Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Introducing the Emma Woodhouse fingerless mittens!

Remember a couple of posts back when I said I was going to challenge myself this year to create my own knitted creations sans patterns?  (I hope you remember... I've only written two posts so far!)  Well I have gone and done it!  I started with a stitch that I liked, & one that I thought would lend itself well to some lacy fingerless mittens without too much fuss, figured out how many stitches I would need to cast on in my chosen weight of yarn, and just went for it.  I frogged a couple of first attempts with different stitch patterns, but this one turned out much better.  I'll post some more photos when I actually have both mittens knit up, but for now here are some detail shots of the first, as well as the helpful tutorials that will have you creating thumb gussets for your mittens in no time!

If you're up for trying out your own fingerless mittens/full mittens, check out these video tutorials to get you started!  They are general instructions, not pattern specific, so they are a HUGE help!  I hope you feel inspired to try your own, I know I will be making more!

thumb gusset set up part 1
thumb gusset set up part 2
Thumb gusset finish part 1
Thumb gusset finish part 2

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Modern Knitting- It's not just for your grandma anymore.

  Once upon a time, the only people you ever heard talking about knitting seemed to be gray-haired geriatrics.  They knit ill-fitting sweaters and odd-colored socks, and quite often gave you something hand-made for Christmas that would make even the happiest most easy going elf cringe.  I would like to tell you that this is no longer the case.

  Now I am sure there are still some grandmas out there knitting up reindeer sweaters to give the grandkids this winter, but they are quickly being out-numbered by twenty-somethings who long for all things hand made and unique.  A generation of fashion conscious young women who have begun to reject the notion that knitting can't be cool.  If you don't believe me, spend an hour browsing Etsy or Ravelry.  You will find tons of patterns for everything from silly stuffed toys (my current personal project fav) to anthropologie knock-offs (ravelry anthropologie group).

  If knitting is something you've been wanting to try, but have been secretly too embarrassed to do so, now is your time!  Put the nay-sayers in their place as they marvel at the luxe new baby alpaca scarf you are wearing this winter.  I guarantee you they'll ask where you've bought it... and look at you in disbelief when you tell them it's a one-of-a-kind hand knit that they won't find anywhere.  There are tons of places to learn all the ins and outs of knitting... like I said before, youtube is a wonderful place, as is ravelry, and even online yarn shops like Knit Picks, where you can find both inexpensive yet high quality yarns, and video tutorials on just about everything.

  So go ahead, pick up those needles, and feel free to laugh at the people who try to tell you that knitting is for grandmas.  After all, for some of us it was our grandmas who opened up the possibilities of creative modern knitting... and that's pretty cool.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Casting On

   About 7 or 8 years ago I attempted to teach myself how to knit.  From a book.  With illustrations.  This was before the time of youtube and amazingly in depth knitting tutorials from vloggers/teachers extraordinaire like The Knit Witch (  Needless to say, it was a long and rather confusing process.  With no knitters in my family or circle of friends, I was all by my lonesome in my pursuit of knitting greatness.  Or mediocrity.  I would have settled for mediocrity after my tenth attempt at a scarf that just kept getting wider and wider with unintentional yarn over increases throughout.  After far too long I was finally able to finish my generic knit scarf... and shortly after got stuck because I couldn't even figure out how to purl.

  I put away my new-found passion for a couple of years until the bug bit me again, and I once again tried to teach myself, this time with a few other people and the help of the internet.  I was much more successful the second time.  Ever since then I've been knitting and trying new things, and I don't think I will ever stop.  So far I've really only attempted to knit patterns that others have created, but I'm feeling bold, and will try to create some of my own this year.  This is the story of my journey from knitting mediocrity to knitting greatness (or something like that).