Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Knitting Goals

So, I've been putting off writing this post for basically all month.  Each day that I didn't write it, I would say to myself "well as long as you write it by the end of the month".  Well, it's officially the end of the month and here I am finally writing up my knitting goals for 2012.  I'm going to aim big this year because I'm feeling rather confident in my knitting abilities or at least more confident than I've ever felt.  In fact, when I look back on where I was knitting wise this time last year I am totally blown away.  Lately I find myself finishing projects faster whereas last year I felt like projects would take me forever.  Okay, so they didn't take forever but they definitely took me longer than they probably would now.  But enough about that, let's talk about goals.

Goal #1 - Knit a garment.  You might recall that I have the Einstein coat in progress, but that doesn't count.  When I started knitting that coat I didn't know what I was doing and didn't really start it the "right way".  What is the right way? While I'm not exactly what I'm sure what the right way means, but part of the right way should include knitting a swatch.  I never swatched for the Einstein coat, which might explain my reluctance to finish it.   I want to knit a garment that I swatch for and that actually fits me AND that I wear.

Goal #2 - Get published in a magazine and/or knitting website.  Part of this goal is out of my hands since I won't have any say on the magazine's end, but I can control the actual submission.  Essentially what I need to do is to design and item AND submit it to a magazine and/or knitting website.  Now, I do already have a pattern published on Knit Picks website via the Independent Designer Program, which I am very proud of, but here I'm talking about a submission where I have to keep it a secret until it is either accepted or rejected from the magazine.  I'd also like to continue submitting to Knit Picks as I've really enjoyed working with them.

Goal #3 - Branch out in my designs.  Basically this means that I want to start designing items other than shawls.  I'm still going to design shawls, but I'm interesting in trying to design a hat, wristers/gloves/mittens, and/or socks.  I'm already working on a hat design, well sorta working on one, so I have a good start on this goal.  Of those I listed, I think that the socks will be the hardest to design and probably why I listed them last.

Goal #4 - Knit more socks.  I love knitting socks but for some reason I tend to put them aside and then totally forget that I have them in progress.  Which is really bizarre since I really do love knitting them.  I love knitting things with a small circumference.  I think that the small circumference is about the cutest technique in knitting. 

Goal #5 - Swatch. Swatch. Swatch.  I am not a big fan of swatching, but in order to make items that fit (including socks & hats) you really need to swatch.  This year I am going to become a fan of swatching.  Note that this goal will directly relate back to goal #1 & #3 & #6.

Goal #6 - If it doesn't fit, then rip & repeat.  I did this recently with the Seedling hat and I couldn't be happier with the new hat.  I'm no longer going to not rip something because it doesn't fit.  I'm going to rip things and re-knit them so that they fit and I'm happy with them.

Okay, I think that is a pretty good list for this year.  I think that the hardest goal to achieve is going to be goal #2.  This is going to be the hardest for me because in order to submit to magazines and/or knitting websites I'm going to have to keep the design a secret.  Once I've finished designing something there is nothing I want to do more than post about it either on the blog or Ravelry.  I'm just really excited and want to share them.  Of course, if & when I can keep the secret and get the design submitted, then there is the issue of being accepted.  All I can do is try and for that I am excited.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Baby Cardigan

This is absolutely one of the cutest things I have ever knit and I'm not even done yet!  The pattern is Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down, who has some other awesome patterns that I'm going to be checking out as well.  I'm using Spud & Chloe Sweater (which is awesome yarn) and a size 8 32" circular needle & dpns.  I'm knitting this for my new nephew who was born Nov 22nd 2011.  I'm knitting the 12 month old size.  I hope that I finish it shortly as I know that babies like to grow and I want to make sure he gets good wear out of it!  Also can you believe that is my first baby garment ever?!?!?! Why didn't I start knitting these things sooner?


Saturday, January 21, 2012

O.M.G.!!!

Why the OMG? Well the other day I get a call from a friend that my En Fuego Shawl pattern had been featured in Knit Picks weekly email! Squeeeeee!!!!  Of course I immediately went to check my email to see it and then called & emailed my family (yes I am that nerdy!).  I didn't even know that was going to be happening, so it was very exciting to see.  I should also note that the shawl would look fabulous in their new yarn line, Capretta.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to be ordering some of the yarn to knit one myself.
One of 3 men's hats that I knit
Okay, what else have I been up to?  Well I've been knitting hats.  Then when I thought I was done knitting hats, I knit another hat.  It started with my Seedling hat (which I'll get to in a moment), but what started to really put me over the edge were the owlie hats I knit for my nephews.  This lead to me knitting the Shroom hat, 3 men's hat (3x3 ribbing with stockinette hat body), and culminating in me re-knitting my Seedling hat.  Yes, I ripped and re-knit my Seedling hat and I couldn't be happier with it.  The original hat was big...really big..and I realized that I was never going to wear it AND I really wanted to wear it.  So rip it went.


It was quite the experience having to first find all the ends that I previously wove in and then unweave (is that a word???) them.  At one point I ran into a knot of sorts and seriously debated just cutting the yarn, but in the end I got the knot loose so I didn't have to cut anything.  I was able to recover pretty close to 100% of my yarn, which probably wasn't necessary as the smaller hat would use less yarn and if needed, I already had left over yarn from the project.  To make the hat smaller I cast on 87 instead of 99 and followed the rest of the pattern essentially how it was written.  The two biggest pieces I had to rework involved the math to change the frequency of the increases in the pattern set up and the decreases at the crown.  All the details can be found on my Ravelry page here.  All in all I really enjoyed modifying the pattern and thought it taught me a lot about hats.  It might even give me the courage to design a hat in the (near?) future.
Hat before ripping and re-knitting

Hat after ripping and re-knitting.
Can you tell that I'm on a blue kick? Lately blue is just talking to me and I can't say no.  I have a shawl on the needles in blue as well as a baby cardigan for my nephew that is blue.  In fact, the only non-blue item I've knitted recently is the black hat that I knit for Mr. SpiderKate.  Now all I need is for it to get cold again so that I can wear my hat out!  Oh, you might be wondering who all the hats went to, well here is the break down:
  • Owlie hats - Little Phil and baby Jack (nephews)
  • Men's hats - Mr. SpiderKate, Phil (brother), and Pat (sister's boyfriend)
  • Shroom hat - Erin (sister-in-law)
  • Seedling hat - Me!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Christmas Photos

Christmas Stockings hung on the mantle

Boots! My sister and I originally got the same boots but I ended up exchanging mine for a different size/type.

My mom's boots which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!
Sister, mom, & me :o)

Sisters!
Even Merlin and Arthur got into the Christmas Spirit by snuggling up

Pirate ship at Galveston Festival of Lights

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Knitting Wrap-Up

28 projects! Not too shabby for 2011.  Also, I did a pretty good job recalling the 2011 projects from memory. Here's to hoping for an awesome 2012 filled with lots of knitting adventures!

2011 list of completed projects from memory:
  • Chincoteague Shawl
  • Wild Ivy Shawl (x2)
  • En Fuego Shawl (x2)
  • Mitered hanging towels (x2)
  • Garter dish/wash cloth
  • Seedling hat
  • Owlie hats (x2)
  • Shroom hat
  • Entrelac scarf
  • Perfect men's hat 
  • Brush Suri Loop Scarf (cowl)
  • Mystery Medallion Shawl
  • Sweetheart socks
  • Gap-tastic cowl
  • Louis Bertrand (cowl/hat)
  • Ridge Lace Cowl 
  • Rose Lace Stole
  • Fair Isle coasters
  • Helical hat
2011 list of completed projects using Ravelry to check my list from memory:
  • Live Oak Shawlette
  • Drop stitch scarf
  • Mason-Dixon washcloth
  • Cable rib hat
  • Mr. Pitt's socks (aka Mr. SpiderKate's socks)