Knitting Up A Storm!

That’s something I never thought I’d be able to say six months ago! Knitting is the perfect complement to sewing. It gets me excited to think of all the beautiful things I’ll have the skills to knit, one day!

Since I moved my sewing machines to the office, knitting is my new creative at-home activity, and I’m loving it! It’s fun, it doesn’t require a lot of prep time or clean-up, and you can do it in front of the television! (Some projects knit up more smoothly without the distractions of TV though – best to save the TV-knitting for easy projects.)

Here are some of the things I’ve knit recently! In the order I made them, more or less..

Hats

Thanks for the suggestions to make a hat next. I’m so glad I tried hats! I’ve always wanted to make hats (see Beach Hat Fail post) and they’re surprisingly satisfying. They only use a small amount of yarn, they are reasonably easy for a beginner once you’ve mastered the neck-loop, and I like the outfit coordination possibilites. I like than I can make a cute knitted hat for every outfit if I wanted to for under $10 (not including buying knitting needles!)

My mother liked this pink one so much I gave it to her! The yarn is a tweedy, woodsy yarn with mohair and angora – it’s rough to work with, but softens up after washing. There were literally bits of twigs stuck in the yarn, which threw me off. Apparently that happens sometimes!

This next one was for Mr Sewaholic’s birthday – I actually wrapped up balls of yarn as his present to make sure he liked the colour choice, before starting to knit! (That’s something my mother has done for my dad many times – wrapped up fabric and a picture of the pattern as a gift! Like mother, like daughter…)

It’s reversible! Inside is a dark green hat, and the outside is striped as you can see. The double-layer makes it super warm and fits his head like a glove. (Click here for Ravelry notes and pattern info.)

This one looks cooler in photos than it does when it’s worn. It may just be my own personal preference, but it’s a bit floppy and round, like a mushroom! Like Strawberry Shortcake – didn’t she have a big round saggy hat? It sure looks neat when it’s flat though.

Taking photos on a white background makes the knitting really stand out!

Mittens

I made these to go with the cabled beret – the last one of the hats pictured above! Now these look really impressive. I really like the look of cables, and they’re not as tricky as they look! The pattern on these mitts was pretty hard though, I think it’s because I couldn’t seem to memorize it, so every row I had to stop and re-read the pattern.

The most impressive part of these was the gusset – they were my first pattern modification! I looked at several other people’s projects and their notes and put two and two together. I did have to figure out the left hand glove all on my own, because the modifications only explained how to do it for the right glove. I bet I’ll be wearing these all the time on my bike once the weather cools down!

Scarves

Isn’t the pattern on the red scarf so pretty? It look hard but it’s not! It’s made of super soft, squishy wool like my Sunset Cowl, and it’s for my sister who’s spending her first winter in Montreal. To say it gets cold there is an understatement – minus 30 or 40 degrees!

Ravelry links with patterns and project notes here: yellow hat, pink hat, red scarf, white hat.

Socks!

Yes, I made socks! Socks use small, thin needles – way different than the hats, which used needles the thickness of a pencil or fatter. The teeny-tiny needles were hard to control at first, but it gets easier. Starting is the hardest part! Ravelry notes on the sock here.

Apparently with sock knitting, a phenomenon occurs called Second Sock Syndrome – where you end up making only one sock! I can see why, after making one I wanted to move on to something new and exciting, not make a whole second sock. Imagine if we had to sew things like that, repeating the exact same steps twice?

I started a second pair of socks, but I’ve come down with Second Sock Syndrome and don’t want to make its pair right away!

These socks are just as bright in real life as they look in this photo! Scary yellow. I kind of love the brightness! Won’t they be ridiculously cheerful on a grey winter day? (Ravelry notes on the lonely yellow sock here.)

Next, I want to make a wrap to go with the Lonsdale dress. I love the elegance of a wrap rather than a jacket or cardigan. Plus, a wrap or shawl always fits, no matter if you lose or gain weight! The pattern I’ve picked has a leaf motif, so it’s perfect for transitioning summer dresses into fall. You can already see the leaf pattern in the photo below!

If you’ve always wanted to try knitting, I’d totally recommend it! It’s easy to learn with the amount of free resources out there – YouTube and Ravelry were awesome! YouTube is especially great because you can watch someone do exactly what you’re about to do. Just type in ‘join in the round’ or other mysterious knitting term and find a video showing you how. Just like sewing, there are knit-a-longs, too! In fact, Kristen and Sarah are leading a beginner’s knit-a-long called The Newbie and The Knitter, which is a great opportunity to learn from real people at your own pace. If I can go from dreaming of knitting in April, and making real things five months later, you can too!

More project notes, pattern links and yarn information on my Ravelry page here. (Be my Ravelry friend too – I’m TasiaKnits!)

Happy sewing and knitting!

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53 Responses to Knitting Up A Storm!

  1. Vicki Kate September 7, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I’m making the beret at the moment but in a teal tweedy sort of colour. I love it so far, and I deliberately wanted something with a bit of flop at the top! Can you share more about your cabled wrist warmer / gauntlets? I want to make a pair but can’t find a pattern I love, but what you’ve done is pretty close to what’s in my minds eye…

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      @Vicki Kate: Sure! It looks like I forgot to link the ravelry notes. Here’s my project link:
      http://www.ravelry.com/projects/TasiaKnits/evangeline
      It’s the Evangeline pattern but I added a gusset instead of making a tube-like thing for the thumb. I made notes on how I did but never put them into the project notes. If you’ve done a gusset before it might be easy. Let me know if you want to know what I did and I’ll write them up properly!
      I also saw this pattern which looks a little simpler and includes a thumb gusset!
      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vancouver-fog

      • Vicki Kate September 8, 2011 at 1:17 am #

        @Tasia:
        Hi Tasia
        If you could share your notes that would be great! I may make a mash-up of the two patterns, taking the gusseted thumb from the fog and adding it into the Evangeline…
        I’d love to learn the magic loop method too as I get really bad second sock syndrome. I haven’t found a tutorial yet that has helped me understand it yet though!

  2. LisaB September 7, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Great projects! I love the vibrant colors.

    I’ve taken up sock knitting in the last year and have found that knitting two at a time with the Magic Loop technique helps me complete a finished pair of socks. I haven’t experienced Second Sock Syndrome yet! Perhaps you could put that technique on your list of things to try to see if it works for you as well.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      @LisaB: Thanks! I’ve heard of magic loop for socks but haven’t tried it – I wanted to follow the patterns exactly as written so I didn’t get confused. But I LOVE the idea of knitting two at once and having a pair of socks finished at the same time!

  3. Marianne September 7, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Less than $10? Well, yeah, if you don’t count labour hours. A little tip from a fellow knitter who tried to calculate actual cost: don’t. Don’t calculate what it actually costs you to make a hat. Because then you won’t ever gift anything again. ;)

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      @Marianne: Good point! For sure, I was thinking of cost to me, not actual production cost. Like if I wanted a yellow hat, could I buy one for $10? Or, could I make one by only spending $10? It’s more the cost out of my bank account I was considering. Absolutely, a week of knitting time is worth way more than $10! Could you imagine – even if I paid myself $10/hour, say it took me 15 hours – that’s $150 plus the $10 for yarn! Yikes. And that’s why knitting gifts are extra-special! Only for people who truly appreciate them.

      • Marianne September 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

        @Tasia: Not to mention a sweater! My mom was asked by my cousin to knit a sweater for her. My mom didn’t want to knit my cousin a sweater, but she needed her house painted. And painting the entire outside of our large house is not fun. She would rather knit a sweater. So they swapped time. My cousin painted the house and my mother knitted the sweater. Win-win. They spent about the same amount of time, so they “broke even”.

        • Tasia September 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

          @Marianne: Oh wow! Talk about trading one big, long task for another big long task. I can’t imagine knitting a whole sweater for someone else. That’s either a labour of love – or like your mom did, a trade for something you like doing even less. :)

  4. Ashley September 7, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Yay I’m so glad you decided to share on your blog too. I love reading through people’s project notes on Ravelry, I always learn something :)
    Also, I love your hair in the first photo! All wavy and lovely. That’s how I want mine to go, and it kind of does but with a lot more frizz! lol :)
    Happy knitting!
    Ashley x

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      @Ashley: Thanks for the hair compliments! I’m always battling frizz too – you should see it when it comes out of a bike helmet. I found this great although pricey hair product that’s made a huge difference.
      http://www.amazon.com/TIGI-Catwalk-Curlesque-Collection-Amplifier/dp/B004WPEJUQ/ref=dp_cp_ob_bt_title_2
      I’m glad I looked that up, it’s way cheaper online than at my local store :)
      I love ravelry too.. you can learn so much before even starting a knitting project! It’s brilliant!

      • Ashley September 7, 2011 at 10:07 am #

        @Tasia: Ooh, thanks for the tip! I’ll have a look around for it. Though if I can’t find it cheaper in a shop, I’ll definitely pick some up from Amazon! Yay for finding it cheaper! :)
        Ashley x

        • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:11 am #

          @Ashley: You’re welcome! I’ve been searching for the perfect curly-hair product forever and this is the best one – it doesn’t dry out my hair and doesn’t get crunchy but still defines the curl. Hope it works for your hair as well as it does for mine!

  5. Seraphinalina September 7, 2011 at 7:41 am #

    Wow! Lovely work, you’ve been very productive.

    My mom is a knitter of mitts and my MIL is a knitter of anything. I remember my mom teaching me to knit when I was maybe 10 or 12. I tried making a scarf for a doll and ended up with a weird trapazoid thing. Then I thought about sewing and thought, hmm, you know the fabric is already made there…

    One day I’ll learn to knit again, but the passion isn’t there quite yet.

    I’m assuming you’ve read the Yarn Harlot? http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      @Seraphinalina: Yes! I was at the library looking for knitting books and I ended up taking out her book, and while it’s not on technique it sure was an entertaining read.
      This one:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0740750372/yarnharlot-20
      because when I looked it up I saw she’s written more books! Must talk to the library about carrying more knitting books. :)
      Like anything, the passion probably comes and goes. Right now the novelty and the progressing and learning new things is keeping me pumped about knitting!

      • Seraphinalina September 7, 2011 at 11:00 am #

        @Tasia: I don’t knit and I love reading her blog, she’s just hilarious. And as a bonus, lives in Toronto so sometimes I catch references to locations. I’ve never been in Lettuce Knit, but I have driven past it.

        Knitting seems like a great fibre art to pick up now that sewing is your work day. Probably makes for better work/life balance too.

  6. Becky September 7, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Ohmygosh, I feel like you’re kicking my butt on the knitting learning curve, lol. Of course, I spent all summer knitting one top. I’m just now working on my first project involving cable needles, and it’s probably the most super-easy way to do them. I have a hat planned for the fall too, and I’m really excited about it! If I can find time to work on it, since I’m doing the Newbie/Knitter knitalong sweater.

    Off to hunt you down on Ravelry now, since you made it an open invitation. I’m there as sunnyb64.

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      @Becky: I’m an obsessive crafter apparently! I don’t like the word crafter but how else to describe it? Compulsive maker-of-things? If it makes you feel better, I’ve ripped out a sweater three times. Sweaters are not happening for me right now! But accessories certainly are. :)
      Hats are great. You only have to make one not a pair, they stretch to fit, and they’re just complex enough. I’ll watch for your fall hat and newbie-knitter sweater!

  7. Catholic Bibliophagist September 7, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    I adore looking at other people’s knitting projects and love looking at (and stroking) yarns in shops. But I know I will never knit anything because Southern California is just too warm (even in winter) for wearing that kind of stuff.

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      @Catholic Bibliophagist: I suppose that’s one good thing about having cold weather – cute knitted things! I’m envious of your year-round warm weather though, especially in a month when it starts raining here (and doesn’t stop till April.)

  8. Deborah September 7, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    You started to knit in April and can already do lace and cables? And your stitches are so even! I’m very impressed!

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      @Deborah: Oh thanks! I’m totally hooked, and I like the challenge of new things. Cables were way easier than I thought they’d be! Lace is not too bad either, although I’ve had trouble with yarnovers on a few projects. (Those ones I undid and made something else instead.) I’m really enjoying it!

  9. Amanda S. September 7, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Cute stuff! I especially like your hats. I’ve totally lost my knitting mojo working on a sweater that had lots of pieces. Maybe I’ll try something small and easy to try to get it back.

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:04 am #

      @Amanda S.: Good idea! Just because you *can* knit something complex and involved doesn’t mean you always have to. You know? Just because you can make a beautiful lined jacket (and I’ve seen lots of yours!), doesn’t mean you can’t sew up a simple skirt now and then. (I try and remind myself of this sometimes, sometimes less is more!)

  10. Zilredloh September 7, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Oh, wow! You’re an amazing knitter after just 6 months! IMO if you can knit socks you can knit anything!

    I love your strawberry shortcake beret; I bet it looks lovely on, too.

    Knitting is wonderful, all you need to know is the knit and purl stitch and you can make so many amazing things. I was so intimidated by cables when I started but after working one round of them, I thought “this is what I was soo scared about?!”. Did you find that too?

    What are you going to make next, after the shawl?

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      @Zilredloh: You’re exactly right! Just knits and purls, with a few variations. Yup, cables are easier than I thought too. I thought you had to make the cable the whole time, instead of just making a ‘cable row’ and returning to regular knitting.

      After the shawl I’m going back to more socks! Probably the other yellow sock first, of course, and then trying a lace sock.
      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hedera
      or another shawl
      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/terra-4
      Trying not to plan ahead too far, I don’t want it to seem like a to-do list!

  11. indigorchid September 7, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Goodness! You are flying through these projects Tasia – I’m very impressed! By the way, I just knew a detail-oriented, perfectionist like yourself would turn up beautiful knit things right from the start! ;)

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:09 am #

      @indigorchid: Thank you! Ha, that’s exactly me. Detail-oriented, perfectionist, and obsessed maker-of-things!

  12. Kristen September 7, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    WOW! I cannot believe how fast you’ve mastered knitting! Socks already! They are so lovely, and you really have been knitting up a storm. I am so impressed! Thanks so much for sharing our knitalong, it has been so much fun!

    • Tasia September 7, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      @Kristen: Thanks! When I realized that I could knit socks (warm, wool socks instead of synthetic? yes please!) that was my goal. get good enough to make socks and never be cold again!
      Of course! I thought I’d let people know knitting is not so scary, especially if they wanted to learn alongside you. Your first posts have been really informative!

  13. Sarah September 7, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Wow, girl!! You are amazing!!! I have been too scared to try cables, but after seeing your beautiful knits, I want to give them a go!! Your wrap is going to be so beautiful!!

    Thanks so much for mentioning our knit-a-long! C’mon and join in! We’d love to have you!!

  14. Wanett September 7, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    You are amazing!! That is beyond impressive for a new knitter! You’ve motivated me to pick up my needles more often.

  15. Caroline September 7, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Wow, you’ve really caught on fast! I’ve been knitting 25-30 years (off and on of course, with years-long breaks in there!) and still haven’t done cables. Just this year I rediscovered my love of knitting and I agree, it is totally the perfect companion for knitting. I love how it is portable and I can have it when I am waiting somewhere and “redeem the time”

    I’m making a shrug for my Lonsdale. :)

    And I do want to try mittens (though it’s not nearly as cold here as there – a cold day here is right around freezing and we don’t get many of those) – my son and I are bike commuting to school and I’d love for him to have some felted mittens for those days when it gets below 50 or so …

  16. Caroline September 7, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    oops, meant “perfect companion for SEWING. “

  17. Susan - Knitters Delight September 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Nice! I have been getting my knitting mojo back lately. I’m glad you have gotten into it now.

  18. Sherry September 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Ooh you have been a busy knitter – lots of nice things! I find knitting is easier to do in small bites, and sewing I like to do in large bites. And I knit when travelling because I just can’t sit there and do nothing!

    I think for cardigans and jumpers you need to be incredibly patient, and ready to unravel and reknit – I’ve been unhappy with the fit of a lot of patterns I’ve made, and never worn them! But then I’m a fussy clothing patternmaker – and you are probably the same! However I’m getting better at making amendments to patterns and having more success lately. Finding a knitting designer that has your same idea of good fit is a start!

  19. Kristie September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow! I’m so impressed with your newbie skills. I’ll see you on Ravelry :)

  20. scuffsan September 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    Seeing your yellow Jane made me think I need to make one! I’ve been thinking about knitting a hat so this post was great inspiration for me :)
    You should check out http://www.garnstudio.com (Drops design) if you haven’t already. So many great patterns for free!

  21. Lucy September 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Just…wow. I can knit, but have always been intimidated by pretty much anything that wasn’t a scarf, and anyway, I decided a long time ago I don’t have the patience for knitting. But lo and behold, here I am working on a knitting project that I HAD to do when I found a link to it on Elegant Musings: http://zilredloh.com/2011/08/19/free-pattern-basic-vintage-cardi/ – sometimes the bug bites me and I carry on until I’ve lost patience again.

    My main problem is that I can do the stitches (well, I’ve never tried lace or cable, but my mum is an excellent knitter and scoffs at how easy those things are…might just be to annoy me though!) but I’ve never really known what to do when I make mistakes. I’m slowly learning though thanks to YouTube – just the other day I had to take it round to mum and get her to fix it when a bunch of my stitches fell off the needle and I made a mess when I tried to get them back on, and I really don’t want to have to do that every time something goes wrong!

    Now I just need to get faster – I love the stripey beanie you made for Mr Sewaholic, that might be on my agenda for my fella as well. If I don’t lose interest before I finish my cardie ;-)

  22. Stephanie September 7, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Wow! You have been knitting up a storm! I’m just learning to knit too. It is quite fun and I want to have loads of cute knit things to wear by the time winter really sets in!

  23. Ella September 7, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    Wow, I’m impressed with how quickly you’ve been bitten by the knitting bug! You’ve really built your skill set well in such a short period of time.

  24. Elisabeth September 7, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Yay for knitting! I’m so impressed by how much you’ve accomplished in just a relatively short time knitting! Watch out for the socks, they can get addictive. I love knitting them, they are so portable and they are so much better in the winter than store-bought socks. Be careful giving them as gifts, though. I gave my mom a pair one Christmas and now she expects a pair every Christmas! :) The same happened with my MIL. Once a person has experienced handmade wool socks, that’s all they’ll want to wear!

  25. Clare September 7, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Hello! Haven’t commented for ages but seeing how productive you’ve been on your knitting made me want to share my audible gasp of amazement! You’ve done so well in such a short time – love those hats!

  26. Suzie September 8, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    O.M.G. Is there anything you can’t do??!!! Your knitted pieces are all so gorgeous – I am so impressed! I attempted to knit a scarf last winter (a very basic knit 2, pearl 2!) and at the moment it is about 7inch long…with a lot of holes in it!

    I really love your first hat – whats the pattern for it? I may not be able to knit myself…but I know someone who is pretty nifty with the ol’ knitting needles (my mum!)….

    • Tasia September 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      @Suzie: It’s the Jane hat, by Jane Richmond (a Canadian knitwear designer, yay!)
      Here’s the link to her etsy store, so you don’t need a ravelry account to see it!
      http://www.etsy.com/listing/62096229/pattern-jane
      It’s not as hard as it looks! They aren’t real cables, but trick cables. :)

  27. Kerry September 8, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    You’ve made fantastic progress! Everything you’ve made looks really neat and I love your cabled mittens – big fat cables look so cosy!

  28. Sue September 8, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Aren’t socks so much fun!
    I admire that you can knit on double pointed needles, I can’t do that. I use a circular needle and knit two at a time, so when I finish, I’m finished the pair.

  29. Brumby September 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I am amazed by how much you have knitted and how quickly you have picked up the skills. I have been knitting on and off for years and still haven’t tackled socks. I have heard of second sock syndrome, but maybe you could compare it to/think of it like lining a coat, you make basically the same thing twice there too…

  30. K-Line September 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    T: You’re totally ready for that Craftsy course! And I just taught myself cabling this weekend. I love it. So fun and not hard. I’ve found a perfect keyhole scarf that I intend to make for everyone for Xmas (you can see it in my projects section on Ravelry). Can knit it in 2 nights watching TV. You’ve done some gorgeous things here. I’ve never made a pair of socks or a hat. I think they may be in my future.

  31. Caroline September 8, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Love love love love that goldenrod cap! I dug through the comments and see that it’s the Jane pattern on Etsy – thanks for the link. This HAS to happen. I also love to knit, but only get the urge in the winter time. I never knit in the summer. I hear this from a lot of people. You must be die hard!!

  32. Joanna September 9, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    I love cabled items! These mittens are beautiful and have perfect pattern and color for me, I’d wear them with a chocolate brown coat (waiting to be sewn). I wish I had a clone who’d sit in the office and make money while I’d be knitting :D
    You’re really talented, Tasia!

  33. petitejosette September 9, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    You are so talented ! I Can’t believe you’ve already made all that 6 months after first starting! I actually just joined a knitting group at work – we meet every monday at lunch and it’s a great way to learn from others with more experience. I’m trying very simple mittens for my first project (almost done with Mitten #1). But it is a nice complement as I do it at night in front of the TV or in the car. You can pick it up for 15 minutes then put it back down, no need to clean everything off the table like sewing in a small place requires…

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