August 25, 2016

Side Tracked: Knitting Edition

Knitting, right? 

Other than the fact my wrist is killing me, I did manage to get these two blankets knitted. Anyone have thoughts on continental knitting? I hear it's better on the hands/wrists? What's the learning curve? One of my guild buddies brought it to my attention and sounds worth the venture. Knitting with ice packs wrapped on my wrist isn't the best idea. Or do I just quit now? Maybe I should seek a doctor ... There is always quilting. 

Let's not pretend I know much about knitting. I can knit and purl, that's it. For both quilts I used two threads. Both have a 3 on the package (sure that means something to knitters out there!), and a size 13 circular needle. 


Final size: 48 inches by 60 inches 
Pattern: Double Seed 

I probably shouldn't announce this out loud but this was my first attempt at a baby blanket. Once I realized the width was 48 inches that plan went out the window. Plan B, a blanket for me. The next one had a better size. Live and learn, then get ice packs!


Final size: 34 inches by 38 inches. 
Pattern: Gardner Stitch = fancy for only knit stitches

My friend's daughter is turning 2 this weekend. Happy Birthday Harper. Mom requested a quilt when she was born. The blanket will match but is more her size at the moment. Hopefully it goes to good use! 

How does one know the width when casting on stitches? Is there is trick? 


  1. Yay it's finished!! :D I find continental sooooo much easier (I can teach you sometime if you want) To get the proper size blanket, the 'knit police' say you need to do a gauge swatch, and some math. You're other option is just knit for years and years and get a feel for it. Or wing it! I generally wing it (which is why I don't knit sweaters). I've been knitting for years, and it still hurts my wrists if I do it too long (which is why I quilt more!). :D They both are adorable blankets.

  2. Lovely blankets! If you look at your yarn ball band, it usually gives a recommended needle size and gauge. You probably won't hir it exactly, but it gives you a good starting guess. Eventually, you'll get a feel for how you knit - loose, tight, right on the money. I do a gauge swatch for clothes, or if I'm stuffing something - got to make sure the filling won't come out. Enjoy your adventure, and try not to hurt yourself. I haven't knit in almost two years now, after I developed tendinitis. I am just about ready to pick it up again. ��
    -Stacy in NC

  3. Both blankets turned out great! I was a master knitter, with over 20 years of experience before switching to quilting. The number on the skein tells you the thickness of the yarn ranging from 0 (thinnest) to 6 (thickest). So your yarn was of medium thickness. As your previous commenter said, gauge information is usually more important, especially for clothing. That's why so many of my completed knitting projects were for babies so I didn't have to worry about gauge. I knew that eventually that baby would be big enough to fit into that sweater. :) I also knit a fair amount of socks, all of which sit in my dresser drawer now that we live in Florida. Here are my thoughts on continental knitting, which is my preferred method. It definitely takes a while to get used to it since you'll be holding the yarn in the opposite hand you do now. I made an entire blanket in order to learn it. It is definitely easier on your wrists than the other method (what I call "throwing' the yarn). If you ever have any desire to learn how to do fair isle knitting (knitting with 2 colors alternating you'll need to learn continental since one color of yarn is held in the left hand, the other color is held in the right hand. Here's a sweater I made:

    One reason your wrists might have bothered you is due to the size needles and double yarn. It's actually harder on your wrists with larger size needles. Of course, the larger the needle size knits up quicker but definitely puts a strain on your hands and wrists. My favorite size needle for projects are usually between a size 7-9 baby garments, size 10 or 10.5 for baby blankets, and size 3 for socks.

  4. I can feel for you as I do know how to knit only. So here is my idea on how to know how wide the item will be cast on then do your stitch for two or three rows and measure the width.
    But really now you know with this size yarn and needles and these stitches what measurements you get. I am knitting fabric scraps on huge needles it's very loose and slow going

  5. I love knitting and don't do nearly enough of it. Lately I've been making dishcloths - easy and quick! The casting on and understanding width gets me every time. I know there's probably a trick to it, but I'm too impatient to do the 'test your gauge' thing! LOL Your blankets are lovely and I totally understand why you are keeping that first one for yourself. It looks so soft and cuddly!

  6. Beautiful knitted blankets! I have always wanted to try knitting but I am afraid that it will be very hard on my often sore wrists (I do know how to crochet and that kills them).

  7. I love the texture and colour of these.
    A US size 13 needle is pretty chunky, so that would have helped you make quick progress. (I think my current knitting project uses a US size 1.)
    I am an English-style knitter. (I am English born, after all!) Occasionally, I think about learning the continental style to vary my skills, but I worry that my habits are too ingrained. I heard that knowing both is good as periodically switching between the movements can help ease any repetitive strain injuries. Saying that, I do not think I have ever had a knitting injury. If you are new to knitting, I definitely suggest trying both methods.
    I agree with everything Diana and others say above about large needles and yarn wrappers.