I’ve been thinking about how to start this post for a while. I like this first paragraph to be something fun, funny, engaging. But I got nothing. Seriously. Instead, look at that yarn. Those colors are spectacular and really soft. Take a moment to gaze upon their color.
I’m of the age where many of my much younger friends are having babies. I like to make them gifts. I make a lot of tiny Veggie Baby Hats but wanted to try a tiny baby sweater for a friend who was pregnant last year. But, the poor planner I am, the baby was born, moved and larger before I finished this. Seriously, it’s not like babies are a surprise as they take almost a full year to gestate, but here I am with a tiny baby sweater to be given to someone else and plans to make a toddler-sized sweater for the not-a-tiny baby.
After the never-ending Christmas scarf and the knit and knit-again hat, I wanted a simple project using one of my special yarns (those are the expensive or high-quality skeins all in one box that my family has been given special instructions for upon my death). Based on how this particular project is knitting up, apparently I will be the proud owner of my very own crack in time.
Last year, my youngest nephew fell in love with the Harry Potter books. When my daughters found out, the first thing they did was take him to Pottermore and get him placed in a house. Turns out he’s a Hufflepuff. Now this kid is seriously my number one knitting fan. He once told a teacher that his “Auntie J” is a professional knitter while showing off a hat I made him. So when I find out he’s excited about Harry Potter, I think we all know that means he was getting a house scarf for Christmas.
I don’t usually buy single color yarn. I love yarn with colors, especially the always magical self-striping yarn for socks. Since I’ve started knitting socks for myself, I’ve found that I prefer socks in patterned yarn to be basic so as to really show off the striping. I like to use one color yarn to show off stitch patterns. I have a lot of stripped yarn right now, so basic socks it is.
Sometimes you knit things and say to yourself, “Hey, I did a pretty good job! Nice work, Me!” Other times you finish a project and say to yourself, “Well, that’s… something.” But every once in a while, you knit something, look at it and say to yourself, “How on Earth did I ever live without you, you gorgeous piece of awesomeness?”
Last fall, my husband and I traveled to the UK. It was an amazing trip, without kids. Of course, first on my mind—well, aside from the amazing sights, food and international travel with my sweetie—was what knitting project I would bring with me. For the flight, I bought cheap bamboo needles (BLECH) and planned to knit socks*. But I also packed a project in my checked baggage on my beloved Knit Picks options (because who takes just one project on an international trip?). Something a little larger that would be an easy pick up/put down project. Stephen West’s Boneyard Shawl was my choice for this trip.
My mom loved to buy knitting patterns. I have a binder full of patterns she purchased that I don’t think she ever knit. One book that I really love, however, is one that she had for a long time, The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey (1971). In fact, when I decided I wanted to learn to knit, my mom gave me this book to see if it would help (at that point, it did not).
Like any knitting book, this one has information on how to knit (cast on, bind off, increase, decrease, cables, shaping and so one). Printed on heavy paper with only black and white images the front half of the book is nothing unusual. But the last half…it’s a gift from above. This book is full of over 200 stitch patterns. Wondering how to make the Pineapple Lace Stitch? How about the Twinberry Stripe? Maybe you want to try the Modified Schiaparelli or the Lazy Daisy. Yeah, it’s here. I’ve been itching to try out a pattern stitch on my basic sock template. It seemed like it was time. Let me introduce you to the Diagonal Rib.Read More