Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to Pick Out a Knitting Project

We use a lot of methods to pick out knitting projects, but usually we have a ton of ideas already in the back of our minds - things we've seen online, in magazines, on tv, or innovations to make something better that we are already making. Pam is here to tell a quick story about project selections!

We decided last minute to go to a jazz concert in Eau Claire on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, and I thought - what should I knit while I'm listening to some great music? I didn't have a current project that would be a good fit (everything I was working on required thought and closely following a pattern) so I decided I would start on a new project that I'd been playing around with in my mind! I decided to start a moebius that was checkerboard. Kirsten and I had actually been thinking along the same lines, and the week before we had chatted about the logistics of a moebius checkerboard. So I quick cast on (no really, if you haven't made a moebius yet, you should try - the cast on is so quick!) about 130 stitches and started to knit on the 45 minute drive to Eau Claire.  

The music was great and I had my knitting to keep my hands occupied. I kind of wished I was in the last stages of an afghan because it was chilly at the concert! Anyway, I spent the evening knitting and I wasn't really happy with the way the checkerboard knit out, but it was interesting, and worth the experimentation. Then inspiration hit again, and I thought maybe I should put a white stripe on the edge of the scarf. I had initially planned on making the whole edge of the scarf in white, but I ran out of the white yarn (yes, I used up some stash!). So I did another stripe of red and then I remembered that I had read about someone putting a ruffle on the edge of a moebius scarf.  So I found more white yarn and I did two rounds - Knit one and then a yarn over! So, I ended up with a lot of stitches. I knit a couple of rounds without increasing anymore and then I cast off using an i-cord cast off. If you haven't done an i-cord cast off - you cast on three stitches and then you knit two stitches, knit two together and then slide them back to the left hand needle. In other words for every three stitches you knit you get rid of one! I didn't think I would ever get the beast cast off! I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I think I might wear it for the Community Band Concert in December! We always need to accessorize for the holidays! Hmm...maybe I could use it for a tree skirt under the tree!

Mom mentioned that I had also been planning a checkerboard pattern. I did end up making one - I had a small ball of yarn I was trying to get away from Lela, and ended up setting it on top of another skein of yarn. Together they looked like a cute little pumpkin, and I thought I should definitely knit them together. So my checkerboard scarf started with a thin round of non-checkerboard Gray, then I started the checkerboard. I was pleased with my results, but I think next time I'm going to do a solid color scarf and start the checkerboard immediately. 

Picking out a knitting project really requires knowing how much time you will have, and how much attention you can pay to that project. Of course, my projects usually morph into other things as I go along and the inspiration hits me! Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, but I learn something new almost every time!

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