My Last Hurrah

Throughout the semester I decided to tackle learning how to knit! This was quite the learning journey and has given me tricks that I can carry on beyond knitting. Most of my learning was done through the world of YouTube. There are so many instructional videos out there that are easy to follow and provide useful tips to my learning. I tried to follow picture tutorials, but I found that it was very difficult in the beginning because it was confusing, but once I understood knitting better I went back to look at them and they made more sense. When I first started knitting, it was difficult for me to cast on. I kept dropping stitches and my tension on my needles was way too tight so it was very difficult to fit the other needle through it as well. But before I could even start my project, I had to get my supplies which was an entire learning curve in itself. I thought I could just walk into the craft store and walk out with some yarn and needles. Little did I know, it was not exactly this easy for a beginner.

First I had to do some reading on the sign posted about what yarn is the easiest to work with and what size needles go along with it. I found that I needed weight four yarn and needles that were US needle size 7-9 or 4.5-5.5mm. After finding my perfect colour of yarn and weeks of practice I was finally able to get my motions and knit with ease. I later discovered that bamboo needles would make my life much easier. I found this information while watching a video on YouTube.

After completing my first project I decided to test out different yarn weights and change my needles from aluminum to bamboo. I moved up to weight 6 yarn meaning I needed to also upgrade my needle size to go along with it. This presented the same challenges as when i first started on my knitting journey. I had to get to know how the yarn moved differently and how it slipped off my needles easier. Even the easiest part of knitting which is casting on, was difficult again. This project I wanted to work towards making a blanket, although while trying to tame new yarn I needed a few practice runs. 

Finally, I decided I was ready to begin knitting my blanket. As the snow began to melt, and the sun started shining more I began knitting outside more. The tactic I was going to do to make my blanket was making individual squares and sew them together. However, I made the mistake of leaving my knitting project on the back deck table and when I woke up the next morning there was a surprise waiting for me. For those of you who don’t know, I have a beautiful yellow lab who is 2 years old named Tucker. He is my best friend and apparently he just loved watching me learn to knit, that he wanted to try it himself.

Although he destroyed the beginning of my blanket, I won’t give up. I have developed a deep love for knitting and have found it to be very enjoyable. At times, it can even become very addicting. Once you pick it up and get into your groove, it’s hard to put it down. Throughout the semester, knitting taught me a few things that I can take beyond some yarn and needles. That list includes:

  1. Life can pass you by, so take time to sit outside (or inside) and enjoy the things you do and the life you have.
  2. Things can be incredibly frustrating at times, so take a step back, a deep breath, and binge some Netflix before getting back to it.
  3. Never ever leave anything valuable within reach of a two year old lab because they will find a way to eat it or play with it no matter what it is.

Thank you so much to knitting for teaching me these things about life and myself, and thank you to this semester for giving me the opportunity to learn how to knit! Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

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iMovie & Time Lapse

I decided to record a time lapse of myself knitting this week. It was very easy to use and it was a great way to document my progress os learning. I also used iMovie to upload my video and slow down the time lapse because it was very fast on my phone.

Setting up a time lapse is incredibly easy. All you do is go to your camera on your phone and swipe at the bottom until you reach the mode of time lapse. Then, you upload this video to your computer and import it into iMovie. In iMovie you can add music, slow down or speed up your video, and add captions. Both tools are great ways to document my learning progress!

Screencastify How To 

 

 

Keeping Entertained

I spent the week knitting with my Oma. She recently just had surgery and she has had lots of time on her hands. My Oma is an amazing knitter and ever since I can remember she has been knitting blankets, mitts, toques, scarves, and sweaters. She gave me a few pieces of advice such as take my time, stay focused, and sometimes it helps to talk to yourself while knitting especially when doing a more difficult stitch. An example of when you would use this is when you’re doing both a knit stitch and a peal stitch to create a certain pattern. The difference is where you place your needle. For the kit stitch, the needle in your right hand goes under the needle in your left hand. And with the pearl stitch the needle in your right hand goes over the needle in your left hand. The tricky part is if you forget what stitch to do next and you do two pearl stitches in a row or two knit stitches in a row. I also loved  having the company to knit with. Sometimes it can get boring so sometimes I listen to music, other times I will watch TV, but that still gets boring after a while. Plus, when I am doing a pearl and knit stitch I can’t stop until I finish a line so I don’t forget which stitch I’m on. If you have any other suggestions for staying entertained while knitting leave them down below!

Bamboo Saved My Life

After a well deserved break, I have made excellent progress on my knitting project! I have also received several requests to add a picture of my wash cloth so at the bottom of this post I will add it. I have decided to make my blanket using a thicker yarn and bamboo knitting needles. Now you may be thinking to yourself, “what is the point of that”. Well, I’ll tell ya! I have decided to switch to bamboo needles because the yarn does not slide around as much. I found that with the other needles I was using, my yarn was sliding around and making it more difficult. Sometimes I would lose a stitch, or sometimes two, and sometimes THREE! I would get so frustrated and knitting would no longer be fun. I have also decided to use thicker yarn. I really like how chunky blankets look and I have always wanted one. The only issue with using thicker yarn, is it is more difficult to handle. Right now I am working with yarn that is a 4. This number tells you what size of needles to use and what the best items to make are. Level 4 yarn is recommended for beginners because it is not too thick or too thin. I am ready to tackle the challenge of thicker yarn with my handy dandy bamboo needles!

This is my washcloth, I didn’t cast off before taking the picture but it turned out pretty good!

Mini Project #1 Complete!

I finished a washcloth!! I am very happy with my first mini project and I am happy that it took me only a few weeks. After this I have learned a few things about knitting:

  1. Take your time! Trying to rush through will only mess you up later.
  2. Don’t stress about it. Yes knitting can be hard and frustrating at times but just take a deep breath and come back to it if you have to.
  3. People will call you a grandma…
  4. Bamboo needles really are your best friend.
  5. Making a blanket is going to take me FOREVER!
  6. Once you get in your groove, it becomes addicting
  7. I have developed a love for walking through the yarn section in the craft store.

I can honestly say that I have developed a love for knitting. I feel very accomplished and I am ready to tackle my next project. I think the best way to knit my blanket is to knit sections at a time. This way I am working with smaller pieces and I can really concentrate on a small piece without feeling overwhelmed with lots of stitches all at once and not seeing lots of progress off the bat. This also gives me the opportunity to limit the amount of mistakes in the blanket. Let me know if you have any better ideas on how to tackle knitting a blanket!