My mother taught me to knit when I was a child, or at least she tried. I can handle basic projects but have neither the time nor the patience to tackle a full sized sweater or afghan. Counting a complicated pattern is anything but relaxing to me. So I tend to knit in fits and starts. I can start a project and then drop it…for years.
I don’t have to be a stellar knitter, but I do need to finish what I start. And use up my yarn stash. Ahem. So this year, as part of trying to regain a sense of discipline in my homemaking, I have taken up my needles once again.
First I finished the pair of slippers I began a few weeks ago. They are made from a beginner pattern (click here if you’d like to order the book) that I’ve had for years. For this pair I deviated from the pattern and used two strands of inexpensive, worsted weight, Red Heart Super Saver acrylic yarn held as one to knit the foot and one strand of the worsted weight acrylic and one strand of specialty yarn (Sorry, I lost the label…using up stash has its drawbacks!) held as one to knit the cuffs. I made the cuffs a bit shorter than the pattern calls for because I’m just not that into ruffles.
The slippers were a great choice for me because they are easy and require lots of mindless, repetitive knitting in garter stitch, which is about as easy as it gets. I used colorful yarn to make it a little more interesting. The finished slippers are thick and useful, either for myself or as a gift, so I could tell myself I was being productive when I settled in with my needles, yarn, and a movie.
The book that contains the slipper pattern is found here. I’ve probably owned that pattern book for a decade or so. It is a great beginner book because it teaches the basics but also contains lots of useful patterns that really do make quality gifts…baby booties, slippers, mittens, even a pillow cover and a baby blanket. I made the bunny mittens for my daughter when she was little. So cute! The new version of my beloved pattern book is here. I haven’t read the new version, but from the listing it appears that the new book contains several of the same patterns as the old version, but not the slippers.
I want to finish off my completed slippers by adding some no-skid treads with dimensional fabric paint. A few dots or lines of paint on the bottom will go a long way toward preventing the slippers from living up to their name!
Once I’d finished what I’d started, I found a new pattern online and started teaching myself bamboo stitch. It does require a little bit of pattern counting, but not so much that it stresses me out like that lace shawl I knit several years ago. I’ve only worked on it for a couple of sessions, so I don’t have a very impressive piece to show you, but I’m pleased with how it’s going and am trusting that slow and steady will win the race. Or finish the project.
I’m working with Bernat worsted weight acrylic yarn from my stash. The color code on the label is 00475 and the color name is “Pastel Mix” but I can’t find it online. The closest match I’ve been able to find is Bernat “Twinkle Ombre” that is available here. My needles are a pair of 9-inch size 9 (US) single point bamboo needles (similar to these) that came with a knitting project set I purchased years ago. I have tons of needles, but for some reason I love the bamboo pair. I used them for the slippers and the bamboo stitch project.
If you’re looking to get started knitting, I’d recommend the pattern book I’ve used so often, some bamboo needles like mine, and some inexpensive yarn to get started. Lighter colored yarn is easier for beginners because it’s easier to see what you’re doing as you form each stitch. I’d also suggest asking around about yarn. Many former knitters will sell or even give away their yarn stash if they find someone who will actually use it.
So my second New Year’s Goal toward regaining a sense of discipline in my homemaking in 2017 is to become a Knit-Wit by finishing my unfinished slippers (done!) and knitting at least two new projects. I’m working on the first of the two now!
My first New Year’s Goal is to successfully $ta$h $ome Ca$h by completing a 52 Week Savings Challenge.
Do you knit or crochet? If so, what is your advice? Where do you look for new patterns to try?
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