26 October 2009

Bathroom Rug--Finished!

I finished knitting my rug Sunday morning. Then, I started weaving in ends. I didn't think it would take that long as it hasn't for any of my other projects, but then once I got started I realized just what a pain in the ass it it to weave in six ends for every time I changed yarn. I didn't finish until about 30 minutes ago. Anyhow, it is finally complete, and on my bathroom floor and it feels lovely on my feet, even in socks (my big fuzzy socks I knit myself)!

I decided not to do fringe since it's going in the bathroom and it would just get wet and gross and would also  be a cat toy.

I have several projects lined up. The one I most recently decided on is a blanket made of all (well, a portion of) the crappy Red Heart yarn I have (most of which was given to me by my grandmother) using this pattern. The white part will stay white, the rest will be a bunch of other colors, some of which probably won't look very good. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it when I'm done.

Other than that, I'm planning on making a hat and gloves for my dad (shhhh, don't tell him). Those are the only things I can think of that would be manly enough for him! He is the only person in my immediate family I haven't knit anything for yet. I am also planning on making a market bag.

23 October 2009

WIP - Bathroom Rug and Mom's Headband

I found this rug by accident. I was reading the Favorite Obscure Pattern on Ravelry, when I came across a different rug which made me realize I really needed to knit a rug for my bathroom. After finding the perfect pattern I went to Michael's and bought some yarn and appropriate needles.

When I got home I started added my project on Ravelry, and since the pattern was not already on Ravelry I got to add it, which I thought was super exciting (it made me feel unique and special). People started adding it to their queues immediately and now it is in 49 queues, but I am still the only project.

About two weeks ago my family went on a trip to Oklahoma for a family reunion. The drive was about six hours long and I knit almost the entire drive both ways (don't worry, I wasn't driving). I managed to get nearly halfway through the rug just by knitting in the car. It's probably one of the easiest projects I've done. I'm not quite finished with it yet, but I think I should be able to finish up this weekend.

I also recently knit a headband for my mom, to match the scarf I knit her earlier this year. The headband itself wasn't too difficult, however the pattern was not very well written. Sure, it was concise, but one had to jump around between three different sections of the pattern on each row, which seemed unnecessary. I guess the publishers just wanted to keep it down to one page in the book. Overall, I am satisfied with the results:

And finally, a picture of my mom wearing her new headband and her scarf:

14 October 2009

Knitting at Work

I work in the learning center at a community college tutoring math and occasionally English. There is a lot of downtime and since I started working there, I've been using the downtime to knit. Most people seemed interested in my knitting, always asking me what I was working on, how long it took to make whatever it was, and would ask after previous projects when I would bring in something different. Occasionally students would ask about my knitting as well, one guy even wanted me to show him how I did it.

Apparently, someone had a problem with my knitting. Today, as I was signing out, my supervisor told me that while she had no problem with my knitting at work, apparently someone thought I looked like I was off the lock and that I appeared inaccessible. From now on, I should bring something to read when I'm not busy.

I realize it's silly for me to be upset about this. It is work and being able to do anything during the downtime is a privilege. However, what I don't understand is why knitting makes me less accessible than reading a book or studying. Knitting requires far less of my attention than reading or studying, especially if I am working on something simple like I am now. When I am knitting, I am constantly looking around to make sure no one needs my help and I also put my work down frequently to walk around and check on people.

On the plus side, I do have a lot of books to read. I haven't been reading at all lately, except when I'm in the bathtub, since I've been spending all of my free time knitting. Maybe I'll even starting refreshing myself on some math. I am thinking of applying to grad school soon, so I definitely need a refresher.

08 October 2009

Nana's Scarf

I found the Patton's Silk-Bamboo at Hobby Lobby the first time I ever looked at the yarn there. I fell in love with the yarn, both the color (sapphire) and the texture (soft and smooth). I had no idea what I was going to do with it bought I bought three skeins of it, which was all they had.

Finally, I found the Rivolo pattern on Ravelry and I thought it would be perfect. I decided I would knit the scarf for my grandmother for her 81st birthday.

A little less than halfway through the scarf I made the same mistake I made with the blanket, where I ended up with a large portion that had turned into the wrong side. I knew I had to frog it (rip out stitches) but was scared. After letting it sit for five days I finally felt like I was in the right state of mind to do it. It wasn't too terrible; no tragedies occurred. After that, I started putting in lifelines (threading a different color of yarn through a row of stitches) every two or three pattern repeats.

I had to finish the scarf a little earlier than I had planned. My grandmother's birthday wasn't until today but because everyone had plans this coming weekend we decided to have her party on Sunday, October 4. I finished knitting and started blocking Friday night. It was my first time blocking, so I documented the process.

Here we have the scarf before blocking. It definitely looks like it can be improved, doesn't it?

I let the scarf soak in the bathtub for a little bit. When I squeezed it out a bit there was some blue in the water which wasn't unexpected. My needles and my fingers had been getting a little blue on them as I was knitting.

I blocked it on an exercise mat on my bedroom floor. It's pretty much the official blocking place now.

Finally, the finished project. Doesn't it look better?

My grandmother loved the scarf. She was really appreciated a handmade gift, and was very happy to have a scarf that wasn't made of wool (she is sensitive to wool, like me).

07 October 2009

My First Big Project

After only having been knitting about three weeks, I decided I was going to knit a blanket for a pregnant friend, who was due in about two weeks. I bought a book of baby afghan patterns at Michael's and I bought some long circular needles. I ended up buying yarn at Wal-Mart, Bernat Baby Coordinates in a pretty blue and silver. If I had been knitting longer, I probably would have thought to consider things like how it would take a ridiculously long time to knit a blanket using sport weight yarn and size 6 needles--I probably would have considered going for a thicker yarn and bigger needles.

I often got bored with the blanket, so I did several side projects while I was working on it: a scarf for my mom, a sock (I finished the other sock when I finished the blanket), an incense burner mat (I made that one up!), perhaps a couple of dishcloths.  I finally finished the blanket on September 9, 2009. I was pretty happy with it, aside from the part where I either skipped or repeated a row and ended up with about the last foot of the blanket with the right side on the wrong side. I probably should have fixed it but I was afraid to frog it and I didn't have a lifeline (I didn't know anything about them at that point), and I really just wanted to be finished with it already, so it stayed that way.

I shipped the blanket off a day or two after I was finished with it. My friend posted the cutest picture of the baby with the blanket. I don't have that picture, but here is one I took shortly after I finished it:

Since finishing the blanket I have done many small projects. It's nice to start something I can finish in a few days! I imagine it will be a really long time before I make something as large as a blanket again--maybe when I have my own baby!

06 October 2009


I began knitting around December 23, 2008. My sister had decided she wanted to start knitting and I had nothing better to do, so I thought I would join her. We went to Wal-Mart and purchased a starting knitting kit that included the worst knitting instructions ever, and had patterns and pictures that would only have been okay in the eighties. We also bought a couple skeins of Red Heart yarn and were on our way.

It didn't take us long to realize that the book we bought was horrible. We sat on my sister's bed trying to decipher the tiny diagrams and eventually gave up and went to You Tube. We were able to find some adequate videos that taught us to cast on, knit, and purl.

One day my grandmother came over and she showed us how to purl (we weren't really getting it from the videos) and she also showed us a couple kinds of ribbing. I ended up with a long skinny piece of fabric with several different knit and purl stitch patterns that I eventually ended up giving to the next door neighbor's baby who apparently really liked it (most likely for teething).

My first actual projects were dishcloths--the tradition "grandma's favorite" followed by one with chevrons and another with a butterfly. Then, sometime near the end of January I decided I wanted to knit something for an old friend who was having a baby. What did I choose? A blanket. That, however, deserves it's own story.

I have become obsessed with knitting. It started as something I chose to do out of boredom and didn't take long to become "what I do."