knitting

New Skills

I think I might be a process knitter.  I’m not really sure, though.  I can’t really imagine knitting something that I or some intended recipient wouldn’t use, so in that way I’m a practical knitter, but I’m also always eager to try the next thing.  Lately, I’ve been on a learning binge.

First, I took on lace for the first time.

Gothic lace cowl environmentalThis project is actually not *totally* finished because I need to sew on some buttons, but it’s close enough, right?  This is the Gothic Lace Cowl by Tin Can Knits.  I will continue to praise and promote Tin Can Knits forever, because I think their patterns are so well written, and the projects are just gorgeous, modern, and practical.  Go check them out!  This pattern was pretty manageable for a first timer, though I will admit that my first time through the chart, I somehow messed it all up and had to rip it out to start over, but after that road bump, it was smooth sailing.  Honestly, I probably wasn’t paying enough attention.  Oh well.

Then I decided I wanted to take on cables for the first time.  I’m obsessed with the Owls sweater and figured I’d better try something smaller and simpler before diving in to a cabled sweater.  Enter the Owl Coffee Cup Cozie.

Owl cozy flat

Turns out I also had to learn duplicate stitch in order to make the little beaks, so I killed two birds (owls?) with one stone on this project!  I used some leftover Malabrigo Rios in Sand Bank, and it really hardly used any yarn at all.  This one came out a bit loose, but that’s my fault for using size 8 needles instead of the 7s the pattern calls for.  Next time I’ll use a smaller needle.  I’m planning to knit up a bunch of these to have on hand for last second gifting in the future.  Sewing on the eyes at an appropriate spacing is key to making this project look nice, by the way.  I discovered that by sewing them too far apart on one of the owls, whom I now refer to as “the derpy owl.”  He’s not pictured here deliberately.

ETA:  Okay, upon request, here he is.  derpy owl

I also wanted to take on stranded colorwork, often referred to as Fair Isle knitting, although that’s actually not completely accurate.  I was waiting to encounter the right pattern, and then I did!  Here’s the Elephant Hat, still in progress as of this writing (on May 28th, so check the link to see the completed project on Ravelry).

Elephant hat environmental

This was another twofer:  not only did I try stranded knitting for the first time, but I also taught myself how to knit Continental (aka European or left-handed) as a means of managing the two colors.  I didn’t do the whole pattern using both hands, but long enough to get some good practice in and decide that it’s a good way of managing both colors.  I did end up switching to just throwing towards the end of the pattern, but I think that just made the most sense at that point in the pattern, not that it was necessarily the superior way of doing things overall.  I’m hoping to make another of these hats with the colors swapped and sized up to fit my sister, but I’ll need to think about it before I try casting on.

The next skill I’m tackling is sweater knitting for a full sized adult, i.e. me!  I’ve just finished making my swatch for the Owls sweater linked above, so I think I’m just about ready to cast it on–ahhhh, so exciting!  That will probably merit a series of posts once I get started, so check back again!

Thanks again for reading, everyone.  My next post will be about some recent kitchen adventures, so check back soon if you’re into food!

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