Monday, April 21, 2014

And Then There Were Two

Readers, it is finished -- or rather, they are finished. I have finally moved beyond the domain of the scarf, and have knitted something three dimensional that required more than just knit and purl stiches! I even used... a pattern. *gasp*

I am pleased to introduce you to my version of Saartje's bootees:




I was very careful to pick a pattern that I felt was within my reach for my first "real" project. While I had to brush up on the basics and learn a few new stitches, this pattern was the perfect candidate! Small enough to finish quickly (and therefore boost my morale), but interesting enough to teach me some lessons along the way. And the yarn I picked, as I anticipated, was delightful to work with. Did I mention that I love, love, love the little crossover straps in this design?




Now for the knitty gritty (sorry, I couldn't resist that one). I had requests in the comments of my yarn post to share what teaching mediums I used -- and very simply, I used YouTube! If I came across a stitch I was unfamiliar with, I'd put in "how to ______" in the search engine. I was surprised by how many options popped up! Several yarn companies (such as Bernat and Berroco) have channels with various tutorials. Occasionally I'd even look up several videos if the first was a bit confusing. I knit continental style, and used these bamboo needles. They may not be premium needles, but considering how many needles I received for the price and how satisfied I am with using them so far, they were perfect.

Also, I restarted the first bootee roughly five or six times. It (obviously) took me a while to figure out tension, counting stitches, etc. I decided I'd like the finished product better if I took my time, and I'm glad I followed that philosophy! Ialso found the perfect silvery grey mother-of-pearl buttons in my stash.




Things to fix for next time? My brain kind of exploded when I got to the straps, but I managed to come up with something that worked -- replicating that on the second bootee proved frustrating! Oh, and I didn't block the bootees before stitching them up, which was probably a mistake. I'm not too concerned, since they're bootees -- but can any of you more experienced knitters tell me if it's too late to block, or if it's important for a project like this?

I was pleasantly surprised by just how quickly these went once I got going. I've already got another project on my needles, but now that it's outgrown my 8" double points, I'll have to wait until my circular needles arrive in the mail!

9 comments :

  1. Wow! I am impressed! You sure made quick work of that! The booties are lovely, can't wait to see what your next project will be!

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    1. Diane,

      Thank you for your sweet comment! I was just as surprised by how quickly they came together. :-) My next project is coming together well -- hopefully I'll be able to figure out a confusing bit in the directions and finish it off soon.

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  2. Those are adorable! :D
    You can block knitting just about any time. In fact, with garments, you may want to block them every time you wash them, to give them their shape back. I don't think you'd need to block the bootees, though, since they'll get their shape from your baby's feet.
    If the pattern called for blocking *before* you seamed them, then that was so that the stitches would be more clearly defined, which would make it easier to sew them together.

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    1. Laura Elizabeth,

      Thank you! The pattern didn't mention blocking, and they seemed to stitch up just fine (hopefully there's not some sort of secret technique that I'm totally oblivious to...), so here's hoping they will be fine sans blocking.

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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    2. I've actually never seamed my knitting before, except for one tiny little thing which *had* to be blocked because it curled so badly. It seems to be a thing among knitters who don't sew that they like to do seamless knitting. I would way rather pick up stitches than use a needle to stitch something together. All that to say, if the pattern didn't call for blocking, and you had no problem with the seaming, then there's nothing to worry about :D
      Even though Easter is over, these slippers here are really super adorable: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easter-baby-bunny-booties

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  3. Shannon,

    How adorable!! Your did a terrific job. I love the criss-cross straps style too.

    -Sarah

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! The criss-cross straps were definitely my motivation to pick this pattern. :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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  4. These are such cutie booties. Thanks for sharing this sweet project of yours. You really are a talent and can pick up new gifts quickly.

    I added your badge, the button jar, to my blog sidebar under the blogroll. Thanks for being a favorite.

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    1. You are so sweet! I still have a long way to go with knitting (and I think I just figured out that I'm purling wrong. Oops...), but it's so nice to pick up a hobby that I've long wanted to master.

      Thank you for your kind comment -- they are always appreciated! :-)

      Blessings,
      Shannon

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