I’ve wanted to learn how to knit for years. Sweaters never fit me properly, and I love sweaters, so it’s obvious why I needed to start knitting. I’ve tried a couple of times and failed miserably; I never knew if I was actually doing it correctly, and the Youtube videos I was watching were never very clear. A few months ago, Craftsy had a huge sale, so I bought the Knit Lab class with Stefanie Japel for $9.99. I’d been nervous about starting it, but seeing all the great sweaters in blogland and meeting a bunch of knitters a few weeks ago inspired me to get cracking and check out that Craftsy class. I’ll do a little review of it when I’m all done, but so far, I like it well enough. I had some trouble figuring out how to cast on from the course – I think they only showed it close up once, and it wasn’t a great view, plus there wasn’t a lot of explanation telling you what to do. In order to cast on, I found it much more helpful to watch Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n’ Bitch video on Youtube, which is very clear in terms of the visuals and her explanations (I love her little rhyme to help you remember the order of doing a knit stitch: go in your front door/and grab your scarf/then take it outside/before the cat barfs). Other than the cast on part, though, I’ve found the Craftsy class to be helpful and well worth the $9.99 I spent on it. Once I’m done I can tell you if I think it’s worth whatever the regular price is – I think it’s $19.99, but Craftsy’s prices are so wonky that it’s hard to tell if things are listed at a special price.
Below I have some pictures of my hilarious mistakes so far. In the class, Stefanie recommends that no matter how terrible your first project is, you keep it so you can see how much you’ve improved. I like that idea, and I also want to keep it because having those mistakes around will serve as a reminder of how to avoid them in the future. The first mistake came when I stopped knitting in the middle of a row and forgot which needle I was knitting onto when I came back to it. You can see in the picture below that I’ve pointed out an area where one row splits into two rows, and that’s because I started knitting back onto the needle I was in the middle of knitting off of.
The next mistake came because I had a momentary lapse while practicing the purl stitch and began inserting the needle all the way on the other side of the prior stitch instead of in the middle, if that makes sense. That’s how I ended up with that giant loop of yarn in the middle of a row.
The final project for the class is a little scarf with a keyhole so you can thread the one tail of the scarf through the hole to keep it secure around your neck. It’s pretty cute and it has some lace in it, which I’m excited about. I haven’t started on it yet because I just want to work on practicing my stitches with the swatch pictured above so I don’t totally screw it up when I start.
In sewing news, I have a Deer and Doe Belladone for fall almost complete and I’m excited about it because I love the Belladone and I love fall. I realized this week as the weather turned colder that I have no shirts to wear with the pants I bought for fall. I prefer to wear skirts and dresses, but sometimes I just don’t want to deal with hose, plus it’s always good to mix things up. But I can’t get much use out of my skirts or my pants right now because I don’t have shirts. I always whine about having no clothes, but it’s really true this time. Most of the shirts I have are now too big for me and they just look sloppy – even some of the ones I altered down at the beginning of summer. Some of them won’t be salvageable as I don’t think they’ll alter down well, but for the ones that will, I’ll have to get them on the sewing machine so I can actually wear them. I really hate doing alterations, though, so we’ll see how long it takes me to get to them. Making a new garment is exciting – you get to pick out fabric and a pattern, and even if it’s a pattern you’ve sewn before, it’s exciting because it’s in a new fabric. Altering things just leaves you with the same garment you had before. What’s the point of that? I feel like if I’m going to spend time at my sewing machine, I want a totally new awesome thing from it.
So in addition to thinking about/avoiding altering those shirts, I hopped on over to Vogue today and picked up some sale fabrics to make shirts. They’re all poly, but since the weight loss means I’ll only have these for a little while, I’m okay compromising on fabric quality in order to save a lot on price. The fabrics pictured below were all $1.99 a yard. Woohoo! The only problem is that the bottom three are chiffons, so they’ll require lining fabric, which is another expense (maybe – I have some camisoles that fit, so I might decide to just wear one of those underneath). Also, I lied and there’s another problem: I don’t know what patterns to use for these! I’m not the biggest fan of see-through chiffons, but it seems like every time I’m checking out fabric, all the prints I’m drawn to are chiffons, and I couldn’t resist these for the price. So if you can think of any great woven top patterns, let me know about them in the comments. And if chiffon is listed as a suggested fabric, all the better!