Welcome to my very first knitting post! I am super excited to be sharing my love and enthusiasm for this new hobby of mine with you! Before we get started, I want to clarify that I am not and am in no way purporting to be a knitting expert of any kind. I am truly a novice. My reason for starting this new monthly knitting series is very simply that I want to share my newfound passion with others who might just happen to have similar interests. That’s the main reason I share all of what I do here and on YouTube. I plan on breaking up this post into three categories, including projects I’ve finished in the past month, any yarn hauls or projects on the horizon, and a look at my monthly Knit Crate (a knitting subscription box! More on this later…). Let’s get started!
January Completed Projects
I started off the new year jumping right back into knitting after a very long hiatus. My Grandma taught me the basics about ten years ago when I was home on break from college. As much as I loved the craft, I put it to the side when I returned to school and my coursework. Over the years I’ve thought about picking up the needles, but it wasn’t until late last year that real motivation set in. I started off with this colorful scarf and chose the seed stitch to help me remember the basics. I used just about three skeins of Maypole Euro Baby #15. I found I only needed a brief refresher course in casting on as well as the knit and purl stitch, for which I turned to Very Pink Knits on YouTube. I used her videos to learn how to bind off, which I hadn’t actually ever done before. I highly recommend her tutorials! They are clear and easy to follow.
My second project was a simple scarf using only the garter stitch. I had purchased this Martha Stewarts Crafts Glitter Eyelash yarn in Kunzite #503 a long time again with my Grandma in mind. She loves anything pink and I thought the sparkles would suit her sparkly personality! Again, I used just three skeins worth and found I was able to knit this one up in a flash with the straightforward design. I gave it to my Grandma for her 93rd birthday last week. She was thrilled to learn that I was back to knitting!
My third and last project of the month was the biggest knitting endeavor I’ve taken on yet – a knit lace shawl. I wanted to start expanding my knitting know-how and there’s nothing like following a pattern and working with a larger scale project to get the ball rolling! I had two skeins of the Patons Divine Chantilly Rose #72406 as well as two skeins of the same yarn in Icicle White I had picked up last fall with a blanket in mind. A new knitting friend of mine shared that this would not be enough yarn for a small lap blanket, and pointed me in the direction of Ravelry, an online fiber arts community and excellent resource, to help me find a suitable pattern. I picked out the Easy/Splendid Triangle Shawl pattern, available for free through Lion Brand. There were many firsts that went along with this project for me, including first time using a pattern, first time working with mohair, first time attempting knit lace, first time working with circular needles, and first time making anything other than a scarf! I used slightly smaller needles than the project called for (8 mm instead of 9 mm), and knit only eight sets of the pattern instead of the suggested ten. I did make a couple of rather large mistakes, including dropping and picking up a few stitches down the middle spine in the center of the shawl, which makes it appear a bit more hole-y in that place than is intended, as well as accidentally adding a row and flipping the pattern to the reverse side about a quart of the way in. This results in a slightly raised portion toward the top center of the shawl, which one could view as intentional. I’m going with it! The result it a lovely “shawlette” as I’m calling it, which is a size much better suited for my petite Grandma. I intend to give this to her as a Valentine’s Day gift. I’m also planning on adding a button so the shawl can be easily kept in place. I am very pleased overall with the result and am feeling much more confident in my knitting endeavors!
You can find me as OrganizedJen on Ravelry! I’ve also recently started a knitting group there called Bliss Knits. Please join us if you’d like!
I’m trying not to buy yarn without having a project or pattern in mind first, but alas, along with the knitting bug comes the requisite yarn fever that makes it nearly impossible to resist a beautiful yarn when you see it. While I was still in Utah vacationing at the family abode earlier this month, I made a trip to downtown Provo to visit Heindselman’s Yarn, Needlework, & Gifts. I knew I wanted to pick out some yarn to work on a project for my MIL’s upcoming birthday (the exact pattern of which I want to keep secret until after I give her the present in case she sees this). I picked out three skeins of Universal Yarns Classic Shades Roman Candle #716 (above image, left side). I thought the colors seemed fitting for my MIL and I liked the weight and feel of the yarn for the project I have in mind. I was all set to check out when I noticed the local hand dyed selections in the store. I couldn’t resist picking out one to “just have” for the moment. Talk about a total yarn trap! I purchased the Greenwood Fiberworks Bamboo Bliss in Enchanted (pictured on the right in the image above). It is beyond soft! I reached out to the Etsy shop owner who makes and sells this beautiful yarn (in Utah!) to see if I could order more in this color, as they only had one hank in the shop. I still need to find a project to make with this beauty! Any ideas?
December 2013 & January 2014 Knit Crate
One of the most exciting products I’ve recently been introduced to is a monthly subscription service for knitters! Andrea from Knit Crate reached out to me late last year as a fan of my videos and asked if she could send me one of her company’s Knit Crate packages as a gift. She very kindly sent me the December 2013 Indie Knit Crate pictured above (minus the hot chocolate, which I left out at the Utah house). I was immediately hooked and decided to sign up for the subscription!
There are eight different subscription options, which you can see here if you’re curious. I decided to sign up for the Beginner’s Knit Crate, which includes a pattern suitable to that level, enough yarn to complete that project, a couple of bonus items (ranging from soothing to sweet to fun), and promo codes for knitting related products. I think this is just about as much fun as I could possibly dream of receiving in my mailbox each month!
Here is a look at what came in my January 2014 Beginner’s Knit Crate:
✻ Cabled Slouch Hat Pattern by Valerie Teppo – Knit Crate claims this pattern is a great starting point to jump into the world of cabling. I can’t wait to give it a try!
✻ Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight Yarn in Capri #539 – This is the softest yarn I have ever held in my hands! Three hanks worth seems like more than enough to complete the hat.
✻ Honey House Naturals Bee Bar in Honey and Lip Butter Tube in Raspberry Lemonade – These delicious smelling beauty products are the soothing and fun extras this month. Great choices to help combat the winter dry and cold!
✻ It’s Mine Labels Promo Code as well as coupons for a discount on the Darling Mermaids Ebook, free shipping on a purchase of five or more hand blown glass custom buttons from Moving Mud, and one individual free pattern from Toby Roxanne Designs.
I’ve also signed up for the 5 Mini Add-Ons package available through Knit Crate. Each month I will receive five 30-yard mini skeins in hand painted/indie dyed yarns. I decided to sign up for this option after Andrea very kindly sent me the December 2013 10 Minis Add-Ons (above left image) and the Beekeeper’s Quilt pattern. One of my larger scale projects is to start working on knitting up little hexipuffs. Once I have enough for my intended quilt size I will stitch then together and voila! A beautiful honeycomb style hand knit quilt! You can easily get started on this project by purchasing the pattern and an included supply of mini skein’s at Knit Crate. Receive 10% off your first Knit Crate purchase (not including monthly or bi monthly subscriptions) by clicking here!
Check out my coordinating Knit Nook video below:
I am happy to announce that Andrea and Joe have very generously offered one January 2014 Beginner’s Knit Crate as a prize for one of you! The January 2014 Knit Crate Giveaway will run until Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6 PM CT. The giveaway is open internationally. All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below. I’ll announce the winner on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!
*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***
Congrats to Brittany on being selected as the winner of my January 2014 Knit Crate Giveaway!
The Poll Results for *Do you knit or crochet?* out of 1294 entries:
I knit (517) 40%
I would like to learn (496) 38%
I crochet (272) 21%
I have no interest in learning right now (9) 1%
Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties. If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.
* Some of the products mentioned are part of the Knit Crate monthly subscription program, for which I pay for my own membership. I was gifted the December Indie Knit Crate, the December 2013 10 Mini Add-Ons, and the Beekeeper’s Quilt pattern shown. The Knit Crate discount link I provide is a referral link, which means if you make a purchase using that link, I get credit towards future Knit Crate purchases. Knit Crate is generously providing the giveaway prize. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *