Friday, December 29, 2006

Knitter, Please!

I broke down and ordered Moo Cards for myself.

The whole process was marvellous -- the cards are lovely, the cardstock and printing quality outstanding, the ordering process is fun, and there are clearly human beings running the company. It's almost worth placing an order just to get a confirmation note from "Little Moo".

And now I have blog cards. I don't have a Flickr photostream, and it seemed gauche to use someone else's, so I orderd Skype cards and just had them leave off the Skype logo.

And now I have Wise Hilda Knits business cards -- and very cool ones at that.

If you're very nice to me next time you see me, I'll give you one.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Look What Santa Brought....

I've been asking for these for months now (noted on this blog, even).
On this topic precisely, the Harlot's post this week made me laugh out loud.

Although it's only put my dining room chairs out of work, not my hubby.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Number 12! Halfway There! Well, Maybe...

I'm going to be very restrained and put this project down over my 2 week break.

It's the ideal project for my commute to work, and I want to save it for then. With all my time at home and in the car, I'll have the time and space to work on bigger/more complex projects.

The pic doesn't do justice to the colours in this one. I think it's my favourite so far.

Have been teaching J. to knit, and everytime she sees me, I have another square of LR underway. She loves it as much as I do, and it seems to have become a great incentive to focus on improving her skills so she can give it a go. Can't wait to get her started on her first square!

I think my biggest problem is going to be that I keep finding other colourways in the Kureyon, ones that I hadn't seen before. I've got this sinking feeling that I might end up doing more than 24. Anyone else done a bigger one?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pimlico Progress/Difficulties with Written Instructions

Coming along nicely... it's a great autopilot project, interesting to knit but still not so interesting that I can't watch Battlestar Galactica while I'm working on it. It's nothing to look at, at this stage... you work a big square of the eyelet pattern, and then the cleverness is in the assembly.

I still think it's a weird eyelet, though. And the pattern is written poorly. The schematic is of no help at all, and the way the eyelet is described isn't helpful.

The puzzling bit is this instruction:

k1b, k1 in 1 st, (some stuff that makes sense), k1b-f, k1 in 1 st

I get that you're making two stitches out of one in both cases. But the k1b, k1b-f are abbreviations I've not encountered before. They're helpfully explained as follows:

k1b: Knit into back of st in row below next st on left-hand needle (I'm ok to here), inserting right-hand needle into st from the top down (what?)

k1b-f: Knit into front of st in row below next st on left-hand needle. (This one makes more sense.)

I figured something out that I think works, but I'm not convinced it's what the designer intends. It looks ok, so what the heck.

This illustrates nicely the challenge pattern writers have in trying to articulate a motion, a placement of needles. This is why I have so many students in my classes tell me that they can't figure something out from written instructions, but it takes them a tenth of a second to figure it out once they see me do it. And I really don't think it's about being a visual learner in the case of knitting. If I don't know what the "top" is , when you're asking me to insert the needle from the "top down", then I'm stuck.

(I'm actually sorted of frightened to ask others how they did this stitch, because I'd hate to discover -- 22 inches of 34 into the main piece -- that there's a better, more attractive way of doing it.)

This is all to say why I love the big Vogue Knitting book, and it's helpful step-by-step pictorial instructions.

And why I figure I'll always be able to get teaching gigs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Progress!

Numbers 10 and 11!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cumulative Progress

All of 'em so far, lined up.

Too busy stuffing my face with latkes and fruitcake and PB&J party sandwiches and mince pies to get much actual knitting done. But Lizard Ridge continues to truck along at a rough pace of a square a week, in commute time.

I suspect I'll spend more time trying to arrange them for the final blanket than I will knitting them... "Oh wait, that one's got a lot of green it, it shouldn't be close to this one... "

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thoughts on a Fair Isle Design

Am starting to play with an idea for a Fair Isle vest design.... time for an "All Creatures Great and Small" marathon on PBS? My mother calls Fair Isle "James Herriot" sweaters.

I'm designing a vest with a delicious yarn called Khroma from The Fibre Company. It's not inexpensive, so to keep the overall project cost down, I'm planning to do the colourwork only on the front.

So of course, I swatched. I swatched in Fair Isle, even.

I don't know what level of Zen Master you have to be to get the same tension in fair isle as you do working a single strand of the same yarn.... The label tells me I'm supposed to get something like 18-20 sts on 5mm needles. I'm actually getting 24 stitches, no matter how relaxed I am.

Of course, what this means is that if I'm going to do a plain back, I have to fudge the tension on the back to make it line up. Ribbing seems the perfect answer. k2 p2, maybe?

The other thing I've discovered is that designing fair isle patterns isn't as simple as it seems...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More Lizarding!

Latest complete square.And here's the cat, enjoying the one that's currently on my needles. I understand he'll sit on it once it's done, I can only take it as a compliment that he wants to sit on it already.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Measure Twice, Knit Once

It's important to measure your tension; we know this. I know on about this at length in my classes, and have talked about it on this blog.

And how do we measure tension? With a tension swatch, right. But that doesn't eliminate the need for a sanity check once in a while.

I'm distracting myself with what was supposed to be a quick and easy project: Matador, in Noro Iro.

(You may find it startling that there's a Noro yarn I hadn't yet worked with -- I did.)

Anyway, I carefully measured my tension, and I was absolutely correct. So why on earth is the thing a good 4 inches wider than it's supposed to be? Stuff happens, I know that. This is a good and humbling reminder that it's useful to measure a second time -- once you've started working.

They call it a sanity check, I think, because its goal is to preserve your sanity.

It's a seriously great yarn, though.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cutting It Close/On Lizard Ridge

I finished up the edging and collar on Mum's cardigan, and this is what I'm left with.

The pattern calls for 9 balls in the smallest size, and this is the end of the ninth ball.


Of course, I'm being disengenous. I bought an extra ball, as I am wont to do, and it will happily become a square of my Lizard Ridge.

I've been told by Denny (who is often quite reliable) that sales of Kureyon have gone up noticeably worldwide because of the popularity of Lizard Ridge.

Kudos to the designer.