Cleaning up last year’s mistakes

A fun read about fixing mistakes! I take it as inspiration – and a reminder to swatch, even though I hate it.

knit the hell out

Sigh. What should have been the most straightforward and fast sweater for Matt has turned out to be a bit of a pain. I’m making him an Ease, adapting it to have a narrower neck, no waist curve, and shorter ribbing at the bottom and cuffs. Simple, right? Almost all stockinette with only 2% thinking necessary. Well, somebody (me) got cocky about not needing a gauge swatch, while at the same time going up a needle size. This made the body huge, but of course I didn’t have Matt try it on until it was 10 inches past the armpit. It was 5.5 inches too large. Matt asked how long I thought the sweater might last and I said maybe 10 years. He said, “Well I’ll probably get fatter.” It was very sweet of him, but I preferred him to have a sweater he could wear now

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Idiot Knitter Seeks Knowledge

Dear Knit Folk,

How has the first day of 2015 been for you?

For me, it was pretty productive, knitwise. (See what I did there? I may not always remember what knit wise means, but I can make a mean pun.) I finished the second half of a lace scarf for a Craftsy class. Do you know what Craftsy is? It’s a website that lets you enroll in online courses for various crafts – knitting being one of them. (This isn’t any kind of sponsored mention, I just like the website.) I have access to a LYS, but I didn’t want to pay to take the basics again – and once you enroll in a class, you get permanent/lifetime access to the content you sign up for.

Right now, I’m taking a basic knitting course on Craftsy. I already knew how to knit in a basic way – I’d already completed a garter stitch scarf before, and even a pair of mittens (got a bit overconfident). But, I didn’t know “wrong side,” “right side,” “yarn over,” or how to read a pattern or chart. Knit Lab is helping with that! My one critique would be that though the instructor is available, theoretically, to answer all of your questions, she hasn’t responded to any of mine. I do want to give it a few more days, for benefit of the doubt, but if anyone wants to know who this instructor is or the class, I am happy to reveal that info eventually. All in all, it’s a pretty good class, and I’ve been doing some basic lace work which I wasn’t versed in before.

I plan on taking a few more in-person classes at my LYS in the coming months, but I really enjoy Craftsy. While I wouldn’t necessarily use it to learn fundamentals of something if I was 100% green – for me that’s more of a person-in-real-life thing – I do think it’s a great, more affordable way to build skills. I signed up for two other classes – one about one-skein projects with Chevron patterns, and one that’s about fixing mistakes (which I make a lot of).

Right now, I’m trying to choose what I want my next couple projects to be…

How do you pick? Just by taste? Rav queue? Flip a coin?

I’m caught between queued items and this contest limited to specific designers… and what yarn I have (bought for other projects specifically). What’s an indecisive idiot to do? 😉



UFO Sighting

Hello, void of the Internet and fellow bloggers, who may or may not read this blog!

(Just kidding – if you’re reading, even if you came over from Rav, I totally appreciate your checking out this little blog.)

BTW – If you want to find me on Ravelry, I’m CraftyBrooklyn.

NOW! Back to business:

The past month has been like one big knitting project with the project being… NO PROJECT AT ALL!

Before you think, “What weird Zen crap is that?” Let me tell you the deets.

I started a pair of mittens (for a Christmas present, and as you can see, it’s Christmas Eve here in the USA) and the first mitten is about one inch too big due to an error in gauge. (My starting gage, because I wasn’t used to DPN’s, was 5.25 sts/inches, and my real gauge was 4.25 sts/inch.) And let me say, before this, I thought, “Swatches suck! Gauge is confusing! Off with their heads!”

TL;DR – I now have 2 mittens that, while they could be called a pair, are dissimilar in shape, so I need to reknit the first one. I might end up giving the person an IOU (I can do that) while I knit the other one as fast as I possibly can.

I also started a shawl in the pattern Hithchiker for my grandmother – also for Dec. 25th, but messed up. It seems like a fool-proof pattern, but I started getting triangle “teeth,” as the pattern calls it, on the other side of the shawl. (How I did that, I have no freaking idea.) I ended up with a little mess and with the time-crunch, so I started knitting a plain scarf in some stash yarn instead. I’m rushing to have it finished for tomorrow.

Basically, I’ve gotten through the month with one kind-of finished project, and two unfinished projects – and this has been a nice change of pace for me, when, in my personal life, I’m obsessed with project – and given many, many deadlines (I’m a writer). It’s been kind of nice – when I started getting nervous, I thought, “What the heck am I getting worried about? It’s just a scarf.” Or a mitten. Or a second mitten. Or whatever.

I hope you are all having a happy holiday!

I know I said I’d do two blogs a month, so expect some photos for my next December 2014 post – can you believe the year is almost over?! And a list of knitting goals for the new year.

Be Merry, Be Well, Drink Cider, Knit Stuff,


Teaching Myself & Scarf Update

Hi Friends —

Well, I finished my scarf! I’ll post pictures in the next few weeks. (I’m terrible at uploading photos from my phone, so my apologies.)

In the meantime, I started trying to knit a couple of projects.

In the past few days, I’ve taught myself how to “seed stitch” (also called “moss stitch” in UK) and while I’ve failed to execute it with this super bulky yarn I really love – Universal Yarn Big Time (in Campfire) – because of my novice skills, I have gotten it down in this cowl I’m knitting with one skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Oxford Gray.

In the past 24 hours, I probably restarted the Campfire UY cowl ten times – that’s not even an exaggeration – and then realized I want to pick that yarn back up when I’ve done a few more projects and feel a bit more skilled.

I have a huge project ahead of me: a shawl (from a Revelry pattern that I’ll link to) for a present for someone I love very much.

So right now I’m working on:

Lion Brand Wool-Ease cowl with seed stitch

A knitting project for a class I’m taking (a secret)

Soon, I’ll be starting this shawl.

I’ve found that looking up “how to do X knitting” on YouTube has gotten me through most errors thus far, especially once I cross reference with Debbie Stoller’s classic, Stitch N Bitch. I might make a shout out to some of the blogs, videos and sites that have been super helpful to me when I post next month.

Fellow knitters – what projects are you working on? What were the hardest things to master when you were a beginning knitter?

What kinds of yarn are your favorites?

Happy holidays!

It’s a Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s an Unfinished Scarf!


I’ve created and failed at many a blog in my life. It’s true. I started a health and wellness blog, gave that up, and started a book blog, and gave that up.

I know, not a great track record.

Maybe they weren’t giving me enough joy, internally.

So why am I starting this blog?


I’m new to knitting. I’m about as green as they get. I learned about two months ago at Knit One.

I know how to do a knit stitch, but not a purl.

I just taught myself how to cast-on.

I’m trying to finish this scarf  – the finishing off part of finishing, weaving in the tails and such, which is harder than I thought. (And by harder: I mean, it was demonstrated to me, and now that I’m at home, I realize I’ve managed to confuse myself.)

I’m a graduate student in the performing arts at a prestigious university in Pittsburgh. I moved here from Brooklyn, NY. (Pittsburgh great! Go Steelers! Go Bucs!)

I don’t know if I’ll keep up this blog, but I thought it might be fun.

If you’re a PA-based knitter, let me know!

If you’re a blogger-knitter, let me know!

This blog is just to chronicle my adventures in knitting, and be a great break from graduate school.

I’ll be aiming to update it two times a month.

Talk soon,