Monday, September 28, 2009

River Rocked - 5th Shipment of Socks that Rock

This shipment arrived on Saturday, while I was taking a nap. I really like the colors in this yarn: blue, brown, purple, orange, red. Just spectacular. It is like looking at the color palette of a forest. This is both a color way and pattern I would have easily picked out in a shop.

I am still hoping that the Sock Club folks might have some leftover beads for my Queen of Bead sock. It turns out they used five different types of beads when putting together everyone's shipments. By my own calculations, after looking over the first sock, I'm short nearly 3 dozen beads. I'm not sure what I'm going to do if I'm unable to acquire more.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Formal Boot Bag

Last weekend, I busted out the swift and ball winder. Three skeins of Tahki Donegal Tweed wound and I'm ready to start the Formal Boot Bag in Bag Style. The body of the purse is felted and a panel of stockinette and bobbles is added to add a little bit of flair. I have a really great black, braided leather handle that I picked up at Stitches Midwest that should go perflectly with the charcoal color. In addition to a lining, I might add a zipper to close the purse. As a big-city girl, I am not a fan of purses that don't close all the way.

I've also wound the Cascade 220 I need for the Master Hand Knitter hat project. In other news, I've worked the heel of the Queen of Beads socks and have realized I will not have enough beads for my sock. I added an extra repeat at the top of the socks, which was recommended in the pattern. My thought is that when it comes to a pattern and supplies, there should be enough to do the largest of the recommended pattern and well...there just isn't. I'm short 30 or so beads based on the other sock. Hopefully, I'll be able to find more from contacting the Sock Club folks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Master Hand Knitter Progress

As I reported a few months back, I signed up for the The Knitting Guild Association’s Master Hand Knitting Program (Level 1) and received my instruction package in mid-April. I knit five or so swatches on a size 9 needle shortly after the package arrived. But a few weeks ago I was looking on Ravelry and saw that members could queue the program in their project listings. Before doing this, I looked at other people’s submission and noticed very few knit with this needles size. So I opted to scrap the five swatches and start fresh. Over Labor Day weekend I cranked out 8 swatches and in the interim I’ve finished 15. The last one I have to work on is a “create your own cable pattern,” using some perimeters they provide on swatch length and width. This is a giant pain in the ass. The first swatch I knit came out to long because of the pattern repeat. The swatch has to be balanced so there is no having a half repeat of the pattern as the ending point of the swatch. I’m not sure how long this is going to take me so I’ve once again set it aside.

The somewhat alarming thing that I learned is that I’ve not been casting on in a manner described in any book. I use a slip knot and then proceed to doing a long-tail cast-on. After learning that a slip knot is not traditionally used a in the long-tail cast-on method, I began using the “normal” method, except that when I’d start a new swatch I would always want to resort to my “strange” method so now I’m not sure which swatches are what. I’m going to do a little positive thinking and hope that the master knitter’s on the committee won’t notice my poor little slip knot at the cast-on.

It's a little lazy of me but I don't really want to spend hours re-knitting without being told to by the committee that’s it’s necessary. I know it’s not the best attitude to have but what is a self-taught knitter to do in this situation. Re-knit preemptively? No.

I did double-check my gauge and measured the swatches twice to make sure I wasn’t fibbing on the number of inches they want things to be. I haven’t been entirely lazy. Although, even there I had to look up how one measures gauge because I didn’t know if it was from any ol’ spot on the knitted stitch and well…it’s not.

This weekend, I think I might wind the yarn for the ugly, striped hat (the project for the program) and cast-on.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stiches Midwest 2009

It's amazing how many yarn stores you can fit under one roof!

I had the opportunity to visit several this weekend at Stitches Midwest. I attended the marketplace and walked out with an awesome braided leather handle for the Formal Boot Bag in Bag Style I plan to knit and 10 skeins of Noro Korchoran. I didn't really plan on either but the Noro is not something I really thought out. It was just too good a deal to pass up and thankfully, I do have a pattern that I can use. My in-laws bought me "Knitting Noro: The Magic of Hand-dyed Yarns" for my birthday, which is awfully handy right now.

I didn't have an opportunty to touch the Noro Korchoran until I was home and it's the softest Noro I've ever felt. Wool, angora and silk are an awesome combination. The colors are rust, red, tan, purple, and gray.