Sunday, May 29, 2011
Hat Attempt #2 - One thumb up, One thumb down

This was my second attempt at a knit hat. It was my second project using double points and my first trying color changes.

It was a great learning experience. I learned that I really do hate double points. Please - if someone has a simple hat pattern that does not require the use of double points, can you point me in the right direction?

I did fairly well with the basic knitting in the round. My gauge wasn't perfect, but for a 3rd project, I thought I did pretty well. Following the pattern for the color change was no problem and I was happy with that part of the work. If I do this pattern again, I won't change to double points until after I do the color change part. The reductions don't start until the color changes are done, so I'm not sure why I had to change needles so early.

Up until the reductions, I was very proud of my progress. Then the problems started. I seem to knit very tightly, so I had a lot of problems controlling all the needles during the reductions. It was hard to work the needles in for the reductions. More than twice I dropped a needle and had to pick up stitches and re-load them onto the needle. I did that fairly well, but I definitely made mistakes there. Then when I got to the last three rounds, it become impossible to work. My stitches were so tight, and I kept dropping them, and I never got to reduce all the way to the end.

In the photo the cap looks pretty good, but there are holes in the top where I fudged the reductions. I could probably use a crochet hook to weave in some green yarn and close up the holes, but I don't think this hat is actually wearable.

So thumbs up for the learning process and thumbs down for the finished project.

True Confessions
I never ever thought that I would say this, but.......

I am enjoying knitting. It is starting to feel natural to me, and I like the feel of the fabric.

I am still a super novice, but I do think that this is something that maybe I can be good at with practice. I might even find that I (gasp) enjoy it more than crochet - we'll see.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I finished my first knit hat!
I did really well with my gauge on the knit in the round part. Got a bit confused when I switched to the double points. I know that the very top of the hat isn't right, but it's definately wearable. I liked working in the round. I need some help figuring out the double point part. That got difficult and confusing.
Many thanks to Kathy and all the ladies at In a Yarn Basket for teaching me to knit!!

Friday, May 20, 2011
Knitting 101 - Take 1

Last weekend I took my first knitting class. I have tried in the past to teach myself to knit, and never had success, so I finally signed up for a class. It was fun!

The class is two sessions, and I'll have the 2nd session next week.

Our learners project is a wash cloth. I have never completed a project with so many mistakes in it before! I wasn't going to finish this so I could rip it out and re-use the yarn. Then my husband reminded me of when I was teaching myself to crochet. I was on an airplane, and trying to teach myself to make granny squares. I didn't quite get it, and my first attempt looked like a snail. With a little practice, I mastered the granny square and quite a bit more in crochet. So, now it's time to try and master some basic knitting.

I was actually doing quite well with this project and was pleased with how it looked. Then I mistakenly switched mid-row from knitting to purling. When I realized my mistake, I started to tink. That's when it all went wrong. I dropped a whole bunch of stitches, and when I tried to pick them up, they unraveled. I grabbed a crochet hook and tried to save the piece, but I never got it quite right. Despite the disaster, the front of the work looked ok - the back, not so much.

I'm not happy with the lack of consistency in my tension. There are several obvious mistakes that may not show in the photo, but are quite evident when looking at the piece. Somehow I have a loose stitch in the middle. I tried to pick it up, but there was noplace to take it - that's why you see the pink stitch marker in the middle of the work - I just grabbed the stitch so it wouldn't run.

So...... my first piece can not be called a success, but it was a great learning project. I hope that practice will get me closer to perfect, and that someday I will look fondly back at this little project and smile.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I went back to my first cable hat pattern, and tried again using the Red Heart Eco-Ways yarn that I used for the cable blanket. This time I got a hat that I actually like and think can be worn! It came out a bit smaller than I hoped for, but it will be fine for a newborn. I'm going to send this along with the cable blanket and the larger hat I originally made to my friend who is expecting soon!

In other exciting news, I finally am taking a knitting class! Today and next Saturday I will have a Knitting 101 class at my favorite yarn store, In a Yarn Basket! I honestly don't think I'll enjoy knitting as much as I enjoy crochet, and I suspect I will never be an advanced knitter, but this is something I've wanted to master for several years, and I'm glad I'm finally doing it!!

Friday, May 13, 2011
Cabled Hat

I've been having so much fun making cabled blankets, and was looking for a Cabled Hat pattern to coordinate with them. I found Bro's Cabled Beanie (available for purchase through Ravelry) and purchased the pattern. I love the look of this cap with the cabled brim.

I made mine with a thinner yarn than called for, and I'm not thrilled with the way it turned out. I tried doing the cable as the pattern called for, but it wasn't working for me - probably because my yarn choice was wrong. Instead I modified the cable to use four stitches instead of 3. I do like the cabling method used in this pattern. It is flat on one side and more appropriate for a hat than the cables I normally do, but somehow mine lost the feel of a true cable. It's an interesting pattern, but it doesn't read to me as a cable.

The next problem that I had was with joining the brim to the cap. Perhaps my brim was a bit shorter than it should have been, but when I stitched the 2 pieces together, the hat lost it's elasticity at the join. I don't think that's a good thing for a hat.

Finally, I thought this was going to make an adult size hat. Mine ended up being child size. Again, this is all my own fault and probably happened because I used a thinner than called for yarn.

I love the ook of the hat as designed, but am not happy with my version of it. I'll try again using a worsted weight yarn and following the cable instructions exactly, and maybe I'll have better luck.

Saturday, May 07, 2011
wider cables

Decided tonight to play around with a wider cable. The sample pictured is a cable done 6 stitches wide instead of 4. I like the wider look. I did everything the same as for the smaller cable, but did a triple for the front and back post stitches. I'm going to try a blanket with the wider cable and see how that works.

Another cable blanket

This is another cable blanket that I made for a friend who is expecting. I really enjoy making the cable blankets. It's no so complicated as to require a lot of counting and detailed attention, but it's not monotonous and boring. I think the results are pretty.

I made a little cap to match. I didn't cable the cap because I don't think it would be comfortable for the baby to lie on, but I would still like to try another cabled cap pattern to coordinate with the blanket.