Monday, July 28, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.26

Argyle Practice

I worked up a bit of an argyle swatch this week in preparation for knitting the argyle sock for Level II. I think it turned out very well, although I see some areas I will need to work on.

I have a 1954, Grace Ennis, argyle sock pattern. The gauge requirement is 10 stitches per inch. I lucked out and got gauge on the very first try using size 2.25 mm needles and Lang Jawoll sock yarn purchased locally.

To do the motif I've been picking up the new yarn from under the old at the colour change, and the technique hasn't been leaving any holes, but there is some irregularity where the two colours change, particularly on the right leaning slants. In that area I end up with the old colour looking a bit loose and sloppy and the new colour being a bit tight and distorted.

Anyone have any suggestions on how to alleviate this problem?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Spinning

During the summer months some of the members of the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild gather together during the day, on a weekly basis, to spin and enjoy each other's company. This week we were in Agassiz spinning in Lynn's beautiful garden.

Lynn has a gazebo that provides some shade even if we end up chasing it around the yard. The shade that is, not the gazebo!

It only looks like Lynn's beautiful dog is about to eat Bunny. He is just watching intently for his favorite toy to be thrown.

In an effort to escape the heat and burning rays of the sun I have backed myself into one corner of the garden where I'm combing and dizzing hand dyed wool in preparation for spinning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hand-me-down Knitting

Way back in March of 2005 I posted this picture of my Great Niece Isabella on my blog.

Isabella In Pink Purls

She was the recipient of the "Beribboned Eyelet Baby Sweater" and the matching accessories that I designed myself. Of course babies growing as they do, she wasn't in it for long before it was outgrown and had to be tucked away.

The outfit is enjoying a second go-'round, this time on Isabella's baby sister Olivia.

Eyelet baby set

Isn't she sweet? And looking so much like her big sister did as a baby!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.25


I've finished the vest for my second level of the Master Knitters' certification.

I chose this Plymouth yarns pattern as a basis for my vest. I even purchased the pattern, but then found that my chosen yarn was not a good match even though the stated gauge on the ball band claimed it would be. I ended up completely reworking the pattern with Sweater Wizard software so that I could use the basic style of the vest but with my own gauge.

I finished the button band yesterday and did the long, long stretch of tubular cast off today. That done, I sewed in all the ends and then headed out for matching buttons. She's complete and I love her......except for one little annoying detail......the collar seems odd to me. It is really tall and left as is it won't lay nicely.

BUT, all is not lost. When I fold the collar once to the inside it lies nicely, like it was made to be worn that way. It's warm and snuggly.

Of course it's summer here right now and the weather has been beautiful. Much too nice to be wearing an extra warm vest. That's actually a good thing. I won't be tempted to wear it before I have a chance to hand it in for evaluation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Upper Fraser Valley Knitters

Yesterday was the second meeting of the Upper Fraser Valley Knitters. After sending out a meeting reminder the previous day I was a little concerned when a large number of emails came in from members saying they couldn't be there due to other commitments.

I thought I would be sitting there all alone in a great big meeting room so I invited (okay, begged) my daughter to come even though she didn't have a babysitter for Kaylen. Officially children are not allowed at the meetings (unless they are old enough to be knitting), but I felt this one time was an exception.

After a while ladies started to trickle in, a few of them stopping by on their lunch hour from work. Eventually we had 8 members and one little pint sized "visitor" present. We chatted, knitted, and passed around our latest finished creations.

The next meeting won't be until September when everyone is back from vacations and summer commitments.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.24

It's been a very busy week! I had hoped that I would have the finished vest to show this week, but I just didn't have the time. I did get most of the collar done though.

That is a whole lot of ribbing! 14 inches of it with short row turns at the ends of each row.

I'm finished the actual collar section so the short rows are behind me. Six more full length rows remain, each of these going from the bottom of one front edge all the way around the collar and back down to the bottom of the other side. Long, long rows with five buttonholes that need to be evenly spaced. I'm still working out what the exact spacing needs to be.

In preparation for that spacing I knit Swatch 20 last week, which focuses on spacing buttonholes evenly. I still have to sew in the ends and tag this swatch.

The remainder of this week was caught up in a whirlwind of activity. Besides babysitting our granddaughter, shopping for a new fridge, and doing some sewing for a gift that needed to be mailed, I spent the better part of weekend with the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild at Minter Gardens. The first day I spent combing wool. Although I would have liked to continue with that on the second day, it's tiring work and my shoulder had had enough. I switched to spinning for the second day.

Our location was shady and comfortable on an otherwise hot day. We were part way up a beautiful meandering path through a serene section of the gardens. The small brook behind us provided peaceful background music (in between the more rowdy jazz numbers performed closer to the gates).

I did find the time to walk around and take a few pictures. The big attraction at the gardens on Sunday was the Car Show. Hundreds of unique cars nestled into a scenic background.

It was a lovely weekend. I was very glad to hear that the guild has been invited back to demo again next year.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Masters Monday - 2.23

Although it may have seemed like I neglected working on my Master Knitters project last week, I actually did do a bit, but I never had time to blog about it. So today we have a 2 for 1 feature.....two weeks of Master Knitter, Level II progress in one post.

In the first week I struggled mightily to do the side seams. I ripped those seams out so many times that I frayed the length of yarn used for seaming.....twice. I kept having troubles with the mattress stitch going astray and being off by a half stitch.

Eventually I made sure I had it all lined up first by basting it loosely at the obvious design elements using a smooth crochet cotton. After that the seaming was easier and when I was done the smooth cotton was easy to remove, although I had to pull it out one stitch at a time.

I'm not completely happy with the seam. The pattern all lines up perfectly, but the 2 knit stitches that are seamed together are kind of flattened looking compared to the other ridges. For the patterned section this was the best I could do. When I did my preliminary swatching I determined this was the best location within the stitch pattern for the seam. Otherwise I would be seaming a changing stitch arrangement which would be way harder! In "real life" knitting (as opposed to having to design according to the course requirements) I would have done this vest back and forth from front opening to front opening, eliminating the side seams all together.

Same sort of problem with the 1x1 ribbing seam. It looks flattened compared to the other columns of knit stitches. This was once again unavoidable if I wanted to use a tubular cast on. Ideally 1x1 rib would be seamed between a knit and a purl stitch so that the seam would be hidden "in the ditch", but tubular cast on results in an odd number of stitches making it necessary to seam the ribbing using half of the selvedge stitch on each side.

The remainder is THIS week's progress. I've seamed the shoulders using short row shaping and then a 3 needle bind off. I have also picked up the stitches around both armholes and knit the armhole bands ending in a tubular bind off.

I'm now working on the shawl collar. It will be a very deep, warm, neck hugging collar that is shaped with short rows and ends below the bust line. It is consuming alarming amounts of yarn!

If I don't run out of yarn I'll be back next week with photos of the finished vest.

What type of buttons do you think I should use?

Oh. Which reminds me. I also did one of the required buttonhole swatches this week. I wrote up the pattern and everything. I just have to make up it's tag. Photos of that next week too.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Just Like

Simple pleasures.....

......sharing a love for simple, comfortable footwear with a wee little granddaughter.