New hand knits!

scarfhat3

The start of 2014 has been kind of rough. I got a cold over the holidays that morphed about 12 times into something more horrible than the previous iteration, which left me feeling energy-zapped and cough-tastic for about the first 3 weeks of January. But! I learned how to knit! I signed up for a learn-to-knit course at Loop here in Philadelphia, and I’ve taken to this new hobby like a duck to water. I’ve been spending all of my free time knitting, learning about knitting, looking at knitting patterns, checking out various local yarn shops, etc. In short, I’m a woman possessed. I’ve found knitting so wonderful because it’s portable, easily fits in one’s lap, and so far, my supplies are contained to one basket sitting next to the couch. Without a dedicated sewing space, it’s kind of annoying to drag out my machines and all the necessary accessories each time I want to spend maybe an hour sewing. For all of those reasons, I think for now, knitting is working for me–it’s easier to cram into a busy schedule (not that I have a particularly busy life at the moment).

scarfhat

And so, I present my two first knitted projects: the Color Tipped Scarf and the Most Bespeckled Hat–photographed in front of the Second Bank of the United States. Both are knit with 100% wool that is so cozy and soft. I chose the scarf as my first project after knitting a simple neck warmer in my knitting class. I wanted something easy that I could confidently take on without my instructor looking over my shoulder but that would also teach me some new skills. It’s knit in a simple garter stitch, and with the triangular ends, I got to practice increases and decreases as well as switching colors (which is really as easy as can be). Project details on Ravelry.

scarfhat2

 

Since I had plenty of yarn, I wanted to make a coordinating–though not completely matching–hat. I found this pattern and decided to give the simple color-work polka-dots a shot. This is my first finished hat, so it’s not perfect. My decreases ended up a bit janky (user error, not the pattern’s fault), and I should have put more slack on the floats for the bottom-most polka dots. If I pull the hat way down on my head, the bottom polka dots get pulled a bit too tight. I can wear it with the brim up or down, which is kind of fun. And, I added a contrast pom-pom in pink. Perfect for Valentine’s Day fun!

I’ve also learned that my cat is a yarn eater. Seriously. I can’t knit without him attacking the yarn and trying to eat it. Unfortunately, he found some ends on my scarf while I was at work one day and ate them off before I was finished, making weaving them in a bit tricky. So, I’ve learned my lesson about putting my knitting stuff securely away in project bags! I haven’t figured out how I’m going to successfully block just yet–leaving stuff out to dry might be tricky business in our open-plan loft with no doors on any rooms, given Catman’s affinity for eating yarn.

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3 thoughts on “New hand knits!

  1. Love your first knitting projects. I must confess knitting was my first love, before I learned to sew, and I still gravitate to it when life gets crazy or when I want to craft but don’t want to think too much. As for the problem of blocking with a yarn-eating cat, how about steam blocking with an iron and ironing board? I used to wet block my projects but recently I converted to the steaming method… it’s a whole lot easier with similar results.

    • Thanks for the tip, Andrea! I think I managed to wet block (just because steam blocking seemed so time consuming, and I was feeling pretty lazy last night) by putting the wet items on the floor of our closet to keep them safe from the cat. Longer term, I’ll have to come up with a better blocking system, but it worked this time around!

  2. Oooo, I love these together! Very cute and matching without being too “matchy” 😉 I have that hat pattern too, I just need to decide on colors.

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