My most intimidating project… thus far

image1_1__medium2I learned how to knit with two hands back in the fall, apparently that’s the most important thing to do if you’re going to attempt color work. One strand per hand, two in your right if you’re bold and you’re trying to knit with more than two colors. The mittens I made came out pretty good, a little small though. Like… the adult size mittens would fit an eight year old if I’m lucky. I swear I checked my gauge, but I also think I was influenced by my teacher to go for the smaller needles so that the fabric would be tight. I think they would have fit better if I used a US 4 or 5 instead of my 2, but I’m just happy that I was able to make the mittens.

The pattern (known as fiddlehead on ravelry if you’re interested) was forgiving to my fumbling left hand and didn’t require much in the world of floats. Actually I don’t think I used any floats, pretty sure I had to look up how to create floats when I started this project.

The color work project I’m working on, however, is not the forgiving simple pattern that my mittens were. Not to mention, the pattern was crazy expensive because of it’s fancy charts. The pattern, known as the Embrace Octopus Sweater, has been haunting my dreams since the end of May. Some days I don’t even knit the sweater, I just spend time staring at the charts and breathing deeply. All things are knit one stitch at a time, so why couldn’t I get past the intricate color work that was required for this octopus? There were days I tried to start other projects but couldn’t bring myself to because I felt like I was cheating on the sweater. Cheating. On a sweater. Ridiculous. But that’s how I felt, I felt like if I wasn’t working on the sweater, knitting row after row like a machine, then I shouldn’t be knitting. I think I’ve gone a week this month without knitting just so I wouldn’t have to look at the octopus chart or feel like I was cheating. Cheating. On a sweater. I think I’m going crazy.

But today, it finally happened. I finished the body of the sweater and finally put away the first two charts. The main two charts,11707483_10153045897710897_2201277114703853376_n the two charts that make up the bulk of the sweater. Sure, I knit for about seven hours today in order to do it, but it’s done. I can finally work on the quick parts and move on.  It will feel good to have another project to work on when this is all over (and I’ll post pictures when it’s all over), just don’t tell my sweater that I’ve been plotting my next project. I don’t want it to get jealous and work against me for the remainder of our time together.

Off to get back to my summer of knitting! What’s the most intense project that you’ve done so far? Do you like to challenge yourself or are you a knitter who prefers a mindless knit? Post your answers in the comments :]

Hello world!

My finished hitchhiker, knit in Sprout by the Fiber Seed.
My finished hitchhiker, knit in Sprout by the Fiber Seed for a friend. I’ve been knitting for about a year and a half now and am always taking on new challenges. I’d like to think I’m witty too, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

These last few weeks have seen the end of a lot of firsts for me. The end of my first year teaching high school biology. The end of my year living in Cambridge, which was the first time I’ve ever lived on my own. The end of the 5th season of Game of Thrones, but, hey, at least I’m all caught up now. The end of my first semester of graduate school. The completion of my first intarsia project.

These last few weeks have also shown the continuation of traditions. Another baby blanket for a friend. Starting my summer off for a second time with the I-91 shop hop. Creating a summer reading list of books I want to read while the weather is warm and I can sit outside. Going to visit the lake with my family. Things that always change but never actually seem to. But me? I am always changing, learning and dreaming.

If you told any of my friends that I was going to start my first summer off as a teacher by starting a knitting blog, they wouldn’t be surprised. Most of them would probably say that it’s about time I stopped relying on Instagram so much. Here’s to knitting publicly, because it’s not something just for old ladies in rocking chairs.