Thursday, December 22, 2011

Please. Don't say you're making a scarf.

Many people come into the yarn store where I work, and will say it's their first time knitting or crocheting and they want to make a scarf.  I always try to steer them away from this.

Why?

Because a scarf takes a long time.  And especially if you are doing a garter stitch scarf or a scarf in single crochet, after the first 8-10", you've got knitting/single crochet down.  Now you are going to be working that same stitch for at least another 50".  Chances are you want to move beyond that one stitch.  Maybe learn to purl, double crochet, increase or decrease.  You start loosing interest.  And there, that scarf languishes.  You might even give up knitting or crochet altogether.

Please don't do this to yourself.  It would be like a person who went into a weight loss program saying they needed to loose 100 lbs.  Well, you might want to loose 100 lbs, but chances are you are going to focus on more attainable, small term goals.  Perhaps just the first 5 lbs.

In a similar way, give yourself a more attainable goal.  Perhaps you'd like to make a pair of finger-less mitts.  Or a cowl.  Here's a list of a few different projects you can do easily, as a beginner, and still get satisfaction from completing a project.

A shopping bag made out of squares.

A Pair of slippers. - they fold up really easily, and then you just whip stitch them up the sides.

Another pair of slippers.

A knitted bunny pattern - made of squares.

A garter stitch kitty made out of squares.

A teddy bear made of squares.

A small crochet clutch

Crochet slippers

Crochet Hat

Fingerless Mitts

Good luck learning, and may you set some accomplish-able goals!






Thursday, December 8, 2011

I really like Trisha's Hats

Every once and a while, I come across something really cool, and I feel the need to share it.  About a week and a half ago, though Jennifer, of the Magpie Knitter, I met Trisha Paetsch.  She was looking for someone to review her pattern.  As someone who always loves to see what other designers are doing I was interested in taking a look at the pattern.  And then, I found out that the pattern was about hats.

Seriously.  I love hats.  (Michael, my fiance, and I have a huge collection of hats.  Standard rule in our household... you play a boardgame, you wear a hat.  We can have more than 25 people over to play games with us, and not run out of hats.  We love hats.)

So I was a little biased going into the pattern, because I really love hats.  But I will also say that because I love hats, I'm rather picky about my hats.  I want them to have nice shaping.  I want them to be finished well.  I want them to be stylish and functional.  I became a little worried after I got the pattern from Trisha.  What if her patterns didn't match up with my expectations?

Let me break the suspense here, Trisha delivers a solid set of hat patterns in Grande Prairie Hats.  The pattern is constructed as a narrative of several lovely ladies going out and getting photographed in their hats.  And what hats they have!  There's a little something for everyone.  Now, while I will admit, not all the hats are to my taste.  I'm not too fond of the wide headbands that are featured (Bregdan and Leanne).  They're lovely, the color choice is great, and they're definitely something say, my sister or mother would wear, but I like something that covers my head.  However, the details and the color choices and both are lovely.

And that's fine, because she also has some lovely traditional(ish) style hats, like Frippery or Frivolity.  Much more my type of thing.  Trisha also includes a few types of beanies to round the number of patterns out.  There's also a really cute, solid mitten pattern that you get in the ebook.

The only drawback is the document is rather large if you want to print it off in it's entirety.  It's 35 pages, and parts of it are rather picture heavy.  That isn't necessarily a drawback because I can select which pages I want to print out, but as someone who (aims, but admittedly doesn't always achieve to have) prefers a a few carefully chosen pictures instead of a bunch, it wasn't necessarily my thing.  But if you are the type of person who likes to see a project you are doing from every single angle, Tracy definitely delivers.


One of the parts I like the most about the ebook is actually all the finishing details Tracy includes.  Part of the reason I like her hats so much (especially Frippery and Frivolity) is because of the details used to finish the hats with feathers and other little bits and bobs.  Tracy walks you through finishing your own hat, and the details and decisions you make in regards to that.

Overall, I would say Tracy's Grande Prairie Hats is a very solid new release, and I would encourage you to go purchase the book, or the individual patterns.  I think you'll get your money's worth.


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