Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stick it To Me

I have met a terrific, young (and I mean young) knitter / teacher at the boutique I've chosen to call "the best one I've ever been to". She really gets my learning style - and she's been instrumental in helping me to choose my first primer/pattern/yarn for pattern and to read and interpret said pattern.

I think she was impressed when she told me that I'd need to visit a site that would "blow my mind" (Ravelry) and I was able to respond (nonchalantly) that I'd already signed up. Really, Ravelry is an excellent knitting universe. You don't know how much so, till you start using it for pattern search and organization.

Anyhow, here are some deets about Krissie's first knitting project.*

The Pattern:

Kimono Wrap Cardigan by Hilary Smith Callis Available on
Can you believe this only cost 5 bucks?

The Yarn:

The yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca colour 6213

The Scoop:
  • The instructions are very clear (11 pages clear) and the pattern is rated easy.
  • The yarn I've chosen, I believe, will have better drape than the one in the finished sweater photo. Of course, what do I know? Well, actually, I do know quite a bit about drape.
  • I'm working with one colour and stockinette stitch. Doesn't get more basic that that in the world of sweaters.
  • My other books arrived today (yay!) so I will have extra support on this journey of personal exploration.
  • Also, I intend to harass my blog posse liberally.
I'm planning to get started this weekend tonight and then to book a couple of private lessons with my knitter friend next week. I want to make sure I've got an expert on hand (hahaha) in case it comes to that.

Crafty or insane?? You choose.

(*Remember - I have no experience and potentially little talent, so it's very possible I'm not going to be writing each day about my tremendous strides...)


  1. Alpaca's great for drape -- in fact, that pattern looks like it's well suited to alpaca (which doesn't do as well with a design that needs yarns with more memory) -- and it's lovely to work with, a great way to start, albeit pretty ambitious. It's going to be fun to follow your progress.

  2. That pattern has been in my favourites FOREVER. Great choice! And yes, Ultra Alpaca has great drape once it's been blocked, so I don't think you'll be disappointed! Awesome!

  3. I won't say you're crazy, but you're brave! A first project with set in sleeves.

    I guess this means your tension is consistent now?

    The only tip I can think of right now is I hope you washed and blocked your swatch. Alpaca (and merino) grows.

    Thanks to you, I'm getting closer to finishing a cardigan that's been hibernating for the last few months!

  4. I wish that there was a Ravelry for sewing. I love everything about the site - and just imagine what independent pattern designers could do!

  5. Yay!! Go for it and good luck! I think the pattern is great and something simple like stockinette is great as a start. I was planning on starting a stockinette cardi but got wrong yarn so whilst waiting, started with another pattern with P2 K2.

  6. I love the pattern.

    Hmm. I wonder what Mater means by "yarns with more memory."

    I say, proceed with confidence!

  7. F: I'm trying to take it one step at a time - or I'd be too intimidated.

    Carla: That's my claim to fame :-)

    Ms. M: I love that! So I must have chosen well.

    Raven: My tension has improved quite a bit (thankfully). I've been practicing that all week! And happy to help you with your cardigan :-)

    bird: I totally agree!

    Suzy: I think it's really all the same (unless you choose some crazy tough stitch pattern) I think as long as the stitching is regular, it's probably all in the groove.

    Susan: I think she's referring to the ability of the yarn to keep its shape over wearings. Some yarns have a tendency to stretch out (as Raven says). Others hold from fiber memory.

  8. Exactly, K -- alpaca, as Raven cautions, can grow too much, as can silk, whereas wool is much less likely to do so -- thanks to what we knitters call its memory.
    I'm hardly an expert, but I'd proceed cautiously with the blocking because of that -- the Yarn Harlot has some really good posts on blocking's importance and how to best achieve it for different fibres -- googling should bring those up quite quickly. And the Yarn Harlot regularly attends knit nights WITH BEER in Toronto in what sounds like an enviably supportive knitting group -- a fab resource to have in your 'hood.

  9. OMG - the Yarn Harlot (about whom I've heard but not visited) is from TO?? Maybe the scene here is ultra happening and I had no idea! I have to do some research stat.

    Oh, and thanks for info on the blocking posts. I should figure that part out :-)

  10. Too funny -- you're already so hooked up if you're going to Lettuce Knit (which is what I get from the comments and Ravelry msgs you sent me) -- I think that must be where Stephanie (YH) hangs out -- following her lead, I've ordered kits for gorgeous baby sweaters from them (Dream in Colour yarns, fab!) -- and I can tell they're good people from the way they took the order over the phone and sent it out so efficiently. A good LYS (local yarn store) is a big part of a knitter's enjoyment, so you're well launched. and yes, you're in the epicentre, what with Knitty, etc. (btw, have you checked out Brooklyn Tweed's website yet? Might not be the garments you're looking for, but the guy's aesthetic sensibilities are so well tuned -- and what a photographer!)

  11. Well, I'm late to the party here, but it looks fabulous and the Ultra Alpaca is a lovely yarn (which I love).

    My first project was a cardigan so I think the one you chose is a good one, and agree that you are more likely to make something relatively simple, stitch wise that you love, than a boring beginner project that doesn't thrill you. Except my first cardigan was mohair -- I don't recommend that, but I'm still knitting.

    Can't wait to follow your progress.

  12. I also say, go for it!!!

    I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog, drop by you might find it interesting and enter, thanks.


  13. I just wanted to say that the yarn is gorgeous knitted up. My mom made me a gorgeous double sided cable wrap from Interweave out of it. It's so yummy! I can't wait to see your sweater. You may even inspire me to make one. I can knit a scarf but that's about it.

  14. Its looks Fabulous..Keep it up...go grab this one...