Knitting Again

Posts Tagged ‘Knitting and Crochet

Life, so far, without the cast or boot on my leg/ankle, has been interesting. There is more pain than I thought there would be, even when I’m not moving. I guess my dreams of pain-free living so early in the healing process were a little unrealistic. Since doing anything in an upright position is uncomfortable, it’s been hard to exercise.  I’m doing some walking but I’d like to be able to do more.

I’m heading back to the gym tomorrow to get on one of the bikes.  That’s probably the easiest way for me to work-out right now.  Then, depending upon how it goes, I may  try the treadmill for a few minutes. Maybe the conveyor belt will give me a little help. It’s really important that I work through the pain. As frustrated as I am, I have to keep going.

Knitting Progress

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve begun knitting the sweater sampler. My knitting time has been limited but I think I’ll be able to get it finished by the end of the month, even with all I have going on right now. I got a little sidetracked by the call to knit a pair of socks. I’ve been wanting to start another pair since binding-off Dayflower but hadn’t come to a firm decision on which pattern. The Smoldering Hearts sock pattern was very appealing but I Instead chose (Black)hearted.

As much I wanted to start the socks, things kept getting in the way. Then, while waiting to get my hair cut, I clumsily cast-on for the socks in the lobby of the hair salon.

Sure, casting-on is normally a simple and quick process for me but I cast-on using the cable-on. I’m still incredibly slow but I think the more I do it the faster I will become. How slow am I? I think I could cast-on using the long-tail cast-on in probably about a tenth of the time it took me. Am I a glutton for punishment? Why am I using the cable cast-on when the long-tail would have probably sufficed? I will never know when and where something will work well for me unless I give it a real chance. Giving it a real chance means trying it more than once.

As I sat in the salon, executing each stitch a snail’s pace, different people asked me what I was making. They were all shocked when I said socks. I had to explain to most of them that normally it wouldn’t take so long for me to get started but that new techniques had a learning curve. There is a distinct possibility that my knitting in public Friday scared a few people away from knitting rather than drew them towards it.

Ruffled Socks, With Hearts, in Red, Started on National Wear Red Day, A Day of Awareness for Heart Disease in Women

I’m hoping to finish the heel today. Depending upon the knitting time I get this week, maybe I’ll be able to cast-on the second sock by Wednesday. Once I finish this pair of socks, I will probably immediately cast-on another. I’m enjoying knitting again, especially socks. This could work well for me while my leg/ankle is healing since I wear socks every day. Once I’m back to my normal shoes, I may be knitting more socks than I’m going to need. I am, willing, however, to take that chance.

I took a look at Cat Bordhi’s video tutorial of Judy’s Magic Cast-on. As happy as I am with cuff-down socks, the next thing I want to try is the toe-up method for socks. I’d also like to experiment with different heels and toes. Sock knitting looks better and better to me.

General Health and Awareness

Friday was National Wear Red Day. Heart disease is still the number one killer of women.  I’m trying to eat better and exercise to prevent heart disease. I wear red each year, sometimes wearing the cute little dress pin, in support of the cause. The American Heart Association has events to help educate the population. The Go Red For Women Campaign, in particular, targets women as many still believe breast cancer is the number one killer of women. While we need to what we can to sustain good health, many people, for whatever reason, are still unaware of risk factors. Please take a peek to see what you can do for a healthier you.

Super Bowl XLV

Now it’s time to watch the Super Bowl. I’ll be cheering for the Steelers. I’m not a big enough fan to knit Pittsburgh Steelers‘ accessories for myself. Then again, that might be a fun way to do a little color work.

Go Steelers!

I cast-on Saturday for the Sweater Sampler. Originally I had planned to use a different yarn. When I later discovered I had enough of it to make a project in my queue, I decided to use a yarn for which no project is designated.** Although the yarn is categorized as worsted, I think it’s a lighter worsted.

I’m using a size 7 circular, 16″. I had to cast-on 80 stitches rather than 64 to be able to knit comfortably and for the stitches to actually meet. Fewer stitches than this and I would not have been able to knit circularly.

So far, it’s going well.

Time for Short-Rows

At this point of the project, I haven’t done anything new, but I’m still learning things. I’ve got several stitch patterns together with one another to look at how they behave and how/if my knitting changes when I form those stitches. Although I had tried the cable cast-on before, this time I actually kept at it until I got it right. It was slow-going but now I can really see if I like the way it looks.

Coming up next are short-rows. I’ve used short rows in socks, coasters, a hat, and in swatches but I still feel like I need a little more experience with them to know how to place them on an item that might not necessarily have them in the pattern. When this project is finished, I may play with a few short row swatches again, depending upon what I learn.

I’m looking forward to raised stripe. I’ve never learned to work that type of stripe. Since I also have limited color work experience, I’m hoping this project will also give me a little more comfort in that area as well.

I have the red yarn for my socks in my knitting bag but have not yet started them. I think today is the day. It’s looking a little dreary outside and I need to work with something in a cheerful color.

In health news, I am now cast-free AND boot-free! The doctor says my x-rays look good and that I am healing well. Now, I have to build back the strength and flexibility. Exercising will resume today. I’m thrilled!

Happy February! 

**The yarn was originally a yarn I considered using to knit a project for a friend with cancer. I decided it wasn’t as soft as I would want for him, going through chemo. It’s been waiting to be used for over 4 years.

Of all of the things I’ve knit, not that the list is very long, this project is one of my favorites. Actually, other than the blanket I made for my mother, it is my favorite project  so far.

Finished on 01/27/2011. I decided to cover my non-cover-girl legs and other items from the picture.

Details

Yarn: Cascade Fixation

Needles: US Size 6

Modifications:

Knit two repeats of lace pattern for leg rather than 3

I did the toe a little differently

I wore the socks to work today. They were comfortable and my co-workers gave me lots of compliments on them. Unfortunately, the socks were mostly hidden under the legs of my jeans and the humongous boot I have to wear over my injured leg. I’m hoping the next time I wear them I will be boot-free.

Since I was so pleased with these socks, I think I will eventually knit this pattern again. I would be happy to have more of these socks in different colors.

Next up for knitting is the Sweater Sampler from Jacqueline Fee’s book. I’ve gathered all of my supplies except for the buttons which I hope to purchase tomorrow. This project covers quite a bit of knitting ground and I think I’ll be a more confident knitter when I’m finished.

I’m probably going to cast-on for a pair of socks too. I’ve had some red sock yarn for a while that I’ve been wanted to use and February seems like the perfect time. I’m thinking of knitting the Smoldering Hearts socks. Once those are finished, I’m planning to try to knit a pair of socks from the toe-up. It’s still to soon to decide which types of toes and heels I prefer but I’d like to try several of them.

I’m learning and I love it. It’s going to be a great year of knitting!

I still have not finished the monogrammed coaster. I can’t decide if I want to make a new chart, monogram a different letter, choose a picture, or if I want to just leave duplicate stitch to those with more patience than I. Maybe I’ll decide something and knock-it-out on Saturday.

I need to make a new chart.

I needed something else to knit, something different, but useful, that wasn’t as large as a sweater. I decided to knit socks. I had some Fixation I bought from Ewe Knit Kits years ago and began the Dayflower Socks. I finished one last night and will cast-on for the second sock today.

First Finished Dayflower Sock

 

First Dayflower from a Different Angle

I’m enjoying the lace socks. I’m not especially experienced in lace knitting and these socks are, therefore, not the best traveling project for me. I feel like I need to carry a small project with me now, one that doesn’t require constant attention to a pattern. Maybe I’ll go back to knitting baby hats. Scarves seem like they would be perfect for me but I don’t really wear scarves regularly. The scarves that do appeal to me are usually not the kind that are a simple pattern repeat. 

I’m trying to decide if I want to start the sweater sampler from Jacqueline Fee’s Sweater Workshop next. Even if I only get short bursts of time to knit, I believe that I can finish the second sock this weekend. I really need to make these educational pieces so that I’ll be ready to knit one of the dresses I’ve been scoping and planning.

In the meantime, I’ll be trying to finish the second sock so that I can wear them. The incisions are healing pretty well and I think I may actually be able to wear the socks without getting anything gross from my leg onto them.

I’m already trying to decide on the next sock. I think I like sock knitting more than I anticipated I would. Maybe I’ll even try a toe-up pattern.

Finished Item Number 1

I finally finished my son’s sweater. Unfortunately, the grafted stitches under the arm on one side are hideous. I did something wrong and I’ve got to undo them.

Finally Finished!!!

Pattern: Child’s Placket Neck Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts

Modifications:

  1. Sleeves were lengthened by 4.5 inches and they are still a little shorter than I would like.
  2. Added collar
  3. Lengthened body
  4. Used worsted weight yarn rather than dk
  5. Lengthened placket slightly

I learned a lot from this sweater. I also know that there is still so much that I want to learn.

Now on the Needles

I’ve decided to try lots of new things this year so that I will have finished pieces that look good, that fit well, and/or are useful. There will be lots of swatching for gauge purposes and just to practice techniques.

My next learning piece is just that, kind of a swatch, in the form of a coaster, that originated as a dish cloth pattern. For this project, I’m practicing crocheting, which I haven’t done in years, as the edging is the single crochet stitch. Then, the center uses duplicate stitch.

I actually like this just to use as a coaster before the edging and the duplicate stitch monogramming but the purpose of the project, other than to give to a co-worker, is to practice crocheting and to learn duplicate stitching.

I think the single crocheted edge turned out pretty well considering I haven't crocheted since about 2005. I haven't added the monogramming because I haven't decided which co-worker will receive it. Each co-worker has requested a knitted coaster and I was planning to make each one in a different pattern.

Hoping the duplicate stitch goes well. I’ve looked at a little video on youtube and I’m feeling pretty confident.

Finished Item Number 2

The beagle coaster was finally finished. My mother decided she wanted it but just has it on display because she doesn’t want to  spill anything on it. I only have a crappy picture of it.

Pattern: That Old Beagle

Beagle in Sunglasses

Today I plan to cast-on for a pair of socks. After that, I’m hoping to start the Sweater Sampler by Jacqueline Fee. I’m determined to make 2011 my “Year of Knitting Knowledge.” Once I’m a little more comfortable with my skills, I’m hoping to knit a dress from Modern Top Down Knitting.  It’s important to me that this project turns out well and I’m hoping all that I do before it will help.

Health News

My leg and ankle are progressing. I go back to the doctor in a little over two weeks. I’m hoping to ditch the boot after that appointment. I’m a little concerned about the rate of healing but I’m going to just try to follow the doctor’s instructions so that I can make as full of a recovery as possible.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May it be full of love, peace, and joy!

I did not finish my son’s sweater before the year ended. I thought that I might, and I probably could have, but there were just other things going. It may be the first finished item of 2011, that or the super-sized coaster for my desk.

Huge Coaster that should accommodate my tea and my water while adding just a little smile to my day.

I finally unraveled the first sleeve on Sunday, the 26th but I don’t think I began knitting the sleeve again until the evening of the 27th. Then, I didn’t knit at all on the 28th. On the 29th, I thought I’d start on the 2nd sleeve but decided that even though the pattern called for a 9.5 inch sleeve, there was no way that was going to be a long enough sleeve for my child. I added more rows, about 5 inches worth.

On the afternoon of the 31st, I finally cast-on for the second sleeve. I knew the chances of me finishing it in the same day were minimal, but I wanted to try. I didn’t finish it. Instead, I was having some kind of allergic reaction and worried that I might need to go to the hospital on New Year’s Eve!

Do you know what hospitals are like on New Year’s Eve? I did not want to go. Fortunately, the doctor called me and gave me some instructions, by early afternoon today, most of the symptoms of the reaction were gone. I am now cast-less as the doctor instructed me to to cut off the cast!

The scars for the second surgery are ugly but not as hideous as I thought they would be. I’m feeling more like myself more quickly this time around, as the doctor said I would, in spite of the allergic reaction.

Sooo…once I finished the second sleeve this morning, I discovered that in my medicated haze I had knit it a few rows longer than the first sleeve. Rather than unravel those rows, I chose to add more to the first sleeve.  THEN, I decided to add more length to the body of the sweater.

I'm going to attach the sleeves, really...I am. I added a few more rows to the body after this photo was taken.

Am I avoiding attaching the sleeves? It’s definitely possible. I’m already debating about finishing up the coaster I started before attaching the sleeves, which is probably just fear again. I want to be finished with this sweater so that my son can wear it to school this week. Even if he doesn’t wear it on Monday I would like for him to have that option.

So, I need to just jump in and do it. I really wish I knew more about this sort of thing but my family does not knit. None of my friends knit either. I do have one aunt who knits but she doesn’t knit garments. I, therefore, don’t have memories of anyone knitting garments, no one has ever shown me how to put together garments, and I’ve never taken a class that involved putting together garments. I’m mostly a self-taught knitter and I really thought this would be a much simpler task than it its.

Maybe I’m making too much of this.

I guess I just don’t want to get it wrong. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to just ruin it.

I’m going to do it, though. I’m going to attach the sleeves tonight. I’m going to stop making a mountain out of this mole hill. I’m going to conquer this silly fear. I’m going to keep learning and I’m going to be a better knitter when I’m done.

It’s a new year and this year I’m going to embrace challenges, in knitting, in health, and in life in general.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

The day started out early but was going well. Then, I overdid something and it seems I’ve pulled or strained a muscle or something, on the same side as my healing leg. Life is grand!

Still, I’ve managed to have a pretty good day.

I got all my gifts wrapped! Well, there are still a couple of gifts I need to buy. but I won’t see those people until after the new year.

On the knitting front, I still haven’t knit a stitch. I’ve been too busy trying to take care of other things. It’s quiet in the house now and this may actually be the perfect time to knit.

Soo…instead of clicking at the keyboard about how much I’d like to knit or how much I miss knitting, I think I’m actually going to go work on the sleeve to the sweater for my son.

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas.

Mine has been really nice, even with the pain. We even got a little snow! If the leg and the back allow me, I’ll attempt to take a picture of the snow tomorrow!

Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! God Jul! Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale!