Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Asherton Scarf in Light Gray Marl Wool, Planning a Knitting Curriculum, and n00b Questions

My second scarf is finished! You know how all those high school friends you don't talk to in real life are all up on Facebook like Here is a picture of my baby! Here is a picture of my baby with a bunny! Here is a picture of my baby on a bearskin! Here is a picture of my baby riding a magic unicorn! Blahblahblah... Well, I can do that too.

Here is a picture of my scarf!
Needles: Size 7 straight needles
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Yarn
Color: Light Gray Marl

Here is a picture of my scarf with a flower!
My scarf is starring in a movie!
MY SCARF IS SO BIG, IT WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

In all seriousness, I'm pretty pleased. This is the Asherton Reversible Scarf pattern by SmarieK Knits. I love her designs so much. She creates sophisticated patterns with loads of intricate texture, but never too fussy. Read her blog, and check out her collection of free patterns on Ravelry!

I made this scarf for Keith, and I love the geometric design. It looks fancy, but it only requires knit and purl stitches, so it's great for a beginner who wants to learn to follow a pattern. I just wish I'd done this piece in solid (not marled) yarn. Solid yarn would show off the pattern better.

I blocked this piece in sections, and blocking changes the design so much. I took this picture when I'd only blocked half of it, and look! The unblocked section practically has a lettuce edge. It's pretty, but I like the blocked look better. Straight lines compliment the geometric design. I like that knits can look sleek and sophisticated!




Now I'm trying to pick up more skills. With my first project, I learned to cast on, knit, purl, cast off, and block a finished piece. Yawn. With this project, I learned to read and follow a pattern, count stitches, and knit a selvage. I'm still an amateur, but it was so easy. I'm looking forward to trying something bigger! I'm currently knitting a collection of colorful, cozy neckwarmers on 16 inch bamboo circular needles. I'm making up simple spiraling patterns that call for yarn overs, knitting two stitches together, and purling two together.

Right before we went to Disney World I got bored, bought a 36 inch circular needle, and (sort of) taught myself Magic Loop. I made small hair ties, and the seams where the two sides come together aren't as tight as I'd like. But I understand the concept. Unfortunately, my circular needles are rubbish! The cable is so stiff that it sticks up and smacks me in the face, no joke. I soaked it in hot water twice, but it's a nightmare to work with. I need to find a better circular needle.

Right now, my progress is hampered because I'm afraid of double pointed needles. DPN projects all look like they're being worked on a hedgehog! But all the best patterns on Ravelry are written for DPNs, so maybe I should suck it up and learn to use them. I may be able to read a pattern and make up simple designs in the round, but I don't think I can adapt a pattern for different needles yet!

Knitters, what method do you prefer for knitting in the round?
What's your favorite brand of circular needles?
And what skills do you wish you'd learned early on?

6 comments:

  1. DPNs aren't as scary as they first seem and seem to work better for me for small projects. I say pick a small, easy pattern to start with. Wristwarmers w/o fingers & thumbs are an excellent start.

    I used to prefer circular needles until I finally bit the bullet and tried DPNs and now I'll stick with those (again for smaller projects). Sometimes it's hard for me to gauge my circumference (even with a pattern, I knit tight, so I have to adjust and it sometimes doesn't match the needles the pattern suggests) and buying Circular needles, then needing a smaller or bigger circumference drives me crazy (or having to change out the connectors on my interchangeables).

    For bigger projects I stick with circular needles. Not particular to any brand, but as long as they're bamboo or wood needles I'm happy.

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    1. Good to know! I'm interested in some cute fingerless glove patterns, so I guess I'll do one of those patterns when I first try DPNs.

      Amen to bamboo needles! My 16 inch circulars are bamboo, and I LOVE them. Do you like your interchangeables? If I keep knitting much longer, an interchangeable set seems like a good investment.

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  2. This is lovely! I've been knitting for years but I've never really gotten into fancy patterns (and yes, to me this is a fancy pattern). One time I made a crazy colorful star wars scarf for a friend, but I've never done anything else like it. I have made a hat with DPNs before and it went well.

    I really want to learn that MAGIC LOOP business that seems to be all the rage. Can we get some tea and knit soon?

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    1. Thank you! And YES, you, me, and the Lladybird should get together to knit. With tea and cats!

      I'm impressed that you can do COLORWORK! Is it hard?

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  3. Aw, DPNs aren't hard once you get past that first row! And it is fun to knit that way because 1. You look like you're knitting a weapon and 2. It looks really complicated so non-knitters are super impressed haha. Come to knitting tomorrow, and we'll teach ya :) I'm going to learn magic loop as soon as I bind off the body of this sweater (as my magic loop needles are currently IN the sweater haha), so excited!

    For circulars - I love my Denise interchangeables because they are really convenient as I have all the needle sizes and cable lengths that I need. But the cables are way too stiff for magic loop (although I like the stiffness for when I'm just knitting straight, or something in the round that doesn't have a small circumference). The needles they sell at Haus are really nice; the cables are nice and flexible and they have a lifetime guarantee. They don't come cheap, though! I think they're around $15~ a pair.

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    1. Knitting a weapon, YEAH! Or a porcupine?

      How's your sweater coming? I can't wait to see it in all its peacock blue glory! Magic loop is very frustrating at first, with ladders at the seams, but with the right needles it should be easier to learn. I think I'll work with DPNs before I go back to magic loop. I wanna impress the non-knitters! :D

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P.S. All trolls will be fed to the bookworms.