I went for coffee today with my bezzer, and outside the seriously adorable coffee shop there was this. And I absolutely lost it… I couldn’t handle the fact that there was yarn bombers in my home town. I was mid sentence, noticed it, then literally nothing else mattered. I’m definitely going to add to it!
So I’m slowly getting back into using all my free time to knit. However, I’m sorry to say that the coursework I have to do for work is getting steadily more and more demanding and… though it pains me to say it… I’m having to spend time that would be much better spent doing something creative studying instead. But the way I’m looking at it is that the sooner I get this course done, the sooner I get a pay rise. And the sooner I get a pay rise, the sooner I can spend even more money on new yarn. So it’s all for the greater good really.
I’ve been a bit boring lately, I’ve not really posted much and I’m sad to say knitting has had to take a bit of a back seat in my life because I’ve had some issues to get through. I’m currently on the bedroom floor of my girls room in London because I had a seriously last minute decision to run away to London to make me feel better (for real… I was on the phone to her on Friday night and I jokingly said I was going to run away from home for a few days, which she thought was a great idea, then I accidentally booked a megabus ticket for the next morning). I’m never this spontaneous and it’s made me feel a little dizzy. But I come home Monday then I’ll throw myself back into the wonderful world of knitting. I’m young, newly single (sadly) and I’m ready to count those stitches! So stick with me guys, I seem to be getting more followers every day and it’s more than I ever expected and it really spurs me on to do more things to show you all!
Sorry in advance for the selfie… It was mega sunny today so I put down my needles and went for ice cream with my friend. As soon as we got there it started to rain… But being British means that for the 2 hours the sun was we out made the most of it! But, also being British, I knew it was probably a good idea to take a jacket too. Good job really.
On with one of my blanket panels. Took a second to check my work and I found a mistake about… 7 rows back. It’s the bit near my thumb and it’s not overly noticeable but I’m feeling far too unwell to go back and correct it. I’m glad I’m making this for me, and not somebody else because if it was for anybody else I’d be ripping out all my work up until that point to sort it out. Saying that, the perfectionist in me is crying a little. I think the thing to do is have a nap then reassess the situation. Maybe when I wake up it’ll have sorted itself out?
So this is one of the books I got from London last month and I’ve only just got round to actually properly looking through it. To start off with all I did was look at the pictures and think “I like that, I like that, I LOVE that” and say to myself that I’ll get round to knitting myself a pair of socks soon, but now that I’ve looked at the patterns themselves I’ve realised I have absolutely no idea how to knit in the round, I don’t own any circular needles and the smallest yarn weight I owned was way too big for any of the patterns in this book. So what did I do? Sat and got upset and felt stupid and thought I’d never be able to make my own pair of beautiful socks because the patterns were all too complicated. Then I got a grip and looked on YouTube (it really is wonderful isn’t it?) about how to knit in the round, and I’ve just bought myself some circular needles and some yarn off of Deramores so after I get sick of making scarves and panels for my blanket I can give sock making a go. The first pair will most definitely not be any of the ones in my book, because even now when I have a small understanding on the technique I know I’ll never be able to pull off any of these patterns off. So I’m going to find a nice, simple pattern and get away from cable knitting for a while.
I say that now, I’ll still just sit and work on my blanket and put off learning new skills in fear of it looking rubbish, Oh well. Wish me luck!
I’ve woken up to my phone telling me that I had a new follower, which has bumped me up to 20 of you guys.
I know what you’re thinking, “20 followers and she’s making out it’s a big deal? Who is this girl and why are we following her in the first place…”
But y’know what? I love all 20 of you. All I’ve been posting is things I’ve done or my own little thoughts and musings, I’ve not re blogged a single picture of a cat stuck in a box (believe me, that’s some iron strong self restraint), which means there are 20 of you that have followed me solely for things that I’ve done or said. And that makes me feel pretty good.
You guys rule
Yeah… so I started my niece’s scarf the other day, and by the time I’d invested a solid few hours on it I realised that I really didn’t like it. The edges curled, the pattern was too close to the border, the cast on was sloppy. But since I’d already put in a fair amount of effort already, I decided that I was going to stick with it. She’s only 10 after all, she’d see the pink wool, love it, wear it once then cast it aside when she found somebody to buy her a one direction scarf with that “oh so cute Niall” (her words, not mine) on it. So I’ve just spent the last hour or so unravelling it and winding it into a ball, and even though I know I’ve done the right thing it feels pretty soul destroying. All that work, for nothing. Sometimes I really wish I wasn’t such a perfectionist. But how can I be proud of a project and feel comfortable with giving it as a gift, if I’m really not loving the finished project?
Guess tomorrow will consist of me spending an hour figuring out the pattern then starting over.. or wine. Yeah, wine would be good.
I had a question from a friend of mine the other day about how I kept track on the different rows whilst I was working from a pattern, she said that she can only do knit one purl one because if it was anything more complicated then she’d just lose her place and forget which row she’d just done and end up doing the next row completely wrong. I have to admit, when I first started knitting and tried to make sense of some of the patterns I looked at online for things I wanted to try when I was a bit better it just looked like complete jibberish (and I’m not going to lie, it still does look a bit like jibberish to me most of the time) and I had the exact same worry: how the hell was I going to remember which row I’d just done and which I needed to do next? What if I needed to go to the bathroom and when I came back I was lost and I’d have to back track or, even worse, start all over again? Looking back on it it was a bit of an over reaction, I’d obviously work out a way to track how far I’d progressed in the pattern. If not I’d just have to try and bang out an entire project in one go, with no breaks. Totally unrealistic.
So this is how I keep track on how far into a pattern I am. It’s ridiculously simple, and I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’m even bothering to make a post about it. But if me and my friend can worry about it at one point, then I’m sure there are other beginners that might feel a bit overwhelmed when thinking about how to keep an easy to follow system that enables them to not get completely lost in a pattern. First I figure out the pattern, usually on my computer in notepad just because it’s easier to correct then scribbling things out or using the head ache inducing Tip-Ex. Most of the patterns I’ve used so far have been out of “Stitch Library” by Claire Crompton, but they’re all separate from each other so I’ll write it all out, stitch by stitch, in notepad to try and figure it out. When I’m done it looks like “K K K K P P P P K K P P P P K K P P K K K K P P P” for each row then copy it out again and condense it down, so “K K K K” will turn into “K4” which is how it looks in most if not all patterns you find in books, on the internet or scribbled in grandma’s old notebooks. Anyway, you probably knew that already, got in a bit of a zone with writing and I have a tendency to ramble on about things people already know/don’t care about. Sorry. After I’ve figured out the pattern, I’ll copy it into a notebook I use as neatly and easy to read as possible. The picture I’ve used is of the pattern I’m using for my niece’s scarf and it’s not exactly neat but once I realised my mistakes I couldn’t be bothered to go back and change it. I’ll then draw a table with the rows numbered at the left hand side, these obviously relating to the row number in the pattern. Then, as I finish a row I’ll cross/tick/scribble out one of the boxes in that row. In the picture, I had enough space to put the row pattern next to the table so it’s dead easy to find the instructions for the next row, but usually they’re not like this. The pattern will be at the top of the page and the table at the bottom or different page altogether.
This is the easiest and clearest method I could come up with, and so far it’s worked really well. If I have to go back and unravel any of my work because of a mistake, I just count backwards on the table rows until I’ve finished unravelling then put a little star in the corner of that square, that way I know where I’m starting from again. It also doesn’t have to be hand written like mine is, you could do exactly the same thing in Microsoft Word in a fraction of the time, then could just type a letter/number/symbol in the box of the row you had just done but I find it easier to have it in a notebook because I can carry it around with me without having to lug around my laptop.
I hope this has helped. Even if it’s just one of the billions of people out in the blogosphere, I’ll have done a good job. There’s probably a much faster, simpler and better way of doing it but this has worked fine for me so far. When I get to patterns with millions of rows in it that are all different I’ll probably have to rethink my strategy. Bugger drawing out that many little boxes…
This is the finished product for my mommas scarf! It’s taken me a lot longer than the others, mostly because of the complexity of the pattern. Another one taken from “Stitch Library” by Claire Crompton, it’s a triple braid that all weaves in and out of one another. It’s fairly difficult to see the pattern properly because of the terrible lighting in my room, I’m going to try and snap another picture in the morning with natural light. Hopefully it’ll show it at it’s best.
This yarn is (you guessed it!) by King Cole Riot Chunky in Wicked. The colours are a lot brighter in this yarn, I’m not really a huge fan of bright colours, preferring blacks and greys because they go with almost anything, but the blues and pinks in this yarn are lovely. And, more importantly, my mum absolutely loves it. She’s all about being bright when it comes to accessories.
And the best part is that when I showed my dad he got really jealous, I’m guessing it’s because the pattern is more complicated than the one I used with his scarf but he assures me he loves his scarf just as much.
Now.. on to a scarf for my niece! I really did chose the wrong time of the year to get good at knitting… at the end of winter. Oh well. At least they all won’t have to go shopping for one this October!