some things that are helpful for knitters

Posted by on November 23, 2010 in knit | 12 comments

My knitting mania is continuing, and I'm really wanting to clean up my stash, so I took a break from all the stockinette I've been doing and used a lone ball of Koigu KFM for a small Ishbel scarf.

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I like all these colors, but they're a bit much all together like this. The yarn was a total impulse buy last summer when we spent a day in Ketchum, Idaho while I was visiting my family. I found a little yarn shop, and there was a single, lonely hank in the 50% off basket. So for $11 I have a cheery, lacy scarf. It's not quite my usual thing, but I'll probably wear it now and then. 

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 Ultimately, knitting this little confection only took a few days, but it did take three attempts at starting the lace section before I got it (mostly) right. I'm still learning to read lace, so I'm glad I did this before getting into the lace on my Seraphim shawl. I'm not sure what my problem was, it's a pretty simple lace pattern, but I kept losing stitches and couldn't find them again. Once I realized the double-decreases were stacked right on top of each other, it got a little easier. There were still mistakes, but I just figured if I missed a stitch somewhere I could just pick one up in the approximate spot and it would all work out in the end. I don't think anyone will notice when I'm wearing it all draped and squished around my neck. 

Because I'm in such a stash-busting state of mind, I've been doing a lot of thinking about knitting, and thought I'd share some things I've been finding useful lately. 

  1. It goes without saying that if you knit, you should have a Ravelry account. What I love about it is that you can use the site however you'd like. I don't spend a lot of time in the forums, but with all the groups, you can certainly find some like-minded knitters to chat with. I do, however, have a few friends, and I just discovered the friend's activity tab. It's a great way to find new patterns, especially if you have friends with similar taste. I'm also keeping better notes on my projects, and slowly adding my stash yarns, which will make it easy to match up that stash yarn with the perfect project, and therefore, clear out my stash even faster. Yes! 
  2. Ravelry related: Ariane of the Falling Stitches blog does a regular post called What's Hot on Ravelry, where she searches out the best of the newly listed patterns. She has reliably good taste, and has posted some lovely patterns that I might not have otherwise found. 
  3. I've taken a break from audio books (I still haven't listened to the last disc of Edgar Sawtelle), and I've been listening to knitting podcasts during my commute. The Knit Picks podcast has some good episodes, and I found the one about blocking your knits (episode 123, I believe) truly helpful. I've only listened to a couple episodes of The Knit Wits, but this married couple is pretty darn funny and entertaining. The Knitmore Girls are an adorable mother-daughter knitting duo, and I've also enjoyed a few episodes of Ready, Set, Knit, the WEBS podcast. Do you have any good knitting podcasts to recommend? 
  4. This is a pretty cool tool if you like knitting from charts (which I do!): KnitChart. Give it a minute to load, and then you can easily chart your design. 

One more stash project:

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I had to try out Malabrigo's sock yarn. I'm happy to report that I really like it and would like lots more socks knit from it. Do you like my rustic back drop? It's been dark and dreary and in every picture I took inside the socks were a different color. This one is actually pretty close, although they are slightly more purple: 

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I think this is the fourth pair of Embossed Leaves socks I've knit. I know I need to branch out more, but I like everything about this pattern. It's interesting but not too hard, they're pretty, and they fit perfectly. 


  1. Yes! I totally mine my friends’ activity for patterns and ideas! It’s fun.
    When I did Ishbel, I messed up with the stockinette portion. I guess it seemed easy and mindless, so I paid it no mind! Bad idea. Once I wrote out stitch counts for each row, I had no problems at all. Annoying, but it worked well.
    Your socks are really pretty! That is the Rayon Vert colorway? It’s on my wishlist. There’s a gorgeous scarf on Loop London’s blog using RV in conjunction with Turner:

  2. I like your Ishbel – those aren’t colors I’d wear either but I think they’d be nice and cheerful on a gray winter day. I love the socks! I have a pair that my friend knit for me so I haven’t knit this pattern yet. But I want to! Ravelry is awesome and dangerous for me. I have added so much more yarn in my stash from Ravelry and I can’t keep up with all the lovely patterns that are on it.

  3. It is Rayonvert, and it's so hard to capture how pretty the color is. I am not even a purple person, but I love this color. 
    That scarf on the loop site is gorgeous! I wish I liked crocheting better, and I would make that in a heartbeat. 
    I'm glad I'm not the only Ravelry friend stalker :o) 

  4. One thing about the embossed leaves pattern is that they are really nice for big feet like mine :o) Although it would be easy enough to leave out a pattern repeat if your feet are small enough.
    Ravelry is giving me a bad case of startitis right now, but I'm trying to get my stash down to one drawer, plus a smaller drawer for sock yarn, and I'm broke so I can't buy any yarn right now any way. Currently my stash is 1 1/2 drawers, plus a smaller drawer, plus about 7 bags of various sizes, so I really should use what I have before I buy more. I am making great progress though. Maybe by spring I can buy new yarn. 

  5. You are such a prolific knitter! I’m still a newbie. Started knitting a shawl with the circular needles last week, I’m STILL getting used to the buggers.

  6. That sock pattern is really pretty – thanks for sharing!

  7. I'm not so much prolific as manic :o) I go through phases, and every year when it gets colder I just have to knit! I barely touched my needles during the summer.
    You'll get used to the circulars, I love them now, especially for larger projects. As your project grows, it's much nicer to push it down onto that cable so it can rest in your lap, rather than weighing down a straight needle, which isn't so good for your wrists. What shawl are you knitting? I love a good shawl! :o) 

  8. I think it was the first real sock pattern I knit, so maybe that's why I like it so much, but I love any knitting pattern with a leafy motif like that. 

  9. I only drag my needles out in the wintertime, too. I think that sock knitting is still a tad too labour intensive for me, though…
    Carin (from the knit wits) was the lady who taught me to crochet one evening at her house – I’ll have to check out the podcasts. I had lost the link before.

  10. Hi, I love your knitting! I listen to the podcasts you mentioned and really enjoy them. You might like Cast On with Brenda Dayne. She is one of my favorites!

  11. hi there, the colors are beautiful, i would love to have a pillow with those colors on my bed, it looks so cheerful, I have missed your blog and blogging too! I have a new baby, I just wanted to say hi

  12. I love Ravelry. I have found some really good stuff through the friends activity page. I am also trying to knit down my stash… I also ordered some great new yarn from Sanguine Gryphon and I am not letting myself use any until I knit up a couple of from the stash projects!

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