Posts tagged ‘Craft’

May 8, 2012

Fledgling Designer, pt. 1: Gauge (oh man, not again!)

For the love of everything knitting…

I love knitting…but I don’t like checking my gauge. Nope.

I know that it is the responsible way to start any garment: I know I don’t want to get to the very end and find that the darn thing doesn’t fit, etc.

Or worse, I run out of yarn part way through…

But it’s such a kill joy. I send hours on Ravelry choosing the perfect pattern, check to make sure that I have the correct size of needles and the right amount of yardage listed, and then I go cast on happily. It’s like the second row when I remember, oh, wait… gosh darn it!

Even when you write your own pattern, you still need to check your gauge. I realized this early on, thankfully.

You can’t stop at just making a gauge square; oh no, you have to block it as well! I took the easy route and steamed mine.

For this project, I will be making a semi-circle shawl out of the Lion Brand yarn “Cotton Ease” in the color “Charcoal”. The swatch is shown here with a little green in it; I am not sure how I will use it, but I wanted to practice a little intarsia. Turns out I am not the best at it, and those stitches came out way to tight. I might incorporate color some where else…  More details will be available on the Ravelry project page (oops, haven’t made that yet!)  As a fledgling designer, I wanted to start out with something I know how to make, and add upon that. This pattern will be free as my first one ever!

I am using the pattern instructions from  the blog, where free instructions for the bare bones of 5 shawls can be downloaded for free. Check it out!

For extended reading on this topic, I looked at the following links: “Gauge can be synonymous with frustration, agony, and throwing needles across a room.”

knitpicks tutorial: “Gauge is your friend, but you’ve got to negotiate until you, your yarn, your needles and your pattern have reached an agreement. Then you’re ready to get down to business!”

The topic is well-discussed in several books, including them Stitch and B* that I purchased a long time ago. It’s worth the read.

But I figure the best way to learn this is through video. I happen to be a very big fan of  Liat Gat KNITfreedom how-to videos, so when I found one on the topic, I made sure to save it! I’m currently making a playlist of the best-quality knitting videos, so this one will be included. It’s called

KNITFreedom – How To Measure or Check Your Gauge in Knitting

Leave me a comment: Do you have any pattern ideas for me? Colors?
Thursday: Fledgling Designer, pt. 2: Baby steps
Thanks for reading :)
November 25, 2011

Belated Birthday Presents

Have you ever intended to make something for a friend for their birthday, but it never happened? Or worse, you started the project, just to find out that it wouldn’t be completed on time? I was in that pickle three weeks ago, when one of my best friends had a birthday at the beginning of this month. With good intentions but no present to show, I felt really silly promising to have some thing done that I hadn’t had time to start!  However, this Thanksgiving weekend allowed me to finish the project—and of course, to do the well-loved photo shoot. :D

The original pattern comes from a book called Ami Ami Dogs: Seriously CUTE crochet! by Mitsuki Hoshi. She’s a self-taught amigurumi creator who has been very successful in her work by creating pattern books for more than just crochet dogs, as you can see here:

Hoshi’s own website is located here, but the page does not translate into English. If you are interested in seeing other books/magazines with her work, see this link, which takes you to a Japanese “Amazon” of sorts. I’ve linked a page that will show you a menu of the different books.

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My interpretation of her humble pug dog provoked much laughter as well as frustration during the creation, for good reason: I had many problems manipulating sock yarn into the shapes I wanted for the head and other body parts I needed, and my counting problems led to three or four iterations of learning and re-learning (and ripping sock yarn out, which usually ends up in a knot, as many of you know) in an effort to complete the color work for the head. The entire project took a total of three days, not including the time spent preparing mentally (aaaaahhhhhh! Me No Like Charts!!!!), and seeking out YouTube videos to refresh my memory of crochet techniques.When I finally finished, it was in the wee hours of the morning, and I overstuffed the pug’s head in my moment of euphoria  for actually finishing the project. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Being that this is my first attempt at forming an amigurumi animal at an intermediate level, I consider my work an accomplishment! I have already put a teaser picture on my friend FB profile, because hopefully she will receive her present tomorrow. She’s excited to finally have her birthday present! It’s taken this long, so I am thankful she has been so understanding!

Be sure to check out my ravelry page for more pictures and more information on the pattern itself. And leave me a comment below!

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