Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Knitting Tutorial Videos

I notice from my Feedjit widget that many folks visit my blog via the Knitting Tutorials on Youtube entry a looong time ago. An entire year later, I checked my entry out again, and realize the information I shared then was useful, but quite limited. Let me update it with this list of favorite tutorials:

The KnitWitch has a great variety of tutorials, from casting on to binding off, Magic Loop, knitting backwards and other very useful basic and not-so-basic techniques. I like her videos because she explains things well, has a good contrast between knitting and background, her videos are filmed with decent lighting and reasonably clear focus (as in not blurred, despite the realities of video compression), and her demonstration speed does not create anxiety or frustration in the knitter. Goes straight to the meat of the topic. Exactly what you need when you don't have your favorite knitting bible nearby but happen to be in front of the pc.

Cat Bordhi, who gave us the "knitting with two circular needles" technique, also has a number of very useful tutorials. If you knit Continental and want to learn useful stitches, this Youtube channel would be very useful for you. She chats rather than just instructs, and uses biggish yarn so that we can see clearly where things go. She also provides a summary at the end of each video, and especially where she splits technique videos into two parts. If you knit socks using Magic Loop or two circulars, many of her tutorials will be quite useful. As a sock knitter, I read patterns beforehand to figure out if there were techniques I needed to brush up on. I like that Cat explains how to make things even or neater-looking (I am filled with hope that I don't have to do much finishing because the work already looks neat the first time around).

There a million other knitting tutorials on Youtube, but I realize that

1) I prefer spoken word audio. Music should be discreet or be faded out in a timely manner.
2) I like having a contrast between background and yarn color so I can see clearly.
3) I appreciate summaries at the end of videos.
4) Judicious close-ups are wonderful, especially if it's a discussion-type demo between two people.

The last item describes Knitting Daily TV tutorial videos demonstrated by Interweave Knits' Eunny Jang. I have Jinky to thank for showing me the Estonian lace nupp tutorial episode featuring Eunny with knitting historian Nancy Bush.

Also on my list is Knitpicks on Youtube. Or you can visit their website directly.

There are many videos uploaded on Youtube daily, but some are are posted to display their makers' idiosyncracies than to actually teach something useful. This short list of ACTUAL USEFUL tutorial channels ought to help you avoid hair-pulling frustration and maintain your sense of humor for real life interaction. Of course, patience and diligent searching will produce tutorials to fit your particular needs.

Happy knitting!

Sending Some Love

To every person who works hard at their craft and reaps warm regard, I send love. To those who feel doubt that they will finish what they started, I send love and encouragement. To those who feel inadequate and are afraid to start, I send you love, and love of learning. To those who worry they can't afford to do things or feel they don't have the time or support, I send love and the Universe's abundance. To those who make mistakes I send love and the willingness to start all over and do right. To those who feel frustrated and angry, I send love and more love. To those who feel pain because they do too much of what they love, I send love and awareness of the need for balance. To those who suffer the unkindness of others, I send love and strength. To those who feel timid, I send love and a sense of adventure. To those who feel sad, I send love, friendship and ice cream. To those who are happy, I send love and opportunities to spread the joy.

I have been all of these. Thank you for everything. Now let's send love to Ste

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Knit-Related Wallpapers

I downloaded this from Lion Brand's recent selection. I guess it plays to my inherent wish to upholster that wire chair with its own knitted cover...

This one, by Knitpicks, I actually find useful (the other version of "Felici" is also pretty, but a bit too cool in terms of colors for my taste). Download your wallpapers here.

I looked at this wallpaper everyday and wondered why I bought the warmer, plummy colors of the lace sampler. I realized I should buy the above sampler as well.

Not to be outdone, Vogue Knitting shares the above shot, from their VK Stitchionary Volume 1. There are a few others to choose from as well.

Here's an urban legend designed to catch the fancy of many hot-blooded knitters, provided by Knitting On The Net:

(As far as Russell Crowe's reps know, he does NOT knit, but whoever did this sure has a sense of humor!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Lace Book! emailed me today. As someone who previously purchased Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia, I was now being offered Knits from the North Sea: Lace in the Shetland Tradition, by Carol Rasmussen Noble, now on pre-order.

When will the madness end? Hehehe. I think I'll wait until I read a review on The Panopticon, Grumperina, or Yarn Harlot. At this point my wallet and I are too timid.

Edited screenshot image courtesy of

Saturday, July 11, 2009

WIP: Lilo's Patterned Cami

This is the cami front I started while watching the Federer-Roddick Wimbledon final. Two more nights of tv knitting, and I finished it. There's no pattern - yet. I'll write it up afterwards. I just followed the shaping of one of Lilo's t-shirts with an inch added to the width, so she can wear it up to next year. I made the neckline a V to follow the pattern that just showed itself on the bottom panel.

Here's the back panel started. I ran out of variegated cotton so I had to return to the mall to buy another ball.

Anchor Lifestyles crochet cotton is pricier than my usual brands, Cannon and Monaco, about P52 (USD 1.07) compared to the usual P35 (USD 0.72). Mind you I'm comparing mall retail prices, since I'm not buying in bulk. Anchor, like Cannon and the local Red Heart, is made by Coats Manila Bay, Inc. "The only ISO 9001 certified thread company in the Philippines." This is the very lovely colorway KAM17 / 210783 / 65-PHHT. It's supposed to be a size 10 thread, but it's just very slightly thinner than Cannon or Monaco. Softer than Cannon, with more sophisticated colors.

I'm using US size 2 (2.75mm) bamboo circular needles, which give me a gauge of 9 stitches by 12 rows. I think my Addi or Inox 2.5mm circular needles would give roughly the same gauge. Again, it's all stockinette and shaping. No fancy stitches. It'll expand sideways to accommodate at least 10 months worth of child growth.

Stay tuned, folks, I might finish it by Wednesday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

On The Needles

My tank top, still only 1/3 of the front done, because...

I finished the front of Lilo's cami. I started it at the height of the Federer vs. Roddick game of the Wimbledon Finals, and finished it two days later, while watching re-runs of The X-Files. Started on the back part and need to buy one more ball of that colorway to be able to get that cami done. Yes, I made it up as I went along. Stockinette and shaping, mostly. Family feedback: cute so far. I hope the finished item looks good on her.

Lace wrap, shelved.

Practice lace for the hem of Lilo's cami. If this drives me nuts I'll crochet the hem.