So in the week that you`ve been away I have been making plans to cast on. I set aside my yarn for Drachenfels by Melanie Berg and some more for Mila`s sweater and then Joji dropped that gorgeous Suburban Wrap and I was sure that was going to happen RIGHT NOW, and then SQUIRREL!! Log cabin mitts came out of nowhere. I frequently joke that I have the attention span of a five year old but if I`m fair to five year olds, I think they could out last me. Nonetheless, I have no regrets about my new cast on. They are so fun and they were just so easy to get started. My size 6 needles were sitting right there on the table after I rescued them from a colour work project that had gone disastrously wrong (I switched rows half way through the round and didn’t realise it for six rounds), I yoinked three worsted lefties from the leftie jar and downloaded Karen Templer`s pattern which is FREE and just like that I could sit and knit. There was no winding yarn, no painfully long cast on, counting and recounting stitches. Just knitting. It was awesome.
If you’re a new knitter, this is a great pattern to start with because you get to practice a whole bunch of basic skills in a condensed little project and it’s all garter stitch which is a very forgiving stitch. Another way of thinking about it is, this is that dishcloth that every new knitter starts with but it wraps around your hand and adds a thumb. Trust me when I say, you’ll be fine. You’ll probably use these more than the dishcloth as well.
I’m not going to say too much about the pattern because I want you to head over to Ravelry and check it out yourself but I did make a couple of notes based on my progress so far. In two parts of the pattern it suggests that you use an optional slip-stitch selvage. My first reaction was “huh?” and then I read the detailed technique notes at the end of the pattern and it made perfect sense. Quite literally all you have to do is slip the first stitch from you left needle to your right making sure that your yarn is in front of your work. I’ve taken pictures of both the slip stitch selvage edge verses the garter stitch selvage so that you can decide what you prefer. If you decide to go with the slip stitch selvage, my only advice is to give your working yarn a little tug because I’m pretty sure my stitches are a little more loose than then they should be.
(The pink is a slip stitch selvage. See how it sort of looks like the cast off edge in blue?)
(The white is a garter stitch selvage)
My second note is that this project does produce quite a few ends that need weaving in. While I was knitting I made an effort and knit a few them in wherever I remembered but I often didn’t remember and, honestly, I don’t mind worsted ends. They weave in pretty quickly. After the fact I found this amazing article that Karen posted on the Fringe Supply Co. blog about how to minimize and weave in ends. A bunch of really talented designers and knitters weighed in on their best practices and I’m definitely going to try a couple of these out. If you’re anything like me, this is something to keep in your favourites for future reference.
Per the pattern instructions, I HAVE to block this baby before I can go any further so that will be my next step. If I make any additional notes I will post them on Instagram and in my next post.
Twice this week I came across the term “marl”. I had absolutely no clue what this meant (even though technically I’ve done it before). It’s basically a colourwork effect created by holding two different coloured yarns together while knitting. When I looked it up I saw some pretty cool effects, including this ombre effect used by Tincanknits. I definitely want to try playing with this technique to see what I can come up with. Also I see some great stash busting projects in my very near future.
That`s it for me for this week. Make sure you come back to see what Ashley and I get up to. Ashley has been keeping me posted on her WIP progress and it sounds like she`s just churning them out. I`ll let her tell you about that herself though.
Until we speak again, PEACE to you and your family and happy knitting! XO