitting.  

She used my favourite yarn and it turn out fantastic.  If you want a simple and quick crochet project this is definitely a good one.  It can be made with any size hook or yarn, and can be as long as you want to make it.        The pattern even comes with the instructions to make the button tie.

That's all for now, but I'm finishing up some patterns so keep an eye out for those!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Crochet Skillz

Friday night my friend Christine came over and we spent the night crocheting.  It was wonderful to have someone properly teach me what I was doing.  Apparently I was holding the yarn and needle all wrong, which is probably why I've had so much difficulty in my past crochet attempts.

Take a look at my first project, a weeping angel from Dr Who.  It took me a while to figure out the pattern
(as I had to keep referring to youtube videos) but I am happy with how it turned out.  

I was also working on a crochet mouse a few weeks ago.  I was stuck on a few points, like those tricky ears!  But I did get it finished.  I stuffed it with catnip and it was immediately attacked by my cat.

I learned all the basic crochet moves, practiced them a few times, then immediately picked out a pattern that is way above my skill level.  I couldn't help it!  It is a beautiful shawl and full of skulls.  I'm such a sucker for skulls.  To make it even more challenging the pattern is originally written in Swedish, so there are some translation issues that have me really confused at times.

It's not completed yet, I'm a little stuck on the eyes.  It is going to take a fair amount of determination to complete but I have confidence I can get it done.  I always like to aim high with patterns that are a bit above my skill level.  It's how you get better. It's also how you end up with a bunch of unfinished projects.  So we'll see.

I put up a few more items on my etsy store.  It's a few things I've finished in the past couple months.  I also wrote a new pattern for a hat and am working to get that finalized and up on ravelry.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

An update and stuff

I feel like it has been a while since I posted anything.  I try to keep to a semi-regular routine but the sunny weather has stolen all of my attention.  I have, of course, still been knitting.  The only time I really stop is when I'm sick.  Even then I really just slow down.

So what HAVE I been up to.  Well, I finished a whole hat and am now working on finalizing the pattern.  The bulk of the hat is knit flat.  The middle strip is worked by picking up stitches down the sides of the piece, so there is not really any sewing involved.  The original was knit in rainbow colours and I added some stylish buttons to complete it.

I made a few more headbands in different colours, so as to show off the pattern some more.  You can find the pattern for these headbands here.

Whoever thinks knitting is not an addiction should take a look at my needle collection.  I have everything.  Straight needles, circular needles, double pointed needles, tapestry needles, cable needles, etc.  I think it's time to admit that I may have a problem...

And those are the needles that are not currently in use.  Believe me, there are many more!

That's pretty well everything I'm up to right now.  Keep checking back for more updates and patterns.  If you havn't already go "like" me on facebook.  I'm always sharing cool patterns I find or that people share with me.