It is one of my goals this year (and quite possibly many subsequent years afterward), to start knitting mainly for myself. In the past 2-3 years, I have knit one (ONE!) thing for myself. That is quite a depressing statistic, considering that during those years, I knit nearly every day.
I will be shifting the focus of the shop from primarily knitwear, to more sewn items (tote bags, and possibly knitting project bags) and artwork. I am in the process of test dyeing yarn to see if that is an area I want to pursue. Because of this shift, I all of a sudden have a lot of time to cast on projects that are for ME. I am quickly finding out the options are endless.
In the past week, I have added approximately 7 billion new favourites on Ravelry. I have also cast on 4 projects. I have a pair of socks, a pair of mittens, a shawl and a pullover on the go. All fingering weight, which I must say is a new thing for me. In the past, I have used primarily worsted weight yarn, and some bulky here and there for cowls in the shop. I am really liking the feeling of knitting with lighter yarn, and the fabric I can produce with it. (Check out my Ravelry projects to see all these WIP’s) Of course, with all this lightweight yarn, I had to get some new needles in appropriate sizes (Had to…). I saw that my LYS had recently stocked Addi Sock Rockets, which would normally be a luxury item that I could never purchase in town. I bought a pair of US 0, US 1, and US 2. That should pacify my for a little while, I hope.
I have also been trying to learn how to knit continental. I was taught to knit in the English style, where you “throw” the yarn to wrap it around the needles. I’m quickly learning that this is the slowest method of knitting, so I would like to up my game a bit. After some practice, I found that I got better at the knit stitch, and it was very obvious that my speed improved greatly. However, I notice that my gauge becomes MUCH looser when I knit continental. I find I am completely unable to do the purl stitch. It is a long, laborious process to form each stitch and I will quickly transfer the working yarn back to my right hand after one or two stitches. Does anyone have any suggestions about this? I did see there is a Craftsy class available on the subject, but found it hard to justify spending $20 on something that seemed such a simple concept.
Another new fascination of mine is watching the A Homespun House Podcast. I watched an episode at the beginning of the week and got completely hooked on it. Molly is the host, an American who lives in Germany. I just love seeing her projects and hearing her stories. I find her to be eloquent, engaging and also very direct and honest, which I enjoy.
I am currently knitting one of her patterns: Foraging, which is a mitten pattern, with a soft lace detail all up the back of each one. I highly recommend this pattern. It is a paid pattern, but I think it’s definitely worth it. The pattern itself is beautiful, with lots of nice pictures. It is laid out well so it is easy to understand, and the lace pattern is much easier than it looks. The only thing I will say, is that the pattern is written more for using dpn’s. I am using magic loop because the only US 0 dpn’s I have are wood, and I don’t like how flimsy they feel. Using magic loop is completely fine, and she tells you how to lay out your stitches at the beginning of the pattern, but I simply don’t like how the break in the needles falls in the centre of the lace pattern. I might just have to purchase those Karbonz dpn’s I’ve been eyeing for months…
I have been using my Vampire Romance Yarn Club skein from this month, which I just received in the mail. It is 100% super wash merino, single ply. It is sooo soft, with a very slight halo. The colorway for this month is Mina & Dracula. The colors go from emerald green, to sage green, to almost a yellow-green colour, and then there is white and a very subtle grey. I am really liking how it’s knitting up so far, although I’m only done the cuff of the first mitten.
All in all, I would say it has been a great week for knitting!
I am also still plugging away on my D-Spakal yarn:
Check out my Instagram feed for more in progress shots of what I am making, or find me on Ravelry, both under LStansal