What I do when knitting new patterns (to me!) - yarns, tools, and notions

What I do when knitting new patterns (to me!) - yarns, tools, and notions

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Continuing my effort to actually physically document my makes, here is my "Perfect T-Shirt" by Originally Lovely, one of the first clothing pieces I made for myself. When I'm working with a new pattern, a designer new to me, or a new clothing type all together, I have specific things I do to make sure I'm happy both with the process and the result. 

I constantly get compliments on this "Perfect T-Shirt" when I'm out and about even though I ran out of yarn and made the sleeves shorter than intended. The pretty pastel colors from Universal Cotton Supreme Waves are perfect for spring and summer. 

Yarn choices 

First things first, when working with a new pattern, I steer towards using affordable yarns just to get the feel for things. It's so incredibly complicated to get comfortable with a brand new clothing construction while learning lots of different techniques, so I find myself more comfortable with making mistakes if I didn't spend an arm and a leg on yarn. 

When designing new beanie knitting patterns, I always start with Wool Ease Thick and Quick. It frogs easily with mistakes and is accessible due to its nationwide availability and price point. This yarn is also great for gifting since my loved ones aren't all comfortable with hand-washing wool. 

If you're looking for something acrylic, my spouse's current favorite is this Lion Brand Jeans Yarn. I use it as a DK weight, and it makes lovely, soft, machine-washable clothing! My spouse wears beanies basically 24/7 between September and March (sometimes up to May!), and this yarn has held up for over 2 years now. I also really enjoy working with it as it simulates merino wool while knitting very well. 

I've made multiple gifts from this Cotton to the Core Yarn. From beanies to mitts, this yarn makes soft and comfortable accessories and holds up well to multiple washes. I love this yarn for family members who aren't familiar with fiber arts. 

This is my first attempt at Serpensortia Mitts by Wanded Knit and Crochet. Even with my multiple mistakes, these mitts turned out great with the Cotton to the Core Yarn and Jenny's fantastic knitting pattern. I can't wait to gift these to a family member soon! 

Once I get more comfortable with knitting patterns or garment types, I always upgrade to high-quality yarn. This is a personal preference to accommodate my sensitive skin; I encourage you to use what's best for you! But if you're looking for high-quality Merino Wool and Cotton Yarn to craft with, check out my hand-dyed yarn. I promise you won't be disappointed with my beautiful skeins! 

Chronicles of Cheryl Hand-Dyed Yarn

Needles and Cords 

I always stick to what I am most comfortable with when it comes to new projects. I am a dedicated wood needle knitter as I find I slip stitches way too easily on metal needles. I recently picked up a bamboo set of Lykke Circular Interchangeable Knitting Needles and have been using them for every project since! These are lightweight, and I can even take them on flights with no problem. 

Flying with Lykke wood needles has been really easy for me. All I do is make a specific project bag containing an already-started project, yarn, and notions (make sure you take your scissors out!). This goes on the very top of my carry-on, or I sometimes take it out and put it in a separate bin. TSA typically checks the project bag manually and returns it to me, no questions asked. 

I use Lykke Driftwood needles for smaller projects such as beanies. These are so handy in different colors, so I can easily recognize my needle sizes without squinting at the teeny, tiny label. 

Using these methods has helped me finish projects such as this Sophie Shawl, which I've made many times now in my own hand-dyed yarn. 

I hope these tips and tricks help you in casting on your new projects!

Happy Knitting! 

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