The Illusion of Starting Early.

As far as the sweater saga goes, I probably won’t be updating much about it until the last stretch. There’s not much point in sharing row after row of suckinette stitch, as I’ve already clearly run out of barely humorous ways to describe it. So until I get to the part where I pretend I know how to sew, we’ll move onto other things.

I’m already pretending like Christmas gifts are a priority in my life. The sad truth is I’m just trying to decrease the amount of yarn I have lying around for ~~~future projects~~ well THE FUTURE IS NOW AND HERE I AM. So I started making this rather pleasant scarf known as “The Dudester”ย and it’s going well. I’m really digging the various textures the pattern gives, and it yarn I’ve picked for it it really durable. A problem I’ve had with this is that said yarn is chunky instead of worsted, so I omitted the last repeat for rows 3 and 4 and cast on 36 sts instead – as suggested by the pattern creator in the comments section. It almost worked except that I was left with 6 sts instead of 3 at the end of the third row. So with some imagination (read: don’t panic, never let your yarn see you panic) I just made it slightly asymmetrical. Pictures will follow later on, I’m trying to get better lighting with dark grey yarn, and I want it to be longer as well.

I should also add that my favourite part of this was forgetting where I left off and becoming incredibly confused. Rather than yanking my needles out completely and having that terrifying row of 36 live stitches, I found a better (slightly saner) way of “frogging”. That’s also for another post coming soon! Plus PLUS that book review too!

So basically we’ve established that I have mentioned 3 actually interesting topic here but have failed to make better posts for them. At least I shared a pattern with you, at least you all have that now.

Give me a break, it’s standardized testing for my students and I have report cards and 50 weddings/wedding related events to go to. I’m happy I actually banged this thing out right now.

p.s. I’m thinking of starting the Beekeeper’s Quilt with all my leftover yarn. Huge endeavour, I know. It also would be the first pattern I’m paying for. I haven’t decided if I want the full puff effect, or to deal with flat hexagons. Anyone else doing this? Talk me though it, I know you’re out there fellow knitters/crocheters/bloggers.

“Stash” is such a harsh word, I prefer “disorganized pile of hopes and dreams”

Before I launch into this whole mess, I just wanted to say that the original intent of this post was to busy myself until this awesome seamless fashion knitting book was delivered to me. And it almost worked, except it arrived today and this post is still not created. SO, expect another book review soon, but for now let’s take a look at every knitter/crocheter’s simultaneous pride and shame: the stash.

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Other than the fact that it’s starting to resemble the leaning tower of Pisa, it looks harmless enough. I mean there’s a box, my books, my WIP, and the hat box right? So there’s a bunch of yarn sticking out of the hat box? It’s still good, it’s still good.

Let’s take a gander in the shoe box – which is the best stash box in the existence. God Bless u, Jeffrey Campbell.

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Here we have new skeins of yarn, leftover skeins, yarn labels, my first ever knitting and crochet instruction book that I bought for $1 in Walmart, and (I barely believe this fits in here) the unfinished work of a blanket I’m going to get rid of shortly to make more room in the box.

Then we have the yarn overflowing from the hat box

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And a look inside the hat box, featuring more leftover yarn balls, all my knitting needles, and all my crochet hooks. Also some unseen tapestry needles and ribbon embellishments I will totally use one day. Don’t look at me like that. Don’t judge me.

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In a perfect work, I’d love nothing more than to have a cute looking space to neatly organize everything. Maybe some day I will and I can make a new post. In the meantime, I’ll continue to marvel at the fact that a year and a half ago I had like 2 knitting needle sets, 0 crochet hooks, and 2 balls of yarn.

And before I get totally sentimental with that – what’s your stash look like? I’d love to see a comment here, or a post sharing it. Anyone? Bueller?

How about some book reviews?

My sweater is coming along nicely and I’m sure you would all love to hear how I am now doing the exact same thing I was doing before, but in reverse. Don’t worry I will be posting all about that, but in the meantime I feel like I can add more entertaining things on here. Since this sweater is my only active project right now (don’t get me started on my cowl that I haven’t touched in a month and that ball of yarn that should be turning into the start of a scarf gift ANY MOMENT NOW) I figured I could post some awesome book resources for knitting and crochet.

Now, I’m no stranger to the internet. Ravelry, youtube, and reddit forums have provided me with a ton of amazing knitting and crochet patterns, as well as skills needed to up my yarn game to the next level. But when it comes down to it, I find it incredibly hard to actually concentrate on a computer screen. When I was trying to learn to crochet it took me 3 days because I kept bouncing between this one youtube video and the 93854968 other tabs of Tumblr/Facebook/Livejournal activity. So naturally I still turn to books for pleasure reading, and for my hobbies. I recently went on a little bit of a binge on them, and now I’m here to recommend some of my new favourites. ๐Ÿ™‚

Knitting by Design

Emma Robertson

Amazon Link

Amazon description:ย Fashion-forward knitters who crave more than a project book will delight in this visually rich collection. Emma Robertson presents a unique and creative approach to knitting as she walks readers through her process from the kernel of inspiration to its rewarding execution. For each of the 15 stylish projects, Robertson presents hand-drawn sketches, eye candy-laden mood boards, and Polaroids of the objects that inspired her-and encourages knitters to think outside of the yarnbox by incorporating other materials into their wares, from a knitted vest with a leather pocket to a breezy tank with a dip-dyed finish. With page after page of stunning photography, this book will motivate knitters to look around them, cull inspiration, and design their own fabulous looks.

Level: You probably should know how to knit and purl for this, it might get tricky in some parts.

My Thoughts: It’s delightful when a lot of the knitting and crochet books that I own (and yarn labels too) kindly offer up patterns to work on, along with skill building instructions. It’s really disappointing when the patterns themselves are so outdated that I actually check the manufacturing/publishing date on them. Knitting By Design is like a breath of fresh air, and I also liken it to “setting Ravelry’s search to ‘hip and trendy knitwear’ and then turning that into a book”. I was iffy on buying this at first, already holding in my hands 3 other books, but opening up the pages of Knitting By Design completely hooked (bad crochet pun and not even relevant sorry) me. Each pattern has beautiful photos of the finished project, as well as design inspiration captions and trial and error notes, which is basically my bread and butter in knitting (this usually helps me answer my question of, “where did I go wrong???”)

The instructions are super clear and offer the usual skill level, sizes, measurements, yarn, needles/tools, gauge, and any special stitch instructions. Clothing is divided up into sections, and accessories in clear steps. Remember my sweater anxiety? Totally ebbing while looking at how easy a long-sleeved sweater is to make in here. There’s a beautiful pattern for a cute pair of casual shorts, and even one for a gorgeous dress. I should warn that some sewing experience seems to be required here, but nothing out of the scope for a beginner.

Beyond the projects, the beginning includes a lovely introduction to the author and how she ventured into knitting, knowledge on basic tools and yarns, abbreviations, and information on how to create your own designs. (As someone that is very interested in doing this, I found this super informational and it has inspired me to start sketching my imagined knits!) The end includes resources of booked, online resources, and additional inspiration.

Overall, this is my favourite modern knitting book in my collection. I can’t wait to make the projects in here (and blog about them!) to wear, enjoy, and gift to others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay tuned for another book review soon~