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.

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