Monday, March 31, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.13

One more swatch checked off the list. This is #16, another swatch where the knitter picks a cable that will fit into the required dimensions with a minimum of 2 multiples and three repeats and then figures out the gauge (by swatching), makes allowances for the differences in density between the cable portion and the seed stitch border, plans an effective way of dealing with the difference, writes a complete pattern and....

.....yes, still must knit the final swatch. This is cable 16.5 in the "Harmony Guide to Aran Knitting".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Masters Monday 2.12

Okay, so this Masters Monday is happening late on a Tuesday night, but it is still happening.

This is Swatch 15 - cable of choice.

The basic stitch pattern is #4.9 from "The Harmony Guide to Aran Knitting".

The actual knitting and pattern writing was all completed on schedule, as planned, I only fell behind in the photography and blogging department. I'm blaming the demands of the long, Easter weekend. I mean if you could spend time with this little muffin rather than sit at the computer blogging about knitting a swatch, wouldn't you?

That's what I thought.

Kaylen has a little slide show of her first Easter egg painting experience up on her blog if you are interested.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Masters Monday 2.11

Did you arrive early, find nothing but old posts, and think I was skipping Masters Monday again? Sorry about that. I was fiddling with a video/slide show of birthday pictures for my granddaughter Kaylen's blog instead of getting my own blogging done. If you're up for a round of "Happy Birthday" and watching a wee one discover birthday cake for the first time, pop on over to Kaylen's blog and wish her a happy 1st birthday.

And yes, I did work on my Masters Knitting this week. I worked and worked actually, but this one swatch (and its pattern) is all I have to show for it right now.

This is Level II, Swatch 14, Cable of Your Choice, but with a twist to the assignment that wasn't there for Level I. In this level the knitter has to choose three stitch patterns, do the math, and write out the patterns for each of the swatches themselves. This results in the absurd situation of swatching for the swatches. An initial swatch must be made to determine gauge so that you can not only make the final swatches within the size limits, but also correct for "cable flare" - where the edging bulges and gathers because the seed stitch and the cables are of different gauges.

I actually have more done than shows here as I did my initial "swatching for the swatches" with all three cables on the one practice swatch. I have also begun the rough drafts of the patterns for the other two swatches. I learned with the first one that it works best to write the pattern and then knit from it, rather than the source the stitch pattern was found in. I found and corrected several omissions and mistakes as I attempted to knit from my own pattern. Hopefully now I won't have my patterns thrust back at me with "errata" to be corrected.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bitzen Bear's Debu

Bitzen Bear*

It took as long to seam his nineteen itty, bitty pieces together as it did to knit them all.

He was a fun little knit though. He's just 9 inches from top to toe.

I soft sculpted his face to give it a little more depth and character.

I'm very happy with my yarn choice, Bernat Alpaca -Natural Blends. It gives Bitzen a fuzzy, fulled look similar to the old style mohair bears. Using one 100g ball of each colour, "Tundra" and "Wheat", I have enough of the two yarns left to make him a buddy in the opposite colours.

*Bitzen was named, tongue in cheek, for the many "bits 'n' pieces" he required.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bear Parts

No illegal poaching going on here. These are knitted bear parts.

Nineteen small, shaped pieces to be sewn together in the "Classic Teddy Bear" pattern by Mary Ann Gebhardt originally published in "Interweave Knit Gifts" and now available at as a downloadable PDF. ($4.50)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


What Marlene Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

There's More

I returned on Saturday to Fibrefest International. I was mainly there to keep Kris company while she shopped, but I did manage to come home with a couple more items. The "firestar" purchase was planned, but the bright lime green merino managed to lure me as well. Both will be used sparingly as an additive when I drum card 2 pounds of jet black merino. The black (a free gift with purchase from long ago) was so boring I just couldn't bear it by itself. What will I make with the finished yarn? Darned if I know. Something mostly black with little highlights of shocking green and an occasional twinkle of sparkle I guess.


I've already got a good start using up the sock yarn I bought from Rabbitch of "Rabbitworks Fibre Studio". She calls this line of fingering weight superwash merino/nylon yarn "Toe Jam Sock Yarn" and this russet/black colourway is "King of the Potato People".


I'm knitting the socks in my usual way; toe-up, two at once on a single long circular needle. I generate a basic pattern on Sock Wizard and then make my own little changes and in this particular case, added in a simple stitch pattern. The stitch pattern (2 rows of stockinette followed by 2 rows of k2p2 ribbing) shows in the picture on the sock to the left. The plain stockinette sole shows on the sock to the right.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Inspector Shelby

When I got home this evening from day one of Fibrefest Shelby felt she needed to thoroughly inspect my purchases. There may be a minor purchase when I return with my daughter tomorrow, but the bulk of the damage from this year's Fibrefest Stash Enhancement Expedition has been done.

On the far left we have two braids of "Fleece Artist" merino/silk roving purchased from "Shades of Narnia". I have plans to spin each of these braids separately and then I'll ply them together. I fell in love with the colours even though they aren't colours that look good on me.

Moving to the right I have 5 skeins of a buttery soft wool purchased from the "Knitopia" booth. These are earmarked for my TKGA Master Knitter Level II vest project.

On top of them are two beautifully hand dyed skeins of sock yarn purchased from "Rabbitworks Fibre Studio". This began its life as "The Dreaded Russet Yarn", but in its overdyed state I think the colourway has been dubbed "King of the Potato People". These are destined to become my next pair of socks. Shelby won't tell me what she feels is so special about these sock yarn skeins, but she keeps coming back to them for a good sniff.

A little further to the right we have another two skeins of the "Fleece Artist" merino/silk roving. I love this stuff and couldn't go with just the one set. These colours are more in line with"my colours". Did I mention that I love this stuff? I bought some at the Ryder Lake Spin-In last Fall and it became the lovely "Huckleberry Chuckle" scarf. Yummy.

Did you notice the book? "Tapestry Weaving". Like I need another hobby right? Well, a while back I picked up a second hand tapestry loom for something like $5 and it's been sitting in my closet ever since. I happen to learn better from books than I do from workshops so this will hopefully be my start. It's not really another hobby, just a branch of an existing one. You know like mulit-shaft weaving, inkle weaving, rigid heddle weaving, tablet weaving---

Above the book is a flick carder. I've been wanting one of those for opening locks while preparing them for the drum carder. On top of the book is a neat little gadget for twisting fringes. Sooo much easier/faster than doing it by hand! The book, the flick carder and the fringe twisters were all purchased from "Fibres Plus".

Lace Bolero

I'm dashing out the door to Fibrefest International but, just like last year, wanted to quickly post my latest finished project. This lace bolero is even knit with the same batch of handspun, 2 ply, DK weight superwash merino that I made last year's pullover with.

Sirdar #8710 Bolero

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Huckleberry Chuckle

I couldn't resist giving this scarf an offbeat name. "Huckleberry Chuckle" it is, named for the berry stained grin of the picker with the least amount of berries remaining in her gathering basket.

Knit from handspun, laceweight, 2 ply merino/silk (from hand painted roving by "Fleece Artist"). It's three multiples of "Porcupine Stitch" from Barbara G. Walker's "A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns", using 3.75 mm needles.

The final scarf is 6" x 67".

Monday, March 03, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.10

As promised, for this week's Masters Monday I did the boring bit. I got caught up on the paperwork for the last three swatches I had done.

It doesn't make for very exciting blog pictures, but let me tell you, it's a huge relief! And hours of work. A full, working pattern had to be written up for each of these, complete with references, gauge, materials, abbreviations....not to mention the labeling of the swatches, answering of related questions, and cross referencing in the bibliography.

Now I can check off Swatches 11, 12 and 13 (of 22).