Knitting Basket

I like crafts of all kinds.  I've tried my hand at lots of them, but I've only fallen in love with a few.  Sewing was my first love, and it probably always will be, but there are others that I enjoy almost as much.

Like knitting.  I started knitting when my kids were little, and I thought it would be fun to knit little sweaters and socks and mittens and things.  Little did I know how long it takes to knit a sweater.  I think I only ever made one little baby jumpsuit -- after that I stuck to socks and mittens and hats and handwarmers and scarves.  Small projects.

I bought a fleece once, right off the sheep, and washed it (in the bathtub), carded it (with hand carders), spun it (with a drop spindle), and knitted socks and scarves with it.  That was quite a project, and I still have some of the unfinished wool left.  But I doubt that I'll do all that again.  Carding?  Not so fun.  Spinning? Not much fun, either.

But I like to knit -- even if it's only small projects -- which I'll share here as I get them done.

Fingerless Gloves October 2012

You know, it's really hard to take decent pictures of your own hands.  But here they are: my new fingerless gloves for this year.

Every year I usually make a new pair, simply because I either wear out the old pair or I get tired of them.  I wore my last pair for two years -- they were made of a multicolored yarn, primarily teal with some browns and yellows and white mixed in.  But teal doesn't go with virtually anything I own so I decided I needed a slightly more neutral-colored pair for this year.  Not that purple is       exactly neutral, but it's better than teal.

The cuffs and the finger/thumb openings are simple 1 X 1 rib knit, the body is plain knit.  I made these using one circular needle instead of double pointed ones.  The yarn is a variegated superwash in merino wool.  It's pretty soft but still just the tiniest bit scratchier than my old teal ones.  I also think that I used a needle a little too small for the yarn.  It makes the gloves a little less stretchy than they could have been, but it also makes them denser and warmer, so it's probably okay.

I like the way these turned out -- they look a little like blueberry ice cream -- which I think is kinda neat.

Bamboo and Wool Blend Striped Socks October 2013

I am a very slow knitter, so unfortunately, even socks take me a very long time.  I started this one in the Spring, and as it's Fall and I've only got one finished, I suppose I can confidently say that I'll have a new pair of socks next year.

Okay, so I'm probably exaggerating.  Truth is, I don't knit much in the summer (and who is surprised by that?) so projects started in the Spring seem to take forever.  I get discouraged and feel like they'll never get done.  I blame them for everything that's wrong with my wardrobe.  Sometimes I even throw them in the back of the closet in disgust and forget about them.  Hmmmm. Maybe I should stop starting knitting projects in the Spring...

Anyway.  These are made from a luxurious bamboo/merino blend, soft and springy and downright decadent. The yarn has such a pretty sheen and I like the way the colors look against each other.  I've had the yarn for several years, since I bought it on sale without any kind of plan for it's disposition.

I'm using a very simple pattern, though I don't remember what it's called.  It's a four row repeat. Row 1 : k2, p2; Row 2: k2, p2; Row 3: p2, k2; Row 4: p2, k2.  Can't really get much simpler than that.

I do really hope to get the second one done before Christmas.  I have this idea that I might graduate to sweaters or something before too much longer.  I've been making small items for a good 20 years now and it seems like it's time to branch out and try something a little more challenging.  And my husband could use a nice, handmade sweater since RTWs don't really fit him all that well.

Anybody have any nice men's sweater patterns (for knitting)  that they'd like to recommend.  I'm all ears...errr....eyes...well, you get the idea.

Wool Self Striping Socks November 2013

Daughter asked for socks this year, and I've been hanging on to this yarn for her for a couple of years now.  This is a simple, uncomplicated pattern, just ribbing at the top and plain knit for the rest.  Made with wool, self-striping baby yarn, these socks will keep Daughter's feet nice and warm.  I really like how these turned out -- and the stripes on the two socks almost perfectly match to within a few rows.  I'd like to say that I achieved this through the careful application of scientific principle, but in truth it was purely accidental.  I just cast on the stitches for the second sock right where I left off knitting the first one and it just so happened that the pattern of the yarn started at the same general place on both socks.  Never mind.  This pair is an absolute success and I'm very proud of them.