Last week was spring break for the college where I teach, so I decided that it was time to tackle a more ambitious project than any I had done so far. I looked around for the simplest sweater pattern that I could find, and settled on "Skully" from Debbie Stoller's "Stitch 'n Bitch."
I had to learn a few new techniques I had never used before. The three needle bindoff was trivial, picking up stitches was easy (though I had trouble doing it evenly), and intarsia was a huge pain even for the limited amount in the sweater. I ended up "cheating" the intarsia a lot, especially on the second sleeve.
It took almost exactly a week to finish it. I started late on a Friday evening, and finished up the following Friday in the afternoon.
Now that I'm done, I kind of regret being so cautious and sticking to the pattern almost exactly. There are certainly things that I think I could have improved if I had been courageous enough. Still, it turned out well, and it is something that I will actually wear, especially when I'm giving exams. (Not until next winter, though. The thing is incredibly warm, and now that temperatures are going above 80F, I just don't see using it any time soon.)
Let it never be said that I do things halfway.
From when I first started knitting (has it really only been 5 weeks?) one of the things that completely fascinated me was cabling. When a company was sitting on my mail order, I decided to make a braided scarf out of what little yarn I could get locally, as a "fun little interrim project." Oh, how wrong I was.
Roughly 50 hours of knitting and 1085 cable crossings later, here is the result.
I didn't follow a "here is a scarf" pattern. I took the saxon braid pattern from http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2005/11/technickety_how_to_unvent_a_si.html and added a simple rope cable border on each side. There are 27 repetitions of the pattern, because it was roughly the right length, and for the mystical connotations of three sets of three sets of three. I also did the final weave-ins on the 27th, for the same reason. (I don't actually believe in any mysticism, but it is interesting enough to me to take it into consideration.)
I haven't done any blocking on it, and I'm not sure if I will. 50 hours of work seems like a lot to risk doing I process that I'm unfamiliar with, even if it seems simple enough. Besides, does a scarf really need blocking?
I've been lurking around for a few weeks, and I suppose now is as good a time as any to start contributing to the interesting community here.
My first knitting project was the wallet from Michael del Vecchio's "Knitting with Balls." I learned a lot from working through it, but about halfway through, I came to a realization: even if I did everything completely perfectly, I would never actually use the wallet I was working on.
The problem was simple. The wallet design was too basic. There are features that I like to have in a wallet that the del Vecchio pattern just didn't have. I like to have tiered credit card pockets, so I can see what I'm reaching for. The del Vecchio wallet seemed too tall and too narrow for my tastes. Finally, I figured that if I were going to go through the trouble to knit up something like this, I'd want to show it
off a bit, and so I wanted an id-card window to force the wallet into shopkeepers' hands when they ask to see identification.
After considering it for a bit, I decided to bite the bullet and jump into the world of design. I know that most people don't design anything until after they actually know what they are doing, but I try not to let