Step Out Of The Box!

At the store, I hear the same thing a lot of the time. “I am a new knitter. I only know how to make simple things like scarves.” On more than one occasion, I have been told that only socks have been made. This one baffles me. If a knitter can make a sock, he or she is basically good to go to make anything else I can think of. Just because it is small, doesn’t mean it doesn’t require skill and technique to make a good sock. To me, socks are like cookies. Some cookies require more baking skills and technique than a full course meal. Learning to work with double pointed needles or the magic loop is a lot to learn and master. Socks can be a truly gratifying project to make. In my mind, nothing beats a pair of handmade socks for a gift. They are little works of art. And, if the person receiving them has a brain in their head, they have to appreciate the work, skill, and sincerity that was put into them. I am working on a future blog just about socks. There is a lot more to say about them. I am also almost finished designing a bag for the sock maker—the Sox Box. It is another version of the cone bag designed for Habu cones. Below you will find two different versions of the cone bag.

This bag, strictly for the sock maker, will be fitted with scissors, a Chibi, the Fix – A- Stitch Kit, a Lantern Moon tape measure, Lantern Moon stitch markers, and, of course, a set of Blue Sky Alpaca double pointed needles. Everything a sock maker would require.

The bag is made to order (Basically because I make them. A model should be finished by next week.) I will post the picture of the model on our Facebook page, and put it on our website for you to order.

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

The main theme of this blog is not just about socks. I wanted to talk about leaving your comfort zone just a little bit, and exploring something new. I like the idea of trying one new technique for every new project. It can be a new stitch, or a new method to add or decrease one. It doesn’t matter. The idea is to add something new to your knitting arsenal, and, perhaps, try a project that you may have not considered because it looked too daunting to you. I am not suggesting that you go from a garter stitch scarf to an aran sweater (Although it can be done.) But, maybe just a sweater. There are some awesome new patterns for sweaters that are simple and beautiful that you could try. Frankly, I would prefer to wear one of these patterns over an aran sweater any day. ( I don’t wear a lot of bobbles and cables) Shibui has designed some gorgeous patterns that are well written, not counter intuitive, and what I would choose to buy if I saw it in a store. This is my basic rule for choosing a pattern. I like to make what I would wear. Below are some of the newest patterns for Shibui Yarns. Any of these patterns would make a great first attempt at a sweater.

 

The two sweaters on the right are new patterns from Shibui, and will be available at our store this month. The one on the left, Trapezoid, has been a favorite with many knitters. It is an easy, beautiful pattern that uses two different weight yarns to make. The body is made with a chunky weight yarn. In this pattern, Shibui Merino Alpaca was used for the body of the sweater. The sleeves are a fingering weight. Shibui Stacatto was used, but Cima could have also been substituted. The body is knitted sideways. It is fun and might be something you have never attempted before.

A lot of knitters are unaccustomed to knitting with two strands of yarn held together. This is a popular thing to do at our store, and we encourage trying it.

Some New Knitting Challenges

Here is the scarf I designed for Shibui that is made with two yarns held together. There are so many patterns that incorporate this technique. Whether you are trying to get gauge, or creating a new yarn with a combination of two (or more) held together, it is easy to get used to knitting this way. It can also be exciting to create an entirely new yarn with the combinations. I suggest trying it in your next project.

Shibui Scarf

How about a tiny bit of intarsia? There is so much to be said about this technique, but I am just going to talk about changing yarn from one color to another in the middle or end of a row. With a simple twist, it is easy to change yarns. Check out this technique on the below video by Berroco Yarn.

Intarsia

There are countless techniques to discover and add to your own knitting arsenal. I will talk more about them in the blogs to come. For the meantime, try something new. It makes your knitting more exciting and makes you feel great to have mastered something out of the box.