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!