Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Magic looping

I am continuing with my magic loop project.  I am making this (and I can make a plug for a fellow blogger)  I am going to have to modify the sleeves some because my wrist is certainly not the same width as my upper arm.  Even with the stretchyness of stockinette, I am quite sure I will need more room, so I will be doing some increases as I get farther along.

Part of what I love about magic loop now, given that I have to figure out where and when to put in increases is the fact that I can put the piece onto the long cable and try it on easier, by far, than I ever could with DPNs.  So that part is really nice.  I know I wont lose stitches and I can get the item to fit me exactly how I want it to without having to guess.

I admit, there is a learning curve.  It isn't so much that it is difficult to use magic loop, I just have to remember where I am in the work and where I need to move the active stitches so that I am not just going back and forth over the same side.  Basically I just have to pay attention to what I am doing and where my yarn is coming from.  It is not difficult, I just have to pay attention.  Getting the yarn where I want it after moving my stitches is also a trick that I am still working on.

Overall I like the technique.  I think once I get used to working with it I wont have many long-term difficulties.  As long as I am paying attention to what and where I am knitting it is turning out great so far!

I really enjoy learning new techniques, especially when they work!  I will have to work on thumb gussets more, since they didn't turn out how I wanted.  But this, so far, is going really well for me!  I will get a picture up of this, but it will probably be after the weekend.  Family stuff going on that will keep me super busy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New projects, new techniques!

Sorry it has been so very long!  This month has gotten out of hand for me!  Weddings and birthdays and job stuff and everything!

So, lets just jump right in!  I have gone a couple of times to knit night, which has been FABULOUS!  Last week I finished up a fingerless glove for my niece, and over the weekend I managed to finish the second one.  I had never done thumb gussets before this.  They turned out alright.  I am trying not to beat myself up over them too much.  I have holes where they connect to the main body of the glove.  I do have some yarn still connected to the piece to sew those up a bit.  I know that it is normal to have some hole between the two, but these are excessive.

These have not been washed or blocked.  I am hoping that that will help some with the curling and the small sizing problems that exist.  I used DK weight superwash wool, so I think they are going to turn out just fine.  Overall I really like the pattern.  I did modify it and only did 7 rows of increases rather than the 9 called for because with 9 rows of increase the end of the gloves that fits around my arm seemed too lose.  So 7 rows did the trick and seems to have worked quite well.  The way she has the increases done - by lifting the bar between stitches, does leave a hole.  I decided I was alright with it because it does add a decorative element to it.  I'm not positive I will use it in the future, though.  We'll have to see.

I did these completely on sharp DPNs.  For that reason they took me a while.  It was less the difficulty of using them rather than the fact that I felt it was quite annoying to use them - if that makes sense.  They also hurt my fingers after a while because I knit so tightly that I sometimes have to work to push the stitches off the needles.  I think I am going to make my next pair using magic loop.

Speaking of magic loop, I randomly decided to try it last night.  I was looking for a nice one-skein pattern and I found one that I have been wanting to make.  But, it called for the same size DPNs that I had used to make the gloves.  I was tired of them so I set the pattern aside.  Then it dawned on me that this was the perfect pattern, because it is few stitches but a long stockinette pattern, to try the magic loop on.  I have only gotten about 2 inches into the pattern, and there is a small learning curve to doing magic loop, but so far the stitching looks uniform and nice and it doesn't hurt my fingers nearly as much!  It is fabulous!  I think I will use this for most of my small circular items in the future - hopefully it will make them go much quicker for me because I don't procrastinate!

The pattern for the fingerless gloves I found pretty soon after I started knitting last fall.  I decided I wanted to make them for my older sister for Christmas.  I started the pattern but I did not finish the first glove until a month ago, when I decided I had to finish these red glove for my niece because she would be visiting from across the country.  So, I might try to do the next glove in this same magic loop, we'll have to see!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mindless projects

I have been making even more wine bottle carriers, I have 3.5 left to do.  Then I think I am going to quit these for a while.  I haven't worked anymore on the baby blanket, though I think I will soon.  Same with my niece's fingerless gloves.  I just haven't been feeling like actually thinking about or focusing on counting.  So I have been doing the super easy no-counting-needed wine bottle carriers.

Do you have a favorite pattern that you turn to when you don't want to think?  When you just want to feel like you are accomplishing something but don't want to work on a new pattern, or count, or whatever the case may be?  If so, list it here!  I'm interested, and I am sure others are, too!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hooray for completion!

So, I finally finished my little shrug!  I ended up having to frog an entire row because it was just too big.  I also attached the arms slightly differently because it was still too big around my arms.  I think if I were to do it again I would stop the increases at the end of the rows earlier.  I think that that would solve the problem, but I didn't want to rip out 5 or 6 rows and have to redo it all.

The other night I was also working on the baby blanket that I am knitting.  I did screw up pretty big time on that, but I don't know how, and don't want to, frog back to that to get it to work correctly.  Luckily it is just a repeating pattern so when I have finished this section I can get back on track without a problem.  It will just have to live with being rather imperfect.  It will annoy me forever, I am sure,  but I highly doubt that most people will even notice unless I point it out.   So, I won't point it out, except maybe on here! Perhaps someone can tell me if this mess up is fixable or not.

I am also working on fingerless gloves for my older niece.  I promised them back at Christmas, and I am finally getting around to making them for her before she comes out for my sister's wedding.

A super cute basketweave-type pattern on the front.  And on the back just plain stockinette:

As you can see I am using DPNs to make them.  I am not a huge fan, and I might eventually try this in a magic loop.  The needles in this just seem to always be in the way, and I have sharps, so they often hurt my fingers after a bit.  It would be interesting to see if the magic loop makes this an easier pattern for me to complete and finish.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ah, such a slacker!

I have been slacking on here!  I finished my shrug, but right now I am feeling too lazy to go take a picture of it.  I am also working on a pair of fingerless gloves for my niece that I promised her at Christmas, oopsie!