Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Letting Go of the Patterns and Designing My Own

I've done a lot of knitting lately, and therefore, am actually getting not only a lot faster, but definitely braver. Most recently, I made Friendship Scarf (pictured in previous blog) using two alternating colors every stitch with a fairly complicated furry yarn, without a pattern. I also finished a pair of socks for myself - with a pattern to remind me how the process goes.

I joined a newsgroup of sock knitters, and am learning lots of techniques from them and the websites they link to. I've gotten so used to turning the heel, now I look forward to it. I've even made little footy socks for myself simply to have another opportunity to turn heels without working long bodies.

Now I'm making hats without patterns. Once you get the gist of shaping... You can do anything! On the top left is my latest pattern, Peppermint Candy Twist. This was a lot of fun... I just made it up as I went along. I also documented my work so that I can recreate the pattern, and distribute it (maybe even sell it!)

On the bottom right is Snow Lantern. I'm not a huge fan of variegated yarns simply because I'm a control freak and prefer to know exactly what color is going to land where, but I'm learning to "release" and this was a neat project to use variegated yarns on. I took a standard, plain hat, graphed out a snowflake-like design and I think it came out really cute.

John suggested I make another one similar to this but with carousel horses going around the design band. I'm not big on horses, but the colorful challenge the idea presents is growing on me. I'm thinking I'll have to graph out the entire band and follow my chart stitch by stitch. It seems a little daunting, but I've done it before in beads, why would this be any harder?

I've made a scrapbook of all my knitting projects, complete with pictures of the finished product and the pattern for each. Its a fun (and beautiful, if I may say so myself) way for me to keep all my favorite knitting projects in one place, and perhaps a wonderful family heirloom to pass on one day.

If anyone has any homemade knit items on their wish list for Christmas, I'm doing holiday knitting now. Post to this article and let me know. Be sure to tell me if you have any specific colors in mind, material (cotton, wool, acrylic), and I'll need measurements. I wish I had time to make everyone a sweater, but I don't... so contact Santa for anything other than socks, mittens, hats, scarfs, mug cozies and headbands.

We are riding less, burning brush to clean weeds out of the yard, and roasting chilis on the grill. I'm very focused on building up foods in the freezer (chilis, lasagna, whole chickens, etc.) to both save money and to reduce last minute trips to the grocery. John is focused on the paperwork and processes involved in buying the house.

Oh, and one last thing... Yes, it gets cold in New Mexico. We've had a number of nights in the low 30's. Colorado is just to our North and we've already had some of the major snowstorms that buried them drift South to our higher elevation areas. John took a motorcycle ride two weeks ago and encountered a lot of snow.


  1. Hey Jess,
    A question for you whats the deal behind the On The Needles that you have posted? It seems like it is supposed to have a link to it but it is not opening for some reason. Does it not have a link or is is not working? Let me know because I am curious on it!

  2. Thanks for filling me in on that! Mom and I had tried it in the past when we were checking out your blog and it made us both draw a blank on it. I am still trying to figure how to get one of my "feeds" to update on a daily deal since it is the news from one of the Portland stations. I have one that is doing the daily update but that one does not seem to be working right. Hopefully I have it set right but there is no telling!