Sunday, April 26, 2009

Round and round we go

The red lace socks will be finished in an hour or so. I'm looking to sell the pattern, so you don't get a better picture.

The shawl I need to knit before TNNA has the design finalized. The body lace had been knit, blocked and measured for gauge. The chart has been made and the repeat of the pattern delineated. I spent a couple of days looking for an edging I liked. Many possibilities were swatched and I went back to try #1. I had swatched it in garter stitch, but I'm going to do it in stockinette with faggoting.

I have been going round and round for a couple of weeks trying to replace my dying Palm Pilot. I can't get a new one without a phone. The phone wouldn't hold a charge. Verizon sent me a new battery. It worked for couple of days and then wouldn't hold a charge. We're trying a new phone, but I'm losing confdence. I still have my old phone, which can be reactivated. My quilter daughter has a Palm sitting in a drawer which has hardly been used. We'll see which way I go. Right now I have to charge the new phone, get the palm data into it, and see what happens.

I'm looking forward to starting new socks and the shawl. I'll be able to show the socks, because they're not my pattern.

We have a heat wave here in NE Ohio. The yard needs work, the house needs work, and I have a pulled muscle in my ankle probably caused by the dog squirrel chasing while on a leash. At least I have spring flowers. The bulbs I bought in pots last spring are blooming now. I did the same thing this year. I buy pots and use them at work until the flowers go. Then I put them in the ground. I never think of bulbs in the fall and this is working well.

John is working on my new computer. This one is old, slow and has very little memory, not enough for what I'm trying to do. Most of the stuff is transferred. We sent on a "date" today to exchange the phone and get a serial port for the printer I use to print payroll checks. He can't get the serial port into the computer. He'll take both parts back to the store and let them make it work. The last thing will be the internet connection and virus protection. We are hoping to transfer what we've already paid for.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Knitter's Fantasy & designing

Knitter's Fantasy
This was held on Saturday April 4, 2009 in Youngstown, Ohio. The work of organizing is rotated among 3 guilds. Our guild puts it on next year. It makes lots of money for us. We spend it on things like bringing Lily Chin in to teach for a weekend in May this year.

I taught 2 classes; Chart reading and Great Beginnings and Endings. Chart reading starts with reading various simple charts, knitting swatches from them and finally charting from a written pattern. Great Beginnings and Endings takes a number of cast ons and teaches bind offs that mirrors them. I kind of muddles that class. My notes and the handouts have been improved. All classes that I teach are kept in notebooks, one per class. I keep swatches, pictures and other miscellaneous stuff in each notebook. I also have a bag of big yarn, needles, crochet hooks, etc. that I use for teaching. It makes it easy to repeat a class.

What did I buy at the vendor market? Not much yarn. I don't have time to knit up what I have. However, a set of Kollage square sock needles followed me home. I like them! I wish they were 6" instead of 5", but I'm adapting my grip so I don't get poked. The points are nice. They're light weight metal, but not slippery. Mine are copper colored.

Family Easter
It was a fairly quiet day. No wild egg hunts and other little kid festivities. We went to Erie, PA for dinner with quilting daughter, a 2 hr drive each way. Nice day for a drive! I finished knitting the baby sweater. On the way home, I was crocheting a dishcloth and dropped the hook. Could not find it! I had not escaped the car, but was hiding. I finally found it Thursday after thinking of more places it might have fallen. It was trying to hide under the floor mat. I have more hooks and discovered that I was working the pattern wrong anyway. My girls like dishcloths, so I'm trying to make a few for Christmas gifts.

Socks for Plymouth Yarn
I did up a few swatches and they like two of them. I'm waiting to hear more.

Red socks
I finished one and have toe #2. Lace knitting will proceed today.

I started swatching a lace shawl for Oasis yarn. He asked for a trapezoid shape. The base pattern looks great. It's from one of my Japanese books. I need to get more than 4" knit, so I can play with edgings. The swatch is purple, a color I have lots of. The shawl will be black Aussi sock. I should get it started by the weekend. Deadline is mid June for the TNNA show.

Knit, knit, knit, rinse, repeat

I've been busy, did you guess? I finished 2 stealth projects. The socks for Plymouth Yarn are finished and delivered. Would I like to design another pair of two-color socks? You bet I would!!

I also finished a baby sweater for DRG publishing. It's for a book called Circular Knitting Redefined. Knit back and forth using circular needles. That one is waiting for USPS pick up. The pattern has been submitted electronically. This one has been knit 3 times before. Two of the sweaters were family gifts. The third waits for a baby girl. At first I didn't write the pattern, then when I wrote it, I wanted to revise it. This time was pretty easy, because the yarn gauge was the same as before.

Knitting now on a pair of socks for a birthday later this year. I hope to sell this pattern too! This is a lace pattern. Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous had lace as the March challenge. Finish the socks by the end of April for a chance at prizes. I can do this! Show a picture of the finished socks. Flash photos do well at blurring detail.

This month's challenge is to knit an under appreciated pattern. Look it up on Ravelry and see if less than 15 people have knit it. I have a great Entrelac pattern picked out. If it suddenly becomes popular, I'll go to my book shelf. Don't think that will be needed. This pattern called to me as soon as I saw it. I have the recommended yarn. It's more complex than most knitters want to tackle. I'll check when these red socks are finished. Something needs to be cast on before month's end. This pair will be mine!!

The next few socks will be gifts for guys. No birthdays for a couple of months, but then they come in bunches.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Couple of Deadlines Met & Ethnic Knitting Exploration

On the Knitting Front
I have been working to deadlines recently. The big one was the shawl. I got a nice picture of my neighbor modeling it. I called it La Valse because the swirling, twirling pattern mad me think of the music by Ravel. It was needed for a show starting Mar. 25.

I had started a pair of socks for DD in Florida for her birthday. It took almost a month to finish them, but they arrived in times. Aussi Sock yarn, Kathleen Power Johnson's pattern. I really like how the yarn works with this pattern. Her birthday is today.

My favorite yarn company asked for a fairisle pattern. He wanted it for a one day workshop/show Saturday Apr. 4. I finished the mitts yesterday and the pattern today. The graphics seem to take longer than the words in some patterns.

I'm still knitting the socks for Plymouth yarn. The foot is done and I'm working on the leg. The yarn is Happy Feet solids.

Ethnic Knitting Exploration
Over a year ago I received Donna Druchunas's first book in the Ethnic Knitting series. She started by freeing the knitter from patterns, explaining what you don't need to know (higher math and advanced color theory). What you need to know (stating the obvious), sweaters are made from basic shapes and a gauge swatch is needed to know how to fill the shape with knit fabric.

The first book concentrates on the simplest shape, drop shoulder sweaters with variations. Proportions are given based on the circumference of the body. A few basics are given, so that a beginner has everything in one place. The first country is the Netherlands, concentrating on texture. A small project is given for each country, to familiarize the knitter with the technique, in this case, a scarf with patterning at the ends.

You have 3 options for working the basic concept; visual, working from a schematic and filling in basic numbers in a short worksheet, planning worksheets where there is more calculating, and step by step instructions with blanks for customization.

Denmark, the second country features all over texture. Norway and the Andes feature color patterns.

The second book expands on what has gone before. Shoulders can be raglan, yoked, or saddle shoulders. Information for refining and customization is given.

Lithuania is the first country presented. Color patterns are more complex, shown on fingerless gloves and raglan pullovers with color bands. Centering large motifs and variations for making the design fit the size of the knitting are discussed.

Icelandic knitting is characterized by heavier yarn and ofter feature yoked sweaters with multiple color bands. The small project is a capelet, which gives practice in yoke shaping. Cardigans are introduced

Ireland makes many people think of elaborate texture patterns, although this style is fairly recent. Teh easiest way to follow these patterns is with charts, so these are explained. Designing your own, by sketching out the patterns is recommended. A rough sketch can tell you a lot. Cable swatches are necessary, to know how much each variety will pull in. Cables also tend to flare at the top and bottom. Prevention is discussed.

The small project is a poncho and the sweaters shown have saddle shoulders. Neither book gives specific instructions, but how to get a properly fitting garment is easy following the guidelines. Texture and color patterns are given as suggestions specific to the country servingf as inspiration.

The Exploration book ends with a discussion on cardigans. They can be knit in the round and cut after knitting. They can be knit in the round working back and forth. They can be knit in pieces and sewn together. Bands and buttonholes are covered.

Lastly, these books are part of the Green Press Initiative. using paper and ink that tries to conserve natural resources. The information in the books may well save more paper as they free the knitter from the need to have a printed pattern for a sweater that may not fit. Teh options are endless.