Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Magic Loop

So, yesterday I sat down with a sock knitting book determined to teach myself how to use the magic loop sock knitting method. I was just tired of struggling with a tangled mess of yarn and double pointed needles, and I have read about how much people love using the magic loop method and decided to try it out. Let me just say, I am in love!

This method makes knitting in the round so much easier and faster. What would normally take me a couple of days to knit has only taken me hours. It is an ideal method to use for socks containing lace or cable elements because the stitches are already halved, so all the pattern is only worked on one needle for the instep. I'm only knitting one sock at a time still, but I plan to learn how to knit two socks at a time using the magic loop method (no I'm not crazy, people really do it all the time!).

This method can also be used for other projects knitted in the round, such as mittens, fingerless gloves, and so on. However, I don't think I would recommend using this method for complex color work involving several colors. I would think the different yarns would be hard to keep from getting tangled even if they were on bobbins. Now, fair isle work only involving two colors wouldn't be too bad because my sister actually knitted a pair of Totoro mittens out of purple and gray yarn two circular knitting needles, but be warned if you try complicated color work it may end in disaster.

Now for some progress pictures of my Turkey Socks!!

I'm using just a basic sock pattern. I cast on 72 stitches, worked a K1P1 ribbing for 10 rows, and now I'm doing the rest of the sock in plain stockinette stitch. I didn't want to use a pattern with this yarn because I wanted to be able to enjoy all the colors and gradual changes. However, after knitting with it, it wouldn't look terrible with a subtle cable pattern. The yarn I'm using is Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. I'm calling these my Turkey Socks because the yarn colors remind me of a turkey's feathers and Thanksgiving colors.

For those of you who want a tutorial on how to use the magic loop method for yourselves, here are some excellent links (because I'm no good at making up tutorials):

Knit Picks Free Magic Loop Tutorial
**This is a great tutorial with lots of pictures, and it's also got a free printer friendly version**

Knit Picks Free Magic Loop Video Tutorial
**This is a video tutorial for those of you who are like me and sometimes need an active visual to learn**

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mediocre Monday

Well, it's Monday. Yay...not really. I actually have things that I need to do today, but instead my body decided not to allow me to fall asleep at all last night. Now, I may be stuck sleeping at least until noon so that I actually have time later to be productive.

So here's my To Do list:

1. Sleep
2. Shower
3. Laundry
4. Dishes
5. Job applications
6. Work on the Doctor Who scarf
7. Find patterns to knit for Christmas (yup I'm getting started now so I'm not rushing around at the last minute like last Christmas ;)
8. Find a book to read

So, as you can see, I have actually come up with a few things to do with myself today. Numbers 5 through 7 are actually the main-most things I need to get accomplished...oh and that sleep thing too. Yeah sleeping might help :)

Well, here are some pictures of a few things I'm thinking about knitting for gifts this year:

This pattern is called Citron by Hilary Smith Callis. I'm thinking of knitting this for my mother for Christmas. I haven't quite decided what color I'm going to knit it in yet. I really like the idea of dark blue, but I need to clean up and organize my stash before I will know what kind of yarn I have available for it.

**To Do List 9. Clean and organize stash**

This scarf is just soooo pretty! I love the cables. It makes me want to keep it when I knit it instead of gifting it. However, I know my aunt will enjoy it much more this winter. This pattern is called Celtic Cable Scarf by Vanessa Lewis. I think I might actually dye my own yarn for this project, or it might be easier to knit it then over-dye the finished object. Either way I'm sure it will turn out great.

This pattern is technically for a dishcloth, but I think it would look really great as a cowl or a scarf. That's what I'm going to do with it anyway. I want to find a really pretty either slightly variegated green yarn or a kettle-dyed yarn for this project. I might try my hand at kettle dying to get the yarn color I want. I'm going to give this to my sister. She is the one who taught me how to knit, so I know she will fully appreciate anything special I do to it. This pattern is called Twin Leaf Cloth by SmarieK.

Finally, these beauties will be for my boyfriend. He absolutely loves everything Doctor Who (and I'm starting to become a big fan myself), so I know he will love these. He has no idea I'm even going to attempt them, so it will be a huge surprise. Now I just have to teach myself how to do a bit of colorwork, and I'll be home free. This pattern is called TARDIS Socks by Keladry Bonnett.

Well at least suffering from insomnia has allowed me to keep a promise to myself in that I worked on my blog some more. Now it's definitely time for some sleep.

All the pictures in this post were taken from their respective project pages on www.ravelry.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Back!!!

Wow, it's been a really long long time since I've even been on here. I haven't had the time to blog very much, but now I'm back! I finally have time to blog more, and I plan to use it!

So, what have I been up to? I have been up to my ears in Harry Potter! I've been participating in the Ravelry group Harry Potter Knitting/Crochet House Cup. We are a few weeks into the Spring 2011 term, and I have already participated in Quidditch and Care of Magical Creatures. I'm having lots of fun with this group! I'm a Slytherin, and I'm loving it!

But enough about that....it's time for some pictures of what I've been crafting lately!

I made this dishcloth for my mother. Her birthday was on May 7, and with Mother's Day on May 8, I decided it was a good idea to make a two-in-one kind of gift. She loved it, and she has already been using it! I made it out of I Love This Cotton in the Aqua Ombre colorway. For those of you that have Ravelry, here is a link to the project page:

And now for some pictures of my two projects I've completed for the House Cup!

First up is my Quidditch project. The first match of the term was between Gryffindor and Slytherin. Of course I am playing as a Chaser for Slytherin, and here is my completed snitch!

This is the first thing I have crocheted in three dimensions, but it turned out pretty great. My cats certainly love it. I didn't even have to fill it with catnip! I just threw it across the room and watched the ensuing attack :D Here's the project page on Ravelry:

Finally, for Care of Magical Creatures I chose the option requiring us to craft an object to protect a treasure. So, naturally, I crocheted a cover for my iPhone. I used Lily Sugar and Creme in the Lava Lamp Twists colorway. It's nothing too fancy, but I like it.

I really liked this pattern. It was easy to do, and it worked up pretty quickly. The only thing I didn't do was sew up the bottom because the hole turned out to be the perfect size to hold my phone in and allow my phone to be plugged into the charger. Here's the project page on Ravelry:

Well, that's it for me for today. I'm going to try to write on here at least two or three times a week from now on. If anyone wants the patterns for any of the previous projects and you don't have a Ravelry account, please post your request in the comments, and I will try to get the url for the patterns posted on my blog.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dishcloth Bonanza

Heliocentric Dishcloth
Oceanography Dishcloth
Sandbars Dishcloth
        Well, I've been in dishcloth crafting overdrive for the past few days.  I took some time off from work, and I've been using the quick-finish satisfaction of the dishcloth to achieve some relaxation before going back to work.  For some reason, I have discovered that I can crochet dishcloths a lot faster than I can knit them, so all but one of these cloths is crocheted rather than knitted.
        When it comes to crocheting, however, all I can make is dishcloths.  I just chain on stitches until it looks wide enough, start single crochet until it looks long enough, and then I start double crochet all the way around it for a border.  For the little hanger loop, I stop on a corner and begin chaining on stitches.  When it looks long enough, I connects the chain a few stitches away from where I began, and I single crochet back and forth along the outer edge until it looks right.  I know this isn't a very good description of how to make these dishcloths, but I'm not very good at crocheting.  However, if you want to learn more about crocheting, there's a great website here.
        I did manage to knit one dishcloth using a pattern from Ravelry.  Here's my "Sandbars" dishcloth.  I used the Rachel's Mystery Dishcloth Knit Along pattern and some Peaches 'N Creme yarn in the "Yellow" and "Light Blue" colorways.  I went to my local yarn store and purchased some more cotton yarn (Sugar 'N Creme this time!) to make lots more dishcloths.  I'm working on one right now that it turning out to look like an Easter egg basket.  More to come so stay tuned!

Monday, August 2, 2010


The Autumn Effect Scarf
Welcome to my first blog post!  I'm excited to bring you this brand new blog all about knitting....and of course yarn!  I have been for nearly a year now, and I feel like it's time for me to share my knitting prowess with the world.  I'm still mainly knitting simple projects, but I'm learning to be more ambitious.  In fact, I have designed my first project, and I would like to share the progress of it with everyone.  I call it The Autumn Effect Scarf, and it's progressing quickly.  I will have more information on the pattern once I've finished it.  I haven't decided if I will sell it or post it for free yet.  Make sure to keep up with my posts for more knitting fun!