Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Even at the beach, there is time to knit.  Hopefully the wifi holds up to upload two pictures.  First is swatch 19 of the Master Knitter Level 3 program.  It is a doily and I did it in a fingering weight merino/silk yarn from On Line Supersocke Silk.  It is not what I would normally use for lacy but it feels fabulous.  All I have left is the crochet edging and I didn't bring the right size of crochet hook.  I don't think my husband will understand the second yarn emergency in two days so I'll wait until I get home to finish it off.

Second WIP is a lace doily from Sonja book that I have been working on for a while.  It is in cotton from Coats in Opera 20 weight.  I have put it down for a few days because I think I have a mistake and I need to start counting and sorting it out.

The South Carolina coast is great.  Weather is wonderful - a little windy and rough the last two days but today looks gorgeous.

Work in Progress Wednesday

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

At the Beach

The last few days have been a blur.  My 15 year old son, John, was in Spain for two and a half weeks on a language immersion program.  He got back Sunday and we took off for the beach - South Carolina coast.  We've been coming here since he was a baby and it is beautiful and relaxing.  Our nephew is with us this year which is great fun for all of us.

I was stressing on how to get all my knitting projects and needles on the plane through security and managed to get them through without an incident, other than I broke one of my needles - a Lantern Moon size six needle.  It will be a good excuse to go to the LYS today!  Sorry dear, it is a knitting emergency.

Having just beautiful weather here.  Had my hour long walk on the beach already.  Unfortunately the wireless here is just too slow and my other pictures will have to wait.

Back to the beach

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finished Object Friday

Okay, i'm new at all this blogging stuff.  I had this post all written and managed to lose it.  Oh well.  That's how you learn.  I found some other knitters who blog on Finished Object Fridays so I'll see if i can do that. The problem is I don't finish things every week.

But at least with doing the Master Knitter, I should have swatches done each week.  Maybe this will keep me motivated.

The first swatch is the tubular bind off and cast off. Many thanks to ChrisKnit for her kind comment on how I did the even number of stitch cast on.  I love both of these techniques, nice and stretchy for ribbing and very nice finished edge.

Second swatch is knit on cast on and suspended bind off.  The trouble with the knit on cast on is that it leaves little holes at the edge - where I have my blocking pins.  It is elastic and you don't have to guess how long a tail to use to cast on but you would have to want those little holes.  Suspended bind off is a good elastic bind off that I'll use if it isn't ribbing - for ribbing, nothing beats the tubular bind off.

So I'm wondering what I have been doing the last quarter of century not experimenting with different techniques.  Never to late to learn to be a thinking knitter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Master Knitter

A few weeks ago, after 10 months of on and off work, I passed Level 2 of TKGA's Master Hand Knitter program.  Because I am a glutton for punishment, I signed up immediately for Level 3, the final level.

I started the first swatch and was amazed.  I've been knitting for 28 years and had never done a tubular cast on.  How very cool and useful for cuffs and necklines.  But these are very tricky people because every reference I read says this has to be on an uneven number of stitches and of course the directions are for an even number of stitches.   I read all the forums, all the group notes and don't see anyone else stressing about this.

Here's how I solved it.  Since the directions were for 20 stitches, I did the final k2together to make the final number of stitches come out even.  It does leave a bit of a bump where the two stitches are combined. This took me a lot of time to figure out. Now it did cause every row of the ribbing to start with a purl stitch instead of a knit.  When using this technique in real life, I would have an odd number of stitches and that makes seaming much easier and cleaner.  Hopefully this will be the right approach.  I should know in another ten months!

I'll keep blogging about this journey to the masters.  If someone has another approach that works better I would love to hear about it.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trip to the Cooper Hewitt Museum in NYC

Yesterday we came up to NYC for a little time off.  We went to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum which had two amazing exhibits.  The first is Set in Style - the Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels.  Totally amazing jewelry and so interesting to see their influence on designers that we think are innovative today.  The jewelry is unbelievable.  But there is a second exhibit upstairs on Sonia Delaunay called Color Moves:  Art and Fashion.  I had never heard of her before but she had a tremendous sense of color and how to use it in innovative way.  They have two garments she made on exhibit, one a coat/dress made for a famous film star of the 20's and 30's.  I'm not sure how she made these - looks woven but by hand.  The colors were unbelievable.  I couldn't find a picture of it anywhere on the web so you have to go see it - but fast it closes tomorrow.  The jewelry exhibit goes through July 4th.

Success with White Lace

My first lace doily from Sonja's book Knitted Lace - in White.  After the botched first attempt i am very happy with the second try.  I'm now tackling a bigger harder one - Hansigne.  Hopefully pictures not too much later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Much Better

Success with the white lace project.  On the first one I must have moved the marker in the opposite direction from what was required.  Lesson is to always check that several times while doing it.  So it is blocking now and looks pretty good.  Once it is blocked I'll be able to take pictures on a darker background.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

White Lace

I've been playing around with some very fine white lace. from Sonja Esbensen's book, Knitted Lace - in White.  My eyes maybe too old to handle this.  Pearl Cotton in 20 weight with 0 knitting needles.  This is the Christina pattern - for my first one I had to go with my namesake pattern.  The pattern calls for even smaller needles but for my first try this seemed good enough.  And things are going along very well and then I realize that I made a mistake in a round where the marker had to be moved.  Not sure you can see it on this picture but it is by my index finger.  The diagonal line of three knitted stitches is touching the arched cap and that was supposed to be offset.  Oh well.  I started over and am happier with my restart.  More pictures on that tomorrow.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baby Steps

The longest journey starts with a single step.  Not sure who said that but here's to first steps.  I'm starting this blog to share my thoughts on knitting, improving my craft and starting a business.  So much to learn on this blogging stuff.