If anyone has followed any of my other social medias you’ll know that these mittens are my absolute favorite thing I’ve ever knit, and possibly ever made. I worked at developing this pattern for like three years. I tried a bunch of different yarns and cuffs and thumb shapes. I think I made five different mittens until I landed on these. I am so so so proud of them and I love wearing them.
I finished knitting them right before Valentine’s Day last year. K took me to the Wisconsin Dells for a little getaway that weekend and IT WASN’T EVEN COLD ENOUGH TO WEAR THEM. We went on a hike around Devil’s Lake that weekend, there were people all over the ice fishing and hanging out, but it was warm enough for actual living mutant mosquitos to be swarming around. It was a great weekend, but I digress.. I wore these guys on the hike anyways so I could have him take some photos for me since it’s pretty hard to take photos using your own hands as models.
Not only is this my favorite pattern, but it seems to be everyone else’s favorite of all the patterns I’ve published. If you’re interested in make a pair for yourself (or your mother-sister-daughter-grandma-girlfriend-bestfriend because the holidays are eminent) my Russian Flower Mittens pattern is available on Ravelry and theres also a matching hat pattern!
How long did it take from the time your learned how to knit, to finish your first project?
Quick one today, since it seems like a lot of these questions over lap a little. My first finished project according to my Ravelry history is the Baby Poonam by Norah Gaughan which took me about two months to finish. Finish date is the end of April and I figure I started learning in January so a solid four months from learning to finish. I’d say that’s pretty good time considering the sweater in question in fairly technical- cables, seaming, button holes, set in sleeves. I still think the sweater is adorable and might think about making it again with a few years of knitting under my belt. If I also remember correctly there’s a matching adult version I could make for myself whenever I get around to finishing what’s already on my needles.
I don’t remember exactly how I learned even though it was only five or six years ago, but the easy answer is that I taught myself from youtube videos. The tricky answer is that I have a degree in textiles and we covered basic knitting in several courses.
I picked up the basics from youtube videos – casting on and the knit stitch are all you really need to know to get started. I was in a weaving studio at the time so I was completely surrounded by yarn which was amazing, except it was all teeny-tiny weaving yarn and I had no concept of gauge for knitting. For whatever reason I decided to knit a tiny ass sweater to go with it.
It was a baby sweater pattern but I was using like lace weight yarn and US 1 needles – which in my defense I still do – but I didn’t adjust any of the stitch counts to make it fit an actual human baby. But this did spur an actual like “art” thing later so it worked out I guess. Anyways, I didn’t know about blocking or how to make button holes or anything so it isn’t really finished but I was so dang proud of it. It’s pretty wonky and phone cameras back then were pretty much garbage by today’s standards but I got all the parts right, and I effectively taught myself how to make a garment and knit cables.
From there I was pretty much unstoppable. That summer I tried and failed miserably at lace and figured out how to use dpns to knit in the round. A year later I had lace all figured out and knit a lot of miniature sweaters that I designed myself.
In my last post I mentioned I usually like to stick to one project. But that pretty much only applies to knitting.
I tend to keep a lot of creating things in my brain, in my studio, on the floor, on the coffee table, in my purse. They’re everywhere. I’ll just talk about some of the big things though.
I’m going to include this one as a giant kick in the butt to work on it. I honestly kind of forgot about it until now. My best friend got married in 2015 and I decided to make them a quilt as a wedding gift. I of course never finished it because I’m a garbage human and shitty friend and I never finish anything on time. I mean actually there were some major problems like a lot of white fabric being mislabeled so half of it was a slightly different color white, resulting in tearing out a lot of very meticulous seams. Then I got overwhelmed by a new very stressful job and my mother wanting her dinning room table back. So no it’s in a giant bucket in my studio. Maybe I’ll do something with it.
Earlier this week I started a Bullet Journal. I don’t even know why besides I had a dot paper notebook and a bunch of cool pens. I almost never keep up with a sketchbook or an actual written journal. But I’m kind of obsessed with the stupid thing. It’s basically like data collection porn to me and I can’t stop. I’ve filled like 20 pages in only a few days. There’s something satisfying about feeling more productive than I actually am.
The most exciting (for me) thing I’m working on is a Tech Editing course. I realized that Tech Editing for knitters is like an actual real job a few months ago and something clicked in my brain. It’s literally the perfect job for me. I won’t have to have children screaming at me or kicking me. I won’t have to come home covered in nasty coffee shop syrups. I can make my own hours, which works out great for my newly adopted third shift sleeping schedule, and I can do something I genuinely would be good at and give a shit about. I should be ready to start taking clients by the new year so stay tuned!
I’ve actually got three projects cast on right now. I almost never have more than one knitting project in my basket (on the table, on the floor, on the couch for K and or the cat to sit on), but by some weird turn of events I’ve got three.
Project 1: Sunstone Shawl
This is kind of my never ending forever project at this point. It’s one of those projects that I can pick up when I don’t know what else to knit but knowing it’s going to take me forever to finish it makes me not want to work on it. For some reason I decided to use US 0.5 needles and super fine yarn to make a very large shawl. I mean this thing is going to be stupid beautiful whenever it gets done- but it’s not going to be finished anytime soon.
Project 2: Snowflake Socks
I was super excited about this when I started them. I was going to have a few different pairs and release a set of patterns right around now. I ran our of yarn halfway through the first heel. It took a few days to make it to the store to get another skein and by then I decided that I needed to knit a sweater for myself. So on that trip to the store for one little skein of yarn I ended up being seven other skeins for a sweater.. The yarn I needed is still at the bottom of the shopping bag and the socks are still on my desk in my studio where I left them.
Project 3: The Sweater
After a few days of searching for a sweater pattern I decided on an old classic. I’ve already knit this sweater for my sister several years ago and I’m not sure if the pattern has been updated or I’ve just learned a whole bunch about knitting in the last few years but this pattern kind of sucks. First of all, it’s seamed. I hate purling, like a lot. I’m also not a huge fan of seaming. Knitting in the round is the way to go – no rowing out, less purling, no seams. I also really hate dropped sleeves. I looked at a lot of project pages for this sweater and I read a lot of other peoples notes. The consensus was that the sleeves are way too big and create a bat wing effect. I’m planning on doing some raglan decreases instead which also means I don’t have to pick up any stitches for the sleeves and extra bonus I won’t look like a child in my grandfathers sweater. It’s knitting up pretty fast by I forgot how much my hands ache when I knit with large yarn and needles. My fingers are actually swollen and my tendons are kinda twitchy but I, of course, won’t take a break from knitting, so…
Anyways, I’d love to hear what you guys are working on! Check out my previous post to see Day 1 of this challenge and for the full list if you want to follow along this challenge with me.
To get into the habit of writing more frequently I dug up a blogging challenge I’ve seen floating around on Tumblr. I always thought about doing one but never bothered to go through with it. But we’re going to try this out and see how it goes, this is primarily a knitting blog after all. I’ll post the full list at the bottom of this post incase anyone else wants to follow along.
Day 1: What was your first finished project?
I remember the last crochet project I finished. It was a baby blanket for my cousin. I remember thinking as I was frantically trying to finish the blanket that I wish I knew how to knit and that I should teach myself right now. My mother wisely reminded me to finish one project before taking on an entirely new craft. I finished the project and immediately started watching youtube videos of people knitting.
I’m not entirely sure what my first finished project was but according to Ravelry my first finished project was the Lamar Scarf by Gale Zucker. My project page says I finished it in May 2012 and it took several months to complete. There is of course no picture of this project but I used the chunkiest grossest fake wool. I believe it was barely long enough to be functional but I was super impressed with myself because it was cabled and reversible. At one point I had intended on undoing the cast off and making it longer but I just never got around to it. The sad creature is probably sitting in my parent’s basement waiting to be thrown out.