Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Vortex Shawl

I finally finished my first shawl, it took awhile, mainly due to my knitting ADD. I had gotten this really nice Blue Heron Yarn from my local yarn store.

I had tried to make a sweater with it but I didn't like it and ended up ripping it out. Then I thought of making a shawl but my first attempt ended up being a small lap sized square that couldn't even be passed off as a scarf. So I proceeded to rip it out again. I finally decided to look up a pattern (something I should have done in the first place) and I finally found this gem on ravelry. It is the Vortex Shawl. It was easy and fun to work on. I took it with me everywhere, I didn't have to pay close attention to the pattern since it repeats itself constantly. I eventually ran out of the beautiful blue yarn and had to run to the yarn store to get more. Since they did not have the same color I got a variegated fiber from the same company that had the same blue in it. It is now finished and I am so pleased with it. This was a fun project!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Knitting a Hat 101

Time to learn to knit a hat!!!! Knitting a hat has different techniques because hats are knit in the round. First we need to learn how to join our yarn in the round. To start we need circular needles (a cable of smaller than 16inches) you also need the yarn you would like to use. Also if you don't already have one get  stitch markers. There are many different types but anything similar to these will work.

Alright now it is time to learn to knit in the round. Before you attempt your hat just master knitting in the round. 
After you are comfortable doing this you want to find a easy hat pattern online. We can use this one for example. The only other new technique you need to learn is decrease. 
Know you know everything you need to know to make a hat. Eventually you will be able to make fancier hats, with different size needles and different yarns. Share your first hats with me by commenting below! And remember to always have fun.

Happy Knitting!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Breakout Designer Moment and Announcement

I have typically used patterns for all of my projects. Occasionally I will see something or see a pattern and try to mimic it the best I can. Most of the time everything works out perfectly, every once and awhile things do not work out. I have been playing around with making my own projects, my own patterns, things I have seen in other patterns and can change to do something else. Well this entire week I have had this idea haunting me. I just needed to get it out of my system, see it in real life. So today for the first time I sat down started knitting and kept going until I finished the project. Took me a few hours and so far it is AMAZING.

So with out further ado I announce that my new line of beanies will start being sold on my Etsy Shop today!!! You get to choose the main color and the bow color. Plus I will size it to the measurements you provide!

 Have you had a breakout designer moment? How about an idea for a knitting project that you just started knitting and it turned out? Share your stories in the comments!!!

Happy Knitting!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Knitting 101- Part 2

Now that we have the cast on and knit stitch you are ready to learn to purl. Purling again has two styles: Continental and English so depending on which knitting style you chose from my last posting you will want to watch the same style for purling.

This will set you up nicely to knit your first project, I recommend your first project to be a scarf. Cast on how ever many stitches you you think you would like and start knitting. The important thing to remember this is your first project, it is not going to be perfect but when you finish it, you will feel so proud of yourself. 

There are two more things to keep in mind for your first project, you want to decide on Garter Stitch or Stockinette Stitch.  Garter stitch is when you knit every row (easy to do) it will look like this on the front and back: 

Stockinette Stitch is a little different, you will knit one row, then the next row purl, then knit, then purl ect... to get what looks like this (this style has a right side and a wrong side) :

If you get frustrated or tired just finish the row you are on and put it down. That is the beauty in knitting, you can set them down and come back to them later. 

The next knitting lesson posts will be on increases and decreases. Let me know in the comments below if there is any other topics you would like me to cover. Also post pictures of your works in progresses (WIPs). 

Happy Knitting!!!! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Knitting 101

I knit everywhere, when I am home, when I am shopping, in the car, and during breaks in school. My friends watch me knit and many of them have asked for me to teach them. I have been knitting for 4 years, I had little instruction when I first started but I taught myself after learning from my host mom, when I lived in Finland, the cast on and knit stitch. Since I moved home I used youtube and books to teach myself the rest of my knowledge. I wanted to share with everyone some great videos that I found that can help anyone start learning to knit.

First, you need your materials. Go to your local craft store and buy some cheap yarn (I say cheap since you are learning and your first piece is not going to be your best) while you are there buy some needles. When it comes to needles there are so many different materials and gauges. I typically use wood and bamboo needles, they are a little more expensive but to me its worth it. There are metal needles which are slippery. And there are plastic needles that I do not  usually work with but someone can let me know how they are in the comments below. The gauge of needle you need depends on what yarn you buy. Search the label for a square with needles crossing in the middle. Somewhere you will see something that says US (fill in size here) (size mm) I suggest since beginner knitters knit tight to buy a size or two up from what is on the label.

Keeping in mind that this is just the cast on I learned how to do, and I use it for almost everything,  there are many ways to learn to cast on. If you don't understand this way just youtube other ways to cast on. 
Alright now that you have stitches on your needles its time to learn the knit stitch. There are two styles of knitting: Continental and English. Try both ways and see what is more comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong way to do this just whatever you understand. The main difference between the two styles is what hand you hold your working yarn

Now all you need to do is just keep practicing. Do not worry about knitting really tight, if it starts to hurt your hands then get a larger gauge needle. Remember you cannot learn to knit over night, it requires you to practice a lot. If you get frustrated then set it down and come back to it later. Its supposed to be fun. I hope this was helpful and plan on making more of these posts as some of my friends learn more skills.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Announcing Pandacorn Knits

Finally my long time dream of opening my own Etsy shop has come true. I have opened PandacornKnits with these four Harry Potter inspired Arm Knit infinity scarves. I hope to add some new things soon. It is a learning experience opening this shop so if anyone has any advice please share. I want to learn as much as possible and be able to share my experience with you all to the best of my ability.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Holiday Project Ideas

The holiday season is fast approaching, and as a knitter we must all start our presents early otherwise they will never get done. Here are some tips to help with the holiday season knitting frenzy.

  • Have quick projects that are simple and fast to make:
  • Frill yarn
  • Start early. I start my gifts in September
  • Buy your yarn in bulk
    • I only buy special nice yarns for my mom and people allergic to wool
  • Make sure to send out presents early. My deadline for projects that need to be sent within the US is Dec15. My deadline for oversees is Dec1. 
  • Include a hand-written note with care instructions
  • have fun, don't stress too much it takes the fun out of it

Happy Knitting