KnitNation

Aug. 1st, 2010 10:17 pm
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I've spent the last two days helping out KnitWitches at KnitNation. It was a lot of fun, but very tiring, especially since I started the weekend with some kind of horrible stomach bug that didn't completely go away until sometime last evening.

If you've ever seen KnitWitches yarn at a show or perhaps at I Knit London, you know that it lives up to its name: "Seriously Gorgeous". Eirwen, the talented dyer and creates amazing colourways in luxury yarn that so many UK knitters, myself included, just lust after. It was loads of fun to watch her enjoying the pleasure people got from looking at and touching her work. She's not only an amazing dyer, she's a delightful person, and I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. Her husband, Richard, is also lovely. I'm not sure, but I may have earned the name "snood-chucker", which is probably right up there with "chicken-chaser" in the world of great titles. ;-)

There were loads of knitting luminaries to be seen, but as I was working (and couldn't have afforded any of the classes anyway), I didn't meet any of them. I did catch a glimpse of Beth Brown-Reinsel at the after party, as well as Cookie A, but I didn't meet anybody else. I did score a copy of Janel Laidman's first book The Enchanted Sole, which she apparently was on hand to sign, but ih. Honestly, the classes were so expensive that nobody I know could have afforded any of them, but there were a whole lot of knitters there spending a whole lot of money, so somebody must have been able to. It's too bad: I've been wanting to take BBR's Gansey Workshop for years. That's the only class that really appealed to me: most everything else was stuff I've done before. It didn't really matter; I got to see a lot of friends, and I really enjoyed working with KnitWitches. Besides, I already got to meet my Knitting Idol, and it was just as fabulous as I hoped it'd be.

Both days were busy, in waves. Wollmeise was definitely the rock star of the show; Eirwen said that on Thursday night's pre-show sale, the doors opened and the thundering footsteps down to the Woolmeise booth just made everybody laugh. Wollmeise is hard to get outside of Munich: while they have an online store, they post new wool every week, one a week, and they sell out in less than 24 hours. So, yeah. If you go to the store near Munich, you can get it, but otherwise you have to hope you know someone who's going to Munich (well, Pfaffenhofen) and doesn't mind stopping by Wollmeise for you.

Juno had some lovely things, as did Artisan, Old Maiden Aunt, Skein Queen, EasyKnits, and of course KnitWitches (but you know I'm biased!). Because the KnitWitches booth was just across from Loop, I got to talk to the Loop Ladies, and since the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand was just a little further on, I got to talk to and hang out with the lovely Vanessa, Jan, Yvonne, Penny, Roz, and Various Other People I Can't Remember Right Now.

Good things about the show: Cosy atmosphere, friendly people, mostly good organisation and communication, extremely helpful and ever-present crew. Good mixture of ages, though the event definitely skewed younger and hipper with loads of Ravellers and their youthful enthusiasm everywhere.

Room for improvement: Marketplace seemed cramped from the vendor point of view: even six more inches would have made folk much more comfortable. Shops seemed stacked, and the very smallest stall size was barely big enough for two people and a table. Location in general was not fabulous: hard to find, expensive neighbourhood that probably made accommodation difficult for out-of-towners, we were sharing the space with ICL students and staff, not to mention other events going on throughout the weekend, such poor acoustics in the after party that you had to shout to hear yourself and hearing others was impossible. Classes were £10 more expensive for 3 hours than the I Knit Weekender classes (I admit I may be feeling sour grapes here because I was interested in several and would never have been able to afford them-- I couldn't have afforded to go if I hadn't been working for KnitWitches, so that gives you an idea of exactly how poor I am).

Friday, I was on the stall most of the day, with a half hour break for lunch and little walks around the marketplace to stretch. It was a little annoying not to have a badge, as I kept getting stopped at the door and having to explain who I was again, but nothing's perfect. Marketplace was open 'til 8, but Eirwen let me go around 6. Of course, I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with the ladies at K&C Guild, and then [profile] filceolaire brought me doughnuts! He and I had dinner out, then he went off to do night inspections, and I went home to fall into bed.

Saturday, I was on the stall most of the day, with a half hour break for lunch and little walks around the marketplace to stretch. [personal profile] mokatiki came by, and we had a wander. She bought yarn. She helped Eirwen buy yarn. She didn't buy that much yarn. Honest. After the marketplace closed at 6, we had an hour's worth of teardown, and then Vanessa, Penny, Mary, and I went to Paper Tiger for Chinese buffet (£4.99, yay! long walk, boo!), then back to ICL for the Ravelry Party (which, unlike the Ravelry Talk, we didn't have to pay £10 to get into). We met Meg, whose Ravelry name has the word Smurf in it, and I finally actually got a Ravelry badge. I'm not all that active on Ravelry, but hey. There were lovely raffle prizes, which we didn't win, and some knitting luminaries, who didn't know us well enough to realise that we were much more entertaining than all the people we did know. We left a little after 10, having drunk our fill (a Diet Coke each!), and then we had to work to find the exit to the venue and walk back to South Kensington to catch buses home. I made a poor decision and caught a very slow, tiny bus that said it went to Elephant and Castle. I got off the bus at St. Giles Circus and caught a 188 to Canada Water, so I could get a closer bus home.

Here is a photograph of all the yarn I got, and an explanation of how I paid for very little of it. :D



Here's the yarn I scored at KnitNation. Top Left: Wollmeise Laceweight, in colourway Kornblume. 300g, 1,722 yards. 100% merino superwash. Payment for a lace class to be taught to S. Top Middle: KnitWitches Seriously Gorgeous Cash-anova Supersock, in colourway Woodland. 300g, appx 1,200 metres. Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. Payment from KnitWitches. Top Right: Wollmeise Twin, in colourway Förster's Glück, 100g, 311m. Superwash merino. For a sock for J. Top Righter Right: Wollmeise Twin, in colourway Feldmauschen, 100g, 310m. Superwash merino. For a sock for J. Smack-Dab in the Middle: Tilli Thomas Rock Star, in colourway Stony Mist, 100g, 150 yards. Silk with glass beads. Yarn-seller's gift to a friend who didn't care for the colourway. Below the smack-dab in the Middle: Wollmeise Lace, in colourway Golden Pear. 300g, 1,717 yards. 100% superwash wool. For my Dryad, payment for another lace class, as it turns out. Bottom: KnitWitches Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight Silk, in colourway Lapis Night. 300g, 1,800m. 100% silk. Payment from KnitWitches.

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I spent most of Friday at the show at the Knit One Pass It On booth, teaching mostly secondary school girls to knit, though I did have a rewarding continental knitting session with one of the other teachers early on and a few crochet students later in the day.

The fun thing about the continental lesson was that while I was teaching the lady how to purl, some knitters from Denmark came by. Initially they exclaimed, "Wow! You knit like we do!" and then they realised I was purling differently and offered to show me. Though I was pretty sure what they were going to demonstrate, I handed them my needles. Because I'd never seen someone from Denmark do this in real life and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right.

Friends and students, if you've learned Norwegian purling from me, I am here to tell you I do it exactly like those ladies from Denmark! Wahoo! I demonstrated again for my student (OK, I was showing off by this time), and she was, as most English knitters are, totally boggled by the necessarily quick motions of the needles-- even though I wasn't nearly as fast as the ladies from Denmark. They were delightful, and they enriched my day.

I did have an unpleasant experience a bit later on, which I've outlined on a friends-only post on LiveJournal, but I'll give you the gist here (copied from the other entry, for those of you who are now experiencing deja vu):

While I was teaching a group of five secondary school girls to knit at the Knitting and Stitching Show, a cranky old biddy walked up to my group of students and started criticising the way they were knitting, the way I was teaching them, and pretty much everything. No matter what I did, she wouldn't go away. My students were mortified and vulnerable; onlookers were appalled. I asked the booth supervisor to come stand behind me while I very evenly explained to the old biddy that this was my class, she was interrupting it, and could she please find something else to do with her time besides terrorising fourteen-year-old girls (who are naturally unsure of themselves). She ended up saying that my teaching methods were irritating her so much she had to go away and stomping off. My students were highly critical of this lady, and so was everybody else who overheard (and a lot of people overheard).

There's no need to dwell on that cranky old lady: my students learned to knit and purl, and they were doing pretty well, too. I took a break and saw a little bit of the show, got some fudge for [profile] filceolaire, and picked up a copy of Divas Don't Knit because I'm craving some mindless fiction and somebody recommended it to me. Hopefully it won't be as bad a recommendation as The Friday Night Knitting Club. I am actually looking to find a copy of a book by Barbara Bretton called Casting Spells, which is apparently about a witchy/sorceressy knitting shop owner. I could probably get into that, even if it's appalling. ;)

And that was my entire haul from the Ally Pally show. I simply didn't have the money to buy loads of yarn, the crowd was too dense for me to stop and see anything for long (for shopping, I admit that even though the variety was slightly less varied, I'd prefer the quieter and less packed I Knit Weekender any day), and the fact is, there were only two things I could have been enticed to buy knittingwise yesterday: a copy of Cat Bordhi's new book, which I really can't afford but dearly, dearly want, and some of the new neon Kauni. Unfortunately, Scandinavian Knitting Design were not at the show, which was a bummer. I had such a great experience ordering from them last year and I would have loved to meet the nice people who do such great business over the web and over the phone. Web of Wool were there with their usual supply of self-patterning everything; I abstained. GetKnitted weren't there, unless I missed them. Colinette was there with new colours that were barely resistable (but I resisted), and there was the usual astounding display of Shetland lace at Jamieson's of Scotland.

At the end of the day, Fred related a story about one of our teachers sweetly offering to teach someone to knit—and him sitting there with his hand over his mouth, covering the hysteria, because "someone" was Nicky Epstein. I wouldn't recognise Nicky Epstein if I tripped over her, so I hope it wasn't me. He promised it wasn't. Brief pause while I google: No, I don't think it was me, but she isn't a wild dresser it would appear, so I might have made the mistake. For any of you who would like to know how to recognise Nicky Epstein at a distance or even close-up, here's the best photo I found.

The trip home wasn't as maddening as the trip there, where I'd been the victim of two disabled trains on the Northern Line and a station mixup at Moorgate, but I did just miss the train out of Alexandra Palace and had to wait 15 minutes for the next one. I am still not sure I had the right ticket for this train, but no inspectors in the carriage ftw.

I came home via London Bridge, and [profile] filceolaire met me at the New Cross train bridge, just because he is the sweetest husband ever. I hope he keeps me.
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Aaagh!
Aaagh!
See that on the left needle? That's the amount of space I have to finish doing the lace work for the edge of the Silk Garden Serina. See that little string coiled above the right hand needle? That's all the yarn I have left. :(

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So, you know. I got yarn. I didn't pay for all of it, and what I did pay for was cheap, cheap, cheap.

Eight photographs below the cut tag )


MCA Direct
The Knitting Goddess
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Just saw this posted on the internet sock list:

Sock Innovation Errata.
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In conversation with [personal profile] aunty_marion, I suddenly came to the realisation that, hey, I have two balls of this stuff. Why not start a second sock, on 2.75mm needles, and see how it works out? That way, no harm, no foul, no ripping out before I see a solution. So I'm going to try that, to see how the smaller needles work and fit. And I'll go with whichever one I like best—or I'll choose something else.

Sometimes, it takes a miracle to see the obvious. ;-)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
I completed these last night and wove the ends in this morning.

Three photos beneath cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
To Knitting Software .Com, from whom I purchased the inexpensive Sock Wizard Mac application yesterday. There were two versions of their ordering website online, one with a download option and one without. The one with the download option did not work, so I ordered the software to be shipped, and this morning I sent an email asking if there were a downloadable version.

We went off to take [livejournal.com profile] pola_bear back to university early this afternoon, and I thought no more of it, figuring I'd get a response possibly on Monday. But when we stopped for lunch, I checked email via the iPhone and found that the lady from Knitting Software had already got back to me, apologising because they'd updated their website and those links weren't good, including a download link to the software and a note that she wouldn't be charging me for shipping!

And now on to the application, which looks great, if basic. It's essentially a full-service sock calculator, with a lot of options. Alas, it isn't customisable to the point where I could just plug in some parameters and change a sock architecture a la Cat Bordhi, but it offers cuff-down and toe-up options, patterns written for 4 or 5 dpn or 1 or 2 circulars, and a very nice variety of heels and toes, including a toe-up star toe which looks like fun—in three lengths, standard (crew) short (ankle) and knee. The website has photos of some of the heel designs. It makes patterns according to US shoe sizes, which may prove a bit of a problem for some, but there are plenty of online conversion charts that will tell you what your US shoe size would be. It does not allow adjustments for very wide feet/ankles/calves, but does enough of the basic maths that it will be possible to design the same sock in several sizes, aside from the charting of whatever pattern I want to use. The charting, of course, is what Stitch Visualizer is for. ;-) (subtle hint: my birthday is coming up!) :-D

I suspect I'll get seriously started on whatever I'm making with the Zauberball and try to clear some more UFOs before I settle down to knitting any socks from Sock Wizard-based patterns, but so far I'm pleased. The program is easy to use, produces simple, readable patterns that can be customised to my satisfaction and will need only basic tweaks to incorporate inventive patterning and whatnot, and it was quite inexpensive at $35 US.

I'm sure I'll have more to say about Sock Wizard in the days and weeks to come, but my first impression is very good.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I picked up this lovely wool on Wednesday at I Knit London, and now I'm thinking I may get a second ball of it if they still have it on Saturday.

Zauberball translates to 'magic ball', and I think that even in the ball it live up to its name. It's just alive with possibilities, isn't it? The wool comes in an astounding array of colours, not all of them this bright, I promise!


Photos and pattern photo links below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I've charted the lace pattern, which like so many of the patterns we love, was lifted from a Barbara Walker Treasury, with some bits added in for interest.
Technical Bits )

Razor's Edge Sock Pattern (.pdf)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
As if I didn't already have enough to do, I thought, "Hey, I'll design a pair of lace socks that will work well with self-patterning jaquard sock wool! Yeah! Let's do that!" Well, they've at least given me a chance to experiment a bit more with the square DPNs, which I still like.

Three photographs, plus technical notes, beneath cut tag. Pattern to follow. )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Not just a modification; a "real" design this time. These were cast on last night, and they are moving pretty quickly at this point.

Single photo below cut tag. )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
Back in November, I posted a review of Kollage's "Square" circular needles. I hated them, because the cable is sticky like Gumby, even though the advertising is accurate in that the cable is definitely flexible. In fact, it's too flexible-- but you can read my review above if you're interested in knowing more about them.

On Saturday, I taught a beginning sock class at IKL, and we put everybody on 2.75mm DPNs. I think it's confusing, especially for relatively inexperienced knitters, if teacher is using a totally different method, so I borrowed a pair of the square circulars to knit this sock.

And you know what? I like them. For somebody who magic loops just about everything, that's a pretty big admission for me. They are comfortable in the hands, slick, and fast. If anything could make me go back to DPNs, at least for some projects, it's Square Double Point Needles. Of course, they're still very expensive (£8! for a single set of 5 needles at IKL), so I'm doubtful I'll be stocking up any time soon, but I really like them. Down sides are that just like other DPNs, it's easy to lose one, and at this price, yow. Plus, as they're metal, they won't fulfil my usual reason for having any DPNs at all, which is airplane knitting.

I'm beginning to think that using Brittany DPNs for so long may have coloured my judgment about DPNs in general. Perhaps if I'd tried some metal ones earlier, I would like them a little better in general, although I do have a set of Addi DPNs that I don't like at all. [livejournal.com profile] mithranstar has some cool electric purple aluminium DPNs that I'd like to check out, if only because they are PRUPLE. :) But the Kollage ones are a lovely brass colour, and they do make with the happy metallic clicky-clicky, so perhaps I can be satisfied with a few pairs of these. Because of the hefty price tag, I've committed to keeping the plastic shop cases around and storing them in those, in the needle case. Because losing one would be annoying, but losing two would be a disaster. :-/
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (seussocks)
There are a ton of sock knitting resources out there. On the Internet, you can find hundreds of free patterns, along with sock construction guidelines and tips for just about every kind of sock knitting you can imagine. And I only say ‘just about’ because I’m sure someone will think of something new. Maybe they are thinking of it right this minute.

Some of you know that last week’s sock class required me to begin rewriting a sock pattern on the fly, in a class with six students. Other chaos occurred as well, but what I’m now anticipating with dread is the fact that not all my knitters will be able to knit a complete heel flap, plus turn their heels, plus begin their gusset decreases, in two hours’ time. I’m halfway through my heel flap on this sock and intend to stop at the heel turn so I can demonstrate it on Saturday. All but one of the students in this class are relatively new or inexperienced knitters, and we were just getting into the swing of working in the round when it was time to end the class. Most of them are at the stage where they’re just sort of trusting the patterns they knit. They may have reached the, “I don’t like this pattern stitch, so I’m going to substitute another at the exact point,” stage. But nobody here is really knitting fearlessly, at least not yet.

Anyway, because I have to rewrite this pattern for my class, I thought I’d talk a little bit about sock construction, what there is out there, and how to do it without really thinking about it. No reason not to share that here. ;-)

Lots of my knitting friends know these tricks, but the truth is I can explain the basics of cuff-down sock construction in a series of simple bullet points.

Basic Sock Formula )

Using this formula, you can make socks for anybody, using any kind of wool, on circulars or double points; it's your choice.

Please don't be intimidated by the maths. They are really very basic, and after knitting socks for donkey's years, I pretty much just know them off the top of my head.

Great books about sock knitting:

  • The aforementioned Folk Socks. It's a great resource, although it's somewhat densely written. Like most books that try to do absolutely everything, some bits of it may not appeal to everybody.
  • Sensational Knitted Socks provides a number of zipper patterns with lots of variations.
  • Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy is a great resource for short-row heel socks, toe up and top down.
  • Ethnic Socks provides a great introduction to socks and techniques from Eastern Europe and Turkey. If you like stranded knitting, this is a great one to play with.
  • Cool Socks, Warm Feet presents itself as a pattern book for socks made from printed and self-patterning yarns, but there are some great technique notes in it as well.
  • Sock Innovation, my newest acquisition, has already proven to be a great resource, full of fascinating design notes about how to make your socks spectacular and unique.
  • New Pathways for Sock Knitters, which amazon lists as unavailable in the UK, is actually available. If you're ready to branch out, Cat Bordhi's book explains a number of different ways to handle sock shaping so that you can create some fascinating and fantastic socks.


Great Internet resources for sock knitting:

  • The Internet Sock Knitters List Homepage. Here you'll find a lot of resources. If you decide to join the list, be aware that it is very, very chatty and high-traffic. I skim the digests when I have time, but I haven't been a regular poster to mailing lists in years.
  • Knitting Socks provides tutorials and some tips and patterns. Google Ads on front page.
  • A quick search on Ravelry reveals 557 matches for groups with keyword 'sock'.
  • Ravelry also has a huge pattern database. The most popular sock pattern on Ravelry is currently Cookie A's 'Monkey', from Knitty. More than 8,000 Ravelry members are knitting or have knitted this sock. Ravelry lists 6,900 sock patterns, nearly 2,500 of them free.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
Well, let's see.

I'm just not a monogamous knitter; it's obvious. And I neglect projects for months, sometimes years, at a time. Sometimes I come across a neglected project when I'm going through my stash, usually looking to start something new, and although I know in my heart I might never finish it, particularly that replacement pair of Camelot socks that I've lost the pattern for (and I had two copies of the pattern at one point; can you believe that? I should really just scan everything and turn it into .pdfs for my iPhone). Still, I can't bear to give them up. I think I can remember most of them.

  1. It wouldn't be fair not to list those gorgeous Camelot Socks,* after having whinged about them up there;
  2. There's the Ragna,* which I put aside because I was knitting Christmas gifts. The bottom mitres are all joined for the front, and I'm about to start knitting up;
  3. There's [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire's spiral tank top,* which is temporarily put aside because I have to make a couple of design decisions and I'm not ready yet;
  4. There's [livejournal.com profile] resourceress's Twisted Flower Socks,* one of which is complete. I just need to knit the second sock;
  5. There's Harmarnii's (winolj) Malabrigo lace socks* from DROPS design, one of which is complete. I think I even cast on for the second one at one point. I was on the bus;
  6. There's the gorgeous Rhiannon* knee socks from Cookie A that I have found to be incredibly frustrating and will come back to when I'm feeling like a challenge (yes, they are more challenging than the Ragna!);
  7. There's [livejournal.com profile] bardling's Harika Socks,* one of which is complete and the other of which is at least started;
  8. There's the lace cocoon,* which I've been concentrating on for the last couple of weeks;
  9. There's the Pfeiffer Falls Hooded Scarf,* which I started in the dead of winter and which is going to be very warm and cosy. But I used stash wool, and I'm just not all that thrilled with powder blue. Probably this will go to an auction or a friend when completed;
  10. There's the purple and green entrelac knee socks,* which I'm designing and knitting on the fly. They've been put aside because they're kind of boring to knit, and as I'm doing most of my knitting at home these days, I don't really need train knitting projects at the moment;
  11. And as of last night, there's the Strangling Vines Scarf,* made of sockweight (4ply) Colinette Jitterbug, in the "Popsicle" colourway.


Wow. That's eleven projects, not counting stuff I do for knitting classes and whatever I've forgotten. If any sense, I wouldn't start another one for awhile. But, you know. I have lace yarn.

One photo of Strangling Vine Lace below the cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I took some photographs when I was home for lunch, so you could see how this is going.

Three photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
...I feel a lace phase coming on.

"Can you keep secrets? Can you hear a thing and never say it again? And puzzles and codes, I imagine they lay down to you like lovers."

Tangled Up In Lace? )

Lace knitters, tell me your secrets! I'll never repeat them. ;)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
I did get in a little time for knitting today.

Two photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Well, not terribly much progress I'm afraid. Despite the fact that last week was half-term for some people, I had to work a 60-hour week and prepare for four hours' worth of teaching on Saturday. There wasn't much time to work on this project, but what time I spent (a wee bit on Wednesday night at I Knit London and a couple of hours Sunday night at home) got me firmly into the second iteration of the spiral pattern. The Kauni colour change occurred so subtly that I didn't even notice it until I held the knitting up and saw that hey, it did change colour round about there! I am about six rounds into the 28-round offset, so you can just see the edges of the new spirals peeking through above the completed spiral (which looks fabulous, if I do say so myself!) This is a really exciting project, and I wish I had more time to work on it. Maybe this week.

One photograph below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Here is the final pattern chart for the main body of the vest. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] janewilliams20 for putting my offset idea in graphical form. The photo below is a hand chart of the design (in Excel) with a couple of tweaks for continuity and smoother lines.

very large picture below )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Over lunch today, I realised I was nearing the end of the first spiral pattern repeat on [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire's vest. Now, I'd spoken to [livejournal.com profile] clothsprogs over the weekend, and he shored up my opinion that I don't want to repeat the braid band at the bottom of that pattern on every repeat: it'll look too much like stripes.

What I'm wondering now is, do I want to offset the repeat by 50% every other row? If you haven't seen the garment or you need a refresher, here's the post I wrote when I began it. It includes the spiral motif and my sketchy pattern. And here's the latest progress report, which will give you an idea of what the spirals look like in this wool.

I'm leaning heavily toward offsetting the spirals. The chart is an even number across, so it will be very simple to do, and I think it will somehow look more natural than just rows and rows of spirals. What do you think?

(no poll; just tell me in comments!)
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I'm not going to cut-tag this. It's just so cute! Seriously, this has been a blast to design and knit, and I've learned a lot. My first ever v-neck steek!


Cody's Finished Fair Isle Vest! Cody's Finished Fair Isle Vest!
Designed and knitted almost completely on the fly, this was quite an adventure. I’d never done a v-neck steek before, and it was a lot of fun and not very scary at all. I’m unhappy with the way the patterning turned out on the front, but I’m sure I can correct this miscalculation in future garments. For a human wearer, I’ll add more shaping to the back neck. I probably will knit one of these for a ball-jointed doll, just to get the more human-sized shaping down, although it’ll be fewer stitches to work with.



Ravelry Project Page for this garment.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
So, since sometime over Christmas, I've been convinced that my copy of Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting, which last I heard was out of print and selling for a bomb on ebay, was missing. I also somehow misplaced The Knitting Answer Book, a present from [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki that I use all the time.

After checking out the Eunny Jang pattern [livejournal.com profile] mithranstar recommended to get my head around neck steeks for [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire's fair isle vest (screw it; I'm using the American term; at least I know which one to use!), I went upstairs, secure in the knowledge that the Starmore was missing but knowing I have a lot of other resources on stranded knitting. So, sure. I pulled down the Pearson, the Gladys Thompson, the McGregor, Sarah Don and Ann Feitelson, plus The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, even though I know it'll be no help. And as I was sitting on my Pilates ball (don't ask!), pondering the other knitting books that have gone mysteriously missing and considering whether or not I should post to LJ to find out if I've actually lent any of these books out to my knitting friends — some books fell off the shelf. And there, in plain view, on the shelf, with its bright red cover clearly visible in a 'how on earth did you miss that' kind of way, was the Starmore. And The Knitting Answer Book.

The gods must love me. But why couldn't they have loved me six weeks ago when I was tearing my hair out looking for this book? On that very bookshelf?

OK, fess up. Who put the boggart in my bookshelf?
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
You know, since I started designing jumpers for the teddy bear jumper classes, it now seems the most natural thing in the world to design [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire's fair isle vest by first knitting a sample for Cody, my very patient bear (who is, incidentally, spending the week in Peterborough with friends).

I'm going to knit the Cody version in the green Kauni that G from I Knit London gave me last week. I'll still have plenty left over for a pair of socks. J's vest will be in a series of dusty blues and greys; these are some of his favourite colours, they bring out his eyes, and they're good for the office, unlike some of the other things I knit. ;-)

The ever-fascinating design process )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
Having trouble sleeping tonight, which isn't usual for me. So I might as well yammer on about all the knitting I've been doing this weekend, in between bits and pieces of the Before The Dawn rehearsals.

Several photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I posted this on the IKL Ravelry group earlier today, but thought some folks reading here might be interested as well.

Class list behind cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
It arrived today! Believe it or not, there is enough here to make a cardigan. I will probably use it to make this vest for [livejournal.com profile] filceolaire. Just imagine it all in shades of blue and grey. I may swap out the 3d box pattern on the bottom, because I don't like it. But we shall see.

Photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I got a call today from G at I Knit London, who wanted to schedule just about all my proposed classes!

So, here is the docket.

  • Saturday, 7 March: Tunesian Crochet, 12pm-2pm
  • Saturday, 14 March: Knit Fix, 3:30-6pm
  • Saturday, 21 March: Weird Knitting Techniques, 12pm-3pm
  • Saturdays, 4, 11, 18 April: Entrelac Scarf, 12pm-2pm
  • Saturdays, 4, 11, 18 April: Sock Knitting for Beginners, 2:30pm-4:30pm.


Also: I bought yarn. Just look for 'Kauni'. I didn't buy as much as I planned to buy, but it is amazing stuff, and it's further amazing how little you need to make a cardigan! :D
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
(Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] bardling; I just can't resist making fun with that name.)
One photo beneath cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Before I head off to bed, I just want to show you how the sock looks with the next tier of diamonds knitted. The 2mm needles are a bit small for the Cherry Tree Hill wool, but because entrelac makes a very stretchy fabric, I wanted it as dense as I could get it. The knitting itself is slow going, because even though 10 stitches per diamond doesn't sound like many, consider that I'm knitting nine 10x10 diamonds across every tier. That's 900 stitches per tier, not counting stitch pickups, which are time-consuming using very small needles and a yarn just slightly too heavy for the needles. This is one of the many times I wish Addi made lace needles in the 2mm size: the pointy tips would make the stitch pickups much easier!

Three photos below cut tag, and yes, one is inside out. )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
You can see the first post on this topic here.

I'm into the second tier now, so it's starting to look like entrelac.

Two photos below the cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Completely improvised, here are the bare beginnings of my entrelac socks!

One photo beneath cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
Photo beneath cut tag )

And now that I have reached my goal of getting farther along on this sock than I was when I ripped it out this afternoon, I can finally go to bed! Good night, LJ.
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting patterns)
It didn't even occur to me when I suggested to [livejournal.com profile] bardling that I knit these socks for her that the name of the pattern sort of goes with her own name. So, [livejournal.com profile] bardling, please forgive all the plays on words, and concentrate on the progress of your socks! ;)

Three photos and notes below the cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
Recently, I've become fascinated with entrelac knitting. I've always loved the textured look of it, and I'd tried it once as a beginning knitter and failed miserably. So I got this idea it was haaard. Anyway, over the holiday break, I decided I wanted to do something with blocks of bright colours, and I had the wool left over from the Alien Illusion Scarf I'd started but decided to rip out, so... I started a simple garter stitch entrelac scarf in lime green and black. It looked great and was reversible, but I really love the woven look of all stocking stitch entrelac, so I went on a quest for simple entrelac patterns, and found the Quant pattern from the Winter 2007 Knitty. So far I've made two of these, one for [livejournal.com profile] mokatiki and one for [livejournal.com profile] pola_bear. The one for me may or may not be coming, depending on how much I decide I like this hat.

Single photo beneath the cut tag )

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