chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I don’t understand my obsession with knitting patterns. I am such a basic knitter that there really aren’t many projects I can attempt with any hope of success. Reading the directions is like trying to interpret a foreign language. Can you make sense of the following? Honestly, I just don’t have the patience.

PATTERN STITCH: (Multiple of 4 sts plus 3) With Color 1 cast on sts. Row 1 - With Color 2 K. Row 2 - With Color 2 P. Row 3 - With Color 1 * K 3, with yarn in front sl 1 as if to P, repeat from * across, ending K 3. Row 4 - With Color 1 * P 3, with yarn in front of work sl 1 as if to P, repeat from * across, ending P 3. Row 5 - With Color 2 K 1, * sl next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in back of work, K 1 (sl st), then K the 2 sts from cable needle, K 1, repeat from * across, ending K 2. Row 6 - With Color 2 P. Rows 7 and 8 - Repeat Rows 3 and 4. Row 9 - With Color 2 K 3, * sl next st (sl st) onto cable needle and hold in front of work, K 2, then K the sl st from cable needle, K 1, repeat from * across row. Row 10 - With Color 2 P. Repeat from Row 3 for pattern.

Besides interpreting the pattern, you need to know about such things as gauge and various types of yarn. If you are off on either of these two things your project will not resemble the beautiful picture that enticed you to take on the project in the first place. You may remember my attempt to knit a scarf last year. I could not find the yarn called out in the pattern and used what knitting needles I already had even though the size was off. The result? An afghan-sized scarf that is more appropriate for use as a lap rug than a scarf.

Undaunted, I keep searching for simple patterns that will both satisfy my desire to knit and have some useful purpose. Enter Miss Guinea Pig. This adorable little pattern was delivered to my email (yes, I torture myself with a pattern-a-day delivered straight to my email!). I like this pattern because it says things like “Gauge is not important” and “If your stitch count is off it is really no problem”. How can I go wrong? True to form, I started with yarn I already had that was close to the required material. Big mistake! The result was a brown blob of ugly yarn. But the pattern was easy to follow and the project quick to create so I decided to find the right yarn and try again.

I have to admit that I am pretty pleased with the end product. This little animal is soft and fuzzy and has a friendly face. I know a little girl who has been feeling a little under-the-weather and thought my creation might cheer her up for a little bit. It looks like Miss Guinea Pig is just the right size for a little girl to cuddle and love. I have already received a request for another guinea pig. Maybe I have finally found a knitting project with a future. I’d better get started!

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