Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I’ve been Casting On…

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve posted to this blog.

Let’s see…between then and now, we’ve had a couple of dinner parties with old friends, we’ve painted the spare bedroom, and this past week I’ve been fighting a bad head cold and sinus infection. But in the midst of all this, I’ve still managed to find time to cook family meals and to finish a few craft projects. I just haven’t taken time to write about anything we’ve done.

In any case, I do want to post some more recipes soon, including my tried-and-true sourdough recipes for baking and my favorite way to roast a turkey. And I want to finally post a photo or two of my craft projects now that I finally have my films developed and my prints organized and ready to scan for posting.

In the meantime, though, I do have a great video podcast to mention, which I’ve been using lately to teach myself to knit with some encouraging success…If you’ve ever wanted to learn to knit, you should visit Knitting Step By Step for free, easy-to-follow patterns, basic knitting instructions, and short little video clips done in podcast format.

The podcast hosts, Ivy Reisner and Jason Block, demonstrate different methods of casting on and binding off your knitting projects, explaining the benefits and uses of each, and then they slowly guide you through knitting projects of growing complexity. The first project is a garter stitch scarf, giving you the opportunity to practice the most basic knitting techniques. I finished my scarf last weekend and cast on at the start of this week for project #2, which is a knitted cap with a ribbed brim.

For the knitted cap project, they teach you how to purl, how to alternate between knitting and purling to make ribbing and to do a basic stockinette stitch pattern, and then how to increase and decrease stitches on your needles. I’ve done the ribbing and a couple of inches of the body of the cap, and I’m absolutely amazed at how nicely it’s turning out!

Many years ago, probably 15 or 20 (?), I tried my hand at a little knitting, but I didn’t go very far at all. Now I’m making something that looks fairly professional…This is giving me enough confidence to dream of someday making a knitted sweater, maybe even with cabling or a multi-colored pattern of some kind!

After the knitted hat, Ivy and Jason’s podcast will show me how to make mittens and then socks…another of my dream projects for knitting. I’ve already purchased sock-weight yarn and double-pointed needles for the sock project. I can hardly believe that I might be able to knit my own socks someday. I still love to crochet, but with knitting it seems the possible projects that I could make go on for miles and miles…

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