Friday, March 30, 2007

New Aquisitions

There has been a lot of traffic from the USPS this past week. I've limited my yarn purchases since Stitches West, but I can't say the same for books. This is what arrived this week.

I shouldn't have any need to buy another pattern or book for the next.....5 years. These goodies have joined the rest of these in my book case.

On finished object news, 2 are blocking and 2 to go.
I think I can reward myself and start a new project.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

That's it!!!!!

I started Flair, but frogged due to a mistake, then I decided to put the time into finishing some projects that are very near completion instead of starting a new one. I have four projects that are so close, a sock, a shawl, a tank and a sweater, all crying out to me to just do it and finish. I'm committing my self to working on these, nothing new until at least 2 are done. As soon as that happens, I'll start the Central park hoodie. There's no soccer this weekend and the hubby has plans to go 4 wheeling Saturday. I'll be able to knit uninterrupted all day.

Wish me luck.

Friday, March 09, 2007

2 FO's

Productive week, just not of the knitting kind. I finished the 2 books that I was anxiously awaiting.Both were excellent.

I finished swatching for flair. Now on to knitting. We have a full weekend of soccer, so all of the stockinette will come in handy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wicked misbehaving

It's been a long time since I've had a weekend free. Usually we spend both days with Soccer and basketball. Somehow, we had no plans for either day. If you think that sounds like a knitting weekend, you'd be right.
I spent most of Saturday, swatching for Flair and knitting Wicked. I took an unscheduled 3 hour nap mid day, but other than that, I knit most of the day. Today, after Church, grocery shopping and lunch, I sat down to do more knitting on Wicked. I completed all of the Raglan increases, took it off the needles and tried it on. The good news, I was pleased with the fit, I was between 2 sizes and wasn't sure which to go for,... the bad news, I can't stand the pooling on the collar area. Once I finished the ribbing, I decided to alternate skeins to break up the pooling. Unfortunately, I should have done that from the beginning. When I tried it on, I kept fiddling with the top portion, because it looked as if it was folded over.

I contemplated leaving it like that for a few minutes, knew it would bother me to no end, so Wicked is on a time out. She will be ripped and knit up again, in a solid. Switching between 2 skeins was getting on my last nerve... Arrghh,

Before stitches, I may have left it and settled. But, I've decided I want to be a better knitter and improve my skills. In order to do this, I forsee a lot of ripping in my future.

Wicked = time out
Up next, central park hoodie, or Flair....

Actually,this and this releases on Tues.

Knitting may be on hold until Friday.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Part 2: The classes

One of the major reasons I go to Stitches is for the classes. Don't get me wrong, the market place is awesome, but most of what I bought I could of ordered on line. The classes, you can't get anywhere. Many of the instructors are famous authors. I have many of their books in my library. They are my role models.
So, anyway, I signed up for a full weekend of classes.

Friday: Superb seams and Advanced finishing with Margaret Fisher.
Within the first 5 minutes I felt that I got my money's worth. I've avoided knitting garments that needed seaming, because I was never confident I was doing it right. I didn't want to invest all of that time knitting, seam it, and be disappointed with the end result.
In superb seams we learned all of the seaming techniques, plus some tricks in how to pin the garment together, and how to ease effectively.

Advanced finishing, built on the superb seam class. We learned short rows for shoulders, various selvedge stitches and cast on techniques. I learned the knitted cast on, tubular cast on and bind off and various ways to graft seams.

Sat I took the fully fashioned and fabulous class form Melissa Leapman.
This class focused on full fashioned shaping and incorporating shaping into the design of the garment. Another great class. Melissa had a lot of her sweaters from some of her books to demonstrate the techniques we worked on. It's great to see the whole picture in a finished garment.

My second class was Basic Intarsia, from Nancy Wiseman. Her finishing techniques book was one of the first books I bought when I started knitting. All I can say is, I'm no longer afraid of Intarsia and I know how to do the Intarsia twist so as not to get holes.

On the last day, I took troublesome armholes from Judy Pascale. This class was FULL of great tips on adjusting patterns to get your sleeves to fit perfectly. We learned how to change your pattern and knit your sleeve from the cap down. This involves an "interesting" algebraic(sp?) formula to set up the appropriate decreases. This may be a technique to try next year.

Lastly I took Tricks and tips from Lily Chin. Yes, Lily Chin. We had such a blast. She's great! I can't tell you how many great tips she shared with us. Some include, knitting on buttons, adding beads without pre-stranding, and a whole list of others.

The plus side to taking these classes are the little tips you learn that aren't in books. Off hand comments the instructor makes that are great little helps to make your garment nicer.

One theme that was echoed by ALL of the instructors was to knit a full gauge swatch. Yea, every pattern says to do it, but I have resisted. I always knit a mini swatch, you know 3 or 4 rows, to "confirm" that the needle I thought will work does.
Well after stitches, I've decided to turn over a new leaf. Not only will I take the time to knit a swatch, I will wash and block it as well.

Part 3: The results

I'm officially a SWATCHER.
2 swatches for my next project, CPH, in Cascade 220 and Artyarns supermerino for Wicked.