Learning to Knit

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One of the side effects of finally signing up for Instagram last Me-Made-May was discovering that many of my sewing friends are also excellent knitters. And, being a crafty person, I of course wanted to understand how all these gorgeous projects were being made. I had zero experience with knitting, so I bought the Knit Lab Craftsy class. And then I waited for the heat of summer to subside enough that just the thought of wool wouldn’t cause me to break out in a sweat.

During a couple rainy days in September I watched the first lesson and tried it out. It didn’t look good. My yarn was a mess, the temps went back up to the ’90s, and I put it aside.

Then there was the holidays, a new job, and lots of winter sewing to keep me busy, so it wasn’t until February that I picked up my knitting again. This time I was determined, and after three days something finally clicked and the whole knit/purl thing finally made sense! First up I made the Seed Stitch Cambridge scarf that came with my Craftsy class. It took me about a month to finish, but it was really gratifying to see the scarf taking shape and to feel myself getting faster and more comfortable with knitting. The repeating stitch patterns kept it interesting and forced me to practice alternating knits and purls.

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I was really happy with how it turned out, and eager to knit something else that wouldn’t take quite so long. I found the free Man Hat pattern on Ravelry and decided to try it out. Since it’s unisex I figured if it didn’t fit I could always give it to my husband!

This involved learning a new set of skills (knitting in the round, decreases, double-pointed needles, etc.), which I did with the help of youtube. The chunkier yarn knit up much faster and I was able to knit almost the whole hat on my flight to Paris last month. I really enjoyed making it, but I’m not quite sure what it was that made it more enjoyable than the scarf. Three major factors were different: bamboo needles, knitting in the round, and chunky yarn. So I’m a fan of at least one of those things… or maybe all three?

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And luckily it fit! This picture’s from when I finished it in March, as you can see by my long hair.

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I’m really glad I gave knitting a try! I don’t think I’ll ever knit nearly as much as I sew, but I do love how portable it is. And learning a new skill satisfies my crafty spirit (at least temporarily). So, fellow knitters, I’m curious – what do you knit in the summer? I’d like to keep practicing my knitting, but wooly sweaters are the last thing on my mind right now!

<3 Lindsay

New Hair, New Jeans

Jamie Jeans

One more pair of Jamie Jeans before I move on to other projects! While the construction techniques were fresh in my mind I thought I might as well use up the other stretch denim in my stash. Well, that and I have two old pairs of jeans that are in bad need of replacing.

For this pair I used a darker wash denim and gray top-stitching thread. Both this fabric and the fabric for my last pair came from fabric.com. Unfortunately neither are currently available, but it seems that what you want to look for is a mid- to heavy-weight denim with no more than 2% lycra. For how cheap it was, I’m pretty impressed with the quality of this denim. It’s a bit stiff and chemical-smelling to start out with, but my last pair has already been washed a few times and it’s softened up really nicely. I can also wear them for a few days before they start to bag out too much.

I made the same adjustments as on my last pair, although I left the legs slightly longer. So I don’t have much to say construction-wise.

Also – I cut my hair! And I cut it myself, with the help of some youtube tutorials. I’ve had long hair for about four years now, but I never really got the hang of styling it. With the summer heat and humidity looming I got an urge to just cut it all off – so I did! I think I chopped about 7″ off. And it feels so good.

Jamie Jeans

Jamie Jeans

Jamie Jeans

Bluebonnets

It’s spring, so that means bluebonnets! Every man, woman, child, and dog in Texas has had their picture taken in the bluebonnets at some point in their lives. The bluebonnet is Texas’ official state flower and it grows wild in fields and along highways for a few glorious weeks each spring. It’s been ages since I’ve taken a bluebonnet picture, so I thought it would be fun to find some for this post! Do you have any similar traditions in your part of the world?

Jamie Jeans

Bluebonnets

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I did find it slightly boring to make the same pattern twice in a row, but I’m very happy to have two new pairs of jeans. These are my favorite yet, and they’re certainly going to get lots of wear!

So have you hopped on the jeans bandwagon yet? I’m about to hop off it for a while. I have dresses, a blazer, and a kimono to make!

<3 Lindsay