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 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Favorite Yarns?

They are so many yarns fibers to choose from. Different weights, colors, striping and plain, furs, and so much more. I wish I had the money and time to buy all of them but I don't. Now I am the first to see a new funky yarn and buy it to play around. I also have a stash of yarns that I need to clean out. Some times I buy yarns with the intention of a project then I change my mind. When I first started knitting I liked to buy my yarn by the pound. Now four years later I still have all of the pounds some with many projects out of them. I have gotten to a point now that I like buying the expensive, higher quality yarns. Some of the people I knit for have allergies to wool and I like to make sure that those yarns are completely separated from all the others. They stay in a plastic bag. So now I will share my favorite yarns. Feel free to comment and share your favorites. 

My favorite has to be the ruffle yarns.
I make a lot of projects with these.
In fact I am working on an original design with these and hope it is ready soon. 
It is so comfy, and makes the warmest blankets and scarves.
This was made into the Arm Knit Scarf

I just bought this. It is alpaca. 
This is my first alpaca yarn
It is so soft

I like this style fur yarn. I have tried the bulky fur yarns and ended up not being a huge fan of the finished project. Though the recipient of that project loved it. This is thinner and is easier to work with in my opinion. 

What are your favorite yarns? Please Share!!!
Happy Knitting!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Craft Store Day

My family really needs to stay away from craft stores. I had a coupon for 50% off at Michael's. My Haul today included:

Of course Starbucks run for PSL Noms 

For my TOK care of magical creatures Bracelet. 

Grandma has challenged me to make her a purse from this yarn. Challenge Accepted. 

My dad knows me well and found this and then bought it for me. It has a mustache!

I had to have these. They are so cute

So I made them into this after getting home. 

It has been a great day shopping. 

Happy knitting all


This week went by so fast. The semester is in full swing so I had little time for new knits. Here was this weeks Yarn Pictures

Day 7: On the Table:

I do not really have a table my table is the top of my bed. My Blanket has grown. This picture is as flat as I can make it right now since it is still on the circulars.

Day 8: Texture

A Close up of the pattern for my blanket. 

Day 9: Time

Sadly I wanted to sleep at this time. Waking up early is killing me slowly. Hey look its my cat in a hoodie!!!

Day 10: Reading

I totally wish my life was more exciting than this but I am currently reading a database book, two math books, and a Java book. 

Day 13: Number

Life took over and I forgot to post two days in a row so I did both for this it was "2 posts I forgot to do". 

Day 14: Need

I NEED more time in the semester to knit.

Day 15: Want

Monday, September 9, 2013

Arm Knitting

I was on Pinterest over the weekend when I stumbled upon this post. It caught my eye because it was a bulky yarn Infinity scarf. Those are my favorite, mainly because they take no time at all to make and they still look amazing. Well once I read more into this post I was super excited. Basically you use two balls of super bulky yarn like this:

Any color will do but I choose Sky Blue. This happened mainly because I did not want white since it stains so easy and black was to dark (most of my clothes are black), and my have a lot of pink as well so blue it was.

After you have picked your yarn you get to knit the scarf with your arms as your needles. I am not joking. This is the best thing ever. The tutorial on how to knit with your arms is here.

And here is the finished product:

Happy Knitting !! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yarn Picture a Day part 2

Some of these pictures I don't understand why they are for a yarn photo challenge but here is three more days of pictures 

*note I messed up on the last post so shift some* 

DayTwo : Something that starts with the letter d...
My double pointed needles which I use so much. 

Day Five: Black and white 
This photo is the blanket but the reason it's over my head is to prove to all mt friends it is too big to be a beanie. 

Day Six:  Door 
I don't get this one but here is my bedroom door...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Yarn Picture a Day

As September started so did the Yarn Picture of a Day month on Instagram. I love that I found a photo challenge that is knitting related because I can actually keep up and want to keep up. That being said here is the first few days: 

Day One: UFO (unfinished object) 
This was may start to tiny knitting and I realized it is going to take a lot more practice and patience than I anticipated. 

Day Two: Beverage 
I love pumpkin spice lattes. They are my favorite. The project shown is a blanket I started with my junk bulky yarn. It's just a simple square. I eventually started a little texture because it was getting boring. I am also running out of bulky yarn to use so I might switch to some other junk yarn. 

Day Three: Stitches 
Again another picture of my junk yarn blanket after I started the texture. It's a simple pattern. 
Knit one row increasing before and after markers then the next row is k2tog, yo to end. I like this because its still simple enough I do not have to pay close attention. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mustache Time!!!

I spent the majority of the day on Ravelry. Which for you knitters out there who don't know what I am talking about go find the website and join. NOW.  Any who I found this awesome pattern that took me half an hour to do just a small project.

Wips and new projects

I have a couple projects going at once. I have the beekeepers quilt (tiny owl knits) which is a forever ongoing project.
I also am trying to get rid of my bulky yarn by making a simple blanket which I just transferred to my circular needles and my newest project is going to be the Care of Magical Creatures Charm Bracelet from tiny owl knits. Tiny knitting should be fun and a challenge. 
Since all of these projects can be set down and picked up at any time they make for better projects while I am in school. They are great projects when I need to clear my mind or take a study break. Soon I have to come up with my Christmas present list for people it's always a good idea to start early.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

...end of summer update

So much time and so little knitting has been done. I am sad to say. My current hexi-puff count is 16. I want to start doing them one a day. It is a nice way to chill after a long day. Some other projects I have worked on and are now finished are:
  • my cat hated the sleeves so I removed them
  • She was smaller than the cat in the pattern so I had to make edits. If you have any questions on how to make it smaller just ask me I can try to help you. 
  • I made this for my mom for her office.
  • It makes her phone not vibrate as loud on her desk which is nice for those people in cubicles at work
  • I decide to knit based on what I saw instead of following the pattern, mainly because I hate sewing seams this was seam less and the only sewing I did was his tail. 
  • His name is Whale-don (think Sheldon only with Whale) 
Projects I want to do:
  • I want to make a cabled cowl that I want to design myself
  • daily hexi-puffs
  • boot cuffs (similar to leg warmers only just for the top of a boot)