Summer is finally here!

Hello all,

I’m sorry for the gap in posts, I got so busy with school and applications that I didn’t have time to stop, sit down, and write. But, it’s summer now and I’m back home in the great AK, which means more knitting and more posts!

To start off, just a little update on my last posts. I had just knitted some fingerless gloves for my boyfriend’s birthday. Since then, I’ve knitted a scarf, two sets of a baby hat plus baby booties, a hat, a number of coffee sleeves, and tried my hand at double knitting. I’ll post some pictures below. I also tried my hand at making a clay yarn bowl (thanks to the boyfriend for helping out!). I just finished so we’ll see how it turns out.

Currently I’m working on another coffee sleeve and a sweater for a chicken. Yes, you read that right, sweaters for chickens. I found the pattern on Ravelry and sent it to my friend as a joke. Turns out her aunt has three chickens, and loved the idea. And now, I officially have my first commission project! So that’s exciting!

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Beginning of a chicken sweater!

Next week I’m having a private lesson at my LYS to learn how to knit socks!!!! So there will definitely be a post about that.

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Knit hat and a birthday surprise!

Sorry for the lapse guys. Last week was midterms/finals for half term classes, so I was busy. But, that doesn’t mean I didn’t knit.

I just finished a hat that I had hoped would use up the last of the black yarn I used on my brioche scarf, and some pink yarn I got at Goodwill. It did not come with a label, so I’m not able to give you much detail about it. My apologies.

The hat I knitted was a simple design, just a 2×2 rib for an inch with US size 9 needles, and stockinette for 8 inches with US size 11 needles. Then I decreased by round 1: K1, K2tog, round 2: K, for 3 reps with size 11 double point needles. To finish it off, I added a pompom.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out, though it did take me three times to perfect the pattern. The first time I attempted it, I thought I just wanted to do a simple beanie– no rim, but the yarn decided to roll up too much and form too thick. I pretty much had a pink, knitted bowler, which was not awesome. So I started over with a brim, but the tension was still off, so I upped the needle size by two. Finally, I was able to cut my tails and weave in the ends. Also, thank you to my best friend’s little sister. She’s an excellent head model.

Now, I also knitted a birthday surprise for my boyfriend. I’m giving it to him this week, so I don’t want to risk spoiling the surprise for him. Although, I will make sure that will write a post about it because it was a completely new project. I took quite a number of tries and I had to switch patterns a couple times.

So more on that in a few days!

Knit Hat and a Brioche Headband

Hello Everyone!

I managed to knit two projects this week! I’m quite proud of that, although they were both fairly small and simple. The first was a knitted hat for my roommate. Her birthday is in a month, and I may have gotten a little bit excited. I used this pattern by NatHipKnits, for free on Ravelry. I did have to increase the number of stitches when I was casting on because it just seemed to be coming out too small. This just meant that when I was doing the crown, I had to think. I used Lion Brand’s Thick & Quick in Black Canyon. I really enjoy working with this yarn because it knits up so well and the finished product is soft and smooth. For the pom pom I used Sensations Angel Hair in Black/White. Overall I really like it, and my roommate loves the massive pom pom I put on top.

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The second project I completed was a brioche stitch headband that I made just to use up the rest of my Lion Brand Thick & Quick yarn. Also, I don’t like to do my hair in the morning and I’ve wanted something that I can just throw on and walk to class.  I whipped it up in a day, really without any pattern. I casted on 10 stitches on size 10.5 needles, and knitted the brioche stitch for a good 23-24 inches. When I joined the two sides, I actually joined them about 3-4 inches short on one side, so the diameter of the headband would be around 20 inches. Then, I folded the remaining section over itself, added buttons for a cute detail, and finished off the tails. Very easy and it looks cute!

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The Brioche Stitch Scarf

I finished another project yesterday, and I’m very happy with how it came out. I used Unnur Eva Arnarsdóttir’s pattern from Ravelry, which is a free download. It’s a very straight forward pattern for anyone, like myself, who wants to learn the brioche stitch. I highly recommend it. It might be my new favorite stitch.

Here are pictures of the finished product: the whole scarf modeled by my lovely friend and a close-up of the stitches themselves.

The only issue I had with the scarf was that for three stitches something went wrong, not sure what, but I have three holes in it. However, those are easily hidden in the twist. I personally like the look of a twisted scarf, so when I was weaving/joining/sewing (whatever you want to call it) the ends together, I just turned one side upside down, and it came out like so.

I really love how this scarf feels; the fabric came out so fluffy and soft. I like how the pattern came out as well. I was looking to make a solid, basic black scarf that wasn’t too boring. And, I think it turned out.

Knitting on a Budget

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Image by Sarah Andersen, used with permission.

We’ve all been there, and as you may have gathered, I am still a college student, which is a great thing! I love taking classes, and even enjoy the endless hours of reading and writing, but what that mostly means is that I don’t have an income. You can see where I’m going with this: no income = no money for yarn = a sad Karl. I do work during my summer and winter breaks to earn some spending cash (it kills me to ask for money from my parents), but that means I have to be very wise about the ways that I spend it. So here are some of my tips and tricks:

  • Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store
    • If you’re a student like me, you should definitely sign up for their Student Discount Program. It gives you 10% off of regular and SALE priced items, but unfortunately you can’t pair it with a coupon. So make sure you calculate the prices beforehand to get the best deal.
    • I would recommend that you sign up for J0-Ann’s newsletter where they advertise their weekly ads and include coupons which can be texted to your phone, or scanned right from the email. Although, both of these can be found on their website, through the links I’ve included.
  • Michaels
    • Michaels also has coupons and weekly ads on their website, though I don’t know about the email newsletter. If they do have it, I just haven’t found it yet. They do not have a discount program for students, but I have found their retail prices to be less than Jo-Ann’s in general.
  • Amazon
    • I would not recommend buying yarn off of Amazon since their prices, for some reason, seem to be higher than either Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s. But, I have found their prices for needles and tools to be very, very reasonable. Plus, its such a large marketplace that you really get to shop around for different brands and have a wider range of options than offered in stores.
    • And of course, if you chose this route, I’ll tell you to check out Amazon Prime. If you do intend to shop a lot on Amazon, getting free shipping is a huge money saver. But you should make sure that the money you’re saving on shipping is worth the subscription fee. I know that students do get a discounted price and a longer free subscription period than other customers and all you need is an email ending in .edu.
  • Knitting Warehouse
    • I’ve just found this website, and even though I haven’t ordered from them yet, I thought I’d put it on here since it does have very low prices. Also, I really like how they categorize yarn by its softness, which is something I haven’t seen before.
  • Ebay
    • Ebay can have great prices and be a place to score cheap yarn, if they have what you’re looking for, which is entirely dependent on what people are selling. So, if you really are set on one type or brand of yarn, Ebay may be too unreliable for you. But that’s not to say it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.
  • Discount Racks
    • Another place that doesn’t hurt to check is the discount racks at your grocery store. Many stores like Fred Myer, Target, etc. that you already frequent have a small craft section that includes yarn and those stores will have discount racks. I have found some of the best deals on these end caps, deals that my friends have to drag me away from. So the next time you’re picking up milk, mosey on by.
  • Thrift stores
    • Another place with great deals that you wouldn’t normally think of selling yarn would be thrift stores. Though, they do come with some draw backs. I know that at my local thrift store they group the yarn together in these large sacks to sell from anywhere between $6 to $10, but they tend to separate and mix all of the colors so there are 3 sacks with 2 balls of yarn of the same color and brand in each. This can be very frustrating if you need a lot of yarn. My largest frustration with this system is just the sheer amount of yarn they try to sell to you. Dorm living does not provide much yarn storage space, so I normally have to opt out of the purchase. My last draw back would be the fact that they are previously owned. That doesn’t personally bother me, but I know that some people can be weirded out by that.
  • Sadly, Walmart
    • For various ethical reasons, I really try not to be a Walmart customer, but hands down they have the lowest retail prices for yarn that I have seen. So, if you don’t have the same reservations as I do, I would definitely consider Walmart as a reliable, dependable source of yarn.

Well that concludes this post on my budget friendly tips on buying yarn and knitting supplies! If you liked it, please hit that little star down there. And if you have a question or would like to say hi, please feel free to comment!

Beer Cozy Pattern

Just to catch you all up on my past projects that I recently completed, I’m sharing the “Garter Coaster Beer Cozy” pattern by the blog Jessimuhka Knits, Reads, Cooks, Etc.

Here’s the link to the original pattern:  https://jessimuhka.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/garter-coaster-beer-cozy/

I had to slightly adjust the pattern because 1) I didn’t have the right needle sizes, and 2) I had slightly thicker yarn. Instead I used size 4 DPN’s and Pattons Classic Wool Worsted in the Dark Grey Mix, which I just absolutely love. It knits up so well and it just the perfect wool feel, in between scratchy and soft. In all honesty, I did not compensate for the difference in the yarn and the needles because I am a very tight knitter and on average have smaller gauges than the patterns, and I knew I was going to try blocking with this pattern. Which in my opinion is necessary to get the shape right. I’m writing this piece as I let the beer cozy dry right now.

All in all, I am very pleased with how it turned out and I’m excited to surprise my dad with it. If you want to learn more about blocking then I suggest you follow this link to a great tutorial by Salihon Crafts that introduced me to blocking. Or I also found this very extensive video on youtube for those of us who like to see the process in action before trying it out or would just like more information.

Below are just some pictures of my beer cozy as it is finishing the blocking process (hence the hair tie to create a little lip.)

First blog post, not my first project.

I’ve started this blog for two reasons: first, to share my project with other knitter or crafters, and second, to get my thoughts out. As of right now I’m working on a scarf for myself. Infinity, using the brioche stitch. As you can see in the photo, its an interesting stitch that looks like a 1 by 1 rib stitch, but it creates a much softer, fluffy fabric.

Its taken longer than I thought it would, but I think it’s mostly because I haven’t been knitting it in class. Yes, I’m one of those people who knits in class. It helps me stay focused by keeping my hands busy. Though I am a little nervous that I may bug the person next to me with my clicking, but no one has said anything.

 

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