Friday, January 20, 2012

Test Knitting

A few months ago a friend of mine introduced me to a group on Ravelry-Test Knitters.  It sounded like a fun idea.  Pattern developers get their pattern tested for free and the tester gets a free pattern (and the opportunity to suggest ways to make the pattern better or easier to understand).  I signed up and started my first test knit, the Kaelin Bear.  Turned out really cute.
I gave the bear to one of my many nieces.  The next test was a shawl.  I cursed this thing the entire time I knitted it.  Full of short rows and took forever.  The biggest downside to test knitting is that it turns a happy hobby into another job that you have to get done and you have to get it done on time.  I told myself that I would not sign up for another test knit.  I enjoy knitting and I don't want to hate a project or be responsible for letting someone else down.  The designer is counting on you to finish the project and give feedback that is helpful.

I must have temporarily lost my mind because I not only signed up for another test knit, but I signed up to do a sweater.  This is a hooded cardigan knit in one piece from the bottom up (and not in the round).  So far it is turning out really well.  There have been a few changes but nothing that caused too many problems.  I am using 8 colors and doing stripes.  The pattern was originally done in stripes of primary colors (bright blue, yellow, red, white, etc...).  I'm using variations of grey and blue.

I really do love the way it is turning out and wish I never agreed to do it.  Mainly because my hands are getting sore from the constant knitting and because I have a list of projects that I am itching to get moving on.  I think I'll take a break this weekend and whip out a hat.  Possibly "that other hat"on Ravelry:  We'll have to see.  Mike and I have a full weekend planned-which will include plenty of knitting time (gotta love multi-tasking).  Including knitting at Home Depot while Mike is searching for whatever random piece of wood of hardware that will work for his projects.  Happy knitting everyone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This last Christmas season was the season of the Duffers.  My local yarn shop-Blazing Needles (which I love btw) held classes and an embellishment party with the Duffer as the guest of honor.  These are a pair of quick slippers that are felted.  They are so easy that a brand new knitter can whip them out in less than 6 hours for the pair.  I joined in and made several pairs for presents, using Cascade eco wool.  The first pair I made using a single strand which resulted in a floppy pair of slippers.  The next pair I used a double strand.  Bingo.  Best pair of sturdy slippers.

These slippers are great.  You knit them flat and then sew them together and felt them.  Add a button or needle felt or use needle point to add whatever embellishment you desire.  Interested in making your own?  Check out the pattern on Ravelry: