Motif of the Month and 4th Month Knitcrate Newbies

I’ve been busy this past month remodeling our kitchen, pantry and laundry room (still not done). So, though I did upload the motif of the month yesterday (which was the last day of April), I only had time today to put out a post today. So here is the “April” motif:

square

This is the Traveling Square Motif and it’s made with super bulky yarn. I used a smaller hook to make it very dense and warm. You can use a larger hook to give more drape to the square.

Click here to download the free pattern and watch the accompanying tutorial.

Lefties click here.

Knitcrate Newbies 4

I also got my latest Knitcrate Newbies and made the project (twice). Check out the video below to see what I got and how I did making the project.

Advertisements

Newest Knitcrate Newbies Is My Favorite So Far

I don’t want to give away what I got, but it is a super popular kit that Knitcrate sells on their website. Check out the video if you want to see what I got. There is also a cameo of the Critsucess counter ring in there if you want to see it in action.

Win this ring!!!Don’t forget to enter the contest for the giveaway of the ring here. Only another week and a half to enter.

 

Help Me Pick What’s Next

My 1st Pair!
My 1st Pair!

I finally finished my first pair of socks and am ready for even more. The class I took: My First Socks, was absolutely fantastic for learning how to knit a basic pair of socks. The instructions were very clear and showed common pitfalls and why things were done. The first pair is in worsted weight yarn so you can see all the stitches you are making. The class also included a pattern for a sock weight yarn pair that I’m working on next.

Now that I’ve finished these, I want to learn a new technique, but I can’t decide which one. So, I’m asking you guys to help me out by voting. What do you think I should learn next? Or what would you like to hear about? If you’ve ever wanted to knit socks, what would you want to learn?

My choices are below. I pay for all these classes myself, so consider that as well when choosing for me. If you happen to try one of these classes, these links will give me a little bit a moola that I’ll use to help me pay for my classes, so be sure to sign up if you are interested.

I did sign up for the class below already. It is a free knit along and has the same instructor from my first socks class. She was a great teacher and I think this class will be just as fabulous.

Knit-Along 2016: SocksFREE!!

Let instructor Lucy Neatby guide you to sock-cess! In this one-of-a-kind knit-along, you’ll receive two new lessons and a new design each month, so you can knit your way through three exciting knitted sock patterns. Start with the smocked Guernsey sock, as you learn how to work from cuff down, create a sturdy slip-stitch heel and work a toe chimney. Then, move on to the toe-up Serpentine sock, where you’ll knit beautiful cable patterning, the garter short row heel and even a nifty I-cord cuff. Want a project with a little more color? You’ll complete your knit-along with the Windowpane sock, as Lucy teaches you how to work a double-thick cuff, a two-color slip-stitch leg and the swirly star toe.

 

So here are the choices:

Knit Original Cuff-Down Socks – $39.99

Master the traditional method of knitting socks with expert knitter and author Donna Druchunas. Donna guides you through sock fitting, heel shaping and stitch pattern choices. You’ll learn to use three different needle types (double-pointed needles, two circular needles or the magic loop). Even super-experienced sock knitters will discover inspired variations on heels and toes, stitches, yarns, needles and colors. Whether you customize the universal pattern, or tackle one of Donna’s three bonus sock designs, you will love the results.

Knit Original Toe-Up Socks – $39.99

Embrace the time-tested method of toe-up knitting! Join popular instructor Donna Druchunas, and learn how to create your own seamless sock design by mixing and matching different features. Start class by learning about the anatomy of a sock before moving on to the shaping and stitch patterns you can use. For toes, Donna will lay out the steps to the moccasin toe, the wedge toe and the short row toe. When you move on, you’ll discover how to create afterthought heels, gusset heels and short row heels. Want to ensure sock success before you start? Donna will guide you through taking accurate measurements and planning your sock using an included worksheet. Plus, you’ll learn great tips and tricks for polished finishing and receive three free patterns included with class!

Knit Sock Workshop – $39.99

Designer and author Donna Druchunas walks you through knitting socks from the ground up. From casting on to binding off, Donna details simple steps to make intricate sock patterns easy and enjoyable. Once you’ve worn handmade socks, your feet won’t be satisfied with anything else. Donna introduces you to knitting from the toe up so you can try on the sock as you knit and adjust the height of the cuff. You will discover two techniques for starting a sock, three different heel techniques, and usefuls tips and tricks like the figure-8 cast-on and stretchy bind-off. Learn to read charts and use double-pointed or circular needles to create lace and stranded colorwork in the round.

Essential Techniques for Sock Knitting – $29.99

Conquer sock knitting essentials that ensure success! Join designer Ann Budd and learn little details that make things easier at every step. During class, you’ll see how to knit identical socks toe-up and cuff-down, and find out how to troubleshoot any tricky situations that pop up along the way. Ann will begin by demonstrating how to take accurate measurements before helping you conquer popular sock cast-ons and bind-offs. For variety, you’ll discover new heel and toe styles, and Ann will share methods for shaping. With these skills you can accommodate for the unique features of any feet! Plus, throughout class you’ll learn the classic techniques that lead to great socks, from picking up stitches to grafting.

I’ll be making my choice once I finish the sock weight pair I’m making, so hopefully within a week or so. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Knitting Progress

My projects
My projects

As I mentioned before, I signed up for Knit Lab: In the Round from Craftsy.

I went through and made all the project included and wanted to share my finished objects as well as give a pro and con overview of the class in case you were thinking of taking it.

You can see my items above (except for the headband with flower, (forgot to add that to the picture) and I think they came out quite well.

The actual class itself had some positives and negatives.

Pro

You work four different projects using four different methods of knitting in the round:

  1. With DPNs
  2. Using the Magic Loop
  3. Knitting Two at a Time
  4. Using a Single Circular Needle

Con

None of the techniques go into depth of how to work them effectively.

For example, the instructor tells us to cast on one extra stitch for the magic loop and then slip it, but she doesn’t really show how she slipped it or what to do with it. I had an extra stitch that I had no idea what to do with it. Still trying to figure out what that extra stitch was for? Would’ve liked a little more description when working each of these techniques.

Pro

Very cute projects

I loved all of the projects and they were fun to do.

Con

Not a lot of instruction for each project.

Maybe because there were so many projects, she kept the instructions short, but I was thinking this was a beginner class for working in the round. Instead it was more of a walkthrough of different methods and short instructions for the projects.

The beanie you see above was supposed to have colorwork, but I took out the colorwork because I didn’t know how to work it effectively. She states to make sure it doesn’t pucker by not pulling too tight on the strands, but doesn’t explain how to keep from doing that while working it with the magic loop. My was puckering a ton because I didn’t know how to space the stitches effectively on the hook and cable.

I get comments sometimes that my videos are too wordy, but I think it is the little things that can help the project be its best. Even if you aren’t a beginner, sharing little tricks you know can mean the difference on giving up on a project or having it make sense. I think the instructor would have been perfect if she could have added some of that in.

Overall

The class is great if you aren’t a total beginner at working in the round. If you’ve only worked on DPNs and want to know how to work other methods, I think this class would be perfect. Because you already have the general knowledge of working in the round, your projects would probably be terrific.

However, if you are a total newbie to working in the round, this class might frustrate you a little. The projects are gorgeous, but you will probably have to do some extra research to figure out the missing bits of the techniques.

You can check out the class and see the video intro by clicking the link below.

If you’ve taken the class, let us know what you thought of it.

I’m hoping my Knitcrate will have some sort of working in the round this month so I can get some holes filled in. I will check Craftsy for some more knitting in the round classes I can take and report back if any of them are more helpful.

Now I’m off to learn how to make socks.


  1. Knit Lab: In the Round

Check Out The Knitcrate Newbie Package I Received!

I got my Knitcrate Newbie package and have made up my first project.

If you remember from my previous post, I am learning to knit and had signed up for this particular knitcrate because it included everything I needed to learn to knit including the needles, yarn and videos. Check out  my reveal video to see how I liked it and what I made.

Plus use promo code: 77tg5t to get $10 off your first knitcrate.

Giving It Another Try

What am I giving another try?

 
 
Knitting.
 

I’ve picked up the sticks a couple of times in the past, but could never quite get the hang of it. I didn’t know anyone who could help me with hands on experience and learning from a book was not happening for me.

So, I kept giving up.

 

I finally decided to give it one more try. There were a couple of reasons.

  1. I want to learn to knit wool socks for the family to keep our feet warm during winter. I think some things are better knitted (like socks) and some are better crocheted (like slippers), so I want to really give learning a try and make some super cute socks in the process.
  2. People ask all the time for knitting versions of my patterns. Can’t really do that if I don’t understand knitting.

So I got out my needles that I had bought so long ago, but I still didn’t have anyone close to teach me. So, I went to Craftsy.

I work with Craftsy on a pretty regular basis (plus I’m an affiliate, so clicking on Craftsy links give me a small bit of change to keep the blog running) and wanted to give one of their knitting classes a try. See if I could finally understand all the stuff I couldn’t before.

I tried out Knit Lab with Stefanie Japel.


Knit Lab: Projects, Patterns & Techniques

Though there are a couple of beginner knitting classes, this one seemed like the most basic that would walk me through all the stuff I needed to learn.

This class was just what I needed.

This class first walks you through casting on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It shows up-close perspectives, which is what I really needed and I finally got the hang of it.

 

IMG_6435
My First Finished Project

 
After the basics, she then has you work on the scarf you see above. You learn increasing and decreasing, plus some basic lace. I loved that it was all wrapped up in a project that you can actually use after you finish it.

But that’s not all.
 

Swatch, swatch and more swatch.
Swatch, swatch and more swatch.

 
After the scarf, you still have lesson after lesson of increasing, decreasing and some popular stitch patterns (seed stitch and basketweave). It was perfect for a person like me who really needs to see each step.

Another awesome thing about the class (and all classes on Craftsy) is that you can leave questions while watching and the instructor will answer them. So to the right of the screen there are all the questions all the students that have taken the class have asked with their replies. So mostly all the questions I had were already asked, but it was awesome to see ones I hadn’t thought of. So that gave me extra knowledge that I might not known I needed.

A couple other cool features of the class is you can take notes while watching and they will show up on a timeline of where you took them during the class (so you can find your place very easily). And there is a 30 second repeat button. You press the button and the video will loop for 30 seconds over and over till you turn it off. So you can watch the same stitch being made over and over until you get without having to constantly rewind it.

I can’t say enough great things about this Craftsy class. It has really enabled me to actually knit now.

I also took another class right after I finished this one.

Being a crocheter, continental style knitting (where you hold your yarn tail in your left hand instead of your right) just comes naturally. However, trying to purl the way Stephanie was doing it in my previous video, was not working well for me. I tried holding my yarn as I do for crochet and that was really difficult to purl with as well. So I found this class:


Knit Faster With Continental Knitting

This class was perfect. It showed me a fantastic way to work my purl stitches that clicked right away.

I was just hoping to find a better way to purl, but she also worked through a lot of ways to work faster while knitting all kinds of stitches.  She also explained how to get my stitches as even as possible. These topics weren’t covered in the other class I took, so that was even more bang for my buck.
 

What’s Next?

 
I’ve restarted my Knitcrate subscription (I put on pause while moving), but this time I opted for the “knitter newbies” pack. It is supposed to help me learn and give me projects, yarn and needles each month to learn new things. My first package is arriving today, so you’ll be seeing a post on it in a day or two.
 

Plus, I’m signing up for my next Craftsy class.


Knit Lab: In the Round

 
This class is my next step in learning to knit socks. All my current knitting is flat. So the same instructor I started with will now teach me to work in the round. There are a bunch of cute projects to make in the class too (some are shown in the photo).

Then after that, it will be time.

 


My First Socks

 
I will make my first socks. I’m trying to not rush my learning, but I was so excited about the thought of my first socks that I had to get these:

zu30215171_main_tm1440615501

Some clear rain boots to show off my work. I couldn’t just keep them under wraps in boring old regular boots now could I?

 
 

Any Advice?

Are you a combo crafter? Do you knit and crochet? Which one did you learn first and do you have any tips or tricks to help my knitting along? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Knitcrate Reveal July 2014 Plus Giveaway

I’ve been out of town so this reveal is a little late in the month, but better late than never. Especially when it includes a giveaway!

 

I always know who this package is from.
I always know who this package is from.

I got some really cool stuff this month and I can’t wait to show you.

First, the Sweet Extra

My new favorite cookie.
My new favorite cookie.

J&M Key Lime Cookies ($4 value)

“All natural” and cookies don’t always go well together. I thought I would try one of these tea cookies and then the cotton mouth that would result from the dryness of the cookie would prevent me from eating another.

Well, I tried one and the next thing I knew, the bag was empty.

The cookies were so delicious that I’m about to order some more from their website. Did I mention they included a 20% off promo code as well?

The outer coating was a sort of thick powered sugar but more soft and less asphyxiating — ever breathe in accidentally when biting a powered doughnut?

The key lime was sweet, yet wonderfully tart and the actually cookie was very soft and not dry at all.

I highly recommend these and if you don’t like them, I will take any extras off of your hands.

Next the Fun Extra

The Digital Finger Tally Counter ($10 value)

This thing is very cool. It’s a row/stitch counter that has an adjustable ring to fit on your finger. I will have to try it out and see which finger it will work best on.

It has a nice large button in the center for keeping track. Then a reset button to get you back to zero and a LCD button to light up your display when working in low light.

I received a yellow one, but it comes in tons of different colors as well.

Patterns and Promo Codes

Giveaway time!
Giveaway time!

The two free patterns this month are the Grace Scarf and Lauren Cowl ($10 value)

I’ll be giving away the code to download these below, so if you knit, or want to learn, these are both beautiful patterns to do it with.

I also received the following promo codes in this month’s Knitcrate. Remember, I just let you know what you can get if you join Knitcrate, I don’t give out the actual promo codes.

1. 20% off any online order at JM-foods.com (the cookie makers above.)

2. 50% off patterns by Claire Ellen and Kay Dahlquist on Ravelry.

3. 15% off of Swan Island’s Merino and Natural Colors yarn (yarn included in knitcrate).

The Yarn

Always save the best for last.
Always save the best for last.

I love the name of this yarn.

Swans Island Natural Color Collection in Sea Glass ($48 for both hanks)

It’s handcrafted in Maine and hand dyed.

This super soft lace weight is 50% fine merino wool and 50% tussah silk. It comes with a whopping 530 yards per hank. I think I will need to make a very special shawl with this. Stay tuned for that.

Loving the Knitcrate this month. Did you get one? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Use this link and get 10% off your first order. Meanwhile, get a better look at the haul here in this video reveal.

The Giveaway

Leave me a comment below.
Leave me a comment below.

Leave me a comment below on your favorite weight of yarn. Do you prefer worsted or bulky, fingering or lace, or do you love it all? Let me know and you will be entered to win the promo codes for the patterns. Entries end Saturday, August 9th, 2014 and I will announce the winner Sunday, August 10th, 2014.

Not a knitter? I have a really awesome giveaway coming up in the next couple of days. Be sure to follow the blog so you will get notice when it is up.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.