Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Basic Dog Sweater and a Class

You know how much I love to knit dog sweaters. I've knit and blogged about many in the past year. Well I'm happy to say I've knit my best one yet! I say this because I was really able to hone my skills with the gauge swatch, modifying to really fit, and seaming. Using just a simple dog sweater pattern I have really started to practice what I preach... paying attention to your knitting!

Modified from 5 or 6 different patterns
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in colorway 879, raspberry
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm)
Started: February 1, 2014
Completed: February 15, 2014

Isn't she such a scruffy yorkie?! As I mentioned I really liked this project because this was the first that that I felt like I did a decent job with the details (like picking up stitches to add the border) and finishing.  

Trying to get a good shot of the front details was a little difficult. But trust me, compared to my previous projects where I had to seam, this one is really one of my best. Practice makes perfect! 

Back to the sweater pattern.  I ended up taking 5 or 6 patterns that I've used in the past and new skills that I've learned to make my own. And even with making it a basic sweater I still had to adapt the basic pattern to fit Rosie. And in another week or so I will be finishing my Boe basic sweater, which you will see, also had to be heavily adapted to his body. I have found that no matter how good the dog sweater pattern is, it will always need to be adapted. Dog sizes vary so much as do their body shapes (think small pups like the dachshund vs yorkie vs chihuahua). This is what I think scares people so much.

Having said that, in a couple of weeks, I hope to help others get over that fear of adapting patterns to fit. I'll be teaching a dog sweater class at Woolwinders Yarn Shop in April! The website has all the details as well as registration information. Basically I hope to give people confidence to be able to measure their pup, look at a dog sweater pattern and be able to adapt that pattern to fit their little (or big!) pooch. It should be a fun class. It's my first time teaching my own pattern it so I'm hoping that things will work out! But I'm excited and hopefully we get a good turn out! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Metro Yarn Crawl

I'm excited for the DC Metro yarn crawl! I have yet to par-take in the festivities because the past two years I happened to be away for most of the time the crawl was taking place. This year it will be April 5 - 13th. Look at all the wonderful shops in the area:

This year I plan on joining others to scope out local yarn shops (something I've been meaning to do since I moved here 2.5 years ago). AND I plan on working some of the event at Woolwinders! It should be fun (or crazy). I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Double Trouble

One project was not included in last week's project update post. Not because it's nearly complete (no where near that!) but because it has a story that should be shared.

If you recall I recently knit my husband the Dr. Who (Tom Baker) scarf. Well as cute as he is I figured having a respectable scarf would probably be good. Especially during those times when he needs to dress a little nicer... having a 60's inspired 12+foot scarf probably won't cut it.

So I decided to knit him a scarf that would look nice but also still have a hint of geeky, just like him.

Enter the One Ring Scarf, by Diana Stafford. This is a scarf inspired by the Lord of the Rings, with the ring inscription knitted into the scarf. But to be a little more complex... this is a double-knit scarf so the inscription is knit and can be read (correctly) on both sides of the scarf!

Image from: http://transmissionsmedia.com/lord-of-the-rings-symbolism-moria-door-and-freemasonry/

Kinda cool, huh?

Well, I've been working on this for a while. It's my first double-knitting project, and thus far I like how it's coming out.

After the mishap. Well number of mishaps.

First I had to teach myself how to double knit. THANK GOODNESS for YouTube! Lissaplus3 has some excellent (and short) tutorials on various knitting techniques. Apparently if you want a really nice looking CO in double knitting you need to do things a little different than normal. For that I watched her Double Knitting CO video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQOZ8GWM9sE.  And for the actual double knitting I watched another of her videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEXLwmTB5Ts.

As a side note - I think my combination knitting method actually makes double knitting a breeze! Rather than flicking my finger down and around the needle for the purl side, I just keep holding my yarn up (as I do with knit stitches) and just pick at the yarn with the working needle. If I remember sometime I'll snap a video.

So CO and starting the scarf was a breeze.

However, initially I thought fingering weight yarn would make a skinny scarf. So I decided to double up the yarn. Bad mistake! I got about 7 inches into the pattern and had a realization... this was going to be a LONG scarf! After some calculations I realized this was going to wind up being about 9 feet long. I was trying to stay AWAY from ridiculous knits!

I frogged back and started again with holding the yarn normal (I'm so glad I got that swift and ball winder for Christmas!). I started again with everything going great. The hubby's b-day was January 13th so I kept the scarf on the needles (I was only about 1/4 of the way through) and presented it to him. First thing he says to me... "Um.... babe...."

Oh crap.

Apparently I had one side correct... but the other side was getting knit mirrored. Yep, my husband can apparently read elfish (that's what language the inscription is written in) AND could tell it was backwards.

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Ring

So what is a girl to do?

Rip back of course!

Yeah this one will be on my needles for a long time. It will probably be my random spring/summer/fall knit when I get bored of other knits.

He'll get it next winter.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Little Updates

As I mentioned last week I have a lot on my needles but none to a point where I can devote a blog post to it. Some are gifts - and I'm not sure if the person might see it linked on FB or Twitter. And some are classes that I'm prepping for the spring and summer at the shop. 

So instead I'll show little sneak peaks of my knitting projects so you can get a taste of what's going on. And expect a lot of posts in the next couple of months!