Sunday, January 19, 2014

"My First Sweater"

I decided to sign up for the My First Sweater class on Craftsy.  They had a great deal on the yarn "kit", so for less than $20, I ordered all the yarn I needed to make the sweater.  It's just Lion Brand Wool Ease, but it's working up very nicely.  I have other, nicer yarn, but for my first attempt at making a sweater, I didn't want to go all out.

I've known how to knit for years, but the problem is two fold.  1.  I attempt to make things that are much harder than I am ready to do, and 2) because of this, I make lots of mistakes, but have no idea how to fix them!  Maybe this will be what I need to improve my skills and get ready for the next level.  Plus, I think the pattern is pretty cute.
The class uses this free pattern from Lion Brand.  It also has options for a pullover (which I intend to make next) and a cardigan with longer sleeves and/or a collar.

On the sewing front, I'm planning on doing some cutting out after lunch.  Andy will be busy listening to the football games, and I'm not really a fan.  Since the home stereo system will be covered with football, I'll just turn off the speakers in the sewing room and turn on my audio book.  I have a 35 minute commute to work each way, so I listen to audiobooks and it really makes the time go by - plus I get to "read" books that I wouldn't have time to otherwise.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A little detour to Winter Wonderland

I took a little detour from my Rebel Broomstick Lace Cardi.  I saw this pattern in Love of Crochet magazine and had to make it for my grand daughter.  I just couldn't stop thinking about it, so I knew I had to make it!  But, I wanted to make it in blue, which I did.   I'm calling it "Emma's Winter Wonderland Cape and Hat."   I'm really happy with how it turned out.

 I think Emma likes it too, since she didn't tear it off like she usually does with her jackets and sweatshirts.  She even put the hat back on when it fell off after we were in the house!

We are blessed to be able to have Emma spend the afternoon and night with us every Wednesday and a couple of Sundays a month.  She really loves coming up here because she gets to run and play a lot outside.  She gets to play outside at her house too, but its not the same as being out in the country of course.  She's only 26 months, but she knows what she wants to do!

I have made some progress on the Broomstick lace cardi though.  I really am enjoying making that.

Now that the holidays are over, I'm hoping that things will settle down a bit.  I've been going to some Common Core Training at work, so that is taking some extra time.  I spent 3 hours in my classroom today making lesson plans for a substitute when I could have been home doing something else!  Oh well.

Emma stayed with us today, so while she took a nap I was able to trace one of my patterns for the swap.  I will be making the Silhouettes Patterns twinset out of a gray knit. i got the pattern traced and tissue cut, but didn't get to fabric yet.  I better get on the stick and make some clothes, because I'm finding that I don't have too many things to wear for colder weather.  Thinking about making them does not get them made!!

The nice thing about knitting and crochet is that I can sit in the living room with my husband and do it while he is there.  When I'm sewing, I'm kind of off in my own world (physically and mentally!)  I'm much better at crocheting than knitting.  I love the look of knits, but my problem is that I don't know how to fix my mistakes when I make them.  I find this pretty easy in crochet, but next to impossible in knitting.  Probably the issue is the fact that I choose things to make that are considerably above my skill set!  I think I may sign up to take the "MY First Sweater" class at Craftsy.  I do know the basics, but I have never knitted anything more than scarves, hats, and mittens.  I've attempted a few shawls, but have torn every single one of them out since I usually find mistakes several rows back and have no idea how to fix them.  If it's a simple knit or purl stitch, I can usually fix that, but sometimes I can't figure out what the mistake is.  Either I've twisted a stitch, messed up a YO or some other dumb thing.  I probably need to start with something more simple, so the Craftsy class might be the answer.

There are only 2 disadvantages of crocheting over knitting.  First and foremost is the fact that it really bothers the arthritis in my thumb.  Knitting does not.  The other thing is the fact that crochet projects usually take much more yarn than knitted projects, and I have a taste for expensive yarn.
Well, sewing doesn't bother my hands at all (well, hardly at all) so thats what I should be doing!  I'm ready to get started on the gray twinset, so I will post progress.  I have a great brocade type fabric that I want to make a skirt with.  It's not part of my swap, but it will go with the gray set.  I've had this fabric earmarked for a pencil skirt for years, and yet there it sits.  How long does it really take to make a skirt anyway?  I should have made a dozen.