#11. Project Yarn Bags

 

I’ve posted before about my project bags and yarn bags.  I use quilted totes that I get relatively cheaply on Amazon to hold my entire project so I’ve started calling them project bags.  They hold the yarn(s)/yarn bag(s) for the project I’m working on such as socks, a scarf, or a sweater.  In the case of socks, there might be one yarn bag for the toe/heel yarn and a second yarn bag for the remainder of the sock.  Plus the project bag holds my knitting accessories containers that have stitch markers, row counters, scissors, crochet hook, etc.  And it holds my project pattern.  I can easily find different patterned totes so that it’s easy to quickly see which bag has my sock project, which has my sweater project and which has my prayer shawl project.

Yarn bags on the other hand only come to two colors, pink and purple, at Michael’s.  With a coupon they cost less than $3.  I could get a third color, teal, if I were willing to spend $13 on Amazon.  So I’m trying to come up with a way to make all my pink or purple bags look different from each other.  Fortunately I don’t usually have more than two yarns bags within a project bag.  But I would still like some visual reinforcement of what the yarn in the yarn bag is for.

I tried “sewing” some strands for metallic thread on the outside of a bag.  Turns out the thread tended to get destroyed trying to weave it through the stiff mesh.  So now I’m trying putting some paper flowers that I got at Michael’s on the top of the bag.  These are stuck on with Velcro dots.  Just started using the bag today so I’ll soon see if it works.

I know my favorite yarn shop, Silk Road Textiles, is planning a sewing class to make what they call project bags but what I’d call yarn bags.  Silk Road has lots of fun fabrics so that my yarn bags could have more personality.  I’m looking forward to that class but in the mean time, I’ll be trying to figure out how to differentiate my pink and purple mesh bags.

#10. Tinking

I hate tinking.  Tink is knit backwards.  It’s what you do to “rip out” your knitting.  I was advised in my first knitting lessons that if I’m unwilling to tink, then give up knitting now.  Even experienced knitters sometimes have to tink.  Our sweater instructor ripped out her sweater several times when it didn’t look the way she wanted.

After wearing my new sweater, previous post, I felt that the arms were too short.  I would prefer them to be about 2″ longer.  So even with trying on my sweater, I didn’t get the length right.  Plus I didn’t really like the ten rows of cuff.  I would prefer a shorter cuff.  Might was well fix that too.

Plus if I was going to rip out the cuffs, I wasn’t thrilled with the border IMG_20180313_1659478_rewind‘?’mof the sweater body.  I think a thicker border would be better.  Plus I wouldn’t mind the sweater being longer since I plan to wear it with leggings.  Well at least it turns out I do need that final skein of yarn.

That was part of my problem.  Since it was my first sweater, I wasn’t sure how much yarn I needed.  Thankfully I had purchased an extra skein.  I kept worrying if I was going to have enough.  Turns out I will barely need the fifth skein.

I’m still hoping to make some socks to go with the sweater with the leftover yarn.  At least now I know how to make a toe up sock.  I can weigh the yarn to know when it’s half gone and thus that will be the length of the sock whether it’s ankle or crew.  I have some leftover white yarn that I can use as toe contrast giving more sweater yarn for the leg.  MORE PROJECTS!!!

#9. First Sweater

 

 

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After a little over a year of knitting, I decided to tackle my first sweater.  The thought of knitting something that has to fit terrifies me.  Yeah socks kind of have to fit but there’s a lot of leeway.  And you don’t even see half of it when you wear them.  No, a sweater will show every mistake in all its glory.  Plus the sleeves have to match.  And it’s a lot of time, and yarn, to commit.

So my favorite yarn shop, Silk Road Textiles, offered a beginning sweater class.  Supposed to be super easy.  No separate pieces to “sew” together.  Instructor to help me understand the pattern and stitches.  Perfect.  Carolyn, one of the excellent employees and also great knitting instructor, even found me a relatively inexpensive yarn since I sure didn’t want to spend a lot of my first attempt.

Well, two months later it’s finally done.  I am not a fast knitter!  I definitely made mistakes.  After finishing the first sleeve, I realized that I don’t knit ssk correctly.  I really do need to use YouTube more often!!  Also I got the ssk versus K2tog backwards thus making an inch wide “seam” instead of a nice small “seam”.  But I wasn’t willing to rip out the entire sleeve so I just continued the mistakes on the second sleeve.  It’s called a design element when you continue a mistake.  😁

Despite my best efforts, one sleeve is bigger in diameter than the other but I’m hoping it’s not noticeable.  I really thought I started both sleeves with the same number of stitches so the decreasing should have been the same.  Next time I’ll record, on Raveley where I record all my knitting projects, how many stitches I started with.  The other problem is that even with a row counter, I still get confused so my decreasing isn’t consistent.  I’m hoping that after the practice of two sleeves I’ll be better in the future.

Speaking of future, I’ve already signed up for a second sweater class!  This one is intended for my daughter so I’ll have to be more careful to avoid errors (even though my mantra is errors are how you know it’s homemade).  This class is similar but includes a patterned front.  The class starts next week.  The sweater will be finished in May.  Just in time to put away until next winter. 😵

 

#8. Scarves, Scarves, Scarves

A scarf was my first project.  They are fairly simple and very practical.  After making four of the same basic pattern though I was bored.  I also wanted to learn some new stitches beyond “knit” and “purl”.  I used the fabulous website Ravelry to find some patterns.  I was able to search for “easy” patterns.  I then could have my daughter Sara look through the results and pick a few that she would like.

Unfortunately reading knitting patterns is not easy until you learn the lingo.  Then how the heck do you actually knit what the pattern says.  So I arranged to take a few private knitting classes at Silk Road Textiles (my favorite local yarn store!!)   My instructor, Carolyn, helped me pick out patterns that fit my beginner level but would still be pretty.  She also helped me find appropriate yarns.

The middle blue scarf is the original simple ribbed pattern I first learned.  I love using variegated yarns to add contrast.  The silver scarf on the left is actually super easy to knit and I learned how to knit yarnovers and knit2together.  The green scarf on the right is a pretty lacy pattern made with fingering weight yar.  It’s a nice light weight scarf.  Perfect for southern climates.

I’ve moved on to socks and now sweaters but I’m sure I’ll go back to making a few scarves in the future.