Welcome to our little bit of knitterly Heaven- I'm so glad you found your way here!
Our goal is to teach beginning knitters some tricks of the trade as well as to work enough swatches to have a finished afghan by the end of the year! Join along with us as we learn about patterns, cables, lace, and some other handy techniques! A new pattern will become available each month ranging from newbie to adventurous. So stop on by, pick your pattern and knit along with us!

All patterns can be found here as well as on Ravelry.com!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Today we are going to discuss the supplies you will need to complete your 2011 Afghan. It is important to take a minute and decide what exactly you want to achieve with your blanket. What kind of fabric would you like, how do you expect to care for it, what feels good? Wool is very warm and cozy, but you'll have to hand-wash it if it gets dirty (to avoid felting your afghan). If you are expecting to wash it often, you may want to consider using an acrylic. If you don't mind the hand-washing, wool makes for a great option. Some people are irritated by the itch of wool, especially young children. Cotton and acrylic are softer than wool and a great option for recipients with tender skin. Whatever you pick, I would recommend that you stick with it for the duration of the project. There are loads of color options out there no matter the brand you choose. Here are my top options for each of the three types of yarn listed above.

Acrylic: Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand: This yarn is readily available at your bargain craft stores (ie- Michaels and JoAnns) and comes in a wide range of colors. It is also inexpensive coming in less than $4 a skein at most places. It is surprisingly soft yarn for an acrylic and washes really well in your washing machine.

Cotton: Ultra Pima by Cascade Yarns: This is a beautiful and super soft yarn. For those of you in the Tri-Cities, Knitty Gritty in Richland stocks this yarn. Cotton is also a very 'cool' fiber making for a light springy-summery blanket.

Wool: This is really a toss up, but my top two are Cascade 220 by Cascade Yarns (stocked by Knitty Gritty and Craft Warehouse) and Lion Wool (stocked by your bargain craft stores). Both are great quality yarns that come in a wide range of colors. Just remember that wool will felt in your washing machine, so care is a little more labor intensive.

If you have a favorite that you would prefer to work with, by all means go with that, but PLEASE pick one brand and use it throughout the duration of the project (change color to make it more colorful). If you simply can't stick with one, then you'll need to check your gauge with each yarn before you begin each new swatch.

Next is needles. My recommendation would be to use US 7 needles and a worsted weight yarn (you may decide to opt for a lighter blanket in which case you can use a US 3 or 4 and a DK or "baby weight" yarn). These swatches will all be (as close to the) same gauge so the same yarn and needle size should yield the same gauge for each swatch. If you are an inconsistent knitter, meaning you gauge changes, you may want to check it with each swatch to ensure that they will come out in uniform size and shape. We will review how to measure gauge at a later time.