Knitting, Knitting Projects

Hand Knitting Vs. Machine Knitting

Hey Everyone!

I have been wanting to write a post based on my own experience with Hand Knitting and using a Knitting Machine and why I do prefer hand knitting to machine knitting. I fully understand that each person is different, there are those out there would prefer to use a knitting machine to using knitting needles, and that’s OK, everyone has their own opinion and preference.

I learned how to hand knit when I was 10, because I had seen my grandmother knitting and I wanted to learn. I learned how to use a motorized knitting machine at the age of 25 for a job that I had gotten.

Most of reasoning behind why I don’t like using a knitting machine is because I would be stabbing my fingers on the the needles often enough that it got to the point early on that I just started carrying band aid’s in my purse for when I would get myself. I also never really felt comfortable with what I was doing, and it seemed like every time I turned around something had come out wrong, even when I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. Not only that, we were consistently having problems with the machines, one in particular that was the one I normally used and we had the knitting machine repair guy there at least once a month, if not more. Each of the machines each had their own idiosyncrasies even if they weren’t in need of being repaired, there was always something with each one that you had to adjust for and just know about that particular machine. The machines not working as they are supposed to among other things plays a large part as to why I would take my knitting needles and doing it all by hand over using a knitting machine any day given the choice.

While I know there are other carriages out there for knitting machines (like ribbers and lace carriages and such) I feel like there is more you can do by hand.

A lot of what I have learned in terms of hand knitting is self taught with a little help from ravelry patterns, and YouTube videos. I have taught myself how to do most of the cables I know how to make, as well as the lace scarves I have knit and such.

By the end of the day I would be tired using a machine, where as I can hand knit all day, and yes there are days I get sick and tired of it, and other days I could just keep knitting.

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Knitting, Knitting Essentials, Knitting Needles, Yarn

Favorite Knitting Needles

Hey Everyone!

Beings that I shared my favorite yarns with you yesterday, I thought I would talk about my favorite knitting needles today.

I love using wooden knitting needles, I have a set of size 9 straight bamboo knitting needles, I have two circular knitting needles with bamboo tips, one is size 7 the other is size 9, and I have a pair of Knit Picks 10″ straight rainbow wooden knitting needles in size 7.

I learned how to knit on plastic knitting needles, and I cannot stand using plastic knitting needles. It is so difficult to move the stitches along the needle to push them down the needles so I have room to continue working the work, or to push them back up closer to the top so I can work them. Plastic knitting needles have gone by the wayside long ago of what I keep in my knitting bag.

I have several pairs of metal knitting needles, and while they are not my favorite, they are by far much better than the plastic needles in my opinion. I have used metal needles for years, and are used to them, but now that I have had wooden needles I can tell a difference in quality.

My first set of clover bamboo knitting needles was my straight size 9 bamboo needles, and over time I have been replacing my metal needles with wooden ones as I have had the money to do so. The stitches move more freely along the wooden needles, and they don’t get stuck along the way somewhere. I have used everything from lace weight to bulky yarns on my wooden needles and they are the ones that have been the best to work with for any weight of yarn I have used. I also just prefer the feel of the bamboo and wooden needles, they are a lot smoother, and easier to handle for me.

Wooden or Bamboo Knitting Needles are just my personal preference, and each person might say differently. If you are a beginning knitter and wanting a good knitting needle, I highly recommend Wooden or Bamboo knitting needles, and metal ones are decent enough for a more reasonable cost.

Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Project of the Day, Projects for Myself, Yarn

Favorite Yarns

Hey Everyone!

I know I did a vlog on this, but I much prefer writing to communicate my thoughts than to orally communicating them.

I have to say that my all time favorite yarn is Todd and Duncan’s Arran yarns. This yarn is Todd and Duncan’s 6 ply 100% cashmere yarn, and it is so nice to work with. When I was able to work with it, I was able to knit with it single ply (aka I only needed one cone at a time) the single 6 ply strand is about as thick as Bernat Baby Sport 3 ply yarns, but it is way softer and you can break the yarn with your fingers. I like Todd and Duncan yarns in general because they were easy to work with, they were amazing quality, and they are made in Scotland (If you don’t know me, I am a huge fan of Scotland and anything Scottish).

Now that I make my own hats and scarves for winter, I love using Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool. I have a couple of scarves and a few hats made out of it, and I love them, they are warm and cozy. It makes the best cold weather wear for the part of the country I live in, where we get plenty of rain throughout the winter months. Fishermen’s Wool still has its natural lanolin oil in it, it helps protect the wool and make it more water resistant. I live in an area where we have a fairly long rainy season, so having water resistant wool wear will come in even more useful. I also love the fact that it is 100% undyed wool. Being familiar with natural fibers and color bleed, I am a fan of undyed yarn that is its natural color. I am not a fan of the idea that the colors may possibly bleed if gotten wet, and the likelihood that they would get wet at some point because of where I live is pretty much at a 100% chance.

For making Hats and Sweaters for children in need my favorite two yarns are Red Heart Super Saver yarns and Caron one pound skeins of yarn. while red heart is still a bit less expensive for more yarn (you can get anywhere from 15 to 21 ounces for less than the cost of the one pound skein of yarn). I love the color variety that red heart has. While red heart skeins are smaller, and you need 2 or 3 skeins to make a sweater, that also kind of makes it nice with the color variety that they have so that you can mix and match colors and put different colors together to make a sweater for less than the cost of the one pound skein (all of my cost comparisons are based on where I normally purchase yarn). What I do like about the Caron yarns are they are thicker and softer than the red heart yarns, and because the skeins are one pound I don’t have as many ends to tuck in before sewing up the seams of the sweater, and that it is a good reason to make a knit pattern in the front to the sweaters to differentiate the back from the front of the sweater. I always use 100% acrylic yarn for the projects I knit for kids, mainly because it is machine washable and dryable. It is sturdier yarn for the wear that kids will put it through.

For baby blankets I love Bernat Sport Baby Yarn. It is three ply 100% acrylic yarn, which means that it is baby weight,  so not as “sturdy” as the four ply, so it is good for baby blankets, and it also makes good hats. It is also machine washable and dryable which is important with babies, as they spit up, their diapers can leak, and they can have poop explosions among other things so having blankets that you can just put in the washer and dryer and have it come out a clean version of the way it went in (without shrinking and such) is a good thing.

Thanks for reading this post!

Hats, Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Yarn

Followers

Hey everyone!

In the 10 months I have been posting to this blog, I am rather curious to know, of those who follow my blog, who actually reads my posts regularly?

If you actively read my blog, please leave me a comment below along the lines of what you would like to see more of on the blog, or a question you would like me to answer and the like. (and if you haven’t yet, please like my Facebook page).

Thanks

Knitting

Perfect Night to Knit

As the light fades from the sky into darkness and the clouds crawl in over the mountains the knitter sits at her computer knitting while watching YouTube videos.

I totally had to blog about the perfect knitting weather I am experiencing right now. Never heard of perfect knitting weather? It is the rainy, cool  weather where if you aren’t me, you want to curl up and stay inside until the sun comes out again. I love this weather for either going out and exploring the forest or for staying inside and working on knitting projects while watching YouTube videos. I love the way the clouds are like a blanket over the top of the valley that I live in. I love the way that the rain makes the air smell. I love that the air is still cool and while it is cloudy/rainy the temperature doesn’t vary as much (aka it stays cooler and consistent).

I know that I mentioned in my last post that I plan on starting another sweater after I finish out the month of April with knitting hats, while I have a sweater in the works I also want to work on some personal projects using the wool that I have stashed away.

If you are interested in hearing about the personal projects I am knitting, leave me a comment below! Thanks.

Knitting

Hats Challenge Update

Hey Everyone!

I thought I would take the time today to write an update on my 30 day 30 hats challenge. As of 3:30 pm PDT, April 21st, I have 11 hats done. I had one teen size almost complete yesterday, but didn’t have enough yarn to complete it, so I took it off the needles and rewound the ball and I just cast on a child size in hopes that I can get one last hat out of it.

I know I am behind where I had wanted to be, but the fact that I have 11 hats made is progress, and is better than no hats. I want to get a few more hats finished this month then start in on another sweater in May.

I spend a lot of my time when I am not outdoors, or in the kitchen knitting, and I love having a project that I can just pick up and work on.

Knitting, World Vision Knit for Kids, Yarn

Found My Creative Outlet

Taken from a post I wrote on my other blog “Adventure is my Middle Name“:

The most rewarding work wears you out by the end of the day, gives you the best nights sleep and wakes you up in the morning with the energy, motivation, and strength to do it all over again.

The year I spent a week in New York I had made several sweaters, but my love and passion for knitting really began after I had come back from New York, and flourished in 2012. That was really when I had the time, energy, passion and the realization that I could make a difference in a child’s life thr0ugh a simple sweater or a hat. I have learned through experience that while I love working around kids, and doing things to help give them every opportunity, that my personality is not one for being a teacher or working in a daycare or preschool.

Hiking, Outdoors, Travel (a missions trip is definitely on the list of things to do), History (especially when combined with the first three), Knitting (yarn, and knitting for kids in need), and Writing are how I keep pushing forward, and they are what I love. While I am still figuring out/looking for the way that I will get paid to do some combination of it, I will continue looking for work that will at least pay the bills, but not stop doing what I love.