Exploring Colorwork

I have to admit stranded colorwork isn’t my favorite. Why you may ask? Well, it is hard. I have issues with maintaining the right tension throughout the color section. Lately, I have been trying to use the one in each hand method (color A in the left hand and color B in the right hand). This method helps with keeping the yarn in line and not twisted. However, my left-hand knitting is a little shaky. The reality is I need to practice if I am going to get better. I really want to take a stab at creating a pretty elaborate stranded colorwork sweater. They are so beautiful but look so challenging.

For me, hats are the best way to practice a specific technique. They are big enough to get enough repetitions in, while still keeping the project small in the event of failure. So here are my latest “practice pieces”:

This is a baby hat was made using Rowan Hemp Tweed and Paton’s Classic Wool. The colorwork was fairly easy on this hat as there is only one band where I alternated the colors 1×1. By the end of the color section, I had a pretty good pace going between my two hands.

This beanie is knit with Berroco Comfort (black and white) and some red acrylic yarn from my stash. I was inspired by the Branches and Buds Sweater. I have to say by the end of this hat my tension issues were working themselves out. Holding yarn in my left hand is still a little odd, but it is becoming more comfortable.

I hope to get a few more stranded colorwork pieces (hats or cowls) under my belt in the next few months so I am ready for the ultimate goal: a sweater.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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That Time I Went to Michael’s

My trip to Michael’s Craft Store was suppose to be an in and out operation. I don’t know why I lie to myself. Never have I ever made a “quick” trip to Michael’s. My original plan was to just go in and get some of my wedding photos framed. However, when I finished up with the associate I decided to take a little look around. What’s the harm right?  Well 30 minutes, many sales, and a coupon later I ended up with this bounty:

img_0529I am pretty proud that I made it out of there with all of this (and a few other items) for $58! First, I perused the Halloween items. It was all 40% off. I got some stuff for my students (stickers) and a easy Halloween costume for me (the spider headband). I am also participating in a Halloween Swap on Ravelry, so I picked up some  goodies for my swap buddy (hence why some items are not pictured). Then I found the monogram letters for 70% off. They are boxes so I plan on filling them with treats for the holiday season. I also picked up some yarn (no sale there) and stitch marker supplies (50% off strung beads).

When I got home I got to crafting. I was too excited to pack my goodies away.  I got out my extra beads, headpins, jewelry findings, wire cutters, and pliers and got to work.

I made these cute Skull Earrings:

img_0547These pretty dangle earrings:

img_0548And six stitch markers. I hope these aren’t too bulky as the beads do have a bit of bulk to them. 

img_0549 I also started this hat. It is Patons Classic Wool in Blue Denim. I continue to be happy with this yarn find. It is 100% wool, soft, and budget friendly. Perfect for hats! The hat is made with a 80 stitch cast on. I knit through the back loop (k tbl) to give the knit stitches a twisted look. I liked this little detail on a very basic hat silhouette as it makes the knit stitches stand out.

img_0550

All and all it was a good day. Michael’s is one of my favorite large craft stores as everything is pretty affordable. If you are like me and like to dabble in a little of everything Michael’s is great for gaining inspiration and keeping your wallet in check. For me, when the hobby is my passion (e.g., knitting), I do try to shop at local and/or online small businesses (i.e. Etsy shops). However, when I just want to explore Michael’s is a great start.

What is your favorite Big Box Craft store? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-