I’ve picked up the sticks a couple of times in the past, but could never quite get the hang of it. I didn’t know anyone who could help me with hands on experience and learning from a book was not happening for me.
So, I kept giving up.
I finally decided to give it one more try. There were a couple of reasons.
I want to learn to knit wool socks for the family to keep our feet warm during winter. I think some things are better knitted (like socks) and some are better crocheted (like slippers), so I want to really give learning a try and make some super cute socks in the process.
People ask all the time for knitting versions of my patterns. Can’t really do that if I don’t understand knitting.
So I got out my needles that I had bought so long ago, but I still didn’t have anyone close to teach me. So, I went to Craftsy.
I work with Craftsy on a pretty regular basis (plus I’m an affiliate, so clicking on Craftsy links give me a small bit of change to keep the blog running) and wanted to give one of their knitting classes a try. See if I could finally understand all the stuff I couldn’t before.
Though there are a couple of beginner knitting classes, this one seemed like the most basic that would walk me through all the stuff I needed to learn.
This class was just what I needed.
This class first walks you through casting on, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. It shows up-close perspectives, which is what I really needed and I finally got the hang of it.
After the basics, she then has you work on the scarf you see above. You learn increasing and decreasing, plus some basic lace. I loved that it was all wrapped up in a project that you can actually use after you finish it.
But that’s not all.
After the scarf, you still have lesson after lesson of increasing, decreasing and some popular stitch patterns (seed stitch and basketweave). It was perfect for a person like me who really needs to see each step.
Another awesome thing about the class (and all classes on Craftsy) is that you can leave questions while watching and the instructor will answer them. So to the right of the screen there are all the questions all the students that have taken the class have asked with their replies. So mostly all the questions I had were already asked, but it was awesome to see ones I hadn’t thought of. So that gave me extra knowledge that I might not known I needed.
A couple other cool features of the class is you can take notes while watching and they will show up on a timeline of where you took them during the class (so you can find your place very easily). And there is a 30 second repeat button. You press the button and the video will loop for 30 seconds over and over till you turn it off. So you can watch the same stitch being made over and over until you get without having to constantly rewind it.
I can’t say enough great things about this Craftsy class. It has really enabled me to actually knit now.
I also took another class right after I finished this one.
Being a crocheter, continental style knitting (where you hold your yarn tail in your left hand instead of your right) just comes naturally. However, trying to purl the way Stephanie was doing it in my previous video, was not working well for me. I tried holding my yarn as I do for crochet and that was really difficult to purl with as well. So I found this class:
This class was perfect. It showed me a fantastic way to work my purl stitches that clicked right away.
I was just hoping to find a better way to purl, but she also worked through a lot of ways to work faster while knitting all kinds of stitches. She also explained how to get my stitches as even as possible. These topics weren’t covered in the other class I took, so that was even more bang for my buck.
I’ve restarted my Knitcrate subscription (I put on pause while moving), but this time I opted for the “knitter newbies” pack. It is supposed to help me learn and give me projects, yarn and needles each month to learn new things. My first package is arriving today, so you’ll be seeing a post on it in a day or two.
This class is my next step in learning to knit socks. All my current knitting is flat. So the same instructor I started with will now teach me to work in the round. There are a bunch of cute projects to make in the class too (some are shown in the photo).
I will make my first socks. I’m trying to not rush my learning, but I was so excited about the thought of my first socks that I had to get these:
Some clear rain boots to show off my work. I couldn’t just keep them under wraps in boring old regular boots now could I?
Are you a combo crafter? Do you knit and crochet? Which one did you learn first and do you have any tips or tricks to help my knitting along? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll keep you updated on my progress.
I just had to take a moment to praise my husband. He saw this story about a terminally ill man that had his front door open to try to cool his apartment, when two men dressed as ninjas burst in and robbed him of all his money.
The reason this stuck a chord with my husband is because from the time my daughter was three until about last year, if you asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would tell you, “a ninja.” She has since upgraded to wanting to be the first person to land on Mars, but she still does Karate and loves American Ninja Warrior.
So, my husband got with his command here in 29 Palms and started a fundraiser on Gofundme.com (it’s still active if anyone out there wants to make a contribution as well to help this poor guy).
The reporter who originally told the story just did an interview with my husband about the efforts and I wanted to share the link because it was such a wonderful thing for him to do and I am so proud of his work to help get the man’s money back so he didn’t get evicted.
Side Note: They call him a Marine in the video, he’s actually Navy but we are on a Marine base so that is where the confusion comes from. We love both branches, but just in case you already knew my husband was Navy, I didn’t want you confused. 🙂
My daughter loves the special effects make-up competition Face Off.
Because of this, she loves all things zombies (even though she has still never seen a horror film). For her birthday, she requested a “zombie cake.”
My awesome Aunt helped make the above happen. We got some Glow in the Dark Zombies from Amazon and she and my Uncle made the tombstones and bare trees (made from tree branches found in the yard). She then had her cake maker put it all together. It was so cool that I had to share it with everyone. My daughter loved it and her birthday was awesome.
You can check out some close-ups of the cake below in the gallery.
A bunny has been my daughter’s latest pet request (after dog, cat, and snake). She currently has a robo hamster (like a regular hamster, only smaller), so she knows she will have to wait a little bit before we get a bunny.
However, though I told her we couldn’t get a bunny yet, it didn’t mean a bunny couldn’t come to us.
Our desert landscape has done just that. My daughter spotted this little guy the other day and has been feeding it our bagged salad for the past few days. Though we aren’t getting close to the little guy (wild bunnies can be mean), it is a nice compromise to see a bunny until we can get one as a pet.
I keep promising that I will begin taping again soon, and it keeps getting pushed back. Well after this weekend’s project, I can now say I’m really ready to start taping again.
So what was this project and why did I need to complete it before I began taping?
Well, our new house was a sight unseen house (as most residences are when moving for the military), and thankfully we got super lucky and got a great house. However, there was one negative about the place — a previous owner kept cats in the “washroom” (I don’t know what else to call this strange but wonderful addition to the back of the house), and these cats sprayed all over it. My husband and I are really sensitive to that smell (as I’m sure many people are), so we needed to get rid of it so I could use it for my taping.
The floor is a garage coating over cement. So first we tried mopping with Lysol.
That only made the smell laugh and didn’t get rid of it at all.
Then we got some cat pee neutralizing spray (twice, the first time I accidentally Amazon shipped it to our old address).
We saturated the floor and let it dry for a couple of days as users of the spray suggested. After the few days, the scents mingled into a new more unpleasant smell. Still no good.
Next, we decided to make sure the cat spray was only in the washroom (there is a long playroom attached that is carpeted, maybe it was in there too and that is why the smell wouldn’t go away).
So we purchased the Nature’s Secret Weapon- Professional pet-dog-cat urine detector flashlight hoping it would actually work. It so did, it is actually an awesome product which is why I’m linking to it, in case you are having this same problem. It is totally worth the $20. I’m not trying to gross you out with the photo below. Just wanted to show anyone who wondered how it works. Note: Make sure your room is completely dark so you can really see where the spray is.
That was just one tiny spot in the room we found after using the light. The whole floor was actually covered in cat spray, but the playroom was completely free of it. Thank goodness!
So our next step was to mop the floor with straight bleach (with a little water to cut it).
That almost worked, but there were still some spots and smell left. What is cat spray made out of? That stuff is no joke!
So our very awesome landlord, who all along was very apologetic and willing to let us do anything to get rid of the smell agreed to pay for (and perform the task) of putting a new garage coating on the floor. We said we would try doing it as an easy weekend project, how hard could it be?
I’m sure you think because I said that, it was really hard, but actually it was as easy as painting a wall.
Though this is for garages, this is an awesome flooring kit for any cement. This was another product that I had to share because it was so easy and worked so well. If I had seen this on a shelf, I would think it was the most difficult thing to try to do, but I was pleasantly surprised. It comes with a cleaner (that took the most time). You need to put it on the floor and then scrub it with a brush and then rinse it off. So you need a way to get the water out of the room, we have a door, but keep that in mind in case you are thinking of using this yourself.
Then you start painting. There is paint already in the bucket (that can be tinted at the paint counter if you want) and a quart of activator (remember this is epoxy, but water based so it’s not that stinky). You mix the two and start painting.
You can see the bucket next to my daughter. You can put your roller right in (it comes with a roller and brush in the kit) so you don’t actually need the tray that is next to the bucket. It also comes with the decorative flakes. So you paint and then sprinkle the flakes as you work (this felt particularly like putting sprinkles on a cupcake and was slightly addicting).
We painted it in under an hour (with sprinkles). I called this a weekend project, because you need to let it dry for 3 days. Or at least we weren’t able to drive a car on it for 3 days (remember it’s for garages), but you can technically walk on it after a day.
So now the smell is completely gone and I have a perfect room for video shooting (there is even a skylight, which is great for photos).
So now you know what the hold up was and soon you’ll see some new videos on the site. You hopefully might have also learned a few things about cat pee and garage coverings.
So you have any fun cat pee stories, or any great remedies for the smell that I haven’t mentioned above. Let us know below, I’m sure anyone like me will be happy for the advice.