Wow, it feels like it's been forever since I've been on the site. What little spare time I've had, I've spent knitting. If I don't get to knit at least some each day, I get very grumpy! The flip side is that I've missed you guys and staying on top of what everyone's doing.
I finally finished David's clogs - he got them a month late. I've also finished my first sweater and pair of socks. No pictures of them yet, but I will post them once I get some taken.
I now have going my first sweater done in the round -- no seams, yeah! For the sleeves, I'm using the magic loop method for the first time instead of DPNs. I think I like DPNs better, but with the Knit Pick options needles and cables, it just made sense to try magic loop first and it's going well. I also have my second pair of socks going and I'm about to finish a baby cuddle toy for my niece. For Christmas, I'm going to try really hard to restart and finish the Orangutan to give my nephew and get a stocking cap knit for my brother.
Wow, what a lot of activity going on here at MWK for a guy who didn't get logged on for a few days!
First, I just wanted to add my welcome to the new members (excluding the few spammers, of course). It's really great to see this site growing. It does my heart good to see all of you guys who knit!
I'd love to find a knitting group in Kansas City that has at least a few guys in it. I can only imagine that the experience would have to be different than knitting with women. Not that I have anything against that! I just finished a sock class where I was the only guy in it and I enjoyed it very much. If anyone from western MO, or eastern KS is out there, contact me if you're interested in getting a group going.
I'm on my second Knit a River square and I decided it would be a great time to learn the Continental style of knitting. I watched the videos on knittinghelp.com and had my yarn and sticks while doing it so I could practice. It's been a struggle, but after 12 rows, I am just beginning to get the hang of it.
My biggest problems are finding a yarn hold that will work for me, getting used to using my middle finger to manipulate the stitches and left needle instead of my index finger and keeping that index finger away from the needle. No matter what hold I use, it seems like the yarn ends up falling off my finger. Believe it or not, I've acutally found the purl stitch to be easier to execute than the knit stitch. I'm knitting fairly tightly and my left hand is a bit sore because I'm so tense. I'm hoping I'll relax into it soon!
I'll admit that sometimes some part of my brain simply takes a vacation, which can result in all kinds of interesting challenges.
Take the clogs. They are fairly easy, straightforward with just a few rows that you really have to pay attention to, right? Well, after starting them over THREE times, I realized I skipped over the very first instruction to use the sole/cuff color. Ribbit, Ribbit. Fourth time, correct color, I realized I messed up in row two many stitches ago on the M1 by knitting into it regularly instead of through the back loop. Tried tinking, but messed that up, too. RIIIP! Well, I guess I've paid enough dues because on the FIFTH time starting over, I got through row 2 ok, then on row 4 ended up with the right number of total stitches, but had 3 more on the left needle by the time I should have gotten to the end of the row. It's a mistake that STAYS!
It's taken me about 4 months and I'm finally done with the sweater sampler!. For those of you who havn't read earlier postings about this, it's from a book called "The Sweater Workshop" 2nd Edition, by Jacqueline Fee. Her whole thing is knitting sweaters in the round from the bottom up, doing the sleeves from the bottom up, joining them to the body in progress, then finishing the neck. Voilà, no seams to sew.
I picked up a number of new skills, including understanding increases and decreases much better, knitting with two colors at the same time, creating I-cords and knitted belts, creating pockets (she even shows you how to add a pocket AFTER you're done with the garment), creating a placket, short rows, and multiple ways to finish a sweater (lace, I-cord, ribbing, hem). I highly recommend this book to any other newbie out there as well as to any of you experts that are knitting your sweaters in pieces and then sewing them together and would like to try something different.
I just wanted to share what I've been working on lately. The first is my 17-years-or-so-in-the-making cable sweater. After having knit only simple garter stitch, with a yarn-over and two knit stitch border dishrags as a boy, this sweater was the very first thing I started on as an adult. That was when I was about 25 or so. I've got the back, one sleeve, and now a lot of the front completed. My goal is to have it completed by this fall. Check out the 80s hair!
It's amazing what nieces and nephews can motivate me to do -- like knit stuffed animals and baby blankets!
As I put in my profile, my mom taught me to knit dish rags when I was about 5 years old. So I did these simple, garter stitch dish rags off and on growing up until about the time I hit my early teens, then stopped knitting all together. In my mid-twenties, I decided to pick knitting up again. Rather than knit up something realistic for my skill level, like a garter or stockinette stitch scarf, I jumped right into a cable-knit sweater done flat, teaching myself from books. Well, I worked on that for a few years off and on, completed the front, one sleeve, and about 1/3 of the back. The poor thing lied fallow for ages, but I never threw it out.