Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Queen of Beads Update

I'm never going to finish the second sock. Never. Ever.

I've tried casting-on a half-dozen times and even made it so far as to have gotten to the row where the piece is joined, only to have then dropped a stitch and been unable to pick it back up. At this time, I've given up.

I've started another project but am waiting to post on it.

Branching Out Lace Scarf

After seeing this pattern years ago and adding it to my Ravelry queue, I started this project on April 21.

It took 30 pattern repeats and two balls of
Crystal Palace Merino Frappe
to reach 5-feet. I purchased the yarn years ago intent on making a Spiderweb Capelet from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation. Needless to say, I did not make the capelet.

The positive part of using this yarn is that for a wool yarn, it's quite soft from being merino. The downside is that with it being frappe, it is a pain in the ass to rip. By knitting stitches, the felting process starts. It made ripping back on rows with too many stitches a very annoying experience. And wouldn't you know, that all had to happen half-way through the project, which was not very motivating.

Interweave Knits Summer 2009

As a subscriber to Interweave Knits (4 years proud!) and Vogue Knitting (as of Winter 2008), I started to think that perhaps I should write about the issues after I've had an opportunity to read and review them. I'm one of those people where if I really like the magazine, I keep them stored in magazine holders for years and years and years. Right now, I have four years of Interweave Knits sitting on a shelf -- Spring 2007 is by far my favorite issue! I just started filing my Vogue Knitting issues. I'm also a subscriber to Bust (whose editor is of the Stitch 'N Bitch fame - again, it goes back to my knitting addiction) with issues dating back to 2004 and would highly recommend this magazine to women everywhere, particularly those who enjoyed Jane.

Anyway, I just finished reading the Interweave Knits Summer 2009 issue. In having recently signed up for the TKGA's Master Hand-Knitting program, I'm very appreciative of the article, "Beyond the Basics: New Methods for Jogless Stripes in the Round." The hat that has to be completed as part of the program requires jogless stripes and I will definitely be reviewing this later on to make sure I get it right.

There's a bit of difficulty in how I think about clothing's use in my daily life. I have several tattoos on my arms and keep them generally covered while at work. I can possibly get away with 3/4 length sleeves but nothing shorter. This requires that most of my clothes have long sleeves so there's not many short-sleeved jackets or sweaters in my closet, as cute as they are in any given season. Although I can find knitted garments very appealing, I will likely not make them and am dismissive of them. If I can only wear something on the weekend, it's just not worth it to me. With that in mind, I look for long-sleeve sweaters that have enough detail to make me look somewhat fashionable or short sleeve sweaters that won't look "weird" with a long-sleeve shirt underneath.

The patterns I really liked from this issue were the the Grotto Wrap, Great Gatsby Dress, Ribbons and Lace Cardigan. I tend to like the frilly, more complicated garments when it comes to knitted attire. I think they're more visually appealing. The fitted form of the Great Gatsby Dress makes is very flattering and something I'd wear in the summer, on the weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Someone's enjoying the rainy weather...

TKGA and Queen of Beads

Yesterday was a great day! The weather was perfect, 70s and a low wind, celebrated my father-in-laws birthday, purchased some half-price CDs at Boarders, knit most of the foot to my Queen of Beads sock and received the instructions for the TKGA Master Hand-Knitting Program (Level One). Admittedly, in looking at the brief description on the TKGA PDF on their correspondence classes and the Master Knitting Programs, I felt this could be accomplished with little issue. However now that have the instructions in hand, feel a surge of doubt. The instructions are 16 pages long and are definitely reminiscent of government grants in the level of detail they are providing. Not one to back down from a knitting challenge, I'm taking the instructions in stride and thinking up ways to divide them up in a manner that makes them seem less daunting. I haven't exactly worked out how to do this but there's no way I can just go at it without forethought.

In other knitting news, I've completed one of the Queen of Beads socks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Master Knittery Begins

Something took over me this afternoon and before I knew it I was on the Knitting Guild Association website purchasing a one-year membership and the instructions for their Master Hand Knitting Program. I should get my Master Level 1 kit in the mail soon. Ever since I came across the article about a knitter having completed the three levels (see, I've been intrigued.

I'm a little scared about the other two levels. I've never knit argyle socks or cared to try Fair Isle knitting. The very thought of an Aran or or Fair Isle sweater sounds more like punishment, than fun but I guess that would all depend on the pattern. I don't think I'll be at the Level 3 stage for quite some time. This will soon be my homework:
  • 16 knitted samples: three swatches of ribbing and basic stitches and gauge, mirrored increases and decreases, yarnovers, cables and color change.
  • 17 questions to research and answer.
  • One hat.
  • Two-page report on blocking and care of knits.
Can I become a master knitter and go to school once a week?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Swallowtail Shawl Finished

I finished blocking the shawl this morning and it looks awesome. I didn't always feel this way about it. When I was done knitting and was admiring my work, I felt it looked very wonky. I think the four pattern changes and it's triangle shape lent to it being very tight right off the needles. Blocking it really made the lace patterns more pronounced.

I'm very happy with how it looks and lays. I'm quite proud of having knit it.