My First Sweater: A Look Back

See that person up there?  Yup, that’s me, modeling the first sweater that I ever knit.  I wore it yesterday, actually, on the recommendation of someone said that I should. So, here’s a look back at my first sweater.  It’s Pattern 13 in the Noro: Catwalk 2 book by Jenny Watson.

I am often afraid to wear my sweaters because I’m worried I’ll damage or ruin them.  On the other hand, I should wear them because I’m proud of the work I do!

I knit this sweater during a class at Kitnit Fine Yarns, which is now The Speckled Sheep, in Lancaster, PA, USA.  I didn’t want to tackle shaping and picking up stitches alone, so I enrolled in this class which, in the description, said it would be a good project for the first time sweater knitter.  I took the plunge.

I’m proud of my work!  It’s a little big for me, but I don’t care.  It’s warm, it has pockets, it’s mine.  Here are some of the statistics for the sweater.

  • Knit from 11 skeins of Noro Kuryeon wool yarn
  • It took me well over a month.
  • The pattern had the dreaded p2tog through the back loop decrease.  It was horrible.  I looked on the Internet for advice on how to accomplish this, and found that if you p2tog stitches together, pull the stitch of the left needle and turn it counterclockwise once, you get the same result.  Here’s a video of how to do this technique properly, without cheating.

Back in the Ludicraft days, I did a week by week saga of how the sweater progressed.  You can wander down memory lane in the list below.

So, that’s basically the story of my first sweater.  As a note, it’s also featured in the pattern page on Ravelry.

What was the first sweater you every knit?  I’d love to see your project.  If you haven’t knit your first sweater yet, don’t be discouraged!  Take the plunge.  Find a teacher or research stuff on the Internet.  Knitting your first sweater is a very rewarding experience.  It was for me!



LaMancha Animal Rescue Holiday Fundraiser

Yowza!  Every have a tidal wave of stuff just happen to you and then you get behind on blogging?  Yup.  That’s me.

Still, my fingers have been busy, especially for the LaMancha Animal Rescue Holiday Fundraiser coming up on Saturday, December 3, 2016 in Coatesville, PA.  I will have the fundraiser’s flyer at the bottom of the post for more information.

LaMancha Animal Rescue is a great no-kill shelter/farm that takes in all sorts of animals for adoption.  They are on my list of “ones to watch” when it comes time for me and Sam to adopt a dog.  In the meantime, I decided to support them with my handiwork.

My friend Janet works closely with LaMancha, so I got in touch with her after I saw her call on Facebook for vendors for the holiday fundraiser.  I have a whole bunch of lovely goodies ready for her.   And, considering what she’s been showing off from other crafters, it’s going to a great craft show in of itself!  Lots of talent!

The mitts above are some of the projects I will be donating.  I have washcloths, fun hats, and more mitts to sell there.

As promised, here’s more info about the fundraiser and the needs list of the rescue, too.

LaMancha Holiday Fundraiser Info


Please, come on out and support the animals, other crafters, and a great organization!


Halloween at the PA Renaissance Faire

My friend Joan and I went to the PA Renaissance Faire on their last weekend of the year, Saturday the 29th.  We had a great time!  The wickerman above greeted us as we entered the faire grounds.  The entire property at Mount Hope was PACKED.

We saw a few interesting shows, like the one about falconry.  Below, a handler holds a kestrel, who obviously wants to fly, and they did let her do her thing.

Falconry at the PRF

We also go to see a bit of one of Tartanic‘s shows.  They are a fantastic group featuring two traditional drummers and two bagpipers.  Very cool!  Here, their vendor wench, Annika, does some belly dance moves while balancing a sword on her head.

Tartanic at the PRF

After Tartanic finished their show, and I looked over to my right, and there was a girl knitting a huge green shawl!  Wow!  I have never seen knitters at the PRF.  I mean, I’ve bought yarn there, such as the skein of alpaca yarn I acquired below from one vendor.

Alpaca yarn from the PRF.

I had to talk to her and ask her about her project.  She was knitting a shawl, indeed, in garter stitch with very simple yarn over increases.  I figured, I can do that!  So I started one myself.


The funny thing about noticing one person knitting is that within fifteen minutes of seeing the initial knitter, I saw another, and then another!  How cool is that?!

So, you want to know how to make that shawl?  It’s easy, and here’s how I figured the pattern out.  It’s by NO MEANS an original pattern by me, just one I worked out and decided to share with you.  Here it is.

PA Renaissance Faire Shawl

Use the yarn and needles of your choice.  There is no gauge requirement.  My mine, I’m using fingering weight yarn on US 4 needles.

Cast on three stitches.

Row 1:  K1, kfb, K1.  You should now have four stitches.

Row 2:  K2, yo, k to end of row.

Repeat Row 2 until you have the shawl the size you want it.

Cast off loosely.

So, that’s was my PRF experience!  Joan and I had great time, and it was awesome to see some fellow knitters there, too.