Saturday, September 28, 2013

August-September: Love Your Library Update

Hey guys. Sorry I've been so terrible at doing the Library Challenge posts. I'll try harder for the rest of the year.

Truth is, I haven't knit a single stitch in a couple months (September included) on any of my LYL projects. Project. The only thing that qualified is the afghan I started but since I started a couple sweaters, one last minute and one in a rush and desperate attempt to finish before I get into nursing school, has left that blanket on the back burner.

You all know how it goes.
Besides, I have until the end of next September, exactly 364 days from today, to be exact, to get it finished.

But I'll try to cast something on soon to qualify for the library challenge. Something I had in my library before 1.1.13.



Previous LYL posts:

January Goals
January Wrap-up
February Goals
February Wrap-up
March Goals 

April Goals
April Wrap-up/May goals
May Wrap-up
June Goals
June Wrap-Up/July Goals
July Wrap-Up

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Late to Jump on the Bandwagon

I came across a new book over the weekend. Not new to anyone else, but it was at work labeled with a co worker's name who lives near me. So originally I planned to return it, but then I read the back, and then I read the first page, and then I was hooked.
The Help is amazing. I haven't knit in a few days because I can't put the book down. Now I know what all the hype was about.

However, on the knitting front, I have the body of my fair isle sweater long enough and just attached the first sleeve. I'm about to add the second sleeve. Then comes the big chunk of fair isle.

I finished the sweater I shared last week. That's linked to the FO post I did for it. So that's exciting. But I'm terrified to block it, because it's 100% wool and I'm terrible at blocking. I'm going to wait till after the wedding he has to wear it for before I try blocking it.

See more by clicking below:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 9: Galway(TM) Worsted by Plymouth Yarns

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

The yarn: 
Plymouth's Galway(TM) worsted
100% wool
3.53 oz/100 g; 210 yds/ 192 m

Talking about the yarn front and center


The project: The Little Alfred Cardigan from the 9th Sublime hand knits book.



 
What I liked: The yarn has gorgeous stitch definition. I mean, I don't think I could have used a better pattern as far as textures go, and the yarn shows off all those stripes and beautiful cables like a champ. It is definitely very warm too (of course it is, you say, it's 100% wool), especially with 200g of this stuff condensed into a sweater small enough for a one year old.
Check out the back! Stitch definition ftw!


What I didn't like: It is kind of coarse. But this is also to be expected of certain fibers, and all that textured goodness is why we knit, right? But I bring that up because it seems too coarse for baby knits. Other than that, I really don't have a lot to complain about. It didn't really split on the purled rows of stockinette stitching like most other yarns do. No center pull option.

Where you can buy it: I bought my skeins at A2Z Yarns in Brainard, MN on a mini vacation.

Affordability: $7.25 regular price at the LYS (A2Z Yarns) I purchased it at. 

Overall rating:


 

It sure is wonderful yarn. Easy to work with, doesn't tangle on itself too much when the kids sneak into my knitting bag and mess with my yarn.



Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Knitting Memes

And another Sunday with my original memes for you guys.


And these ones I'm claiming as my own creations despite being so obvious I'm sure that many people in many places have already made them:


The originals:




Remember to go to church today.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Little Alfred Cardigan

It's finished! My first project out of the Ninth Sublime Book of Hand Knits. The book with designs just for little boys ages 0-3 years.

A couple things:
-I am so in love with this sweater. So in love!
-Natural shell buttons were used. Which are something I'm also in love with.
-I used two 100g  skeins of Galway worsted yarn by the Plymouth Yarn company. There will be a yarn review on it bright and early Monday morning.
-It fit my little man perfectly (pre-blocking, no gauge swatch. I'm such a rebel...)
-The pattern is not messing around when it tells you how much yarn you need. See:

That is all the yarn I had left after finishing the second sleeve and therefore the last piece of the cardigan. As in, 77 inches of all the yarn I had left for this before attaching the sleeves.


Now I only have a couple feet of yarn left. Someone else's project notes on Ravelry mentioned the same happening to them, so I had fair warning, but boy was I sweating in the end. I actually knit that second sleeve a row (or 2?) shorter than the first because I really didn't think I'd have enough yarn.


Despite all that, I really can't wait to knit something else from that book!

Click on the button below for more finished projects!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Some Announcements

First order of business:
My Tutorial Thursday post from last week on how to mend commercially knit sweaters was featured this week--today!--at Marigold's Loft. So click to check out the post or the other tutorials featured today.

”Marigolds

Second:
I'm re-applying for nursing school tomorrow. Please say a prayer that it is not just mine, but God's will too that I get accepted in the group of 16 that will begin in January. We all know how hard it is sometimes to discern what God has planned for us. I hope I'm getting this right. Straight A's in advance anatomy, physiology, and the rest of my pre-requisites can't be for nothing.

Third:
I know I haven't done a yarn review in a long time. I plan on getting one to you bright and early this Monday. I'll be writing about the Galway worsted that I am using for my little boy's cabled cardigan. My goal for today is to finish for an FO Friday post for tomorrow. Click below for a list of the reviews I've done already.



Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall is in the Air

The bees have been especially bad this summer and the last two times I've done my laundry the bees flock to the clothes to just sit there. Can't wait til winter rolls around and they're gone!

Fall is in the air though and I've been able to wear sweaters in the mornings when I take the kiddos out.

Here is the Alfred cardigan from the ninth Sublime knitting book, in 100% wool (Galway yarns) for the littlest man in the family:
Why yes, I did add the buttons before the cardigan was finished.
It motivates me to finish the sleeves faster.

In still slowly working on my fair isle sweater and Silas Marner.
Click the buttons below for more projects:
  

Friday, September 13, 2013

How to Mend a Commercially Knit Sweater

It's not difficult to mend a commercially knit sweater if you know how to knit. Hopefully this guide can also help the non-knitter as well.

Step 1: Locate the loops that are dropped but still intact. Locate the broken ends that caused the hole.

Step 2: Slip a toothpick, sewing needle, or knitting needle through the loops to prevent them from dropping more. You will need to do this on both sides of the hole.
You will also need to pull out a couple more stitches where the broken ends are, and catch the newly freed loops. This will allow more to work with when securing the broken ends when you're finished.

Step 3: Using a third needle/toothpick/etc, pull the strand without a loop through the first loop. For knitters: you are just knitting it back together.

Step 4: Do the same thing for the next loop on the same needle. Keep the first loop (from step 3) on the third needle. Use the same loose strand for the second loop that you did for the first.

Repeat these steps for the dropped loops at the other side of the hole. 
For the next step, try to find a yarn in your stash that is a close match to the color and weight of the sweater yarn you're mending. Otherwise try to find thread that is the same color.
I mended this at work, with limited supplies, so my thread was lighter than the sweater and shows a little in the end.

Step 5: I strongly recommend using the Kitchener stitch to join the two halves of the hole together. If using yarn to mend, this will create a near-seamless look. If using thread, well, the mend will be subtle.
The Kitchener stitch video and photo tutorial from KnitPicks.

Finishing: Turn the sweater over to the wrong side/inside.
Find the broken or frayed ends that caused the hole in the first place.
Weave these ends in. Weave in the ends of the thread or yarn you used to mend the hole.


See more craft related tutorials by clicking below:

Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Discount Rack?

I made a minor mistake on the cardigan I decided to whip up for my son to wear at my close friend's wedding in October.
Right side. Can you see it? In person it was glaringly obvious.

Hard to see in the photo. There it is.

Wrong side view: you can definitely see it.

But if you couldn't, there it is.
I knit a stitch where it should have been purled. After knitting about two inches past the mistake I noticed it. The knit stitch was right where the sleeve will hang. I though about fixing it: I hate frogging. It won't be noticeable since the arm will be right there. I'd have to rip out so much. No one will see it. But I will know it's there.
I knit a couple more rows. Then I had a revelation. If this were in a clothing store, that mistake would put this on the discount rack. (I'm not overreacting. In real life it was sticking out like a sore thumb!) My hard work doesn't deserve to be discounted.
So I dropped the one stitch and pulled that stitch out down to the mistake and fixed it in less time than it took me to think about it.

I think this revelation is going to make me a lot more willing to frog and make my projects look nicer.
Just finished the right side last night.
Back and left side are ready for arm hole shaping.

The pattern photo

I'm knitting the cardigan in one piece since I loathe piecing everything together in the end of a project. This way all I'll have to sew on are the sleeves and front button bands.

I also mended one of my patient's knit cardigans while working in the wee hours of Monday morning. I had to knit the dropped stitches back together with sewing needles. I swear, I'm the only one who knows how to mend clothing at work--even just sewing buttons back on--and I'm one of the youngest employees by at least 15-20 years! It has become an essential skill on a geri-psych unit.
The needle on top is holding some stitches. I knitted with the bottom two.
At the time (2:30 AM) I didn't think it was a big deal.
My grandmother learned how to knit with hair pins.

This lady has a special place in my heart. A moment with her the other day reminded me why I haven't quit my mundane job of dressing my patients, helping them with the dirty stuff in the bathroom, etc.
It took me an hour to mend but this lady is worth it.
It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but at least the hole is gone.
It's less conspicuous in person. You'll have to trust me on that.
I might do a tutorial on it for the link up at Marigold's Loft this Thursday.
Stay tuned.

Click below for more!

  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Knitting Memes

I've seen a lot of, "I knit so I don't kill people" pins on Pinterest. Here's one for that crowd:

No, I do not kill people. I promise. And the template that will overflow into my sidebar >.<


Saturday, September 7, 2013

LAST DAY FOR 60% OFF PATTERN

I am currently offering a 60% off discount on my Little Blossom Mom and Baby winter head wear pattern!
At midnight tonight this pattern will be back at its normal price of $2.50 so get it while you can!
This discount is only available on my Ravelry store since the hat pattern can be purchased at that price separately through my Craftsy store.
Mom's headband is perfect for personalizing and embellishing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fred and George Socks: Finished

I finished my first project from my Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine. I also finished my first pair of socks. And while I think they turned out nice, not to mention they fit absolutely perfect, I can't really say it was a wonderful experience. Socks just aren't my thing, like I've mentioned before.

That being said, I'll definitely be stuffing my husband's stocking with a pair this Christmas. Now all I have to do is shop for his sock yarn...



I decided to wait to brag about this until FO Friday, to share with everyone else's finished projects. Have a wonderful weekend!



Click here for my FOs from 2013.