Thursday, April 29, 2010

{A Technique I'd Love To Learn} - knitcroblo4

There are a bunch of techniques that I don't know yet, but few of them totally baffle me. For instance, I would love love love to learn to spin on a spindle, and I've watched the videos on you tube and pretty much figure with enough time I could get to be pretty okay at it. I would love to dye cotton but am  not willing to play with the chemicals.  Steeks? like... cut my knitted fabric? I don't think I have the GUTS for that yet!!

But Entrelac totally and completely baffles me.  I just can't picture it. So... do you pick up from the side stitches and knit the other way? Do you have to sew the sides closed afterwards? how do you get it to go in different direction to create shape? How in the world do you keep all these squares on your needles? Do you bind off each time??

See what I mean?  I ADORE the look of Entrelac knitting though,how each little square has stitches going in the opposite direction. It can be used in just about any garment for knitting.  Here's just three examples:

(rav link)

I think people mostly used multi-colour yarn to do entrelac, but then how in the world do they get all their squares to line up?   What do you guys think about Entrelac? Have you done it? How hard is it?

(do I win the award for Blog Post With The Most Question Marks? hehe)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

{A Knitter That Inspires Me}

She doesn't know it, but this knitter is prolific in what she does well.  She's a shawl knitter in particular who is currently participating in the 12 Shawls In 12 Months Challenge.  Just pause to think about that a second... one shawl a month for an entire year!! Blows me away!  And she's AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!

Can I just show you a picture of one of her shawls?

Jenny, you inspire me!  You are the reason I'm tackling the Haruni shawl right now, and I'm a lucky girl to have you as a friend.  I hope to meet you in person one day! :)

If you want to see more of her work, visit her at Jenny's Blog on Knitting!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

{Inspirational Patterns} - knitcroblo2


 My patterns that I aspire to are all pretty different, and they're mostly not because I don't know the skills to complete them but more because I envy the process knitters who have the patience to work on one project for a year. 
This first one is the Summer Sampler Study of Lace.  Isn't it GORGEOUS in this cream colour?  But it's knit in LACE weight yarn!  I love the look... I just haven't had the patience yet. My Haruni is knit in fingering and it's going... sooooooooo s...l...o...w.  lol    I have the lace to do this project, too.  Maybe over the summer while there's no school and no working I'll tackle it.

The second is totally different but I aspire to it for the same reasons - patience.  It's a fair isle sweater design and while I've knit fair isle before, only in a hat, only in two colours and only in worsted weight. lol But I LOVE this sweater!  Even in the colours shown!  

Both of these projects are like Mt. Everest to me.  I know how to walk and how to climb in order to get to the summit, it would just take a very long time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

{How I Started Kniting} - knitcroblo1

  I'm excited to be participating in the first ever Knit and Crochet Blog Week!  Welcome to any new readers! Today's topic is "Starting Out" and that topic just happened to be my very first blog post ever in my entire life and the start of this blog.  So here's a replay of that post.  I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's stories too!  It's going to be a great week!

July 5th, 2009,

The story of how I came to knit is one that is near and dear to me. My mother's mother (pictured right) was an avid knitter, and I remember many sweaters, mittens and hats for my sister, brother and I when we were young. I was never much interested in the process myself, figuring I'd learn sooner or later, until Grandma became suddenly very ill. That trip home I spent a whole week with her in bed or on the couch and she taught me how to knit just the basics: knit, purl, cast on, cast off, that kind of stuff. She gave me a set of size 4 needles and let me pick out a couple of balls of yarn from her stash. I didn't really think it would be the last time I'd see her because the doctors had given her about 2 years. After a month, though, and once all her kids had all made it back to see her, I suppose she felt the time was right and the struggle with chemotherapy wasn't worth it and she let go. It was a huge loss for our whole family, felt even today almost 10 years later. This picture that I've posted was taken after the diagnosis and the last photo I have of her. I remember her as such a courageous woman and the anchor for her entire group of friends and family. She was too young, 72 I believe, when she passed.

So for years afterward it was too painful for me to pull out the project I had begun while I was sitting beside my mentor and working under her supervision. The drawstring bag made of left-over christmas fabric that housed my materials was kept tucked up in the top of the closet and forgotten. It wasn't until I had moved across the country to Virginia that I heard of it again from a friend who offered to mail it out to me. I was so excited that I hadn't lost this treasure forever! Now I'm teaching myself the skills necessary to carry on the tradition of hand-knit gifts that my grandmother honoured us with.

So far my progress has been slow. I don't know anyone in the immediate area who knits that I can go to with questions and there are no convenient knitting shops. I've made good use of though! In my next post I'll share with you the few small projects I've already completed and the ones I'm working on right now!

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope to be an active part of the whole knitting community, so leave lots of comments and introduce yourself! :)


Saturday, April 24, 2010

{I think I'm Obsessed}

.. with this Card Catalog on my Craig's List.

$150. Seriously who wouldn't buy this for $150?? Think of the storage for yarn! or crafty stuff! or kitchen supplies! Think of the labels I'd put on the fronts of the drawers!  Oh... and all the fun colours I could paint it... It makes my heart go pitter patter!

But of course I don't have $150.  Or space for it in my house. Or a Truck to transport it.*deep sigh!* It wasn't meant to be.... :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

{2 weeks left of classes!.. + 1 day}

This might just turn out to be me this weekend. I realized this evening as I was driving home from school (at 9:30 PM) that I have 4 Projects due before classes are finished... in TWO WEEKS!  I don't think I realized I had a project to do in EVERY class until I sat and thought about it!! EEP!  So ... if you don't hear from me for a little while, you'll know where I am.  Please send some MoJo my way.  Of any kind. I'll need it all.

Thank You,

ps - I sorta noticed something the other day.  Is the font on my blog really small for you guys? does it bother any one?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

{My First Craft Show}

There's a really neat little cafe right in the heart of our tiny downtown named the Club Car Cafe.  They've decided to open up one Saturday a month to do a "Craft Showcase."  Very select... only about 6-8 vendors per weekend can have tables set up and they will only choose vendors that sell the product that they craft themselves.  The owner's daughter makes beaded jewelry... that kind of thing, and they asked if I'd like to set up a table for their first one on May 7th, the same day as our Heritage Day.  They are expecting a TON of traffic, which probably means I need to get some stuff actually knit between now and then!

What I need help with is coming up with ideas for what to knit between now and then for a summer Knitting booth. What do people buy during the summer?  My ideas so far are:
  • Wash clothes
  • Face clothes
  • Baby bibs
  • Baby booties
  • Pot holders
  • Trivets (felted wool maybe?)
  • Purses... not sure what kind of pattern I'll use though.  I've never really knit purses, but the owner really likes knitted purses.  No clue what I'll do here. lol
Any other ideas, guys? Or do you know how I would use someone's pattern for making selling the item?  I know enough to know that I can't do it without asking them... but do you know how that normally works?

Thanks guys! Wish me luck! :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

{My First Estate Sale!}

Today I had my first experience at an Estate Sale!  There isn't much we need right now so Mr. Pie and I were just wondering through because it was a nice day and we wanted to be out of the house.

I did find something I am VERY excited to show you, though!!  Blog Friends, please meet my new awesome box:

Isn't he cool?  It definitely needs cleaned up, but it's just busting with character!  It was originally shipped with beeswax candles in it, according to the shipping label on the side.

And the coolest thing in my book is that it was shipped so long ago that there is no zip code on the mailing address, and street address is kinda well... secondary. 

All this character for $2 - it was a total steal.  I also picked up  an old wooden picture frame for another $1. Not sure where he's going yet, but it's cute. Probably will be painted or stained.

I'm sure I'll be able to overcome the weird creepy feeling of walking in to a house to browse through all the worldly possessions of a dead person if it means some more cute stuff for pocket change. lol   Maybe this because I'm a huge newbie at Estate sales, but most of the stuff in the house was marked at prices I thought were pretty high (as opposed to my finds, which were in the garage and had no tag).   Like, cute tables that I would think to see at yard sales for maybe $20 were marked $140 and framed pictures of old trains were $250.  Is this strange for this kind of sale?  We live in a tiny town, which isn't even a town anymore since it was absorbed in the County, and it's very very low on the economic totempole.  Who do they think is buying this?  Seemed weird to me... but what do I know? :)

Friday, April 16, 2010


What you see here is the beginning of my Haruni, only with a stockinette body instead of a lace one.  I saw a project like this on Ravelry and really liked it, so decided I would do it this way.  But, after hours of knitting I've got about 100 stitches on the needles and it's still MINISCULE.  How many stitches is this going to be by the time it gets to be the right size???

Should I frog it and try with bigger yarn?  The pattern calls for fingering and technically this Malabrigo is Light Fingers, but still.  Maybe use larger needles? I'm on 4's and I like how it looks.  I have no idea.  What do you guys think?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

{Post 200 - How Far I've Come}

This is my 200th post.  I just want to take a moment to bask in how incredible that seems to me.... .... .... okay I'm done.   Moving on.

I'm so excited to be featured on Molto Di Moda Designs Helpful Hints! Welcome to her readers!  

So.. I present to you...

How To Learn To Knit

Step 1 - Ask Someone!

If you know someone who knits, this is the easiest and probably most preferable method of learning - being shown in person. Even if you just know them casually, like at work, or you know someone whose Aunt knits, don't be shy!  We knitters love the proliferation of our craft and I'm sure they'd be plenty happy to show you the basics, step you through and answer questions.

Or Learn Online

The second best way, and the way I taught myself the majority of knitting, is through online tutorials. is one of the best resources that the web has to offer to beginning knitters.  It's totally free and she's got tons of videos showing most of the basic skills.  It takes patience and you may have to stop and start the videos 10 times to understand what you're seeing, but hang in there! It's worth it!

If you go this route, you'll get to choose how you want to knit: English style or Continental style.   Try them both and see if one of them feels more comfy for you!  I'm an English knitter myself. 

Step 2 - Buying Materials

Either way, you'll need to purchase a few materials: a set of knitting needles and some yarn.  For starter needles the size isn't important, but a medium sized 8 or 9 may be best, and about 10" will be fine.  The material you choose for your first needles may take some thought. Metal is the most common and come in a lot of fun colours, but for beginners they may tend to be more slippery than you would like.  My suggestion is to go with wood. 

Ooooo... purdy...

 Wood knitting needles are going to keep a little big of drag on your stitches so they are less likely just to slip out by accident. These are from (one of my favorite online sites for buying all knitting related goodies).

For yarn, pick something inexpensive that you won't feel too bad about butchering! A pretty colour that inspires you is a must.  Knit Picks has a ton of fun stuff to choose from so if you follow my advice and get size 8 wooden needles, pick up some worsted (medium) weight yarn while you're there.

Step 3 - Picking a First Pattern

Get ready to try a pattern! My suggestion for a first pattern would be a dishcloth.  It's the same shape as a scarf, but a ton shorter and in the end you have something functional!   Just cast on however many stitches you want, knit every row back and forth until it's a square (or rectangle, or whatever) and then cast off.   When you feel like a challenge try this cloth:

This one is knit from corner to corner and you'll use a few more basic skills like increasing and decreasing.  Look to for videos.    Oh and make sure you buy 100% cotton  so you can wash and dry your clothes. Lily's Sugar N' Cream is a tried tested and true yarn that can be found at Micheals, or Walmart for around $1.50 and you should be able to get two dishclothes from it.  There are tons of colours to choose from too! This one looks cute with my blog, doesn't it? ;)

Step 4- Enjoy!

That's about it! Once you know how to cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease, and cast off, you're pretty much ready to go!  Just about every knitting pattern out there is a combination of those skills.  Have fun!!

Come check me out at ! It's an online knitting and crochet community where you can keep track of your Yarn Stash, there are tons of free (or not) patterns, participate in the community forums and tons tons more!  My name there is Nalamienea - search for me and add me as a friend! I'll be happy to try to answer any questions you may have, or I can find an answer for you.

In the end, you may just have a found a new   relaxing wonderful hobby   Stress Reliever!  :P

Saturday, April 10, 2010

{An Update}

My Modern Log Cabin Blanket is coming along well.  I got to spend a couple hours in the car yetserday working on it.  I hate how you can't really see the colours, but it's a white, light purple, dark purple and a taupe colour.  Next will be a big band of white along the long edge at the top of the photo.

In other news, the next post I make will be my 200th post, and I'm wondering if I need to be doing something special for it.  I really would love to thank everyone for reading my blog!  I love that I've made some friends (both local and afar) and I love being a part of the knitting community online.  I learn something new every day!    It's not even my 1 year bloggoversary yet though, so maybe I'll save any celebration for then?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

{I Am Obsessed.}

So I've got all this BEAUTIFUL new yarn, and I've been absolutely paralyzed trying to pick a project to start.  And surprisingly, my problem is not that I have so many things I want to start on that I can't decide, it's that I can't find ONE single pattern that just calls to me to knit it right this second.

Here's my deal:  The yarn is just soooooo beautiful that I'm scared if I cast on the wrong project that I'll ruin it and my life as a knitter will be over. (yes, it sounds that dramatic in my head, too. lol)  The yarns are mostly merino wool, some alpaca and silk blended in, and all fairly light weight compared what I normally buy.  I've got some lace, some fingering and a little bit of sport weight.  So what does one knit with these? Well.. sweaters, socks, hats, gloves, shawls ... these all sound lovely, right? Except it's freaking 90 degrees outside right now!  I'm definitely not wearing hats, gloves, sweater, or even socks, and for some reason the shawls haven't called to me.  I really need to find a lace pattern that draws me in to want to knit it, I guess.  I still haven't knit one row lace, either, just two row (with the purl row in between.  the other kind scares me.)

I've been inspired to knit pretty lacy summery tops that almost all call for cotton or hemp or bamboo and are almost entirely dk weight or above.  What's up with this?  Please, by no stretch of the imagination am I complaining!  I value this stuff so much that I went and bought a brand new tupperware to keep it safe and cozy!  It's just... what's a girl to do? 

So I guess what I'm hoping is that my more experienced knitting friends will assure me that knitting a tank top in merino wool, even when it calls for cotton, will not mean that I'm going to sweat my myself out of it.  Do you think that would work? will it drape right?  Am I missing something all together?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

{A Little Alora Sweater}

My first top down sweater!  I love using my niece as a guinea pig! hehehe  It's made out of Plymouth Encore yarn, which is quite soft and warm but my sister can still toss it in to the washer and dryer.  A definite must!

I learned quite a bit with this project - doing a sweater with a yoke, picking up and knitting arm stitches, I learned I'm doing the M1 increase wrong...  (knit in to the back, not the front of the new stitch if you don't want holes like mine, for instance!). :)

Pretty cute, right?  I need to get it in the mail so I can get a picture of Alora in the sweater before she grows out of it and it's a doll sweater. lol

Sunday, April 4, 2010

{So overwhelmed and Thankful...}

I just can't begin to search for the words that are enough to say Thank You to my friend Hope for this package I found on my front porch this afternoon.  We were meant to visit today while she's in town, but I forgot my cell phone for few minutes on my dining room table while I was at the next door neighbor's and I missed her -  thankfully, I'll see her tomorrow instead, which actually works out better.

Upon emptying those bags, this is what I found....

6 Skeins of laceweight Malabrigo Amoroso in colour 157 (red and pink blend)
7 balls of Karabella Aurora in colour 2 (the pink)
1 Skein of PageWood Farms Yukon in colour Leaf (the green)
4 Skeins of Berroco Ultra Fine Alpaca in colour 1285 (dark navy)
5 Skeins of Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Sand (warm grey)
9 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in 340202 (Lt. Blue)

I'm just... floored.  And speechless.  Thank you, Hope.  These yarns are ones that I have only dreamed about owning 1 single skein of and instead I'll actually be able to knit entire projects with these beautiful yarns.  I've got tears in my eyes....  thank you so so much.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter.  Please excuse me while I enter all these in to my Ravelry stash. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

{Choices... Choices}

I really have been pretty bored with what's on my needles right now. I've been knitting on the Gehry hat for a while, but ran out of yarn so I need more to continue that project. I suppose I COULD finish the Hey Teach (and probably will before I start something summery) But instead of thinking of those things, I have been surfing Ravelry looking for the next project!  These are what I'm considering for myself  - all Free Patterns!

(requires login)

Lelah Top (but with straps probably)

(hey mom, would you like this one for X-mas this year? lol)

What do you guys think? any Favorites? Keep in mine I'm a pretty curvy girl... I need something that will hug my waist a least a little or else I'll probably wind up looking preggers. lol  You guys are all my trusted girlfriends to help me pick clothes! hehehe

Any of these patterns are going to require a new yarn buy, I think.  I'm all stocked up on wintery fibers like wool and bulky acrylic.  What a shame, right? ;)