Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 1 of 30 Days of Knitting

Today I finished a secret project that I'll be giving to its recipient on Saturday.  Actually, I'll be giving a handful of recent secret projects, so I'll finally be able to share some details.  (And photos.  I need to take photos before I wrap them.)

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On the non-secret project front, I ran into a snag on Multnomah.  I was nearing the end of the garter stitch portion, but when I took a count, the numbers didn't match up on either side of the "spine"-- and neither count was correct.  (I'm not sure what I did wrong...)

I contemplated ripping back several rows, putting the stitches back on the needles, and counting... but that was so nerve-wracking and irritating (not to mention time-consuming) that I finally decided to just rip it all the way back and start from scratch.  I'm glad I did.  I'm over halfway through the garter stitch section again.  If I get to the end and it's wrong again (and I can't easily fix or fudge it), I think I'll ditch this pattern and try something else.  (Even though the garter stitch section is incredibly simple.  Doesn't get much easier than that...)

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While looking around at crochet photos online (more on that later), I came across a meme called "30 Days of Knitting".  It's from 2010, so I'm late to the party, but I like memes, and I hardly ever see knitting- or crochet-themed memes, so I couldn't resist.  I'll be answering one knitting question a day (or at least that's the plan).  I may change some of the questions to be about crochet (since I haven't been knitting for long), or maybe I'll answer each for both knitting and crochet (when applicable).  Any one else want to join in? ;o)

Day 1:  What was your first finished project?

Knitting:
That would by my lovely "Knitted (Even if it KILLS Me) Dishrag".  (g)  It was really just a wobbly rectangle of garter stitch, and it's pretty ugly-- but it was knitted!  By hand!  By me!  It's still in the drawer with my other dishcloths and crocheted scrubbers.  I haven't used it much, but I'm sure I will, eventually.  Even though there's obviously still a lot of room for improvement in my knitting skills, it's encouraging to compare that first project with the things I'm able to knit now.  I've learned a fair bit and gained a lot of knitting confidence in the past several months. 

Crochet:
If you don't count loose granny squares as finished objects (and I don't), then I think my first finished crochet project was a Luna Lovegood scarf. I've progressed a lot since that project (if I do say so myself).  One side was/is slightly bigger than the other because my gauge changed somewhere along the way.  

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So, what was I looking for when I stumbled upon the knitting meme?   That would be photos of afghans that use a lot of different novelty yarns in combination with plain worsted weight acrylic.  I was sure I'd seen some before, but so far, I'm not having much luck...

I started trying to re-tame my crafting space (making room so my husband can use part of the room, too) and was reminded of how much novelty yarn I have-- all bought before I really learned how to crochet.  I really don't enjoy crocheting with it at all.  I can use it with a knitting loom fine, which leads me to suspect that knitting with it (so long as it's straightforward knitting) would be okay, too-- but I don't need any more fuzzy scarves, and neither does anyone in my family, as far as I know. (g)  (In fact, I could stand to unravel a few of the ones I made on the knitting loom!  Too many fuzzy scarves!)  

Anyway... I guess I need to look at the washing instructions before I start scheming too hard.  I think most of what I have would be okay in the washer/dryer if I use the cold&gentle/low heat settings, especially if they're crocheted together with a strand of regular worsted (which must add some strength and "structural integrity" to the afghan overall).  I just want to get some use out of it-- something that will use it up faster than the occasional fluffy amigurumi.

...Come to think of it, I did have vague plans to use a "flower maker" loom to make some of it into flowers that I would then join into an airy scarf...  Hm.  I might have to give that a try-- but I'm still on the look-out for cute crocheted afghans that combine novelty yarn with smooth worsted weight.  Any suggestions?