For the month of December and part of January, I switched gears and threw myself into a bunch of knitting projects. Sewing went on the back burner but don’t worry, there are a couple of projects brewing right now…They should be revealed by the end of the month.
All the things I knit were gifts for other people. I know! All that work and I don’t get to keep any of it. It’s okay, I know my gifts were well received and my intention for knitting these projects was to make something thoughtful for my recipients.
I knit two triangle shawls, both patterns are designed by a local Vancouver designer (and fellow coworker!) Sylvia Bo Bilvia. She’s a very talented designer who has made a lot of splashes on Ravelry and in Vancouver’s local knitting scene.
Her most famous design by far is the The Lonely Tree Shawl. I knit my own version of this shawl, altering it slightly so that the leaf design was symmetrical. My Ravelry notes can be found here if you want to read about the nitty gritty details on the project.
This is what the shawl looks like while it’s blocking. Blocking is the procedure where you gently wash your finished knit garment and then lay it out somewhere to dry. You can also use pins or wires to give your project some shaping and “open up” the knitting. Lace patterns usually need to be blocked to open up the lace and help it look even more beautiful. As you can see, I bought a set of foam mats from a children’s toy store to use as blocking mats. You can use pretty much anything, as long as you can pin into it. These were just the most affordable for me…and aren’t they just so silly and cheery!
The second shawl I knit was The First Few Fallen Leaves. My Ravelry notes here.
I used both Cascade 220 Heathers to knit the shawls; it’s an affordable worsted weight wool yarn that I bought at one of my local yarn stores, Three Bags Full. The Lonely Tree one was knit in the colour way Peacock and the First Few Fallen Leaves was knit in Saphire. These shawls have been the largest projects I’ve successfully completed knitting so far and I’m pretty proud of the intricacy of the lace I was able to knit. I do actually have a sweater that’s in my UFO pile and I hope to finish it in February…maybe.
I also knit these! They’re double-sided Star Trek pot holders. Ravelry notes!
To achieve the reversible double sided mirror imaging effect, these pot holders were knit using a technique called double knitting. You knit with two strands of yarn held at the same time and switch back and forth between them depending on which colour you want to show up on the side that’s facing you. The other colour will end up on the other side. Yea…it’s kind of mind-blowing to think about the mechanics of double knitting. I am becoming quite the knitting nerd…and I love it!
I am actually going to knit one more Lonely Tree shawl for my grandmother. It’ll be a Chinese New Year gift and I’m knitting it in red yarn of course.
I really love knitting and I’m glad I decided to pick up the hobby back in April 2012. The only thing is that I go long gaps without doing any knitting so in total, I probably only have about 7 months of knitting experience. I’m hoping to knit more regularly in 2014 and have it as a background hobby to sewing. I’d like to do one sweater project per season and I think that’s a reasonable time allowance — 4 months to knit a sweater? That sounds doable!
Feel free to creep my Ravelry profile to learn more about my knitting. You will see from creeping that I started off with lacy dishcloths as my first projects. So here’s to knitting! Hurrah!