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Following Instructions

My very first knitting project was improvised – as were several of the follow-up projects. I referenced some patterns for those early ideas, but for the most part, I wanted to see what I could figure out with the skills I’d picked up. I knit from patterns somewhat more frequently now, but I will often add tweaks of my own, whether it’s just recopying the instructions in a format that’s more intuitive for me to read, or adjusting the construction of the finished item, or even lifting a lace or color motif from one item to place it in another finished object. That said, it’s hard to say whether or not I have a favorite pattern or designer. I own two patterns by Nim...

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Pet the Yarn

If you’ve been to our home in the past year or so, you’d know: we really love our yarn here. Em invested in a gigantic set of solid-pine cubbyhole shelving units for the yarn stash at the beginning of last year, and we keep the cubby baskets overflowing. We inherited a lot of yarn from our wonderful mother’s stash she kept for kindergarten crafts – even the older, sometimes a bit loveworn, harsher acrylic blends make awesome pattern-test yarn and an endless supply of provisional cast-ons, thumbhole-holding-stitches, and knitted kitty toys. We also have gotten a lot of yarn as gifts (me on Christmas was a sight to behold, arms overflowing with skeins and pattern books), and of course we keep our...

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Challenge Accepted

Happy new year, readers! It seems fitting to kick it off with the next question on my list: what’s your most challenging project? Measuring challenge in knitting isn’t always simple, and I thought about this for a long time. Since it’s a new year, though, I’m featuring a new project, one that will probably get a proper WIP Wednesday write-up of its own once it actually makes it onto the needles – a properly fitted, gorgeous emerald green sweater for my wife Kai. Look at that color! Silk fibers are known for holding dye with an unparalleled depth of color, and this yarn (Lang Yarns Silkmerino) is 38% silk. Kai has often struggled to find off-the-rack “fitted” garments in feminine styles...

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Today’s question is another surprisingly difficult one: what about my least favorite knitting project? I tend not to finish knitting projects that are making me truly upset. If I’m not enjoying it even a little bit, even in the “this is a challenge” kind of way, it’s really not worth knitting. I’ve abandoned a lot of truly weird projects, most of which I don’t have any photographs for: an insanely high-tension Scottish terrier amigirumi (tiny knit stuffed animal), a poorly-designed mug cozy, a lace vest I set down to “figure out later” and (spoiler alert) never went back to figure out. In terms of finished projects, there are the million and one incorrect attempts at the Perfect Hat, the socks where I...

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Favorite Creations

Well, it has been a while! Sorry for disappearing for a bit there – the holiday craziness set in hard around here, and between car troubles, yarn shipment troubles, and weather troubles, writing had to take a backseat to making sure life kept trucking. I’m back to finish out the knit-blogging challenge, though, and I’m going to pick up where we left off with the next question: what is your favorite piece that you’ve knit? That is a really hard question for me to answer, as I like a lot of the things I’ve made. There’s a few duds, and honestly the projects I’m most excited about right now are mostly still works in progress and/or those delightfully secret holiday gifts. In terms of finished...

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