The battle between optics homework and knitting projects.

Double knitting

I’ve been working pretty hard at learning how to knit double-knit patterns the last week or so. It’s been pretty exciting to say the least. One, it helps me avoid doing any actual studying or academic reading, which is how I should be spending my summer. Two, I don’t always get extremely excited about new knitting adventures so knitting a lot and also being excited about it makes me feel more like me instead of me with an optics-homework-induced headache.

What do I have to say about double knitting? It would be much easier to learn if I knit differently. If I was not an English/thrower style knitter there would probably be less fumbling and therefore tangling with the two strands. The person who made the how to video I watched on youtube was a Continental knitter (I think this is the correct term). Most often I end up having to let go of one color while I work on another. It probably gives me tension issues I’m not good enough to see or may only see when I try to have larger projects. This is mostly a guess, it could be fine. It was really frustrating the first time I tried to learn about a year ago, and I didn’t have the patience for it. It’s slower. It’s okay to decide to learn this later.

The first thing I did was to make a cute little monster face that someone did a YouTube tutorial on double knitting with. It was small. It’s size reminds me of the size you would expect a coaster would be. I would make a set of coasters but I’m not sure people use them much any more.

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The second thing that I tried was a piece of similar size but instead of a little face, it was a purple and green C with a border. I did this because I would like to start making some Cakes for Causes dishcloths or potholders and that will require letters. It turned out well.

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This is what the Cakes for Causes logo looks like which I have snagged from their website. It’s white, purple, and green, which I have found similar colors in cotton from Baa Baa Sheep LLC which is located in The Ghent area of Norfolk. I like the shop quite a lot, by the way and I try to make it in every time I go back home to Norfolk. The owner is very friendly and I like the choices available.

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I also made a Harry Potter, Slytherin, book mark using double knitting but I think it deserves a post all on its own.

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babysweater1

I’m Guilty of falling short of my self-imposed posting every Sunday deadline, but I’m hoping that I can get away with it with the combination of writing in the same week of when I wanted to write, instead of seven months later, and… just a really awesome post! Also, I’m hoping that the fact that I was knitting this lovely baby sweater last Sunday may act in my favor. It’s not completely finished but it’s almost there. One sleeve and buttons! Granted, Quantum Mechanics (Griffith) and Waves and Oscillations (Smith) stand in my way of finishing this until the weekend. I’m starting to get into the swing of having homework to turn in almost every day, which is a consequence of having a very full load of graduate classes.

babysweater2

Okay, so here is the deal with this sweater. The pattern that I am using for this lovely sweater is called “The Little Coffee Bean Cardigan” posted on ravelry by Elizabeth Smith. Some of the information posted with the ravelry obtained pattern is that it was published in The Brown Stitch which appears to be a website that has more patterns, somewhere in the twenties. More sweaters, vests, cowls, and hats. Many patterns that I can’t wait to try out. They are fabulous looking indeed. It was published in March 2009, suggests worsted weight yarn and needles size 4.5 mm and 5.0mm. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn, which I prefer to knit with a smaller knitting needle (4.0 mm) so I used that instead of the larger size. This doesn’t seem to have affected the sizing much. So far I have not had any trouble with getting the measurements to work out with those specified in the pattern.

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There are three size options, 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month. I have been knitting the 3 month size for a friend of mine who is expecting a little bundle of joy. There is another pattern available for larger ones, 2 years and up, which I may attempt after this for her other youngin’. I’m posting quite a few pictures, which are also uploaded with my project in revelry, but I am just so excited that I can’t help but want to post them all over the internet. These are pretty much step by step as I have gone through the sweater. There are 5 button holes that you can’t see with these pictures.

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Long story short, I really want to finish up this pattern. I should be going to Michaels or another store this Saturday to pick out some buttons for it. I am thinking that lighter buttons would be good. Either white or yellow. It would contrast really well with the darker blue that I used. It’s not quite as dark as the pictures make it look but it’s still pretty dark. If you happen to stop by my blog and recommend different buttons, I’d love any suggestions.

babysweater5When I finish this guy up I am torn as to what I will knit next. I’m working on finishing up some of my WIP’s. I have quite a bit. Two socks on needles already, with the first of each pair already finished. I’ve also got a sock that needs a mate that hasn’t been started. I’ve got a sweater that will be my size started. It’s raglan style, similar to the baby sweater in this post, except completely in the round, no buttons. I also really want to look into making a hat for my uncle. Probably blue and black at his request, but I am not sure if I will just make a hat based on prior hat making skills, which I am capable of, or if I should look for a good manly type pattern. Admittedly, most of my hats have been for other girls but I’m sure that I can think of something.

Anyways, I am super excited about the baby sweater and I am quite inclined to make another. Baby stuff is awesome to knit. It’s fast and awesome and as my friend so greatly put it, “cute-sized.” Maybe if I decide to try to out writing my own pattern, I will try baby stuff. Not having a baby of my own, I suppose I would need to look up some baby sizing info. That’s all for now. 🙂

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There is a feature on the WordPress app that allows me to add a photo and to talk about it rather easily. I am testing it out. This picture is the start of a striped button up sweater. It’s going to be 0-3 month size. It’s probably one of the smarter knitting decisions I will have made to learn how to knit baby sweaters. Being that I am 22 and my friends range in age from 20 to 30, many of my friends are either getting married or having kids or both. How awesome would it be to be able to give little baby sweaters to all my friends soon to be little ones.

Also, if you didn’t know, babies are much smaller than regular adult size people. 😉 What this also means as far as an impact on knitting, is that I can learn how to knit something baby size much faster and without getting bored with larger sized projects. I’ve never knit a sweater before, but a baby sweater seems like a good place to start. Also, I don’t have to deal with that silly little “Sweater Curse” that floats around.

Happy New Year 2013

Unfortunately a bit late in my happy new year blog post. I’ve just downloaded an app for wordpress so I am thinking that it will make it a little easier to keep up with, or I suppose, pick back up with my blogging. I am going to make it a goal to write every sunday. I will probably have something to talk about. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and a lot of homework and a lot of baking too. I know that when I started this post I wasn’t planning on writing about baking at all but I think if something interesting comes up with my baking pursuits, that will be included.

Hello wordpress!

I will have to admit to having taken a fairly large break/vacation from writing in my blog. I think the last post that I wrote was sometime in early February. Today is August 9th. I am a bit dissapointed that such a break occur so soon in my blog but some times you can’t help such things. In that case, a little update is involved before I go on and on about sock yarn again.

Update – I graduated from NSU. If you are thinking that this is the end to homework and studying and ridiculous optical explorations, you should know that you are gravely mistaken. In 11 days I start class at the University of Arizona as a graduate student in the College of Optical Sciences. It is terrifying. It is exciting. It also means I moved to Tucson. Greetings from Arizona! The homework continues. Also, I was working at Michaels, and now I am not because of the move and the transition to graduate studies. Yes, I miss it and yes, I would work there again. Should you ever be in the Greenbrier Parkway area of Chesapeake, VA, you should really drop in to visit Michaels. The people there are really awesome and you won’t regret it! Ironically enough my new Tucson apartment is closer to a Michaels than when I was living in Virginia and working at Michaels. Perhaps that is enough of an update for now. I should get on to talking about my continuing sock yarn frenzy.

So now that you know that I moved, you will know that I had to pack. As all my fellow yarn enthusiasts will undoubtedly understand, I had so much yarn that I couldn’t hope to pack it all… this time. I had to make the challenging decision! What yarn can I 1.afford to send out to Arizona and 2.what yarn will fit in my first apartment and 3.what yarn can I stand to be parted from even if I don’t have any intentions of using nearly most of it any time soon? It was tough. In the end I ended up packing up most of into boxes and labeled it ‘yarn’ and with the greatest hopes that we would be reunited once more shoved the boxes into the closet in my bedroom at my parents house.

What yarn did come out and make the trip with me? Well, if you haven’t guess yet, sock yarn. I don’t know exactly how much sock yarn I brough but I only brought one non-sock-yarn skein and that is to finish a gift I started and am oh so close to finishing. (Person for said gift could stumble apon this blog of mine so I shall not say more at this time.) I can also surprise you with extremely wonderful stories of finishing projects! Yes, I am surprised too. Since last writing I have started lots of projects and abandoned several but in the last several days of my Tucson time I have finished 2 socks and a half (completing a pair and working half way finishing a second pair) and I finished a hat that is beautiful for a friend of mine back home (also done in lovely wonderful sock yarn) and I am feeling the creative sock yarn knitting juices flowing for trying to finish as many projects before classes begin as possible.

The yarn that I have mostly been working with is… 1.Loops and Thread branded yarn from Michaels in various colorways, this stuff is so soft and the colors in these striping yarn are all wonderful. 2. Sock-Ease sock yarn from Lion Brand, which I also happened to pick up at Michaels. I am particularly fond of the Lemon Drop and Toffee colors. 3. Amazing Madelinetosh Tosh Sock yarn that I picked up from The Yarn Club in Virginia Beach near Lynnhaven Parkway(Oh I hope I didn’t spell that wrong) and Virginia Beach Boulevard. I love this place. The owner is wonderful and she was so helpful when I was trying to pick out some really nice colors. Everytime I’ve gone in it seems like she is getting something new. If you love yarn and you love yarn stores and you are near VA Beach, than go here, well now! Even my non-yarn-obsessed friends have really enjoyed this shop. and 4. I haven’t started knitting anything up with it yet but I have some really lovely sock yarn by Cascade that I am really excited to see how it works out.

Unfortunately most of my photos are on my iPad and I don’t have wireless in my apartment yet so I can’t post pictures right now. Await my pictured filled post sometime in the next couple days or perhaps look me up on ravelry. You can find me by searching for amswain.

Sock Yarn Obsession

*waves cheerfully* Hi everyone!

Sock Yarn Hat

I have to admit it, I have a new yarn mini-obsession… Okay, okay, you caught me… A Mega-obsession with sock yarn! I know that it is not the perfect yarn for every project, but I honestly don’t know how someone could knit something with sock yarn and not fall absolutely in love with it. I just finished one of my bigger sock yarn endeavors, the sockhead hat whose pattern is by Boho Knits on Ravelry. You may remember this picture ->

But after a couple nights in a row with a general lack of sleep, I was able to finish! The self striping that comes from the Paton Kroy Socks that I chose to use is absolutely wonderful. The name of the color that I bought is Blue Striped Ragg, I bought it at Michaels. I like other colors of the Kroy socks to and its very nice to work with. I believe that it is 75% wool and 25% Nylon. But anyway, here is a newer picture that is much further along.

And then, even newer still…

I will try to get a picture of either myself or someone else wearing it so that you all can see what it looks like that way. I wore it to class today and it made me feel altogether too pleased with myself that someone told me that they liked my hat!

Another sock yarn project that I have in the works, which is also being done with Patons Kroy sock yarn, but with blue brown marl as the color, is a sort of fingerless mitten. I am using a free Berrocco pattern called Jacoby which is originally written for one of their yarns, which was only available for a limited time in 2007, I liked it so much I tried to find it but no go with that. Here is a picture of the first mitten which I finished tonight. I will cast on the next one in a couple minutes. And I also have a picture of some new sock yarn that I bought from Knit Picks which is sooo soft and I cant wait to work with. I will post again soon with more reasons why all of you should be obsessed with sock yarn too!

Picture Time

So I decided to stop being lazy and pick up my camera and take some pictures, so here they are. Forgive the Orange Sheet backgrounds?

Front Side of Pillow

Large Granny Square Blanket Start

Scrap Yarn Pillow

Sock Yarn Hat

Remember that sock?

This is also suppose to be a sock.

I think this will be a striped scarf.

Fun Crocheted Ornament