Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Hey, its still Wednesday here.  I have just the two projects - well actually I did do a hexi-puff this weekend but that isn't very laudable.  Both of these projects feel more like work than fun.  I'm enjoying them but they have self-imposed deadlines.

First, the back of the Aran sweater.  This is for Master Knitter Level 3 and it has to have bobbles in the pattern.  I know, not my favorite either but this bobble pattern is actually growing on me.  I'm almost finished but need some think time to make sure I do the bind off on the shoulder correctly.

Then my lace scarf with beads.  I bought this yarn bowl at a craft fair recently and it makes me smile.
Picture doesn't do the yarn and beads justice.  Trust me there are lots of them in there.

Hopefully I will have something finished before too long.

Go check out all the great works in progress, even if it is Thursday when you do it, at Tami's.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Work in progress Wednesday

Hi there, running late today.  I don't have very much going on that is interesting.  I do have now two completed and completely identical sleeves.  Trust me, they are identical.  It took a lot to get them that way.

I started last night the test knitting for my the first pattern ever that I have sold.  I'm not sure that I'm supposed to show a lot about it but suffice to say it is lace, merino and beads.  Beads and lace just go together for me.  It will take me awhile to get through it but I'm hoping just a week or so.  I'll certainly be  talkative about it when I can.

I did run out at lunch today to a local button shop that I had never been to before.  The design decisions on my Aran Cardigan are looming.  What kind of edging and buttons do I use?  So hard to decide.  I bought three different types of buttons and nearly fell over by how much they cost.  And of course no returns.  In the coming weeks, I'll ask for input on which buttons.  And perhaps you all can help me find a good home for the runner up buttons.  But so much to get through before then.

Go check out all the great fiber crafts over at  Tami's.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Well, this is cheating for Finished Objects, but we'll call it the State Fair Edition.  My husband and I snuck out to the fair during the week.  We did only the things we wanted to do - no rides, no milking demonstrations.  There was a great history exhibit and also some green (as in energy efficient) houses that were really cool.  Of course, we go to see the crafts.

My vest won first prize.  I was very proud.
Cardigan won second place.  First place was a very impressive Aran sweater.

They display in a strange way.  You usually have to reblock afterwards.  My lace shawl won an honorable mention.  It will definitely have to be reblocked.

Not very good picture, but you can see that it has beads - little white dots in the picture.  They are clear crystals with the silver pained on the inside of the bead.  Very shiny.  I have no idea what that is in front of it.

It is Friday - head over to Tami's to be inspired by lots of great finished objects.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Again, it feels like a week with not a lot to show for it.  I spent all weekend finishing the swatches for Level Three.  It doesn't look like much but it took me about five days to figure out how to do the double knitting with closed sides.  I can be a slow learner.  It is the square white one on the bottom right.  The other side is all blue.  Yes, it is like a small pot holder.
One that I am proud of is the intarsia swatch.  I have struggled to come up with the right pattern that wasn't too difficult.  Straight vertical lines can be tough and you don't want a pattern that tempts you to strand.  This is my own design, just playing on the computer with colored squares to come up with this.
My second Aran sleeve is slowly moving along.  Hopefully it will be finished this week and then on to the body.

Head over to Tami's to see lots of great projects.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Why am I doing this Master Knitter's thing?

Several of you have asked me about the Master's Knitting program.  Honestly I'm not sure sometimes why I am doing it.

I started with the TKGA Basics class five or so years ago.  Even though I had been knitting for twenty years at that point, I found out how little I knew from that class.  I started the Level One of the Master's probably out of arrogance - of course I can breeze through this.  I'm the classic first child, overachiever, straight A student.  Give me a metric and I will kill myself trying to bang it out of the park.  As I have gotten older, I have learned to occasionally ask if the metric actually matters.  But I digress.  I got through Level 1 fairly quickly five years ago.  I was between jobs and had to do my resubmission for corrections while I had already started working again.  That was not a lot of fun, so I put on hold doing Level 2 until last year when I was once again between jobs.

Level 2 is perhaps the most challenging.  I was horrified that I had to resubmit 30% of my swatches.  I wasn't surprised that I had to resubmit the blasted sock.  But I learned a tremendous amount and I can see a huge improvement in my knitting.  After I finished Level 2, I decided to plunge right into Level 3, regardless of all the other things going on in my life.  Same logic as making your kids read and do math during the summer.  I didn't want to lose too much of what I had learned before doing Level 3.

Now my motivation has three major parts.  One I'm so close, I just want to finish and cross it off the list.  Two, I realize how much I am learning and know that I will be a master level when I finish.  I admire craftsmanship of any type and this is a way of honoring that in myself.  The third reason is I would love to be a knitting designer and teacher and I view this as a good springboard to that.

Now that I have met others who are doing it, I see a lot of similar reasons.  Many do it just for the challenge of it and the joy of learning.  You do have to take it with a grain of salt.  It isn't unusual at all to have 20% redo on a submission.  And some of the things that they want you to do, you won't do in the future (mattress stitch over one bar versus two comes to mind - shhh - don't tell them I said that).  I've also met people who don't do it because there is a lot of research and writing (yes you have to write papers and book reports - my fifteen year old gets great joy from proof reading mom's papers.)  If that isn't your thing, don't punish yourself.  It also takes a lot of time when you could be making actual projects, versus these crazy little squares.

But you do learn to look at your knitting in a much more critical (meaning objective, not negative) way.  Yes they do look at every stitch in a swatch to see if it is correctly formed, the tension is right, you followed the directions, etc…  Do you know the difference between a k2tog and SSK?  Can you tell a cast on edge from the bind off edge in a square of stockinette?  Can you measure gauge correctly?  Write a pattern?  And on and on.

In retrospect I am glad that I am doing it though I will be even happier after it is done.  Hopefully that is only a few months away.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Good morning!  I came back from the TKGA conference very inspired.  Hard to believe it was two weeks ago.  Before I went, I thought I was just cruising through level three Masters work.  After Masters Day, I knew better.

When the committee members pulled out portable Ott lights and went stitch by stitch on the swatches, I knew I was not close to done.  I spent this weekend frantically re-knitting swatches.  Some because I chose the wrong yarn - I went bigger out of concern for their eyes.  Not to worry, they have magnifying glasses.   Some I just plain screwed up.
Some they might have accepted but now I know they are not my best work.  Wow, they have really warped my personality!  But I am so sorry they had to look at my level two argyle sock, I want my level three submission to be much better.  Suffice to say, I am not a sock knitter.
Tonight I'll sort out how many more I have left to do.  It is at least two more.  In the meantime, my aran sweater sleeve has only grown by a 16 row repeat, so not much to show on that.

Thanks to all of you who leave comments.  I really appreciate them and am so grateful that you are interested enough to stop by.

Check out the works in progress over at Tami's and I hope you have a lot of time for yarn today!