I've been teaching myself how to knit for about two years now, and I'm finally at the point where I'm completing projects. Projects that I actually wear in public, or use. Don't laugh; I have pictures. You can click on the pictures to get a better look, if you're so inclined.
Exhibit A: The Pink Washcloth.
No, I don't wear this in public, but I do USE it. Not use in public, but use in general. It's made with this lovely fluffy Peruvian cotton yarn I got from www.knitpicks.com. It's delightfully soft. I used about 1/2 a skein for this cloth, and I have two full skeins left of yellow and orange sitting in the Yarn Stash(tm) for future use. A very easy pattern (which is good, since I can only knit up the really easy stuff).
*Cast on 4 stitches
*Knit 2, Yarn over, Knit across the row until you have 44 stitches (or however many stitches looks like half a square to you).
*Knit 1, Knit 2 Together, Yarn Over, Knit 2 Together, Knit across the row until you only have four stitches remaining
Exhibit B: The Blue Cowl Thing.
This was done with one skein of plain black wool and one skein of some funky faux mohair/eyelash yarn (all synthetic but it feels good; I hate itchy) The black wool is from knitpicks (again) and the faux mohair from www.joann.com. (1) This was all done in knit stitch, and when the scarf looked long enough, I flipped it into a mobius strip and sewed the ends together. I think I got the idea for this from another craft supply web site; I can't recall. I've gotten several compliments on this one. Not that it's particularly creative or well made, but that it's simply cool yarn. Cool yarn covers a multitude of sins, and flubbed stitches.
Exhibit C: The Gray Basketweave Scarf (a Work in Progress)
This is a doozy (do click on the pic of this one to see the stitch pattern better; it's gorgeous). This is going to take about 3 skeins of Patons Shetland Chunky (charcoal). No fancy eyelash yarn to hide the botched stitches on this beauty. Just me and my knits and purls. There were several beginning knitting books/blogs that suggested doing a simple basketweave scarf as follows:
Rows 1-10: Knit 5, Purl 5, Knit 5, Purl 5
Rows 11-20: Purl 5, Knit 5, Purl 5, Knit 5
I didn't care for how that turned out. The scarf didn't lie "square," and the edges curled. So, I found a little more elaborate pattern (from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, the pattern called "Mom's Sophisticated Scarf" by Nicholas Caratzas). It's still essentially a basic basketweave pattern. Nothing fancy.
Cast on 38 stitches
Rows 1-6 in seed stitch
Rows 1, 3, 5 - *Knit 1, Purl 1; rep from * to end
Rows 2, 4, 6 - *Purl 1, Knit 1; rep from * to end
Begin Basketweave pattern
Rows 1, 3, 6, 8 - Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1, *Knit 2, Purl 4; rep from * to last 5 stitches, Knit 3, Purl 1, Knit 1
Rows 2, 4, 7, 9 - Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1, *Purl 2, Knit 4; rep from * to last 5 stitches, Purl 2, Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1
Row 5 - Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1, Purl to last 3 stitches, Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1
Row 10 - Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit to last 2 stitches, Purl 1, Knit 1
Work in basketweave pattern to desired length.
Do last 6 rows in seed stitch.
I not completely enamored of the Patons Shetland Chunky -- it's 75% acrylic/25% wool. I'm turning into a yarn snob and acrylic just seems so tacky; but still, I need to improve my skills and I can always donate this prototype/practice scarf to a homeless shelter and then do another one in a beautiful 100% merino wool or alpaca/silk/cashmere blend.
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(1) I have no problem buying yarn online. I buy everything but groceries online. I found the Husband online. Yes, I can't see it/feel it in person (the yarn, you perverts, not the Husband), but I figure I can always send it back from whence it came if it's utterly horrendous. Again, the YARN, not the Husband.